Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
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.

Make Way for the Ritz Carlton Vienna

August 27, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The Ritz Carlton Vienna opened its doors today, August 27th, 2012. Located in a beautiful building composed of four historic palaces on Schubertring Boulevard, one of the city’s most elegant streets, this luxury hotel has 202 rooms including 35 suites distributed over 6 floors. The Grand Presidential Suite includes unique decorative features and it adjoins to the Executive Suite. A few key characterstics of the Ritz Carlton Vienna worth exploring are its rooftop bar, 6 room spa, a seventh floor Club lounge which overlooks the city, and an 18-meter indoor pool that plays underwater music! (Jamming out under water is encouraged) Explore this luxury hotel’s availability and rates here.

Your Questions Answered: Luxury Hotel Recommendations in Ireland

August 23, 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: I’m traveling to Ireland in October with my great aunt and I’d like a few recommendations on where to stay. We’re not set on any specific location and just looking for an incredible hotel. What can you recommend?

Answer: A few incredible hotels in Ireland that have availability for October 16th - 25th are below: To explore the full list of hotels as well as their rates and photos, simply visit this website and enter your dates of travel:

The Westin Dublin has rooms with one queen bed starting from 217.89 Euros per room, per night, so you could get two of these rooms. This hotel is located on its own city block in downtown Dublin opposite Trinity College, only steps away from the Cultural Quarter, Temple Bar, as well as the famous shops of Grafton Street.

For a more traditional experience, Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland is an excellent choice. It has a breakfast inclusive room options with 2 twin beds starting from 225 Euros per night, or breakfast inclusive rooms with 1 king bed for 225 Euros per night as well, if you'd prefer to get two separate rooms. Originally built as a crenellated castle in the 13th century and rebuilt as a hunting and fishing lodge in the 1800s, today Ashford Castle is one of the finest and most luxurious castle hotels in Ireland. Located in the picturesque village of Cong, Ashford Castle is 1/2 hour northeast of Galway City on the shores of Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake.

Mount Juliet Hotel Kilkenny in County Kilkenny, Ireland has rooms with 1 queen bed available starting from 119 Euros per room, per night. Mount Juliet is Ireland's leading country estate and one of the most luxurious Hotels in Kilkenny. This one is approximately a 2 hour drive from Dublin.

Please be advised that rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.

Photo of Ashford Castle

Best Rooftop Hotspots: The Betsy Hotel

August 21, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has gone through its collection of 520 luxury hotels in over 70 countries and put together a list of its top hotels with the best rooftops. Ranging from a rooftop restaurant to a rooftop pool with stunning city views, be sure to check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring these happening hotels with rooftops worth exploring.

The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida tops the list with its rooftop solarium and wellness garden which offers incredible views of the ocean and allows guests to take in the soothing environment. The sole surviving example of Florida Georgian architecture on Ocean Drive, the Betsy Hotel is a distinguished historic landmark featuring 61 intimate rooms that are private beachside havens. Be sure to explore the spa facility which is located in the rooftop solarium and features three cabanas providing a personalized treatment experience. Make your reservations at the Betsy Hotel here! Be sure to check in with us again to discover the other luxury hotels with happening rooftops that made the list!

A Hogwarts Halloween at Ashford Castle

August 9, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Have a ‘Harry Potter’ filled adventure this Halloween at Ashford Castle in Ireland. For one incredible week, Ashford Castle will be under a magical spell with Hogwarts activities perfect for the whole family. Ashford Castle’s hidden rooms, soaring ceilings, and hundreds of years of history give it a wizardly feel that kids will surely appreciate. Go on a ‘Forbidden Forest’ treasure hunt, visit the hiding place of Ashford Castle’s own, Dingle, take a ‘Chamber of Art’ painting class, and of course, watch a ‘Harry Potter’ movie screening. What an incredible way to bring Hogwarts to life! Make your reservations between October 26th and November 3nd at Ashford Castle for an unforgettable adventure for you and your family!

Check Out the Newly Improved Halekulani

August 8, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Halekulani has been hosting visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years, but even the most hip and trendy luxury hotels need a face lift every now and then. This beautiful Hawaiian hotel has earned its reputation for its gracious hospitality, impeccable service, and incredible cuisine, and with its updates, the Halekulani is now that much more stunning and reputable. For the past year, the Halekulani has been sprucing all of its rooms and suites as well as enhancing guest experiences, services, and amenities. The hotel has also added a new French Bar, L’Aperitif at La Mer, and a new Afternoon Tea experience. Each guestroom has been improved with new furnishings, accessories, amenities, new lighting design, bedding, and enhanced in-room technology. We simply love the new look and feel of the Halekulani and admire how a stunning property can undergo a major improvement period without losing its historic and charming feel. Explore the new look of the Halekulani for yourself and let us know what you think!

5 Brand New Suites at the Hotel Splendido in Portofino

August 8, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

After an intensive renovation, the top floor of the Hotel Splendido has been transformed into 5 breathtaking new suites - three Deluxe Suites and two Junior Deluxe Suites. 

