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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.

What Transpired at the Hotel Wilshire?


By: Christopher Roney

Jenna Talackova is a controversial figure and an amazing one at that. A symbol of the movement for trans rights, the famous transgender was recently removed by Donald Trump from his Miss Universe competition after it was made public that she entered the competition as a transgender, a complicated move to arbitrate since she clearly identifies wholly as female, so to speak of her as subverting the rules of the competition misunderstands it.  And it's certainly not a case of taking advantage of anti-discrimination; Miss Talackova is gorgeous and everything that the Miss Universe pageant looks for, which in and of itself challenges negative preconceptions about transgendered people.  Fortunately, after a public outcry, they reinstated Jenna Talackova in the competition.

Now Jenna Talackova is out and about, furthering her modeling career at the Hotel Wilshire, and she's been barred from something else. Only this time, it has nothing to do with discrimination, just an unauthorized photo shoot.  She and her entourage arrived at the Hotel Wilshire with cameramen in tow, ready to take some model shots. However, the room they had been offered was not ready for them, so they moved up to the pool deck without authorization and began a shoot alongside the hotel's lovely restaurant.  The hotel shut it down for the sake of the guests dining in their establishment and Miss Talackova had to move inside to another prepared room where she could continue her photo shoot.  This is a star I'm following with interest, and I'm happy to see her making use of a great Los Angeles establishment in the Hotel Wilshire.

Via HotelChatter.


Marriott to Take Over Los Angeles in 2014


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 Los Angeles area has over 50 luxury hotels, and it’s about to get a few more come summer of 2014. There will be a new Ritz Carlton property as well as a JW Marriott opening in this Hollywood town. The hotels will be located across from the Staples Center, Grammy Museum, and Nokia Theater. Both luxury hotels will certainly add a new and exciting touch to Los Angeles. If you’re like us and simply can’t wait until 2014 to experience a Ritz Carlton or JW Marriott hotel, then be sure to visit our website and explore the various Marriotts we have to offer in cities all over the world!

Photo of Ritz Carlton Philadelphia


Flour Child: Kardashian Flour-Bombed at London West Hollywood


By: Christopher Roney

Like many people, it's difficult for me to avoid a good case of vigilantism, and while this strikes me as being a little more pointless and undirected than, say, glitter bombing, it did happen at a hotel, and Kim Kardashian is probably the most famous person to be covered in a fine layer of cooking flour this weekend.  Ms. Kardashian was heading down the red carpet at The London West Hollywood to launch her new perfume called True Reflection.  In this case, the image reflected would be a pastry white. Although this does lead me to consider my own line of perfumes, styled after various baked goods.  There's really nothing that can match the allure of a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies.  

Events were barely interrupted by the light dusting, and I'm sure all remnants of the flour will be cleaned up by your next stay at the London West Hollywood.  Although you might want to be careful; it is frequented by a number of Hollywood's rich and famous, and you never know when the next half-baked avenger might strike.  Collateral damage of flour bombing can be high, especially if they use the self-rising kind.  Because if you put it in an oven it might bake a little more softly? I don't know, jokes about flour are kind of hard.  Anyway, should you wish to brave the trenches of the great battle between our nation's bakers and the celebrities they happen to loathe, the London West Hollywood is a lovely hotel, and you should most definitely check it out.

 


Double the Bedroom, Double the Fun: Great Two-Bedroom Suites in Los Angeles


By: Christopher Roney

Maybe you've got a really big family or you're just traveling with a person you can't stand and you want a plausible way to get away from them under the guise of giving them the very best.  Well, there's not a lot of hotels that offer full two-bedroom suites, but there are at least two in the Los Angeles area that offer an affordable option for the opulent traveler.  The Sunset Tower Hotel and the Chateau Marmont both offer great choices around the Hollywood area.

Sunset Tower's two-bedroom suite comes with two king beds, a full two bathrooms and spacious living room area.  Classy, modern decor accentuates the roomy common area and the sheets are only the finests Egyptian linens.  The hotel itself is right on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and a heated outdoor pool deck gives loves views of the surrounding city.  A 7,000 sq ft salon and spa offers a getaway from the city, and you can dine very well indeed at the critically acclaimed Tower Bar.

