The 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.

Art Deco Elegance at The Wellesley

October 20, 2016
By: Rachael Weir

Across the street from Hyde Park in a 1920s townhouse, The Wellesley offers an elegant Art Deco setting in the upscale Knightsbridge neighborhood. Beautifully restored, the hotel is named after Sir Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, who served as the Prime Minister twice between 1828 and 1834, and later served as the leader of the House of Lords. The building was originally built by architect Lesley Green as the Hyde Park Corner underground station, and is the former home of Pizza on the Park - an iconic jazz and cabaret venue. 

Tranformed into a chic boutique hotel in 2012, the property offers guests a modern Art Deco setting with an exclusive location steps away from Hyde Park, Green Park, and Buckingham Palace. Guest rooms combine vintage influences with contemporary styling, including tufted headboards, crown molding, sleek wood furniture, and elegant Art Deco-inspired artwork. Carrara marble bathrooms have walk-in showers, TVs recessed into the mirrors, and exclusive Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte toiletries. Luxurious amenities and modern conveniences include integrated room controls, 24-hour butler service, and Samsung tablets. Plus, the hotel's team is known for it's impeccable knowledge and unparalleled discretion. Continue reading below the photo for our favorite experiences. 

Suite at The Wellesley

Here are five things we love about The Wellesley:

1. Complimentary Rolls-Royce drop-off service within 1.5 miles of the hotel. What better way to start a shopping trip at Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, or Harvey Nichols?
2. The Running Butler. Available during the summer months upon request, the Running Butler tends to runners' every need including waiting with refreshments, homemade protein snacks, or drawing post-run aromatic bubble baths.
3. Live at The Wellesley jazz nights. A unique Knightbridge opportunity to enjoy live Jazz in an Art Deco setting while dining on fine Italian cuisine.
4. The Private Cigar Terrace. Offering inviting leather chairs within a heated outdoor terrace, the hotel offers an extensive cigar collection to please aficionados and novices alike, plus an on-site humidor specialist to guide guests through the process. 
5. Magical Christmas Memories. These packages provide guests with special amenities such as Christmas stockings and a full English breakfast. Plus, the hotel offers opulent holiday decor, and a prime location close to Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, as well as the city's finest boutiques and department stores.

Did we mention that the hotel offers a yacht experience with the same bespoke setting? MY The Wellesley is available for private charters in the Mediterranean during the summer months, and in the Caribbean during the winter. Built in the Netherlands by Oceanco, the yacht's interiors were designed by Dennis Irvine Studios, and feature the 1920s glamour that epitomizes the hotel. 

Check rates and availability at The Wellesley >>

Exterior of The WellesleySaveSaveSaveSave

D.C.'s Old Post Office Transformed Into Trump Hotel

October 20, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance

The capital city's historic Old Post Office, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, has been tranformed into a five-star luxury hotel. Overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, the Trump International Hotel Washington D.C., offers the BLT Prime restaurant, spa, Old Post Office Museum Gallery walkway, escorted Clock Tower tours by the National Park Service, children's programs, and sumptous pet amenities. Learn more about the transformation in the article below from our sister publication, Hotel Management, by Mick Tan

HBA brings D.C.’s Old Post Office back as Trump Hotel

Interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates completed a historical hotel preservation project and opened the Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C., formerly the Old Post Office. Working with Ivanka Trump, HBA associate Betsy Hughes and her team of interior designers and architects restored the European-style building to its original glory, creating a 263-room five-star hotel. Continue below the photo. 

Trump International Washington D.C.

The 118-year-old historic and castle-like structure is located between the Capitol Building and the White House. Using the building's story as the design narrative, the space is defined by the architectural detailing of the clock tower, columns, archways and historic metal truss-work that spans the lobby. Designers used the framework as a support system for chandeliers that dot the public spaces.

The lobby faces the clock tower, reception and bar; it serves as the heart of the hotel, opening up to the nine-story atrium with glass skylights. Read more below the image.

Trump International Washington D.C.

There are 263 guestrooms, seven of them created within the previous attic space, and featuring floor-to-ceiling skylights in the roof. The former postmaster's offices were converted into four luxury suites. The largest of the group has restored wood-stained paneling, a fireplace and a reading nook in a turret. One suite is located in the clock tower with an arched window that HBA designers created a mezzanine around to keep from blocking the window. The Trump Townhouse suite has multiple stories and a private entrance from Pennsylvania Avenue.

The European-style suites have a color palette of creams, silvers and soft blues with pops of red and gold leaf trim along with crystal chandeliers. A standout feature is a canopied bed in the center of the bedroom.

Trump International Washington D.C.

Due to the historic restoration, each guestroom has a unique layout with distinct features. Arched windows on the upper floors offer views of the Capitol Building and Washington Monument, while historic columns were found and restored. Large bathrooms were built along the window walls of several rooms, while turrets, eaves, dormer windows and skylights are showcased within several guestrooms.

