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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.

Great Luxury Value in the Caribbean with Five Star Alliance Rates at Half Moon

July 26, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon Resort, JamaicaA corner of Caribbean paradise is yours for the taking with exclusive Five Star Alliance rates at Half Moon, the legendary resort nestled on two miles of white sandy beach on Jamaica's Montego Bay. Score a great luxury value starting from just $250 per night in a Garden View room. Snag these discounted rates by booking at Five Star Alliance, then vacation in style with a host of luxurious resort amenities at your fingertips: from the Fern Tree Spa to the 13-lit tennis courts.


Culinary Travel: A Book-Inspired Food Experience at Cap Maison, St. Lucia

July 12, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cap Maison, St. LuciaAttention foodies: you can experience the best of the Caribbean's spice-laden cuisine with a new culinary experience at Cap Maison, the stylish boutique resort perched on an oceanfront bluff on St. Lucia. Inspired by the release of Ann Vanderhoof's book, "The Spice Necklace; My Adventures in Caribbean Cooking, Eating, and Island Life," this package deal was designed to give guests the opportunity to create a "foodoir" memoir of their own. Shack up at Cap Maison-- delighting in the setting high above a secluded beach-- and get treated to meals at The Cliff at Cap restaurant, where Executive Chef Craig Jones cooks up creative, contemporary cuisine focusing on the island spices and fresh local ingredients that Vanderhoof discovers during her journey by sailboat through the Eastern Caribbean. Along with all your meals, the package also includes a personalized shopping tour of the Castries Central Market (for West Indian produce and spices galore!), airport transfers, and a complimentary copy of the book. Available through December 18, 2010, "The Spice Necklace" Experience is priced at $2400 per couple for accommodation for three nights in a Villa Suite with pool.

PS. Don't miss the St. Lucian aphrodisiac cocktail the author refers to as "island Viagra"!


Daily Pool Party on St. Bart’s at Hotel Le Toiny

July 8, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Le Toiny, St. BartsWhile vacationing on St. Bart's, stop by Hotel Le Toiny for dynamite eats at Restaurant Le Gaïac. The resto is considered one of the best on the island; Chef Stéphane Mazières was awarded Grand Chef in 2009 by the prestigious Relais & Chateaux Group, the first time a Caribbean eatery has ever snagged this award. Notably, three greenhouses supply the restaurant's farm-to-table fare, with some 20 herbs, veggies and fruit including tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, egg plant, lettuce, Indian spinach, pineapple, lime and guava. The cuisine may be tops (cod with eggplant mousse and local lemon marmalade, mmmm), but the views are a close second. And when you come for the French Caribbean style lunch, you can stay and enjoy the hotel's pool and outdoor lounging area overlooking the ocean and the Bay of Toiny. Come in your bathing suit and cover-up, indulge in a delicious meal, then chill by the pool for the rest of the day. (It's quite the scene.) Originally just a Sunday brunch affair, the "Dine and Dip" pool party has now been extended daily.

Related Article (a deal at Le Toiny!): Summer Bliss on St. Bart's: 5th Night Free at Hotel Le Toiny


Summer Special in the Turks and Caicos at Seven Stars Resort

June 18, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Seven Stars ResortHave you heard about the $100 million Seven Stars Resort? When it debuted in April 2008 as the newest property on the white sands of Grace Bay Beach in the Turks and Caicos, Seven Stars got rave reviews for its extensive amenities-- from the water sports program to the complimentary Continental breakfast and Internet. The New York Times says: "You can't miss its aqua-colored roofs on the island's fast-developing skyline, and while that might not garner the hotel a seven-star rating, the top-notch service does." Expect the star treatment while you unwind in paradise, lounging in an ocean-facing cabana by the mosaic-lined pool, the beautiful centerpiece of the resort. But it's not just pool attendants who treat guests right; the highest caliber personalized service can be expected in every corner of the resort: the supervised children's program, the dedicated concierge, the private shopping service, and the exclusive island excursions. This summer Seven Stars Resort is luring sun-seekers with a Special Summer Offer-- with room rates starting at $350 per night for a Garden View Junior Suite, with a three-night minimum required. This limited offer is subject to availability at time of booking, valid until September 6, 2010.


