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.

Holiday Shopping on the Magnificent Mile: Special with the Fairmont Chicago

December 2, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont ChicagoMaking your list, checking it twice? Head to Chicago's Magnificent Mile for some holiday shopping in style. The Fairmont Chicago will hook you up with a gift card to Saks Fifth Avenue, provide gift wrapping for all your purchases, not to mention complimentary parking. Talk about hassle-free gift shopping! After a day exploring one of the greatest avenues in the world, return to the Fairmont for some spa indulgence. Positioned in the Grant Park and Millennium Park neighborhood, the hotel recently underwent a $50 million renovation. Book the "Great Avenues Holiday Shopping Package" and you'll get overnight accommodations for two, a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue gift card, complimentary parking and gift wrapping, free shopping for items purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, and late check out of 5PM so you can shop a little longer. Subject to availability until January 3, starting from $214 USD.

Christmas in the Windy City: Trump Chicago Pulls Out All the Stops for the Holidays

November 24, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Trump ChicagoTrump Chicago knows how to party. The Chitown landmark broke out the costumes for Halloween, even offering guests a Pumpkin Workout Class, and now the luxury hotel is getting all dolled up for Christmas. (We hear they shipped in some reindeer from the North Pole for a recent holiday party.) To get you in the mood, Trump Chicago has planned some perfect holiday packages, available through December 30, 2010. Here's the skinny:

Home For the Holidays (rates start at $435/night)

Staying at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago during a visit with friends and family? Arrive to their party with the perfect housemade gift in-hand, compliments of Executive Pastry Chef Sarah Kosikowski. This package provides:

-Guest's choice of a perfectly packaged tin of cookies, a pumpkin pie or a specially designed New Year's Eve treat, made in-house by the pastry team

-Overnight stay in a Deluxe Guestroom

-Continental breakfast at Sixteen - the hotel's modern American restaurant, or in the privacy of their guestroom.

Trump International ChicagoShop Til You Drop (rates start at $455/night)

Historic State Street and the famed Magnificent Mile are just steps away, making it easy to expedite your holiday shopping. With this package, you also receive some post-shopping rewards. Guests can toast to a successful shopping day with two cocktails at Rebar, the hotel's mezzanine-level lounge, and enjoy one $50 credit each at The Spa at Trump to redeem toward stress-relieving treatments, while the hotel's holiday desk provides complimentary gift wrapping. The package also includes continental breakfast for two people; discount cards valid at area department stores; and a one-night stay in a Deluxe Guestroom. Guests who want to shop in style will receive a special rate on limousine service with Metropolitan Limo.

Trump International ChicagoBaby It's Cold Outside (rates start at $695/night)

Escape the cold with a romantic overnight stay in one of Trump Chicago's luxurious one-bedroom suites, equipped with a full kitchen, fireplace, and five-fixture bathroom. Guests can get cozy in front of a crackling fire while sipping on their choice of a hot toddy or hot chocolate and taking in sweeping views of the Chicago River and the city's architectural landmarks. In-room breakfast will be delivered the next morning, and each guest will receive a signature Trump bathrobe as a holiday takeaway. Travelers who wish to warm up at The Spa at Trump can reserve an individual or couples 60-minute Ginger Warming Massage for a discounted price of $100 per person (normally $160).

Chauffeur-Driven Mini Coopers: Now Available at The Peninsula Hotels in Chicago and New York

November 18, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Peninsula Hotels' Mini CoopersGuests of The Peninsula Hong Kong have raved about the two Mini Coopers (added to the hotel's fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms earlier this year). What a great shopping spree sidekick! So now The Peninsula Hotels in Chicago and New York are following suit, introducing chauffeur-driven Mini Coopers-- painted in Peninsula green, of course-- for holiday shopping in style. The cars are outfitted with iPod/iPhone connections and mini refrigerators stocked with drinks and cold towels. As the USA Today's Hotel Check-in explains, "The chauffeur won't have a problem loading a guest's purchases into the tiny auto, thanks to a storage box mounted on the rooftop." Just book a suite and you'll have free access to the cute cars for up to three hours per day. Next up: The Peninsula Tokyo, which will roll out its Mini Cooper service in January.

