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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.

2011 Grand Award Winners from Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report

December 31, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmangiriHats off to the 2011 Andrew Harper Grand Award Winners! Since 1979, the prestigious publication has tracked the best in luxury hotels, and now the newest list is out. What's the criteria for choosing the award winners? From the official website: "Mr. Harper chooses his favorite properties visited over the past calendar year to comprise this list. All possess exceptional character, a commitment to classic hospitality and a profound sense of place." And without further ado, the top award, the "Hideaway of the Year," is Il Salviatino in Florence, Italy. Other award winners include: Amangiri, The Hazelton Hotel, and Lake Placid Lodge in North America; Tambo del Inka and Titilaka in South America; The Peninsula House and Tucker's Point in the Caribbean; Banjaar Tola (India) and Sumahan on the Water (Istanbul) in Asia & Mideast; Villa Bordoni and Hotel Le Fontanelle (Italy), Lydmar Hotel (Stockholm), Tenbosch House (Brussels), Amberley Castle and Lime Wood (England) in Europe.


GQ Magazine’s Pick of the Best Family-Free Holiday Vacation Spots

December 22, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The White Barn Inn, MaineAlready stressed out by the holidays? Knee deep in family feuds? Why not bail on Christmas next year? GQ Magazine recently published a round-up of "the 6 best places to spend a footloose, family-free Christmas." Get a dose of the Old World-- without flying across the pond-- by vacationing in old Montreal. Catch a wave in the surfer's paradise of Hawaii's Sunset Beach. Explore Portland, Maine on a spontaneous weekend, or a little farther from home, Cartagena, Colombia, described by GQ as a "newly rediscovered South American gem Havana without the hassle—a spot where you can wash down pristine seafood with a fresh mojito and shake off the winter in style." For the full list, click here.


Last Day to Book Starwood’s Global Holiday Sale

November 15, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel President Wilson, GenevaThe big two-week global sale from Starwood Hotels & Resorts is coming to an end. Act fast to score savings of up to 30% on best available rates this holiday season across all nine Starwood brands: Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, The Luxury Collection, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Element. The offer is valid for stays between November 4, 2010 and January 17, 2011 at more than 750 hotels and resorts worldwide; valid at participating hotels over weekends and at participating resorts all days of the week.

Pictured: The world-renowned Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, part of the Luxury Collection.


Suite Escape: Book 2 Nights at St. Regis Hotels and Get the 2nd Night for $4

October 28, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Bahia Beach ResortSt. Regis Hotels & Resorts have just unveiled a special offer worth booking ASAP. To celebrate their expanding portfolio-- and the November debut of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico*-- the brand has rolled out the "Suite Luxury, Legacy Rates" offer. Book a suite for at least two consecutive nights at participating St. Regis hotels around the globe, and you'll get the second night's stay for only $4, the price of a suite at the brand's flagship, The St. Regis New York, when it originally opened in 1904.

*The new resort in Puerto Rico marks the brand's first foray into the Caribbean market. The resort will be home to the Caribbean's first and only Certified Audubon Signature Sanctuary.


Last-Minute Weekend Escape to Costa Rica at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort

September 29, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott Guanacaste ResortBack to the grind after a perfect summer filled with weekend beach getaways... Maybe you're lusting for an exotic tropical escape to recharge the batteries- close to home, that won't break the bank. How about Costa Rica in the off-season? JW Marriott Guanacaste-- situated on Mansita beach near Tamarindo and home to a world-class spa and golf course-- has some last-minute weekend deals in October. Take in the sunset over the Pacific while sipping a cool cocktail by the pool, then tuck into a delicious dinner at one of four restaurants. Retire to your spacious bedroom, equipped with a furnished private balcony or terrace, to luxuriate in style. Nightly rates are available from $195 for a two-night stay on October 15-17 and October 22-24, 2010. Limited availability so act fast!

Related Article:

Family Escape to Costa Rica: Special at JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort


Ponta dos Ganchos, Brazil: A Romantic Candle-lit Dinner on a Private Island

September 24, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ponta dos Ganchos, BrazilAnother reason to love the sexy beach resort on Brazil's southern coast near Florianopolis: an exclusive dinner experience available nightly for one lucky couple. Tuck into sophisticated Brazilian specialties over candlelight, surrounded by the lush vegetation of the inhabited private island just offshore from the resort's main beach. The shore is lit with torches, and the only soundtrack is the lapping of waves against the sand. A private butler attends to your every whim. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Related Article:

Best of Brazil: Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort, Emerald Coast


