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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.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Spearheads an Earth Day Beach Clean Up

April 8, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

20 million people gathered across the country to show support and their increasing concern about the visible ruined environment, on the very first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970. Led by Senator John McConnell along with a small team of environmentalists and scientists, concerned citizens and the like, they successfully raised awareness about the absence of green issues from the United States’ political agenda. It has grown to be recognized as an annual global event, and even has been adopted by the United Nations in 2009. Celebrated in more than 192 countries every year, numerous communities celebrate Earth Day by participating in activities focused on environmental issues.

It is becoming a norm for companies to participate in being green and responsible corporate, by adopting green initiatives within their business model. The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, has followed suit by extending the invitation of being more green, and being an eco-hero to their guests and local residents. The hotel chain has teamed up with the Southern California’s expert-naturalist organization, the Eco-Adventure Center to help with this effort. The Beach Clean Up is the Ritz-Carlton property’s annual Earth Day initiative where they invite local residents and their hotel guests to come join them and help do their part in keeping Salt Creek Beach clean. Naturalists from the resort's Eco-Adventure Center will provide trash bags and gloves for participants, and will manage the removal of the trash that is collected.   The Ritz Carlton hopes that this event helps guests and locals to extend eco-efforts in their own homes.

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel beach clean-up will be held Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m.  

View rates, details, and more photos of Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel >>

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Image of the Day: Banyan Tree Hangzhou

February 24, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

Banyan Tree Hangzhou is a Jiangnan-style "water-village" resort experience located inside the Xixi wetlands, China's first wetlands reserve. The Xixi National Wetland Park is home to an amazing wealth of thriving plant and animal life.

 

View rates, details and more photos for Banyan Tree Hangzhou >>

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Newly Renovated El Encanto Opening Soon!

January 18, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

We’re holding our breath for the opening of the new and improved El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California! This Orient Express property has been undergoing a major renovation for the last few months, and we’re absolutely thrilled to see all of the upgrades and modifications! Opening day is currently set for March 18th, 2013, and this luxury hotel will stand out from the rest in more ways than one! A few additions to look forward to include:

- El Encanto will have its very own cow, Ellie whose milk will be used to make a special cheese only to be found at this hotel. (cool, huh?)

- This hotel will be serving unpasteurized beer brewed nearby to go with the special cheese.

- The coffee served for breakfast will be El Encanto’s own brand, and their on-site herb and vegetable garden will ensure only the very best greens make it to your table.

- For the eco-friendly travelers, El Encanto has added various energy saving and preservation techniques to reduce overall consumption. Guests are encouraged to leave their cars behind and hop on one of the complimentary electric bikes and mosey their way to the beach or into town.

- Accommodations will include 92 intimate bungalows that are scattered throughout seven acres of grounds.

Explore details and photos of El Encanto here, and be sure to make your reservation for this stunning property in March!


12 Days of Hotels: The 2 Best Gold Resorts

January 4, 2013
By: Oksana Balytsky

Instead of 12 Days of Christmas, Five Star Alliance is having its own countdown featuring 12 Days of Hotels! We unfortunately don’t have a song to go along with our countdown, but we will be featuring a variety of categories. Today’s feature is 2 of the World’s Best Golf Resorts!

1. Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

Tee off at 2 18-hole champion Tom Fazio designed golf courses.

2. Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Play the Five championship courses including the world-famous Ocean Course.


The Top 30 Hotels in 2012: #24 Viceroy Bali

December 8, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

 

Coming in the #24 spot is the Viceroy Bali which is located only 5 minutes outside of the heartland of Bali. Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- 25 luxurious villas in the highlands of Ubud.

- All the villas are luxurious with private pools and spectacular views over Petanu River gorge and tropical forests.

- The decor of each villa is sumptuous, all have marble floors, luxurious furnishings, top quality beds with fine thread count linen, spacious marble bathroom with separate shower, bath, twin vanities, all have air conditioning, ceiling fans, 42' LCD satellite television, DVD player, espresso coffee machine and more.

- CasCades is a fine dining restaurant overlooking the spectacular vista of the Valley with its award winning French Cuisine and extensive wine cellar.

- Balanced on the hill slope overlooking the spectacular Petanu River Gorge with its unrivalled views, The Lembah Spa offers treatments developed by Swiss professionals to combine the best of the West, with Balinese natural treatments.

Explore photos, availability, and rates at the Viceroy Bali here >>

Be sure to enter our Romantic Getaway sweepstakes to be entered to win a roundtrip flight for 2 as well as a 5 night stay at this property! Visit our Facebook page to enter!

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Best Room Type at Hotel Monaco Portland for Family of 3

August 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

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 new 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 would like to stay at the Hotel Monaco Portland and our family is 2 adults and 1 13 year old child. What room type would be able to accommodate all 3 of us?