From $169: Holiday Shopping at the Loews Annapolis Hotel

November 17, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Loews Annapolis HotelCheck into the Loews Annapolis Hotel this holiday season, and your room key will be transformed into a "Holiday Key to the City"-- giving you insiders' savings to the best local boutiques. Just show your room key while shopping around town, and you'll get exclusive savings on every purchase at the 12 participating stores, including Annapolis Day Spa, Alpaca International, Breeze restaurant, Paws Pet Boutique and Annapolis Pottery. The “Holiday Key to the City” package includes luxurious accommodations and valet parking, with rates starting from $169 per night. Valid through December 30, 2010. While you're there, dine on some delicious Chesapeake Bay seafood at the hotel's Breeze Restaurant, featuring locally-sourced ingredients.

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Trends at Luxury Hotels: Canine Concierges and Resident Dog Ambassadors

Savor and Explore the Chesapeake Bay: A Program for Teens at Loews Annapolis

Sponsored Article: Discover Art and Culture in Rome with the Regina Baglioni Hotel

November 15, 2010
By: Five Star Alliance

Regina Hotel BaglioniWith over two and a half thousand years of history, Italy's city on the Tiber River is a bastion of art and culture. As the ancient capital of the Roman Empire, seat of the Papacy, and one of the centers of the Italian Renaissance, Rome is a major draw for visitors, brimming with monuments and museums. In fact, it's the 11th most visited city in the world, and its historic center is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Regina Hotel BaglioniOne of Rome's most emblematic streets is Via Veneto, made famous by director Federico Fellini in the classic 1960 film La Dolce Vita. Lined with upscale shops, the street is also home to the Café de Paris and Harry's Bar. While visiting the Eternal City, why not stay in the center of the action and sleep on the Via Veneto? The five-star Regina Hotel Baglioni is the ideal jumping off point for discovering Rome's art and culture. Just a stone's throw from the Villa Borghese, Piazza di Spagna and Via Condotti, this luxurious hotel is a favorite meeting place of the international jet-set.

Regina Hotel BaglioniThe hotel has an excellent selection of rooms in original Art Deco style. The 39 Superior Rooms are appointed with antique furniture, rich brocades and precious Murano hand-blown chandeliers. The 46 Deluxe Rooms are a mix of styles; some are traditional with antique décor, precious silk tapestry, damask and Murano crystal chandeliers, while others offer a more innovative design, defined by fine marble floors and original Art Deco furniture. Some have private balconies overlooking the Via Veneto. The 18 Grand Deluxe Rooms feature tapestries in refined combination of colors, precious fabrics, Murano hand-blown chandeliers, original furniture and marble floors. All bathrooms are designed in elegant marble, and all rooms are equipped with free high-speed Internet access.

Regina Hotel BaglioniAfter a day of taking in the sights, relax with a spa treatment at the hotel's Tempio della Salute. Then enjoy refined Mediterranean dishes at the Brunello Lounge & Restaurant, while sipping innovative cocktails and people-watching on the Via Veneto.

Shopping in Chicago with Gifts from Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar

November 11, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Palomar ChicagoHeading to the Windy City for some holiday shopping? Get a little help from Kimpton's Hotel Palomar, an art-centric boutique hotel in River North. Book the "Little Brown Bag" package and you'll get a $50 Bloomingdales gift card plus a gift tote to haul future purchases, stuffed full of goodies: one 15% off Bloomingdales coupon (good for one full day on all regularly priced items); a black leather "shopping wallet" complete with discount offers (valued at $100); two bottles of water to stay hydrated while gift hunting; and a $5 Starbucks gift card to fuel up before hitting the stores. Nightly rates start at $239 per room and the package is available through Jan 31, 2011. If you fill up on too many holiday treats while out on the town, you can work it off at the hotel's 24-hour fitness center or in the heated indoor pool.

