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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.

Bazaar-o World: Extraordinary SLS Hotel/José Andrés Restaurant Is Going Global

October 19, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Being a Washington, DC, local, I can’t help but fall in love with the cuisine of José Andrés, the James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur. He has pioneered the field of molecular gastronomy by cleverly manipulating texture to subvert our expectations. For instance, at his signature DC restaurant, Minibar, instead of a salt-lined margarita glass, you can expect an aerated salty sea-foam floating above your drink. His visionary view of food’s potential to surprise and entice has inspired a new direction in the culinary arts.

So when I heard that his SLS Hotel restaurant in Los Angeles, the Bazaar, is thinking of going global with its brand, I practically jumped out of my chair in anticipation. José Andrés is already slated to open another establishment at the upcoming SLS Hotel in South Beach, Florida, and Robbie McKay, Director of Communications for SBE, the luxury hospitality group who owns the Bazaar, says that they have their eye on the DC market as a possible next location. Keep an eye out on this one folks. This is a hotel restaurant that is far more than the standard luxury fare.

For now, you can only dine at the Bazaar at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.  It's well worth the trip.

Via Tim Carman (@timcarman) at the Washington Post.


A Fresh Redesign: Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles Reopens

October 13, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Now this is the story all about how

my life got flipped, turned upside down

And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there

I’ll tell you how I went on vacation to a hotel called Bel-Air.

Now here’s news: The Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles is reopening this month, and the property has turned things upside-down with its renovation. With a fresh new look, they’re positioning themselves to be the prince of spa services. The revitalized property offers a 4,000 sq. ft. spa by La Prairie and is the first US hotel to launch a line of in-room amenities by the same luxury Swiss company. The familiar swans still glide across the serene lake they call home, and their habitat is now maintained by an updated circulation system that saves over 1.5 million gallons of water. It’s great to see more and more hotels incorporate green engineering into their modernized design plans. Alongside the familiar Grace Kelly suite, the new presidential suite even offers a private courtyard and private pool where can guests can relax after enjoying dinner for up to ten people from their private chef’s kitchen. The main buildings preserve some of the original colonial Spanish aesthetic, while also being ‘modernized’ to include retro themes from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. This is hotel the Dorchester Collection is clearly proud to be reopening, and as well they should be.

Not only does the Hotel Bel-Air feel completely renewed, until December 29th, Hotel Bel Air will include a $100 dining credit with your reservation, so you can enjoy fresh cuisine imagined by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck the next time you stay at this lovely hotel.


Endless Summer in Santa Monica: Beach Picnic and Cocktails at Hotel Shangri-La

September 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Shangri-La, Santa Monica

Mourning the end of summer? We've got just the cure. Head to southern California for some sun, surf and sand. It's always summer in Santa Monica! The Hotel Shangri-La-- the beautifully renovated Art Deco landmark perched on the bluffs above the Pacific-- has an "Endless Summer Package" that's got your name on it. Running through the end of October, the package features a picnic basket crafted by the Chef de cuisine with organic ingredients fresh from the farmer's market. Not only that, but the package also includes the perfect night cap in Suite 700. There's no better view in town for sunset cocktails! You'll also get complimentary valet parking with your accommodations in a one-bedroom suite with a gourmet kitchen and ocean views. Priced from $375 per night. Subject to availability, and valid through October 31, 2011.


Paradise in Pasadena: Food Credit at The Langham Huntington

August 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Langham Huntington PasadenaJust nine miles north of Los Angeles, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is a 23-acre garden oasis set against the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains. The hotel's been a landmark in beautiful Pasadena since 1907, and continues to woo the fit and the fabulous for tennis, nearby golf, and spa time. And the restaurant (The Royce) is fantastic, serving "New American Cuisine" by chef David Féau emphasizing fresh seasonal produce. The Langham Huntington is the perfect place to stay and play for the whole family. A special offer valid through September 4, 2011 includes Lanai accommodations and a daily $50 food and beverage credit to be used at the pool bar. The "Family Stay & Play Package" is priced from $219 per night, subject to availability, Sunday- Thursday nights only.


Rembrandt Drawing Stolen from the Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Ray

August 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton Marina Del RayThomas Crown strikes again... This time at a five-star hotel. Last Saturday, a Rembrandt drawing valued at more than $250,000 was stolen from a private exhibition at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Marina Del Ray. Called "The Judgment" the pen and ink etching was made in 1655, one of 700 drawings by the Old Master. The police say the heist was carefully orchestrated; an accomplice distracted the curator while the thief made off with the drawing in a matter of minutes. Rembrandts are favored by art thieves, says The Telegraph, recalling the 1972 theft of three paintings from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardiner museum.


Moon over Mar'sel: New Chef's Tasting Menu at Terranea Resort

July 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Terranea Resort, Los AngelesHats off to Michael Fiorelli, the chef at Terranea Resort outside Los Angeles, for coming up with a cool new menu concept. Available on the select evenings each month when the moon rises during dining hours, the exclusive new “Moon Rise Menu” showcases California cuisine featuring local, sustainable ingredients-- all served under the light of the moon on the terrace. Now *that* makes for an extraordinary al fresco dining experience! Terranea Resort's signature restaurant, mar'sel, (Spanish for "sea" and French for "salt") is celebrated for its sublime ocean views. Dates for the "Moon Rise Menu" include August 12th – 14th, September 14th, and October 13th – 15th. Cost is $65 per person for the five-course menu, with optional wine pairings for an additional $35.