Travel Buzz: Ritz-Carlton Hotels Ditches Plastic for Eco-Friendly Water Bottles

June 17, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton Hotels, new eco-friendly water bottlesHot off the press. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is paving the way in finding solutions to the plastic water bottle crisis. Committed to environmental sustainability, the company is leading the pack, reducing plastic bottle use in the hospitality industry by introducing a cutting-edge new technology: an all-natural, biodegradable bottle which is making its debut at Ritz-Carlton properties in North America and the Caribbean. Here's the word from the official press release:

Noting the waste that is caused by using an estimated five million, 16oz plastic bottles every year at the properties, Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, challenged his team responsible for sustainable programs to find a better solution. He noted, “Plastic bottles are made from crude oil, take a significant amount of energy to produce, and less than 20% are sent to recycling facilities. Even when recycled, these bottles cannot be used to make the same quality of plastic,” Cooper said.

After 18 months of research, and working with a variety of vendors, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company developed a partnership with PrimaTM to create a co-branded bottle that is rich with sustainability opportunities. The 16oz bottles are made 100% from plants, are all natural, can decompose in 30 days in a commercial composting facility, or can be reprocessed and remade 100% into new bottles.

Manufacturing the new bottle requires 49% less fossil fuels, 45% less energy, and 75% less greenhouse gases than a PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) classic bottle. In addition, the bottle does not contain BPA (Bisphenol A), the harmful product found in many plastics.


Save 25% at the Swank One & Only Ocean Club, Bahamas

June 16, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One & Only Ocean Club, BahamasOnce you've stayed at a One & Only resort, it's hard to settle for less. This portfolio of ultra-lux properties-- "conceived as hallmarks of excellence"-- are located in idyllic settings around the globe-- from the pristine blue lagoons of the Maldives to the sandy beaches of the Bahamas. Committed to creating the finest guest experience on every level, these resorts are known for their impeccable service standards, dreamy spas, and top-notch cuisine. The One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island, for example, features culinary delights from chef Jean-George Vongerichten at Dune restaurant. And the spa... Let's just put it this way: Head-to-toe pampering doesn't get any better than this. Traditional spa therapies incorporate natural spices, fruits and minerals indigenous to The Bahamas; guests relax in one of eight Balinese-style treatment villas, and are spoiled with herbal teas and fresh fruit in a Japanese Tea Ceremony after the spa treatment. A hedonist's playground of golf, tennis, and water activities, the One & Only Ocean Club guarantees an unforgettable vacation experience. Tip: Take advantage of a special offer of 25% off, valid until November 23, 2010.


Andaz Goes Global: Expansion Plans for China, India, Turks and Caicos

June 8, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Andaz San DiegoGood news for Andaz fans. You'll soon be able to rest your pretty head in Andaz splendor at 11 different spots worldwide, as Hyatt's boutique brand just announced a global expansion plan. What's up next? Properties in Sanya Sunny Bay, China; Delhi, India; and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. For those who haven't yet experienced the hotel everyone's talking about, Andaz brings a fresh new face to the hospitality world. We haven't been alone in swooning over the personalized service and complimentary inclusions like internet, local calls, and mini-bars. (It's little wonder HotelChatter talks about "multiple 'andazms.'") Other new properties in the works include Andaz Austin, Texas; Andaz Amsterdam; and Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica. These will join Andaz Liverpool Street, London (2007), Andaz West Hollywood (2009), Andaz Wall Street (2010) and Andaz San Diego (2010). Buzz: This summer Andaz 5th Avenue will debut in NYC.

