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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 World’s Best New Hotels 2007

May 29, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bauer Il Palladio, Venice ...brought to you by the good folks at Travel and Leisure, who just published their "It List" of hot new hotel properties. Of the 25 chosen elite, the luxurious newbies include Trailblazers like Frank Gehry's architectural masterpiece, a sparkling mass of twisting metal in the midst of the Rioja's celebrated vineyards, Beachcombers like Vietnam's gorgeous Nam Hai hotel, New Urbanists like the dazzling Mandarin Oriental in Prague, and Healers, like the swanky Bauer Il Palladio Hotel & Spa in Venice and our favorite Four Seasons Westlake Village, created in partnership with the California WellBeing Institute.


Luxury Cruises: “The World” Cruise Liner Gets a Banyan Tree Spa

May 23, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The World The World, the impressive private yacht owned (or rented) by folks from over 40 different countries, is a floating residential community that circumnavigates the globe, checking out diverse ports of call for 2-5 days at a time. Managed by ResidenSea in Miami, The World is outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities including a full-sized tennis court, jogging track, gym, five restaurants, move theater and library, and beautiful spa. Banyan Tree Spa has recently announced a collaboration with The World and will soon launch its Sanctuary of the Senses onboard the cruise ship. Banyan Tree's signature Asian-inspired treatments will be available at sea for the first time. Located on Deck 5 in "The Village," The World Spa by Banyan Tree features four single treatment rooms and a Beauty Garden that incorporates a Hair Salon and Manicure Station.


Discover Sydney and the Blue Mountains with The Observatory Hotel

May 10, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Observatory Hotel Explore the very best of New South Wales with a fabulous seven-night package put together by Sydney's fashionable Observatory Hotel. From Sydney's cosmopolitan charms, to the majestic Blue Mountains and beautiful Hunter Valley region, the package tour includes a personal guide who will highlight unparalleled vistas, secret, remote locations, and animals in their natural habitat-- all from the comfort of a luxury four-wheel drive vehicle. The "Best of New South Wales" package begins with three nights accommodation at The Observatory, the Sydney hot spot managed by the renowned Orient-Express Hotel group, perfectly located in the heart of the Rocks district.

The package also includes two nights accommodations at Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa, one night at Tower Lodge in Hunter Valley, daily full breakfast for two, private tours and transfer service between hotels, a complimentary Tower Estate winery experience (private tasting and guided tour with one of the cellar door team), and one complimentary night at either The Observatory Hotel or Lilianfels. Starting from AUD $5,700 in the low season.


Amandari in Bali Hosts Writing Seminar with Pico Iyer

May 4, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amandari, Bali Celebrated travel writer Pico Iyer will be giving a writing seminar on June 7, 2007 at Bali's beautiful Amandari resort. Perched high above the Ayung River gorge overlooking terraced rice fields in Bali's hill country, Amandari was designed as a walled Balinese village of 30 luxurious suites designed with coconut wood and teak, connected by river-stone walkways to the green-tiled swimming pool and magical open-air lobby. In this incredible setting, Pico Iyer will discuss the craftsmanship behind travel writing and how to highlight the distinct elements of a particular destination. Of course, questions about travel and the writing process are welcomed during the two-hour session. Partake in the writing session while enjoying Amandari's Classic Bali, a three-night offer which includes daily breakfast and a choice of six activities, from cooking classes to scenic Ayung River treks. From June 9-24, a complimentary morning yoga/tai-chi session is also included.


Autumn in New Zealand: Millbrook Resort, Queenstown

April 26, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Millbrook Resort, New Zealand The scenery doesn't get any more spectacular than this. Surrounded by the majestic peaks, roaring rivers, and vast alpine pastures of Lord of the Rings country, the five-star Millbrook resort is only 20 minutes outside Queenstown, but a world away in the tranquil majesty of the setting. Recently named as one of the highest ranking hotels for value within New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific by Travel and Leisure magazine, Millbrook resort is a year-round recreational paradise which embodies the relaxed New Zealand country lifestyle. Enjoy the resort's renowned golf course, enjoyed by enthusiasts from around the world, relax in the world-class spa facility, dine at the award-winning restaurants, or venture out to the surrounding countryside for wine-tasting, shopping, and adrenalin adventures like jet boating and helicopter sightseeing. Book the Autumn Colors package and enjoy accommodation in a luxurious Village Inn room, full buffet breakfast, and a bottle of Central Otago wine and handmade Belgian chocolates. All for just $180 per person/per night (based on double occupancy)-- and that price is quoted in NZ dollars. Available until June 30, 2007.


Hayman Island Resort Celebrates Earth Day 2007

April 19, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Hayman Island ResortIn celebration of Earth Day, the Hayman Island Resort will be featured on ABC News broadcasts this weekend to report on significant environmental programs in Australia and the Reef. Located on the southwestern side of Hayman Island just beside the Great Barrier Reef, Hayman boasts an idyllic setting surrounded by coral fringed beaches and the lapping waters of the Coral Sea. The resort's website offers a dedicated page - Hayman.com.au/planetearth - to recognize the resort's involvement with ABC News and the "Planet Earth 2007: Seven Ways to Help Save the World" program.

