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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.

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.


What’s Hot: Singita Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa

July 12, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Singita Private Game Reserve

The much-anticipated World's Best Awards has just been released by Travel and Leisure. In these 11th annual reader polls, the chic Singita Private Game Reserve scores at the top of the hotel list, after debuting as number 1 in the world in 2004. What makes the Singita such a hot property? Lions, tigers, and…elephants galore, and on top of that, some of the finest accommodations on the planet, consisting of 18 suites spread out within five lodges. The Sabi Sands is a wildlife mecca, and situated in the middle of this dramatic landscape, the lodges at Singita are internationally recognized as among the most exclusive in the world. After a daily expedition into the African bush, continue the wildlife viewing from the privacy of your own private deck. Or appreciate the gorgeous surroundings while indulging in a massage or beauty treatment at the excellent spa. Enjoy exceptional cuisine complemented by impressive wine cellars: each Singita lodge has a unique and comprehensive wine cellar, totalling approximately 35,000 bottles of the finest South African wines.

Related Articles:

Gridskipper on the World's Best Awards, "This Just In: Tourists Love Touristy City"


Escape World Cup Madness with SLH Member Hotels

June 15, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

from Courtney W. May and Lanny Grossman, Director of Communications for Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Chateau St Gerlach

Now that the World Cup is officially underway in Germany (my bracket has the Czech Republic walking away with it all - even though I am a huge US fan), some travelers might be looking for alternatives to dealing with the crazed soccer fans who have descended on Germany this summer. Personally, I can't imagine not wanting to be in the thick of things, but if you're one of those looking to go away during June, SLH has the following promotion "7 : 0 for Small Luxury Hotels: Best Escapes from the Soccer World Championship".

With World Cup madness hitting Germany and much of Western Europe, here are seven ways to visit the region and escape to a world of private luxury and ultimate experiences.

Wild Water Rafting in the Austrian alps: Around Kitzbuhel numerous river routes through spectacular mountain gorges are available for wild water rafting excursions, which the Hotel Tennerhof (www.slh.com/tennerhof) can arrange for its guests. A more tranquil alternative exclusiv for hotel guests: Fishing at a lake nearby where the Tennerhof holds private fishing rights.

Falconry in baroque gardens: As stylish as the ambiance of the castle hotel Chateau St. Gerlach (Netherlands) are the leisure activities of this SLH hotel: Golf, Horse-Riding, Tennis and falconry are on offer in the hotel's baroque gardens and in the wonderful nature of the Geul valley. (pictured)

Clay Pigeon shooting high above Mozart town: Salzburg lies afoot the Vitalhotel Kobenzl. On the Gaisberg mountain, high above the city, which celebrates this year Mozart's 250th anniversary, the Hotel offers attractive sporting alternatives: Clay Pigeon shooting, fishing, mountain hiking and biking as well as sailing, tennis and croquet.

Hot Air Balooning in the Black Forest: The Hotel Belle Epoque (www.slh.com/belleepoque), a neo renaissance villa from 1870, arranges sightseeing flights from Baden-Baden into the wonderful nature of the Black Forrest.

Archery in nature's paradise: Golf, Horse-riding, archery, mountain climbing and many more activities offers the Hoteldorf Gruner Baum (www.slh.com/grunerbaum) in the spectacular mountain world of Gastein. The main building of the hotel was built 1831 as hunting lodge for Duke Johann. Besides the countless leisure activities of the hotel the surroundings tempt visitors with romantic castles, dripstone caves and the national parc Hohentauern.

Formula 1 at the Hotel die Hirschgasse: The hotel offers a Formel 1-Package, which includes a three nights stay in a suite with jacuzzi, daily breakfast buffet and a bottle of champagne at arrival. Tickets and transfer to the Grand Prix at Hockenheimring can be arranged by the concierge. The package is available from 27 to 30. July 2006 and costs 1.300 Euro per room. www.slh.com/diehirschgasse

Arlberg from a bird's eye view: Many guests of the SLH Hotel Kristiania Lech in Austria (www.slh.com/kistiania) arrive by helicopter and enjoy a bird's eye view of the wonderful alpine nature: only 300 metres from the hotel, guests can also find a paragliding field .

View more Small Luxury Hotels with Five Star Alliance.


