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.

Five Star Alliances Announces Winner of Luxury Hotel Giveaway

By: Five Star Alliance

The James New YorkAnd we have a winner! For the last few months, we ran a luxury hotel giveaway contest with a sweet prize: a three-night stay at The James Hotel New York, situated at the corner of Manhattan's Soho and Tribeca neighborhoods. Entry to the contest was easy; folks just had to sign up to receive our exclusive (and free!) monthly newsletter by May 31, 2011. The hotel's rooftop deck and pool is one of the hottest spots in town- with glorious views of the city skyline and river.

Without further ado... drumroll please... Helaine H. from Scottsdale, Arizona nabbed the prize! A Corporate Meeting Planner who greatly enjoys researching and visiting travel destinations, Helaine says "the Five Star Alliance site is an excellent, easy-to-read resource for familarizing myself with the "Best of the Best" properties of the world!" Helaine is excitedly anticipating her trip to NYC's The James Hotel this fall.

Don’t Miss Out: Win a 3-Night Stay at The James New York!

By: Five Star Alliance

The James New YorkHave you heard about the Five Star Alliance giveaway contest? We're giving away a 3-night stay at The James New York, the sexy new hotel already famous for its rooftop pool deck that has 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline. Simply sign up for our free monthly newsletter by May 31, 2011, and you’ll be automatically entered to win! All new subscribers, aged 18 or older, will be eligible for a chance to score a 3-night getaway in a Deluxe Guestroom at the hotel everyone’s talking about.

A Stylish St. Patrick’s Day at Ashford Castle

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ashford CastleHead to the Emerald Isle for St. Patrick's Day and experience the ultimate Irish celebration. Spend the night in your very own castle (the 800-year-old Ashford Castle offers super luxurious digs), try your hand at falconry and other leisurely pursuits, partake in a soda bread cooking class, enjoy a traditional dinner in an Irish family's home, and visit the 5th century church of St. Patrick himself. Here's what's in store when you book either a two- or three-night package at Ashford Castle:

DAY 1 (March 17)

7pm - Depart castle for short stroll to Cullen's at the Cottage, accompanied by Benny the Piper, where guests join the "Irish Céilí" (traditional Irish party) with an Irish-themed menu, music and dance.

DAY 2 (March 18)

Breakfast at leisure in the George V dining room

10:45am: Boat trip to the Island of Inchagoill and visit to the 5th-century Church of St. Patrick and the most precious stone of Lugnad. The story of St. Patrick will be explained on board by Patrick Luskin, historian and ship captain.

7pm: Dinner, using the finest locally sourced ingredients, in the hotel's Connaught Room and accompanied by Ashford Castle's in-house harpist.

9:30pm: Gift of the Gab: Irish storytelling - with all the humor thrown in.

DAY 3 (March 19)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, followed by a fond farewell.


Breakfast in the George V dining room

10:30am: Irish soda bread cooking lesson with Ashford Castle's Executive Chef Stefan Matz

11:30am: "The Art of Guinness Pouring" class with Ashford Castle's barman

1:00pm: St. Patrick's Day games available on the estate, including treasure hunt and a "Long Puck" (Puc fada) hurling competition

7:00pm: Traditional dinner in an Irish family's home

10:30pm: Viewing of The Quiet Man, the 1952 romance starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara that was shot entirely on location at Ashford Castle and its environs.

Based on double occupancy, the two-night package is priced from €385 (approximately US$532) per person, and the three-night package is priced from €485 (approximately US$670) per person.

Luxury Hotel Giveaway: Win a 3-Night Getaway at The James New York

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James Hotel New YorkFive Star Alliance is thrilled to announce a luxury hotel giveaway contest. That’s right– we're giving away a 3-night stay at The James New York, the cutting-edge new property at the corner of Manhattan's legendary Soho and Tribeca neighborhoods. Simply sign up for our exclusive monthly newsletter* by May 31, 2011, and you’ll be automatically entered to win! All new subscribers, aged 18 or older, will be eligible for a chance to score a 3-night getaway in a Deluxe Guestroom at the hotel everyone's talking about. While you're there, revel in the hotel's Urban Garden, Corridor Arts Program, and rooftop deck and pool with breathtaking city and river views-- one of the hottest spots in town.

