The Luxury Hotel Insider

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.

Dining al Fresco: Bacara


By: Five Star Alliance

Enjoy vista views of the sea, sky, and the Channel Islands just offshore while fine dining al fresco and embracing an innovative, artful design of low-storied buildings terraced to the sea and connected by lush, meandering garden paths complete with flower-filled courtyards, restful fountains and red-tiled roofs. Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara is the perfect place for an outdoor dining experience and to enjoy the leisurely pace and warm embrace of California lifestyle.

Bacara Resort and Spa

Book a stay at Bacara Resort and Spa >>


Dining al Fresco: Belmond El Encanto


By: Five Star Alliance

At Belmond El Encanto, guests can dine in the elegant dining room, or delight in a romantic dinner under
the stars on the terrace. The innovative menu offers contemporary California-coastal cuisine, complemented
with gracious service and a side of stunning Santa Barbara views.

Belmond El Encanto

Book a stay at Belmond El Encanto >>


Cool Pools: Bacara Resort and Spa


By: Five Star Alliance

Nestled on the bluff and beaches of the Gaviota coast between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains, Bacara Resort & Spa offers relaxed luxury and stunning natural beauty for an unforgettable getaway in Southern California.

Bacara Resort and Spa

If the ocean temperature is not as warm as you’d like, Bacara's three zero-edge heated swimming pools are a great alternative. Enjoy two zero-edge, heated saline swimming pools, where the saline is easy on your eyes, skin and hair. The Spa at Bacara also has its own zero-edge, heated saline pool for adult-use only, along with separate women's and men's hydrotherapy whirlpool spas.

The Cabana and Resort Pools feature expansive ocean views, along with their own heated saline hydrotherapy whirlpool spas. In addition, the Pool Bar features a fun menu including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and kids' meals, as well as full bar service.

Book a stay at Bacara Resort and Spa >>


Did You Know? Ojai Valley Inn and Spa


By: Five Star Alliance

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa 

Guests at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa can come home with more than bathrobes and memories. The resort's Artist Cottage offers a number of creative classes for all ages. One unique offering is Apothecary, a custom scent blending class. The class will rely on your unconscious to create a personalized scent. The scent can then be used as a perfume or the apothecary specialist can blend it into a product line for future enjoyment. 

Create your own personal scent at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa >>


Cool Pools: Canary Hotel


By: Five Star Alliance

Canary Hotel 

For one of the best 360-degree view of Santa Barbara, head up to the rooftop pool at Canary Hotel. There's an ocean breeze, and guests can see all the way from the city's iconic red-tiled rooftops to the mountains and the sea in the distance. Lounge by the pool, or take a dip in the warm waters. If you get hunthe gry or thirsty, there's no need to leave the roof. 

When the sun sets, and the temperatures cool, the hotel lights the fireplace, and the roof becomes the perfect spot to view the numerous constellations. Canary Hotel

Canary Hotel is just steps from historic State Street and the downtown arts, culture, and dining scene. The beach is a mile away (the perfect biking distance), and there are wine-tasting opportunities nearby. The hotel blends modern design with Spanish Colonial, and provides a retreat within the city.

 

View rates, details, and more images of Canary Hotel >>


Your Questions Answered: Can You Recommend a Family and Pet-Friendly Santa Barbara Hotel?


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort
We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series Your Questions Answered to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

QUESTION: We are a family of 6 looking for a pet friendly place in Santa Barbara, Ca. What resort offers the best accommodations for our family?


ANSWER: Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort 

Come enjoy the paradise of Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort - a dramatic mission-style Santa Barbara hotel on 24 beautiful beachfront acres. Delight in the rich amenities and extensive array of activities - perfect for any age. Lounge by the pool. Walk along the soft-sand beach Dine on delicious cuisine at one of four restaurants. Relax in your restful guest room or suite. Take pleasure in the down-to-earth setting of this enchanting Santa Barbara beach hotel. 

Fess Parker's Doubletree ResortFess Parker's Doubletree Resort is the perfect locale for a truly unique Santa Barbara family vacation. Encircled by mountains and set along the Pacific Ocean, the resort is near an array of activities for all ages. Year-round, explore the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens. Learn about sea life at the Ty Warner Sea Center. Go whale watching. This impressive Santa Barbara family resort is an idyllic destination, offering entertaining pursuits for both children and adults. The luxurious Santa Barbara pet-friendly accommodations comprise 360 guest rooms on 24 beautifully landscaped acres. Each room includes a furnished patio or balcony, high speed internet access, mini bar and personal coffee maker.

Pet Policy:
Pets of all sizes are welcome. Step outside your door of this Santa Barbara pet-friendly hotel, where you both can enjoy miles of landscaped walking paths along the beachfront and parks. Want to go for a swim? Take your dogs with you. There are dog-friendly beaches a short drive away. The concierge can assist with directions to dog-friendly beaches and off-leash parks as well as hiking trails in the local mountains.  In addition to the spacious rooms and a special treat bag, pets enjoy acres of landscaped grounds and pet menus for in-room dining.

