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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.

Welcome to the Jungle: Lapa Rios Rainforest Ecolodge

August 24, 2009
By: Alison Victor

Intercontinental Real Costa Rica Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural places, which conserve the environment and sustains the well being of the local people." With today's current trend towards preservation and enviromental protection there is quite a bit of interest in finding hotels that aim for sustainable tourism as well as "green luxury." A great example of this is Lapa Rios, a resort spread over 1,000 acres of Central America's last remaining lowland tropical rain forest in Costa Rica. This private nature reserve goes by the notion that "a standing rain forest is more valuable than one cut down." Some things that Lapa Rios does to make it both luxurious and earth-friendly include decking out the beautiful bungalows with locally made bamboo furniture, assisting the local community by providing basic education and job training for employment at the resort, and using locally caught fish and seasonal organic produce at the gourmet Restaurant Brisa Azul.

Guests can enjoy lots of great rain forest and ocean activities, including whale watching, interpretive hikes, and ocean-mangrove boating trips. Opened since 1993, Lapa Rios has already won many social and environmental awards, and proves to be a top destination for honeymooners looking to experience something intimate and different.

Perhaps the only draw back may be Lapa Rios's location, as getting there can prove to be an experience all its own. Guests fly into San Jose, and then take a 45 minute flight on either Nature Air or Sansa to Puerto Jimenez. At Puerto Jimenez, not only will they find the Lapa Rios office, but also a 4x4 Lapa Rios safari truck that will take them the rest of the way to the property.

If you have plenty of time allotted to visit Lapa Rios, then it may be a good idea to begin and end your trip with a stay at the Intercontinental Real Costa Rica in San Jose, (pictured) where a deluxe room will run you under 200 USD a night. Think of it as your transition from city living to green luxury, a perfect way to get in tune with your natural rhythm before your adventure begins!


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

August 7, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort

Imagine a place where the lush rainforest touches the surf, where sandy beaches are sheltered by a horseshoe of islands, and 25 swanky bungalows afford dazzling views of the emerald sea. Nearby fishing villages offer a fresh catch and a slice of traditional life. Such a place exists-- south of Sao Paulo near Florianopolis on Brazil's aptly named Emerald Coast. Escape to Ponta dos Ganchos-- a member of Relais & Chateaux-- and you'll experience one of the country's most exclusive beach resorts.

Ponta dos Ganchos Exclusive Resort

Lounge on the beach, take to the high seas by boat, or explore one of the best scuba diving spots in South Brazil: nearby Alvoredo Island. Sun-burned? Retreat to the resort's private cinema for a flick or get a massage at the SPA by Christian Dior. There's also a tennis court, fitness center, and pool. Note: Guests under the age of 18 are not permitted.


What’s Hot in Buenos Aires: The New Cigar Bar at Alvear Palace

July 23, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alvear PalaceThe jetsetting clientele of Alvear Palace have another reason to adore the hotel: its brand new Cigar Bar. Puff on your choice of fine Havana cigars paired with chocolates and liqueurs in a stylish Art-Deco setting. Designed to be a "gourmand's delight," the Cigar Bar adds a new dimension to the hotel's fabulous restaurant offerings (La Bourgogne Aujourd'hui is as adored as traditional afternoon tea).


Paradisus Bring the LUXE to Your Vacation

July 23, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

 Paradisus Punta CanaIndulge in the Paradisus Experience. The four luxury all-inclusive resorts, Paradisus Punta Cana (pictured), Paradisus Riviera Cancun Royal Service, Paradisus Playa Conchal, and Paradisus Punta Cana, offer what they call LUXEclusive service. The resorts, located in Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic, are all-suites, and offer personalized service that caters to guests' every whim, wish, and desire. Whether it's arranging a special evening for your someone special, making sure the kids have a great vacation too (they have their own PoshMom Family Concierge), or indulging at the full-service spa, no request is too great for Paradisus.


Travel + Leisure Announces World’s Best Hotels Survey Winners

July 22, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Bushmans Kloof” class=

Travel + Leisure has just announced the winners of its World’s Best Hotels 2009 survey, and no surprise, many of the top hotels named can be found on Five Star Alliance. In top fifteen alone, favorites include South Africa's Bushmans Kloof (pictured), Singita Sabi Sand , and Twelve Apostles; Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia, India's Oberoi Vanyavilas and Oberoi Udaivilas; Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires, Tanzania's Kirawira Camp, and America's own Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. Congrats to all the winners!


