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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.

Halloween in Napa: Trick or Treat Yourself to a Special at Bardessono

October 7, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BardessonoFlee from the ghouls and ghosts and instead trick or treat yourself to a Halloween night in Yountville at the new luxury hotel everyone's talking about: Bardessono. Get overnight accommodations in a King Spa Suite, a four-course dinner for two with wine pairings, and breakfast for two for $449 per couple. Stay an extra night or two for $299 per night. The only LEED Platinum Certified hotel in California and one of only two in the U.S., Bardessono has won rave reviews for its gorgeous contemporary design that's committed to environmental sustainability. What could be better than sampling the farm-fresh menu and organic wines in the restaurant, lounging by the rooftop pool, or treating yourself to vinotherapy at the gorgeous spa? In-room treatments are pretty awesome, too, as the sleek guest rooms "double as in-room spas."


Polo Fields and Spa Treatments by Dr. Alkaitis: Coworth Park Debuts Today in the UK

September 27, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Coworth ParkWe've been waiting with bated breath and now the moment's arrived: Coworth Park opened its doors today on the border of Windsor Great Park in the English countryside. Just 45 minutes from central London, the 70-room estate is the first luxury country house hotel from the Dorchester Collection. We can barely contain our excitement about the luxe offerings: three restaurants overseen by Michelin-starred Chef John Campbell; a contemporary design that enhances the Georgian charm of the original Coworth Park's manor house; an equestrian center; sunken gardens and polo fields; a carbon neutral spa that's the first in the world to offer treatments by Dr. Alkaitis, renowned for his 100% organic, paraben free ingredients. This is the year to celebrate the yuletide season in Merry Ole England!


Go Ahead and Overpack: InterContinental Hotels Pays for Your Checked Airline Bag

September 13, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Times Square New YorkWe just learned about a cool promotion from IHG brand hotels worldwide. When you stay any weekend at any one of their 4,500 hotels and pay with your visa card, you can say goodbye to luggage fees. Straight from the horse's mouth: "Overpack. There's plenty of room for the maybes and why nots. We're paying." They'll reimburse you for your checked airline bag with an IHG Visa Prepaid Card (up to $50). IHG brands include InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Candlewood Suites. One of our favorites is the swank new InterContinental Times Square New York (pictured). We also can't help but fall for The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. Book today! (Promotion is valid until December 30, 2010. Open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who have attained the age of majority in the jurisdiction of their residence.)

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Cooking Classes, Wine Tastings, & Culinary Events with Kimpton Hotels

September 10, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Lorien Hotel and SpaWe just received word about the fall line-up of awesome culinary events hosted by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants across the country. We're talking Bourbon Dinners, Farmer's Market Tours, Cooking Demos, and Classes. All emphasize local flavors. (Viva the 100-mile diet!) For example, Portland's Pazzo Ristorante, located adjacent to Hotel Vintage Plaza, is organizing a tour of the Inner Circle Farmer's Market tomorrow. After all, the Italian restaurant is known to celebrate Mediterranean dishes by showcasing the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Also coming this fall: The Grand Cafe in San Francisco will be hosting a Regional Dinner Series featuring Bordeaux in October, and Seattle's Library Bistro will be hosting Scotch, Whiskey, and Liquor Tastings. For the full calendar, click here.

Pictured: The Lorien Hotel in Alexandria, whose BRABO restaurant is out of this world.

Related Article:

Kimpton’s Summer Playground: Goodies for Just $10 More at Hotels like Philly’s Palomar


Hotel Discounts with Voluntourism: Give & Getaway with RockResorts

September 9, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Landings St LuciaAcross the globe, voluntourism projects are taking off. Hotels from Texas to the Maldives are giving discounts on accommodations when guests sign up for volunteering projects. Another example: the Give & Getaway program with RockResorts. They'll arrange an environmental conservation project for you-- such as light trail maintenance or working on an area community farm-- and you'll get a reduced rate on your stay plus complimentary swag like hydration packs. Give back to the environment and get rewarded for your efforts! Participating hotels in the RockResorts portfolio include:

The Arrabelle at Vail Square & The Lodge at Vail - Vail, Colorado

Guests have the option of two different dates doing trail restoration work in the Vail area.

Snake River Lodge & Spa - Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Snake River Lodge & Spa is partnering with Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation to remove miles of old buck and rail fence surrounding Grand Teton National Park.

The Landings St. Lucia – Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

Spend the day harvesting locally grown fruits with St. Lucians on a working warm and end the day sampling locally caught seafood at the Anse La Ray Friday Fish Fry!


