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.

A Ritzy New Manicure at The Ritz London

July 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz London ManicureFor a real treat on your next trip to London, head to The Ritz Salon-- located on the seventh floor of the legendary hotel on Piccadilly-- for a signature Ritz Manicure. Created by Jeff Pink, the inventor of the French Manicure and founder of the famous Orly Professional Nail Care range, the Ritz manicure was created exclusively for the hotel. The deeply moisturizing treatment starts with a hand soak, followed by an olive grain exfoliation and massage with Orly products-- rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential oils. Next up: a skin-softening wrap, which seals in oils and revives the skin and cuticles. The finishing touch: Manicurist Anna Gardiner, who has tended to the nails of the glitterati, applies two flashes of signature Ritz gold lacquer, positioned to complement the natural nail. The Ritz Manicure is priced at GBP 75 and The Ritz gold lacquer costs GBP 11.95.

Get Photographed by an Official Royal Photographer at London's Milestone Hotel

July 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Milestone Hotel and Apartments, LondonEver since Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot, interest in the Royals has been at record highs. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now taking North America by storm in their first public engagement as a married couple. (They've become "the toast of Canada and California.") Looking to take a jaunt to London this year to revel in the glory of the British capital? The Milestone Hotel-- the award-winning boutique property overlooking Kensington Gardens-- has put together a buzzworthy special package that will thrill royal watchers. Imagine having your photograph taken by an official royal photographer whose commissions have included Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Princes William and Harry, the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret and the late Queen Mother. Ian Pelham-Turner has also photographed all the big names in Hollywood, and now it's your turn! You'll spend 2-3 hours having a series of photographs taken, both in the hotel and in the grounds of nearby Kensington Palace:

Not only will you receive a full set of wonderful images but Ian will share with you his many stories – taking the first photographs of Prince William as a baby, how the Queen almost knighted him in Hyde Park, how the Queen Mother held the Royal train for Ian and how Princess Diana helped him at the Royal Ballet...

Priced from £430 per night and subject to availability, the "Royal Photographic Experience" package includes:

* Two nights accommodation in a luxurious room or suite

* A 2 hour photo-session in the hotel and grounds of Kensington Palace

* The opportunity to enjoy Ian’s many stories about the personalities he has worked with

* A full unlimited set of images of the photographs

* A scroll certificate authenticating that the images have been taken by a royal photographer

* Tutorial on how to use your own camera on holiday

Look out, London: Bulgari Hotel Set for Spring 2012

June 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Bulgari Hotel MilanAfter the successful opening of the Bulgari Hotel Milan and Bulgari Resort in Bali, the brand is readying for the Spring 2012 debut of the Bulgari London- just in time for the Olympic Games. The British capital has seen a slew of fabulous hotel openings recently- from the dramatically renovated Savoy and the happening W Hotel Leicester Square to the Corinthia and the ultra-high-tech Eccleston Square Hotel. So the Bulgari London-- a posh pad with 85 rooms and suites equipped with ample Bulgari bath amenities-- will be in good company. HotelChatter reports that the hotel "will be located in the uber-posh Knightsbridge nabe" on the site of the old Knightsbridge Palace Hotel, and that the hotel's penthouse will have a nightly price tag that "only Russian billionaires can afford." What else is in store? Seven Bulgari suites, a destination restaurant and bar, a large ballroom, a private cinema and a 2,000 square meter Spa and fitness center with 25 meter indoor pool.

Pictured: The Bulgari Hotel in Milan.

Hotel Digs in Paris for Jay-Z and Beyonce

April 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Le Meurice, ParisWord in Paris is that Beyonce is in town to record a new song with Kanye West. She's been seen hanging out at the trendy Hotel Costes, and rumors have swirled about which of the city's gorgeous hotels she's been using as a crash pad. Would it be the Hotel Ritz Paris? (We're fans of the cooking school.) Le Royal Monceau? (Fresh from a dramatic makeover by designer Philippe Starck.) The Hôtel Plaza Athénée? (Home to a stellar restaurant by Alain Ducasse). The answer: D) None of the above. Beyonce and Jay-Z have splashed out with the penthouse suite at Le Meurice overlooking the springtime loveliness of the Tuileries Gardens. We hear it goes for $20,000 a night and is equipped with a private kitchen and a sprawling open-air terrace- the better for soaking up the views over the City of Light. HotelChatter reports that "Le Meurice is one of Beyonce's faves, and it seems to be the hotel of choice for other hip-hop elite, with such fans as Eminem and Kanye West." Beyonce snagged another suite to use as a studio. Not too shabby.

