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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.

Sailing the Chesapeake Bay from The Tides Inn

July 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Tides Inn, Irvington, VALong a favorite stopover for yachts sailing the Chesapeake Bay, The Tides Inn is a destination resort located on Carters Creek in Irvington, Virginia an hour outside of Richmond. Locals adore the farm-to-table cuisine featuring veggies plucked ripe from the garden (and paired with local Mid-Atlantic wines), and visitors from farther afield appreciate the inn's sublime Chesapeake setting. News: The Tides Inn recently installed a state-of-the-art Floating Dock to its marina, adding 24 new boat slips that can harbor weekend cruisers and charter vessels up to 150 feet. The dock features include electric, water, cable, TV and a pump out. Sail into the Tides Inn and order up a signature Lancaster Lemonade made with vodka, limoncello, fresh lemon juice and ginger ale served over ice and garnished with herbs from the Inn's own garden. Guests may decide to extend their stay longer than a weekend; the inn's rooms have recently been refurbished with new carpeting, and the beds are wrapped with 300-thread-count sheets by Frette and sumptuous down duvets. Book a massage at the spa, or play a round of golf. Now that's a blissful break! Summer rates at The Tides Inn start at $210 per night.


A Spectacular July 4th at The Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Virginia

June 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Homestead Resort, VirginiaNestled in Allegheny Mountains, The Homestead is a treasured Virginia resort destination, where generations of families vacation in mountain splendor and partake in an endless array of indoor and outdoor activities-- from canoeing and horseback riding to archery and golf. A National Historic Landmark, The Homestead first welcomed its first guests a decade before the American Revolution, and princes and presidents alike have flocked to the resort to "take the waters" at the healing hot springs.

This 4th of July, make it a family affair with a vacation at The Homestead. With festivities like an All-American cookout, "A Concert Under the Stars" and a spectacular fireworks display, the resort's July 4th is guaranteed to be a holiday to remember. The Homestead is currently offering a "3rd Night Free" with unlimited resort activities, priced from $345 per night. Must book by June 17, for travel through August 31, 2011.


A Colossal Resort Experience in LA at Terranea

June 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Terranea Resort, Los AngelesLos Angeles County has never seen the likes of Terranea. Sprawling across 102 acres on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the 582-room resort has it all: from an award-winning, 9-hole golf course (The Links at Terranea) and a full-service spa to three ocean-view pools and eight restaurants. The resort is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific, just across from Catalina Island, and is the site where dozens of Hollywood movies and TV shows were filmed over the years. Just south of the city but worlds away, the Mediterraean-styled estate offers easy access to the natural beauty of the California coast.

Retreat to Terranea for a well-deserved weekend getaway and take advantage of the "Bed & Breakfast" package which includes daily breakfast for two at Catalina Kitchen and the daily resort fee along with your accommodations. Priced from $330 per night. Terranea is also offering the "Stay More, Save More" package that doles out the savings for stays longer than two nights. Stay 3 nights, for example, and get 30% off. Stay 5 nights and receive 35% off. Stay 7 nights or more and get 40% off plus a $250 resort credit to use on any spa, golf or dining adventures you choose. Book and stay by June 30, 2011. Subject to availability.


Kids Eat Free at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Arizona

June 6, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, ArizonaSummer's here! And deals are to be had in Arizona. How often do you see vacation packages like this come along? The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain-- a luxury resort perched in the high Sonoran Desert against the the Tortolita Mountains-- is promoting a "Family Escape" package where kids under 12 eat for free and room rates start from just $199. There's a destination spa, fabulous adventure programs and hiking, Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf, indoor and outdoor dining, not to mention the breathtaking canyon setting that's located at a higher altitude (meaning cooler temps). The package also includes a $50 resort credit, and is valid through September 9, 2011. Your kids will get a kick out of the 235-foot water slide, Dive-In movies, homemade S'mores and nightly stargazing. Subject to availability.


Summer in the Sun: Disney Tickets with Your Room at The Waldorf-Astoria Orlando

May 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Waldorf Astoria OrlandoSummer vacation, here we come. Take the family to Walt Disney World and take advantage of a special promotion at the elegant Waldorf Astoria Orlando: get a free one-day Disney theme park ticket for every two-night booking! Stay four nights, and you'll get two free tickets; stay six nights and get three free tickets. (These tix usually go for $80 each, so this is a sweet deal.) Rates start from $199 a night and there's lots to enjoy on site. We're talking an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Rees Jones, a cabana-lined swimming pool, and a spa by Guerlain. Now that's a way to celebrate the 104 days of summer vacation!


