February 8, 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 One and Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for ambience and design. This Versailles inspired luxury hotel is located just 20 miles from the Nassau International Airport and enjoys an entire mile of private beach. Its residential-style villas are perfect for families, and the service is out of this world. This luxury resort has a 3 to 1 staff-guest ratio, and its personal butler service is extended to all guests. The Mandara Spa is in the Balinese style and offers private treatment villas, baths, and gardens. All accommodations feature a private balcony or terrace, and the guest rooms are styled with a classic colonial architecture.
If that isn’t enough to send you packing, consider this: The One and Only Ocean Club was the site at which several scenes of Casino Royale were shot!
December 26, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky
In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.
Quick facts about the Half Moon:
- Stretches across 400 landscaped acres, with 33 incredible 4 to 7 bedroom villas, each with its own personal staff and pool.
- 152 luxurious suites and 46 breathtaking rooms.
- Offers a 72-par golf course, 18-hole putting green, 13 lit tennis courts, a full range of water sports, and a natural Dolphin lagoon.
- Offers both all-inclusive and room only rates.
- Over 26,000 square feet of meeting space with state of the art audio/visual equipment and internet access.
- 51 swimming pools, including an Olympic size lap pool and swim-up pool bar.
- Children activity center, Hype Zone teen center, and babysitting services available.
- Recipient of the 2009 Virtuoso Best Family Program Award.
View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at the Half Moon, a RockResort.
December 6, 2011
By: Christopher Roney
Here’s an interesting tidbit, courtesy of Dan Lewis of Now I Know: Having hosted 26 U.S. presidents, the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia is a traditional home away from home for America’s Commander-in-Chief. However, with fears of the Cold War looming, it became much more than that. When it sought to expand into a new “West Virginia” wing, Congress stepped in and had them construct a secret bunker underneath to house them in case of impending nuclear war. Not only that, in order to remain in a state of emergency readiness, Congress set up a nearby dummy corporation to house the staff that would support them in case of emergency. Ultimately, it was discovered in 1992 by the Washington Post and Congress had to discontinue it as a site, since its usefulness depended on its secrecy. They had even had it constructed such that broadcasts out mirrored the backdrops of their broadcast offices in DC, so that it would appear as if they had not relocated. It was never used, and now the Greenbrier is only prepared to offer service to presidents and other luxury-minded travelers in peacetime. So I’d advise checking out The Greenbrier on your next vacation, both for its quirky top-secret government hideaway and for the wonderful accommodations that lured generations of presidents in the first place.
November 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Here's a deal for all you luxury lovers out there: the swank Fairmont Southampton Bermuda is currently on sale for seven days only with room rates starting at just $129 per night!* What this means: Act fast if you want to score luxury for less on a spring break trip to paradise! A palatial landmark on Bermuda’s gorgeous south shore, the Fairmont Southampton Bermuda is nestled on an 100-acre tropical estate with towering palm trees and has direct access to miles of pink sand beaches. The property is consistently voted one of the top resorts in the region by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. As for the facilities, the Fairmont Southampton is the crème de la crème. There's an 18-hole par three golf course, a 31,000-square-feet Willow Stream Spa, some of the island’s best restaurants, a sprawling oceanfront beach club with an on site PADI dive center, tennis courts and more. Most of the spacious guest rooms have sweeping views of the Atlantic from private balconies.
*For travel until April 30, 2012; some blackout dates apply. Rooms cost $299 per night when you travel between May 1, 2012 - August 31, 2012.
November 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
It's not too late to book a holiday getaway to the Caribbean this year. There's room at the inn at the Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, a 500-acre beachfront paradise nestled on a mile of palm-lined sand in the shadow of Puerto Rico's lush mountains. For the window of time between December 24, 2011- January 4, 2012-- a frequently sold-out holiday period-- the resort is offering 40% off sun-infused holiday rates. From championship golf and tennis to scuba diving and sailing, the Rio Mar has plenty of recreational facilities to keep you entertained. Let's not forget the on-site casino! (And some 12 restaurants....) Sun-seekers can take advantage of irresistible rates starting at $268, based on availability. (Black out dates do apply.) So what are you waiting for? Ditch the parka, jet to the Caribbean, and get your tan on!
November 7, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
Let it snow! November means it’s time to take advantage of some early-season ski deals so you can hit the powder fast. Without a doubt, the best place to embrace the winter is our neighbor to the north. Canada’s pristine wilderness is home to the number one ski resort in North America (Whistler), and Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a storybook winter setting in the Canadian Rockies. Here, the wide-open wilderness makes for some epic skiing on what feels like your very own private pistes.
Fairmont offers three legendary resorts where skiers and non-skiers alike revel in luxury while soaking up the surrounding natural beauty. Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, the Fairmont Banff Springs resort is located in the heart of the park with three pristine ski resorts at your doorstep. With the “Couples Holiday Getaway,” you get a third night for free when you stay for the festive Christmas season between December 17th and December 30th, 2011. Another hot offer: With “Extend Your Stay,” you’ll get discounts until February 10, 2012. Stay two nights and save 25% off each night when you stay two nights; 30% off each night when you stay three nights; 35% off each night when you stay four or more nights.