The Perfect Honeymoon

May 19, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree Seychelles

From the Eternal City to Bali beaches, from the Hawaiian islands to the Seychelles, we've scoured the earth for special honeymoon offers.

But choosing-- (you see Kenyan safari, s/he sees tequila and tanning in Mexico)-- and planning a honeymoon can be more taxing than the actual wedding planning. Just ask The Post. This Sunday, The Washington Post Travel section is devoted to the honeymoon: top 10 destinations; tips on making it a trip to remember; tales from readers (honeymoons worth telling the grandkids about), and the best of all: 5 Couples, 5 Budgets, 5 Honeymoons, a case study of five DC area couples who honeymooned in different ways (Disney World, anyone?)

And now we're looking to our readers for planning tips, packing advice, ideas on memorable locations and luxury hotels worldwide. Just how do you go about picking and planning the perfect honeymoon?


Escape with World Cup 2006 Packages at Banyan Tree

March 30, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

World Cup 2006

So you missed your chance to get tickets to this year's matches in Germany, not to mention the impossible task of booking a hotel room in any of the hosting cities. But you-- a diehard and devoted football fan-- are not about to miss the games on telly. Enter Banyan Tree, with their creative packages designed for fans who want to watch the games in peace (tranquil surroundings with nary a beer-guzzling heckler in sight!) and their partners/spouses who may have escaped infection with that football fevered frenzy. For a limited period from June 1 to July 31, Banyan Tree is offering exclusive World Cup 2006 Escape packages at its resorts worldwide. All packages are inclusive of daily bountiful breakfasts and a surprise gift from Banyan Tree Gallery.

At Banyan Tree Bangkok, the World Cup 2006 Escape package rates begin from US$270 per night for a Deluxe View Suite (minimum two-night stay). The package includes a Banyan Tree Spa Back Reviver session per person as well as a Shopping Companion Service for hunting out the city's treasures.

At Banyan Tree Bintan, package rates start at US$465 in the Valley Villa (minimum two nights stay). All guests taking this package will receive a choice of a two-hour Renewal or Rejuvenation spa session, as well as a welcome drink and fruit platter on arrival.

At Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru, guests can enjoy the World Cup Escape Package with rates starting from US$680 per night for an Oceanview Villa. This package includes daily breakfast and dinner, a choice of a two-hour Renewal or Rejuvenation spa session, and an unforgettable private sunset sail on a catamaran, complete with a guide.

At Banyan Tree Phuket, the package is priced from US$495 per night in a Deluxe Villa, with a minimum stay of three nights; includes a body massage per person, an intimate High Tea session for two, and cooking lessons with lunch for two.

Lastly, at Banyan Tree Seychelles, the World Cup Escape package rates start from EUR 855 per night (four night minimum), including a Renewal or Rejuvenation Spa session for two, as well as a one-day tour of Mahe with a beach picnic lunch included.


Hibernate in Style - Cape Town this Winter

March 28, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Kim Severini, Red Carnation Hotels

Even though here in the DC area we are celebrating the Cherry Blossoms and first few weeks of spring, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, South Africa sent me the friendly reminder that in the Southern Hemisphere they are gearing up for winter and their 'low' temperatures. But low isn't really low when you compare to Northern Hemisphere standards. The cooler winter months have daily highs in the mid 60s F/17-19 C. But you might want to hibernate from the heavy rainfull that does occur in winter when icy northwesterly winds come through in July and August.

Cave Pool, Twelve Apostles Spa

One of the more interesting package deals that Twelve Apostles is offering is the 'Man About Town'. In following with the quest to find the best spas for men worldwide (see the Beer Bath from Sungate Port Royal article), you can find Twelve Apostle's details below:

Men all too often get caught up in the fast-paced city lifestyle and pressures of corporate life. Most take it out at the gym but that leaves muscles tired and bodies weary. Now the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa has the perfect solution – the Man About Town Package. The package offers a spectacular 2 nights and 3 days to indulge in the finest of wining and dining, luxurious accommodation and essential pampering. The lucky man will be treated to a chilled bottle of Bouchard Finlayson wine, on ice, upon arrival as well as dining in Azure for dinner and breakfast, wine tasting and stress relieving spa treatments.

The price? 2465 Rand-2917 Rand per person sharing per night. The current equivalent of $393-$465.

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Official Site

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Five Star Alliance