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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.

Get Cooking with Hotel Andra's Hot Stove Society

By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Andra
Hotel Andra is a sophisticated, stylish downtown Seattle hotel, offering a boutique hotel atmosphere and first-class service. The hotel operates a year-round cooking school operated by Tom Douglas Restaurants. The Hot Stove Society offers a wide range of classes, including things from how to cut up a chicken, butcher a pig, build a delicious cocktail, and brew the perfect cup of coffee. Chef Tom Douglas is selt-taught and has a passion for teaching his love of food and cooking. Tom’s passion has been learning and teaching all things culinary. Chef Douglas and his team have offered cooking classes at the restaurants for 20 years. 

Hot Stove Society is located in a bright industrial space inside the stylish Hotel Andra. The presentation area boasts a wide curved prep area where guests can gather for lectures and get up close to the instructor. The other half of the room is filled with Boos work tables, a large bank of KitchenAid stoves, and racks of equipment. Capacity is 32 for a hands-on cooking class and over 60 for lectures. The classroom is also available for private events and company team building. At the entrance to Hot Stove, a Tom Douglas Restaurant called the The Andra, a cool Swedish bar open to the public, is the place for a drink and a snack.

Book a stay at Hotel Andra>>

Your Questions Answered: What Chicago Hotel Offers Afternoon Tea?

By: Betsy LeTourneau

The Langham Chicago

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our blog series Your Questions Answered to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

QUESTION: We are looking for a great hotel in Chicago that offers afternoon Tea during our stay. Can you make a recommendation?

ANSWER: The Langham Chicago  

Embodying the timeless qualities that define the Langham legacy since 1865 – heritage, history and legendary hospitality – The Langham, Chicago gracefully blends urban sophistication with refined luxury. Since its grand opening in September 2013, The Langham, Chicago has quickly become a destination of choice as evident with its recent #1 status for best luxury hotel in Chicago on TripAdvisor.

The Langham, Chicago features 316 luxurious guest rooms and suites ranging from the 516 square foot Grand Room to the sprawling Infinity and Regent Suites each spanning 2,700 square feet. Conveniently located downtown in a 52-story landmark tower designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe, The Langham, Chicago is just minutes away from the boutique-lined boulevards of Chicago's retail hub and within walking distance to many of the city's premier tourist sites.

The Langham Chicago

Embracing The Langham's classic heritage, the Langham Chicago's Pavilion restaurant offers guests its signature afternoon tea, The Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood, recalling the grandeur of the original hotel, The Langham, London, where the tradition was born.

Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood includes proprietary Langham teas, and an array of sweet and savory bites. All are served with traditional displays and flourish, accompanied by live music—blending together to create a relaxing and pampering afternoon diversion. To finish, order a glass of champagne and toast to the perfect afternoon tea time.

Boasting a soaring ceiling and marvelous city view, Pavilion is an elegant space in which to unwind and enjoy the finest flavors created by Executive Pastry Chef Scott Green. Parlour at the Pavilion emulates a vintage-style ice cream parlor with a whimsical staff wearing retro-style uniforms serving select homemade ice creams and sorbets made by Chef Green.

Book a stay at The Langham Chicago >>

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.

Winemaker's Kitchen Table at Hotel Healdsburg

By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Healdsburg
Located 67 miles north of San Francisco, Hotel Healdsburg encompasses the Sonoma wine country’s simplicity and charm. The Hotel is set on the western edge of Healdsburg's historic town plaza, and guests can enjoy some of the world's finest vineyards, restaurants and shops within minutes of the front steps.

Now, until May, guests can eat, drink, and be merry at the Winemaker's Kitchen Table.  Held in the Dry Creek Kitchen Dining room, this one-of-a-kind dinner series showcases the rich culinary and wine heritage of the region. Heald monthly, these community suppers are hosted by top vintners serving their prized wines and family recipes

Dining Schedule

March 6
Peter Michael | Peter Michael Winery

May 15
Peay Family | Peay Vineyards

Reservations available by calling Dry Creek Kitchen at 707-431-0330.

Book a stay at Hotel Healdsburg >>

La Savina at Mondrian South Beach is Now Open

By: Five Star Alliance

La Savina
The culinary wait is over. La Savina at Mondrian South Beach is open! The new 140-seat restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine inspired by the island of Formentera, Spain. The new restaurant features an award-winning culinary team led by Morgans Corporate Executive Chef Tien Ho (Momofuku, Best New Chef Food & Wine). Eliciting the spirit of these magical islands, La Savina offers a simple mix of fresh crudos, grilled meats and fish, artisanal charcuteries and the best seasonal vegetables in South Florida, served alongside Mondrian's unmatched views of Biscayne Bay.

