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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.

Anantara Resorts Say Hello to Morocco

May 21, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Anantara Resorts, known for its luxury properties in the Asia-Pacific region (including Anantara Phuket Resort and Spa, pictured), is heading to Africa. The company has announced plans to pair with H Partners, a Morocco-based hospitality investment company, and will open two properties in 2011, with many others planned. Anantara Marrakech Resort & Spa and Anantara Mogador Resort & Spa will both begin construction later this year.

Anantara Marrakech will be constructed within the Atlas Golf Resort on a six-hectare plot. As well as guest rooms and suites in the main building, the resort will feature pool villas that will form part of the hotel with a portion being for sale as residences. Hotel guests will be within 10 minutes of the Djemaa El Fna, the centre of the Marrakech medina and the heart of the labyrinth of alleyways and side streets of this vibrant marketplace. Additionally, guests will have access to the 18-hole Atlas Golf course.

Anantara Mogador will be located in the first phase of an upmarket development adjacent to the historic town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. The resort will include 40 luxuriously appointed guest rooms along with 60 lavish pool villas, both for sale as residences and for rent by the hotel. Tying in elements of local architecture and lush gardens, the resort and spa will evoke a sense of its surroundings and provide guests with unparalleled cultural experiences.


A Free Night and a Chic Picnic in the Park with Sofitel Hotels

May 18, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Munich BayerpostIt's back. Sofitel Hotels is bringing back the wildly popular "Chic Picnic" offer, so that Sofitel guests worldwide-- whether visiting the Pyramids in Cairo, taking an urban vacay in New York or Chicago, or getting romantic in Rome-- can explore their chosen city and indulge with a sumptuous picnic of local delicacies prepared by the hotel chef. When you book the "Chic Picnic" package, available June 1 - August 31, 2009, you get luxurious accommodations, a guaranteed late check-out, a delicious picnic basket packed to the brim with gastronomic delights (and personalized for each specific city), and-- as an added benefit for those booking before July 5-- a free night for all four-night stays (or two free nights for eight-night stays). At each hotel the staff is on-hand to recommend the perfect spots for guests to enjoy their picnics. So at the stately Sofitel Arc de Triomphe, guests can discover the charms of Paris, either relaxing in the biggest and oldest formal gardens in Paris at the Jardin des Tuileries or unwinding on the lawns at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The Sofitel London St. James is set in the heart of the city, the perfect location to explore London's greatest attractions like the nearby Royal parks: Green Park, St James Park, Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park. The Sofitel Marrakech, designed as a Moorish palace with ochre walls and gorgeous pools, has a prime setting for exploring the city itself-- its gardens, souks, and art-- and the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains beyond. And the Sofitel Munich Bayerpost offers guests the best of Bavaria (beer gardens and majestic castles galore-- including the region's prettiest castle, Nymphenburger Schlosspark, boasting a botanical garden perfect for a picnic).


2010 FIFA World Cup Tickets on Sale Now: Stay at The Westcliff in Johannesburg

May 4, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Westcliff, Johannesburg

Today marks the opening of the second phase of ticketing for the 2010 FIFA World Cup which will take place in South Africa. Never before has this soccer tournament been held in Africa. As explained by The Washington Post: "On the heels of the 15th anniversary of the fall of apartheid, the soccer extravaganza will be a major boost to South Africa's tourism industry, because 350,000 to 400,000 people are expected to make the trip next summer." Grab tickets for matches in Johannesburg, and then book a room at The Westcliff for the top digs in town. Just 10 minutes from the city center in an exclusive residential suburb, The Westcliff is situated on a hilltop with cascading, sculpted gardens. While swimming in the infinity pool, you can check out the elephants in the Johannesburg Zoological Gardens below. As The Westcliff is part of the Orient-Express Collection of hotels, expect the highest standards of service.


Star-Studded Grand Opening for One and Only Cape Town

May 4, 2009
By: Alison Victor

One and Only Ocean ClubThe One and Only Resorts are known as an ultra-luxurious collection of award-winning properties in the most beautiful spots on the globe. As we reported back in January, One and Only Cape Town is the latest property to join this exclusive collection; as of April 3rd, it's open. Described as an "urban chic water front" resort, One and Only Cape Town is actually the only resort to finish over four months ahead of schedule. The Grand Opening Celebration brought out the who's who of the jet set crowd. Mariah Carey, Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon were just a few that were in attendance.


