October 7, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
With four beautiful seasons of scenery and activities, Denver makes a great weekend getaway at any time of the year. But autumn at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver is top on our list. Offering an ultra-luxe setting in the heart of the Mile-High City, in the scenic Larimer Square, the luxury hotel is close to the Denver Convention Center, as well as boutique shops and upscale restaurants. Blending modern design with natural materials, the lobby has a breathtaking glass-blown chandelier, and guest rooms have plush interiors and spacious bathrooms with marble bathtubs. In addition to the city's natural beauty, and visiting must-see attractions like the U.S. Mint, here are two can't miss autumnal experiences at The Ritz-Carlton Denver. Read more below the photo.
1. Dining at ELWAY'S
Named after legendary Denver Bronco's hall of famer, John Elway, the hotel's signature restaurant is a six-time recipient of the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine. Part of downtown Denver's innovative dining scene, the menu features the finest meats including ahi tuna and tender Buffalo ribeye, in an elegant dining room inspired by the American West with supple leather furnishings, wood accents, and an impressive wine wall. During football season the restaurant offers the "Game Day" Brunch Buffet with a home team-inspired spread that includes USDA prime steak & potatoes, breakfast burritos, pastries, and bottomless Bloody Mary or Mimosa options. Continue below the photo.
2. The "Flavors of Fall" package at The Ritz-Carlton Spa
Love all things pumpkin spice? Get ready to take it to the max with this pampering package. The session begins with a 50-minute aromatherapy massage, followed by a 50-minute Pumpkin Enzyme Facial. Then it's time for a Pumpkin Spice Pedicure that begins with an apple cider soak, followed by a honey sugar scrub and pumpkin spice mask for the toes. To top it off, guests are given a warm "Pumpkin Spice" cocktail to sip and savor during the experience. Read more below the photo.
Click here to check availability at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver
September 6, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Offering year-round recreational activities, the Llao Llao Hotel and Resort in Argentina's Patagonia region has an outdoor pool, moutain biking, archery, full-service spa, 18-hole golf course, five gourmet restaurants, and supervised children's programs. Surrounded by picturesque mountains and overlooking Lago Perito Moreno, the luxury property offers a variety of water sports during the summer months including canoeing, kayaking, and white water rafting. During the winter, guests receive shuttle service to the base of Mt. Catedral with skiing and snowboarding access, along with a Hospitality Lounge, snowboarding and skiing lessons, and a traditional Kandahar Restaurant. Continue reading below for a Five Star Alliance Perk.
Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive a $100 spa credit, welcome chocolate amenity, and VIP status. Based on availability at check-in, guests receive a complimentary room upgrade.
Check rates and learn more about Llao Llao Hotel and Resort >>
August 10, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Bali is a true tropical paradise, and the Viceroy Bali takes the meaning of a romantic hideaway to a new level. The all-villa property offers 25 private villas each with their own heated pools, luxurious Balinese furnishings including island-produced natural bath products, and views of the Valley of the Kings. Read more below.
The resort's award-winning CasCades Restaurant offers an idyllic, poolside fine dining experience with a menu that combines contemporary French cuisine with exotic Asian flavours. Plus, a one-of-a-kind setting overlooking the Petanu River Gorge, and an extensive wine menu for a truly memorable evening.
To end the night, the Viceroy Bar offers artfully served cocktails, unbeatable views, and an extensive selection of fine wines and spirits from around the world. Continue reading below.
To recover from the long journey, or to feel truly pampered, the Lembah Spa offers a calm and soothing tropical open-air environment. Guests can choose from a variety of treatments created by a certified Swiss therapist, that combine traditional Balinese wellness techniques with Western knowledge and natural products.
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August 8, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Nestled amongst the Carolina Pines just a few miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, The Umstead Hotel and Spa offers a peaceful retreat-like setting. Surrounded by 12 acres of wooded land, with gardens, fine art, and a shimmering lake encircled with a trail, the property feels worlds away from it all, yet it's just minutes away from the Triangle.
