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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.

Way Down to Kokomo: Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas

November 30, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Beach Boys sang it best, and we’ve decided to embrace their lyrics and feature every place they sang about in their hit, Kokomo. Kokomo, however doesn’t actually exist off the Florida Keys, but Aruba, Jamaica (oo I wanna take you) are all quite real, so be sure to keep up with our blog series and check out the incredible places the Beach Boys deem worthy of your stay!

We’re working our way through the song, and our next feature destination is the Bahamas. We’ve already covered Aruba, Jamaica, and Bermuda, and we encourage you to catch up on those feature spots if you missed them. The Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour is located on Grand Bahama Island, and it’s the perfect getaway for tranquility and pampered service. This resort features all beachfront suites, two restaurants, a full-service marina, and infinite outdoor adventure opportunities. Aside from luxurious accommodations, the Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour is ideal for kids of all ages and offers a wide range of family fun festivities. Be sure to take advantage of everything this exciting hotel has to offer, and take that much needed vacation with your family, friends, or simply on your own.


Winter Thaw: Get a Spa Credit at Renaissance Aruba Resort

November 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Renaissance Aruba ResortBlack Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, meaning Christmas is right around the corner. If you're feeling a little Scrooge-like about the holiday season (bah humbug!), a dose of Caribbean sunshine may do wonders for your outlook. Get thee to Aruba for some sun, sand, and maybe a little casino gambling, and you'll return to the winter weather with a spring in your step. Awarded four AAA diamonds, the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is nestled on a 40-acre island paradise with the only private beach in Aruba. The exclusive Okeanos Spa Cove promises the ultimate in rejuvenation (just try the "Spice of Life Sampler"). To make sure you take advantage of the indulgent spa, the resort is currently offering the "Pure Magic Spa" deal where they'll throw in a $100 spa credit with your four-night stay. Rates from $189 per night.


Escape to Bermuda: $129 Rates at Fairmont Southampton

November 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Southampton BermudaHere's a deal for all you luxury lovers out there: the swank Fairmont Southampton Bermuda is currently on sale for seven days only with room rates starting at just $129 per night!* What this means: Act fast if you want to score luxury for less on a spring break trip to paradise! A palatial landmark on Bermuda’s gorgeous south shore, the Fairmont Southampton Bermuda is nestled on an 100-acre tropical estate with towering palm trees and has direct access to miles of pink sand beaches. The property is consistently voted one of the top resorts in the region by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. As for the facilities, the Fairmont Southampton is the crème de la crème. There's an 18-hole par three golf course, a 31,000-square-feet Willow Stream Spa, some of the island’s best restaurants, a sprawling oceanfront beach club with an on site PADI dive center, tennis courts and more. Most of the spacious guest rooms have sweeping views of the Atlantic from private balconies.

*For travel until April 30, 2012; some blackout dates apply. Rooms cost $299 per night when you travel between May 1, 2012 - August 31, 2012.


Hot off the Press: "The Most Wanted Winter Spa Treatments" by In Style Magazine

November 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

One and Only Palmilla, CaboIt's that time of year again. When we start bemoaning our cracked hands, chapped lips and parched winter skin, we know it's time to book a spa treatment ASAP. But where's the best place to rejuvenate with that ultimate winter pick-me up (pre- or post-fête?). In Style to the rescue. Lucky for us, the mag has put together a fab list of "The Most Wanted Winter Spa Treatments." There's the Hot Chocolate Synergy Massage, inspired by the ancient Mayans and using warm chocolate oil to enhance the mood, at One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos; the Candy Cane Ritual at the Reliquary Water Sanctuary & Spa, Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas; the Pumpkin Nectar Facial at Remède Spa, St. Regis Mexico City; the Peppermint Pedicure
 
to sooth tired feet at Remede Spa, St. Regis San Francisco (Lady Gaga's a fan of the hotel); Santa's Little Helpers Mandara Four Hand Massage at The Cove Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas; and more! For all the delicious details, be sure to check out the article.


