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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.

Far-Flung Journeys with International Expeditions

February 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

International Expeditions Announcing new, exciting destinations with International Expeditions, the world leader in nature travel tours and environmentally responsible expeditions. Listed on Travel and Leisure magazine's 2006 list of "World's Best" tour operators, International Expeditions plans small-ship voyages and enriching land expeditions with exceptional naturalist guides. The Far-Flung Adventures take you to all corners of the world-- remarkable, less-traveled places like the Sahara, Falkland Islands, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Croatia and Bhutan. You stay in top-rate accommodations, from stylish riverboats on the Amazon to romantic tented camps in Africa. Samplings of upcoming adventures include: Bhutan-- learn about the cultures of this remote Himalayan kingdom, and explore its pristine environment (June 19, 2007, 14 days from $4,298), Mongolia-- explore the Gobi Desert, Lake Hovsgol, Hustain Nuruu National Reserve and the rich nomadic cultures of Mongolia (June 22, 2007, 14 days from $3,998), Papua New Guinea-- take in one of the last of the great highland "sing-sings," and visit the most interesting river villages (August 15, 2007, 19 days from $7,698), and Cape to Cairo-- journey to the most compelling places on the entire African continent on the expedition to see the "Best of Africa" (October 22, 2007, 18 days from $14,498).


Cruise the Nile in Style Aboard the Oberoi Philae

February 20, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Oberoi PhilaeDiscover the rich history along the Nile aboard the luxurious river cruiser, the Oberoi Philae. The journey begins in Luxor or Aswan and travels through the dynasties that span thousands of years. Travel in the elegant style of an Old World voyage, savoring delicious cuisine (fine china, crystal, and white tablecloths, galore), impeccable service, and excellent recreational facilities. The ambience of the Oberoi Philae is extraordinary: teak paneling, parquet floors, European antiques, and Oriental carpets. All cabins and suites are fully equipped to ensure the comfort of guests, distinguished by rich fabrics, beautifully upholstered furniture, and private balconies with sun loungers to enjoy the view. There's even a Lounge Bar open until the wee hours-- for cocktails and dancing.


Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town: Head for the Sun in South Africa

February 14, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa It may be sleeting, hailing, snowing (et freaking cetera) in this hemisphere, but the sun is shining in Cape Town. For those in desperate need of the summer sun, take off for Cape Town to bask in some sizzling temperatures. Twelve Apostles is the place to be, perfectly situated above the sea with stunning views of the mountains. The hotel boasts equally as stupendous accommodations and facilities: heated pools perched above the Atlantic, the exquisite Azure restaurant, the seriously sublime Sanctuary Spa, and panoramic sea views that go on forever. Of course Twelve Apostles has racked up a slew of impressive awards and accolades, as befits one of the world’s best hotels. When you stay for three nights at Twelve Apostles, get the fourth for free, along with a slew of added amenities thrown in. Like welcome drinks, full South African breakfast daily, wine tasting daily in Azure restaurant, complimentary transfers, and use of the hydrotherapy pools, aroma sauna and flotation tank at the Sanctuary Spa.


Winter in Paradise at the Taj Exotica Mauritius

February 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Taj Exotica Mauritius From your own private infinity pool, you gaze out over the turquoise Indian Ocean to the lush green peak of Tamarin in the distance. Behind you, wide glazed doors open invitingly into the luxury of the Presidential Suite's spacious living room. From the crescent shaped beach, you can snorkel and scuba dive the nearby coral reefs, spectacular in their colorful marine life. After an afternoon sailing serene waters, you retire to the Taj Spa for a massage and a consultation with the Ayurvedic doctor. The setting is magical: spa pavilions and water courtyards surrounded by gardens and reflecting pools, overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius. As the sun dips below the horizon, you sip a cocktail and anticipate the fine cuisine that awaits. You pinch yourself. Just another day in Paradise.

Related Articles:

Daily Candy, "So Spa, So Good"


Amanjena, Marrakech: Winter Break in Morocco

February 7, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmanjenaMarrakech... fabled city of gardens, souks, alluring red buildings, and the home of the first Amanresort on the African continent. Overlooking the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains, Amanjena is the ideal base for exploring the ancient city. With the Medina Winter Break, enjoy three nights of luxury in your own private pavilion, a delicious daily breakfast, massage, and guided tour of Medina. Experience the excitement of the ancient quarter of Medina on a walking tour, where the smells of cumin, mint tea, and freshly baked barley bread waft through the bazaars. Set in an oasis of palm and olive trees, the 32 rose-colored pavilions at Amanjena are the crème de la crème of accommodations, boasting outdoor soaking tubs and private courtyards. The luxurious spaces are appointed with Berber carpets and elegant Moroccan furnishings, reminiscent of a sultan's palace, and are equipped with all the technology comforts one expects in a five-star hotel. Facilities include two restaurants, a green-tiled swimming pool, two hammams, tennis courts, a gym, and a spa. The three-night Medina Winter Break at Amanjena is valid until March 15, 2007, with rates starting from $3,050 in a pavilion. Pavilion with a private pool is priced at $5,050.