Five Star Alliance was invited to visit The Umstead Hotel and Spa to discover all the property has to offer. Read more below.
Walking into the entrance, we were greeted by friendly doormen, along with a soothing lobby featuring a view of an exquisite piece of art by glass artist, Dale Chihuly, piano music, and sunshine flowing in from the hotel's expansive patio.
Our spacious spa-inspired guest rooms offered a peaceful setting with large windows, plush beds with fluffy goosedown comforters, and a neutral color palette. The large marble bathrooms have soaking tubs complete with a bath caddy and bath salts, separate showers, and an array of Lather bath products, plus a special black towel designated for makeup removal. Continue reading below the guest room images.
The Umstead Spa is an ideal setting for relaxing and melting away the stresses of daily life. Featuring a variety of massages, skin treatments, the air is filled with soothing botanical fragrances and soft music. Visitors are provided with a plush robe, along with access to separate men's and women's relaxation lounges with therapeutic whirlpools, eucalyptus saunas and steam rooms, and an outdoor meditation courtyard. There are teas and fruit-infused waters, along with cool towels and cucumber slices to add to the overall rejuvenating environment. Plus, a boutique filled with pampering products to add to one's spa experience.
Surrounded by trees and overlooking a 3-acre lake, the Umstead offers a retreat-like feel with manicured gardens and a lakeside 1/4-mile walking/jogging trail. There are bicycles, helmets, and trail maps available to explore the trails around the property leading to the William B. Umstead State Park. For added relaxation, the hotel's outdoor swimming pool is set amongst the serene setting with large sundeck, lounge chairs, cabanas, and poolside food and beverage service.
For an elegant dining experience, Herons, the hotel's signature Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. On select days, afternoon tea service is served in the lounge area along with a harp serenade. If you're looking for casual dining, there's an outdoor patio overlooking the gardens and lake. During the evenings, there is live music and crafted cocktails in the bar & lounge - an ideal spot to sip and reminisce about the day's events. Feeling like staying in? We recommend room service.
Tip: Be sure to inquire with the concierge about morning yoga, bike, and art tours as the property offers a variety of events for guests.
On a side note, we noticed the hotel is very pet-friendly, with special accommodations for canine guests and the DogWoods enclosed play area.
Check rates and plan your relaxing retreat at The Umstead Hotel and Spa >>
August 3, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
Wow, what a view at The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Courtesy of instagram user /Safarianne, the boutique hotel sits on a mountainside 1,000 feet above the Arenal. The tropical resort has 28 thermal spring pools with the highest quality mineral content in the area, the famous "Monkey Slide" at Perdidos Springs, and the Club Rio Outdoor Center set on one-mile of the Arenal River with on-site adventures such as water tubing, rock climbing, and horseback riding. There's also a wildlife sanctuary with more than 100 rescued animals including monkeys, deer, sloths, toucans, jungle cats, and crocodiles.
As you can see, guest rooms feature views of the volcano and surrounding valley, with hardwood floors and ceilings, carved wood furniture, marble bathrooms with dual sinks, and sitting areas.
July 25, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
Following a year-long $40 million renovation Southern California's Monarch Beach Resort, formerly a St. Regis property, has announced the completion of the project, which includes a new Miraval Life in Balance Spa, new pool areas, updated guest rooms, and fresh dining options. Read more below from our sister publication, Luxury Hotel Insider.
The resorts renovated arrival area now has beach house-inspired details with panoramic windows, over-sized seating, wide plank wood floors and blue and sea-glass green accents.
Also new is the Miraval Life in Balance Spa offering more than 70 treatments at its Monarch Beach Resort location. Each is designed to “awaken the senses, create balance and promote a sense of well-being” for guests throughout the spa's 24 treatment rooms. There is also a lap pool, multiple spa suites, a boutique, Drybar, Deborah Lippmann Nail Salon and relaxation and tranquility zones. Healthy menu items inspired by Miraval’s philosophy are also available at the resort's restaurants, as well as the new Miraval Spa Café inside the spa.
