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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 World’s Hottest New Hotels: Travel + Leisure’s New “It List 2010″

May 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BardessonoIt's our favorite time of year. Travel + Leisure has released their "It List 2010" of the 45 best new hotels in the world. The mag's esteemed editors have hand-picked the year's most exciting hotel debuts, to be revealed in the June issue which hits newsstands this month. What's especially cool to see: ten of the properties have room rates of less than $300 per night. Can't wait til May 21st to see the list? We've got the skinny:

UNITED STATES

Andaz Wall Street+ Bardessono, Yountville, California

+ St. Regis Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

+ Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana

+ Andaz Wall Street, New York, New York*

+ Crosby Street Hotel, New York, New York

+ Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah

+ Waldorf Astoria, Park City, Utah

THE CARIBBEAN , MEXICO, AND CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA

+ Viceroy Anguilla, Barnes Bay, Anguilla

+ Gansevoort, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

+ W Santiago, Santiago, Chile*

+ Tcherassi Hotel & Spa, Cartagena, Colombia

+ Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico

+ Hotel Boca Chica, Acapulco, Mexico*

+ Las Alcobas, Mexico City, Mexico

EUROPE

+ Lime Wood, Hampshire, England*

+ Dean Street Townhouse, London, England*

+ InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau, Paris, France

+ La Réserve Ramatuelle, Ramatuelle, France

+ Heidelberg Suites, Heidelberg, Germany

+ Il Salviatino, Fiesole, Italy

+ Maison Moschino, Milan, Italy

+ Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sciacca, Italy

+ Palazzina Grassi, Venice, Italy

+ Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain

+ Hotel Consolaciόn, Teruel, Spain*

+ Argos in Cappadocia, Uchisar, Turkey*

ASIA

+ Amanfayun, Hangzhou, China

+ Upper House, Hong Kong, China

+ Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai, China*

+ PuLi Hotel & Spa, Shanghai, China

+ Serai Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer, India

+ Raas, Jodhpur, India*

+ Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

+ Shangri-La Boracay Resort & Spa, Boracay, Philippines

+ Capella Singapore, Sentosa Island, Singapore

+ Langham Place Samui at Lamai Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand*

+ Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi, Thailand

AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, AUSTRALIA

+ Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel

+ Evason Ma’In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa, Ma’in, Jordan

+ Le Gray, Beirut, Lebanon

+ Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Mahé, Seychelles

+ One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Taj Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

+ Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

+ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, Lithgow, Australia

*Property has starting room rates of $300/night, double, or less.


Win a Night at Napa’s Bardessono, the Green Luxury Hotel Everyone’s Talking About

April 26, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

BardessonoWe're just in the mood today to hook up our readers with insider tips on freebies and giveaways. Here's another not to miss: A Giveaway contest at Bardessono, "the greenest luxury hotel in America" that wins acclaim for its gorgeous spa, rooftop pool, artisan-crafted cocktails, carbon-fiber bicycles free for guest use, local wine-makers' dinners, and pet-friendly vibe... For a list of the top 10 reasons why we're enamored with this Napa Valley resort, click here. Now Bardessono is running a Giveway promotion on Facebook:

In honor of Earth Month AND our new Facebook page, we want to give away 1 night free at the hotel! How to enter? Become a fan, tell a friend, and make sure to comment! Giveaway runs through 4/28, winner announced after! Spread the word.

Hurry-- just a few more days to enter this contest!


Hot Hotel Openings of the Year: Coworth Park from the Dorchester Collection

April 22, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Coworth Park, EnglandHow's this for a teaser? Sure got us excited for the launch of The Dorchester Collection's luxurious country retreat. "You'll know your 'peg out' from your 'double tap.' You'll be comfortable dining under (and alongside) the stars. You'll know which single malt to sip, which New World white to quaff. You'll be ready to leave the past behind and make your mark on the future. You'll be ready for a country house hotel quite unlike any other. Welcome to Coworth Park."

 

 

Coworth Park-- "the country house hotel that rewrites the rules"-- will be opening this summer in the English countryside, just 40 minutes from central London. The setting? 237 acres of parkland bordering Great Windsor Park-- near Ascot and the golf clubs at Wentworth and Sunningdale. What's in store? A carbon-neutral spa, for starters. One of the first of its kind in the UK, the eco-spa was built unobtrusively into the landscape with a roof covered in herbs, later plucked for use in spa treatments. Outdoor pursuits run the gamut from archery to tennis. There's even an equestrian center and pro polo fields.

 

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Luxury Eco-Tour of Istanbul with Urban Nomads and the Newly Renovated Pera Palace

March 17, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pera Palace, IstanbulAfter a two-year, $30 million renovation, Istanbul's Pera Palace is back on top. Built in 1892 to host passengers of the Orient-Express, the historic hotel was one of the most luxurious of its era, welcoming all kinds of royalty and celebrity guests, including Agatha Christie, who is rumored to have written "Murder on the Orient Express" at the hotel. (Room No. 411 has been preserved as the "Agatha Christie Room.") Stay tuned for details of the hotel's grand re-opening, slated for later this year... Buzzworthy: Visitors can now partake in a luxury eco-friendly tour of Istanbul for Christie's inaugural Green Auction,* courtesy of the Pera Palace and Urbane Nomads, a luxury travel company. Guests will stay in the Agatha Christie Studio Room for four nights, and visit Istanbul via fuel-efficient vehicles in a tour led by Gursan Ergil, a famous designer of eco-friendly furniture in Istanbul. At the Grand Bazaar, visitors will get the skinny on the city's sustainable produce.

*Christie's Green Auction will take place on April 22, 2010, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.


