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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.

Escape to Bermuda: $129 Rates at Fairmont Southampton


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Southampton BermudaHere'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.


Christmas in the Caribbean: 40% Off Holiday Rates at Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort and SpaIt'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!


Sponsored Article: Winter Wonderland in Canada with Fairmont Hotels


By: Five Star Alliance

Skiing in Whistler, Fairmont HotelsLet 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.

Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseAlso 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.


A Free Night at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Casa de Campo, Dominican RepublicCraving 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.

Read a recent review of the resort in Luxury Travel Advisor.


Way Down to Kokomo: Ocho Rios, Jamaica


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.

In case you missed our first feature, Aruba, we encourage you to check it out here.


Sponsored Article: It's Easy to See Why Keswick Hall is Best in Fall


By: Five Star Alliance

Keswick HallNo 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.


Golf, Tennis, and Spa: A Special Offer at Arizona's Boulders Resort


By: Guest Writer

The Boulders Resort and Golden Door SpaNestled 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.


3rd Night Free at the Four Seasons Resort Carmelo in Uruguay


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Resort CarmeloJust a hop from both Buenos Aires and Montevideo, the Four Seasons Resort in Carmelo is a spa and golf paradise nestled in the pines on the Río de la Plata. Consistently ranked as one of Uruguay's top resorts, this country retreat has it all-- from tennis and horseback riding to a double-casade pool and vineyards. Take advantage of a special promotion, available until December 21, 2011, and you'll get a third night free during Uruguay's lovely spring season. You'll delight in your bungalow or spacious bi-level suites, getting spoiled rotten by Four Seasons staff. What's more: You can score even more savings with the "Spa Escape Promotion." Book your spa treatment and pay with any American Express Card, and you'll get a 90-minute massage for the price of 60 minutes when you mention the Spa Escape promotion at time of reservation. (Available Monday - Friday, before 5:00 pm. Upgrade valid only toward massage treatments.)


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


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


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.