Canvas Art Consultants, the art consultancy division of HBA, also worked with the HBA interior design team and The Trump Organization. Canvas developed a guestroom and corridor art program that pays homage to the city's history through a collection of imagery specifically assembled to reference various aspects of Washington D.C. and the Old Post Office. Visual elements include signed original watercolor renderings of the Clock Tower and renderings of gilded architectural details.

The main restaurant, BLT Prime by David Burke, is a two-story marble-clad box overlooking the lobby. The two private dining rooms have views overlooking the main arrival lobby. Two function rooms with high ceilings, original millwork and stained wood floors are found in the main building. The Lincoln Library has navy velvet drapes and Empire-style bronze pendants in one room, while the second has painted millwork, cream silk draperies and crystal chandeliers. A conference space is located in an existing building on 11th Street, the edifice of which was built as a shopping mall in the 1980s. It is now the largest luxury ballroom in Washington D.C., Presidential Ballroom, modeled after Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago.

Illuminate Lighting Design, the architectural lighting firm from HBA, provided lighting design for the public areas, including the Congressional Bells Museum and BLT Prime by David Burke. A standout lighting feature includes an integrated custom bar detail that illuminates restored post offices boxes as a backdrop in Benjamin Bar & Lounge, highlighting the building's history.

Check rates and availability at Trump International Washington D.C. >>SaveSaveSaveSave

Five Star Perks at Baur au Lac

October 18, 2016
By: Rachael Weir

Nestled amongst its own park overlooking the lake, the Baur au Lac is a historic hotel steeped in 170 years of tradition, enhanced with modern styling and state-of-the-art technical amenities. Luxurious guest rooms have modern styling, and marble bathrooms have heated floors and high end amenities. Learn more below the image. 

Exterior view of Baur au Lac Zurich

Showcasing the finest of Swiss traditions, the hotel's on-site 1844 Chocolat offers exclusive Swiss chocolate creations using a selection of handpicked cocoa varieties. A short stroll from the Paradeplatz financial district and the celebrated shopping street of the Bahnhofstrasse, the elegant property is close to Zurich's landmark destinations, yet removed enough to offer an upscale retreat with views of the Alps. Continue reading below the photo.

Dining at Baur au Lac Zurich

The hotel's Le Hall offers a celebrated traditional afternoon tea from October to April, and the Christmas season is particularly festive with a Christmas Tree Lighting celebration, Chalet au Lac with fire tongs punch and mulled wine with Swiss dishes, and the New Year's Eve Ball ends with a fireworks display over the lake.

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests that book the "Best Available Rate" with Five Star Alliance will receive complimentary breakfast for two at Pavillon, $100 food and beverage credit, fruit amenity, and homemade chocolate from 1844 Chocolat.

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Michelin-Star Dining at The Plume

October 14, 2016
By: Rachael Weir

Congratulations to the Plume Restaurant at The Jefferson Washington, D.C. 

The Michelin Guide unveiled its first D.C. rankings on Thursday, and 12 restaurants were awarded stars, including Plume! Continue reading below the photo.

The Plume Restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel Washington, D.C.

Set within The Jefferson, the Plume pays homage to the hotel's namesake, President Thomas Jefferson. The award-winning restaurant offers a discreet and elegant setting, with cozy nooks, and an inviting fireplace. There's a seasonal menu, inspired by the harvests from Thomas Jefferson's kitchen gardens at Monticello, featuring classic dishes crafted using traditional techniques and fine ingredients, plus a wine selection geared toward oenophiles. Guests can make wine selections from a real-time, online wine list with 1,300 labels, including rare vintages from around the globe, and one of the last bottles of 1720 Madeira in the world. 

The Jefferson Washington, D.C. is a stately luxury boutique hotel set within a Beaux Arts building. Combining European and Washingtonian style, the high end property features historical details and Jeffersonian-inspired details. There's an extensive art and historic document collection with pieces displayed throughout the hotel, Clefs d'Or Concierges, 24-hour butler service, The Petite Spa at The Jefferson, and a private book room with a fireplace for guests. 

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Guest room at The Jefferson Hotel Washington D.C.

Renovations at Le Royal Mansour Casablanca

October 12, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance

Closed for an extensive renovation project, the Royal Mansour Casablanca, formerly Le Royal Mansour Méridien, is a luxury hotel in the Old Medina of Casablanca, Morocco. Opened in 1952, it has 7 Presidential Suites - so it is no surprise that the five star property is the preferred hotel of the Moroccan Royalty and Nobility. 

Le Royal Mansour Casablanca

Le Royal Mansour, situated centrally in the country's largest city and economic capital, is an oasis of calm. In the heart of the economic capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, it offers a palatial blend of traditional Moroccan architecture with contemporary comfort and modern technology, surrounded by deep-cushioned luxury. The hotel prides itself on its elegance, style and warmth of service, combined with luxurious amenities and excellent cuisine.