Nearby Chateau Marmont is a much-needed getaway from the bustle of the City of Angels. The smaller boutique hotel is fashioned after a French countryside castle and boasts a Gothic flair that hints at its more decadent side.  As Harry Cohn once said, "If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont." The great variety of rooms at the Chateau let you make trouble in just the way you'd like, too. Starting with the two-bedroom suite with queen and twin beds, large living room and a full kitchen, you've already got a home-away-from-home.  And it only goes up from there.  Their hill- and poolside bungalows are the perfect way to get a whole building all to yourself.  Up to three bedrooms offer enough room for either a very large family or a party of bachelors, and with the poolside bungalows, you even get direct access.  It's perfect for the adventurous types who want to get away from the city while staying in the city.

To find out more about the Sunset Tower Hotel and the Chateau Marmont or see rates and availability, check them out here and here.


Puppies Get Love at the W Los Angeles Westwood


By: Oksana Balytsky

Located on the foothills of Beverly Hills/Bel Air, the W Los Angeles Westwood can be found in the heart of all the glamour, in between Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica beaches. Its 258 modern and spacious bungalow-style rooms and suites feature beautiful views of Beverly Hills and lively colors to awaken your spirit. This luxury hotel not only has exceptional rooms, but its restaurant, the Backyard offers the best alfresco dining in Los Angeles. Not only can you get incredible Cal-Med fare amid a serene garden, but now your dog can enjoy his chow right along with you. The Backyard is now offering a pet-friendly ‘Fido’s Kitchen menu.’ The menu features healthy options for your puppies such as ‘Stella’s Mutt “za” Balls,’ which is organic chicken, free range eggs and brown rice, ‘Milo’s Chopped Veggie and Chicken Salad,’ and ‘Knuckle’s Frozen POP,’ an organic yogurt with a mashed banana and peanut butter. The dishes are named after the pets of hotel staff, and the executive chef, Dakota Weiss certainly expressed his creativity and love for dogs when designing the menu. The W Los Angeles Westwood also offers P.A.W. (pets are welcome) amenities which include a custom W pet bed, bowls, and a treat at turndown.

No need to leave your furry friends behind! Make a reservation for you and your puppies at the W Los Angeles Westwood today!


The Shuttered Life: Shutters on the Beach in California


By: Christopher Roney

The city of Los Angeles is pretty well known for a couple of things.  There's the glitzy, glamorous side, Hollywood in all of its glory, and there's the less charming urban sprawl, full of smog and angry drivers.  However, there's a third, hidden side to the City of Angels.  Tucked away on the beaches of Santa Monica is Shutters on the Beach, a wonderful hotel that explores all that this third face of Los Angeles has to offer.  Windswept beaches and the comfortable elegance of an exclusive resort are the marks of an escape from the bustle and adventure of the city.  Shutters on the Beach is everything that Los Angeles isn't; serene, idyllic, and personal.

The Conde Nast Award Winner plays host to all of the pampering activities we've come to love from beachfront resorts.  Its spa offers Shiatsu, Deep Tissue massage, and Reflexology, and oceanfront fine dining is just steps away from your room. Twenty six miles of beaches are the perfect setting for a morning run, and you'll find unsurpassed views from the three presidential suites that make up the top floors.  Shutters on the Beach is one of my favorite properties, and simply for the reason that it's everything you wouldn't expect, and more.

 


Whitney Houston's Beverly Hilton Tragedy


By: Christopher Roney

Since one actor locked himself in a hotel room for over a month to research the role that would ultimately precede his untimely death, the hotel world has been no stranger to the unfortunate ends of celebrities. And now we've all been grieving for the last few days over the loss of another great, one of the iconic voices of the 90s. RIP Whitney Houston, your powerful love ballads and singing of the 1991 Superbowl national anthem helped define a decade.

