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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 Hottest Hotels: Where to Stay Now

April 12, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmangiriConde Nast Traveler has released their annual Hot List 2010 "of the newest and most innovative hotels worldwide" and a quick browse is guaranteed to inspire wanderlust. Best of all: 42 hotels that made the cut have rooms costing under $250 a night. We were pleased to see a few of our faves make the list. In North America, for example: the Capella Pedregal, Crosby Street Hotel, The Allison, St. Regis Mexico City, Amangiri, The Jefferson, The Betsy, The Elysian, W South Beach, and Viceroy Snowmass...


What’s Hot in Buenos Aires: Algodon Mansion, a New Wine Hotel

April 1, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Algodon Mansion, Buenos AiresThere's a new luxury boutique hotel on the scene in B.A. that's "perfect for wine aficionados." And we can see why. The folks behind the new Algodon Mansion are the Algodon Wine Estates & Champions Club, the 2,050-acre vineyard estate in the heart of Malbec wine country, aka "the Napa Valley of Argentina." There's a lot to love here at 1647 Montevideo Street in the elegant Recoleta quarter: personal butlers on call any hour of the day (or night), a Cognac Bar with hand-crafted cigars, a complimentary massage for each and every guest, a rooftop pool that's "an oasis in the sky." Did we mention the 95° Spa featuring Vine Therapy, a relaxation technique using organic products procured from the vineyards of Algodon Wine Estates? Housed in a French-style mansion dating from 1912, the Algodon Mansion offers 10 opulent suites with in-room wine bars.


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

March 29, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort, Costa RicaTake the kids on an adventure to Costa Rica. Discover unspoiled beaches surrounded by pristine nature where the whole fam can go for hikes, partake in ecological activities, and spy some exotic wildlife. Smack dab on the Pacific oceanfront in Guanacaste, the JW Marriott offers treasure hunts and kite-making for pint-sized guests, while their parents lounge by the pool (or secluded beach), sip tropical cocktails at sunset, or luxuriate in the spa. There's even an equestrian center and championship golf available. The 310 guest rooms feature furnished balconies with to-die-for views over the pool and the serene Pacific. The Family Escape package provides the fun after an activity-filled day; relax with a movie, pizza, and cookies with milk in your room. Priced from $269 per night and available through December 19, 2010, the package also includes accommodations in a deluxe garden view room and daily buffet breakfast.

Related Articles: Up Close: The New JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa, Costa Rica


The Largest Pool in the World: Alfonso Del Mar Resort in Algarrobo, Chile

March 25, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alfonso Del Mar Resort, Chile

We tend to go gaga over hotel pools; we've been known to swoon over the pools at the W Hotel Ft. Lauderdale, Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos, and Hotel Joule Dallas, not to mention the rooftop pool scene at The London West Hollywood. Now we've just learned about the enormous pool at the Alfonso Del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile, and we're itching to check it out. National Geographic's Intelligent Travel blog reports that this 20-acre, 66 million-gallon pool stretches half a mile. For the record: an Olympic-size pool is only 164 feet long and holds 660,000 gallons. "Built for $3.5 million by the Chilean firm Crystal Lagoons, which aims to open an even vaster version in the Egyptian desert, the pool has delighted resort guests and curiosity seekers since 2007."


Machu Picchu Will Reopen on April 1

March 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Machu PicchuSince powerful floods washed away the access routes leading to the isolated ruins at Machu Picchu, the UNESCO World Heritage site has been closed to visitors. But we've just learned today that the Peruvian Minister of Tourism announced a reopening date of April 1, 2010 for tourists to once again visit the Inca ruins.