Related Articles:

Buzz in New York: Andaz Fifth Avenue is Opening in August

The British Pound is in Free Fall: Get to London ASAP and Stay at Andaz Liverpool Street

Personal Cocktail Lessons with the Resident Bartenders at Andaz West Hollywood

Fathers Bring Sons to “The Street”: Father’s Day Package at Andaz Wall Street


Sizzling Summer Special: Up to 14 Nights Free at Half Moon Resort

June 4, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon Resort, JamaicaStay a week in paradise and start earning free nights. Half Moon-- the stately Caribbean oasis bordered by twin crescent-shaped beaches on Montego Bay-- has an offer that's difficult to refuse. Book a summer vacation to take advantage of Half Moon's luxe facilities on a mile-long white sand beach: play a round on the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed championship golf course, get pampered at the Fern Tree Spa, soak in one of the many pools and lagoons, go sailing or horse-back riding... While frolicking in the summer sun, you'll be racking up the free nights depending on the length of your stay. Valid for travel between June 1- October 31, 2010, the Sizzling Summer Special translates to up to 2 weeks free. (Stay 7-8 nights, get 1 night free; Stay 9 nights, get 2 nights free... Stay 14 nights, get 7 nights free; stay 28 or more nights and get 14 nights free!) This offer is subject to availability and applies to new bookings only.


Summer Bliss on St. Bart’s: 5th Night Free at Hotel Le Toiny

June 1, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Le ToinyPrivacy, exclusivity, and off-season prices are yours for the taking on St. Bart's this summer. Splurge on a vacay on this French jewel in the Caribbean and get spoiled rotten at Hotel Le Toiny, a spread of 15 pastel-colored bungalows overlooking the bay of Toiny and the dazzling Caribbean. Surrounded by tropical gardens, each of these Villa Suites has its own gated entrance and a red mailbox flag (aka "Do Not Disturb" sign). Talk about privacy! Guests are quickly seduced by the hotel's service standards. Snorkel from the beach, play a game of tennis at the nearby Flamboyants Tennis Club (free of charge), embark on a sunset cruise, even try surfing with Le Toiny's boards.

Hotel Le Toiny, St BartsTake advantage of the "Summer Bliss" package: Stay five nights and pay for only four, or stay 10 nights and only pay for eight. (Accommodations in a Junior Suite with private pool and partial ocean view, or a one-bedroom Villa Suite with private pool and ocean view.) Rates starting from 2080 euros for five nights, from June 1- August 30, 2010. Included: private round-trip airport transfers, daily Continental breakfast for two, welcome cocktails, and a departure gift. Note: All guests at Le Toiny enjoy complimentary laundry service, wifi, daily Nespresso coffee and bottled water in-room, as well as the use of surf boards, snorkeling and beach equipment.


The Six Senses Spa Experience at Oscar de la Renta’s Tortuga Bay

May 26, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tortuga Bay, Dominican RepublicTalk about Caribbean pampering. Tortuga Bay-- located within the world-famous Punta Canta Resort and Club-- has Oscar de la Renta-designed villas with heart-stopping views over the turquoise sea. Think Dominican-inspired decor, kitchens, coralline stone bathrooms, and balconies. Here's what HotelChatter had to say after a recent visit to the swank property:

There's a reason that the Oscar de la Renta-designed Tortuga Bay hotel in Punta Cana, Dominica Republic has a perfect five-star rating on TripAdvisor, and that reason is some of the most excellent hotel service that can be had anywhere. From picking you up from your flight right on the tarmac, as if you had arrived by private plane, to getting you tee times at one of the world's most exclusive golf courses, Tortuga can easily go beyond your greatest expectations.

Tortuga Bay, Dominican RepublicGuests get bicycles, kayaks, and golf carts during their stay. Plus, they enjoy the services of a personal concierge who'll take care of private check-in at your villa after you've been whisked through immigration at the airport. Another reason you'll fall in love? The Six Senses Spa, which offers the patented services of one of the world's premier spa brands. The resort has put together a "Six Senses Spa Experience" package to help you make the most of your stay. Along with accommodations in an Ocean View Junior Suite, you'll be treated to the Oriental Six Senses Package featuring a number of specialty treatments: Thai Herbal Body Glow, Traditional Thai Massage, Natural Thai Facial, Scalp Massage, and Foot Acupressure. You'll also get daily breakfast at Bamboo Restaurant and a welcome drink. The three-night package is priced from US2,465 (single occupancy).