Christmas in the Caribbean: 40% Off Holiday Rates at Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort

November 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort and SpaIt's not too late to book a holiday getaway to the Caribbean this year. There's room at the inn at the Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, a 500-acre beachfront paradise nestled on a mile of palm-lined sand in the shadow of Puerto Rico's lush mountains. For the window of time between December 24, 2011- January 4, 2012-- a frequently sold-out holiday period-- the resort is offering 40% off sun-infused holiday rates. From championship golf and tennis to scuba diving and sailing, the Rio Mar has plenty of recreational facilities to keep you entertained. Let's not forget the on-site casino! (And some 12 restaurants....) Sun-seekers can take advantage of irresistible rates starting at $268, based on availability. (Black out dates do apply.) So what are you waiting for? Ditch the parka, jet to the Caribbean, and get your tan on!


Friday Photos: Wouldn't You Rather Be at West Bay Club, Turks and Caicos?

November 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

West Bay Club

Jill's vacationing in Morroco; John's lounging in the Virgin Islands; Janet's plotting a jaunt to Paris; what about you? Here's a little travel inspiration as the week winds down and we start dreaming of seductive destinations. The Turks and Caicos have the Caribbean charm, white sandy beaches, and turquoise sea that's key for an island vacay, but most importantly: getting there is a breeze. Providenciales International Airport is easily reached from the major East Coast cities (just one hour from Miami; three hours from NYC). Voted the "top beach destination in the world" on TripAdvisor, the tiny island of Providenciales is home to The West Bay Club, where 47 sumptuous, sea-facing suites await you... Launch a Hobie Cat for a sailing adventure or simply kick back by the pool (it's a stunner!). After a tough day soaking up the tropical sun, head to the spa for a massage. It's a tough life at The West Bay Club.

West Bay Club


Peak Season Savings in the Caribbean at Nisbet Plantation on Nevis

November 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nisbit Plantation Beach Club, NevisThaw out this winter with a warm-weather getaway to a top-rated resort on Nevis. Nisbet Plantation Beach Club-- an intimate hideaway with 36 cottage-style accommodations dotted among 30 palm-filled acres-- is offering high-season savings this January with a 6th night free, daily breakfast, dinner for two, and roundtrip airport transfers. Situated on a pristine white sand shore, Nisbet Plantation is the Caribbean's only historic plantation inn on the beach. A number of amenities are included (like wifi, flip digital video cameras to capture vacation memories, and kayaks and snorkel gear to explore the coral reefs offshore).

The "January Thaw" offer is available from January 3- January 31, 2012 and includes: * A free night on a six-night stay in a spacious cottage-style accommodation for two * Full daily breakfast served ocean side at Coconuts * Daily afternoon tea * Nightly three-course gourmet dinner at the AAA Four Diamond-rated Great House, c. 1778 * Airport transfers from Nevis (NEV) or sister island St. Kitts (SKB).

Package rates begin at $3,350 per couple and are subject to a service charge and government tax. The offer is not combinable with other promotions.


Sponsored Article: A New Season and a New Look at La Samanna in St. Martin

November 11, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

La SamannaSituated along the exclusive beach of Baie Longue, La Samanna is a boutique resort bathed in St. Martin’s lush mangroves, tropical flora and simple Caribbean luxury. Over the past four decades, the privacy, tranquility and panoramic views of Baie Longue have enticed guests from around the world to visit La Samanna – one of the Caribbean’s most luxurious resorts. Since purchasing the hotel from its original owners in 1997, Orient-Express has made continuous enhancements to maintain the resort’s position as a legendary getaway while preserving the property’s connection to St. Martin’s history and culture.

