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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.

Remember, Remember, the Month of November at the Ritz Carlton Chicago

October 25, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Ritz Carlton Chicago, a Four Seasons Hotel, is offering a few incredible activities and memorable events in November that are fun for the whole family. Kick off the holidays by participating in the Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights parade on November 19, 2011. The Ritz Carlton Chicago is located on the Magnificent Mile, just steps away from the upcoming parade. Your family and friends will enjoy hot chocolate, chestnuts, and other delicious snacks right outside the hotel prior to the parade, courtesy of the Candy Man from Candyality. After nibbling on treats, check out the parade, which begins with the lighting procession by none other than Mickey and Minnie Mouse at 5:30 PM. Take in the magic of seeing various Disney characters, floats, huge balloons, celebrities, marching bands, music performers, and last but not least, Santa Claus. During the parade, over 1 million lights covering 200 trees are illuminated, enlivening the spirit of the holidays, leading up to stunning fireworks along the Chicago River to conclude the parade. After the exciting parade, head back to the Ritz Carlton for a toast to the holiday season with a complimentary glass of champagne for adults and a cup of hot chocolate for children and the lighting of the hotel’s 17-foot (5 meter) tree at 7:30PM.

November is just around the corner, so get excited for some family fun and make your travel plans to Chicago today!


Fall into The James Chicago with a $50 Food and Beverage Credit

September 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James ChicagoJust off the Magnificent Mile, The James Chicago is one of the coolest and most comfortable spots to bed down in Chitown. And for those looking for a quick urban getaway this fall, The James has unveiled newly updated suites that now have complimentary triple-filtered water systems, a selection of eco-friendly pillow options by Keetsa, Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin i-pod docks, and bath products from Intelligent Nutrients. Stay in one of these select rooms (Studio, Loft or Apartment suites) now through December 31, 2011 and receive a $50 food & beverage credit to enjoy dishes from David Burke's Primehouse. How about the creamy caramelized onion soup with homemade bacon puff pastry, and the mac and cheese (blue cheese & cheddar with apple confit, crispy shallots)?


Public Chicago Offers Modernized, Discrete Room Service; Also, Cows in Hats

September 16, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Public Chicago, Cows in Hats

The Public Chicago just keeps coming up with something new. I just posted about them a couple of days ago, and already they’re back with more interesting and innovative concepts. HotelChatter has released reports of their amazing, new room service. Classic room service is based on the concept of the full-service experience – because pure luxury is being waited on hand and foot.  A butler brings the food to your room, and you go through an involved process of preparation and presentation.  But the Public Chicago has smartly realized that sometimes guests prefer their privacy to an extra inch or two of service.

In this case, Public knows that discretion is the better part of more than just valor, and they offer an alternate room service model in addition to the standard. Often on vacation we want nothing more than to be left alone to lounge in our ultra-soft blankets, so the Public has adapted the philosophy of the convenience in non-interaction (see the self-checkout line at your supermarket) to luxury service.  

Removing the pressure of having to look put-together and the hassle of removing unwanted dishes, the food is delivered in a surprisingly sleek brown bag with nothing but a discrete knock on your door.  It’s so circumspect; I’m half expecting them to offer a fake passport hidden in a false bottom with your every meal. While you might not be having a clandestine meeting with foreign intelligence agents, Public respects your desire for privacy and doesn’t skimp on the quality.  Look for this practice to catch on as more and more hotels cater to a modern sense of luxury.  But don't worry if you prefer the classic; Public Chicago still offers the industry standard if discretion is not your cup of tea.

I've neglected to even mention some of the other spectacular reports coming out of this new hotel, such as the breathtaking views, complimentary bike rides, or fine dining.  And if you're curious about the second part of the headline, I think this picture speaks for itself:



Ambassador East Goes Public: Rechristened Public Chicago Hotel Is Ready to Rumble

September 14, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Public Chicago Hotel 

HotelChatter recently traveled to the newly renovated and renamed Ambassador East Hotel, now the Public Chicago Hotel, and have brought back their impressions along with a number of gorgeous photos. The verdict:  Public Chicago is undeniably the next big thing.  While the name itself evokes images of other, less luxurious public facilities, once you step inside, it becomes quite clear that the Public Chicago is warm, sleek, and modern.  While the hotel has been updated and modernized, reopening just this month, it also hasn’t forgotten its roots – the Public has integrated the traditional aspects of the Ambassador into their reimagining, ranging from a postcard of Dustin Hoffman dressed in their original bellman’s outfit to their inviting library and exquisite restaurant, The Pump Room. 

And when you consider the pricing of the rooms, officially starting at $135/night (though demand could quickly raise the cost), the “public” in the name becomes clear.  The value for the cost is far beyond other hotels of its class, and the Public manages to bring affordability to a luxury hotel without sacrificing the experience that discerning travelers have come to count on – something that many hotels have tried and failed to do.  This is no welfare system; it’s an atmospheric and ultra-modern hotel offering top-of-the-line accommodations at a price anyone could afford. Click through to see HotelChatter’s own analysis, and check out the galleries of the rooms and the public spaces for a look under the hood of a hotel so freshly rebranded, the cab drivers don’t even know its name. And if it looks like a destination that’s right for you (hint: it is!), don’t hesitate to book now while prices are still low.


