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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.

Play in the 10th Annual Vallarta Golf Cup: Special Package at Velas Resorts

September 29, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Casa VelasGolfers gearing up for the 10th Annual Vallarta Golf Cup in Puerto Vallarta may be interested to learn about a value-added package available at Velas Vallarta and Casa Velas. Returning to the championship Vista Vallarta Golf Club on November 5, 2011, the Cup features play on the 18-hole Tom Weiskopf course and a slew of fun prizes, including a 2011 Dodge Journey. Not only that- but there will also be first and second place prizes at each hole for closest to the tee and hole-in-ones.

Book a stay with Velas Resorts and you'll score savings of up to $265 plus all kinds of complimentary inclusions. Available at both the family-friendly Velas Vallarta on the ocean, and Casa Velas, a luxury boutique hotel and ocean club situated on Marina Vallarta’s 18-hole golf course. Here's what's included with the "Golf Club" packages: registration in the Cup, a welcome cocktail hour, snacks and drinks during the tournament and an awards dinner for golfers. The Velas Resorts’ all-inclusive rates also includes a welcome cocktail reception and dance, a la carte gourmet meals at a choice of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24 hr in-suite service, evening entertainment, activities for adults and children, taxes and gratuities, and more. Packages are valid from November 3rd-7th at $245 per golfer per night at Velas Vallarta and $260 at Casa Velas. A minimum 3-night stay is required at both hotels.


Best of the Best: Solis Lough Eske Castle is the Best Luxury Countryside Hotel in 2011

September 28, 2011
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'd like to welcome you to our new blog series, Best of the Best, where we’ll be featuring the best and most luxurious resorts in various categories. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business by the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards, so you can relax and stop worrying about your upcoming trip, knowing that it truly will be the best of the best.

Today’s featured locale is the Solis Lough Eske, recipient of the Best Luxury Countryside Hotel award in 2011, or should we say "best castle"? Located just outside of Donegal Town, Ireland, the Solis Lough Eske Castle is on the water’s edge of Lough Eske and surrounded by the incredible Blue Stack Mountains. Like escaping into a fairytale, the Solis Lough Eske Castle has its spa facility located in the castle garden, providing you with every opportunity to relax and take in the natural beauty of Ireland. Looking for a thrill? The Solis Lough Eske Castle offers some of the best hiking, mountain biking, and surfing in all of Ireland. Whether you’re looking for some peace and quiet or an adventure, the Solis Lough Eske Castle is the perfect and best destination for an escape into the magnificent countryside of Ireland.


Around the World by Private Jet with Four Seasons Hotels

September 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran BayLeave it to Four Seasons to put together the ultimate globe-trotting adventure: Around the World by Private Jet. Departing from Los Angeles on October 29, 2012, this 22-day adventure will hit up Four Seasons destinations in Hawaii, French Polynesia, Australia, Bali, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Egypt and the UK. Just 78 guest will be whisked away on a specially-outfitted Boeing 757 provided by TCS & Starquest Expeditions. (Jetsetters will feel right at home in the VIP seats, attended to by a Four Seasons concierge, and debriefed on destinations by onboard experts in art history, cuisine, and more.) On the ground, personalized itineraries will include local specialties, behind-the-scenes tours, and off-the-beaten path treasures. Here are a few of the highlights of this three-week trip:

Two of the world’s most active volcanoes in Hawai’i, the vibrant coral gardens of the South Pacific, Sydney’s iconic buildings and scenic gorges, the mystical allure of Ayers Rock, Bali’s Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) and Yeh Pulu temples, Thai cooking classes in Chiang Mai, Agra’s Taj Mahal, Mumbai’s Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum, and a private, lantern-lit dinner amid the pyramids of Gîza.

Pictured: Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay.


Meet the Farmer: Dinner at Florida's Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

September 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Ritz-Carlton Amelia IslandFoodies in Florida, get thee to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a special dinner reception with local farmers on October 7. The resort-- home to the award-winning restaurant, Salt-- is gathering the local farmers and fishermen who supply the kitchens for a culinary extravaganza in honor of the fall harvest. Starting at 6:30 pm with a reception (chock full of hors d’oeuvres and craft beer tastings), the dinner continues with an appetizer bar featuring fresh Mayport shrimp, smoked flounder, deep fried soft shell crab, local cheeses, breads and Florida honey. The main course will include Atlantic white shrimp in variations, Trigger fish, two selections of Florida beef, farm fresh vegetables and house-made pasta. Let's not forget dessert: apple cinnamon Beignets, chocolate mousse and vanilla beer float. The price is $79 per adult, plus gratuity.


