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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.

Hotels with a History: The Betsy Hotel

May 30, 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.

Opened in South Beach in 1942, the Betsy Rose Hotel stood out from the traditional style of architecture with its Florida Georgian façade in an Art Deco dominated neighborhood. This luxury hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2009 while maintaining its original design and timeless style. This boutique hotel has 63 private, beachside rooms and suites equipped with the latest technology. The Betsy Hotel offers its guests ample opportunities to relax on the white sandy beaches, play a round of golf, partake in water sports, and much more!  The Betsy Hotel has also gone green and is committed to making eco-friendly decisions without sacrificing luxury, ensuring that its guests get the most out of their stay while keeping the environment in mind. Be sure to check out this historic and beautiful luxury hotel for your next trip down to South Beach!


Deals and Steals at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa

May 23, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

We at Five Star Alliance know that our 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. 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!

If you're looking for a getaway near Palm Springs at a wonderful luxury resort, look no further than the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa. Not only is the 240-acre resort a great retreat for families and couples alike, everything you need is within an arm's length. Simply stretch out, and you'll find a drink or a pool towel, whatever you'd like, at your fingertips. To celebrate the summer season, Rancho Las Palmas has a number of great deals and packages available.

Get the Summer Experience for a rate that offers a $50 food and beverage credit and the summer package with more than $500 of different deals available around the resort, from a discount on your restaurant bill or golf rental to a spa happy hour.

Enjoy the Taste of Rancho which includes a $100 dining credit towards a beautiful four-course meal with executive Chef Sean O'Connell (no, not Connery, fortunately)

Play an unlimited day of golf with the Unlimited Golf for Two package that includes one day of unlimited play on the 27-hole, Ted-Robinson-designed course. A great value for the golf enthusiast.

Simply check for rates and availability at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to see the packages available for your stay!


Aleenta Phuket Launches a Secret Dinner Series

May 4, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Aleenta Phuket Phang Nga Resort and Spa in North Phuket, Thailand is proud to present the NA THALANG Ancestral Siamese Cuisine Secret Dinner series every Monday until further notice. Prepare to experience traditional and authentic dishes from the kitchen of Chef Premchit Prateap Na Thalang prepared from secret recipes passed down through 12 generations. The menu will feature distinctive southern Siamese cuisine with Chinese and Indian elements and fresh ingredients from the forests and seas of the Andaman coast. The courses will feature juice, canapés, an aperitif served at 7:00pm, and an 8-course tasting dinner served at 7:30pm.

The Aleenta Phuket is a beautiful boutique hotel with only 40 rooms and 15 suites including pool villas, ocean view lofts, and private 2 and 3 bedroom beachfront villas located steps from the beach. This luxury hotel is only 20 minutes from the Phuket International Airport and a short distance from the Blue Canyon Golf Course and the beautiful Phang Nga Bay.

Be sure to explore this simply stunning hotel and make your dinner reservations to embark on a truly authentic and once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Banyan Tree Lijiang

April 9, 2012
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 Banyan Tree Lijiang in Lijiang, China is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for leisure facilities. It is a luxury property that embodies soul, peace, and ethnic harmony. It is a sacred sanctuary that has protected the unique cultures of minorities since ancient times. The old town of Lijang is regarded as the Venice of the Orient because of its numerous beautiful bridges and canals that lace through the cobbled streets. Banyan Tree Lijang’s luxurious villas reflect the culture and history through its design and furnishings. This Himalayan retreat offers 55 villas with phenomenal views, and the hotel provides visitors with ample opportunities to visit Old Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and the top of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: Fairmont Banff Springs

March 28, 2012
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 Fairmont Banff Springs is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. This luxury hotel is a unique blend of opulence and seclusion, a symbol of the Rocky Mountain beauty for over a century. It is styled after a Scottish castle, and it offers breath-taking views, an incredible golf course, unrivaled skiing, and a phenomenal European-style spa. Its location in the wilderness provides guests with an incredible escape to a beautiful land full of luxury and wonder.

Check rates, availability, photos and more at the Fairmont Banff Springs here!


Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012: The Wickaninnish Inn

March 23, 2012
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 Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Canada is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for leisure facilities. This luxury hotel is located on Vancouver Island’s beautiful west coast, on a rocky promontory, surrounded by ocean on three sides. Each of its 46 guest rooms and suites provide ocean and beach views, soaking tubs, fireplaces, and private balconies. This beautiful boutique hotel offers a mix of sandy beaches and old growth forests, providing its guests with almost too many things to do! Take advantage of the fishing, whale watching, golfing, hiking, scuba diving, shopping, and a whole lot more. This is a year-round resort where you can witness a beautiful snowfall, a hot summer day, and everything in between. Be sure to explore the photos and room options at the Wickaninnish Inn for a scenic and exciting escape from the norm.