Get a Free Night with InterContinental: 5 Million Nights Up for Grabs at 4,000 Hotels

April 28, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Hotel Beijing Financial StreetInterContinental Hotels Group-- the world's largest hotel company-- has just announced a big promotion. Earn a free night by registering at getafreenight.com and then staying two nights at any Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites or Candlewood Suites around the world between May 4th and July 3rd, 2009. Voila! A free night is yours for the taking at any IHG hotel-- like the luxurious InterContinental Beijing Financial Street (pictured at right)-- until December 26th, 2009.


Big Promotion from Starwood: Get a Free Weekend For Every 2 Hotel Stays

April 14, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Royal HawaiianThis just in. Starwood Hotels and Resorts has announced a rewarding new promotion for new and existing members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program (SPG). When you stay two times at any of Starwood's hotels between May 1 and July 31, 2009, you can earn one free weekend night (Friday, Saturday or Sunday). There are no limits to the number of free weekend nights that can be earned, and earned nights can be combined to make a longer weekend stay. The best part? No blackout dates (!) and the nights are redeemable through the end of September. Starwood encompasses 875 hotels around the world within nine different brands (like St. Regis, Westin, The Luxury Collection, Aloft and Sheraton), including the likes of the Royal Hawaiian (pictured) and the opulent Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice. Talk about a travel stimulus program!


Children 12 and Under Recieve a Complimentary Stay at the Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel

April 3, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Dar Ayniwen Villa HotelDar Ayniwen Villa Hotel-- a luxury establishment located on five garden acres of tranquil beauty-- is considered the perfect combination luxury hotel with the comfort of a family home. Tucked away in heart of a Marrakech palm grove, this former house turned exclusive luxury hotel features eight magnificent suites in a charming and intimate setting. Great for small families, all eight suites at the Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel comfortably accommodate two adults and one child. Best of all, children under the age of 12 stay for free using existing bedding.


Pairing Music and Cuisine Overlooking the Nile at Four Seasons Cairo

March 10, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

Four Seasons Cairo at Nile PlazaEven the best dining experience can be ruined by an unexpected crash in the kitchen or obnoxious chewing at the next table. Christophe Gillino, the French-born executive chef at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, has put an end to all that by pairing music with the dining experience to create a chill vibe. Not just a top chef, Gillino's list of talents also include composer. In fact, he recently produced a CD inspired by his time in the Middle East. Released under his stage name, Chris Milano, "Sounds of the Desert" takes listeners through a sensory journey through Egyptian history, which guests can hear while dining at one of the restaurants that overlooks the Nile. Want to take the experience home? Guests of the hotel can purchase copies of the CD in the hotel's retail shops.


International Expeditions Offers 10-Day South Africa Journey

March 3, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

For those travelers who crave an African adventure, International Expeditions, known for nature travel, has introduced a custom 10-day South Africa journey. With a stellar price tag of $3,295 per person, the itinerary includes three in-country flights, accommodations in Cape Town at Cape Cadogan and Motswari Lodge at Kruger National Park, 12 meals, private tours and safaris. Top Stops: In Cape Town, you will stay at Cape Cadogan boutique hotel for four nights, take a cable-car ride to Table Mountain and a trek through the Southern Peninsula. The agenda also includes a stop at Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Travelers will also stay three nights at Motswari Lodge and enjoy game drives. During free time, adventure-craving explorers can take a helicopter ride or cruise along the Cape Town harbor, or those with an anthropological sense can visit South Africa's shantytowns. Extended Stays: Those who want to extend or further enhance their stays have the flexibility to do so. Options include additional days on safari in Kruger National Park, a trip to the awesome Victoria Falls or a luxury rail journey. Additional excursions are not included in the price.


Explore Marrakech with Octogone Earth, Terre Resort and Spa

February 25, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Octogone Earth Terre Resort and SpaLocated just 15 minutes from the City Center, Octogone Earth, Terre Resort and Spa Marrakech is perfectly located for a variety of excursions in Morocco. These activities include private shopping tours to the souks (Moroccan markets) daily as well as exclusive showings of goods on the property. Day trips are also offered to the Atlas Mountains for skiing and hiking and to Essaouira for beach enjoyment. Exploration of the Moroccan terrain is provided by horseback, bike tours, All Terrain Vehicles, and Jeep rides. Whatever your pleasure in how you spend your hard-earned leisure time,

Octogone Earth, Terre Resort and Spa Marrakech can make the arrangements.

Special Offer from Five Star Alliance: All Five Star Alliance guests staying at Octogone Earth, Terre Resort and Spa Marrakech will receive one bottle of Moroccan wine and for visitors staying three days or more, one guest will also receive a complimentary 50 minute massage - valued at 90 Euro.