3rd Night for $11.04 at Puerto Rico's St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

September 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto RicoLooking for a little tropical luxury not far from the East Coast? You can't go wrong with the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico. Nestled on a Caribbean coconut plantation between the lush El Yunque National Forest and the sparkling sea, the resort is just a 30 minute drive from Old San Juan. It was designed with the entire family in mind with a slew of activities to keep everyone entertained-- from pampering treatments in the indoor/outdoor Remède Spa to games at the Iguana Kids Club. Tee off at the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. golf course, indulge in Jean-Georges’ acclaimed cuisine at Fern, lounge at the pool, or bask on the pristine Bahia Beach. Special offer: The St. Regis Beach Resort, Puerto Rico is celebrating its one year anniversary in November 2011 with a deal. Reserve two nights and enjoy your third night for only $11.04 (in honor of the resort's opening date)! Reserve and stay now through December 15, 2011. Three night minimum stay required.


World's Largest Four Seasons Resort Planned for Walt Disney World

September 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort, Disney World

Get ready, Orlando. The Magic Kingdom is getting a luxe addition. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced that it will begin construction on a $360 million luxury resort in December. Slated for 2014, this will be the largest resort for the brand on the planet- encompassing 444 guest rooms, 40 time-share units, 90 Four Seasons private residences (any buyers out there?), a rooftop resto with views of Walt Disney World, and a "lazy river" water complex. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Four Seasons snatched up the real estate in August 2008 for $51 million, including Disney's Osprey Ridge golf course, which will become part of the resort.


Friday Photos: Autumn Splendor at Keswick Hall in Virginia

September 16, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Keswick Hall

One of the best places for autumn leaf-peeping in the U.S. is-- without a doubt-- Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Just minutes from Thomas Jefferson's historic Monticello estate near Charlottesville, Keswick Hall overlooks some of the prettiest scenery on the East Coast. Come fall, the mountains are painted in firey reds and ochre yellows, and the hotel's 600-acre estate bursts into color. There are recreational activities galore-- from horseback riding to jogging the nature trails. And fall also means grape stomping in the vineyards! The resort invites guests to crush local grapes to make the hotel's Chardonnay and Petit Verdot wines. Enjoy farm-fresh meals and local wine tastings while soaking up the autumn splendor at Keswick Hall.

Keswick Hall


A Blast in Bermuda: Families Enjoy 50% Off 2nd Room at Rosewood Tucker's Point

September 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rosewood Tucker's PointThe off-peak season starting in September is a great time to experience the pink sand beaches of Bermuda. Just a 90-minute plane ride from East Coast cities, Bermuda has a wealth of recreational activities the whole family will enjoy. And at Rosewood Tucker's Point, Bermuda's first all-new resort in nearly four decades, you've got the island's longest private beach right at your doorstep. Take the family on a fall getaway and score 50% savings on a second room for the kids (ages 18 and under). The special is valid now through April 15, 2012. Year-round family-friendly activities make the most of the resort’s Castle Harbour setting in any season. There's the Junior Golf Program on Saturdays, introducing youngsters ages 4-6 to the game with a free half-hour session, complete with refreshments, from 1 – 1:30 p.m., while young intermediate golfers of all ages receive instruction on and off the course from 1:30 – 3 p.m. for $25 per player. There's also a Junior Tennis Program and Rose Buds Children's Program with supervised fun for the youngest guests. Not to mention the four pools, 12,000 square foot spa, children's water park, sailing excursions, and Dive & Watersports Centre, providing you with all you need to dive Bermuda's reefs and wrecks.


Announcing the Park Hyatt Marrakech Al Maaden

September 2, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Park Hyatt Marrakech

As if you needed further proof of Marrakech's status as a global capital of hotel cool: Park Hyatt is opening a property there in 2012. (This is the hotel brand that scored top honors with Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme- recently named by the French government as one of just eight "palace" hotels in France.) Located within the within the Al Maaden Golf Resort, the Park Hyatt Marrakech Al Maaden will have rooms with views of both the Atlas Mountains and the 18-hole golf course, created by award-winning golf course designer Kyle Phillips in the style of a classic Moroccan garden. Top digs: Each of the 45 villas will have a living room, dining room, fireplace and pool. Ooh la la!


Free Championship Golf at Miami's Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort

August 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort, MiamiSavor the last days of summer with a jaunt to Miami. With a private beach club, an exclusive spa, and three sparkling pools, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort will give you a reason to smile. Pay just $159 per night and get a bunch of value-added amenities built into the price. Not only that, you'll get to enjoy free golf on both of the 18-hole championship courses through September 30, 2011. This deal is so snazzy it caught the eye of CBS News; kids under five get to eat for free, and parents can tuck into a three-course Prix Fixe dinner at award-winning BOURBON STEAK for only $35.