The spotlight is on Hayman because of their direct involvement in the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef through a series of projects with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The report will also show ways in which desalination plants, such as the one operating on Hayman, may be the answer to water shortages. Tune in to ABC's 20/20, Nightline or Good Morning America on Friday and Saturday of this week to watch the Hayman Island Resort interviews Live.

PS - In recognition of Hayman's involvement with ABC News, guests can benefit with the Hayman has also introduced the "ALL INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY- Hayman Planet Earth 2007 Escape" which includes 3 nights, full breakfast, a la carte 3-course dinner, and numerous Island activities. The 3-night package is priced from AU$1485 per person, and is valid through 20 December 2007.


Far-Flung Journeys with International Expeditions

February 28, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

International Expeditions Announcing new, exciting destinations with International Expeditions, the world leader in nature travel tours and environmentally responsible expeditions. Listed on Travel and Leisure magazine's 2006 list of "World's Best" tour operators, International Expeditions plans small-ship voyages and enriching land expeditions with exceptional naturalist guides. The Far-Flung Adventures take you to all corners of the world-- remarkable, less-traveled places like the Sahara, Falkland Islands, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Croatia and Bhutan. You stay in top-rate accommodations, from stylish riverboats on the Amazon to romantic tented camps in Africa. Samplings of upcoming adventures include: Bhutan-- learn about the cultures of this remote Himalayan kingdom, and explore its pristine environment (June 19, 2007, 14 days from $4,298), Mongolia-- explore the Gobi Desert, Lake Hovsgol, Hustain Nuruu National Reserve and the rich nomadic cultures of Mongolia (June 22, 2007, 14 days from $3,998), Papua New Guinea-- take in one of the last of the great highland "sing-sings," and visit the most interesting river villages (August 15, 2007, 19 days from $7,698), and Cape to Cairo-- journey to the most compelling places on the entire African continent on the expedition to see the "Best of Africa" (October 22, 2007, 18 days from $14,498).


Vahine Island, French Polynesia: Escape to Paradise

February 13, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Vahine IslandThe sky's grey; the weather calls for an ominous-sounding "wintry mix." Now is the time to daydream of sunnier climes, and plan a winter getaway to the tropics. Here's an idea: your own private island in French Polynesia, a little piece of paradise ranked number one on Conde Nast Traveler's "Top 25 Escapes in the World." Vahine Island, a member of Small Luxury Hotels, is a 10-acre wonderland overlooking Bora Bora, about 40 minutes by plane from Papeete International Airport. Overwater bungalows, white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, coconut groves and lush rainforests, secluded coral reefs with a rainbow of tropical fish. This is paradise on earth, chock full of hedonistic delights, and only enhanced by the marvelous French cuisine. It doesn't get much better than Vahine Island. (As if you needed further goading, check out the glowing reviews on TripAdvisor.)


Travel Weekly Announces 2006 Readers Choice Award Winners

December 18, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Travel Weekly Readers Awards

The 4th annual Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards winners were revealed at a black-tie gala dinner at the luxurious Pierre Hotel in Manhattan on December 14, 2006. Four Seasons rocked the luxury hotel chain category, with Travel Weekly readers awarding it both the best "luxury chain" and the best "upscale chain." Starwood Hotels and Resorts led the rankings for both Europe and South Pacific regional hotel brand of the year. And Mandarin Oriental grabbed top honors for Asia's top hotel chain. (Domestic chain? None other than Marriott managed to snag that award.) The top resort worldwide was awarded to St. Regis Resort, Bora Bora.


Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and Spa: Jewel of the South Pacific

December 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and Spa

Clear blue water, lush green hills, magnificent coral reefs... The legendary Polynesian island of Bora Bora has inspired countless artists with its otherworldly beauty. In this paradise, in the midst of Bora Bora's majestic lagoon-- what James Michener called "the most beautiful lagoon in the world"-- Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and Spa is your tropical fantasy come true. Escape the cares of the everyday world in your overwater bungalow, where you can admire colorful underwater marine life through the illuminated glass-topped coffee table. From your private deck, slip gently into the picture-perfect lagoon. Or experience the only treetop spa in French Polynesia, high in the branches of two giant Banyan trees, overlooking the lagoon and Mount Pahia. (Marù Spa specializes in signature treatments based on local plants, flowers and fruits.) Delight in exquisite Polynesian specialties like poisson cru (fresh fish marinated in coconut milk) at the Otemanu Restaurant. Enjoy the entertaining Theme Night Buffets, where guests dine under the stars and watch spectacular local dances and entertainment. Here in paradise, there's scuba diving, cruises, endless watersports, the gorgeous freshwater free-form pool, and two floodlit tennis courts. The possibilities are endless. And with the Stay Another Day in Paradise Promotion at the award-winning Bora Bora Lagoon Resort, stay four nights and receive the fifth night for free! This perfect five night stay includes welcome drinks upon arrival, one three-course table d'hote dinner for two, motorboat shuttle service between the Resort and Vaitape, Bora Bora (the village), and use of tennis courts, fitness center and all non-motorized watersports. Rates in 2007 start at EUR 1,880 in a Motu Bungalow.