Shopping in Beverly Hills: The Peninsula Girls Getaway with Tory Burch

October 29, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Peninsula Beverly HillsPlanning a girls getaway in the glam shopping mecca of Beverly Hills? The Peninsula Hotel-- an exclusive urban hideaway nestled in lush gardens-- has teamed up with iconic fashion designer Tory Burch to create a perfect experience for girlfriends, mothers and daughters. Share some down time together while shopping, spa-ing, and sipping bubbly in the luxurious environs of The Peninsula. You'll experience private after-hours shopping at the Tory Burch boutiques in LA or Santa Monica, or a private in-room consultation and mini trunk-show with a Tory Burch stylist. Here's what else is included in the package: two $100 Tory Burch promotional cards, two $50 spa credits for any facial or body treatment, overnight valet parking for one car, daily Continental breakfast for two, and a complimentary bottle of Champagne. Priced from $665, available until December 15, 2010.

The Conrad Hotel Makes Parking Easy in Chicago

October 28, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad ChicagoGetting ready for a Black Friday shopping extravaganza in Chitown? Avoid the notorious parking problems on the Magnificent Mile with a little help from the Conrad Chicago. Stay the night in luxury at a prime Chicago address-- just steps away from exclusive retailers, dining, and nightlife-- and get free self-parking with in and out privileges during your stay. Available for stays completed by December 31, 2010, the package is priced from $205 per night.

Dispatch from Paris: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Le Royal Monceau

October 26, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Royal Monceau, ParisThe talk of the town in Paris is the re-opening of Le Royal Monceau, the legendary palace hotel that recently emerged from a dramatic renovation by designer Philippe Starck. The Informed Traveler went behind the scenes before the official opening date to check out the property, now operated by Raffles. And we're totally smitten. This could easily be one of the hottest hotel openings around the globe this year. Here's what we loved:

Le Royal Monceau, ParisA thoughtful and eclectic design scheme. Inspired by the working studio of André Malraux, each spacious guest room is equipped with a guitar, haute couture walk-in closet, and a map highlighting Starck's favorite Paris addresses.

Desserts by Pierre Hermé. Enough said.

Le Royal Monceau, ParisA movie theater that puts iMax to shame. Built for major film premieres and private screenings, the 100-seat cinema has divine leather seats, high-tech projection equipment, and a decadent snack menu, including gourmet popcorn recipes dreamed up by Hermé himself. Can we say celeb central?

Le Royal Monceau, ParisAn impressive contemporary art collection in the hotel's public spaces. The on-site contemporary art bookstore boasts screens which broadcast live feeds of international art auctions. There's even an Art Concierge on staff.

The cigar lounge, painted in bright red, with 50 private cigar boxes outside, reserved for cigar-lovers to store their favorite cigars for the next visit.

Restaurants which are destined to become top addresses in the French capital. Both La Cuisine and Il Carpaccio boast talked-about decor (a chandelier made from shells in the Italian resto, a colorful ceiling painting called "Le Jardin de Paris" adorns La Cuisine).

Le Royal Monceau, ParisA central garden with a giant tea-pot sculpture designed by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. This garden is a magical space available for al fresco meals in the summer months. It's also got a neat pond with views- through sheer glass- of the spa swimming pool below. In another part of the hotel, there's an organic garden where the chefs grow herbs and produce for the restaurants.

Coming soon: an outpost of the trendy L'Eclaireur concept store. *Swoon*

Note: The spa-- My Blend by Clarins-- won't be open til next year.

Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner Opens New Restaurant from Chef Michel Richard

October 26, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chef Michel Richard, Ritz-Carlton restaurantRumored to be opening this week outside the nation's capital: the highly-anticipated new restaurant from award-winning chef Michel Richard. Located at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, the new "Michel" restaurant will be in the old "Maestro" space and will serve up "innovative modern French cuisine" in an "upscale, casual" setting. Zagat Buzz describes the design scheme:

A symphony of luxurious materials and craftsmanship, the chrome-and-burgundy-toned contemporary space features textured walls and banquettes, sculptured lights that change colors, cleverly designed viewing into a showcase kitchen and a chef’s table that’s suspended from the ceiling (look, Ma – no legs!).

At the helm is Executive chef Levi Mezick, who had former stints at top NYC restaurants Daniel, Oceana and Per Se. What's on the menu? Favorites like wild mushroom pie, steak frites, vegetable tartar, and duck with figs and cinnamon. Expect top-notch desserts, as Chef Richard got his start as a pastry chef in his native France.

Image Via Washington City Paper