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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.

A Hogwarts Halloween at Ashford Castle

August 9, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Have a ‘Harry Potter’ filled adventure this Halloween at Ashford Castle in Ireland. For one incredible week, Ashford Castle will be under a magical spell with Hogwarts activities perfect for the whole family. Ashford Castle’s hidden rooms, soaring ceilings, and hundreds of years of history give it a wizardly feel that kids will surely appreciate. Go on a ‘Forbidden Forest’ treasure hunt, visit the hiding place of Ashford Castle’s own, Dingle, take a ‘Chamber of Art’ painting class, and of course, watch a ‘Harry Potter’ movie screening. What an incredible way to bring Hogwarts to life! Make your reservations between October 26th and November 3nd at Ashford Castle for an unforgettable adventure for you and your family!


Get Into the Spirit of the Olympics without Crossing the Pond

August 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

If a trip to London wasn’t in the cards for you this summer but you still want to catch the spirit of the games, then check out one of these hotels! The Waldorf Astoria Park City in Utah, home of the 2002 Olympics is offering private ice skating lessons with a member of the U.S. National Speed Skating Team and an Olympic hopeful. Available through September 12th, 2012, this lesson is $120 per adult for a 2 hour time frame and it certainly looks to be educational, exhilarating, and only slightly embarrassing. The Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia is offering a ‘Go for the Gold’ deal which features 20% off the best available rate whenever Team USA wins a gold. Guests already checked into the hotel during the time of a gold medal winning will receive a $20 resort credit that can be applied toward golf, dining, or spa purchases. We’re proud to be American and we love that these hotels are embracing the American spirit and giving guests a way to enjoy the Olympics even more!


Experience the Balloon Festival at Thornbury Castle

August 3, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Thornburry Castle, the only Tudor castle in England to open as a hotel, has been considered home to kings, queens, and travelers alike. Its heavy oak doors, roaring fires, and luxurious bedchambers make this 500-year old castle palace a must-visit for travelers searching for a historic adventure. Be sure to explore Thornburry Castle this summer to experience the Bristol International Balloon Festival which is Europe’s largest annual hot air balloon event going on August 9th to the 12th. The event (or should we say party) attracts half a million visitors and is free for all to attend. The mass Hot Air Balloon rises at 6am and 6pm, and it is surely a sight you don’t want to miss!

Click here to explore Thornburry Castle and make your reservations!


Your Questions Answered: Best Rooms for a Family of 4 at Hotel Paracas in Peru

August 2, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

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 4, 2 adults and 2 children age 15 and 11, and I am enquiring about the availability in Hotel Paracas, Peru for 3 nights from the 28th of August 2012.

Answer: The Hotel Paracas has a number of room types available, but they all have a maximum occupancy of 2 people. Sometimes rooms with 2 queen beds or a suite with a separate living area is able to accommodate a family of 4, but unfortunately this hotel has a strict 2 person maximum occupancy policy for every room type. We would suggest getting 2 rooms and requesting that they be interconnecting. This request cannot be guaranteed but the hotel would do its best to honor this request. The only room type that can interconnect is a Superior Garden View room to another Superior Garden View room. There are also Superior Rooms with an Ocean view that have either 1 king or 2 queen beds. These rooms cannot interconnect but the hotel would do its best to have them be located near one another. To explore these room options as well as view nightly rate breakdowns, please visit this website and enter your dates of travel. To make a reservation for 2 rooms, simply select the first room type, fill in the booking form, and then repeat the process. Please be sure to fill in the special request field stating that you will be traveling with 2 kids and that’d you like your rooms to be located near one another or interconnecting if possible.

Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as the extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


Not Your Average Vacation in Madrid, Spain

August 1, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Visiting the Prado Museum, strolling through Retiro Park, and enjoying a few tapas at an outdoor café are all wonderful activities every visitor to Madrid should experience, but once you’ve checked these must-sees off your list, how should you spend your time? Check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring a few fun places to explore and things to do during your visit to various cities around the world that you wouldn’t come across in every tour book.

Experience a new side of Spain by visiting the Alcala de Henares, one of the first designated university cities. Its located about 20 miles outside Madrid, and it’s the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the author or the world renowned book, ‘Don Quixote.’ The center of the city remains relatively medieval with beautiful, winding cobblestone streets and preserved, historic buildings. The city has a Moorish, Jewish, and Christian quarter, earning it its reputation of “the city of three cultures.” Make your reservations at any of our luxury hotels in Madrid and take a day trip to Alcala de Henares to fight windmills and rescue damsels in distress!