Let the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge Set the Romance

July 3, 2009
By: Christina Vasquez

Machu Picchu Sanctuary LodgeTake a special honeymoon getaway and spend a memorable stay at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge with the Honeymoon Package. This special will allow you to indulge on your honeymoon with a full board package- which includes room accommodations as well as private dinner, and a one hour massage for two per stay. As an added gift a bottle of sparkling Peruvian wine is included to enjoy the stunning moonlight evenings of Machu Picchu's natural environment.

Package rates vary according to availability, and certain terms and restrictions apply.


Sofitel Chic Picnic Offers a Fourth Night Free in Rio and Beyond

June 25, 2009
By: K. Clare Johnson

Sofitel Rio de JaneiroThis summer, Sofitel wants to frolic in the grass with you. The Chic Picnic Package, available at participating Sofitel locations, including the Sofitel Rio de Janeiro, is available from now until August 31, 2009. Guests enjoy elegant accommodations, a three night stay, guaranteed 4pm late checkout, and a sumptuous picnic basket filled with gastronomical goodies. (Some Asian Sofitel locations offer a $50 credit in lieu of the picnic basket). Additionally, if you book your stay before July 5, 2009, you'll receive a fourth night free, or if you book 8 nights, you'll get two nights free. Book quickly for best availability, and note that certain additional terms and restrictions apply.


Fourth Night Free in Buenos Aires at the Park Tower

June 10, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Park Tower

It's time to tango. Park Tower, A Luxury Collection Hotel, is doling out a fourth night free to lucky guests who want to stay a little longer and soak up the urbane flair of this cosmopolitan city. Indulge in five-star facilities-- the Neptune Pool & Fitness Center with two swimming pools, tennis courts, sauna and steam baths-- and appreciate the hotel's talked-about service: 24-hour room service, butlers on each floor, and 24-hour concierge service, who can hook you up with coveted restaurant restaurants or arrange a visit to Tigre, an authentic Estancia.

Park Tower

The hotel's 181 spacious guest rooms have sparkling city views and Italian marble bathrooms with separate bath and shower. For the utmost in luxury, book a Terrace Suite, Senator's Suite, or Governor's Suite, to take in the spectacular views of the city and Rio de la Plata from a large terrace. Needless to say, the St. Regis Suite-- occupying the top floor of the hotel-- offers an unparalleled experience. Snag your fourth night free by booking the "Taste of Luxury" package.


Brazil is for Lovers: Celebrating Dia dos Namorados

May 19, 2009
By: Alison Victor

EmilianoLooking for a special way to show that special someone you love them, but think Valentine's Day is still nine months away? Well, you may just be in luck. Brazilians celebrate their version of Valentine's Day, "Dia dos Namorados," literally translating to "Day of the Enamored," on June 12th. This date is actually the eve of St. Anthony of Padua's Day. St. Anthony is considered to be the Patron Saint of those who want a loving companion, and he is also thought to bless people with a good marriage. While much remains the same in Brazil as it does in the rest of the world on Valentine's Day (i.e. the exchange of flowers and chocolates and love letters), there are also parades, carnivals, concerts, and parties. One of the most romantic and luxurious hotels to spend Dia dos Namorados is the Emiliano in Sao Paolo. Contemporary luxury with a boutique setting, Emiliano boasts a gourmet Italian restaurant, world class spa, and rooms and suites that are perfect for romance.


Get a Free Night with InterContinental: 5 Million Nights Up for Grabs at 4,000 Hotels

April 28, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Hotel Beijing Financial StreetInterContinental Hotels Group-- the world's largest hotel company-- has just announced a big promotion. Earn a free night by registering at getafreenight.com and then staying two nights at any Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites or Candlewood Suites around the world between May 4th and July 3rd, 2009. Voila! A free night is yours for the taking at any IHG hotel-- like the luxurious InterContinental Beijing Financial Street (pictured at right)-- until December 26th, 2009.