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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.

Don’t Miss the Winter X Games 10, Aspen


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Winter X Games

Mark your calendars for January 27-January 31; you can't possibly miss this party. We're talking the premier winter action sports event in the world (!) and Aspen is going off. Over 200 bad-ass athletes compete for medals and prize money in the following sports: Moto X, Ski, Snowboard and Snowmobile. If you can't make it to Aspen to gawk and gape at their wondrous stunts (and thereby miss out on Aspen's hedonistic nightlife), you can still catch all the nighttime events broadcast live on ESPN and ABC.


Sun and Snow at the Chateau Eza in the Cote d’Azur, France


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Chateau Eza

Where else can you ski the world's most majestic mountains in the morning and sun by the sea in the afternoon? Welcome to the Cote d'Azur of France, where the Chateau Eza has charmed guests at its cliffside location for centuries. A thousand feet above the Mediterranean Sea, the hotel sits within the charming rock walls of Eze, a thousand-year-old medieval village. The ten rooms and suites are enchanting and romantic; most feature private balconies overlooking the sea and are reached by stone passageways and ancient walkways. The award-winning restaurant is likewise breathtaking in its setting atop the cliffs. From now until the end of March, the Chateau is offering a "Sun and Snow Special," which includes three nights accommodations with continental breakfast, hot cocktails in the Lounge Bar for four, and morning helicopter rides to ski Isola 2000 in the Alps, with all lift tickets, ski equipment and lunch included. EUR 2,900 for four peeps.

Chateau Eza, Official Site

Chateau Eza, Five Star Alliance


Special Offers: Perfect Winter Days at the Homestead


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Homestead in autumn

Since 1766, The Homestead has provided a luxurious escape for Princes, heads of state and sports fanatics. Located in Virginia's Allegheny mountains, the National Historic Landmark is now ranked among the world's top Spa and Golf resorts. (The Spa is still fed by the bubbling hot springs that have attracted travelers since the 1700s!) In the winter months, The Homestead is transformed into a winter wonderland, with ice skating, sledding, snow-mobiling, cross-county skiing and lots of downhill and snowboarding. From now until March 31, kids ski free! The "Perfect Winter Days" package includes accommodations, lift tickets for the kids, bountiful breakfast daily, traditional afternoon tea, and nightly movies in the historic theater. $119 (Sunday through Thursday), $159 (Friday and Saturday), per person, per night. Up to two children stay complimentary in same room with adults. Travel by January 24, and receive a complimentary upgrade to deluxe accommodations.

The Homestead, Official Site

The Homestead, Five Star Alliance


No More Room at the Inn for Sundance: Think Stein Eriksen for 2007


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Stein Eriksen

So it may be impossible to score a room for the most fabulous of film festivals—alas! the Stein Eriksen has been booked for months—but what about planning a jaunt to the fabulous, legendary lodge for the next year? Let this be a lesson, and book early at America's most celebrated ski-in, ski-out resort. The AAA five-diamond, Mobil four-star rated Stein Eriksen is the ultimate luxury ski destination. We're talking immediate access to some of the best slopes in the world at Deer Valley (with warmed up boots and a hot drink awaiting your return), champion service, gorgeous outdoor pool and fitness facility, and head-to-toe pampering at the Spa. Hurry up and get on it!

Stein Eriksen Lodge, Official Site

Stein Eriksen Lodge, Five Star Alliance


The World’s Best Skiers Compete in Austria’s Hahnenkamm Race


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hahnenkamm

This is it-- the big daddy of skiing competitions. On January 20-22, the world's top skiers attempt the gnarliest of downhill courses, staged by the Kitzbühel Ski Club. The 66th International Hahnenkamm Races include the Super-G and downhill on the Streif run, along with the slalom on the Ganslern course. Witness the incredible speed of downhill—up to 90 mph!—and the super-skills of the Hahnenkamm champion, who must outperform on both the downhill and slalom courses. (Past champs include Franz Klammer, who won this race four times.)


