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FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

Trump Discovers the Little Piece of Heaven Called Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sivory Punta Cana The cat's out of the bag about Punta Cana, the celebrity favorite hot spot in the Dominican Republic known for its white sand beaches edged by the crystal clear Caribbean sea. Located on the eastern-most tip of the DR, the region has been quietly edging out the other Caribbean destinations as the best beach bargain. Luxury boutique hotels-- like the fabulous, all-suite Sivory Punta Cana-- are now getting some competition. Recent growth has been staggering, with new hotels including the Golf Suites in Punta Cana, Agua Resort & Spa, and the Hotel Bavaro Real Arena and Hotel VIP Real Arena, two luxury properties to be launched by the Spanish NH Hoteles chain. That's more than 1,100 rooms to be added to the market in the next two years.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has joined the fray. His new development venture, the 30,000 acres called Cap Cana, will be one of the largest in the Caribbean. The $2 billion project will feature four luxury hotels, three Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, a mega yacht marina with 1,000 slips, and 5,000 residential units.

Related Articles:

Vagablond, "Fairway Play on Father’s Day: Punta Cana Resort & Club, Dominican Republic"

Announcing the Sivory Punta Canta in the Dominican Republic

Celebrate 07/07/07 in Style with Red Carnation Hotels

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa Numerically perfect, and truly rare, dates like July 7th (07/07/07) only occur 12 times a century. So best to live it up and celebrate-- especially when the digit is the lucky number seven. Red Carnation Hotels has put together two fun packages at Summer Lodge in Dorset and The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. Take a Date with Destiny and enjoy a slew of "7" themed amenities: from a seven-course dinner to a seven minute helicopter ride to the beach... Get the deets after the jump.

At the award-winning Twelve Apostles, perched above the ocean at the foot of the dramatic Twelve Apostles mountain range, the "Three Lucky Sevens break" offers seven (you guessed it!) special amenities:

*7 scratch cards (so you can win back the price of your stay!)

*A tasting of 7 wines selected by Sommelier Luvo Ntezo

*A 7 course dinner in the Azure restaurant

*7 pm Movie screening of Casino Royale in the hotel's own cinema

*7 minute heli-flip to the V&A Waterfront

*7 hours free car hire

*75 minute Moya Crystal massage at the fabulous Sanctuary Spa, consistently ranked as one of the world's best

*Plus 70 minutes in the hydrotherapy pools, aroma sauna and floatation tank at the Sanctuary Spa

*Breakfast daily from 7 am

Before you check into your guest room (the number of which will end in a "7"), you'll be greeted with 007's favourite drink-- vodka martini, shaken not stirred. The price? A magical R7777 for two people sharing for two nights. You must arrive on Saturday, July 7th.

Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, the charming boutique hotel in Evershot in Dorset, is likewise offering a weekly stay dedicated-- not to the "seven deadly sins" but to "septual healing." Book a visit for at least three nights including Saturday, July 7th, and you'll enjoy:

*A bouquet of 7 roses upon arrival

*7-item full English breakfast daily

*7-course dinner prepared by inspirational chef Steven Titman

*A tasting session of 7 wines selected by sommelier Eric Zwiebel, recently ranked fourth in World's Top Sommeliers category

*70 minutes of spa treatment

*DVD of your choice: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Se7en, or The Seven Samurai

*Seven Lucky 7 scratch cards per couple

*A room with a number seven in it, subject to availability

*A map outlining a comfortable 7 mile walk through the beautiful countryside

The price? GBP 777 per person for three nights.

Inside the Kitchen: Cooking Classes at Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Get busy inside the kitchen this summer at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, where the seasonal culinary series, Inside the Kitchen, showcases the best celeb chefs, cookbook authors, and sommeliers of the industry. Learn tempting recipes while indulging in some tasty dishes and fine wine. (Plus, the Ritz-Carlton even donates a portion of the proceeds to Meals on Wheels.) From June 1 through August 31, 2007, the AAA Five Diamond resort offers an array of themed weekends with cooking classes, dinners, and seminars.

The summer's instructors include Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake, Marcel Vigneron of Bravo's Top Chef, Jairemarie Pomo of The Hog Island Oyster Company, and Gayle Pirie and John Clark of Foreign Cinema. First up: Treasures of Asia: Far East to West on Friday, June 1 with Tim Luym of Poleng Lounge, named Rising Star Chef 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Next: High Style in Lowcountry on Saturday, June 9 with Kevin Johnson from Anson restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, described as the "the city's best example of high class Lowcountry cooking" by Wine Spectator.

Weekend package rates at the Ritz-Carlton start at $759 per night for one night accommodation and registration for two to any class.

Via DailyCandy

What a Hotel! Exclusively small …

By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.

What a Hotel!

Helpful Hints: Exclusively small, Quintessentially helpful, Individual design ...

Maybe last week's 'contest' was a little too easy ... since part of the hotel's name was on the awning in the image, but to anyone who didn't guess correctly, Last Week's Hotel:
What a Hotel!

