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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.

Your Questions Answered: Best Hotels in Florence


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: Can you recommend one of your properties in Florence? One adult, check in November 2 and spend three or four nights. Looking for fantastic view, and prefer walking access to top sites. I've never been to Italy before.

Answer: We have 32 luxury properties in Florence, and we would suggest visiting this website and entering your dates of travel to view the hotels that have availability as well as their photos, prices, and location descriptions.

A few that we would recommend would be the Hotel Bernini Palace which is located in a historical 15th century palazzo in the heart of Florence and has rates starting from 209 Euros per night. Another hotel we'd recommend is Villa San Michele which is a 15th-century Franciscan monastery has now been transformed into one of Europe's most charming and picturesque hotels, only a few minutes from the centre of Florence. Rates start from 368 Euros per night. Please be advised that the rates and availability are subject to change prior to making a reservation.

Image of the Villa San Michele


Hotel Danieli Tops Our List of Best Canal Hotels in Venice


By: Oksana Balytsky

Overlooking Riva degli Shiavoni, a short walk from Piazza San Marco and St. Mark's Basilica, the Hotel Danieli perfectly captures the beauty and romance of Venice. The hotel consists of three unique interconnecting palaces whose refined interiors create a pleasant ambiance that offers visitors the best in modern comfort and luxury. The main building, the Dandolo Palace, is a gothic landmark featuring pink marble, stained glass, gold leaf decorated ceilings, and stunning chandeliers. The restaurant Terrazza Danieli is on the top floor of the Danielino building and offers breath-taking views of the lagoon and panoramic views of Venice. With a water bus stop located right in front of the hotel, a side entrance for water taxis, and a central location in Venice within walking distance of major attractions, the Hotel Danieli is considered to be one of the top luxury canal hotels in the city!

Explore Hotel Danieli photos, descriptions, availability, and nightly rate breakdowns here >>


Be In the Know, Now: New Armani and Bulgari Hotels


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 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.

Back in April 2010, the first Armani Hotel made its debut in Dubai, and then another one popped up in Milan. We hear the next city to get an Armani upgrade is Paris and that we should expect at least eight more hotels from this designer/hotelier. (Photo of the Armani Hotel Milano)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another hotel brand to watch is Bulgari, with a luxury hotel in Milan and another one that had its grand opening in London just in time for the Olympics. We certainly admire the elegant and contemporary design of the Bulgari hotels, and we recommend folks who appreciate a sleek design and a modern feel to check them out. (Photo of the Bulgari Hotel and Residences)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore these hip and trendy hotel options, and let us know what you think!


Hotel Castello di Casole Now Open!


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!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Villa San Michele


By: Oksana Balytsky

We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Villa San Michele is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for service. This luxury hotel was a 15th century monastery which was converted into one of Europe’s most charming luxury hotels. Its located only a few minutes from the center of Florence, and it is surrounded by its own gardens and woodlands of the Fiesole hills. The Villa San Michele goes above and beyond to ensure that its guests are comfortable and have everything they need for a lavish and enjoyable stay.

Check rates, availability, photos and more at the Villa San Michele here!


Sponsored Feature: Why the Villa Spalletti Trivelli's Small Size Is Just What You Want


By: Christopher Roney

When the national title association was handing out the allotment of letters to the Villa Spalletti Trivelli, there must've been a 2-for-1 deal on ls. Either that or it is secretly run by a pack of llamas. In any case, the Villa Spalletti could certainly be described as lilliputian. The tiny hotel rests in the heart of Rome and has but 12 rooms and suites to its name. Many hotels champion their large inventories as a great strength, singing the praises of the customizability that the options deliver. I find that such an experience doesn't necessarily guarantee my perfect satisfaction though. By the same token, size can lead to a kind of standardization, where while you can pick between a number of five-star restaurants all the on the property, you still succumb to a feeling of sameness. You lose a sense of the specific charm of the city you've come to see.

In this regard, the Villa Spalletti Trivelli's small stature is precisely its strength. The hotel simply feels like Rome. You're nestled downtown, just moments from the Fontana di Trevi, Quirinale, and the Spanish Steps, and the rooms and public spaces are filled with genuine antiques. Private gardens allow for you to experience a genuine moment of quietude away from the bustle of the city; and, with only a few other guests, that silence won't be interrupted. The on-site Health Center is a source of rejuvenating and relaxing wellness therapies. Elegant dining is available at the Papier Peint Dining Room, and it is just that, an intimate experience closer to a private meal than a night out, only with the freshest traditional Italian ingredients that you could only get at the finest restaurants. The next time you're headed to Rome, think about foregoing some of the bigger brand names for the authentic experience at the Villa Spalletti Trivelli.