Morgans Hotel Group's Design Team were inspired by the style and relaxed interiors of Formentera beach homes. The indoor, outdoor restaurant boosts a garden overlooking Biscayne Bay with multiple seating options filled with oversized planters, rattan lampshades, Beachwood tabletops, and intimate lantern lighting. The interior dining room brings the Beachwood and bohemian energy inside with concrete colored walls and reclaimed wood throughout the space.

Signature crudo offerings include Hamachi with Serrano chili, crispy shallot and lime; Tuna with romesco and cilantro; Scallop with yuzu, jicama and sorrel; and Crab Salad with espelette, grapefruit and Spanish olive oil. La Savina's beverage menu features a broad selection of Mediterranean wines and cocktails. The comprehensive beer list features American microbrews from local New York breweries and European craft brews. In addition, La Savina's red and white table wine is available by the glass or carafe. 

Located just off the entrance of La Savina is Cafe Savina. Open for breakfast, lunch and cocktails, Cafe Savina is a market-driven Mediterranean-inspired cafe and wine bar. As the sun sets, Cafe Savina transforms into a tapas bar similar to those of Barcelona. 

View rates, details, and more photos of Mondrian South Beach >>

PUBLIC Chicago Takes the Culinary Express Lane

By: Five Star Alliance

PUBLIC Chicago

Centrally located in the exclusive Gold Coast, steps from the shopping and nightlife of Michigan Avenue, The Magnificent Mile, Oak Street, Rush Street, Lincoln Park and the Lake Michigan Beaches, PUBLIC Chicago's fundamental attributes are effortless, and timeless purist design, spot-on, personalized service, lasting comfort with complete functionality, all at a tremendous value.

The hotel's restaurant, Pump Room, offers reasonably priced, delicious favorites in a relaxed, comfortable, and exciting environment. It was created by world-renowned chef and 2011 James Beard Award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten. In conjunction with this restaurant, the hotel has recently introducted PUBLIC EXPRESS.

PUBLIC EXPRESS combines gourmet meals at great value with rapid delivery. Guests can enjoy specially designed gourmet, healthy meals by Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the privacy of their room, 24-hours a day. Five well-balanced meals to suit every taste are offered for breakfast and lunch, as well as desserts such as donuts freshly baked daily on premises. Try a speciality pizza, organic turkey sandwiches, or a beef briskety and cripy onion sandwich. Kids can choose from such favorites as grilled cheese or chicken fingers.Specialty pizzas created for PUBLIC are also available. PUBLIC EXPRESS meals are also available on the go for the airport, a beach picnic, or wherever guests are headed. Guests-on-the-go can order via guest services and pick up their meals at The Library and Coffee Bar. 

Traditional room service is also offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Book a stay at PUBLIC Chicago >>

Fine Dining at Hotel Vitale

By: Five Star Alliance

Hotel Vitale American Restaurant Private Dining
Given its proximity to Napa Valley and location in a thriving cutting-edge restaurant scene, San Francisco is home to a plethora of excellent culinary outlets. But where can you find many choices that are up to the standards of a luxury hotel? Check-in to Hotel Vitale, and you can do just that.

Here are your culinary choices located in and affiliated with Hotel Vitale

- Americano Restaurant (pictured). Sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay, a circular cocktail lounge, and an outdoor patio provide the perfect setting to enjoy Americano's handcrafted, soulful Italian menu. Its culinary style is rooted in lasting partnerships with local purveyors and seasonal flavors are showcased in every dish. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and hosts a daily happy hour. Try the County Line mixed baby lettuces, Banyuls vinaigrette, house-made ricotta crostini salad. 

- Chambers Eat + Drink. At Chambers, vintage rocker meets Mid-century modern style. Enjoy the sexy, low-key vibe and seasonal, market-driven menu drinks. Guests can dine in the restaurant, lounge, or poolside on the patio or in a no-reservations-required cabana. It serves everything from quick bites to a hearty meal. Try the Sizzling Kobe Tri-Tip.

- Gaspar. The Parisian-style brasserie showcases classic French dishes, with the local Northern California flourishes, and Rhone Valley vintages alongside local varietals. The upstairs bar focuses on Cognac cocktails and the downstairs one specializes in champagne. Try the Striped Bass & Scallops Duo.

