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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 Woodland Wonderland: Trout Point Nova Scotia

April 23, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I have a particular soft spot for hotel lodges. Maybe it's my Appalachian heritage or my simple love for all things naturey, but there's a certain charm to a hotel that has but 8 rooms and whose greatest attractions are the wonders that surround it. Traveling there, you feel a natural heartbeat that's stronger and more primal than a city's. For a brief while, you're a part of an ecosystem rather than a society, and that's a wonderful feeling.

The Trout Point Lodge, by virtue of being located in the incredibly diverse region of Nova Scotia, manages to straddle two of these ecosystems, giving you the opportunity to explore both the natural woodland and the nearby sea. Whale watching, sea kayaking, and trails aplenty will greet you upon arrival. In East Kemptville, which is preferable to its far less tidy neighbor, West Scruffytown, you can enjoy the maritime cuisine that the region is famous for. The fresh seafood at Trout Point rivals that found anywhere in the world. Stay in one of their Fireplace Junior Suites to make use of a handcrafted granite fireplace and outdoor porch overlooking the nearby river. The Trout Point Lodge is the wilderness escape we're all dreaming of while stuck at our desks on a lovely spring afternoon.


Big Things Afoot at the Miraval Resort & Spa

April 10, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

The Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa is already a wonderful location for a southwestern retreat. In the rugged heart of Arizona, Miraval is the perfect combination of luxury with the outdoors. The Catalina mountains are the perfect backdrop to horseback riding trip through the Sonoran desert. Voted the #1 Resort and Spa by Zagat Survey and readers of Conde Nast, the adult resort couples moments of reflection and relaxation in their award-winning spa with the adventure of the outdoors.  Four outdoor pools, one reserved specifically for Aqua Zen treatments, are the perfect place to wash away the heat of the desert sun.  I have a soft spot for the hard things in life, and there's something about the Miraval Resort and Spa that makes you feel alive. It might be the mixture of adventure and relaxation or the exotic desert beauty, I'm not really sure.  But the feeling of vitality is there in every activity, and it's a glorious feeling indeed.

Not only that, the Miraval is unveiling a new spa in the month of May that will be a wonderful upgrade to the already amazing options, and they're also unveiling new villas on the property.  The Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa was already on our radar, but now the blip is growing brighter and beeping faster and faster and, oh my, it's coming right for us! Take evasive action! 


Hotels with a History: Keswick Hall at Monticello

April 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

This landmark estate is framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers 600 acres in the heart of Keswick, Virginia. No other place combines the equestrian lifestyle, wine making, and American history together quite like this luxury hotel. Keswick Hall is a beautiful mansion surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and home to horse races, hunts, and vineyards. It has its very own Arnold Palmer Signature 18-hole golf course and a lavish spa. Enjoy the plethora of activities available on site or nearby including swimming, fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, winery tours, with the list going on and on! Located a short drive from Washington DC, make your reservations for a weekend escape from the hustle and bustle and learn the true meaning of rest and relaxation at the Keswick Hall at Monticello!


Experience the Festival of Flowers at the Grand Bohemian Hotel

April 4, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Grand Bohemian Hotel brings boutique comfort to the beautiful town of Asheville, North Carolina. This welcoming, Tudor-style hotel is located in the famous Biltmore Village and it’s set among the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains. Be sure to stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel between April 7th and May 20th to take part in the Festival of Flowers. The gardens of the Biltmore Estate come alive with thousands of azaleas, tulips, and other flowers reaching full bloom! The Festival of Flowers is an annual event featuring live music and complimentary garden seminars. Experience the best of spring from the luxurious and art-filled setting of the Grand Bohemian Hotel where exceptional service and gourmet cuisine come together.


Shangri-La Hotel Beijing Participates in Earth Hour Yet Again!

March 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

According to Earthhour.org, 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries turned off their lights for Earth Hour in 2011, sending an impacting message to spark action on climate change. The Shangri-La Hotel Beijing is a proud participant in conserving energy for Earth Hour for the last three years, making 2012 its fourth consecutive participation year! Earth Hour is a global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, and we’re thrilled to see luxury hotels playing their part in conserving energy!

Tomorrow, March 31st, between 8:00pm and 10:00pm, the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing will stop the turnstiles and escalators, and dim or turn off the lights in public areas, restaurants and bars, shops, guestroom corridors, house areas, and back activity areas. Additionally, this luxury hotel will host an Earth Hour Party at Cloud Nine Bar, serving complimentary cocktails to guests of the hotel who support Earth Day and have turned off the lights in their rooms. According to Christopher Chia, the area general manager of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, “at the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing, environmental protection, energy conservation and the reduction of waste emissions are integral components of our corporate social responsibilities. We hope that our involvement in this event will enhance staff and guest awareness of the need to protect our environment for future generations.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves! Be sure to check out the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing for Earth Day as well as for your future travels, knowing that you are supporting a hotel that supports our environment!