Take a Break and Head to the Breakers in Palm Beach

March 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

There are two things I love: One is a beautiful Renaissance-style Mediterranean hotel.  The other is the spaciousness of Florida beaches. Actually, I'm pretty sure there's more than that, but these two seemed the most appropriate for the moment because I'm about to tell you about The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL.  One thing about American hotels is that they have a style all of their own, and it's rare to see European sensibilities packed up and smuggled over international waters to find a home in good ole US of A.  However, the breakers is a lovely exception to that rule.  I'm not sure how they snuck it through customs, but The Breakers brings the Italian Renaissance to Palm Beach, and its 140 acres give that style the room to breathe that it has a little more trouble finding in its native Italy.

On the property, you can find 36 holes of championship golf, 10 tennis courts, a beach club, and an extensive children's club. All this has been registered as a National Historic Place, thanks to its 100+ year history in the hotel business.  Fine dining, four oceanfront pools, and a full-service spa are all just an arm's reach away.  Not only that, for the family-minded, the hotel can connect up to five rooms together, so you can be perfectly flexible finding the arrangement that works best for your party.  As if that weren't enough, take to the seas and the skies with organized water sports, hot-air ballooning, or an air boat tour.  It's almost too much take in in just one trip.  So maybe you'll have to stay at The Breakers in Palm Beach twice.


Mauna Lani Hotel Is Pretty Great. I'm Just Sayin'

March 13, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Quiet! Do you hear that rustling? What is that there in the leaves?  Ah, ha! Got it! It's the elusive combo hotel, and I'm showing it to you now, live, on national television for the first time.  And what a beauty she is...Look at those greens, those bungalows, I've never seen anything like it.  You can tell from the way she lies there that's she cold-blooded, all that lying around in the sun.  

Now what exactly is a combo hotel? It's an incredibly descriptive term that I've just now invented to explain the incredibly elusive bungalow hotel that is also a golf resort.  Now, normally when you think of bungalows, you get lost in an afternoon of daydreaming, but then you remind yourself that you were actually trying to remember where you might find them, and then you think of the Maldives, the native habitat of the quiet and reserved bungalow hotel.  And then you imagine a golf resort, and it carries you across the world to Scotland, or any of the mainland courses from Kiawah Island to Pebble Beach. The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows is a holy union of these two concepts, bungalow housing with breaktaking ocean views and a golf course that hugs the shores like it loves them more than its own mother.  

For the gender normative family, Mauna Lani's two championship golf courses give the guys a place to play while the children enjoy the Mauna Lani Camp and disinterested spouses relax at one of the "World's Best Spas" according to Travel & Leisure magazine.  A less stereotypical family might send the men to the camp, the women to golf and the children to the spa, but I'm pretty sure that violates some kind of age requirement.  Either way, you're sure to have some fun at the Mauna Lani, and I haven't even mentioned the farm-to-table dining at the Canoehouse, their signature restaurant.  I better stop now before I get carried away.  I've probably already oversold the place, and now they're going to be booked up when I try to reserve.  To get in before I do, just head on over here to check availability and learn even more about the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows.

 


Always on the Sunny Side: Sunriver Resort Oregon

March 12, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I don't get to the Pacific Northwest as much as I should like.  The quiet beauty of the temperate forests and mountain climes is as underappreciated as it is unbelievable.  And the Sunriver Resort happens to be placed smack dab in the middle of all of this awesome (in the literal sense of the word) natural architecture.  Sun sits right in the name of this resort, and for good reason.  When dusk hits, and the light begins to diffuse across the countryside, you'll swear you've been transport to another world. The mute oranges and pinks drape themselves over the rolling hills and distant mountains like a blanket ushering in the nighttime.  

You can enjoy the resplendent natural beauty of the outdoors by undertaking any of a number of activities made special by the backdrop alone.  Three championship golf courses, tennis, fly-fishing, biking: It's all available to you, and that's not even to mention the outdoor pools and rafting down the Deschutes River.  If, for you, the idea of luxury is being able to melt back into the landscape where we all came from while not sacrificing the wonders of the modern world, then Sunriver Resort is the place you should be taking a vacation.  And if you're looking for some chillier activities for the winter months, Sunriver Resort was ranked one of the Top 50 Ski Resorts in America by Conde Nast Traveler, so it's natural wonders are equally breathtaking in all weather. I might just find myself getting up on their own and taking me there soon.


The World’s Best Hotels

March 1, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Big shout out and thank you to all our loyal blog readers! We certainly love bringing you the latest and greatest luxury travel news, and we appreciate hearing from you via phone, email, or our Facebook and Twitter pages. We realize that every traveler begins his/her journey in the research phase; deciding on where to go, and we certainly get a number of inquiries about the best hotels in certain areas, the most romantic hotels, the best hotels for families, the best all-inclusive resorts, and onward. To help you pick the absolute best hotel that fits your needs and criteria, we would like to draw your attention to our ‘World’s Best Hotels’ tab. Here you’ll be directed to lists and lists of phenomenal hotels and resorts in various categories. From the best ski resorts to the best spa resorts, we certainly have you covered. Be sure to check out the various lists for a little inspiration on where to travel next! You want the best, and we certainly want to give it to you!

Photo of the Meridian Club in Turks and Caicos, a luxury hotel on our Best Honeymoon Resorts List