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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.

Environmental Jawstice: Shangri-La Hotels Save Nemo

January 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

In a laudable move, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has announced the expansion of its sustainable seafood policy to include the discontinued use of all shark fin products in 72 hotels and resorts, as well as phasing out additional of species of fish who suffer from overfishing and support unsustainable farming industries. The two species to get the axe of preservation are Bluefin tuna and the Chilean sea bass. As Time Magazine and Greenpeace report, the commercial overfishing of sharks and fish is leading to a depletion of marine ecosystems that, due to declining populations, will not be replaced.  Shangri-La's steps to reduce demand for these items are commendable, and it follows their initial 'Sanctuary, Shangri-La's Care for Nature' project that have developed marine sanctuaries to support the integrity of important coral reefs around their properties. 

In order to fulfill its contractual obligations, all banquets reserved to include the dish shall be honored, but no new requests for shark fin soup can be made either individually at its restaurants or through its commercial catering. If you would like to show your support by staying at any of Shangri-La's now more sustainable hotels and resorts, you can find them all at Five Star Alliance.


Celebrate Chinese New Year at Shangri-La Hotel Beijing

January 18, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

What better place to celebrate the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays than China itself? Chinese New Year is on January 23rd, and the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing has gone above and beyond to ensure a phenomenal celebration. This Shangri-La property has put together various gift packs with a variety of sticky rice cakes and rice balls which make perfect gifts for family members and friends. The hotel will also be putting on a traditional feast featuring a suckling pig, roast duck, and poon choi. The Shang Palace, a fine dining restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing, will be offering a Chinese New Year package which will feature foods with promising names to bring good fortune and joy to the New Year. The Shang Palace will feature Happy Chinese New Year (suckling roasted pig and steamed chicken), Good Fortune (lettuce with dried oysters), and All Wealth (abalone with Chinese mushrooms and sea cucumber). All of the foods served during Chinese New Year tell a story and a captivating legend worth exploring during your stay in China.

On the first day of the Chinese New Year, the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing will put on the lion dance in the lobby to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Dragon. Be sure to make your reservation at the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing to enjoy the extravagant dinner and the snacks available to all guests to share the taste of an authentic Chinese New Year with all!


The Sun Rises on the East: East Hotel to Open New Property in Beijing

January 4, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

East Hong KongOpening in the first quarter of this year, the East Hotel in Beijing is looking to add a little spice to the East brand by moving it north from Hong Kong.  Billed as a "business hotel with a life," its 348 rooms and 21 suites will have access to all the important things a business traveler needs:  free Wi-Fi, a business center with individual working pods, accelerated paperless check-in, and of course a complete fitness center to work off the excess energy you've built up over a day of meetings.  

The 'life' part of the East starts with Feast, Food by East, that fits into the business lifestyle.  Focusing on crisp, well-prepared classic food, you'll be comfortable in a bustling environment where you won't feel out of place working on your presentation for the next day.  Relax when you're done by listening to live performances in the separate bar, the perfect spot to wind down as your finishing up the day or getting ready for a night out.  The East Beijing is guaranteed to give a fresh new face to the tried and true methods of East Hong Kong, its sister hotel.  


Dreaming of a Blue Christmas: Four Seasons Maldives' Underwater Christmas Tree

December 23, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

The title pretty much says it all:  The Four Seasons Maldives is crafting an underwater christmas tree from living coral fragments that will grow into a natural part of the reef below the hotel.  Not only is the coral formation festive in its own right, it will also contribute to the preservation of the reef habitat, a natural wonder that is growing ever scarcer.  That's certainly getting into the tropical Christmas spirit:  Giving back to the natural habitat while promoting beauty and luxury. And you can even track the progress of the reef online at Reefscapers.  

The resort itself is a wonderful beachfront property that is everything you imagine when you think of the classic tropical getaway:  expansive beaches, blue skies and even bluer waters, and intimate and comfortable rooms and suites.  The private coral island even has its own Explorer catamaran for traversing the open waters.  Be sure to stop by the Four Seasons Maldives and enjoy this beautiful work of natural artwork that will become a fixture of their underwater landscape for years to come.


Most Creative Christmas Tree at Raffles Grand Hotel D’Ankor

December 22, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Raffles Grand Hotel D’Ankor is a luxury hotel in Cambodia, and this holiday season, it has a beautifully colorful Christmas tree with silk decorations. Eric Raisina, an internationally acclaimed designer is the mastermind behind this work of art, using the lotus flower as his inspiration for the design. The red and white flowers are all sewn out of Cambodian silk and represent “the cycle of the lotus bloom from bud to blossom and finally withering.” Aside from a beautiful, unique Christmas tree, this luxury hotel will also be having a poolside New Year’s Eve gala complete with a firework display.

The Raffles Grand Hotel D’Ankor is the perfect hotel for those seeking adventure and the good life. The resort’s 60,000 square meter gardens provide an incredible frontage to the hotel. Explore the temples, enjoy the varied and exotic culinary delights, and unwind at the Raffle Amrita Spa. Be sure to see the incredible Christmas tree and the beauty of Cambodia for yourself before the start of the new year!

Photo via HotelChatter


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #12 Peninsula Hong Kong

December 20, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #12 spot we have the Peninsula Hong Kong in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and it’s located in the heart of the business, shopping, and entertainment area of Hong Kong.