Get Your Nails Done in Paris: New Beauty Bar at Hotel Pavillon de la Reine

April 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pavillon de la Reine, ParisNew York-style nail salons are few and far between in the City of Light. So what's a gal to do when she needs a mani? Hotel Pavillon de la Reine to the rescue! The elegant hotel known for catering to celebs dodging the limelight has just opened a beauty bar in its library. So every Saturday you can get your nails buffed and lacquered (with OPI polish, of course) by the expert technicians from the hotel's Carita Spa. The beauty bar is open to the public, with no reservations required, with manicures priced at 25 euros.* Glass of Champagne included! Tucked away in a courtyard off the Place des Vosges, the oldest public square in Paris, Le Pavillon de la Reine is the only luxury hotel of its kind in the historic Marais quarter.

*Celeb sighting probable, though not guaranteed!

A Princely Setting for the Royal Wedding at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York

April 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Pierre, New YorkYou've been swept away by Royal Wedding fever, but aren't too keen on navigating London town with the throngs of royal watchers. The Pierre on New York's Central Park has the answer. Book the Rajput Suite, the jewel in the crown of the hotel’s collection of 11 Grand Suites, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience complete with every regal comfort (and a personal butler on call). If you stay April 28-29, you'll be able to gape at the televised royal festivities from the privacy of your very own palace. (The sprawling Rajput Suite is decked out with TVs, so take your pick from the living room, bedroom, even bath tub.) Or stay May 2-4 and you’ll have the privilege of private shopping at the hotel’s pop-up souk featuring artisanal jewelry, fashions and more hand-selected by the lifestyle curators at Here are the details on what the Pierre Rajput Suite Celebration Romance Menu includes:

* Two nights in the royally exotic Rajput Suite

* Your own private Romance Butler

* In-room Couples Massage

* Special floral arrangement by L’Olivier

* Dine at London’s famed Le Caprice, the first US outpost of this British brasserie

* Julien Farel exclusive salon menu

* Picnic in Central Park

* Carriage Ride

* Romance Turndown: with Kama Sutra touches that include body oil, incense, candles; a bubble bath drawn nightly with candles and rose petals, and a late night aphrodisiac menu with selections that include oysters, chocolate and champagne

The price tag for this all-inclusive stay is $14,500, subject to availability, valid through July 1, 2011.

The Elysian Hotel Chicago Offers Emergency Style Kits

March 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Elysian Hotel ChicagoIt's happened to the best of us. Upon arriving at your destination, you unpack your suitcase, only to discover the missing (and desperately needed) item. Oh woe! The Elysian Hotel Chicago to the rescue, explains HotelChatter in a recent story. The luxury hotel "stocks Emergency Style Kits to help with your fashion 911" and the offerings are pretty snazzy:

The women's Emergency Style Kit is filled with all-purpose goodies that will make you look good, whether you get last-minute tickets to the Lyric Opera or have a business meeting that requires some dress-up. The kit includes the perfect wear-it-a-million-ways LBD, the Donna Karan black Infiniti convertible jersey dress.

Ladies also get accessory choices, too. The kit carries classic Jimmy Choo black Gilbert Kid leather pumps, MAC Viva Glam Lipstick, Wolford Power Shape tights and a red Lanvin Ouloulette clutch.

Guys can also arm themselves with fashionable items from their very own Emergency Style Kit, stocked with "an Ermenegildo Zegna white French cuff dress shirt, an Hermés silk tie, David Yurman Armory cuff links, Gucci moccasins and Byredo Fantastic Man cologne." Prices for the ladies' kit items range from $15 to $1,000, and for the men, from $170 to $595.