National Chicken Month: Chow on All-You-Can-Eat Chicken at Four Seasons Chicago

September 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fried Chicken at Four Seasons Hotel ChicagoNational Chicken Month is upon us... And what are you doing to celebrate? Here's an idea: Why not stop by the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago for some finger lickin' fried chicken served up by Executive Chef Kevin Hickey, who learned a few tricks of the trade while cooking at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, known as the fried chicken capital of the South. The hotel has rolled out an "all-you-can-eat friend chicken menu" in Seasons Lounge this September. Order up the three-course menu and you'll start with a wedge salad with candied pecans and blue cheese from Georgia's own Sweetgrass Dairy, followed by a basket of buttermilk fried chicken, sweet corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits and honey, served family-style. For dessert? A peach pie with blueberry ice cream. The three-course fried chicken menu is $35 per person and is available for lunch and dinner on Thursdays.


VIP Access to the Shedd Aquarium with The Blackstone, A Chicago Renaissance Hotel

August 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Blackstone, a Chicago Renaissance HotelThe Shedd opened on May 30, 1930 as Chicago's first stand-alone aquarium, launched by the retired president of Marshall Field & Company, John G. Shedd. Today the popular attraction houses nearly 22,000 aquatic animals representing some 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters all over the world. Experience the historic Shedd Aquarium, a.k.a., "The World's Aquarium," with a special package from The Blackstone Hotel. Priced from $179 per night, the Aquarium Escape! includes two VIP non-timed/non-dated tickets to the Shedd Aquarium (read: no waiting in lines!) along with your overnight accommodations at The Blackstone. What's more, you'll be given a complimentary upgrade to a "View Room." Based on availability Thursday - Sunday only; valid through December 31, 2011.


Trump Chicago Celebrates Ivanka's New Baby with Facebook Contest

July 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Trump ChicagoTo celebrate the arrival of Arabella Rose, Ivanka Trump's new baby girl, the Trump Chicago is running a fab Facebook contest. One lucky mom-to-be will win a luxe babymoon! All you have to do is "like" the Trump Chicago on Facebook and, in 50 words or less, "tell them why someone in your life deserves a little pampering before Baby arrives." Hurry, you must enter by Thursday, July 21! The Trump Chicago team will then select their favorite story on Friday, July 22 to win a Babymoon Package on the future date of her choosing, based on availability, which includes:

* One-night stay in a deluxe suite

* 60-minute prenatal massage for Mom

* 60-minute Trump Classic massage for Dad

* One breakfast for two in Sixteen

* Daily selection of special teas/smoothies/mock-tails

* A prenatal pillow for use during the stay

* Special gift


Langham Hotels Heads to Chicago

July 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa, PasadenaBig fans of Langham Hotels, we've been keeping a keen eye on the development of a brand spanking new hotel in Chicago. Set to open in May 2013, the 320-room hotel will occupy floors 2-13 in the former IBM Building downtown, an architectural icon designed by Mies van der Rohe. This will be the third U.S. hotel for the Langham chain, joining the Boston and Pasadena properties (not to mention the gorgeous London flagship and acclaimed Hong Kong hotel). A recent article on Katie Benson, regional vice-president for Europe and North America for Langham Hotels International, gave us a few more deets about this hotly-anticipated debut. Straight from the horse's mouth:

"...I think it will have the best rooms product in town, but that's the advantage of being new, and also the advantage of having floor-to-ceiling windows. I think the service style is a bit different. We will have a club lounge with spectacular views. This hotel will have our signature brand Chuan spa, which is our own spa brand built on traditional Chinese practices, and that will be I think a first in Chicago."

Related Article: Open Today: The Chuan Spa at The Langham, London

Pictured: The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, California


PUBLIC: Ian Schrager's New Hotel Brand

May 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

PUBLIC ChicagoThis week Ian Schrager revealed plans for his new hotel brand and the press is going wild. The hotelier who pioneered the concept of the boutique hotel will debut PUBLIC, focused on "accessible luxury," on September 12. Last year we reported that Schrager had snatched up a prime piece of Chitown real estate: the Ambassador East hotel and its famous Pump Room. Now the property has been transformed into the PUBLIC Chicago and the legendary restaurant will be helmed by none other than Jean-Georges Vongerichten. In an interview with Chicago Magazine, Schrager had this to say:

"This whole hotel is really different from what I’ve done in the past. In the past, people might have labeled what I had done as being exclusive. Everything we are trying to do here is meant to be inclusive. We are trying to attract everybody and anybody who likes what we’ve done. Whether celebrities or young people or older people, we want everybody to enjoy it."

One of the details we're already swooning over: guests will be able to customize their own mini-bars.

Image via USA Today Hotel Check-In blog


From $175: A Stay at Affinia Chicago with Lots of Free Extras

May 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Affinia ChicagoHeading to Chicago this summer? Here's an enticing bargain. Affinia Chicago, just steps away from Magnificent Mile, is welcoming guests with a boatload of freebies to get out and enjoy Navy Pier, Chitown's lakefront playground. After all, the Affinia *is* the official hotel of Navy Pier! The best part? Rates from just $175 per night. With the "Navy Pier Getaway," you get four tickets to Pier Park, complimentary overnight parking at the hotel (a $49 value), trolley rides to and from the attraction on Saturdays, a children’s digital camera to capture vacation memories, and a value book of savings including discounts and special offers valid at shops and restaurants at Navy Pier. Guests staying Sunday through Thursday also enjoy four complimentary passes to the Chicago Children's Museum (a $40 value). Available for travel through September 7, 2011. Subject to availability.