When guests arrive this fall, they will discover La Samanna has embarked on an extensive renovation project of guest rooms and suites. Inspired by the hotel’s original guest rooms from 1972, which were influenced by Mediterranean architecture, the new design is graceful, light and clean. There is generous use of the color white, in the flooring, countertops, walls and furnishings, and accents of color introduced with accessories, decorative pillows and lamps.

La SamannaGuests will find original etchings from Sir Roland Richardson, depicting scenes or locations of old St. Martin. Often referred to as the “Father of Caribbean Impressionism,” Richardson has been the resident artist at La Samanna for the past decade. Rooms will also feature watercolor prints from Antoine Chapon, a French painter who settled on St. Martin in 1981. Chapon’s work is a serene reflection of the Caribbean atmosphere and culture.

This fall, La Samanna invites you to see their newly renovated suites with the Suite Dreams Package. For a limited time only, you can experience the luxury of the one-bedroom suites at a 30% discount. The "Suite Dreams Package" includes accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, access to the state-of-the-art fitness center, and unlimited usage of non motorized water sports. Rates are from $555 per suite, per night. Please Note: five night minimum stay required. Offer applicable to one-bedroom suites only. All taxes and gratuities are not included. This package is valid now through December 21, 2011, is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offers or packages


The World's Best Hotels: Announcing the Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011

November 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bel-AirLooking to get inspired for your next getaway? The savvy editors at Fodor's have just released their first-ever list of the world's best hotels. After careful deliberation, the team of Fodor's editors and writers curated the "Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011" spanning eight hotel categories. Here's a sampling of some of our favorites that made the cut.

New & Noteworthy- The Year's Best New and Reinvented Hotels: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Mondrian Soho in NYC, Hotel Bel-Air & The Redbury in Los Angeles

Grande Dame- Legendary Hotels with Superlative History and Service: The Carlyle in NYC, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel du Russie in Rome, The Savoy in London

Casual Chic- Effortlessly Stylish Hotels with Rustic-Modern Appeal: Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos, Bardessono in Napa, The Allison in Oregon

Design- Cutting-Edge Boutique Hotels at All Price Points: Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Jia in Hong Kong

Cavo Tagoo, MykonosLocal Flavor- Go-To Hotels for a Truly Authentic Experience: Fairmont Chateau Montebello in Quebec, Evason Ma'in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa in Jordan

Clubby Atmosphere- Hip Urban Pied-à-Terres: 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, The Liberty in Boston, The Augustine in Prague

Luxurious Retreat- Top Choices for a Complete Escape: Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in the Florida Keys, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Trusted Brand- World-Class Examples of International Hotel Chains: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, The Peninsula Bangkok


Chocolate Festival at Jade Mountain Resort

November 9, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Jade Mountain Resort will be having its annual chocolate festival December 9th – 12th, 2011, and it is sure to be a unique and exciting event. If you’re a chocolate lover who is curious about understanding and experiencing the alchemy of chocolate, then this festival is absolutely for you. Cacao has a history in St. Lucia dating back to the 1700s, and this resort has over 1,000 cacao trees, which have been the source for harvesting cacao beans for generations. Make a reservation at the Jade Mountain Resort and be one of the first to taste their premier vintage chocolate.

Start off your chocolate weekend with a “Chocolat-tini” party, during which you’ll get to sip on a complimentary chocolate martini and enjoy exotic chocolate desserts including an incredible Double Dark Chocolate Fondue.

Saturday morning, from 10:00am – 1:00pm, take part in an engaging walking and tasting tour of the Cocoa Plantation and Organic Garden, and complete your day with an exotic, ALL chocolate 5-course dinner at the Jade Mountain Club.

Complete your heavenly weekend with a “Chocolate” Breakfast in Bed, where you choose the time, and the Jade Mountain Resort will take care of the rest.

Have you always wanted to jump into a pool of chocolate? We unfortunately can’t offer you that, but the chocolate festival at the Jade Mountain Resort will provide an entire weekend fully immersed in the world of chocolate, so be sure to take advantage of this unique offer.