For dining, chef Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern continues to provide a private beachfront dining space for guests, while the resort is also debuting five new dining concepts led by executive chef Collin Thornton as part of the renovation. The new dining options focus on using fresh ingredients from local purveyors and exercising sustainable practices, and include:
- AVEO Table + Bar: A Mediterranean restaurant and bar designed by San Francisco-based hospitality firm Puccini Group. Dishes are inspired by the cuisine of Spain, Italy, Greece and Morocco, and are crafted using local ingredients.
- 33° North: This venue includes three separate dining areas; a contemporary bar serving hand-crafted cocktails; a living room salon; and an outdoor patio with fireside seating and live music Thursday through Sunday.
- Part & Parcel Market: Also designed by Puccini Group, the all-day dining option serves small bites and healthy options for guests on-the-go.
- Club 19: A refreshed indoor-outdoor gastro pub situated near the golf course offers beers on tap, cocktails, and classic American fare.
- Sombra: A Mexi-Cali, family-friendly poolside cantina offering a fusion of Mexican/American dishes along with salads, vegetarian options and modern Mexican comfort food.
The resort's new pool areas include an adults-only Monarch Pool, Family Pool with splash zones and two infinity-edge spas. Private cabanas have built-in music and stocked outdoor mini-bars, while chaise lounges and an outdoor fire pit provide space for guests to gather in the evenings. The pool area’s multi-level design now has a second tier dedicated to sunning and lounging.
Refreshed guestrooms designed by Los Angeles-based Rodrigo Vargas Design have a color palette of blues, greens and whites. All rooms and suites have balconies furnished with modern patio furniture, and all first floor balconies include fire pits.
Tip: In addition to the renovation, Monarch Beach Resort is also offering several new land and sea experiences in Dana Point. At the resort's private access beach, guests can enjoy activities like standup paddle boarding, trail hikes, bonfire communions and one-on-one surf lessons led by a resort Surf Host.
Check rates and availability at the Monarch Beach Resort >>
July 22, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
Located off the Las Vegas strip, with views of the Red Rock Canyons and the strip 10 miles away, the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa pays homage to the elegant mid-century modern resorts that made Las Vegas famous, but reinvented for the 21st century.
According to our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being recently underwent a multimillion dollar upgrade that brings with it 25,000 square feet of space, 23 treatment rooms, fitness classes, nutrition guidance, integrative medicine, mind-body therapies and advance skin care. Guests looking to tap into those Hollywood elite treatments will be happy to hear that Well & Being offers Lancer skin care spa services. This specialty menu includes "The Lancer Method's Interlocking Chemistry" technique, which allows the spa products to build and work together for that flawless skin look. This is the only location outside of Dr. Lancer's dermatology office in Beverly Hills where guests can receive the treatments that include an anti-aging experience and the famous Lancer Glow Facial.
Want more than one treatment? The top requested Lancer services include the Red Carpet Ready Facial, which gives the skin a healthy glow; The Lancer Method Facial with Oxygen to immediately tighten the skin with molecular oxygen; and the Sparkle and Glow Body Polish Treatment for adjusting body's pH levels to reveal youthful skin. For those looking to increase the cardio in their lives, we suggest trying out Tai Chi or vertical wall yoga and, of course, a spinning class is available. Guests can finish their workout with nutrition counseling, which includes tips like preparing the ideal grocery store checklists.
We think this would be a posh destination for a girls' getaway as the spa aims to create a community around health with its co-ed relaxation lounge and pool deck equipped for outdoor classes. However, just lounging on the pool sofas and sunken seating areas will also lead to the perfect weekend escape. But there is something for couples too - the VIP spa suite with an oversized bathtub and two treatment tables. Guests ages 16 and older are welcomed at the spa, which also receives walk-in clients; but it’s better to book in advance.
Check rates and availability for your getaway to The Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas >>
July 14, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
On Florida's Gold Coast, the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort Miami Beach is located on the edge of the Atlantic just 15 minutes north of South Beach.
