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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.

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.


Dublin’s Merrion Hotel Offers Up a Recipe for the Ultimate Irish Coffee

February 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Merrion Cellar Bar

Here it is, the key to the signature Irish Coffee served by the experts at Dublin's most luxurious hotel. What better way to kill the chill of a cold winter's night.

The Merrion Irish Coffee

Ingredients:

Jameson Irish Whiskey - 35 cl and a drop for good luck

Strong freshly brewed coffee (caffeinated or decaf)

2 Brown Sugar Cubes (depending upon required sweetness)

50 m. Heavy Cream

3 Coffee Beans

Preparation:

Fill a cafe latte glass with a handle with hot water and leave to warm. Brew a pot of coffee. Empty the water from the glass and place the sugar cubes inside. Caramelize the sugar by pouring a few drops of Whiskey over them and gently light with a long match. Only let it burn for a few seconds so that the sugar just begins to caramelize. Pour in the measure of Whiskey and fill with coffee to within one inch of the rim. Ensure you keep a teaspoon in the glass at this stage. Stir well and ensure the sugar is completely dissolved to avoid a grainy texture when drinking. Place the cream in a clean cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until whipped. Using the back of the spoon, gently pour the cream into the glass. Garnish with three coffee beans and serve.

And according to the good folks at The Merrion:

On a typical winter's evening, The Merrion might serve up about a dozen Irish Coffees to patrons. However Stephen Lynch, Assistant Manager for the Drawing Rooms and Bar No. 23, reports that about two-and-a-half years ago, he and his staff prepared 150 Irish Coffees in an hour and a half much to the pleasure of the entire French Rugby Team who had taken up residence in the hotel bar that evening.

The Merrion, Official Site

The Merrion, Five Star Alliance


Hotel Bel-Air and Veuve Clicquot Celebrate Valentine’s Day in LA

January 24, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bel Air

You're invited... to the most fabulous, romantic Valentine's celebration in LA (after you pony up $275 per person, of course). At the Couples Champagne Dinner, served in the private garden room of the legendary Hotel Bel-Air, Veuve Clicquot will be featuring 7 of their high-end vintages, paired with each course. Divine menu items include Maine Lobster, Cream of Peas and Baby Mache, served with Veuve Clicquot la Grande Dame Rosé, 1995.

Hotel Bel-Air, Official Site

Hotel Bel-Air, Five Star Alliance


Cuisines of Asia Demo and Dinner Series at The Breakers Palm Beach

January 16, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Echo Demo and Dinner Events

Heading to The Breakers? Here's an invitation you won't want to miss. The interactive evenings at Echo feature four course dinners, with a half-price specialty drink to complement the cuisine, $60 per person. The most popular dishes prepared before your eyes. First up: The Art of Thai Cooking, this Wednesday, January 18. Followed by a Vietnamese Valentine (the day after on February 15), and lastly, an evening of delicious Japanese cuisine on Wednesday, March 15.