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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.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai, Top 10 City of the Year

November 3, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Chedi Chiang MaiLonely Planet just released a list of the "Top 10 Cities of 2011"-- featuring Tangier, Tel Aviv, New York, Wellington, and more. The venerable guidebook company had flattering words for Chiang Mai, Thailand's culture capital, which may just inspire us to visit soon:

If Chiang Mai were a person, it would be Bob Dylan. With a history dating back further than anyone can remember, its influence remains enormous. And despite its great age, there’s still a bohemian chic that makes it as relevant and hip as ever. Culture capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai was once the heart of the Lanna kingdom. Today those wanting to flee the bustle of Bangkok visit to lounge in coffee shops and drink in the city’s artisanal atmosphere. With a friendly, cosmopolitan feel, this is one easy, safe and pleasant place to explore. There are dozens of well-preserved temples here, too. Many new ecotours and adventure trips are appearing, and with a choice of river rafting, elephant rides, trekking and off-road cycling, even the biggest adrenaline junkie will be sated.

Looking for accommodations in town? Five Star Alliance has some choice Chiang Mai recommendations-- from The Chedi (ooh la la) to the Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental. In addition, Five Star Alliance offers some four-star properties in Chiang Mai. Browse away!


The Milestone Nabs Title of “Top Hotel in the British Isles”

October 19, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Milestone Hotel, LondonThe results are in from the 23rd annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards. The Milestone Hotel, the Kensington flagship for the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, has scored top honors as the only hotel in London in the top 100. Chosen as the "Top Hotel in the British Isles" by some 25,916 readers, the family-run hotel achieved a score of 95.8 out of 100. Here's what folks dig about a stay there: the "highest possible standards of personalized service" (to quote Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of Red Carnation). A favorite of returning guests, the intimate hotel has uniquely decorated guest rooms overlooking Kensington Palace.

Learn about a festive holiday package at The Milestone Hotel and Apartments here.


The World’s Best Up and Coming Hotels

August 5, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James ChicagoIn its August 2010 issue, Travel + Leisure highlights "20 to Watch: 2010's Best Up-and-Coming Hotels," many of which can be found in the Five Star Alliance collection. Predicting "the next hottest hotels around the globe," Travel + Leisure scoured the globe "to pick out this year's new and refurbished, expanding, or otherwise evolving hotels." What the magazine's editors found: domestic hotels are raising the bar, with fantastic luxury hotels in the United States and Canada. So without further ado, here's the list:

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Algodon Mansion, Buenos Aires

Amangiri, Utah

Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Four Seasons Beirut

The James Chicago

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

The Peninsula Chicago

The Pierre New York, A Taj Hotel

Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan, Paris

Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay, Krabi, Thailand

Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, London

Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai, India

Veranda Resort, Turks & Caicos

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily

W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island

Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Australia

Destination Spa: The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu , Malibu, California


The World’s Hottest New Hotels: Travel + Leisure’s New “It List 2010″

May 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BardessonoIt's our favorite time of year. Travel + Leisure has released their "It List 2010" of the 45 best new hotels in the world. The mag's esteemed editors have hand-picked the year's most exciting hotel debuts, to be revealed in the June issue which hits newsstands this month. What's especially cool to see: ten of the properties have room rates of less than $300 per night. Can't wait til May 21st to see the list? We've got the skinny:

UNITED STATES

Andaz Wall Street+ Bardessono, Yountville, California

+ St. Regis Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

+ Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

+ Andaz Wall Street, New York, New York*

+ Crosby Street Hotel, New York, New York

+ Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah

+ Waldorf Astoria, Park City, Utah

THE CARIBBEAN , MEXICO, AND CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA

+ Viceroy Anguilla, Barnes Bay, Anguilla

+ Gansevoort, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

+ W Santiago, Santiago, Chile*

+ Tcherassi Hotel & Spa, Cartagena, Colombia

+ Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico

+ Hotel Boca Chica, Acapulco, Mexico*

+ Las Alcobas, Mexico City, Mexico

EUROPE

+ Lime Wood, Hampshire, England*

+ Dean Street Townhouse, London, England*

+ InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau, Paris, France

+ La Réserve Ramatuelle, Ramatuelle, France

+ Heidelberg Suites, Heidelberg, Germany

+ Il Salviatino, Fiesole, Italy

+ Maison Moschino, Milan, Italy

+ Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Italy

+ Palazzina Grassi, Venice, Italy

+ Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain

+ Hotel Consolaciόn, Teruel, Spain*

+ Argos in Cappadocia, Uchisar, Turkey*

ASIA

+ Amanfayun, Hangzhou, China

+ Upper House, Hong Kong, China

+ Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai, China*

+ PuLi Hotel & Spa, Shanghai, China

+ Serai Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer, India

+ Raas, Jodhpur, India*

+ Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

+ Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa, Boracay, Philippines

+ Capella Singapore, Sentosa Island, Singapore

+ Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand*

+ Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi, Thailand

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, AUSTRALIA

+ Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

+ Evason Ma’In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa, Ma’in, Jordan

+ Le Gray, Beirut, Lebanon

+ Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahé, Seychelles

+ One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Taj Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

+ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Lithgow, Australia

*Property has starting room rates of $300/night, double, or less.