Love the Hunger Games? Then Be Sure to Visit Asheville!

March 26, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The big hit movie the Hunger Games was filmed in Asheville, North Carolina, and this southern town is certainly drawing in quite the crowd because of it! The town of Asheville has two 5-star hotels properties and one 4-star hotel. Read on below to explore these luxury hotel options and choose the one that is most suitable for you and your Hunger Games needs!

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa

This is one of the most popular hotels on our site, and it is one of the South’s best loved resorts. It offers beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it overlooks the city of Asheville. The property has a 40,000 square foot spa, a restored golf course, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, child programs, and much more.

Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville Autograph Collection

This boutique hotel is located in the famous Biltmore Village, and it’s set among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Its 104 rooms and suites have personal touches including stone flooring and custom bedding. This hotel has a fine dining restaurant, spa, lounge, and art gallery all easily accessible and readily available. Experience the elegance of the Old World at this charming and rustic boutique hotel.

Biltmore Village Inn

This 4-star hotel is located on top of Reed Hill, above Biltmore Village. It offers a 360 degree view of the mountains and overlooks the Village and Swannanoa River Valley. This charming, small boutique hotel only has 7 rooms in 2 buildings, so you can expect an extremely personal stay.

Explore these hotel options and be sure to visit the beautiful town of Asheville to get an even more personal connection to the Hunger Games!


Sustained Joy: Thanyamundra Organic Resort

March 21, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I'm an unashamed environmentalist.  I like not being baked like a biscuit by the sun and also not having hurricanes all up on the Gulf stream. So when I hear about a resort that takes natural sustainability and turns it into a luxury activity for rejuvenating the mind, body and soul, it's the perfect hotel for me.  I knew there was a solution to how I could both have nice things and support a growing organic movement, and that solution is the Thanyamundra Organic Resort.  It's the quintessential quiet retreat on an organic farm in Suratthani, Thailand, and the views of the rice paddies and fruit groves are breathtaking and reinvigorating.  With just 7 suites and 2 rooms on the property, you're guaranteed to have a secluded, tailored experience that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the urban lifestyle.  We could all use a few more private moments in our lives, and this is five-star luxury that makes you proud. I love the concept, and I love the execution of the Thanyamundra Organic Resort.


It’s Cherry Blossom Time in Washington, DC

March 20, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is approaching full bloom here in Washington, DC, and we simply cannot wait for all of the events and activities in store. In 1912, 3,000 cherry blossom trees were given as gifts to Washington, DC from Tokyo, Japan. A century later, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is gearing up for its upcoming festivities, celebrating international companionship and the beauty of nature. This is the 100th anniversary of the cherry blossoms, and the District of Columbia is certainly going all out with its events. Be sure to make your luxury hotel reservations and take part in all of the excitement in our nation’s capital!

The National Cherry Blossom Festival goes from March 20th – April 27th, 2012. A few must-check-out events include the Blossom Kite Festival on March 31st, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival on April 7th, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 14th, and Jazz at the Jefferson on April 19th. For more information on these events, visit the official National Cherry Blossom Festival Events page.

For accommodations, we encourage you to explore the 37 luxury hotels we have in the Washington, DC area. If you’re hoping to be located on or near the National Mall and in the heart of all the action, be sure to take advantage of and explore the list of options available to you here!

Photo courtesy of the NationalCherryBlossomFestival.org


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Hotel de la Paix

March 16, 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 Hotel de la Paix, Cambodia is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambiance and design. This luxurious boutique hotel features 107 spacious rooms including 9 duplex spa suites with private terraces and soaking tubs, and 5 courtyard suites with private garden terraces. Perfectly located in the heart of Siem Riep, the Hotel de la Paix is within walking distance from the nightlife and exciting markets. What sets this hotel apart is its architecture and design. The internationally renowned designer, Bill Bensley incorporates Kmer elements into the structure and design of the rooms, giving the hotel a modern and royal feel.

Explore photos and availability of this incredible hotel here!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Mena House Oberoi

March 13, 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 Mena House Oberoi in Cairo, Egypt is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. This luxury hotel is phenomenally located in the shadows of the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is surrounded by 40 acres of beautiful gardens, and it is only 700 meters from the Pyramid of Cheops. This hotel was built in 1869 and has been drawing visitors in to experience the traditional and modern aspects of Cairo. The Mena House Oberoi is furnished with original art and antiques resembling a royal residence set among palms and jasmine. Be sure to check out the Mena House Oberoi and visit this luxurious oasis set in the most phenomenal spot!