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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.

South Beach Spring Special at the Setai, Miami

March 1, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Setai

The art deco landmark and oceanfront South Beach destination is surrounded by tropical gardens and turquoise pools overlooking the Atlantic. Originally built in the 1930's as the Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel, Adrian Zecha's Setai opened to much fanfare in 2005. In the hot South Beach scene, The Setai stands out for its intimacy, impeccable service, and elegant Asian touches. 75 guestrooms and 50 suites are detailed with exquisite amenities: espresso machines, in-room bars, Bose surround-sound DVD/CD systems, deep soaking tubs and rain showers, luxurious bath amenities, and flat screen LCD and plasma TVs. Enjoy a deep therapeutic massage at the luxurious spa overlooking the sand and sea, and then savor the gastronomic delights at the Crustacean restaurant. With the South Beach Spring Special, take advantage of special rates starting at $675.

The Setai, Official Site

The Setai, Five Star Alliance


Upscale Dining in Las Vegas: Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in the MGM Grand

February 23, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Joel Robuchon

Upscale Vegas dining at its finest. Brought to you by the legendary Joel Robuchon, whose phenomenal Paris restaurant earned the highest honor from Michelin (three stars) in a mere three years, the fastest of any chef on earth. Named "Chef of the Century" by French guidebook Gault Millau, Robuchon has created an epic, gastronomique restaurant sure to delight the senses in a once-in-a-lifetime dining extravaganza. Indeed, the tempting 16-course menu is stacked with heavenly delights. Ready to start salivating? How about a fresh scallop cooked in its shell with a lemon and seaweed butter, duck foie gras and spring vegetables in a green cabbage ravioli, sea urchin flan flavored with fennel, or Brittany lobster under a disappearing saffron hostie in a seafood bouillon... Reservations are highly recommended-- book ahead. After all, there is only one seating of 60 for dinner. Priced at $275 per person.


Roast American Rack of Lamb Recipe from The Regency, A Loews Hotel New York

February 23, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Gary Stram, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

Regency Lamb

Following the success of the Penne with Vodka Sauce Recipe - The Regency, A Loews Hotel in New York City, has sent us their recipe for Roast American Rack of Lamb. Worried about making it yourself? You can always visit The Regency and try it - they have three restaurants to check out.

See the recipe below:

Roast American Rack Of Lamb with Spinach & Brie Potato Cake, Red Wine Jus

1 ea. Frenched Rack of Lamb

1 ea garlic clove(minced)

1 ea tomato (chopped)

1 ea shallot (chopped

1 cup Idaho Potato(shredded)

1/2 cup brie cheese(diced)

1/2 cup baby spinach

Baby Vegetables --blanched

1/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt black pepper

1 cup brown gravy

1/4 cup mint jelly

1/4 cup chopped mint

1/4 stick unsalted butter

Method

Rack of Lamb

Heat sautee pan with 1/2 the olive oil. Once hot sear rack of lamb on both sides until brown -approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Finish in oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrrees.

Potato Cake

In small omellete pan heat olive oil until hot. In seperate bowl mix potato ,tomato, onions, brie, spinach and salt & pepper. Mix well. Add to hot pan and cook until crisp on both sides approximately 6-8 minutes or until brown. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Mint Jus

Bring brown gravy to boil in saucepan. Add chopped mint, mint jelly and butter. Bring to simmer and serve with warm cut lamb chops.

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance


San Diego Hotspots: Hotel Solamar, Jsix Restaurant, and Jbar

February 22, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Solamar San Diego

Kimpton, of course, is the mastermind hotelier behind this delightfully quirky, luxurious and fun hotel hotspot in the heart of San Diego's happening Gaslamp district. Decorated in vibrant pink and green tones, energetic and modern furnishings, and a very pretty clientele, the Hotel Solamar also stocks its minibars with fun and original amenities like flip-flops and art supplies. Jbar, located on the 4th floor rooftop deck of the hotel, has become a trendy urban oasis complete with fire pits, poolside cabanas and awesome views of downtown San Diego and the bay. In an exotic setting, Jsix restaurant specializes in Coastal California cuisine, with a menu showcasing innovative, regional flavors inspired by the region's Baja coastline.