For Your Family's Needs, We Recommend Booking:
-Ocean View 1 King Bed connecting to an Ocean View 2 Queen Beds: These spacious accommodations offer striking views of the Pacific Ocean from a own private patio or balcony.
Or
-Resort View 1 King Bed connecting to a Resort View 2 Queen Beds: 

View rates, details, and more images of Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort >>

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.

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Image of the Day: Simpson House Inn


By: Five Star Alliance

Simpson House Inn is the only five diamond bed and breakfast in North America.

Simpson House Inn 

View rates, details, and more images of Simpson House Inn >>

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Dine at The Dining Room And Terrace at El Encanto


By: Elaine Lee

 El Encanto

With breath-taking ocean views of the Riviera, El Encanto captures the beauty glamour and charm of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a city rich in local culinary fare, and has all the comforts of fresh and locally grown produce, freshly caught seafood, locally raised beef and poultry, complete with a robust wine industry. An ideal place for foodies, El Encanto's The Dining Room And Terrace restaurant extends the same "locavore" sentiment with everything they serve. El Encanto not only roasts its own coffee, they brew their own unpasteurized beer, have an on-site garden to get fresh produce complete with an aeroponic tower to grow Japanese herbs, and even has its own dairy cow named Ellie who provides the dairy for the kitchen's homemade cheese program! The amazing view of the Santa Barbara Riviera from The Dining Room and Terrace, is just an added bonus. The artisanal innovative menu offerings of coastal Californian cuisine with Japanese and Parisian flairs at The Dining Room And Terrace at El Encanto is an all around treat and what gastronomic dreams are made of.

View Rates, Details, and More Photos of El Encanto >>

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Newly Renovated El Encanto Opening Soon!


By: Oksana Balytsky

We’re holding our breath for the opening of the new and improved El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California! This Orient Express property has been undergoing a major renovation for the last few months, and we’re absolutely thrilled to see all of the upgrades and modifications! Opening day is currently set for March 18th, 2013, and this luxury hotel will stand out from the rest in more ways than one! A few additions to look forward to include:

- El Encanto will have its very own cow, Ellie whose milk will be used to make a special cheese only to be found at this hotel. (cool, huh?)

- This hotel will be serving unpasteurized beer brewed nearby to go with the special cheese.

- The coffee served for breakfast will be El Encanto’s own brand, and their on-site herb and vegetable garden will ensure only the very best greens make it to your table.

- For the eco-friendly travelers, El Encanto has added various energy saving and preservation techniques to reduce overall consumption. Guests are encouraged to leave their cars behind and hop on one of the complimentary electric bikes and mosey their way to the beach or into town.

- Accommodations will include 92 intimate bungalows that are scattered throughout seven acres of grounds.

Explore details and photos of El Encanto here, and be sure to make your reservation for this stunning property in March!


Sneak Away to Santa Barbara


By: Five Star Alliance

 

Considering a trip out West, but not sure that Los Angeles is for you? Consider Santa Barbara.

Located just 90 miles from Los Angeles, it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of Tinseltown. Dubbed “The American Riviera,” Santa Barbara is located between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It was the focus of an eponymously named 80s soap opera, and is renowned for its Spanish revival architecture, dozens of nearby wineries, terrific shopping, and annual cultural events. While there’s a plethora of luxury hotels to choose from in this quaint seaside town, here’s a few we really like:

San Ysidro RanchSan Ysidro Ranch is located just south of Santa Barbara in the exclusive enclave of Montecito on over 500 rolling acres ofunspoiled coastal landscape in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. It is considered to be one of the most romantic hideaways in the world. Forty individually decorated private cottages, suites and ranch rooms wind along San Ysidro's hillside creek- and tree-lined paths.

 

 

 

Canary HotelIf being downtown is more your style, consider Canary Hotel. Located in the city center, Canary Hotel is the only luxury boutique hotel located in historic downtown. It is within walking distance for shopping at the luxury retailers, hip boutiques and offers easy access to some of the finest wineries in Santa Barbara. The Canary Hotel offers visitors the beauty of the American Riviera with a little bit of urban flair.

 


 

Inn of the Spanish Garden Inn of the Spanish Garden offers a sophisticated Spanish-Mediterranean inspired design, quality amenities and close attention to personal service. Located among the City's historic sites in its oldest neighborhood, it is just steps from fine shops, museums, theaters, corporate offices and downtown dining. This Travel + Leisure Award-winner has 23 spacious, non-smoking guestrooms and suites.

 

 

 

 

Simpson House Inn has the proud distinction of being ranked as the only five diamond bed and breakfast in North America. Nestled on an acre of English gardens and features 15 guest rooms, suites and cottages housed in an historic Victorian estate. Minutes away from the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the historic sites of Santa Barbara, Simpson House Inn is set off the tree-lined road and is surrounded by our famed garden.
 

 

 

 

Check out the rest of best luxury properties in Santa Barbara!