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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
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.

Now Open: Private Beach Bungalows at The Breakers Palm Beach

February 20, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Breakers Beachfront Cabana

Private luxurious beach bungalows are now available for daytime rental at The Breakers. Enjoy a secluded day retreat on the ocean with loads of ultra-luxurious conveniences. Situated next to the Ocean Grill across from the new Active Pool, the five cabanas are 300 square feet in size with outside patio surrounded by lush tropical landscaping. The Breakers has done it right with its new $15 million beachfront makeover. Along with the casual dining at the new Ocean Grill overlooking the Atlantic and the expansive Active Fun Pool (free-form zero entry pool on the beach, designed for families), 15 more Beach Bungalows will be available for some lucky folks come end-of-March. These cabanas will be situated next to the new luxury relaxation pool designated quiet area (more chill-out zone than people-watching hub).

The Breakers, Official Site

The Breakers, Five Star Alliance


Announcing the Five Star Alliance Editorial Advisory Board

February 20, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loyal reader, You may have noticed some superb new content posted here on the Informed Traveler. We've recently launched our Editorial Advisory Board, comprised of influential leaders of the luxury hotel industry, including Presidents, General Managers and top executives at the world's best hotels who have formed close connections with Five Star Alliance. The aim of our Board is to build a connection between the world's best hotels and the thousands of luxury travelers who visit Five Star Alliance each day. These folks are the experts, and they're now bringing their expertise (travel tips for solo women travelers, recipes, hotel news and specials, restaurant recommendations) to the Informed Traveler. Check out the Editorial Advisory Board category for their cool contributions...


Skiing in the Morning and Sunbathing in the Afternoon in Dubai

February 20, 2006
By: Guest Writer

Ski Dubai

Since its opening in December, Ski Dubai has captured our imaginations (and wagging tongues). Contributor Alex Rose has the scoop.

You can now go snow skiing in one of the hottest places on earth. Dubai, the city-state in the United Arab Emirates, opened the first of two state-of-the-art indoor snow parks this past December; the second, Dubai Sunny Mountain Ski Dome, is scheduled for 2006. It’s the world’s third largest indoor ski resort and the only one in the Middle East. The 25-storey structure covers an area of about three football fields and can hold up to 1,500 people at a time. The indoor park maintains temperatures between 18F and 28F with real snow including falling snow flakes. It's connected to the billion dollar Mall of the Emirates and resembles a Swiss mountain resort complete with the St Moritz Cafe to warm yourself with a hot drink. The indoor snow park has chairlifts with skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding, and a ski school. It includes five color-coded slopes with varying degrees of difficulty for both enthusiasts and beginners, and the world's first indoor black diamond run. The longest ski run is over 1200 feet. There's even a rumor that Dubai might field a team for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Admission to Ski Dubai is $35 and winter clothing and ski gear are rented as part of the admission fee.


Recipes from The Regency, A Loews Hotel New York

February 20, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Gary Stram, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

You have three choices when dining at The Regency, A Loews Hotel in New York City. Whether it is a power breakfast, light lunch, afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres, pre-theater dinner, or late night candy - you can indulge in it all without leaving The Regency.

First. Feinstein's at The Regency - Yes, it's that Feinstein. The world-famous, Grammy-nominated, pop vocalist, songwriter, and music archivist, Michael Feinstein. He is the owner of the restaurant which brinds fine dining together with cabaret. Second. The Library. It's a place packed with literary legends - well, in spirit, at least. Shelves of books and comfy banquettes grace The Library where menus and wine lists make for some of the best reading around. Lastly, 540 Park which has long been regarded as the home of the power breakfast. 540 Park is also a serious contender when it comes to memorable dinners. The entrees, environment, and service are always exquisite. In fact, all that's missing is the pretention.

Mr. Stram at the hotel was nice enough to share with us three recipes that are just screaming to be recreated. See the first of the three after the jump ...

Pasta Leaf

Penne with Vodka Sauce

Equipment Needed

1 - 10 quart stock pot

2 - 8 quart sauce pot

1 colander

1 - 10" saute pan

1 - cutting board

1 - 10" chef knife

1 wooden spoon

Ingredients Needed

2 lbs of Penne Pasta (Either Penne Spinach Rigate or Penne Rigate)

1 - 32oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with basil

1 - 32oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 head of garlic, thinly sliced

1 Spanish Onion

1 bunch of fresh basil, julienne

1 bunch of fresh thyme, chopped fine

1 bunch of fresh, oregano, chopped fine

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

White Pepper

6 oz of a Premium Brand of Vodka (Grey Goose or Absolute)