All of the new suites at this cliff side retreat offer light-flooded interiors that are decorated in a contemporary style with color schemes that evoke the sea and sky. Spacious bathrooms feature separate shower cubicles, bathtubs and twin vanity basins. Fine Italian furniture includes exceptional pieces such as mirrors, lamps and vases that add accents of color to the cool palette. The two new unique Junior Suites Deluxe on the top floor boast and the three Deluxe Exclusive Suites on the fifth floor offer spectacular sea and town views from their large balconies.

Hotel Splendido Junior Deluxe Suite

Hotel Splendido Junior Deluxe Suite

Hotel Splendido Deluxe Suite

View more photos and then check rates and availability for the Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy >>


Au Revoir, Hotel Ritz Paris!

August 2, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Hotel Ritz Paris has closed its doors for an extensive 2 year renovation period on August 1st, 2012. Built in 1898, this stunning hotel has served as an opulent home away from home for familiar faces such as Marcel Proust, Coco Chanel, Elton John, and Oscar de la Renta. Below is a letter from the general manager sent out to guests:

The legendary Ritz Paris has closed its doors to embark on a two-year restoration program. Rooms, suites, restaurants and bars, the spa and the famous Ritz Escoffier cooking school will all be carefully restored and recreated under the direction of the internationally renowned interior designer Thierry W. Despont. We will ensure that the charm and personality of the Ritz Paris is kept alive and that we continue to satisfy even the most discerning travelers. We certainly hope that you will follow our progress on or through our social media channels. All of us at the Ritz Paris are looking forward with great anticipation to welcoming you back in 2014 for the reopening of your home in Paris.

Sincerely, Christian A. Boyens, General Manager

Frank J. Klein, President

We hope the Ritz Paris can update its look without losing its classic French style and feel, and we certainly look forward to seeing how the renovations progress. Planning a trip to Paris now? Not to worry; we have 72 luxury hotels waiting just for you!

Hotels with a History: The Driskill Hotel

July 25, 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.

Cattle baron Jesse Driskill built his hotel in 1886 to serve as the “Frontier Palace of the South” in the capital city of Texas. The Driskill Hotel was opened during a time when the United States longed for architecture that represented the American dream, and Jesse Driskill’s strong attention to detail created an icon that served and continues to serve Texas proud, openly welcoming guests from all over the world. It has remained a landmark of Texas hospitality and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America, offering guests an elite level of luxury. This historic hotel is located in downtown Austin and provides easy access to the convention center, opera, symphony, fine dining, shopping, and the 6th street music scene. Make your reservations at this baron’s luxury hotel and feel the pride and history that emanates from its walls for yourself.

Hotel Castello di Casole Now Open!

July 13, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We are thrilled to announce that the Hotel Castello di Casole in Siena, Italy is now open and accepting reservations! This luxurious, 5-star property in Tuscany is the centerpiece of a stunning and historic 4,200-acre estate. Commanding the highest point on the property, this restored castle dates back to the 10th century. While it underwent extensive renovations, the Hotel Castello di Casole has preserved its original and historic culture. This boutique hotel offers impeccable suites, world-class service and amenities, and breathtaking Tuscan countryside views. Take advantage of the fine and casual dining opportunities available on site, the luxurious spa, pool, and fitness center, and the various adventures made available to guests varying by the seasons. Make your reservations today and experience this incredible and romantic Italian property for yourself!

The Villas of Villa d'Este in Lake Como: Villa Malakoff

July 6, 2012
By: Five Star Alliance

Villa d'Este in Lake ComoVilla d'Este, the classic and opulent hotel overlooking Lake Como, is a former 16th century princely residence turned resort destination. In addition to the 152 guest rooms, the luxury hotel offers two magnificently renovated 19th Century villas within the 25-acre park. Villa Malakoff and Villa Cima are available for short term tenancies with amenities ranging from housekeeping to full hotel service. (Click the image at right to view a larger format.)

Guests are able to use all of the facilities and amenities of the hotel, while maintaining the privacy and exclusivity that their own private villa can offer.

Villa Malakoff

Villa Malakoff - private villa at Villa d'EsteBuilt in 1860, the Villa takes its name from one of the fortresses around Sebastopol, conquered by the French General MacMahon. Standing on a small hill within the grounds of Villa d’Este, it offers splendid views of Lake Como and is where you will feel most at home. Its rooms are distributed over 3 floors and offer 300 square metres of living space (3200 sq. ft.).

The rooms are tastefully and luxuriously appointed, and the warm tones and informal ambience of this grand yet hospitable residence will immediately put you at ease.

A stay at the Villa Malakoff is truly the best of both worlds: a private home where you can enjoy discretion and privacy, yet one provided with all the amenities and creature comforts offered by the world class service of a Villa d’Este Group property. A stay at Villa Malakoff is truly a gift to yourself, a once in a lifetime experience.


More images of Villa Malakoff here>>

Read more about the second private villa at Villa d'Este - Villa Cima here >>

View availability, rates and make reservations at Villa d'Este here >>