*It’s free!

Book with Five Star Alliance and Get Free Stuff at the Shangri-La Hotel Beijing

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Shangri-La Hotel BeijingThe Shangri-La Beijing gets rave reviews for its luxe facilities (what a spa!) and customized guest experiences, like gourmet tours of the local markets with a hotel chef. Now you can test-drive the award-winning guest rooms with special rates with Five Star Alliance. And what rooms they are! Bed down in the Deluxe Valley Wing and you'll bask in the glory of floor-to-ceiling windows, walk-in closets, spa-like bathrooms, multiple flat-screen TVs, you get the idea... Book the Shangri-La Beijing with Five Star Alliance and you'll get Internet, daily breakfast, free round-trip airport transfers, laundry and dry-cleaning, plus one 60-minute spa treatment per person. Simply choose the "Five Star Alliance" rate when reserving your room.

Happy New Year from Five Star Alliance!

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mardan Palace, Turkish RivieraWishing you a happy and healthy 2011 from all of us at Five Star Alliance. Whether you're partying high above New York at The James' new rooftop bar, checking out the views of the nation's capital from the W Washington D.C., dining in style in Shanghai, living it up at one of the most buzzed-about hotels of the year in Singapore, ice skating in Paris, or laying low at home, enjoy a safe and fun New Year's Eve.

Happy Holidays 2010 from Five Star Alliance

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hilton's 12 Drinks of ChristmasWishing you a joyful holiday season from all of us at The Informed Traveler and Five Star Alliance. We'll be back soon with the latest news and special offers from exciting luxury destinations worldwide.



Pictured at right: One of Hilton Hotels' Twelve Drinks of Christmas, invented by mixologists Nelson Bernardes and Daniel Carvalho from The Waldorf Hilton, London. Called "5 Gold Rings," this festive cocktail is made with Goldschlager, port wine, butterscotch and apple juice, served in a martini glass with flakes of real gold leaf, an apple fan, and a cinnamon stick.

Tips for Booking a Hotel Room for 3 People

By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel DanieliThe Five Star Alliance customer service team fields many requests-- from tips on finding that perfect hotel in Las Vegas to how best to book a hotel room for three guests traveling in Europe. After all, it can be tricky to figure out sleeping arrangements for hotels on a different continent! A recent conversation about accommodations in Venice, Italy got us thinking: why not share our tips with a wider audience? The request: A luxurious room overlooking the Venetian canals that can accommodate three women traveling together. What we found: Most five-star hotels in Venice with canal views will not offer three beds (or even two beds with a pull-out sofa). The best bet would be a suite with a connecting room (read: expensive) or a larger room with two twin beds that allows space for a rollaway bed. At the Hotel Danieli, a deluxe room or larger can accommodate three adults (requesting a rollaway). At the Gritti Palace, book a Grand Luxe or Grand Deluxe room with two twin beds (designated as 2T) to have enough space, and then request a rollaway. (Often there is a surcharge for the extra adult in the room so read the booking terms carefully.)

Happy Thanksgiving from Five Star Alliance

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Thanksgiving turkeyHappy Thanksgiving from all of us at Five Star Alliance and The Informed Traveler. Whether you're feasting with the fam, getting your drink on in Boston, or participating in the famous Thanksgiving Turkey Fry at Blackberry Farm, we hope you have a wonderful time. We’ll be back soon with some hot deals & news from the best luxury hotels worldwide.

Download the New 5StarHotels iPhone App from Five Star Alliance

By: Five Star Alliance

Parrot CayNow you can access Five Star Alliance's collection of luxury hotels (2,700 of them!) even when you're on the go. The "5StarHotels" app for iPhone is available for free from the iTunes App store. Search by hotel name, or, if you need some recommendations finding your ideal hotel, you can search by location or features. What's more- you can designate your geo location and search for the 25 closest five-star hotels using the app's "Near By" tool. Now that's pretty sweet, if you ask us. Download the app here.