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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.

Harvest Time in Wine Country at Willows Lodge, Woodinville, Washington


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Willow Lodge The grape harvest is fast upon us in North America-- the perfect time to pay a visit to the romantic vineyards of Washington's Woodinville region. Escape to Willows Lodge, just 20 minutes from Seattle, and indulge in a culinary extravaganza at one of the most highly-rated restaurants in the Northwest, a stroll through award-winning wineries, and all the civilized comforts of a magical luxury lodge. Oenophiles will delight in Western Washington's wine and culinary destination of choice; Woodinville is currently home to nearly two dozen wineries and many are open for daily tasting including Columbia Winery, Silver Lake Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle. Situated on five exquisitely landscaped acres that border the Sammamish River, Willows Lodge features 84 rooms and suites, a full-service spa with outdoor Jacuzzi, and The Herbfarm Restaurant, rated one of the Top 50 Restaurants in America.

PS. Willows Lodge is pet friendly! The WVIP (Willows Very Important Pet) program means special amenities for four-legged friends including a doggie room service menu specially prepared by Seattle's Three Dog Bakery, map and directions for pet and owner walks, and doggie bed with turn down service (and a night time raw hide bone).


Destination: Tanzania and the Zanzibar Serena Inn


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Zanzibar Serena Inn An African safari wouldn't be complete without a stop-over at the Indian Ocean hot spot of Zanzibar. The archipelago is just a hop from the mainland, and entices visitors with its rich history and aquamarine waters. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Stone Town is buzzing with bright bazaars, redolent with the scent of cloves. Wander the narrow streets and marvel at the Portuguese, Arab, Dutch, and English cultural influences. The place to stay is the Zanzibar Serena Inn, the perfect base to explore the atmospheric streets of the town. Idyllically situated on the sea front, the hotel is a haven of opulence amidst the bustle of the town. Each guest room is a cool, white enclave, constructed in the traditional design of a Swahili house, adorned with traditionally carved furniture, cool-ceramics, intricate fretwork, and draped beds. Lovely doors open onto wrought-iron balconies overlooking the Persian-bath pool and azure bay beyond.


Pan Pacific Seattle: Personal Stewards for Every Guest


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific Seattle Pan Pacific's first new-build in the U.S. has already made quite a name for itself, voted on to Conde Nast Traveler's 2007 Hot List. Located just minutes from downtown's many attractions, the new Pan Pacific Seattle boasts "eye-of-the-Space-Needle views of the city" from its 160 guest rooms. Part of the exclusive 2200 Development, the hotel is just upstairs from retail and dining outlets all located within a pedestrian-friendly landscaped plaza (think Whole Foods, Starbucks...) Designed by Hirsch Bedner, the sleek hotel is all about "East meets West." Rooms epitomize luxury, outfitted with a Hypnos bed, Egyptian cotton bedding, Herman Miller chairs, four-fixture bathrooms in every room, oversized tubs, HD plasma televisions, and complimentary internet. Not to mention the personal steward service. Whether it's planning a full vacation itinerary, or simply arranging dinner reservations, your personal concierge works with you to customize your stay. How's that for individualized service?

Coming soon: the full-service spa.


Vineyard Fest 2007 at Chateau Elan, Georgia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau Elan Celebrate Georgia's largest grape harvest featuring national and international wineries, Chef seminars, winery tours, live blues-rock music, grape stomping and good eats! An elegant French-style chateau just 40 minutes from Atlanta, Chateau Elan Winery and Resort is the largest producer of premium wines in Georgia and a favorite weekend getaway spot. The Vineyard Fest will take place on Sunday, August 26th, 2007. (Advance purchase tickets only.) This highly anticipated event includes over 100 different wines being poured by wineries and distributors from around the world, as well as wine tastings, tours, and seminars. Plus, the resort will be rolling out the BBQ smoker this year for seriously slow-cooked southern BBQ prepared by Chef Russell McClendon. It's a day filled with merriment, surrounded by 3,500 acres of vineyards in full gorgeous bloom.


