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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.

Sponsored Article: Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa on South Africa’s Garden Route

By: Five Star Alliance

This article is sponsored by the Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa on the banks of the Knysna lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route of South Africa.

Pezula Resort HotelWhatever your dream is – a romantic honeymoon, a family holiday, a quiet weekend break or a week of pampering and relaxation – Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa offers the perfect venue. With superb accommodation, gourmet dining, an award-winning spa and a host of activities, the choice is endless.

Located on the Eastern Head of Knysna on the exquisite Western Cape coast, just a 40-minute flight from Cape Town, Pezula is surrounded by rugged cliffs, ancient forests and sheltered beaches. With sweeping views of Pezula Championship Golf Course, the Indian Ocean and the Knysna Lagoon, it is a haven of privacy and luxury.

Pezula Resort HotelSeventy-eight stylish suites, including two presidential suites, are housed in detached villas and deliver a whole new world of luxury in an elegant African style. Each has its own patio or balcony, individual climate control, satellite television, a DVD player, electronic safe, direct telephone, Wi-Fi connectivity and walk-in wardrobe. A pantry kitchen with delicious deli snacks, a well stocked drinks cabinet and real log fireplaces add unparalleled luxury to the accommodation.

Bathrooms are huge with oval-shaped calabash baths and wet rooms big enough for two. Beds are beautifully dressed with Egyptian cotton linen and guests are supplied with luxurious toweling gowns and slippers.

The main building houses a sumptuous cigar lounge, champagne and whisky bar, library, wine cellar and gourmet restaurant, Zachary’s. Executive chef Geoffrey Murray delights in serving up the freshest local ingredients in his inimitable style. His menu offers a variety of 'modern ethnic' dishes inspired by his worldwide experiences.

The hotel offers a number of other exciting dining options. The Boma is the ideal venue for a meal with an authentic African feel. Sit around the open fire as you watch a spectacular African sunset. As the light begins to fade, allow the sounds of the night to seduce your senses. Then relax at the elegant safari-style table while the staff prepare and serve traditional barbeque fair.

The Montrose Castle on the beach offers hotel guests a stunning beach venue. Recently renovated, the castle, which was built in the 1930s, is on Noetzie Beach, one of the most unspoilt and secluded beaches on the Garden Route coast. Here hotel guests can enjoy a picnic prepared by Zachary’s restaurant while they relax and soak up the sun.

Situated on the lower level of the hotel, the multi-award-winning Pezula Spa is a calm sanctuary that reflects the soul of Africa and provides world-class professionalism in the delivery of a superior health and wellness experience. This year the spa was named Favorite Spa in Africa by the SpaFinder Readers' Choice Awards and Best Overseas Hotel Spa by the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards.

The extraordinary facilities of the Pezula Spa include a 12m heated indoor pool, state-of-the-art gymnasium, outdoor Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, rainforest shower, nail bar, hair salon and nine therapy rooms, as well as a post-treatment room with heated water beds. It offers a comprehensive range of treatments which combine natural therapies with the most technologically advanced equipment available.

Guests of Pezula also have access to a vast range of activities including horse riding and hiking through the ancient indigenous forests, canoeing up the pristine Noetzie River, birding, nature trails and beach activities at secluded Noetzie Beach. The estate’s Field of Dreams sporting complex offers four world-class tennis courts, a multi-purpose sports oval for soccer, cricket, soft ball and other team sports, facilities for pétanque and archery and a 300m golf practice range.

Younger guests are well catered for with a number of supervised activities. Parents and guardians can be totally confident that their children will be taken care of by trained, experienced child minders. At Pezula the emphasis is on fun in a healthy, natural environment and wherever possible children are encouraged to play outdoors, interact with other children and learn about nature. Babysitters are available in the evenings if parents wish to dine alone.

Pezula Resort GolfPezula Championship Golf Course adjacent to Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa is a sweeping spectacle of fairways and greens rolling through the pristine Southern Cape landscape. The breathtaking, award-winning 18-hole course which was designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA, rates amongst the best and the most scenic golf courses in the world.

Covering 254 ha on the Knysna cliff-tops, the Pezula Championship Course has views of both the Knysna Lagoon and the Indian Ocean. Par for the course is 72. It is designed to include a full range of shots, making it a challenging, rewarding and complete golf experience for players of all levels. Signature holes have been earmarked as the 13th and 14th. The average round takes 4 hours 50 minutes, including a half-way break.