Hotel Solamar, Official Site

Hotel Solamar, Five Star Alliance


Special Offers: Spring Indulgence at Kingsbrae Arms Relais and Chateaux, New Brunswick, Canada

February 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Kingsbrae Arms

Think Spring. Flowers blooming, birds chirping, and the ultimate country house inn from which to witness nature's reawakening. Named one of the Top 50 Romantic Spots in the World by Travel and Leisure, Kingsbrae Arms is Relais and Chateaux's only Eastern Canada property. And though this country inn is a perfect hideaway, it’s not much of a secret—this spot is a two-time Andrew Harper Hideaway Grand Award winner, Mobil Four-Star, and listed in Fodor's Top Twenty Hotels in the World. Overlooking the sea, harbor and the historic seaside resort of St. Andrews, Kingsbrae Arms is surrounded by historic, salt-air gardens. Sumptuously appointed suites are the essence of romance. But the best part of a stay at the inn is the unforgettable evening dinner party, where gorgeous organic cuisine is paired with selections from the Wine Spectator Award winning cellar. These evenings are legendary. Available throughout the month of May, the Spring Indulgence Package includes two nights luxurious accommodations with spring flower bouquet, full country breakfasts each morning, and four-course dinner for two with Champagne cocktail reception. Starting at $750 per couple, standard guestroom.

Kingsbrae Arms, Official Site

Kingsbrae Arms, Five Star Alliance


Recipes from The Regency, A Loews Hotel New York

February 20, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Gary Stram, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

You have three choices when dining at The Regency, A Loews Hotel in New York City. Whether it is a power breakfast, light lunch, afternoon wine and hors d'oeuvres, pre-theater dinner, or late night candy - you can indulge in it all without leaving The Regency.

First. Feinstein's at The Regency - Yes, it's that Feinstein. The world-famous, Grammy-nominated, pop vocalist, songwriter, and music archivist, Michael Feinstein. He is the owner of the restaurant which brinds fine dining together with cabaret. Second. The Library. It's a place packed with literary legends - well, in spirit, at least. Shelves of books and comfy banquettes grace The Library where menus and wine lists make for some of the best reading around. Lastly, 540 Park which has long been regarded as the home of the power breakfast. 540 Park is also a serious contender when it comes to memorable dinners. The entrees, environment, and service are always exquisite. In fact, all that's missing is the pretention.

Mr. Stram at the hotel was nice enough to share with us three recipes that are just screaming to be recreated. See the first of the three after the jump ...

Pasta Leaf

Penne with Vodka Sauce

Equipment Needed

1 - 10 quart stock pot

2 - 8 quart sauce pot

1 colander

1 - 10" saute pan

1 - cutting board

1 - 10" chef knife

1 wooden spoon

Ingredients Needed

2 lbs of Penne Pasta (Either Penne Spinach Rigate or Penne Rigate)

1 - 32oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with basil

1 - 32oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 head of garlic, thinly sliced

1 Spanish Onion

1 bunch of fresh basil, julienne

1 bunch of fresh thyme, chopped fine

1 bunch of fresh, oregano, chopped fine

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Unsalted Butter

Kosher Salt

White Pepper

6 oz of a Premium Brand of Vodka (Grey Goose or Absolute)

4 oz of Burgundy Wine

1 quart of heavy cream

Preparing the Sauce and the Pasta

1. Boil 1 gallon of water in the Stock pot and add 3 oz of kosher salt, and 3 oz of olive oil.

2. While the water comes to a boil, preheat the sauce pot and oil and butter.

3. Add the diced onion, and sweat, than add the sliced garlic.

3. Add the herbs and add the Burgundy Wine and reduce by half.

4. Add the canned tomato product and allow to simmer for 45 minutes

5. Allow to rest.

6. Add the 2lbs of pasta and stir constantly

7. Allow to cook about 8 minutes which is a little under al dente.

8. Pour into the colander

9. Toss with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil

10. In the other sauce pot put on a low heat, take the pot off the heat, add the 4oz vodka.

11. Add the Heavy Cream and reduce by half and add the tomato sauce.

12. Combine the Pasta with the Vodka Sauce and portion into your favorite dish.

Enjoy.

