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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.

The Top 30 Luxury Hotels in 2012: Honorable Mention Hotel La Mamounia

December 27, 2012
By: Shannon Sullivan

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! But there were a few more hotels we absolutely had to mention. Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Here a few fun facts about Hotel La Mamounia:

-Following a three-year, $176 million makeover, the hotel has been reborn, more beautiful, more sumptuous, and more magical than ever before.

-The gardens at La Mamounia were an 18th Century wedding gift to Morocco's Prince Moulay Mamoun from his father, King Mohammed Ben Abdellah.

-The 27,000-square-foot spa houses an underground network of pools, hammans, and treatment rooms.

 

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Hotel La Mamounia>>

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The Top 30 Luxury Hotels in 2012: Honorable Mention Amanjena

December 23, 2012
By: Jordan Schultz

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! But there were a few more hotels we absolutely had to mention. Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Here are a few fun facts about Amanjena:

-Amanjena's 18 rose-toned Pavilions, six Pavilions Bassin, eight Pavilions Piscine, six two-story Maisons and the two-bedroom Al-Hamra Maison all radiate from the ancient bassin (irrigation pool) which lies at the heart of the property.

-Amanjena (peaceful paradise) is the first Aman resort on the African continent and is located just outside the ancient city of Marrakech.

-The Restaurant is open for dinner and specialises in authentic Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine.

 

Explore photos, availability, and rates at Amanjena>>

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Conrad Hotels Celebrates 25 Years: Get a Free Night in Chicago, Miami, Brussels and More

March 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad ChicagoConrad Hotels & Resorts-- described as "the most global contemporary luxury brand of the Hilton Family"-- has been around for a quarter century. To celebrate this milestone, Conrad is giving you a night on the house. Available for stays booked between March 1 and June 12, 2011 and completed by June 30, 2011, this offer is available at choice locations around the globe-- from Bali to Brussels, Singapore to San Juan. A minimum night stay requirement applies and varies by each individual hotel. For example, stay three nights at Conrad Chicago, a prime Windy City address, and get your fourth night for free. (Rates from $195.) Soak up the sun in Miami and get your fourth night free- with rates starting from $299. Check out the art, culture and design in the European Capital and get a third night free at Conrad Brussels- with rates starting from €199 per night. Offer is subject to availability and black-out dates may apply.


Uganda is the New ‘It’ Tourist Destination

February 9, 2011
By: Daniel L. Moses

The Serena Kampala“The person who has not traveled widely thinks his or her mother is the best cook.” -Ugandan Traditional Proverb

Having been to The Serena Hotel in Kampala, Uganda, and eaten some of the most delicious East African cuisine, I can tell you that while my Mom was an excellent cook (Hi, Mom!), she has nothing on a master chef. In Uganda, there aren’t many master chefs, in fact most of the restaurants are locally-owned establishments where Mom actually is cooking, but The Serena Hotel is a bit different. Beneath The Serena’s rose-colored towers high above downtown Kampala lies a restaurant that indulges all 5 senses, and maybe the 6th sense too. The sense of wonder!

The flagship restaurant, The Pearl of Africa, is stunning! And the views over the terraced lawn and pools are immaculate. In fact with the cascades of a 7 meter waterfall flowing into the largest pool complex in all of Uganda, The Serena Hotel in Kampala even outdoes itself. Why itself, you ask? Well The Serena was already the finest establishment around, but just last year completed renovations to make it a premier destination in not just Africa, but the entire world.

Given the abundance of activities in Uganda (and shhhh! the prices are much lower than in other parts of Africa), including incredible big game safaris, gorilla trekking, the white sand beaches of Lake Victoria, and amazing freshwater sport fishing, I can’t understand why more travelers aren’t flocking to this burgeoning tourist mecca. The reason: It’s still not quite discovered, so you can be among the first to go and enjoy everything Uganda has to offer. When you do, stay at The Serena Hotel in Kampala, and let them take care of the rest.


Last Day to Book Starwood’s Global Holiday Sale

November 15, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President Wilson, GenevaThe big two-week global sale from Starwood Hotels & Resorts is coming to an end. Act fast to score savings of up to 30% on best available rates this holiday season across all nine Starwood brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, The Luxury Collection, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element. The offer is valid for stays between November 4, 2010 and January 17, 2011 at more than 750 hotels and resorts worldwide; valid at participating hotels over weekends and at participating resorts all days of the week.

Pictured: The world-renowned Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, part of the Luxury Collection.