Ca’ Sagredo: The Newest Five Star Hotel in Venice, Italy


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ca Sagredo Say hello to the newest luxury hotel on the block, your own private palazzo in the heart of Venice. Smack dab on the Grand Canal, Ca' Sagredo has a spectacular location just a short walk from the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Square. Dating back to the 15th century, classified as a National Monument, the building has retained its magnificent frescoed wall and gracious architecture. Indeed, the hotel is more like a museum, housing precious artwork from the most important Venetian painters of the 17th and 18th century: Giambattista Tiepolo, Pietro Sebastiano Ricci, Pietro Longhi, among others. The restaurant is no less luxurious. Overlooking the Grand Canal from a grand panoramic terrace, L'Alcova serves the finest Mediterranean cuisine in a trendy atmosphere.


What’s Hot: Hotel Riva, Hvar, Croatia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Riva There's been a lot of buzz about the breathtakingly beautiful island of Hvar, magnet for beautiful people, dotted with lavender patches and sun-kissed (rocky) beaches. Hvar receives more days of sunshine than any other place in the country, and the visitors flock to this scenic hot spot. Hvar Town is chock full of fine restaurants, trendy bars, and winding Medieval alleys-- a picturesque and popular hideaway. The place to stay is the Hotel Riva, the island's chicest boutique hotel and the only Croatian hotel that's a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Located on the seaside promenade, the hotel attracts a memorable crowd of pretty people to its BB club, the island's hottest bar. The views from the stylish, contemporary rooms are simply stunning.


Turtle Camp at The Ritz-Carlton Cancun


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz Carlton Cancun Each summer, the large white sand beach in front of the Ritz-Carlton Cancun becomes a sanctuary for sea turtles which arrive at night to nest. The luxury resort, one of the most elegant in the world, has created a Turtle Camp, an ecological conservation program for guests to discover one of the best kept secrets of this sought-after destination. The Ritz-Carlton Cancun has introduced the services of the Turtle Nanny, who patrols the beach at night in search of nests, serves as a guardian for the turtles and guides guests in the release of the hatchlings into the ocean after a two month incubation period. Be part of this truly extraordinary experience at The Ritz-Carlton Cancun.


Stay and Spa at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Pennsylvania


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Nemacolin Woodlands Book a spa package at the popular Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and indulge in a complimentary, 50-minute Hot Stone of Swedish Massage. The Stay and Spa package starts at just $299, available Sunday-Thursday until October 31, 2007. The world-class Woodlands Spa is just one of the fabulous facilities on-site at this Mobil Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond resort situated on 3,000 beautiful acres outside Pittsburgh.


Paris Chic at the Sofitel Trocadero Dokhan’s


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sofitel Trocadero Dokhan's Charming, tasteful, elegant, the Sofitel Trocadero is more akin to a stately private home than hotel. And yet, the Sofitel Trocadero is as sumptuous and grand as any luxury hotel in Paris. A temple to luxury in neoclassical style, the Haussmann-style building houses 41 rooms and 4 suites, each room uniquely (and impeccably) styled with period antiques and plush fabrics. And in a city known for its compact hotel rooms, the bathrooms here are perfectly spacious. Located between the Trocadero and the Arc de Triomphe, the hotel is home to the only champagne bar in Paris to also offer light meals.


Sun and Snow in Dubai at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kempinski Mall of the Emirates At Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, you get a big taste of both worlds: desert sun and Alpine slopes. Overlooking Dubai's indoor ski resort, attached to the biggest shopping mall outside of North America, the luxurious Kempinski is one of the hottest attractions in the booming tourist destination of Dubai.

Kempinski Mall of the EmiratesFrom your sprawling guest room-- equipped with large plasma screen TVs with international satellite channels, DVD players, and cutting edge technology-- you can check out the snow falling on the slopes of Ski Dubai. (You can also dine at the restaurants overlooking the wintry ski slopes.) But step outside your Ski Chalet, and you can bask in Dubai's tropical setting at the swimming pool and tennis courts.