Related Article: Bed, Breakfast, and Marc Jacobs at the Elysian Hotel Chicago

Hotel Missoni Kuwait Opens Its Doors Today

March 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Missoni KuwaitHallelujah! The day has finally arrived. The second Missoni hotel-- a partnership between the Rezidor Hotel Group and the Milan-based fashion house-- has debuted in Kuwait City with glamorous interiors by Creative Director Rosita Missoni. Over 85 shades of color were used in decorating the hotel, featuring the brand's colorful signature prints combined with gold, turquoise, and beige accents inspired by the beaches and bright blue Arabian Sea just outside the front door. Artisans crafted Missoni stripes throughout the hotel and on the swimming pool's tiled floor using 10 million individual mosaic tiles. In fact, the swimming pool could be the stand-out amenity here. Billed as one of the most glamorous pools in the world, the Missoni-tiled pool has dramatic sea views from its terrace. Though the Six Senses Spa-- slated to open later this spring-- could be a close second. We're also excited about the authentic Italian cuisine serviced at Cucina. Did we mention Hotel Missoni Kuwait's all-inclusive perks like free wifi, fully stocked mini bar, and in-room movies?

Related Article:

Buzzworthy: New Hotel Missoni Kuwait Introduces “Dry Sommelier” Concept

Rock Legend Chooses Montreal’s L’Hotel Le St James

January 26, 2011
By: Daniel L. Moses

Hotel Le St JamesWhen I saw the penthouse suite encompassing the top floor of L'Hotel Le St James in Montreal, I quietly asked the manager who could possibly afford to stay here. He looked at me with knowing eyes and whispered into my ear. He said, in French, “Only the wealthiest and most famous, to be fair. Several big names that you would know for sure, and one very famous rock star recently.” I wanted to know who and probed further, but he politely informed that he could not divulge the name. His clients, from the wealthiest (rock star) to the least affluent (me), come here to relax and enjoy a stay in Montreal’s finest hotel. They didn’t want to be troubled by paparazzi, and certainly didn’t want to be followed around on previous or forthcoming visits.

So I did some research of my own, on the internet, on the phone, and in some of the clubs and restaurants around L’Hotel, which, being the finest in the city, would surely have been visited by the certain persona non grata. And indeed, wow! When playing Montreal if REDACTED chooses the St. James, then I had come to the right place. REDACTED is known for choosing elegance, and the sultry sounds of REDACTED would be at home only in the finest of hotels. Color me impressed!

L' St JamesBut L’Hotel Le St James was equally amazing for a meager guest like me. I merely had a normal room, if you can call it that, as it had the largest tub I’d ever had the pleasure to soak in, and the most comfortable bed my ailing back had ever rested on. Not to mention the views of the Old City, just outside the frost covered window. In fact, gazing out through the light snow, I could gaze out over the spires of the Notre Dame Basilica as well as the ice-strewn Saint Lawrence River, coursing through the old port. Beautiful!

One final note: Since my visit fell over the holidays, I was excited to celebrate in style. I inquired with the concierge about getting reservations for Christmas brunch at the downstairs eatery, XO Le Restaurant, recently awarded 4 stars, and was pleased to find a spot available. The decadent food was only matched by the marvelous service and décor. The staff presented me with a glass of excellent champagne flown in from France, and I raised a glass, “Joyeux Noel!” Merry Christmas, indeed.

Editor's Note: A picture of the author enjoying his stay:


Padma Lakshmi’s Luxury Jewelry Collection at The Surrey, New York

December 21, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Surrey, New YorkHead to Manhattan's Upper East Side to The Surrey-- the beautifully renovated hotel that's gotten lots of buzz for its private rooftop garden and cuisine by Chef Daniel Boulud-- to check out the new collection of luxury jewelry by Padma Lakshmi. Inspired by the Top Chef host's international travels, The Padma Collection's Fall/Winter 2010 line will be available for sale through The Surrey's concierge through March 2011. Apparently Lakshmi is a fan of the hotel and its gorgeous makeover. To quote: "I love The Surrey hotel," she says. "It is a place that has served as a stylish home away from home when I needed it, and I’m delighted that I can be back at the hotel through featuring my jewelry collection in their armoire."

Related Articles:

Discounted Room Rate and Free Extras at The Surrey New York

Bedside Cocktails and the New Rooftop Garden at The Surrey, New York