Quick facts about the Peninsula Hong Kong:

- One of the finest hotels in the world, the Peninsula Hong Kong offers a blend of Eastern and Western hospitality in an atmosphere of timeless elegance.

- Offers the most spacious hotel rooms and suites in Hong Kong.

- The hotel’s fleet of Rolls-Royce limos and its helicopter shuttle service from the hotel’s rooftop helipad offer guests luxurious transportation options to and from the airport as well as around Hong Kong.

- The Peninsula Spa has a state-of-the-art Health Club, beautiful Roman-style pool, and a professional beauty and hair salon. The swimming pool opens onto the sun terrace, providing guests with a breathtaking view of Victoria Harbor.

- Offers family suites and complimentary child bedding.

- Luxurious meeting space for 192 people seated banquet style or 300 people standing reception style is available upon request.

- The Peninsula’s restaurants and bars are among the most exclusive and most elegant in Hong Kong.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Peninsula Hong Kong.

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here is our #13 featured hotel, the Hotel de Crillon.


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #14 One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah

December 18, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts One & Only Maldives at Reethi RahWorldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #14 spot we have the One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah, the perfect tropical beach resort. 

Quick facts about the One and Only Maldives:

- An all-villa property, the personalized experience offered in the 130 villas rivals any other in the world.  Exclusive privacy is at a premium in a world where your blackberry is always on, but the One and Only Maldives transports you to another world where it's just you and the sand between your toes.

- Their KidsOnly program is free for children ages 2-11, offering age-appropriate activities for the younger world traveler.  On top of that, babysitting is available for children under two 24 hours a day.

- The One and Only Spa offers ice fountains to vitalize your body by contrasting with the warmth of the tropical waters as well as their crystal steam rooms.  

One & Only Maldives at Reethi Rah- The resort offers guided snorkeling excursions, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, and Jet Skis.  See the sea in an entirely new way.

- All guests arrive on property after a 75 minute journey from Male International Airport aboard a 55-foot luxury yacht.

- Three restaurants and a bar on-site with diverse offerings:  Reethi Restaurant, Tapasake, Fanditha, and Rah Bar.

- View the floor plans for the Beach Villas (135 m2 including verandah), Water Villas (149 m2 including verandah), and Grand Beach Villa with 1 bedroom and pool (260 m2 including veranda and pool area).

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:

#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen

#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

#18 – The Peninsula Chicago

#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua

#16 - Auberge du Soleil

#15 - The Mount Nelson Hotel


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #17 Tower Club at Lebua

December 15, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #17 spot we have the Tower Club at Lebua located in Bangkok, Thailand.

Quick facts about the Tower Club at Lebua:

- This all-suite hotel has made the list of 101 best suites in the world by Elite Traveler for two consecutive years.

- Housed in one of Bangkok’s most impressive structures, the State Tower, providing guests with dramatic views of the beautiful city of Bangkok.

- Private balconies in each suite located from the 51st to the 59th floor.

- Each guest suite features a separate living area, Bvlgari bath amenities, feather soft beds, and Petrossian amenities in the mini bar.

- Other luxurious amenities include an open air swimming pool and Jacuzzi, a fitness center, a sauna, steam rooms, and massage rooms.

- The Tower Club comes with lounge access where you can enjoy Continental breakfast as well as endless alcoholic drinks and canapés throughout the day.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Tower Club at Lebua.

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:

#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen

#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

#18 – The Peninsula Chicago


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #19 The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

December 13, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #19 spot we have the Fullerton Hotel Singapore located in the heart of Singapore’s art and financial district.

Quick facts about the Fullerton Hotel Singapore:

- This luxury hotel was transformed from the Fullerton Building which was built in 1928.

- Located a 25-minute drive from Singapore Changi Airport, 12 minutes from the Singapore Cruise Centre, and 10 minutes from the Malayan Railway Station.

- Voted the best hotel in Asia in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2006.

- 400 spacious rooms that blend the old and new to provide luxurious accommodations suitable for business and leisure travelers.

- Nine furnished function rooms which can be customized to suit your requirements.

- 25-meter outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Singapore River.

- The presidential suite was formerly the card room of the elite Singapore Club. This 199 square meter suite is furnished with a baby grand piano and has a private elevator for discreet access, and the living and dining room extends out to a spectacular verandah.

- The 8 loft suites, all two-storey duplex suites, line the building and feature French doors leading out to a balcony with a view of the Marina Bay Waterfront.  

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here’s our #20 feature hotel, the St. Regis Resort Aspen.


What's Hot in Tokyo: An Organic Market at the Park Hyatt for the Holidays

November 30, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Park Hyatt TokyoWhen you travel to Tokyo, you're not hurting for fantastic cuisine. The Japanese capital is actually home to the most Michelin three-starred restaurants in the world! To spoil guests with this bounty of locally grown, organic vegetables, the Park Hyatt Tokyo has teamed up with the Japanese Organic Association to host an organic holiday market on December 17-18, 2011. Vendors will be selling locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as organic cosmetic and handcrafted artisanal products in the hotel. You'll also find lots of environmentally friendly gifts for Christmas. Don't miss a cocktail in the hotel's famous bar/lounge; after all, the Park Hyatt Tokyo was the setting for Sofia Coppola's smash hit film, "Lost in Translation." And if you're lucky enough to spend the night, hit up the 20-meter, glass-enclosed indoor pool-- floating above the city on the 47th floor. Needless to say, the views to Mount Fuji are stupendous.