We List the World’s Best Restaurants

May 10, 2010
By: Ruthanne Terrero

The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010 is the result of an extensive poll of the world’s most celebrated chefs, renowned food critics, leading restaurateurs and well-traveled gourmands – collectively known as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy...

1. Noma, Denmark

+45 3296 3297

http://www.noma.dk

2. El Bulli, Spain

+ 34 972 150 457

http://www.elbulli.com

3. The Fat Duck, UK

+44 (0) 1628 580 333

http://www.thefatduck.co.uk

4. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain

+34 972 22 21 57

http://www.cellercanroca.com

5. Mugaritz, Spain

+34 943 522 455

http://www.mugaritz.comx

6. Osteria Francescana, Italy

+39 (0)59 210 118

http://www.osteriafrancescana.it

7. Alinea, USA

+1 312-867-0110

http://www.alinea-restaurant.com

8. Daniel, USA

+1 212 288 0033

http://www.danielnyc.com

9. Arzak, Spain

+34 943 78456

http://www.arzak.es

10. Per Se, United States

+1212 823 9335

http://www.perseny.com

11. Le Chateaubriand, France

+33 (0)1 43574595

12. La Colombe, South Africa

+ 27 (0) 21 794 2390

http://www.constantia-uitsig.com

13. Pierre Gagnaire, France

+ 33 01 58 36 12 50

http://www.pierre-gagnaire.com

14. Hotel de Ville Switzerland

+41 21 634 0505

http://www.philippe-rochat.ch

15. Le Bernardin, USA

+1 212 554 1515

le-bernardin.com

16. L’Astrance, France

+33 1 40 50 84 40

http://www.lastrance.abemadi.com

17. Hof van Cleve, Belgium

+32 (0) 9 383 5848

http://www.hofvancleve.com

18. D.O.M., Brazil

+55 11 3088 0761

domrestaurante.com.br

19. Oud Sluis, Holland

+31 (0) 117-461269

http://www.oudsluis.nl

20. Le Calandre, Italy

+39 049 630303

http://www.alajmo.it

21. Steirereck, Austria

+43 (1) 713 31 68

http://www.steirereck.at/wien restaurant

22. Vendome, Germany

+49 (0) 22 04 42 1941

http://www.schlossbensberg.com

23. Chez Dominique, Finland

+ 358 9 612 7393

http://www.chezdominique.fi

24. Les Créations de Narisawa, Japan

+81 (3) 5785 0799

http://www.narisawa-yoshihiro.com

25. Mathias Dahlgren, Sweden

+46 (0) 8 679 35 84

http://www.mathiasdahlgren.com

26. Momofuku Ssam Bar, USA

+1 212 254-3500

http://www.momofuku.com

27. Quay, Australia

+ 61 (2) 9251 5600

http://www.quay.com.au

28. Iggy’s, Singapore

+65 6732 2234

http://www.iggys.com.sg

29. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, France

+33 1 42 225656

http://www.joel-robuchon.com

30. Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland

+41 81 632 10 80

http://www.schauenstein.ch

31. Le Quartier Francais, South Africa

+27 21 876 2151

http://www.lequartier.co.za

32. The French Laundry, USA

+1 707 944 2380

http://www.frenchlaundry.com

33. Martin Berasategui, Spain

+34 943 366 471

http://www.martinberasategui.com

34. Aqua, Germany

+49 5361 606056

http://www.restaurant-aqua.com

35. Combal Zero, Italy

+39 011 9565225

http://www.combal.org

36. Dal Pescatore, Italy

+39 (0)37 672 3001

http://www.dalpescatore.com

37. De Librije, Netherlands

+31 (0)38 4212083

http://www.librije.com

38. Tetsuya’s, Australia

+61 (2)9267 2900

http://www.tetsyuas.com

39. Jaan par Andre, Singapore

+65 6338 8585

http://www.swissotel.com/singapore-stamford

40. Il Canto, Italy

+39 (0)577 28 81 80

http://www.certosadimaggiano.com

41. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee,  France

+33 1 53 67 66 65

http://www.plaza-athenee-paris.com

42. Oaxen Krog, Sweden

+46 8 8 551 531 05

http://www.oaxenkrog.se

43. St John, UK

+44 020 7251 0848

http://www.stjohnrestaurant.com

44. La Maison Troisgros, France

+33 4 77 71 66 97

http://www.troisgros.fr

45. wd~50, USA

+1 212 477 2900

http://www.wd-50.com

46. Biko, Mexico

+52 55 5282 0722

http://www.biko.com.m

47. Die Schwarzwaldstube, Germany

+49 7442 4926

http://www.traube-tonbach.de

48. Nihonryori RyuGin, Japan

+81 3 3423 8006

http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com

49. Hibiscus, UK

+44 020 7629 2999

http://www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk

50. Eleven Madison Park, USA

+1 212 889 090

http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com


Travel + Leisure Announces World’s Best Hotels Survey Winners

July 22, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Bushmans Kloof” class=