Le Royal Mansour Casablanca

Five Star Perks at Hotel Continental Oslo

October 11, 2016
By: Rachael Weir

Situated in the heart of the city, close to the Royal Palace and National Theater, the Hotel Continental Oslo is a historic landmark hotel. Offering 155 elegant guest rooms and 23 suites, the landmark property combines Scandinavian style with contemporary trends for a welcoming and upscale feel. The hotel's famous restaurant, Theatercaféen opened in 1900, and is part of Norway's cultural history with a rich ambiance that features arched ceilings and a Nordic-inspired international menu. There's also a sidewalk cafe to enjoy during warmer months, Eik Annen Etage is an upscale dining room featuring Baroque furnishings, and Caroline serves classic European breakfasts. Continue reading below the photo.

Hotel Continental Oslo

Five Star Alliance Perk Alert: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance (excluding the standard room category), receive a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room and VIP status. Plus, based on availability at check-in: room upgrades, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check rates and availability at Hotel Continental Oslo >>

Hotel Continental Oslo

Escape to Ashford Castle in Ireland

October 4, 2016
By: Rachael Weir

Originally built in the 13th century as a castle, then rebuilt as a hunting and fishing lodge in the 1800s, Ashford Castle was once the estate of the Guinness family, and the filming location of the classic movie, "The Quiet Man". Situated in County Mayo, the castle is one of Ireland's most luxurious hotels. The award-winning property is part of Red Carnation Hotels, offering a cinema, spa with an indoor pool, fishing, falconry, ziplining, shooting & archery, horse riding, wine tastings, luxury charters, and lake cruises on Lough Corrib. Continue below the photos. 

Spa pool at Ashford Castle
Cinema at Ashford Castle
Five Star Alliance Perk: All Five Star Alliance guests reserving the "Best Available Bed & Breakfast Rate" will receive full Irish breakfast for two daily, 85 Euro food and beverage credit, complimentary green fees, and VIP status. In addition, based on availability at check-in, room upgrades, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Click here for rates and availability at Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle

Grand Opening Stay at Le Nolinski Paris

October 4, 2016
By: Lucy LeTourneau

Sponsored Post*

Le Nolinksi, a newly opened deluxe boutique hotel under the EVOK brand, recently opened at the spectacular location of 16 Avenue l’Opera. The hotel offers a prime location within easy walking distance to many of the sites of Paris including the Louvre Museum, which is just a five minute walk away.

The hotel, a former apartment residence, has eclectic design elements and a muted color palate of grays, blacks, and golds, with fun pops of bright colors in the hallways and elevator lobbies. There's also a “Grand Salon”, the Rejane Brasserie, indoor pool, and full service spa to round out the hotel's offerings. In addition, a deli-style food outlet is currently under construction.

The stairway and entry of Le Nolinski Paris

The small street level lobby is intimate, and the service is top notch as the staff gets you settled in and provides a nice orientation of the property.

A Classic room facing Avenue l’Opera was our home for two nights. The room was not very large, but high ceilings and substantial entryway doors gave it a cozy residential feel. Amenities included a welcome pastry and mineral water. The retro-style Marshall music player was a nice feature. Continue reading below the photos.

Classic Room at Le Nolinski Paris
Classic room at Le Nolinski Paris
Classic Room at Le Nolinski Paris

Complimentary smartphones are provided to each room, and they can be taken with you outside the hotel. The phone allows for direct access to the concierge and other sightseeing services. International calling is also included - a very nice perk, especially if your own mobile phone isn't set up for international data roaming and calling.

Our stay coincided with the Grand Opening reception on September 20, 2016. The party had a “Folie” or Parisian cabaret theme which was quite the event with attendees and entertainers spilling out in the streets.

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests that book through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome pastry or appetizer upon arrival, along with use of a smartphone with unlimited international calls and internet. 

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Bathroom at Le Nolinski Paris

*The content of this article is editorial content based on experience during a sponsored stay at Le Nolinski Paris.SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Haunted Happenings at Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

September 30, 2016
By: Rachael Weir

Originally built as The Colonial Apartments and Hotel in 1913, the Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla is the California seaside town's oldest original hotel. Over the last century, the property has hosted movie stars, military personel, and guests from around the world. But do some guests never leave? Read more below.

The Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

Yes, no, maybe? Guests and staff alike have reported a variety of paranormal sightings and haunted happenings, including 2:00 AM phone calls to the front desk from occupied rooms, and the appearance of a couple in formal attire that disappears without leaving through a door or window. There's also been stories of a glowing presence in the hotel, a woman named Abigail who has appeared in rooms, played with toys, and reportedly brushed a young boy's hair. The kitchen has been the location of many stories collected over the years, with the unexplained opening and closing of kitchen doors, frying pans moving around unexpectedly, and stoves turning on and off. (Rumor has it, since the restaurant was transformed into Nine-Ten a few years ago, the happenings have quieted.) Many guests who've stayed above the bakery in the North Annex have reported the sounds of loud voices, people running down the stairs, and doors swinging open and slamming shut in the bakery--all after it has closed. 

Haunted? Someone lurking in the hallways or some guests that never want to leave? You can be the judge. Continue reading below.

Oceanview Suite at the Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

The Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla underwent an extensive renovation in 2012, to celebrate it's 100th Anniversary in 2013. Today, the historic hotel offers 93 guest rooms and suites, many with ocean views, an outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and the award-winning Nine-Ten restaurant. Within walking distance to La Jolla's beaches, the property is a short drive from highly-regarded golf courses, and San Diego tourist attractions.

Check rates and learn more about the Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla >>

The Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

Beach Village at the Hotel del Coronado

September 27, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance

Sponsored Post*

An exclusive haven for life’s perfect moments.

For those seeking a more intimate private experience, Beach Village at The Del is an exclusive enclave of cottages and villas, a resort within the resort, and portal to Southern California oceanfront luxury living. While the architecture nods to the iconic beauty of Hotel del Coronado, the 78 breezy-and-bright cottages and villas echo the beach setting and greet the modern with lavish amenities and high design. Continue reading below the photo.

The Beach Village at the Hotel del Coronado

A recent refresh of all guestrooms brings the warmth, hue, and magic of the outdoors inside. Neutral tones like cream, beige and sand are accented with bursts of teal to reflect the sand and sea. Swirling patterns, paisley and geometrics pay homage to the movement of light and motion of the water. Circles of abalone shells trim the window shades, sparkling and mimicking the sunlight dancing across the sea. In addition to plush beds, divine linens, the finest appliances, sunken tubs, ocean view terraces, and more, some suites feature outdoor fire pits or soaking tubs for dipping. And every villa and cottage has a full or partial ocean view of one of the most beautiful beaches in America. Continue reading below the photo.

The Beach Village at the Hotel del Coronado

The Beach Village Experience:
- Unparalleled oceanfront living
- Unscripted genuine service
- 3 private pools and 3 secluded spas
- Hi-tech cabanas with full service
- A private section of Del Beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas
- Underwater music at the main family pool
- Dedicated hosts who will choreograph your stay
- Exclusive access to Windsor Cottage for gourmet meals, socializing, sunset views, and fireside cocktails away from the energy of the main resort

Sophisticated Hosts
“Dream it up and we will make it happen.” That’s the Beach Village mantra. Beach Village has welcomed dignitaries, celebrities, multi-generational families, distinguished guests and more; and the staff knows a thing or two about creating memorable moments and heart-stirring adventures—everything from a multi-generational, clambake and lobster feast on the beach or sunset sailing trip on a sleek yacht, to a private wine tasting with a top sommelier or romantic moonlit dinner for two prepared by a private chef. The Beach Village Host Concierges are committed to exceeding the expectations of every esteemed guest. Once a reservation is made, a host contacts the party (weeks ahead of their arrival) to create a custom itinerary for the guests, and fulfill any requests like stocking the villa with personal amenities and luxuries, or adding any special touches to the guestrooms or suites.

Poolside Privacy
The private main pool at Beach Village is dotted with six luxurious cabanas, colorful shaded oases with lounge furniture, flat screens, refrigerators, and full service. The team from Breezes restaurant will happily deliver gourmet poolside bites like surf-n-turf nachos with carne asada and shrimp; smoked chicken and pesto flatbreads with goat cheese and arugula; or local seabass fish tacos with smoked tomato salsa and guacamole. The bartenders are schooled in the art of the cocktail and whip up tasty refreshers like watermelon pisco sours, muddled mint mojitos or coconut coolers. Continue reading below.

Beach Village at the Hotel del Coronado at sunset

Windsor Cottage
Once the Coronado home of socialite Wallis Spencer Simpson, the woman for whom King Edward of England abdicated his throne, Windsor Cottage is now a part of The Del legacy. Saved from demolition and placed next to the Windsor Lawn in 2000, the charming 1905 California bungalow serves as a private oceanfront retreat for Beach Village guests exclusively and a nod to the main hotel. Beach Village guests can enjoy complimentary daily breakfast, gourmet fireside dining or classic cocktails during a fiery Coronado sunset on the sprawling deck. Or when it’s time to relax, grab and book and tuck inside this cozy cottage where the Duchess of Windsor (and frequent Del guest) once lived.

Check rates and learn more about the Hotel del Coronado >>

*The content of this sponsored article was provided by Hotel del Coronado. Offers and packages are subject to change.