Perhaps some of the most shaken up are the staff of the Beverly Hilton where Houston was found submerged in her bathtub, possibly from a Xanax overdose. Her daughter even arrived at the hotel to try to see her mother and had to be hospitalized for shock and dehydration. It's a sad day when any death occurs, especially one as unfortunate as Whitney's, and our hearts go out to family and friends as well as the workers at the otherwise lovely Beverly Hilton who were on hand to witness it.  


Romantic Packages and Escapes at the Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa Pasadena


By: Oksana Balytsky

The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa Pasadena is situated at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in beautiful Pasadena, California. Its elegance and award-winning service have made this hotel a southern California landmark. It is the only AAA Five Diamond hotel in the area and has a spa recognized as one of North America’s Top 10. Its luxurious accommodations, incredible spa, and outdoor heated pool all make this hotel a phenomenal choice for a Valentine’s Day getaway. And with the following incredible packages available in February, it’s hard to say no to the Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa Pasadena.

Linger Longer for Less

Stay longer and get rewarded for it! Stay 2 nights and get 10% of the best available rate, stay 3 nights and get 15% off the best available rate and continental breakfast for 2, stay 4 nights and receive 15% off the best available rate, continental breakfast for 2, and in-room internet, stay 5 or more nights and receive 15% off the best available rate, continental breakfast for 2, in-room internet, and an upgrade to the next room category (based upon availability at check-in).

Valid for stays through February 29th, 2012, subject to availability, and not valid for groups.

Great Getaway Package

This package includes overnight accommodations, continental breakfast for 2 in the Terrace, and valet parking.

Subject to availability and not valid for groups.

Experience the Arts Package

Enjoy the arts and culture in luxury while staying at the Langham. This package includes overnight accommodations, 2 VIP Museum passes valid at more than 18 Institutions in the Los Angeles Area ($250 value), valet parking, and complimentary shuttle services to museums in Pasadena.

Valid until March 28th, 2012, subject to availability, and not valid for groups.

Grand Romance Package

Enjoy Valentine’s Day in style with this package which includes overnight accommodations, rose petal turndown, breakfast in bed, and valet parking.

Valid in February 2012, subject to availability, and not valid for groups.


Keeping it Chilly at the W Los Angeles Westwood


By: Oksana Balytsky

We can definitely see the humor and fun in ice skating without heavy winter clothes holding you down, so we’re thrilled that the W Los Angeles Westwood has recently re-opened its signature ice rink for the third year in a row! This hotel’s 1600 square foot ice rink is made with environmentally friendly ice hybrid and is open for use by hotel guests until January 1st, 2012. This ice rink will also be the hot spot for access to the Ice Bar, serving signature food and cocktails, a skate-up cabana, a gingerbread cookie decoration station for kids, and regular Saturday performances by the BH Cabaret Theater. The ice rink is open from 3pm – 10pm on weekdays, 10am – 10pm on weekends, and $10 gets you a full hour of skating and includes a skate rental. The gingerbread cookie decoration station is open on weekends from 11am – 1pm, and the BH Cabaret Theater puts on a show at 6pm.

The W Los Angeles Westwood is conveniently located between Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica beaches, and it is surrounded by beautiful boutique shops and beaches. Be sure to add this hotel to your list of places to stay and practice your ice skating tricks.


Holidays in the Sun: Fun Freebies at Santa Monica's Hotel Shangri-La


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Shangri-La Santa MonicaA dose of California sunshine could be just what the doctor ordered this holiday season. Why not take a break in style at Santa Monica's Art Deco beacon on the bluff? Newly revamped, the Hotel Shangri-La promises Old Hollywood glamour just steps from the sand and the historic Santa Monica Pier. Each room captures gorgeous ocean views, as does the posh rooftop bar, Suite 700, where the sunset-viewing is out-of-this-world. As if you needed more tempting, the Hotel Shangri-La has rolled out the "Holidays in the Sun" package which is packed with freebies: freshly baked cookies & milk upon arrival, two complimentary holiday cocktails, a $50 VISA gift card, Ice Skating for two (one hour), and complimentary valet parking. Available November 15, 2011 – January 31, 2012 from $385 in a one-bedroom suite with a full gourmet kitchen.