Prairie Produce Week and a Farmer’s Market at the Trump Chicago

August 31, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Trump ChicagoIt's Prairie Produce Week at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago! Frank Brunacci-- the hotel's executive chef-- is celebrating the "Prairie Produce" of local farms with menu items crafted from ingredients harvested within driving distance to Chicago. Time Out Chicago quotes the chef: "Prairie Produce week is a celebration of the fantastic bounty available right here in the Midwest and presents an exciting opportunity for us to make a new connection with our guests." In addition to these epicurean treats available at the restaurant, Prairie Produce Week will also bring a farmer's market to The Terrace at Trump on Thursday, September 2 from 7- 11 am. Here's what you can find at this "sky high farmer's market" on the hotel's 16th floor: "cheese from Nordic Creamery, sausages from Mint Creek Farm, handmade truffles from Katherine Anne Confections; produce from Nichols Farm; seasonal preserves from Rare Bird Preserves; beef and pork products from Slagel Farm; and much more." Sixteen (the restaurant) will also offer a breakfast buffet made up of all the displayed produce, plus you'll be able to have a "meet and greet with the farmers that put all those goods on your table."

Related Articles:

Now Open: Trump Chicago’s Outdoor River Walk and Plaza

Diamonds, Emeralds, Black Pearls: Jewel-Themed Spa Treatments at Trump International Chicago


Family Vacation in Canada’s Banff National Park with Fairmont Hotels

August 12, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseIt's not too late to plan the ultimate summer/autumn family vacation in the heart of Canada's Rocky Mountains. Discover the alpine majesty of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can go hiking, mountain bike The Great Divide, take a Bow River float trip, and let the kids embark on a photo expedition. After a fun-filled day, unwind at a Fairmont spa and reconnect with your family over dinner. Fairmont makes it easy with a special themed package at its two Banff hotels: the Fairmont Banff Springs, styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a resort recognized globally for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism. The Mountain Adventure package gives you the freedom to enjoy activities with a $100 CAD resort credit, plus kids eat for free. Available until December 20, 2010, the package starts from $339 CAD per night at the Fairmont Banff Springs and $299 CAD per night at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.


On-the-Farm Organic Lunch with the Chefs from Loews Coronado Bay Resort, San Diego

August 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Coronado Bay ResortSan Diego's Loews Coronado Bay Resort gets props for its extensive facilities (private 80-slip marina, tennis courts, pools) and top-notch eats. One of our favorite dining spots is Mistral, which serves modern French cuisine with the finest, responsibly grown ingredients (including fresh herbs from the resort's own garden). The views at Mistral are just as spectacular as the grub: sunsets over the Pacific, vistas of Coronado Bay, and the glittering San Diego skyline stretch out beyond floor-to-ceiling windows. Buzzworthy: Master Chef Marc Ehrler and Mistral Chef de Cuisine Chef Patrick Ponsaty are launching an "On the Farm" series of events where guests get a hands-on farm encounter and enjoy a three-course lunch freshly made from organic farm ingredients. The first such event will take place at Suzie's Farm on Saturday, August 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a Cocktail Reception & Mixology Lesson, Three-Course Lunch with Organic Bonterra Wine Pairings and Interactive Farm Exploration. $75 per person, plus tax & gratuity. Reservations are required at 619-424-4476 or pgoldstine@loewshotels.com. Space is limited.


The World’s Best Up and Coming Hotels

August 5, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James ChicagoIn its August 2010 issue, Travel + Leisure highlights "20 to Watch: 2010's Best Up-and-Coming Hotels," many of which can be found in the Five Star Alliance collection. Predicting "the next hottest hotels around the globe," Travel + Leisure scoured the globe "to pick out this year's new and refurbished, expanding, or otherwise evolving hotels." What the magazine's editors found: domestic hotels are raising the bar, with fantastic luxury hotels in the United States and Canada. So without further ado, here's the list:

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Algodon Mansion, Buenos Aires

Amangiri, Utah

Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Four Seasons Beirut

The James Chicago

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

The Peninsula Chicago

The Pierre New York, A Taj Hotel

Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan, Paris

Ritz-Carlton Reserve Phulay Bay, Krabi, Thailand

Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, London

Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai, India

Veranda Resort, Turks & Caicos

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily

W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island

Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Australia

Destination Spa: The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu , Malibu, California


Hotel Le Germain Toronto Tosses Plastic Water Bottles, Introduces Filtration System

July 13, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Le Germain TorontoHot on the heels of Ritz-Carlton's decision to ditch plastic water bottles, Toronto's Hotel Le Germain has announced the new eco-installation of OVUPUR water filtration systems on every floor. Guests can stay hydrated with a ready supply of pristine drinking water, eliminating the need for plastic water bottles. The installation of this cutting-edge technology is estimated to save 73,000 water bottles from landfills each year. Moreover, OVUPUR is renowned for its energy efficiency:

The unique porcelain system preserves and revitalizes water without electricity. It relies on gravity to filter imperfections using a special filter designed to reproduce nature’s water cycle. The reusable, multilayer cartridge contains tried and tested filtering materials that have been proven to remove chemicals and organic pollutants from drinking water.

This new eco-friendly amenity is just another example of the thoughtful service found at Hotel Le Germain. With just 118 rooms and suites, the boutique hotel knows how to take care of its guests: complimentary Internet, a rooftop terrace and putting green, a 24-hour fitness room, plus delicious Canadiana cuisine by young culinary talent Chef David Chrystian at Victor Restaurant....