Barack Obama in Ireland: Ashford Castle Creates Special Presidential Package

May 23, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ashford CastleIreland's hit the headlines recently as Queen Elizabeth paid an official state visit to the Emerald Isle (the first one in a century by a British monarch) and President Barack Obama arrived today in Ireland to kick off a six-day trip to Europe. In their honor, Ashford Castle-- the impressive estate in County Mayo that was once the home of the Guinness family-- has created two unique packages complete with helicopter rides, a stay in the Presidential suite, and falconry lessons. Celebrating its 800th anniversary this year, Ashford Castle has hosted numerous world leaders and political figures. The Royal Package, priced at €1025 per person includes:

* First-class train from Dublin to Claremorris

* Limousine transfer from Claremorris to Ashford Castle

* Two nights' accommodation in the Royal Suite

* Clay shooting and falconry lessons for two

* Historical walk on the grounds with local historian Mick Maye

* Dinner on both nights at George V Dining Room

The Presidential Package, priced at €2175 per person, includes:

* Helicopter transfer from anywhere in Ireland to the Ashford Castle helipad

* Two nights' accommodation in the Presidential Suite

* Private dinner in room 224, replicating the scene and the menu of President Ronald Reagan's visit * Dinnertime entertainment by resident harpist Annette Griffin

* Guided walk with local historian Mick Maye along the same route taken by President Ronald Reagan


Save 40%: Unlimited Golf Getaway at Miami's Doral Golf Resort

May 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Doral Golf Resort and Spa, MiamiKick off the summer with a golf getaway to Miami's Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort-- the recent host of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. The renowned golf resort just rolled out a package that's sure to delight golfers. Starting at just $119 per person (based on double occupancy), the Championship Unlimited Golf Package includes 18 holes of golf on the Red, Gold or Jim McLean Signature course with complimentary replay. Representing a savings of 40%, the amenity-filled package includes the following:

* Accommodations in a garden-view guestroom ($149 value)

* Daily breakfast at Terrazza Restaurant and Café ($30 value)

* 18 holes of golf on the Red, Gold or Jim McLean Signature course with complimentary replay ($65 - $85 value); advance tee times up to 120 days prior to arrival

* Complimentary access to the award-winning Spa at Doral ($30 value) and 15% off any spa treatments (excluding salon)

* Unlimited driving range usage and bag storage

* 50% off Callaway Diablo irons and woods rentals including a free sleeve of Callaway golf balls

* Welcome draft beer in Champions Bar & Grill and daily specials in Champions and Mesazul, the resort’s Latin-style steakhouse.

After a day on the greens, hit the spa and relax with spa treatments specifically designed to help golfers soothe tired muscles.


Vivanta by Taj: Kashmir Gets a Luxury Resort by the Taj Group

May 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Vivanta by Taj, Jammu and KashmirSome of the most breathtaking scenery in the world can be experienced in the volatile region of Jammu and Kashmir. Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces-- the group behind some of the finest five-star hotels in India-- has decided to take a gamble and launch a stunning new resort called Vivanta by Taj. Tourism is on the rise in the area, and Taj is hoping to generate employment and bolster the local economy, while also introducing a magnificent place to visitors. Perched atop Kralsangri Hill overlooking the famous Tulip Garden, the Dal Lake and the Royal Springs golf course, the 89-room resort features meeting facilities, the Jiva spa, and excellent recreational activities: trout fishing, water skiing, day treks into the snow-capped mountains. Vivanta by Taj is itself a new five-star brand, currently comprised of 19 hotels in India and the Indian Ocean region.


Summer Camp at Jamaica’s Half Moon Resort

April 13, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Half Moon Resort, JamaicaThe kids can embark on action-packed adventures at Camp Half Moon, while their parents can take a breather and bask in some well-deserved down time. Why not schedule a treatment at Half Moon's award-winning Fern Tree Spa? Play a round of golf? The world's your oyster at this top-notch Caribbean resort. The kids will have more than enough to keep them happy and entertained. Under the watchful supervision of Penn State certified counselors, children can get creative at Craft Court, get wet and wild with water sports, try Performing Arts, and more. The camp is priced at $180 per week, including lunch, activities, and snacks; and runs from July 4-28 and August 1-11. Camp is also available by the day. Complement this camp experience with the Stay Free, Eat Free Special. Book a minimum stay of 4 nights and the 4th night is FREE. Plus, receive $150 food and beverage credit. What's even better: Kids 11 years and under stay free when sharing room with parents. Start planning your summer vacation today!


A Dose of Art in St. Petersburg: Special with the Renaissance Vinoy Resort

April 11, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Renaissance Vinoy Resort, St. PetersburgSun, sand, golf, and tennis... St. Petersburg, Florida has got its bases covered as a resort destination. But with the opening of the Chihuly Collection in summer 2010 and the addition of the new Salvador Dalí Museum in January 2011, St. Petes has become something of a cultural destination, too. To encourage you to discover the art on offer, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is inviting guests on an Art Retreat. Priced from $174 per night, the getaway package includes an upgrade to a newly renovated bay view guest room; dinner for two at Marchand’s Bar & Grill from the 1925 Classic Dining Menu; and a choice of two tickets (valued at up to $42) to the Salvador Dalí Museum or the Chihuly Collection and the Morean Arts Center Glass Studio & Hot Shop. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is also a work of art, showcasing Mediterranean Revival architecture from the 1920's, and its very own Chihuly sculpture in the Grand Ballroom, comprised of 750 pieces of individually hand-blown glass.