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.

Your Questions Answered: What Resort in Cancun Can Host a Symbolic Wedding Ceremony for a Same-Sex Couple?

November 28, 2014
By: Betsy LeTourneau

Hyatt Zilara Cancun
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: What resort in Cancun will host a symbolic wedding ceremony for a same-sex couple?

ANSWER: Hyatt Zilara Cancun. Prominently located on the widest stretch of beach in the heart of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, Hyatt Zilara Cancun is an adults-only, all-suite, all-inclusive resort where guests experience traditional Mexican warmth in an intimate yet casual setting. The resort features spacious suites with breathtaking views of the Caribbean and offers world-class dining, an impressive array of upscale amenities, outstanding service from an attentive and thoughtful staff, and spectacular grounds and facilities. Hyatt Zilara Cancun offers a myriad of activities and conveniences including rejuvenating treatments and services at The Spa– Cancun's only ocean view spa – wine and spirits tastings, enhanced pool and beach butler service, and more.Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Whether celebrating a religious, civil, spiritual wedding, union or vow renewal, Hyatt Zilara Cancun offers extraordinary settings and exceptional accommodations to create memories that will last a lifetime. The experienced staff of professional wedding planners assists couples every step of the way to create extraordinary events. Design your own wedding or choose from a wide selection of celebrations, including a boutique complimentary wedding, to barefoot beach weddings, to lavish celebrations. Every detail is artfully arranged by the dedicated staff including flowers, music, photography, the wedding cake, the catering, and so much more.  

Honeymoon couples enjoy extra special amenities and romantic services in their suite, including a rose petal strewn bed, aromatherapy candles, a sweetheart cake and sparkling wine. For added luxury, choose a Romance Package with even more special touches such as a private candlelight beach dinner for a truly unforgettable experience.

Please note that no children are allowed on property, even for ceremonies and events. 

Book a stay at Hyatt Zilara Cancun >>

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.
 


Honeymooning at Sandals LaSource Grenada

October 20, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Recently two of our favorite clients got married and decided to honeymoon at the brand new, all-inclusive, couples only Sandals LaSource Resort in Grenada

Zach and Alexandra stayed in room 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda. Located within the Italian village, 1 bedroom oceanview skypool suites feature a full living room with butler pantry, wet bar, indoor dining table, plush sofa and chairs, and HD LED Smart TV. There is also a desk with wireless internet and USB ports. The double doors open into a bedroom with a king size bed, and large HD LED Smart TV. The bathroom includes two Carrera marble vanities with backlit mirrors, Kohler claw footed tub, separate frosted glass shower and a frosted glass water closet. The bedroom opens for access to a cantilevered heated private plunge pool with an infinity edge. The flooring is made of Turkish ivory patika travertine natural stone with accents of pebbles and porcelain planks from Italy. Some suites also have an oversized balcony with two comfortable lounge chairs, ottoman, side table and soaking tub. Some have an oversized day bed. Your own personal butler service is included.

Sandals LaSource is in the heart of exclusive Pink Gin Beach and offers 225 rooms and suites, 10 restaurants, 3 freshwater pools and 2 river pools, just minutes from the airport.

They shared some of their photos with us below, click on any photo to learn more:

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Outdoor verandah of suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite

Verandah of Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Beach area at Sandals LaSource

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource from the water

Sandals LaSource Grenada from the water

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada Beach

Night view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

Night View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Beach at Sandals LaSource

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada Beach

View of Sandals LaSource Grenada

View of Sandals LaSource Grenada

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada Beach

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Butler setup for honeymooning couple at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Butler bath setup at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Learn more about Sandals LaSource then check rates and availability >>


Weddings at Cabo Azul Resort and Spa

September 7, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Cabo Azul Weddings

Destination wedding-bound? Consider Cabo Azul Resort and Spa. El Corazon, the resort's open-air, five story wedding chapel has the Sea of Cortez as a backdrop, and a candlelit water fall to up the romance factor. The resort also offers a team of wedding coordinators, event planners, and a catering staff to make your special day perfect. There's also bridal and honeymoon packages Additionally PAZ, the resort's award winning Spa has a wide range of personal treatments and services designed to relax and rejuvenate the whole wedding party.

Book your wedding at Cabo Azul Resort and Spa >>


Did You Know? Daydream Island

August 12, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Daydream Island Resort and Spa

Located in Queensland, 15 minutes from Airlie Beach, Daydream Island Resort and Spa is a superbly appointed four and a half star resort. With two stunning outdoor ceremony locations and an elegant wedding chapel overlooking the Whitsunday passage, Daydream Island is the perfect setting for a special day. It also has the only chapel in the Whitsundays with the capability to broadcast a wedding live via a satellite broadband connection.

Book your wedding at Daydream Island Resort and Spa>>


Five Star Alliance Recommends Ten Little-Known Honeymoon Locations

May 1, 2014
By: Five Star Alliance

Lounging on the beach for a honeymoon is nothing to sneeze at, but the newlyweds who want something different should try staying at one of these luxury hotels in an these unusual honeymoon locations.