Deals and Steals at the St. Regis Grand Rome in Italy


By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance know that you, our loyal travelers, are in search of luxurious accommodations at the best prices available, so we go above and beyond to find the best promotional packages and specials to ensure you get the most from your hotel experience. We’re thrilled to introduce our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels that offer you more than just room-only rates. Whether you’re traveling on business or pleasure, we certainly have something for you, so be sure to check in with us often to get the inside scoop on the best deals and packages available at luxury hotels all over the world!

The St. Regis Grand Rome is perfectly located in the heart of Rome within walking distance of many historic sites including the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and Via Veneto. The Colosseum and the Piazza Navona are also located nearby, and each of the 138 guest rooms and 23 suites feature a unique identity and are beautifully decorated in Empire, Regency, and Louis XV styles.

Taste of Luxury Package

This package is available for a Superior room with 1 king bed, Deluxe room with 1 king bed, or an Imperial room with 1 king bed. It includes breakfast for 2, and the 4th night is free for travel between November 2011 and March 2013. The free night is applied upon check in. (This special package must be selected to receive the 4th night free.)

Luxury Romance Package

This package is available for a Superior room, Deluxe room, or Imperial room option with 1 king bed, and it includes daily room service breakfast for 2, beautiful flowers, and champagne upon arrival. Dive into a romantic escape with this package that’s perfect for an anniversary, birthday, or just a weekend away.

Vivendo Dinner Package

This package is perfect for the food connoisseur and it is available for either a Superior or Deluxe room. Included in this package is a buffet breakfast and a phenomenal 3 course dinner from the Grand menu at Vivendo Restaurant.

These packages and specials are based on double occupancy, subject to availability, and exclusive of tax.

Be sure to make your travel plans today to take advantage of the incredible packages and deals that await you in Rome!


The Best Romantic Getaway Hotels: Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie in Rome, Italy


By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a beautiful romance to them, an elegant charm that sweeps you off your feet and leaves you feeling like you’re floating on a cloud. Whether you’re planning an anniversary, a birthday, or simply hoping to have a romantic weekend with your significant other, we certainly have the perfect hotel in your city of choice. Check in with us often as we will be featuring our favorite hotels for a romantic getaway all over the world!

Our first feature is the Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie. This luxury hotel is located in the heart of Rome on the fashionable Via del Babuino, next to the Piazza del Popolo and near the Spanish Steps. This 122 bedroom property is a favorite amongst the Hollywood A list and it has gained fame for its beautiful terrace gardens. These so called “Secret Gardens” are hidden behind the building and offer guests the perfect place to enjoy each other’s company in tranquility, away from the bustle of Rome. Enjoy al fresco dining at ‘Le Jardin de Russie’ restaurant and take advantage of the hotel’s health club and spa with a hydro pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish steam bath, and much more. Make your reservations at this romantic gem in Rome and get ready for a phenomenal time with your loved one!


Amazing Restaurant Package at the Relais Santa Croce in Florence


By: Oksana Balytsky

The Relais Santa Croce is a luxurious 5-star hotel that has a special package that allows you to experience the incredible food of Florence. It is situated in the historic center of Florence, and it is the ideal location for those seeking the intimacy of a private setting. Your passion for art, beauty, and delectable cuisine will certainly be met due to this hotel’s proximity to historic paintings, beautiful sculptures, architectural masterpieces, and this incredible package!

8 Star Gourmet Emotional Experience

This special package includes a welcome cocktail, a welcome gift upon arrival, one dinner at the exclusive Relais Santa Croce Florence “Guelfi & Ghibellini” restaurant, including the wine selection of their sommelier, one dinner at the “Enoteca Pinchiorri” restaurant including their Sommelier wine selection, late check-out, and a one way transfer from or to Florence railway station or airport.

View rates, availability, and photos here! Make your reservations today!


The Traveler's Compendium: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die


By: Christopher Roney

Bucket lists.  We've probably all got one, and I can't get over my slightly morbid fascination of the idea of making the list of the things you'd like to live framed around dying.  Maybe it's that the finitude of life creates a sweet sense of urgency that makes experience all the more poignant.  But I'm not here to philosophize; I leave that to the well-bearded among us.  I'm here to tell you about the second edition of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die with the much more uplifting subtitle: A Traveler's Life List.

A coffeetable book if there ever was one, 1,000 Places lays out some of the most unique and gorgeous places the world has to offer. And one of the things about the luxury hotel industry is that we've done a pretty good job of making sure that most of these places have the accommodations for you to experience them.  Heading to the Amalfi Coast? Why not stay at the Palazzo Sasso, which has a breathtaking view of the ocean stretching out from its feet, 350 meters below.  Or perhaps you're interested in Paris.  The Plaza Athenee or Hotel de Crillon have you covered.  It's really quite incredible when you step back to think how easy it is to experience the unique gems this blue-green sphere has to offer.  So pick up your copy of 1,000 Places To See Before You Die and pick out your next vacation destination.  We have certainly have some suggestions for you.