The Clubhouse facilities are in keeping with the overall five-star experience and include a terrace, restaurant, bar, golf shop, short game practice area and putting green. The Shareholders' Lounge houses a library, private lounge, dining area and bar. Golf carts are obligatory and the resort's carts are fully equipped with GPS systems and computerised scoring. Golf lessons are available from the Club's PGA Professionals.

Pezula’s latest offering for the high-end market is Pezula Castle on Noetzie Beach which offers ultra-luxury accommodation for up to 10 guests in the spacious Main Castle and the romantic Honeymoon Castle.

Built into the rugged coastal cliff-face with its ancient milkwood forests the Castle offers panoramic views of the beach and the sea. Guests have every conceivable wish catered for by a team of hand-picked personnel including a resident chef, housekeeper and butler. Menus are selected daily in consultation with the chef according to the freshest available ingredients, and the bar is stocked with guests’ drinks of choice. A fully equipped gymnasium, heated outdoor pool and thatched gazebo complete the extraordinary facilities.

The hotel has a number of exciting packages for 2010 – visit or call +27 (0)44 302 3333 and let your holiday begin ...

The Palace of the Lost City: Top Lodgings in Sun City Near Pilanesberg National Park

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Palace of the Lost CitySouth Africa on the brain? We can hardly blame you. If you're looking for a little sunshine and scenery before the World Cup kicks off, look into The Palace of the Lost City, the luxury hotel situated in the fantastical resort complex of Sun City, nestled in the rolling hills outside the Pilanesberg, South Africa's third largest game park. Built as a fairytale palace with mosaic frescoes and hand-painted ceilings depicting South Africa's wildlife and culture, the hotel and its surrounding resort have oft been described as "Africa's Kingdom of Pleasure."

The Palace of the Lost CityWith sizzling Vegas-style entertainment, pools, lush gardens, and golf course, Sun City has it all. With a mythical history, to boot. According to legend, this was the site of an ancient civilization destroyed by an earthquake, so The Palace of the Lost City is the resurrected "royal residence" of a lost African civilization. The hotel itself is isolated from the rest of the resort complex against the backdrop of tropical forest and savanna-covered hills, and gets high marks for its five-star service. At The Palace of the Lost City, every guest is a VIP.

The Marvelous Makeover of Cape Town’s Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles Hotel and SpaThis just in. The dramatically-situated Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa has revealed a refurbishment of all guest rooms, showcasing a completely-transformed Presidential Suite. From its perch on the top floor of the hotel, the suite boasts sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Lions Head, and the Twelve Apostles Mountains. The best part? The free-standing marble bath where you can take in the views while you soak. Not to mention the private terrace where you can sup with those swoon-worthy views. Each guest room has been redesigned emphasizing the hotel's glorious surroundings. Local craftsmen designed some pieces like mud chandeliers made from recycled clay and candy stripe wool carpets

Victoria Falls Hotel: Stay Next to One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Victoria Falls Hotel

A stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as "the grand old lady of the Falls," means you'll have a privileged position in Victoria Falls National Park, a world heritage site in Zimbabwe. The famous falls are just 10 minutes away on the hotel's private path, and can be clearly seen from the hotel's front terrace. Set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds and palm trees, the hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. First built in 1904, the colonial-style hotel features 161 guest rooms, a large swimming pool, two tennis courts, a library, and numerous dining outlets, including the Jungle Junction, the Livingstone Room, and Stanley's Terrace, where adventurers have gathered for a century to partake in afternoon tea or cocktails while looking out over Victoria Falls Bridge, connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia. Don't miss a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, just upstream from the mighty falls, where you can see crocodiles and hippos.

Victoria Falls Hotel

Rwanda’s Finest Brunch at the Serena Hotel, Kigali

By: Daniel L. Moses

Serena Hotel KigaliLooking for the best brunch in Rwanda? You'll find it at the Serena Hotel in downtown Kigali. This magnificent hotel, centrally located in the leafy Kiyovu neighborhood, home to most of Kigali's foreign embassies and finest restaurants, has been undergoing a massive renovation process that will be complete by the end of 2009. One thing that won't be changing is the immaculate culinary offerings at the Serena Hotel's daily brunch. This festival of food often brings out a who's who in Rwanda, especially on those sunny weekend mornings. The rest of the daily menus in the two on site restaurants are nothing to sneeze at either, with offerings that run the gamut from Continental to Asian to local East African specialties. The Serena Hotel in Kigali is a luxury hotel that really does have it all, and with the beautiful backdrop of Rwanda's thousand hills, you'll soon find out why this warm, enchanting country is called the Switzerland of Africa.