Clean whites lead to endless blues in the recently debuted 2,900 square foot Ambassador Oceanfront Suite. The four bedroom and four bathroom sanctuary is an ideal space for families to unwind. The spacious suite features two King bedded master bedrooms each with an ensuite private five-fixture marble bathroom, walk-in closet, and spacious balconies. Two interior bedrooms boast queen beds perfect for children. The main living room is ideal for lounging and opens to a kitchenette and glass dining table for eight. Dine al fresco on one of four 210 sf balconies with direct ocean views. A second living room boasts a pull out sofa bed, allowing up to 10 guests to comfortably make the Ambassador Suite home.
Check rates and availability for the Ambassador Suite at the St. Regis Bal Harbour >>
June 29, 2016
By: Rachael Weir
Experience a five star stay with Five Star Alliance Rates at the Hotel del Coronado. Featuring an oceanfront setting on California's famed Coronado Island, the iconic property is located less than 15 minutes from downtown San Diego.
The Five Star Alliance Rate offers a unique amenity of a commemorative book (one per room reservation) celebrating the history of the iconic Hotel del Coronado. Set along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the luxurious Hotel del Coronado has been welcoming celebrities, dignitaries and guests since 1888. The National Historic Landmark provides an upscale oceanfront resort setting with elegant restaurants, spa, beachfront pool, and boutiques. Guests can choose to stay within the historic Victorian Building with its signature red-shingled roof, or within the residential-style Beach Village.
One of San Diego's premier properties, all guests of the hotel enjoy:
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Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests that book through Five Star Alliance receive a complimentary commemorative book celebrating the iconic history of the Hotel del Coronado.
June 22, 2016
By: Five Star Alliance
A playful family escape, the Hyatt Ziva Cancun is a beachfront resort on Mexico's Yucatan Coast. Read more below from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, written by Natalie Maneval.
Hyatt Ziva Cancun, which opened late last year, has a distinct Mexican vibe that grabs you right in the lobby, thanks to the dramatic ocean views that set the mood immediately.
Here, the Presidential Suite has 4,381 square feet of space across two floors. Each room at Ziva Cancun includes a balcony, but the Presidential Suite boasts two, along with a marble bathroom with a separate hot tub and rain shower. This top suite is also considered Hyatt Club Level, meaning it comes with special perks like personalized Beach Butler and concierge services, top-shelf liquors, a discount on spa and salon services and more.
Honeymooners may want to opt for the Hyatt Ziva Sky Swim-Up Ocean Front Master King. This romantic, 70-square-foot hideaway is perched in the Turquoize (adults-only) tower, and includes an oversized balcony, a private hot tub and a seating area. There is also a floor-to-ceiling corner rainfall shower. Guests of this suite will receive private check-in and exclusive access to the rooftop, adults-only pool.
Tip: This guestroom is also ideal for those seeking some rejuvenation, as it has direct access to the spa. Looking for a prime ocean view? We hear that the same Turquoize tower also has Corner suites with fabulous vistas included.
For guests who book the Ocean Front Master King because of the spa access, we suggest ordering the Zen signature massage. This treatment combines Swedish, Thai, Deep Tissue, Reflexology and Shiatsu techniques. After this experience, guests can relax in the spa's indoor pool, which has direct views of the Caribbean Sea. There is also a chance to take a dip in the hot tub, sauna, steam room and cold plunge.
Foodies take note: The hotel has a choice of nine restaurants. La Bastille, which serves French cuisine in an adults-only atmosphere, works for a romantic dinner. (Those seeking a private experience should ask for beach-side dining on the Ziva Pier.) While dining at Chevy's, kids will be excited about sipping milkshakes in a '57 Chevy convertible, complete with all-American fare.
Note: There may be a wide range of adults-only experiences at Ziva, but the hotel also has a number of child-friendly offerings, like a Kidz waterpark, a game room with teen activities, paddle boarding and more, to make them feel like little VIPs.
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