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Official Site

The Regency, A Loews Hotel, Five Star Alliance


Les Ambassadeurs Means More Rewards for Hotel de Crillon

February 17, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Pascale Adoner, Director of Sales and Marketing, Hotel de Crillon

Hotel Dining at the Crillon

Whether you live in Paris or are just visiting, there are two great reasons to visit the Hotel de Crillon's restaurant Les Ambassadeurs.

First? Lunchtime.

The restaurant Les Ambassadeurs proposes a menu particularly adapted to those who seek an elegant place to organize their business lunches. Based on a choice of two entries, two dishes and two desserts, the tasting is accompanied by mineral water, matching wines chosen by the sommelier and coffee. The menu is all inclusive: 100 euros. Lunch served from Tuesday to Friday, from noon to 2pm.

Wanna set it up? Your privileged contact: Patrice Willems, phone: +33 1 44 71 16 16 or through e-mail at ambassadeurs@crillon.com.

The second reason to visit Les Ambassadeurs even if you are living in Paris or staying somewhere else (which we don't recommend), is because this restaurant is winning all of the awards.

Soon after the Michelin Guide and the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006, the Bottin Gourmand awards the Ambassadeurs. In February 2005, the gastronomic restaurant the Ambassadeurs obtains a second star with the Michelin Guide. This new 2005 edition of the Guide awards the hard work of Jean Francois Piege and his team just one year after his arrival in the kitchens of the Hotel de Crillon. Les Ambassadeurs is one of the three Parisian restaurant to have been awarded with a second star and one of the 15 Parisian establishments to be 2-starred.

In October 2005, the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006 also awards the Ambassadeurs and more specifically Jean Francois Piege as it distinguishes him as Chef of the Year. The launch of the Pudlo Guide Paris 2006 was a real event on October 24th in the Ambassadeurs and the Jardin d'Hiver.

And on November 15th, the famous gastronomic guide the Bottin Gourmand awards the Ambassadeurs with the best note possible being 4 stars.

Almost seems worth a trip to Paris just for one lunch at the Hotel de Crillon ...

Hotel de Crillon, Official Site

Hotel de Crillon, Five Star Alliance


Three Nights for the Price of Two at the Hotel Negresco, Nice, France

February 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Negresco

Now is the time to discover the legendary Nice hotel, the architectural masterpiece and national historic monument that has dominated the Promenade des Anglais for over a century. Its pink dome a symbol of the French Riviera, its name evokes the essence of "art de vivre." Situated on the seafront promenade overlooking the Mediterranean, the hotel is filled with a fantastic collection of antiques, oil paintings and contemporary works of art. In this living museum, each of the 121 guestrooms and 24 suites are individually decorated in styles spanning the historic spectrum from Louis XIII to Art Deco. The award-winning restaurant The Chantecler is celebrated as one of the best in Nice. Take advantage of this special offer celebrating the first days of spring. For a limited time—from now until March 31-- when you book a three night stay, the third night is free! (Breakfast included.)

Hotel Negresco, Official Site

Hotel Negresco, Five Star Alliance


Miami Hot Spots: South Beach Food and Wine Festival

February 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

South Beach Festival

Decadent, daring, delicious. This is one of the country's premier culinary extravaganzas, with a star-studded lineup of celebrity chefs and renowned wine and spirits producers ready to entertain and delight over the three-day-weekend. Hosted by Food and Wine magazine, the South Beach Food and Wine Festival will boast 75 restaurants and 150 wineries under tasting tents overlooking the beach. Starring chefs include Wolfgang Puck and Nobu Matsuhisa. Feb 24-26 (though Veuve Clicquot's Bubble Bath, at the Hotel Victor, is on the 23rd). Buy your tix online.


Hot Tables in Paris: the Canal St.-Martin

February 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Canal St Martin

Bobos in Paradise. The latest and greatest "it" neighborhood in Paris, a magnet for chic trend-setters, artsy creatives and bobos alike, recognizable to movie buffs as the setting for Audrey Tatou's stone-skipping-antics in Amelie. The 10th Arrondisement's Canal St. Martin is the place to be, and Chez Prune, the place to be seen. (Chez Prune, 71, quai de Valmy) A buzzing, convivial ambience, complete with brooding bearded artists and haute couture-clad fashionistas. The plates of charcuterie and fromage, accompanied by peche kir, are simply divine.