Answer: The Monaco King Suite can accommodate 2 adults and 1 child, and there would be no extra person charges. This room option has a king bed in the bedroom area and a pullout sofabed in the living room area. The bedroom and living room are separated by French doors. To make a reservation for this room type, simply visit this website, enter your dates of travel, select the 'Best Available Rate - Monaco King Suite 550 Sq Ft Mini Bar' room type, and fill in the booking form. Please be sure to add 'traveling with a 13 year old child' to the Special Requests field so the hotel can properly prepare for your arrival.

Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as the extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


Inn at Harbour Town is a Hotspot for Eco-Tours

July 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Ecotourism has been growing in popularity with more and more luxury travelers searching for hotels that support conservation efforts and encourage socially responsible travel. Taking advantage of natural activities is a positive way to relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries while remaining active. Prepare for an exciting adventure and get ready for countless beautiful photo opportunities and a few fun facts learned along the way!

The Inn at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina is a charming and intimate European style hotel that has 605 acres of forest preserve for exploration. Hop on a hard-bottom inflatable boat for a guided tour through Calibogue Sound. Get ready to see shore birds, sea turtles, and bottom nose dolphins, and be sure to hop off at an island beach to find beautiful shells. If you’re hoping for something a little slower paced, check out the Alligator Wine and Cheese tour. Sail away on a sunset cruise on the freshwater lakes and discover native plants and animals while sipping on complimentary wine and nibbling on complimentary cheese. Whether you’re looking for exploration, relaxation, or a little bit of both, the Inn at Harbour Town has abundant ecotourism opportunities for a range of interests.


Impawsibly Luxurious: The Resort at Paws Up

May 31, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

If there was ever a hotel name that invited a pun, it's the Resort at Paws Up, and I'd like to pay proper tribute to that. Maybe your life has gotten a little hectic recently; things are moving a little too quickly, and it feels like everything is getting away from you. What you need is to take a step back and abandon the rat race; take a pause from your normal life. Or maybe you have a bunch of friends, and you're looking for a getaway to the Montana wilderness. Well, the Resort at Paws Up has room for your whole paws-e. Really, the pawsibilities are endless. Whew. That was exhausting. And I've even avoided making any pet jokes...

Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, we can move on to the business of describing exactly what makes the Resort at Paws Up unique besides the name. A lot of resort promise a wilderness experience, but you're really just two miles out of town and their wild forest is a five acre manicured lawn. Well, Montana is literally derived from the Spanish word for mountainous country, and the state animal is the grizzly bear. The wilderness in Montana doesn't mess around, and neither does Paws Up. The property has a number of different cabins avaiable from the meadow to the mountainside, and there's even an outdoor tent city if you want to really rough it. All this makes it sound like I'm describing something very different from the classic luxury resort, but don't let me fool you. The Resort at Paws Up constantly has luxury in mind; it just recognizes that even those who enjoy their five star dining and top-notch spa facility have come for the outdoors as much as the high thread count. In fact, I would argue that there's nothing lost on the luxury experience, but the surroundings are more real, highlighting the local freshness of cuisine homemade from local flora and fauna, like their unbelievable huckleberry toast. If you want your luxury to come with wilderness, or your wilderness to come with luxury, look no further than the Resort at Paws Up, where you'll get the best of both worlds.  


Hotels with a History: The Betsy Hotel

May 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

Opened in South Beach in 1942, the Betsy Rose Hotel stood out from the traditional style of architecture with its Florida Georgian façade in an Art Deco dominated neighborhood. This luxury hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2009 while maintaining its original design and timeless style. This boutique hotel has 63 private, beachside rooms and suites equipped with the latest technology. The Betsy Hotel offers its guests ample opportunities to relax on the white sandy beaches, play a round of golf, partake in water sports, and much more!  The Betsy Hotel has also gone green and is committed to making eco-friendly decisions without sacrificing luxury, ensuring that its guests get the most out of their stay while keeping the environment in mind. Be sure to check out this historic and beautiful luxury hotel for your next trip down to South Beach!


Alila Villas Uluwatu Receives the China Gold Tourism Award

May 22, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

A big congratulations goes out to the Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali, Indonesia for receiving the ‘Most Popular Overseas Hotel’ in the 7th annual China Tourism 2012 Gold List Awards. This luxury hotel is situated on an elevated plateau that meets with limestone cliffs that sweep down to the ocean. It is the perfect place to re-discover the joy of pure relaxation in a spacious and comfortable environment with a personal butler to assist you with whatever it is you may need. Indulge all of your senses in the traditional fine dining restaurants, the clifftop pool and bar, or in the spa. Frederic Simon, CEO of Alila Hotels and Resorts says, "we are honoured to be recognized for our distinction in the hospitality industry for the first designed & built EarthCheck certified luxury resort in Bali. It is the ultimate achievement to be awarded such an accolade, especially as it is voted by our guests and travel partners." We certainly agree and feel that the Alila Villas Uluwatu deserves to be added to every luxury traveler’s bucket list!