Hotel Plaza Athenee New York

Amtrak Goes Luxe with Vintage Pullman Train Service

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Orient-Express Pullman Train No joke. America's favorite slow-poke of a train, Amtrak, has announced plans to bring back the luxurious train journeys of old. This Fall, Amtrak will launch a three month test of luxury service on three different train routes: Amtrak's Silver Meteor (Washington to Miami through West Palm Beach), the Southwest Chief (from Los Angeles to Chicago), and the California Zephyr (from Chicago to San Francisco). What's in store for passengers? Seven vintage Pullman cars, richly decorated in the manner of the great Pullman trains of the 1920's, will be attached to the back of these Amtrak trains. In addition to serious pampering, passengers will enjoy a lounge car with live music and a dining car that offers five-course meals. Amtrak hopes that the new luxury service will allow discriminating travelers to slow down, enjoy the journey, and escape the hassle of peak time holiday travel.

Luminato Arts Festival in Toronto: Spectacular Live Painting Event at Hotel Le Germain

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Carlito art It's here. Toronto's Festival of Arts and Creativity, Luminato, will take the city by storm starting tomorrow. From music concerts to film spectacles, from theater and dance performances to stunning visual exhibits, the inaugural festival promises to knock your socks off. Over 100 innovative events are scheduled, many of which are free. Book a room at the city's seductive boutique hotel, Le Germain, and watch celebrated artist Carlito Dalceggio create a fantastic live event each evening between June 1-10, 2007. The artist will transform a massive outdoor canvas, mounted to the outside of the hotel, into a work of art. Check out the daily video updates of the canvas's transformation on the blog (and leave Carlito a note of inspiration). To complement this visual feast of the senses, Chef David Chrystian of the hotel's Chez Victor will be offering guests a delightful appetizer every evening between 5 and 6 p.m., inspired by the work of Carlito. The main ingredient will change as the artist's oeuvre develops.

Chillin’ and Grillin’ with Dad in Denver: Father’s Day at Omni Interlocken Resort

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Omni Interlocken Spend a special Father's Day weekend at the Omni Interlocken Resort, the four-diamond retreat nestled against the Rocky Mountains outside Denver. Enjoy luxurious accommodations, an outdoor barbeque lunch for the family on Saturday, and a special gift for Dad: two Fat Tire beers, two Fat Tire glasses, and a sleeve of golf balls. (The local brewery, Fat Tire, is adored for its Belgian style brews.) All for just $199 per night, available June 17, 2007. At the Omni Interlocken, there's a wealth of activities: championship golf with striking scenery, two beautiful pools with panoramic mountain views, and a fabulous spa.

Via Frommer's

Take the Kids to London: A Family Affair at Brown’s Hotel

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Brown's Hotel, London Book a Deluxe Room at the elegant Rocco Forte Brown's Hotel and receive another Deluxe Room for your kids absolutely free. Prices start from GBP 480 for two children and two adults per night in interconnecting rooms. The rate also includes Continental breakfast for two. Situated in the heart of London's Mayfair, Brown's is minutes from must-see attractions, museums, galleries, theaters, and Bond Street shopping. Composed of 11 Georgian town houses, the charming historic hotel features fine dining at The Grill, the renowned English Tea Room, three spa treatment rooms, a dedicated five-star kid's program, and a fully-equipped gym. Book the "It's a Family Affair" Package, and all junior guests will receive a complimentary gift. Available for stays on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights and Bank Holiday Mondays.

What’s Hot: Chambers Hotel, Minneapolis

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chambers Hotel Travel and Leisure raves, "Minneapolis's exuberant Chambers Hotel is taking Midwestern design to a whole new level." Forbes Traveler has named Chambers as one of the sexiest hotels in the U.S. Indeed this David Rockwell-designed boutique, the sister hotel to New York's famed Chambers hotel, is easily the hippest hotel in Minneapolis. Billed as the "Luxury Art Hotel," Chambers is housed in two landmark 20th century buildings located in the heart of downtown's historic theater district. The minimalist design aesthetic is complemented by the $7 million contemporary art collection of 250 works displayed throughout the public spaces. There are 60 modern guest rooms with "rain-sky" showers, the penthouse level outdoor terrace and bar, and stellar restaurant, where super chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (the visionary behind Jean-Georges in the Trump International Hotel and Mercer Kitchen in The Mercer Hotel) has devised the delicious Asian-themed menu.

Related Articles:

New York Times, "Check In, Check Out: Minneapolis: The Chambers Minneapolis"

HotelChatter, "Minneapolis Gets a Touch of NYC with the Chambers Hotel"

Gridskipper, "Chambers Hotel in Minneapolis"

Experience the Penthouse at Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grace Bay Club This year, Grace Bay Club emerged from a serious renovation: the 58-suite luxury boutique hotel has morphed into a world-class resort on 11 beachfront acres. With both an adults-only hotel and family-friend Villas, Grace Bay Club is the ideal Caribbean destination for both couples and families. (Adults and families each have their own swimming pools and Jacuzzis, dining venues, beachfront lounges, bars and beach.) The most prestigious address in the Turks and Caicos, Grace Bay Club offers a slew of activities and a lavish European spa. What will $20,800 get you at this destination resort? A premium Penthouse Luxury Package for four nights in an oceanfront three-bedroom Penthouse with fabulous amenities. Get the royal treatment with a personal chef and concierge throughout your stay, unlimited meals, and unlimited Anani Spa treatments. Also included: limo transfer from the airport, welcome fruit or rum punch with cold scented towel, champagne and fruit basket en suite upon arrival, daily continental breakfast in the restaurant, and signature Turquoise Daiquiri at sunset. Available until December 20, 2007.