Travel + Leisure has just announced the winners of its World’s Best Hotels 2009 survey, and no surprise, many of the top hotels named can be found on Five Star Alliance. In top fifteen alone, favorites include South Africa's Bushmans Kloof (pictured), Singita Sabi Sand , and Twelve Apostles; Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia, India's Oberoi Vanyavilas and Oberoi Udaivilas; Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires, Tanzania's Kirawira Camp, and America's own Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. Congrats to all the winners!


And The World’s Best Hotel is…

June 29, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Villa d’esteThe Forbes Traveller 400 has spoken, and Villa d'Este has come out on top. The luxury Lake Como resort took top honors in the poll, besting world-class hotels such as

The Peninsula Bangkok, Hong Kong's

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental,

Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and

Burj al Arab in Dubai. The poll was conducted among top travel connoisseurs-professionals who stay in five-star luxury properties at least 20 times per year- and the ratings were based on room quality, service, decor and cuisine.


America’s Best Bathroom Award: And the Winner is…

May 1, 2009
By: Alison Victor

The Hermitage HotelLocated in the heart of downtown Nashville, The Hermitage Hotel is an ultra-luxurious property, named for Andrew Jackson's Hermitage Estate. The Hermitage is not only a coveted Five Diamond award-winning hotel, but it is also the 2008 America's Best Bathroom Award Winner. Not familiar with the Best Bathroom Award? Well, Cintas Corporation, the company that provides businesses with bathroom supplies, has presented this award for seven years and running. Any restroom in the United States that is open to the public is eligible for this award. Essentially, people go to a website and nominate their public bathroom of choice. Editors sift through the nominations, and they then narrow the field to 10 finalists based on exceptional hygiene, style and open access to the public. The public then casts their final votes, and the resulting winner is announced. Maybe not quite as crowning an achievement as say the Mobil Five Star rating that placed The Hermitage House on an elite list of 31 hotels, but acknowledgment of its superior operating standards nonetheless.


Head to Virginia’s Homestead for the Holidays

October 20, 2008
By: K. Clare Johnson

The Homestead Why not travel to Virginia's The Homestead to celebrate the holiday season this year? The Allegheny Mountain luxury resort has been in business since 1766, so they are clearly doing something right. The Homestead is one of Virginia's pioneer ski resorts, offering guests the opportunity to ski, snowboard, and snow tube their way through mounds of fresh snow. The Holiday Escape Package offers overnight accommodations, a commemorative ornament, full breakfast buffet daily (first two children under 12 nosh for free), and 20 percent off any outdoor activities.

The Homestead has even taken care of the decorating. The Great Hall Christmas Tree will be a 21-foot-tall Fraser Fir that was planted 25 years ago especially for The Homestead. There will be 45 other festively decorated trees on the property, 700 poinsettias, 104 wreaths, 3,000 feet of evergreen garlands, 82,000 lights, and a tasty Gingerbread Village. Santa makes his arrival on Christmas Eve for a brief visit, then returns Christmas morning to share in the traditional holiday breakfast. Other activities include a holiday hayride or horseback ride, swimming in the naturally heated indoor pool, afternoon tea, holiday concert, art classes, a visit to the luxury spa, and a dance clinic.


Swiss Massages Get the Hawaiian Touch at Villa Principe Leopoldo

October 20, 2008
By: K. Clare Johnson

Villa Principe Leopoldo What can happen in 100 minutes? You'll find out at the Conde Nast Award-winning Swiss hotel Villa Principe Leopoldo. For starters, you'll be on your way to Hawaii, via Switzerland. Villa Principe Leopoldo is offering a special package for those who want to visit their jewel of a beauty spa. You'll get two nights and three days in a peaceful, spacious Parco room at the residence of Villa Principe Leopoldo. You'll get the 100-minute KISO Facial "Hawaii." Exclusive products that are highly effective yet gentle and sweetly scented make for a natural, soothing, and harmonious facial. Couple that with the KISO Beauty massage, 60 minutes of a spiritual massage against a backdrop of heavenly music, and you really will think you are in paradise.

Prices start at CHF 1,980 / € 1,238 double occupancy.