Hit the St. Lucia Jazz Festival: 4th Night Free at Ladera, the Eco-Luxury Resort

March 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ladera Resort, St. LuciaThe Ladera Resort is reason enough to head to St. Lucia in May. Rated among the best hotels in the Caribbean (and the world) by readers of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, Ladera is a dreamy hideaway perched high above the sparkling sea, its 9 villas and 23 suites each featuring an open wall so that guests have an open-air experience in the rainforest, taking in spectacular views over the Caribbean. But May also marks the 19th anniversary of the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, a 10-day jazz extravaganza with a star-studded line-up from the US, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe. From formal performances to open-air concerts to late-night club events, St Lucia Jazz offers a range of exciting shows. This May event has evolved into one of the most anticipated on the Caribbean's calendar. Check into Ladera-- where you'll dig the swanky, eco-chic accommodations and farm-to-table menus at Dasheene-- and you can score a fourth night free. Subject to availability, this offer is available until December 20, 2010.


Check Out Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica with the Eco-Friendly Gaia Hotel

February 16, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Costa RicaEager to check out the howler monkeys, endangered squirrel monkeys, and sloths in Costa Rica's Manual Antonio National Park? Set on the Pacific coast, this park is world-famous for its natural beauty and great biodiversity- with over 346 species having been discovered here. The smallest of Costa Rica's national parks boasts two pristine sand beaches edged by tropical rainforest. You can even go snorkeling offshore. The place to stay is the Gaia Hotel and Reserve, the only 5-star boutique hotel in the vicinity, with an eco-friendly focus, to boot. Terraced suites and villas offer unrivaled views over the lush wild surroundings. And a spa, gym, and pool means blissful comfort onsite. But there's a slew of activities and tours available here-- from mangrove kayaking to surfing lessons to guided tours of the national park-- so you'll definitely want to get out and explore this incredible corner of the world.


Organic Luxury at Cheeca Lodge’s New Spa

February 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cheeca LodgeFlorida Keys fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when the legendary Islamorada resort reopened after a big fire (and renovation). Cheeca Lodge is back this winter, and they've recently debuted a new spa focusing on "organic sustainable luxury." At the helm? New spa director Tricia Banister, who previously had stints at The Spa at The Setai and TheSpaAtDavidBartonGym at Gansevoort South in Miami Beach. The locally-inspired treatment menu features high quality ingredients from sustainable farms-- including Voya from Ireland (the world's first certified organic, hand-harvested seaweed based products). We like the sound of the Lava Shell Massage which uses "warming oil and ionizing lava shells straight from the sea." Also available at the resort: the Signature Seaweed Soak in the resort's new Premier Spa Suites, where terraces have open-air bathtubs for two. Be sure to arrive early for your appointment to savor a foot bath before your spa treatment.


Eco-Friendly Hotels in Thailand: Save Sea Turtles with the Aleenta Resort, Phuket

February 5, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Aleenta Resort and SpaTalk about guilt-free luxury. The Phuket resort prized for its chic, beachfront rooms and rejuvenating spa is environmentally-friendly, too. The Aleenta Resort and Spa Phuket – Phangnga has created a Marine Turtle Foundation to support the repopulation and rehabilitation of the local turtles that are threatened by over-development and over-fishing. Thailand's four species of marine turtles include the Leatherback, the world's largest living reptile, which has been listed as globally endangered since 1970. Aleenta is located just 20 minutes south from gorgeous Khao Lumpee- Haad Thaymuang National Park, where the Turtle Sanctuary is located. Here guests can learn about conservation with staff, including an Aleenta representative, who tend to over 200 turtle hatchlings. Aleenta offers day-trips to the park so that guests can learn about the turtles. The resort also matches donations of THB40/per night which are made to the Sanctuary.


VIP (Very Important Planet) Package at Hotel Fouquet’s Barriere, Paris

February 3, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Fouquet's Barriere, Paris

When we first checked out Hotel Fouquet's Barrière in the months before it opened in Paris, we were impressed by its caliber of luxury. Standing on the corner of two fabled boulevards, the Champs-Elysées and Avenue George V, the hotel has opulent interiors designed by Jacques Garcia, a teak rooftop terrace, and an expansive spa with swimming pool. Now we've learned that this ultra-luxury property is also environmentally-friendly. A new VIP ("Very Important Planet") package caters to travelers concerned about their environmental impact. Not only does the package include a carbon offset (through the non-profit Action Carbone), but it also includes organic treats and eco-friendly amenities. Along with your swank accommodations, you'll get a special "Fitness Breakfast" for two (loaded with healthy offerings like egg white omelets and freshly squeezed juice); a 50-minute natural oil treatment at the hotel's U Spa, per person; organic lunch for two at the hotel's Joy Gallery; a bottle of eco-friendly Pop Earth Champagne in-room upon arrival. Priced from €990 based on double occupancy.


Spotlight On: The Organic Garden at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

January 27, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons SingaporeDespite its urban setting-- smack dab in the middle of one of Asia's most dynamic city centers-- the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is growing an eco-garden. Launched in June 2009, the 1,000 square foot garden is cultivated by each department of the hotel's staff-- from the engineering team (who tend the banana trees) to the finance department (responsible for the limes and lemongrass). The bountiful harvest is plucked for the hotel's kitchens, where Executive Chef Bruno Correa works his magic with exceptional, freshly-harvested ingredients. Six months later, the organic garden-- irrigated with rainwater, nurtured with organic compost-- is a symbol of sustainability in Singapore. And the crop is only growing; now they've added Chinese veggies like bok choy to the mix.