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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.

Ayurvedic Experience at Amangalla, Galle, Sri Lanka


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AmangallaStart off the year on the right note with the ultimate dose of good health at Amanresort's gorgeous architectural masterpiece: Amangalla. Located within the fortified walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site Galle Fort, Amangalla reflects the elegant ambiance of a bygone era. From the lavish resort, step out into a historical treasure, the ancient crossroads of Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Malays, South Indians, Portuguese, Dutch and English. Amangalla has designed the Ayurvedic experience package, for guests to revitalize and balance their energies, setting the course for a healthier future. Ayurveda is an ancient system of health care originated by the sages of India who learned how to prevent diseases and maintain good health. Sri Lanka developed its own Ayurvedic system over 3,000 years ago, and you can get a taste of this at Amangalla. The three-day Ayurvedic Taster, priced at $1,350 for two, includes a personalized Ayurvedic diet with daily herbal teas, daily Yoga and meditation class, daily Ayurvedic or spa treatment, Ayurvedic tonic delivered to the guest bedroom, a prepared herbal bath, use of The Baths' hydrotherapy pools, steam room and sauna, and open discussion over afternoon tea with Ayurvedic physician. You can also choose the seven-day Ayurvedic Relaxer ($2,835 double occupancy), or the 14-day Ayurvedic Detox ($5,355 double occupancy).


Untracked Powder and No Hassle Heli-Skiing: Rusty Parrot Lodge, Jackson Hole


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rusty Parrot Lodge and SpaThe snowcapped peaks around Grand Teton National Park average over 400 inches of snow a year, meaning Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boasts some of the best skiing anywhere. With a vertical drop of 1,260 meters and over 1,000 hectares of skiing and snowboarding terrain, Jackson is the place to be this winter. The valleys, blanketed with white until April, are the ideal place for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, and snowshoeing to track winter wildlife. Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa invites you to discover this winter wonderland while enjoying the creature comforts at this five-star hideaway. After a day of adrenaline-pumping activity, retreat to the Body Sage Spa for a pampering massage, enjoy fine dining at the acclaimed Wild Sage restaurant, or soak up the views of Snow King Mountain from the outdoor hot tub. Book the Powder Package and get four nights accommodation (King or Double Queen room with oversized soaking tubs), daily lift tickets, a full chef-prepared Jackson style breakfast each morning, and complimentary transportation to Jackson Hotel Mountain Resort. Priced from $956 per room, per stay, available until March 23, 2008 (excluding December 21, 2007-January 2008). Or choose the No-Hassle Heli-Skiing Package, and enjoy five nights accommodation, two days of heli-skiing with lunch at the heli-deli when high-mountain heli-skiing, two days of skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, breakfast daily, dinner for two at Wild Sage restaurant, and two Arnica sports massages. Priced from $5,590 per room, per stay.


Winter Warmer Rates at The Athenaeum Hotel, London


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Athenaeum Hotel and ApartmentsTake advantage of guaranteed dollar rates at the stylish Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments on London's Piccadilly overlooking Green Park and all the excitement of Central London. The family-owned five-star hotel, renowned for its service, sumptuous décor and tempting dining, is offering a special Winter Warmer Package with rates at an unbelievable $290 per night (standard room). This is a whopping 50 percent off the published rates. The package is available until March 30, 2008, with a three-night minimum stay required. Also included: the use of an X-Box or Playstation in-room for the kids, 50 percent discount on breakfast for kids under 10, priority early check-in, and late check-out at 2 p.m.


Stay Another Day in Paradise: Fourth Night Free at Maroma Resort, Riviera Maya


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Maroma Resort and SpaEscape from the busy holiday season and plan the perfect beach vacation in paradise. Destination: Sun and Sand-- where you can dip your toes in the warm Caribbean, recharge in an otherworldly spa, laze on the picture-perfect white beach, and try your hand at numerous water sports. At the elegant Maroma Resort and Spa, guests are spoiled with fab inclusive amenities like daily breakfast, a welcome cocktail, and snorkeling trip to the extensive coral reefs just offshore. Surrounded by a 200-acre nature preserve on the Yucatan Peninsula just south of Cancun, this secluded hideaway serves up the best kind of barefoot luxury. Choose the "Stay Another Day" package and you can stay for four nights, but only pay for three.


The Latest Cutting-Edge Services from Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Los Cabos


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Las Ventanas al ParaisoLas Ventanas al Paraiso, Rosewood's world-renowned resort in Los Cabos, has been leading the pack when it comes to personalized service and fabulous amenities. Where else can you find a post-dinner Bath Menu? Private beach dining by the glow of a warming bonfire? A pet's luxury program with special menus and pampering massages for your furry friend? Enhanced poolside service that includes sunglasses cleaning? By far the finest resort on the peninsula of Baja California, if not the continent, Las Ventanas al Paraiso has recently introduced an olive oil tasting menu showcasing oils from Valle de Guadalupe. Guests will delight in dishes like Panela cheese with hot chili fougasse bread (La Cetto Vineyard oil), beef and organic vegetable stew (Misión Porvenir oil), and homemade linguini with red snapper (Adobe Guadalupe Vineyard oil). There's even a dessert with olive oil ice cream.