Cuckoo for Cocoa Island’s 2 Bed Villa, Maldives

January 31, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

In our ongoing feature of luxury suites at deluxe hotels worldwide, we present to you: Cocoa Island Maldives

2 Bedroom Villa: Located with direct access to the sea, offering maximum privacy

Size: 300 m2

Room description (images after the jump): The 2 bedroom villa has a king size and twin bedded room with private bathroom featuring double vanity unit, WC, island bath, separate walk in shower, outdoor shower and private terrace with access to the water. The full length windows on three sides flood the room with light. Down to the steps is a walkway to a private Bale (covered tiki hut - 2nd image below) for private dining or relaxing. The private sun deck features loungers and a dining table.

Interior Designer: Kathryn Kng

Rates start at US$ 2090 and go up from there ...

Images after the jump

The Cocoa Island Villas:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Sundeck:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Bedroom:

Cocoa Island Villas

The Cocoa Island 2 Bedroom Villa Living Room:

Cocoa Island Villas

More information on Cocoa Island Maldives ...


Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains: Sir Richard Branson’s Euro-Chic Morocco

January 9, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kasbah Tamadot

Perched high in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, just 45 minutes from Marrakech, Virgin's latest retreat is the ultimate luxury hideaway. The sumptuous Kasbah Tamadot boasts one of the most dramatic views on earth: soaring mountain peaks above hillside Berber villages and the river valley beneath. The grounds are meticulously landscaped with rose, fruit, and cactus plants, enhanced by courtyards, terraces, and the gorgeous infinity pool. There is a spa, gym, hammam, tennis courts, indoor swimming pool, and acclaimed restaurant with sweeping views. The accommodations are nothing short of magnificent: each room is individually designed with terracotta tiles, patterned rugs, antique doors, and hand painted furniture. The three-bedroom master suite, called "The Studio," is situated away from the main building in its own private haven beyond the rose garden. It is rich in architectural detail, with all the luxurious contemporary conveniences. The lower level has two spacious bedrooms (one with a private pool). There is another bedroom on the upper level with an expansive roof terrace.


La Mamounia, Marrakech: Magical Morocco

November 29, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

La Mamounia

Coming in 2007: the gorgeous, newly renovated La Mamounia-- legend of Marrakech-- will open after a major makeover by celebrated interior designer Jacques Garcia, mastermind behind the new Hotel Fouquet's Barriere in Paris. According to Garcia, even grand hotels of seeming perfection like La Mamounia need touch-ups every few years. As quoted in the NYT, " must all be updated regularly. It's like face-lifts: a little injection once in a while is better than one big scar." Located in the heart of Marrakech with views of the desert valley and snow-capped peaks of the Atlas mountains, La Mamounia is set within idyllic 300-year-old gardens and surrounded by the city's 12th century ramparts. The beautiful gardens are tended daily by 40 gardeners; the thousands of flowers and trees and numerous lily ponds create a tranquil eden in the midst of this Imperial city. For over 80 years, La Mamounia has embodied the grand traditions of Moroccan hospitality.


Summer in South Africa Special: Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town

October 31, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

As our winter creeps perilously near, South Africa's summer is about to begin, marked by warm days full of ample sunshine and soft, balmy breezes. Visitors to cosmopolitan Cape Town enjoy fine wining and dining, whale watching, and sunbathing in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, perched over the sea with dramatic views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range. The place to stay is the world-renowned Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. With luxurious rooms, breathtaking pools overlooking the ocean, the sublime Sanctuary Spa, and the excellent Azure Restaurant, the Twelve Apostles is well-deserving of its many awards. And the service is exceptional. The surrounding area is jam packed with things to see and do: scuba diving, whale and dolphin watching excursions, and nature trails. The best part of all: a fourth free night when you pay for three, available until December 18, 2006.


Luxury in Africa: Sasakwa Lodge, Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania

September 25, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Grumeti Reserves

Among the fascinating destinations featured in the Fall issue of the New York Times Style Magazine: Travel, the ultra-exclusive game reserve in Tanzania's Serengeti intrigues because of the complexities and contrasts of modern-day Africa at its doorstep. Here lucky guests witness the spectacular seasonal migration of millions of wildebeest across the savannah while experiencing the exquisite luxury of one of the finest game lodges in Africa. The Grumeti Reserves is a 346,000-acre safari reserve, almost "a private extension of Serengeti National Park," its protected land a corridor right in the path of the great migration.

In the midst of all this is Sasakwa Lodge, a cluster of elegant colonial cottages with a spa and equestrian center on Sasakwa Hill. At $1,500 a night (part of which goes to the government as "hunting" revenue), Sasakwa is one of the most luxurious resorts in Africa.

At Sasakwa, each of the seven air-conditioned cottages is situated within the privacy of a beautifully landscaped garden, with heated infinity plunge pools, lounge, and spacious bedroom. This is the flagship of the Grumeti lodges, set high above the savannah, an elegant space of long, sweeping verandahs and classy lounges brimming with antiques.