The World’s Best Up and Coming Hotels

August 5, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James ChicagoIn its August 2010 issue, Travel + Leisure highlights "20 to Watch: 2010's Best Up-and-Coming Hotels," many of which can be found in the Five Star Alliance collection. Predicting "the next hottest hotels around the globe," Travel + Leisure scoured the globe "to pick out this year's new and refurbished, expanding, or otherwise evolving hotels." What the magazine's editors found: domestic hotels are raising the bar, with fantastic luxury hotels in the United States and Canada. So without further ado, here's the list:

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Algodon Mansion, Buenos Aires

Amangiri, Utah

Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Four Seasons Beirut

The James Chicago

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

The Peninsula Chicago

The Pierre New York, A Taj Hotel

Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan, Paris

Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay, Krabi, Thailand

Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, London

Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai, India

Veranda Resort, Turks & Caicos

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily

W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island

Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Australia

Destination Spa: The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu , Malibu, California


Ski Chile’s Snow-Capped Slopes with the San Cristobal Tower, Santiago

June 30, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

San Cristobal Tower, SantiagoIt may be hot and humid in the Northern Hemisphere, but cold weather-addicts can still get their winter fix by high-tailing it down south of the equator. Winter is in full swing in the Southern Hemisphere, and the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, just 30 miles from Chile's capital city of Santiago, beckon adrenaline hounds hoping to get some action on the powder. Lucky you- San Cristobal Tower-- a sumptuous urban resort and member of Starwood's Luxury Collection-- has organized a package so that you can discover Chile's world-class ski centers. Considered the most easily accessible skiing in all of South America because of their proximity to Santiago International Airport, the triumvirate of ski resorts (La Parva, Valle Nevado and El Colorado) offer some stunning terrain with some 40 lifts between them. With the San Cristobal Tower's ski experience, you'll enjoy accommodations in a Grand Deluxe Double Room and a day of skiing for two at one of the three above-mentioned resorts including round-trip transfers, equipment rentals, and lift tickets. You'll also get 500 Bonus Starpoints, buffet breakfast, admission to the health club, a bottle of Chilean wine in-room, and late check-out at 4 pm. Starting from $439, available until September 30, 2010.


The World’s Hottest New Hotels: Travel + Leisure’s New “It List 2010″

May 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BardessonoIt's our favorite time of year. Travel + Leisure has released their "It List 2010" of the 45 best new hotels in the world. The mag's esteemed editors have hand-picked the year's most exciting hotel debuts, to be revealed in the June issue which hits newsstands this month. What's especially cool to see: ten of the properties have room rates of less than $300 per night. Can't wait til May 21st to see the list? We've got the skinny:

UNITED STATES

Andaz Wall Street+ Bardessono, Yountville, California

+ St. Regis Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

+ Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

+ Andaz Wall Street, New York, New York*

+ Crosby Street Hotel, New York, New York

+ Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah

+ Waldorf Astoria, Park City, Utah

THE CARIBBEAN , MEXICO, AND CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA

+ Viceroy Anguilla, Barnes Bay, Anguilla

+ Gansevoort, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

+ W Santiago, Santiago, Chile*

+ Tcherassi Hotel & Spa, Cartagena, Colombia

+ Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico

+ Hotel Boca Chica, Acapulco, Mexico*

+ Las Alcobas, Mexico City, Mexico

EUROPE

+ Lime Wood, Hampshire, England*

+ Dean Street Townhouse, London, England*

+ InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau, Paris, France

+ La Réserve Ramatuelle, Ramatuelle, France

+ Heidelberg Suites, Heidelberg, Germany

+ Il Salviatino, Fiesole, Italy

+ Maison Moschino, Milan, Italy

+ Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Italy

+ Palazzina Grassi, Venice, Italy

+ Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain

+ Hotel Consolaciόn, Teruel, Spain*

+ Argos in Cappadocia, Uchisar, Turkey*

ASIA

+ Amanfayun, Hangzhou, China

+ Upper House, Hong Kong, China

+ Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai, China*

+ PuLi Hotel & Spa, Shanghai, China

+ Serai Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer, India

+ Raas, Jodhpur, India*

+ Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

+ Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa, Boracay, Philippines

+ Capella Singapore, Sentosa Island, Singapore

+ Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand*

+ Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi, Thailand

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, AUSTRALIA

+ Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

+ Evason Ma’In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa, Ma’in, Jordan

+ Le Gray, Beirut, Lebanon

+ Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahé, Seychelles

+ One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Taj Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

+ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Lithgow, Australia

*Property has starting room rates of $300/night, double, or less.


We List the World’s Best Restaurants

May 10, 2010
By: Ruthanne Terrero

The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010 is the result of an extensive poll of the world’s most celebrated chefs, renowned food critics, leading restaurateurs and well-traveled gourmands – collectively known as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy...

1. Noma, Denmark

+45 3296 3297

http://www.noma.dk

2. El Bulli, Spain

+ 34 972 150 457

http://www.elbulli.com

3. The Fat Duck, UK

+44 (0) 1628 580 333

http://www.thefatduck.co.uk

4. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain

+34 972 22 21 57

http://www.cellercanroca.com

5. Mugaritz, Spain

+34 943 522 455

http://www.mugaritz.comx

6. Osteria Francescana, Italy

+39 (0)59 210 118

http://www.osteriafrancescana.it

7. Alinea, USA

+1 312-867-0110

http://www.alinea-restaurant.com

8. Daniel, USA

+1 212 288 0033

http://www.danielnyc.com

9. Arzak, Spain

+34 943 78456

http://www.arzak.es

10. Per Se, United States

+1212 823 9335

http://www.perseny.com

11. Le Chateaubriand, France

+33 (0)1 43574595

12. La Colombe, South Africa

+ 27 (0) 21 794 2390

http://www.constantia-uitsig.com

13. Pierre Gagnaire, France

+ 33 01 58 36 12 50

http://www.pierre-gagnaire.com

14. Hotel de Ville Switzerland

+41 21 634 0505

http://www.philippe-rochat.ch

15. Le Bernardin, USA

+1 212 554 1515

le-bernardin.com

16. L’Astrance, France

+33 1 40 50 84 40

http://www.lastrance.abemadi.com

17. Hof van Cleve, Belgium

+32 (0) 9 383 5848

http://www.hofvancleve.com

18. D.O.M., Brazil

+55 11 3088 0761

domrestaurante.com.br

19. Oud Sluis, Holland

+31 (0) 117-461269

http://www.oudsluis.nl

20. Le Calandre, Italy

+39 049 630303

http://www.alajmo.it

21. Steirereck, Austria

+43 (1) 713 31 68

http://www.steirereck.at/wien restaurant

22. Vendome, Germany

+49 (0) 22 04 42 1941

http://www.schlossbensberg.com

23. Chez Dominique, Finland

+ 358 9 612 7393

http://www.chezdominique.fi

24. Les Créations de Narisawa, Japan

+81 (3) 5785 0799

http://www.narisawa-yoshihiro.com

25. Mathias Dahlgren, Sweden

+46 (0) 8 679 35 84

http://www.mathiasdahlgren.com

26. Momofuku Ssam Bar, USA

+1 212 254-3500

http://www.momofuku.com

27. Quay, Australia

+ 61 (2) 9251 5600

http://www.quay.com.au

28. Iggy’s, Singapore

+65 6732 2234

http://www.iggys.com.sg

29. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, France

+33 1 42 225656

http://www.joel-robuchon.com

30. Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland

+41 81 632 10 80

http://www.schauenstein.ch

31. Le Quartier Francais, South Africa

+27 21 876 2151

http://www.lequartier.co.za

32. The French Laundry, USA

+1 707 944 2380

http://www.frenchlaundry.com

33. Martin Berasategui, Spain

+34 943 366 471

http://www.martinberasategui.com

34. Aqua, Germany

+49 5361 606056

http://www.restaurant-aqua.com

35. Combal Zero, Italy

+39 011 9565225

http://www.combal.org

36. Dal Pescatore, Italy

+39 (0)37 672 3001

http://www.dalpescatore.com

37. De Librije, Netherlands

+31 (0)38 4212083

http://www.librije.com

38. Tetsuya’s, Australia

+61 (2)9267 2900

http://www.tetsyuas.com

39. Jaan par Andre, Singapore

+65 6338 8585

http://www.swissotel.com/singapore-stamford

40. Il Canto, Italy

+39 (0)577 28 81 80

http://www.certosadimaggiano.com

41. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee,  France

+33 1 53 67 66 65

http://www.plaza-athenee-paris.com

42. Oaxen Krog, Sweden

+46 8 8 551 531 05

http://www.oaxenkrog.se

43. St John, UK

+44 020 7251 0848

http://www.stjohnrestaurant.com

44. La Maison Troisgros, France

+33 4 77 71 66 97

http://www.troisgros.fr

45. wd~50, USA

+1 212 477 2900

http://www.wd-50.com

46. Biko, Mexico

+52 55 5282 0722

http://www.biko.com.m

47. Die Schwarzwaldstube, Germany

+49 7442 4926

http://www.traube-tonbach.de

48. Nihonryori RyuGin, Japan

+81 3 3423 8006

http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com

49. Hibiscus, UK

+44 020 7629 2999

http://www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk

50. Eleven Madison Park, USA

+1 212 889 090

http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com