4 oz of Burgundy Wine

1 quart of heavy cream

Preparing the Sauce and the Pasta

1. Boil 1 gallon of water in the Stock pot and add 3 oz of kosher salt, and 3 oz of olive oil.

2. While the water comes to a boil, preheat the sauce pot and oil and butter.

3. Add the diced onion, and sweat, than add the sliced garlic.

3. Add the herbs and add the Burgundy Wine and reduce by half.

4. Add the canned tomato product and allow to simmer for 45 minutes

5. Allow to rest.

6. Add the 2lbs of pasta and stir constantly

7. Allow to cook about 8 minutes which is a little under al dente.

8. Pour into the colander

9. Toss with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil

10. In the other sauce pot put on a low heat, take the pot off the heat, add the 4oz vodka.

11. Add the Heavy Cream and reduce by half and add the tomato sauce.

12. Combine the Pasta with the Vodka Sauce and portion into your favorite dish.

Enjoy.

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance


The Carlyle Hotel in New York City (Re)Opens The Royal Suite

February 17, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From James McBride, General Manager, The Carlyle

The Carlyle Royal Suite

In case you missed it, the Carlyle Hotel in New York City just announced the reopening of the Royal Suite after a redesign by Alexandra Champalimaud from Champalimaud & Associates (ACA) in Manhattan. The suite (seen at right) is inspired by the legendary and long list of celebrity and regal guests who have stayed at the hotel. The suite has been completely refurbished, but still retains the feel of the private residence it emulates. As the Carlyle says, they attract "the highest echelon of clientele and the Royal Suite exceeds their every expectation as a space truly at the pinnacle of luxury." Want to reserve it for a day or a month? You can't do it online so contact the Carlyle reservations to make it your own.

More information and pictures below

NEW YORK - The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel is thrilled to announce the opening of the Royal Suite. These luxurious quarters, in name inspired by the long list of rock n' roll and regal guests who have stayed at the legendary property, has been completely refurbished; freshness and modernity have been added to the decor yet it still conjures the intimate feel of a private residence.

A space of grand proportions and fabulous history, the Royal Suite is an example of urbane luxury combined with intimacy of design. Set on the 22nd floor of the legendary Carlyle, the duplex suite boasts extensive spaces - two full bedrooms, two full baths, a sizable dining room and kitchen and an expansive traditional living room with lofty ceilings and two-story views of the Manhattan skyline.

The Carlyle Royal Suite Living Room

An impressive fireplace with faux quartz logs towers the living room, adding to the drama and the modernization of the suite, while resonating with the hotel's renowned Thierry Despont-designed lobby. Royal Suite guests can admire the antique books, sunburst clocks and Lars Bolanger orange lacquered boxes or read from beautiful glossy paged books on Harley Davidson, Tom Ford and other cultural icons.

The living room includes a sage velvet seating group at the fireplace, an elegant English secretary for jotting notes, comfortable armchairs by the windows, an expansive desk and finally - for the occasional musician in residence - a Steinway piano. Wall-mounted plasma -screen televisions and state-of-the-art acoustics are also present. To be noted are the draperies by Dedar, the Nina Campbell trims on the draperies and furniture and the Stark carpeting.

The Royal Suite has always been, and will continue to be considered, a legendary New York suite. The renovations have maintained the integrity of a historical New York space while elevating sophisticated design to an experience of unique refinement and style. The Carlyle attracts the highest echelon of clientele and the Royal Suite exceeds their every expectation as a space truly at the pinnacle of luxury.

The redesigning of the suite was handled by Alexandra Champalimaud from Champalimaud & Associates (ACA). ACA is a full service interior design and interior architecture firm that specializes in high-end hospitality design. The company has built its reputation through its work with a discerning international clientele including Four Seasons, The Maybourne Group and The Savoy Group amongst others. ACA maintains a staff of approximately twenty-five, with central offices in Manhattan and supporting offices in Montreal and Los Angeles.

Standing at the corner of 76th Street and Madison Avenue, The Carlyle has been an enduring landmark for East Side social life since 1930. The internationally-acclaimed hotel has always been ranked amongst the best in the world and was recently named one of the top 20 U.S City Hotels by Harper's Hideaway's 2005 Reader Survey. The Carlyle is a 35-story, 179-room hotel that has long understood the aesthetic sensibilities of its clientele and is surrounded by galleries, designer boutiques, and the city’s most popular art museums. Embracing a passion for the arts, pianos grace 23 of the suites, and most rooms have views of Central Park.