- The Library Bar. Indulge your literary side at the Hotel Rex's Library Bar. What could be better than books, cocktails, a menu of American classics and live jazz on Friday nights? Enjoy satisfying American classics with unexpected European touches. Try the Croissant Bread Pudding.

Outdoor Dining patio at Americano Restaurant

- Izakaya Lounge. Hotel Kabuki's take on Japan's popular after-work izakaya houses, O Izakaya Lounge combines Asian flavors with contemporary American food in a menu of shared plates, salads, and entrees, as well as 20 varieties of sake. Try the Tempura Shishito Peppers.

- Swank Cocktail and Coffee Club. In keeping with its elegant Pacific Heights neighborhood, Swank offers up style at nearly any hour. Start the day off right with Blue Bottle coffee and locally made, artisanal pastries, or wind down for the evening with a perfectly mixed cocktail in front of a roaring fire at the lush, modern bar. Watch favorite sporting events and participate in the weekly Brainstormer Pub Quiz. Try the Bacon Wrapped Dates.

- Saha. Enjoy an unique blend of Yemenese, Arabic, and boundary-pushing Californian cuisine, with a few French hints thrown in for good measure. The space is inviting and intimate—perfect for a romantic dinner. Savor Yemeni/Californa fusion delicacies like Bastilla, Fasoulia Tagine, and Lobster Knaffe as well as an extensive selection of fine wines. Try the Spicy Seafood Tagine.

Book a stay (and a meal) at Hotel Vitale >> 

Dining al Fresco: Grand Hotel Villa Medici

By: Five Star Alliance

The Grand Hotel Villa Medici's two restaurants are an incomparable blend of the finest gastronomic traditions and culinary inspiration.
The Lorenzo de' Medici is perfect for fine dining evenings, and the cosy atmosphere in the Conservatory is an ideal choice for intimate lunches.

Grand Hotel Villa Medici 

Book a stay at Grand Hotel Villa Medici >> 

Did You Know? Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa

By: Five Star Alliance

pennyhill park hotel and the spa 
The earliest reference to Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa in Bagshot, Surrey, is found in the Tithe Land Registry of 1609. It was known as Pennyhill field and thought to have been common land used as a beacon-warning site aiding a national system, warning the arrival of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

James Hodges, a civil engineer, who had been born in Queensborough in Kent in 1814, began to build the first house on the site in 1849 and was completed in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition.

James Hodges died in 1879 and the next occupant of Pennyhill was Louis Schott, a banker born in Frankfurt but with British Nationalisation. He added the Orangery in 1881 – the site of the current 45,000 sqft Spa. Louis died in 1901 and the house was then occupied until 1922 by his nephew, Louis Floershim, also born in Frankfurt and a naturalised British subject. He extended the house in 1903 in neo-Tudor style using Bath stone. For a period during the 1st World War the house reputedly served as a rest house for officers.

Book a stay at Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa >> 

Dining in the Dark at Alila Diwa Goa

By: K. Clare Johnson

Alila Diwa GoaAlila Diwa Goa is offering a "Dining in the Dark" pop-up sensory dining event. On the last Thursday of every month, Spice Studio, the signature Indian restaurant at the resort, guests will explore their palates using taste, smell, sound, and touch. Guests will relish their choice of a vegetarian or non-vegetarian "thali" in pitch darkness. 

You will hear nothing but the soft clinking of cutlery and the silent whispers of patrons who are trying to guess what they are eating as you see the silhouette of your server in the distance. There are no rules in this delicious guessing game apart from savoring the flavorful delicacies in the dark. The Chefs at Spice Studio have given innovative twists to the dishes on the menu to let your imagination run wild and will also be changing the menu at every sitting to retain the element of surprise. Guests are provided with a copy of the menu at the end of the meal. 

Alila Diwa Goa first launched this concept during the International Earth Hour 2014 and rave guest reviews have brought it back as an Alila Dining Experience now happening on the last Thursday of every month till March 2015.

Book your nightly dinner at Alila Diwa Goa >>

Bernardus Lodge to Undergo Multi-Million Dollar Renovation

By: Five Star Alliance

Bernardus Lodge

Bernardus Lodge
has announced that it will be closed from November 30 through March 13, 2015 to undergo a multi-million dollar lodge restoration project. The renovation plans include upgrades to luxury accommodations, a stunning new lobby space, a reinvented pool experience and refreshed dining destinations. The new decor will offer contemporary design elements, state of the art technology, and spectacular new creative accents that match the beauty and charm of Carmel Valley.