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Stay at the Hotel Rwanda

By: Daniel L. Moses

Hotel RwandaThe Oscar-nominated film, Hotel Rwanda, captivated audiences with the harrowing tale of a group of refugees who survived the bloody conflict in that country by hiding inside the luxury Hotel des Mille Collines. Many years later, Rwanda is now in the midst of an economic and cultural renaissance, highlighted by its entrance into the East African Community, a regional bloc that operates much like the European Union, and supported by a stable and secure government. Sitting in the middle of Kigali, Rwanda's capital and largest city, the luxury Hotel des Mille Collines remains, attracting the same upscale clientele that has made it a favored destination of business travelers throughout the modern history of this land of a thousand hills.

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Save 25 Percent at Radisson Blu Hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Radisson Blu Le Dokhan'sHere's a hot deal uncovered by the travel sleuths at The Washington Post: Get 25 percent off any day of the week at 170 Radisson Blu hotels across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa when you book 28 days in advance. Formerly known as Radisson SAS, the luxury hotel group includes the likes of Le Dokhan's in Paris, a gem of a hotel located in the 16th arrondissement featuring the city's first Champagne bar.

Sample rates can be found below:

* Oslo from 971 NOK (109) EUR/room, breakfast included

* Cesme from 45 EUR/room, breakfast included

* Dresden from 64 EUR/room

* Amsterdam from 119 EUR/room

* St Petersburg from 4200 RUB (96 EUR)/room

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa: Stay on a Luxury Cruise Ship with One Ocean Club

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One Ocean Club, cruise ships for FIFA World CupHeading to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, arguably the biggest sporting event of the century? We just got wind about some unique accommodations for the tournament's spectators. This is the first time in history that the World Cup is hosted by an African nation, and over a billion people will be tuning in. Stay with One Ocean Club and you'll bed down in a Holland America luxury cruise liner playing host to guests from all over the world. Chartered by One Ocean Club (which managed the Official German Ship AIDAaura moored in Piraeus harbour during the 2004 Olympic Summer Games), the ships will act as floating hotels and hubs for business, entertainment, and recreation. Parked in prime locations close to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa venues in Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, the ships will also offer transfers to all the other venues. Choose from a slew of different room types-- from Penthouse Suites to Inside Cabins-- and enjoy a lavish buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, you'll get a late-night dinner on all match days. Additional perks include a state-of-the-art high performance center, fitness facilities, full-service spa and hydropool, the Lido Pool with sliding roof, and extensive meeting/events areas for private functions. And like a fine five-star hotel, the ships will have 24/7 concierge service to arrange excursions to local attractions and take care of all your needs.

Family Values at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town

By: Daniel L. Moses

Mount NelsonSouth Africa is a country on the rise, and Cape Town is the crown jewel in the nascent country's accelerated march to economic loftiness. But while business opportunities abound, there is far more to Cape Town than its ripe investor's landscape. In fact with a picturesque coastline full of white-sand beaches, a collection of the continent's finest museums, and even the amusing enticements of the Table Mountain theme park, Cape Town is fast becoming a destination for families. The Mount Nelson Hotel , an award-winning resort set amidst all of Cape Town's enjoyment, is offering a package deal that makes booking your next family vacation a cinch. With accommodation for you and your spouse plus your little ones, full English breakfast, a kids room service menu option, 4 hours of babysitting service, and 4 tickets to Table Mountain, that's a deal that has the whole family in mind. With prices starting at 4,280 Rand per night, it's also a great value. Follow Five Star Alliance on Twitter!

The Sea Shimmers at the Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort in Morocco

By: Daniel L. Moses

Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

The blue waters of the sea shimmer in the afternoon sun, as you stand staring out at the waves. The white sand is soft and inviting, radiating the warmth of the sun under your bare feet. The resort hotel behind you is a picture perfect escape from the outside world filled with delicate luxury and incredible service. Your opportunities for relaxation and/or indulgence are endless: golf, tennis, watersports, the spa, French haute cuisine. It would be understandable if you thought you were standing on the Cote D'Azur in southern France, but when you think back to the sensual colors, sounds, and smells from the vibrant market town you visited you remember that you are in Agadir, Morocco, and staying at the resplendent Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort. The inviting resort, in this most inviting of settings, brings Africa and the Middle East to the shores of the sea, a captivating combination that has drawn visitors for centuries. The Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort is a true oasis on the sea.

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