The Carlyle, Official Site

The Carlyle, Five Star Alliance


Luxury Travel in New Zealand: Queenstown’s Blanket Bay

February 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Blanket Bay

As the New Zealand Herald reports, luxury travel in kiwi territory is booming. Lodges like Kauri Cliffs, Wharekauhau, Blanket Bay and Huka Lodge are glam destination resorts that play host to celebs (laying low), oil tycoons, and the international jet-set. The cat's out of the bag about the remote Pacific islands whose breathtaking scenery played center stage in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings flicks. Our pick? The luxurious hideaway of Blanket Bay, with its magnificent setting next to Lake Wakatipu, beneath snow-capped peaks. Earning top accolades from CNT, Forbes, and the Sunday Times UK, Blanket Bay offers 12 secluded rooms and suites, constructed of timber and stone and filled with sumptuous furnishings. The suites boast exquisite views from large private terraces. Likewise, the mountain and lake vistas are phenomenal from the outdoor heated lap pool. Activities range from the adrenaline-pumping (jetboating and heli-skiing) to the calm and relaxing (excellent health and spa facilities).

Blanket Bay, Official Site

Blanket Bay, Five Star Alliance


The Ultimate Spa Experience at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona

February 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Aji Spa

Top-quality spas abound, but the Aji Spa is sublime. Named for the Pima word for "sanctuary," the 17,500 sq ft spa features treatments derived from the ancient Native American cultural tradition. Specifically, treatments like the Blue Coyote Wrap and the Blue Bird Facial are inspired by longstanding Pima lore and utilize ingredients like red clay from the Gila River and Cholla cactus bud to help purify the body. Additionally, the Ho'dai (or River Rock Massage) uses the hot river stones (naturally smooth) that the Pima and Maricopa have used for centuries to alleviate pain. With 17 treatment rooms, fitness center, relaxing watsu pool and a traditional roundhouse, the Aji Spa is surrounded by Arizona's stunning natural scenery, only 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix.

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, Official Site

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, Five Star Alliance


Les Ambassadeurs Means More Rewards for Hotel de Crillon

February 17, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Pascale Adoner, Director of Sales and Marketing, Hotel de Crillon

Hotel Dining at the Crillon

Whether you live in Paris or are just visiting, there are two great reasons to visit the Hotel de Crillon's restaurant Les Ambassadeurs.

First? Lunchtime.

The restaurant Les Ambassadeurs proposes a menu particularly adapted to those who seek an elegant place to organize their business lunches. Based on a choice of two entries, two dishes and two desserts, the tasting is accompanied by mineral water, matching wines chosen by the sommelier and coffee. The menu is all inclusive: 100 euros. Lunch served from Tuesday to Friday, from noon to 2pm.

Wanna set it up? Your privileged contact: Patrice Willems, phone: +33 1 44 71 16 16 or through e-mail at ambassadeurs@crillon.com.

The second reason to visit Les Ambassadeurs even if you are living in Paris or staying somewhere else (which we don't recommend), is because this restaurant is winning all of the awards.

Soon after the Michelin Guide and the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006, the Bottin Gourmand awards the Ambassadeurs. In February 2005, the gastronomic restaurant the Ambassadeurs obtains a second star with the Michelin Guide. This new 2005 edition of the Guide awards the hard work of Jean Francois Piege and his team just one year after his arrival in the kitchens of the Hotel de Crillon. Les Ambassadeurs is one of the three Parisian restaurant to have been awarded with a second star and one of the 15 Parisian establishments to be 2-starred.

In October 2005, the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006 also awards the Ambassadeurs and more specifically Jean Francois Piege as it distinguishes him as Chef of the Year. The launch of the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006 was a real event on October 24th in the Ambassadeurs and the Jardin d'Hiver.

And on November 15th, the famous gastronomic guide the Bottin Gourmand awards the Ambassadeurs with the best note possible being 4 stars.

Almost seems worth a trip to Paris just for one lunch at the Hotel de Crillon ...

Hotel de Crillon, Official Site

Hotel de Crillon, Five Star Alliance


Three Nights for the Price of Two at the Hotel Negresco, Nice, France

February 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Negresco

Now is the time to discover the legendary Nice hotel, the architectural masterpiece and national historic monument that has dominated the Promenade des Anglais for over a century. Its pink dome a symbol of the French Riviera, its name evokes the essence of "art de vivre." Situated on the seafront promenade overlooking the Mediterranean, the hotel is filled with a fantastic collection of antiques, oil paintings and contemporary works of art. In this living museum, each of the 121 guestrooms and 24 suites are individually decorated in styles spanning the historic spectrum from Louis XIII to Art Deco. The award-winning restaurant The Chantecler is celebrated as one of the best in Nice. Take advantage of this special offer celebrating the first days of spring. For a limited time—from now until March 31-- when you book a three night stay, the third night is free! (Breakfast included.)

Hotel Negresco, Official Site

Hotel Negresco, Five Star Alliance