Win a Botswana Zebra Migration Safari: National Geographic’s Great Migrations Sweepstakes

November 10, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Did you see Great Migrations, the new series on the National Geographic Channel? The first episode of this seven-part TV event aired on Sunday, revealing to viewers the incredible journeys that millions of animals undertake to ensure species survival. This Sunday, November 14 you can watch Botswana's zebra migration, one of Africa's largest mass-animal movements which takes place every spring. Talk about action-packed armchair traveling!

Approximately 25,000 zebras leave the lush Okavango Delta (pictured) to make an imperative voyage into the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Family by family, the stallions lead their mares out of the Delta’s Eden, to make the 150-mile trek into the Pans so their bodies can take in much needed minerals. Their journey includes hundreds of stops at water holes, eventually bringing the zebras back to where they began their pilgrimage in the Okavango Delta.

Visitors to Botswana can check out this incredible spectacle on a luxury safari experience with properties like the award-winning Khwai River Lodge, overlooking the vast Khwai River floodplains and beyond into the Moremi Wildlife Reserve.

Buzz: National Geographic is currently running the "Migration of a Lifetime" sweepstakes with some incredible prizes. For a chance to win a Botswana Zebra Migration safari, register online November 14 – 20.


A Delicious Special at Sofitel Hotels from Chicago to Paris to Hanoi

November 5, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Paris Arc de TriompheSofitel Hotels is rolling out the red carpet for families who love chocolate this holiday season. And who doesn't love chocolate? With the "I Love Chocolate" special, you'll score one free night (stay for 3 and pay for only 2), a late check-out at 3 p.m., and a festive chocolate feast the whole family will enjoy. Think chocolate-filled pastries and cups of rich hot chocolate to warm up after a day wandering the city streets, shopping and sightseeing. Available from November 15, 2010 through January 16, 2011 at luxurious Sofitel Hotels around the globe. Here's a sampling of prices:

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower from $117

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi from $157

Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square from $147

Sofitel Philadelphia from $117

Sofitel London St. James from GBP 133

Sofitel Agadir Royal Beach Resort from EUR 117

Sofitel Amsterdam The Grand from EUR 193

Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe from EUR 193


Restaurants in Cape Town, South Africa: Reuben’s at One & Only

September 21, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Cape TownWhen the One & Only Resort opened in Cape Town last year, it was a star-studded event, packed with celebs (even Nelson Mandela). The highly-anticipated debut was talked about in all corners of the globe. The Times (UK) described the resort as an "excess-all-areas extravaganza — rooms large enough to land a plane in, and not only the first Nobu restaurant in Africa, but also the first Gordon Ramsay." True, the brand known for its over-the-top properties upped the luxury quotient in Cape Town, with a positively glamorous property situated on Victoria & Albert Waterfront facing Table Mountain. But since then, the Gordon Ramsay empire has fallen on hard times, and the buzzed-about Maze Restaurant has closed its doors. In its place a new resto is opening on October 1. Reuben’s at One & Only Cape Town will be helmed by award-winning South African chef Reuben Riffel.


The World’s Best Hotel Views (from the Bathroom)

September 3, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and SpaSure, five-star hotels like The Peninsula Tokyo, The Carlyle in Manhattan, and the French Riviera's Palais de la Mediterranee have some pretty awesome views from their rooms. But their bathrooms often take advantage of these spectacular vistas, too. ABC News Travel has published a round-up of the world's best hotel bathroom views. (And they're not talking about views of your fellow guest through peekaboo baths!) On the list: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town (pictured), "standing at the very edge of the Atlantic"; the Soneva Kiri by Six Senses in Thailand, featuring "private outdoor bathrooms that have plenty of star-gazing space and outdoor bathing facilities"; The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, whose 80 overwater villas have guest baths with panoramic windows overlooking the lagoon; the Hotel Caesar Augustus in Capri sitting on a cliff 1,000 feet above the sea.


The World’s Best Suites: The Presidential Suite at Twelve Apostles Hotel, Cape Town

September 1, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles, Presidential Suite

The pictures speak for themselves. Situated in quite possibly the most beautiful setting on earth, the Presidential Suite at Cape Town's Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa has a wrap-around terrace for sipping cocktails and chowing on dinner while soaking in the views that go on forever. These views aren't limited to the terrace, of course. You can ogle the Atlantic, Lions Head, and the Twelve Apostles Mountains from the principal bathroom and bedroom, too. Sprawling across 151 square meters and boasting marble floors, the suite has an 8-seater dining room, a wood-paneled study and private lounge. Recently remodeled, the suite has some cool design features: a free standing antique marble bath, chandeliers imported from Italy, antique mirrors, mosaics on the walls and ceilings, and a collection of South African Masters works of art. Priced at ZAR 38530 per night (inc. VAT) for a maximum of two adults until January 5, 2011.

Twelve Apostles, Presidential Suite