The Best of the Baltics: Stikliai Hotel, Vilnius, Lithuania


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Stikliai Hotel, VilniusThe time to visit the postcard perfect Baltic States is now. Think ahead to a summertime jaunt to Lithuania. One of the most exciting cities in Europe, Vilnius is situated at the crossroads between Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Western Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Lithuania's vibrant capital is chock full of fascinating attractions. The splendid architecture on display in the old town manifests Baroque, Romanesque, Renaissance and Jugendstil influences. The place to stay is the Stikliai Hotel, the city's best luxury digs, housed in an elegant 17th century residence in the heart of historic old town. The hotel's name is derived from Stikliu Street, on which many craftsmen had their workshops in the 15th and 16th centuries. (Stikliai means "glass blower" in Lithuanian.) A member of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux collection of luxury hotels, the Stikliai boasts an acclaimed restaurant, ornate winter garden, and refined guest rooms. Charming and full of warmth, the Stikliai Hotel is praised for the remarkable hospitality of its hosts.


Final Days for Free Nights at Fairmont Hotels


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont ChicagoBook a stay at a participating Fairmont Hotel by December 31, 2007, and you'll get the third night free with Only One Way Winter rates. Or you can earn double airline miles with the Only One Way Winter rate until April 15, 2008. Hurry, now's your chance to get the best of winter with memorable experiences, fabulous rates (starting from $189 in D.C.!) and free third nights in Washington D.C., Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Santa Monica, and Newport Beach.


Escape the Winter Blues at Half Moon, Jamaica and Get Resort Credit


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon, JamaicaHalf Moon has been delivering the picture-perfect vacation for over fifty years. And recently, Half Moon has been the talk of the Caribbean with the opening of its dreamy Fern Tree Spa. Celebrate the good life in a magical setting: sandy crescent beaches dotted with palms, white washed cottages surrounded by fragrant gardens. Stretching across 400 lushly landscaped acres, the resort boasts top-notch facilities: a championship, 72-par Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, 18-hole putting green, 13-lit tennis courts, a full range of water sports, an exclusive natural Dolphin Lagoon, six gourmet restaurants and over half a dozen informal snack bars, and shopping village.

Book the Winter Escape package and receive big-time resort credit: $1,000 resort credit for a 5-bedroom villa, $1,200 for a 6-bedroom villa and $1,400 for a 7-bedroom villa to be used at restaurants, activities and other services at the resort. The package includes daily breakfast and round-trip airport transfers. The villas offer a grand home away from home for your friends and family-- with a personal staff of a butler, housekeeper and a cook, private pool, 2 golf carts, and all the amenities of a luxury resort. The Winter Escape package is also available for guests staying in any of Half Moon's 201 hotel rooms and suites and offers $200 in resort credit. 5-night minimum stay required. Valid for stays January 5- April 15, 2008 with blackout dates Feb. 14- 22, 2008.


Sky High in Bangkok at lebua at State Tower


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

lebua at State Tower, BangkokBangkok's all-suite luxury property presents dramatic views of the city from every single room. The world at your feet, gaze out over the pulsating city and the distinctive loops of the Chao Phraya River meandering around skyscrapers. lebua at State Tower is the only place in the city to offer this incredible bird's eye view. What's more-- the hotel's balconies are the highest in the city, so you can step out of your suite to enjoy the breeze and drink in awesome sunsets. Dine on the 63rd floor at Sirocco, the world's highest al fresco restaurant, or hit up the trendy Sky Bar. Retire to your room, where the glass wall of window continues the evening's theater of bright lights, big city. In-room, you'll find Bvlgari bath amenities, 330 thread count linens, Petrossian amenities in the mini bar, and all sorts of high tech gadgetry. There's even an in-suite cooking class option with the hotel's superb chefs.


Skate into the Festive Season at the Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Plaza AtheneeSince its inauguration in 1911, the world-famous Hôtel Plaza Athénée has symbolized Parisian glamour. This is the chic hotel of choice while staying in the French capital, ideally situated between the Avenue des Champs Elysées and the Eiffel Tower. Add a touch of magic to the winter season with a jaunt to the sparkling City of Light, and enjoy the private ice-skating rink opened in the hotel's courtyard. Starting from EUR 695 in a Superior Room, the Plaza Festive Offer combines the most opulent accommodations with special amenities: American breakfast for two, access to the ice rink plus skate rental, a EUR 40 gift voucher to the Plaza Athénée Red Line Gift Collection, and an in-room gift from the pastry chef. Available until January 31, 2008, two-night minimum stay required.