“Fly Me to the Moon”

local rocket salad shaved fennel, pt. reyes blue cheese, dried cranberries, toasted pinenuts, citrus vinaigrette

“moon doggies”

homemade lamb sausages, wilted swiss chard, stuffed lipstick peppers

“Monday morning style”

mezzaluna pasta english pea stuffed half-moon pasta, la quercia prosciutto, parmesan grilled wild caught moonfish roasted baby carrots, lemon confit, harissa yogurt

“the dark side of the moon”

milky way tart, moon pie and chocolate marshmallow “moon rocks”


Summer Cinema Series at the W Hotel Los Angeles

July 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

W Los Angeles WestwoodNothing says summer like outdoor movies under the stars. The W Hotel Los Angeles-- situated in Westwood between Rodeo Drive and the beaches of Santa Monica-- is inviting guests to dive into the summer with fun events including a Hangover brunch beside the pool, and the 5th annual Summer Cinema Series. Benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, the cinema series takes place on Fridays at sunset through September 3, 2011. The WET pool is outfitted with several 50" plasmas and a large 8' x 8' projection screen, and it's even possible to reserve a cabana with a private flat-screen. Blankets are provided for cuddling on a chilly summer evening in LA. The Backyard menu, created by Executive Chef Dakota Weiss, offers all kinds of theater favorites like freshly popped popcorn, a variety of classic candies, an artisanal cheese plate, wine and gourmet potato chips. Here's the movie schedule:

July 15: Going the Distance

July 22: Eat Pray Love

July 29: Due Date

August 5: Charlie St. Cloud

August 12: Little Fockers

August 19: The King's Speech

August 26: No Strings Attached

September 2: The Social Network

No reservation required and admission is free. Donations to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles are accepted. For every $5 donation, guests will receive a ticket to be entered into a drawing for a one-night stay at W Los Angeles. We recommend making reservations for dinner and a cabana.


A Colossal Resort Experience in LA at Terranea

June 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Terranea Resort, Los AngelesLos Angeles County has never seen the likes of Terranea. Sprawling across 102 acres on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the 582-room resort has it all: from an award-winning, 9-hole golf course (The Links at Terranea) and a full-service spa to three ocean-view pools and eight restaurants. The resort is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific, just across from Catalina Island, and is the site where dozens of Hollywood movies and TV shows were filmed over the years. Just south of the city but worlds away, the Mediterraean-styled estate offers easy access to the natural beauty of the California coast.

Retreat to Terranea for a well-deserved weekend getaway and take advantage of the "Bed & Breakfast" package which includes daily breakfast for two at Catalina Kitchen and the daily resort fee along with your accommodations. Priced from $330 per night. Terranea is also offering the "Stay More, Save More" package that doles out the savings for stays longer than two nights. Stay 3 nights, for example, and get 30% off. Stay 5 nights and receive 35% off. Stay 7 nights or more and get 40% off plus a $250 resort credit to use on any spa, golf or dining adventures you choose. Book and stay by June 30, 2011. Subject to availability.


Talk of the Town: Cipriani Family Open Mr. C Hotel in Los Angeles

June 8, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mr. C Hotel, Los AngelesThe Cipriani family-- famed restaurateurs who own Harry's Bar in Venice-- have opened a sexy new hotel in the former Tower Beverly Hills in Los Angeles' Pico-Robertson neighborhood. “Mr. C is the essence of how I envision travel and hospitality today,” says Ignazio Cipriani of the 138-room property which he opened with his brother, Maggio (both fourth-generation members of the Cipriani family). What's with the name, you ask? According to Maggio, Mr. C is "what the doorman usually calls everyone in our family when we walk in." Guest rooms are designed with private balconies, dark hardwood floors, vintage black and white film photography, and décor evoking a luxury yacht. The restaurant will serve Cipriani classics, and five residential-style bungalows come with private gardens and plunge pools. Accessed by a glass elevator, the pool terrrace on the 12th floor has astounding 360-degree views over the city. Rooms average $350 per night.


The Best Suites in the World: New Presidential Bungalows at The Beverly Hills Hotel

May 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Beverly Hills Hotel, Presidential BungalowGet ready, L.A. There's a new breed of luxury accommodation in town. Come June, The Beverly Hills Hotel will open two ultra-luxe Presidential Bungalows that will be the largest and most exclusive in Los Angeles. Encompassing nearly 5,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor living space, these bungalows go for $13K-$15K a night. The "Pink Palace" has long been known as a favorite hideaway for celebrities off Sunset Boulevard. And now-- with these new additions-- the landmark hotel is upping the ante. Nestled on 12 lush acres landscaped with banana and palm trees, the bungalows were designed by Rottet Studio of Los Angeles. Like the private homes in the surrounding neighborhood of Beverly Hills, each bungalow comes with a Great Room, a professional-grade kitchen, three bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms with free-standing tubs and steam showers, and five limestone fireplaces. Not to mention a private pool and outdoor fireplace. Sign us up!