Five Star Alliance recommends these unusual post-nuptial spots:

Cappadocia, Turkey
Why Visit
This Anatolian region is a UNESCO world heritage site known for its cave structures. Dwellings have been hewn from the rock as far back as 4,000 B.C. During Byzantine times chapels and monasteries were hollowed out of the rock, their ochre-toned frescoes reflecting the hues of the surrounding landscape. It is 30 kilometers from Nevsehir Airport.

Where to Stay
Cappadocia Cave ResortCappadocia Cave Resort and Spa (pictured right) is built right into a mountain and offers a spectacular view over the dramatic landscape. The exclusive spa area offers all kinds of treatments, from steam baths to an experience shower with sound and light effects, to a couples massage.

Cappadocia Museum Hotel has just 30 rooms and suites. The unusual living museum concept means the cave rooms and specially restored traditional rooms are decorated with antiques and have wonderful views of Cappadocia.
 

Hue, Vietnam
Why Visit
The city is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River, just a few miles from the East Sea. Hue has various points of interest, such as the Citadel, the royal tombs of Tu Duc, Khai Dinh, and Minh Mang, Thien Mu pagoda, and Dong Ba market. Other attractions include Bach Ma national park, Lang Co beach, Truc Lam Zen monastery, and Thuan An beach.

Where to Stay 
Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa is nestled on the shore of a peaceful and serene lagoon, with stunning views across one of the largest lagoons in Southeast Asia. It offers stylish interior decoration on an area of 27 hectares of undulating land and lagoon.

Pilgrimage Village is ideally located in the quiet countryside in rustic village setting surrounding by lush tranquil gardens, yet near to famous historical landmarks. With 99 rooms and villas, the resort is warm and inviting. Hue airport is just 20 minutes away.
 

Cuzco, Peru
Why Visit
Cuzco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is one of Peru's most visited spots as it is a convenient city from which tourists can begin visits to Machu Picchu. It is located 7,000 feet above sea level and is nestled in a small hilltop between the Andean Mountain Range with a generally dry and temperate.

Where to Stay 
Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness (pictured right)is located in the Urubamba Valley on the banks of the river Vilcanota. The hotel’s property spreads over 10 hectares. Unno Spa includes a hyperbaric chamber, hydrotherapy pools, Vichy shower treatment rooms and meditation, and aromatherapy oxygen.Aranwa Sacred Valley

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas is a former palace and convent set in a tranquil plaza behind Cuzco’s main square. This intimate urban retreat has just 55 suites, each enriched with oxygen and with its own private bar where guests can create drinks using the fresh ingredients grown at and around the hotel.

Umag, Croatia
Why Visit
With a coastline filled with stunning beaches, Umag is an established summer destination in Europe. It is known as the town of tennis because it hosts many tennis camps and the ATP Vegeta Croatia Open. Beautiful architecture, delicious restaurants, and unrivalled scenery add to the city's undeniable charm. The international festival of chamber theatre Golden Lion is a popular local event.

Where to Stay
Hotel Monte Mulini is situated in a beautiful and quiet location, but close to the town of Rovinj. Maistra’s boutique hotel Monte Mulini is the perfect starting point for sightseeing in Croatia, a wine trail tour, or time in the sun and sea.

Kempinski Hotel Adriatic is surrounded by picturesque olive groves and vineyards, and offers breathtaking views over the Adriatic Sea. Things to do include treatments at the 3,000 square foot duplex Spa, and a few rounds at the first professional 18-hole golf course in the region.

Doha, Qata
Why Visit
Located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, the modern Doha skyline contrasts with the surrounding desert. Things to do in Doha include playing world-class golf, off-road desert cycling, beach trips, and fossil hunts. Popular attractions include the City Centre Doha Mall, the Corniche Promenade and the acclaimed Museum of Islamic Art. The city will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Where to Stay

The Torch DohaThe Torch Doha (pictured left) is 300 meters high and has panoramic views of the city. It is located on Al Waab Street, 30 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the city center. Hotel guests have private walkway access to Doha's largest shopping mall Villaggio.

Sharq Village and Spa's fourteen courtyard houses are located on one thousand meters of private coastline. Guests can tour the village streets, cool off in the two pools, recline on an outdoor majlis, or shop at the village souq. The hotel is operated by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, B.V.

Other Recommended Locations:

-Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates: A destination with year-round sunshine, white sandy beaches, and world class resorts. It’s just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

 

-Lanai, Hawaii: 9 miles from Maui, the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii is all unspoiled beaches and serenity.

-Port Antonio Jamaica: A quiet and beautiful haven with both jungle trails and impressive museums.

-Almaty Kazakhstan: The largest city in Kazakhstan has a spectacular mountain backdrop and is a winter sports haven.