Check Out Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica with the Eco-Friendly Gaia Hotel

February 16, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Costa RicaEager to check out the howler monkeys, endangered squirrel monkeys, and sloths in Costa Rica's Manual Antonio National Park? Set on the Pacific coast, this park is world-famous for its natural beauty and great biodiversity- with over 346 species having been discovered here. The smallest of Costa Rica's national parks boasts two pristine sand beaches edged by tropical rainforest. You can even go snorkeling offshore. The place to stay is the Gaia Hotel and Reserve, the only 5-star boutique hotel in the vicinity, with an eco-friendly focus, to boot. Terraced suites and villas offer unrivaled views over the lush wild surroundings. And a spa, gym, and pool means blissful comfort onsite. But there's a slew of activities and tours available here-- from mangrove kayaking to surfing lessons to guided tours of the national park-- so you'll definitely want to get out and explore this incredible corner of the world.


Chilean Wine with the Andes as a Backdrop: 4th Night Free at San Cristobal Tower, Santiago

February 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

San Cristobal Tower, SantiagoFew places can rival Santiago as far as urban settings are concerned. Flanked by the snow-capped Andes Mountains, the Chilean capital is certainly swoon-worthy. And book a stay at the San Cristobal Tower-- steps from La Chascona (the house where Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda penned his love poems)-- and you may just fall in love. This sparkling urban resort will spoil you with meals of Patagonian lamb and fresh fish from the Pacific, paired with local Chilean wines. One of the "Top 10 Hotels in South America," San Cristobal Tower offers stunning views over Santiago's cityscape (and the mountain peaks). Return from your urban adventures or tours of the countryside, and take a dip in the Neptuno Pool, or play a match of tennis on the lighted court. With your elegant room accommodations, you'll appreciate personalized butler service. The hotel is currently offering a 4th night free when you stay for three nights with the "Taste of Luxury" package. Blame it on Valentine's Day, but we're also smitten with the "Pleasures of Being in Love" package which includes a romantic dinner for two, a bottle of Chilean wine, a welcome drink, breakfast service, private parking, and a late check-out with your rooms. From $319.


Marriott’s Big Sale: 20-40 Percent Discount on Hotels Worldwide

January 18, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott CancunMarriott is starting the year off right with a "Global Rate Break" on weekends at participating hotels worldwide, including the upscale JW Marriott brand. Stay at any of the more than 2,500 participating hotels between January 22 and March 21, 2010 and save 20 percent. Book at select resort hotels in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Hawaii-- like the JW Marriott Mexico City, JW Marriott in Cancun (pictured), Marriott Los Suenos in Costa Rica, or Hawaii's JW Marriott Ihalani Resort-- and you'll get 40 percent off. Hurry, you must book by January 22.


Fourth Night Free at Four Seasons Buenos Aires

January 12, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Buenos AiresBuenos Aires bound? Check into the swanky Four Seasons Buenos Aires in the exclusive Recoleta district, and get a fourth night free when you stay for three consecutive nights throughout 2010, including a sumptuous buffet breakfast for two in Le Mistral (yes, you'll find plenty of dulce de leche there). Choose one of the seven one-of-a-kind suites in the adjacent Belle Époque mansion, and you're in for a treat: spacious rooms with frescoes, gold leaf, and stained glass. Rooms in the contemporary tower-- appointed with mahogany furnishings-- are just as fabulous. Revel in Argentine summer by taking a dip in the outdoor pool located in the hotel gardens. Also available: an exclusive health club (one of the best in town) and a spa.


Hot Spots in Buenos Aires: The Cheese Room at the Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Hotel

January 6, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt, Buenos AiresRecently highlighted by CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg in "2010 Travel Hotspots," the Cheese Room at the Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt is an "off the brochure" experience that's not to be missed. We've recommended the brunch at the hotel's Gioia Restaurant as one of the best in B.A., and the Cheese Room-- located in Duhau Restaurant & Vinoteca-- is sensational as well. Make an appointment with the Maître Fromager to sample your choice of the 40 available cheeses accompanied by breads, dips, and fruits. All washed down with Argentine Malbecs, of course. (The cellar at Vinoteca is stocked with some 3,500 wines.)