Photo of the Mirasierra Suites Hotel


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Intercontinental Thalasso Spa Bora Bora

July 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Intercontinental Thalasso Spa Bora Bora in French Polynesia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This luxury hotel is located on Motu Piti Au or ‘Two Hearts’ in Tahitian, and it offers revolutionary solutions in both comfort and environmental protection. Its 80 over-water bungalows are decorated in a bright color palette and have floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious terraces, and private platforms for sunbathing. A few of the InterContinental’s phenomenal facilities available to its guests include a beautiful infinity pool, a fitness center, and a stunning spa. The service at the hotel and the spa is truly exceptional with the staff going above and beyond to ensure that your experience is relaxing and rejuvenating. This luxury hotel’s most unique trait is that its spa features glass-floor treatment rooms so guests can view the marine life while enjoying their spa appointments! Make your reservations at this phenomenal luxury hotel here!


Gotham City Getaways

July 20, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

With the much anticipated premiere of Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, we certainly want to go beyond just seeing the films. For all of the Batman aficionados who hope to experience some of the scenes first hand, we bring you the numerous faces of Gotham City.

The Dark Knight had scenes shot in Chicago, Hong Kong, and London. The opening robbery of ‘Gotham National Bank’ by the Joker takes place at the Old Chicago Post Office, the offices of Harvey Dent and the boardroom of Wayne Enterprises are in the IBM Building in Chicago, and the restaurant where Bruce Wayne crashes Rachel’s and Harvey’s date is the Criterion Restaurant in London. The theater where Harvey attempts to take Rachel to see the ballet is the Chicago Theater on 175 North State St, and the meeting with the crooked financial tycoon is held in Hong Kong’s IFC2, the tallest building in the city. The views over the Chicago River from Bruce Wayne’s penthouse are actually taken from the 39th floor of the 71 Hotel, which is also where the bedroom of Wayne’s penthouse was filmed.

Want more? Check out the other pieces of Gotham City here!

Hoping to view all of these movie destinations in person? Make your reservations for London, Chicago, and Hong Kong here!

Photo of the 71 Hotel exterior


The Reefs Earns the #1 Resort Award!

July 19, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Congratulations to The Reefs for being named the #1 Resort in the Caribbean, Bermuda and The Bahamas in the 2012 Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards! This stunning 5 star property is located in Southampton, Bermuda on a private beach along limestone cliffs, and it serves as the perfect romantic getaway escape or setting for a family vacation. Wake up to breathtaking ocean vistas from any room, enjoy gourmet dining options on site, take a dip in the outdoor pool, and lounge and relax on the pink sandy beach. Grab a seat atop the limestone cliff before entering the Relaxation Room at La Serena Spa and enjoy incredible views of the secluded beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  For the adventurer in you, be sure to check out the two tennis courts, outdoor pool, and the water sport opportunities in order to have both a relaxing and exciting vacation. Make your reservations and see for yourself why The Reefs is considered to be the #1 luxury hotel in Bermuda!


Photo Roundup: The Bahamas

July 16, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Each week we’ll be rounding up a few of our favorite luxury hotel photos. This week’s photo roundup features the Bahamas. Check them out and let us know what you think!

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One and Only Ocean Club is a playground of world-class golf, tennis, spa indulgences, and the beautiful ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bimini Bay Resort and Marina features 217 luxury suites including one/two/three bedroom suites, one/three bedroom treeouses, and three/four bedroom oceanfront/bayfront villas!                        


QE2 to Become Dubai’s First Floating Luxury Hotel

July 11, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Queen Elizabeth 2, an ocean liner previously operating as a cruise ship is in development to become Dubai’s first floating hotel. Although the design of the hotel will differ from its original plan, we certainly have high hopes that it will be nothing short of fabulous. The cruiser made its last trip from New York City to Dubai in 2008, and it has been docked in Port Rashid harbor since. The Telegraph reports that the original plan was to have the QE2 feature 1,000 lavish and luxurious rooms, but now the plan is to have 300 rooms which will maintain many of its original features. We certainly can’t wait to see this floating luxury hotel’s development as it progresses. If you get seasick or like a little more room for exploration, then check out the 61 luxury hotels that are fully grounded and stationary in Dubai!