Stay on the Slopes at Amangani, Jackson Hole


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amangani

The creme de la creme of ski resorts, Amangani was voted first for its spa programs by Conde Nast Traveler readers, and ranked as the top apres-ski destination in the recent December issue of Men’s Health. This place oozes luxury in every detail-- from the Pacific redwood paneling to suites with deep soaking tubs and panoramic views to the gorgeous outdoor swimming pool warm enough to be enjoyed year-round. The setting? The 40-suite resort is set on the cliff of a butte, with a cedar roof that blends in with the surrounding natural outcropping. Conveniently located just below the Teton village’s Bridger Gondola, at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, Amangani enjoys sweeping views of the Teton peaks and the Snake River range and provides easy access to some damn good skiing. Amangani’s Ski Lounge is staffed with a ski valet to assist with rentals and other details, and provides boot and glove warmers, ski racks, baskets for ski gloves, mittens and goggles to ensure that all equipment stays dry and comfortable. Of course warm and cold drinks are available all day, and a complimentary ski shuttle can whisk you back to Amangani’s award-winning facilities at the drop of a hat.

Amangani, Official Site

Amangani, Five Star Alliance


Alternative Ski Destinations: the Julian Alps in Slovenia


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Slovenian Alps

Sick of the crowds on the slopes? Hop over the Austrian or Italian border to ski what the Alps used to look like. Imposing peaks blanketed in white, bordered by untouched forests and deep river gorges. The former Yugoslav republic is a peaceful gem just waiting to be discovered. Where to go? Kranjska Gora, which hosts an annual World Cup men's downhill competition, is next to a national park. Or Mount Kanin, the highest altitude in Slovenia, boasts the longest season: December-May 1. From Kanin, just 100 miles from the Adriatic, you can ski in three countries! (Austria's and Italy's neighboring resorts are right next door.)


Take Your Kids To Whistler (For Free)


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Whistler Slopes

From January 28-April 1, take advantage of a Whistler Ski Package where your kids stay and ski for free! 5 Night/4 Day Lift and Lodging Package from $660. Thanks, Sherman's Travel!


The Bar and Living Room at the Little Nell, Aspen


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Little Nell Living Room

After a recent redesign, the legendary apres-ski scene at the Little Nell is hotter than ever. Savor the delicacies from the fresh seafood bar, followed by some fondue, and of course there's drinks all night at the Bar. Thaw by a roaring fire in the Living Room, or "ski-watch" the day away.

The Little Nell, Official Site

The Little Nell, Five Star Alliance


Heli-Skiing in Alaska and Switzerland


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Alaska Heli-Skiing

I admit it; I’ve never done it. But after a few beers the other night with a couple who lead springtime Heli-skiing tours in Alaska, I was well on my way out the door. Who needs the tropics when I could ski snow-capped peaks and glacier-carved mountains all by my lonesome?! (And I’m no ski junkie.) Up in Alaska, the winter season runs from late February until May. Heli-skiing operations like Points North Heli-Adventures (utilizing over 1,000 sq miles of skiable terrain in the Chugach mountains) provide an average of 20-25,000 feet of vertical per day. (Excursions average 6-10 heli runs and $850-900 a day.) I checked out a feature in Outside Traveler’s Winter issue, which was equally as convincing about heli-ski tours in the central Alps. Apparently heli-skiing trips in Switzerland used to be rather boring—a daytrip appended to a traditional lift-skiing vaca at the big resorts. But this season, adrenaline hounds can experience SwisSkiSafari’s Ultimate Journey, as described by the Outside author:

“a four-day, five-night, fine-wine-and-slide luxury tour that zips skiers around the country’s top resorts in privately chartered B3’s and Bell 407’s. You start in Verbier (about 1,000 miles east of Geneva), then fly east to Zermatt and Saas Fee, making backcountry drops in between—wherever the snow is best. Doing 5,000- to 7,000-vertical-foot runs in a single push can hurt, but returning every evening to top-notch digs and massages blunts the pain.”

Bring it on! Can anyone advise me-- additionally-- about good operators in the Rockies?