Also located in Banff National Park, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the ultimate winter playground. Oft described as Canada’s most scenic ski resort, the Lake Louise Ski Resort has 139 marked ski runs and back bowls on four mountain faces. Beyond skiing, the snow adventures are endless-- from dog sledding the Great Divide to horse-drawn sleigh rides through the glacial shadows. Take advantage of the resort’s “Ski & Play for Free” and you’re guaranteed the ski trip of a lifetime. Included in the package: luxury accommodations, two adult Lake Louise Ski Resort passes per room per night OR a $100 Fairmont Chateau lake Louise resort credit (in place of each ski day), plus transportation to the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Valid from November 15th, 2011 until May 1st, 2012, starting from $299 CAD per night.
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler-- nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain-- offers ski-in/ski-out access, amenities for pets, and a lavish spa. The “Ski for Free” package means you get Whistler Blackcomb lift tickets included with your low room rates (from $269 CAD per night) until November 23, 2011. Or book the “Everyone's An Original Winter Offer “ for double airline reward miles.
October 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
Craving a little sunshine in the DR this fall? Casa de Campo-- one of the most searched for resorts on Five Star Alliance-- has a tempting special that may prompt you to book that flight stat. When you reserve a five-night stay in one of the new Elite Patio or Elite Balcony rooms by October 31, you'll get your fifth night for free. (Valid for stays through December 20, 2011, and for new bookings only, not combined with any other offers.) You'll bliss out on the 7,000 acres of rolling hills, flowering gardens, and championship golf courses overlooking the Caribbean Sea. A veritable tropical playground, Casa de Campo has it all-- from tennis to polo.
October 14, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky
The Beach Boys sang it best, and we’ve decided to embrace their lyrics and feature every place they sang about in their hit, Kokomo. Kokomo, however doesn’t actually exist off the Florida Keys, but Aruba, Jamaica (oo I wanna take you) are all quite real, so be sure to keep up with our blog series and check out the incredible places the Beach Boys deem worthy of your stay!
We’re swaying right along, onto our second featured destination, Jamaica. This island is not only home of Reggae, but it is also a great spot for travelers searching for a change of pace. Consider the Sandals Royal Plantation for an incredible escape. The northern Jamaican coast is an incredibly beautiful place, where the hills of the St. Ann Mountains roll down to the sparkling white-sand beaches of the Ocho Rios Riviera. Sandals Royal Plantation provides the opportunity for seclusion and privacy while also offering opportunities to get out and explore. Take advantage of the beautiful beach located a few steps away from the hotel and enjoy not lifting a finger while a butler attends to your needs. Looking for a little more action? Take advantage of the canoeing, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, and windsurfing opportunities made available. Sandals Royal Plantation offers 77 luxurious suites, all with beautiful ocean views, and with a policy of only accepting children 18 years of age or older, this resort will serve as the perfect relaxing escape to paradise.
October 11, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance
No other place melds the equestrian lifestyle, winemaking and American history together quite like Keswick Hall. This 48-guest room estate offers 600 acres in the very heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Named #1 Small Resort in the US by readers of Conde Nast Traveler, Keswick Hall offers several award-winning dining options—Fossett’s Restaurant, Fossett’s Bar, Palmer Room Restaurant and Villa Crawford. Resort activities include: Arnold Palmer-design golf course, three pools, seven tennis courts, spa and fitness center. What’s more, the estate is close to activities in and around Charlottesville. Offering guests the world-class luxury they deserve coupled with the history, sporting activities, exceptional fare and wines they enjoy.
Escape to Keswick Hall with the Autumn Gourmet Package and let Executive Chef Dean Maupin treat you to a culinary journey. Enjoy breakfast for two at Fossett’s daily, one wine tasting for two with Sommelier Richard Hewitt and dinner for two at Fossett’s. Limited time offer valid through November 30, 2011. Rates from $380 per night. Subject to availability.
October 3, 2011
By: Guest Writer
Nestled in the Sonoran Desert just outside Scottsdale, Arizona, the Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa is surrounded by spectacular scenery: the painted desert sand, boulder formations, towering green cacti and blue sky. This unique place sets the stage for a full-service resort that has two golf courses, an award-winning spa, tennis, and more. And the adobe-inspired accommodations were recently renovated to feature wood burning fireplaces, 42-inch flat screen HD TV’s, separate tub and natural stone shower, and a private patio or balcony. The Boulders Resort is inviting you to escape on a luxury getaway, and get a total resort experience without shelling out for each activity. When you book the limited-time "One For All" package, starting from $499 per night, you'll enjoy a slew of add-ons: a round of golf per adult for each night, one 50-minute Golden Door Massage per room per night. Also included: nightly accommodations for up to two adults in a Casita, Pueblo Villa or Hacienda Resort (Resort Fee and Room Rate Tax included); valet parking; high-speed Internet access and daily newspaper; a $25 per adult Food and Beverage Credit for every paid night.
By: Guest Writer