-Herzliya, Israel: 10 minutes from Tel Aviv, this coastal city offers water sports, boating, and hiking.

 

 


Sneak Peek: The World's Best Hotels and Resorts 2014

November 22, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

We've done it again! And we are giving you a sneak peek! Our team of luxury hotel experts is proud to present our most current collection of the World's Best Luxury Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. Who better to select the best luxury hotels in the world than the travel agency with the most comprehensive collection of 100% luxury hotels? This year we've hand-picked the best luxury hotels worldwide grouped into 15 different categories and based on great feedback from our loyal customers. Need a ski break? We've got 20 of the world's best luxury ski resorts. Beach more your style? We've got 20 of the world's best luxury beach hotels and resorts. It's safe to say that no matter your destination, hotel style, amenities, activities, or interests, we’ve got one of the world’s best luxury hotel and resort that will fulfill your every desire.

 

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Blackberry Farm Hosts Kelly Clarkson's Wedding

October 22, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Blackberry Farm recently played host to one of the biggest celebrity weddings this year, and it was a low-key affair.  The original American Idol Kelly Clarkson married Brandon Blackstock at the luxury hotel on Friday. Blackstock is also musical royalty, as his stepmother is none other than Reba McEntire.

Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm is a 62-room Relais and Chateaux and Relais Gourmand property situated on 9,200 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. The gorgeous tranquility of the property is perfect for private nuptials. Best wishes to the happy couple!

Click here for rates, details, and more images of Blackberry Farm >>

 

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Image of the Day: Las Alamandas

September 16, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Las Alamandas is an exclusive beachfront hideaway situated on over 1,500 acres of unspoilt tropical Paradise with only seven villas accommodating a maximum of 42 guests.

Las Alamandas

Fall Rates as Las Alamandas start at $185 per night >>

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The Story of The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

July 12, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, recently acquired by Omni Hotels, set atop Sunset Mountain features guestrooms with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its lush Donald Ross–designed golf course and is is one of the South's best-loved resorts. Celebrating its Centennial today, the luxurious Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Here's the story of how it all began: 

The Grove Park Inn - Then and Now"Edwin Wiley Grove, known as the "Father of Modern Asheville" was born in 1850 on a small farm in Tennessee. After serving in the Civil War he had a very definite plan for his life and career – the pharmaceutical business and the determination to rise from his early poverty to great wealth and success.

He purchased a pharmacy in Paris, Tennessee in his mid-twenties. He put all of his energy into formulating a tasteless quinine to prevent malaria, a life-threatening disease that permeated the South in the 19th century (he suspended quinine in liquid form). After experimenting for several years, Grove introduced Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic and experienced immediate success. In the late 1890's Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic, which had become a household staple, sold more bottles than Coca-Cola. After 20 years on the market, Grove had sold over 1.5 million bottles of his Tonic and surpassed his dreams by making millions of dollars. 

Grove himself was often ill, afflicted with periods of bronchitis and exhaustion and his doctors recommended the clean mountain air of Asheville, NC to relax and recover. He spent time in Asheville throughout the year and that is where he would realize his next big dream.

While still pursuing new pharmaceutical inventions, Grove met Fred Seely in Detroit, who was making a name for himself in the pharmaceutical business. While working together in Detroit, the two sparked a friendship and mutual admiration. Grove invited Seely to his summer home in Asheville. One week later he left his position in Detroit to work for Grove and his Paris Medicine Company. But business was not the only thing that interested Seely. When Grove introduced his daughter, Evelyn, to the bachelor, within 24 hours Grove had given Seely permission to wed her.

Grove Park Inn and SpaSeely began working for the Paris Medicine Company in June 1898 and in October of that year married Evelyn. Both men ventured into other businesses including real estate. In Asheville Grove began purchasing property, he had successfully developed residential neighborhoods in Atlanta and was considering doing the same in prospering Asheville. With the expansion of the railroad and publicity surrounding the opening of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore House, Grove was positioning himself as a serious investor in the future of Asheville. In 1909 Grove purchased 408 acres in north Asheville, including what would become The Grove Park Inn. But he would concentrate on residential neighborhoods before ever considering building a hotel.

Two years later Grove began to plan the building of a hotel on Sunset Mountain. In 1911 Seely became involved with the plans. After reviewing the plans of several prominent architects, Grove did not find any of them satisfactory. The consummate visionary, Seely presented a sketch of the proposed hotel to Grove and he not only accepted the plan but gave Seely the enormous task of building the hotel.

Four-hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week. With only the use of mules, wagons and ropes, granite boulders, some weighing as much as 10,000 pounds, were hauled from Sunset Mountain to build the hotel. Seely kept his promise to be open for business in less than one year from the ground breaking.

Just three days shy of one year, The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, delivered the keynote address to four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South, gathered for the opening banquet. 

Another version of this story is available at http://www.groveparkinn.com/the-grove-park-inn-story

View more photos and check rates and availability for The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa >>