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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.

The Plaza’s Shop-’til-u-Drop Package

February 17, 2009
By: Dave Eisen

The Plaza Hotel in New York was the fictional setting for Kay Thompson's Eloise character; now the hotel is reaching back into fiction with its "Shopaholic Weekend in New York" package, based on Sophie Kinsella's book, "Confessions of a Shopaholic," which has now been released as a film starring Isla Fisher. Here's the low-down: With the package, guests receive one night in a Plaza room or suite; a private consultation at the jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane's boutique; complimentary skincare consultation and brow shaping at Plaza Beauty; dinner for two at the Oak Room; and drinks for two at the Rose Club. Luckily, the package will last longer than the film is in theatres, through the end of 2009. Rates begin at $795 per night. [Map]


Get More From Your Stay in London: Special Amenities at Hotel “41″

February 16, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel

London luxury hotels are now cheaper than a Travelodge? Around the world, five-star hotels are slashing their rates and offering creative packages to entice guests. London's fashionable properties are no exception. One of our favorites, the boutique hotel "41" that's part of Red Carnation's esteemed hotel collection, overlooking the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, lets guests live London life to the full with value-added extras. When you stay for two nights or more, you'll get one of the following for free: champagne and flowers in your room, a Harrods shopping spree, a spin on the London Eye, a three-day travel card, a three-course meal, or a romantic turndown. The "Get More From Your Stay" package also includes daily breakfast.


Team of Four Hook Up On Barbados Bridal Bonanza

February 13, 2009
By: Dave Eisen

If you are planning a wedding or honeymoon, you'll want to make a beeline for Saks Fifth Avenue in New York on February 19. The Barbados Tourism Authority is partnering with the venerable department store, Modern Bride and Valerie Wilson Travel on the Barbados Bridal Suite, an invitation-only, one-stop event for brides, which will be set up at the Fifth Avenue store on the 19th. Brides-to-be can plan their dream honeymoon or destination wedding on Barbados and will have the expertise of Valerie Wilson travel to guide them. A highlight of the event will be a series of prize drawings, which includes a four-night trip to the Crane Resort in Barbados, a bridal gown from designer Melissa Sweet and a headpiece by Tia Mazza Veils. [Map]


NYC Fashion Week and Alternatives for Savvy Shoppers

February 13, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

There are some things that are constant. Fashion Week is one of them. The extravagant event, which brings together New York's elite, as well as tons of designers and fashionistas, is a mainstay for the Big Apple. However, as could be said for most things these days, the economy has taken its toll on the affair, which kicks off today. Buzz has been circulating for a while-- who's in, who's out, who has scaled back and which designers are opting for modest showings at alternative venues.

New York Fashion Week

According to an article from Crain's New York Business, published in late December, several designers were determining whether or not to participate in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park. Noteworthy names that have checked the "no" box are Betsey Johnson and Vera Wang. Other designers, like Carmen Marc Valvo, are seeking alternative ways of showing their apparel, such as renting space in galleries or events venues and letting people come and go throughout the day.

NY Fashion Week

Not just impacting the industry side of things, those trendy onlookers better hold on tight to their golden tickets. Word is some top designers are being uber selective with their guest lists. Marc Jacobs, for example, is cutting his for the Fall 2009 show on February 16 at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue. The numbers: The company will reduce invites from 2,000 to 700. Ok, as pathetic as all of this might sound, let me try to offer some kind of reassurance. Those in the know, or at least those who are smart with their Google searches, are probably quite familiar with these two magical words: Sample Sale. As hard-pressed as designers are to get the word out about their upcoming collections-- but in an economical way, so too are those designers who need to get rid of trendy duds that have been piling up due to the lack of shopping sprees by consumers.

New York Fashion Week

Travelers bound for New York City take note: Sample sales aren't a new thing, but this year's markdowns are quite phenomenal if you know where to look. My go-to source is the New York Sales & Bargains section of nymag.com. Tangible Example: Now through February 20, savvy shoppers can find clothes and accessories by Erickson Beamon, Orla Kiely and Charlotte Ronson marked down at Showroom Seven. A Tony Cohen dress that normally retails for $600 at Barneys is on sale for $200. Just remember, Fashion Week will always be there in some form or another. If you are one of the lucky few going, have fun. The rest of us will brag about our tremendous finds with less intimidating price tags.

All Images Via The New York Times (Fashion Slideshow)


Pret-A-Portea at Bergdorf Goodman: Fashionista’s Afternoon Tea from The Berkeley Arrives in NY

February 10, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley

Insiders know that the best afternoon tea in London is served at The Berkeley, the stylish hotel that's home to Marcus Wareing's Michelin-starred restaurant and the Blue Bar. This fashionable hotel serves high tea in high style with Prêt-à-Portea, where dainty cakes and nibbles take their inspiration from the latest fashion season's catwalk designs. New Yorkers: You no longer have to jet across the pond to indulge in this fashionista's afternoon tea, because Prêt-à-Portea is traveling across the Atlantic for New York fashion week, where it will be co-hosted by Bergdorf Goodman. Prêt-à-Portea's first New York collection will debut at BG, the eatery at Bergdorf Goodman, from February 13-20, 2009:

The Berkeley afternoon tea

Enjoy the season's latest fashions in delectable bite-sized goodies including Christian Louboutin's Pigalle silver glitter shoe biscuit with renowned red sole, Michael Kors' striped polka dot dress almond sponge cake and this season's must-have, pale yellow, Chanel clutch with banana Madeira flavours.

Served daily from 3 pm to 5:30 pm; priced from $45-$60 per person.


Cutting Back on Your Travel Budget? Bring Luxury Products Home with the Ritz-Carlton Online Store

February 9, 2009
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Shops at Ritz-CarltonYou just checked out of the Ritz-Carlton Ft. Lauderdale and you're already missing that plush bedding, coveting if for your own home. Or maybe-- like most folks trimming their budgets in this down economy-- you've cut back on travel and don't foresee a stay at the Ritz-Carlton anytime soon. Now you can bring the luxurious comforts of the Ritz-Carlton home with you, and replicate the experience chez vous with hundreds of exclusive items now made available at the online retail store. Recently launched, The Shops at Ritz-Carlton features sumptuous sleepwear, spa products and toiletries, bathrobes, and even a mattress, with the Ritz-Carlton Sleep Experience.

Related Articles:

Trendhunter, "Hotel Luxuries On-line"


Trendy Technology: Porsche Design and Prada Mobile Phones

January 30, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

Prada Madness When you step off of the plane, everything has to be on point: Prada tote, check. Prada dress, check. Now, thanks to the help of cell phone company LG, fashionable travelers can add a Prada phone to their list of "musts." The Prada Phone by LG, which comes equipped with a touch screen, sports a sleek design. I can't wait to check out the video player. Other top treats include a music player, macromedia flash UI and document viewer-- so it's easy to look at work on the road.

Dialing Porsche If you are going to tool around in a Porsche, might as well make your calls on one too. Quickly becoming as synonymous with design of accessories and products as it is with cars, Porsche Design (www.porsche-design.com) just unveiled the second in its line of mobile phones-- the P'9522 (the first, the P’9521, is a flip-top version). The phone is as sleek as Porsche's famed automobiles and is milled from a single solid aluminum block and single sheet of scratchproof glass. The Goods: The touchscreen display makes navigating through menus a snap, while a built-in GPS receiver can be used for navigation purposes-- that's if the pure speed of your Porsche 911 makes you miss your exit. The phone is compatible with most global networks and is sure to be the hot, must-get mobile this year.


D & G opens in The City of Angels

January 21, 2009
By: Mackenzie Allison

D & G in L.A.Shopping should be part of anyone's vacation. And, if you are a trendsetter headed to Hollywood, add D & G Flagship Boutique to your list of must-visit shops. The boutique, developed by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in partnership with Dordoni Architetti Studio, opened in December on Robertson Boulevard with a star-studded bang. Some celebs were on point with their ensembles for the event-- I hear Big Love's Ginnifer Goodwin turned heads in a retro black dress paired with an ivory necklace and dark khaki-colored heels-- while others, notably Taryn Manning from Hustle & Flow, flopped with a leather jacket and leather gloves with the fingers cut out to match. I am sure you fashionistas out there won't be quick to duplicate that particular fashion statement, but in the 6,136-square-foot shop you will find D & G Women's and Men's Apparel, Accessories, Beachwear, Eyewear, Jewels, Time and Underwear collections. Note: Although Dolce & Gabbana are the masterminds behind the boutique, don't get this shop confused with the Dolce & Gabbana stores. The store is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.