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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.

After Wilma: JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa Set To Reopen

January 18, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa

The award-winning hotel is back and (almost) ready for action. After Hurricane Wilma took out most of Cancun's hotels and sweeping white sand beaches, construction and renovation has been nonstop, and this gem is set to open on May 1. Luxurious oceanfront suites with balconies, an elegant spa, rooftop tennis, and plenty of golf nearby... located smack in the middle of Cancun's Hot Hotel Zone. Welcome back.


Bye, Bye Stardust Las Vegas

January 17, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Stardust Casino

The aging resort and casino sits on some 63 acres of prime Strip-front property, and the Boyd Gaming Corp. sees four sparkling, new hotels (including a Shangri-La) where Stardust's decrepit 1,500 rooms used to be. The developers will welcome Echelon Place—the $4 billion complex with 5,300 rooms, spas, casino, restaurants and bars, meeting facilities and a 4,000-seat theater– in 2010. Besides the Shangri-La, the Morgans Hotel Group (of Mondrian and Delano fame) is keen on the scene.


The Tide Has Turned for the Tides Inn, Virginia

January 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Tides Inn

In the tiny town of Irvington in rural Tidewater Virginia, nestled between the banks of Carter's creek and other graceful tributaries that feed the Chesapeake Bay, the townsfolk used to talk. The goss was that The Tides Inn had fallen into disrepair, its guestrooms, restaurants and facilities disgraced beyond the pale. But that was before the new management company committed over $10 million to wide-sweeping renovations, including the gorgeous modernization of all guestrooms and the hotel exterior. Now the not exactly tight-lipped town is abuzz about the recent hire of a new, world-class chef. Though closed during the winter months, The Tides Inn commands a superb location overlooking its own award-winning marina on Carter's Creek, and beautifully manicured golf course. Other recreational facilities include tennis courts, swimming pools, sand beach, fishing, biking, not to mention river cruises on the National Historic yacht, Miss Ann.

The Tides Inn, Official Site

The Tides Inn, Five Star Alliance


Going to Cape Town, South Africa: Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

January 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Twelve Apostles hotel

Situated in perhaps the most stunning city on earth, perched above the Atlantic with dramatic views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, the hotel and spa is often deemed the best in Africa (sure Leading Hotels may be a teensy bit biased in their choices, but mags like CNT also rave that the Twelve Apostles is pretty darn hot...) Swim in the rock pool overlooking the ocean, enjoy prime diving spots nearby or head out on whale and dolphin watching excursions. In the afternoon, relax in the exceptional Sanctuary Spa (the treatments are beyond lavish), or imbibe a few drinks on the terrace. Though tearing yourself away from the luxury of your room may prove difficult. Further enticements include some sweet special packages, i.e. Stay Four Nights For the Price of Three! Along with the complimentary 4th night, you'll score some fun amenities: welcome drink on arrival, full South African breakfast daily, luxury shuttle transfers within a 13 km radius, and daily wine tastings.

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Official Site

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Five Star Alliance


Special Offers: Fifth Night Free at the Mandarin Oriental Miami

January 12, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mandarin Oriental Miami

Happy 5th to the Mandarin Oriental Miami! What's in store for this year's big birthday bash? Why, lucky guests can pamper themselves with a free night at this most luxurious and swanky of Miami's oceanfront properties. With the "Fifth Anniversary, Fifth Free Night" package, reserve five nights and get the last one free. Even better, if you too are celebrating a fifth anniversary, book the "Five Year Celebration" package and receive all kinds of goodies. Accommodations for two nights, a five-year anniversary gift made of wood, five-piece gift box from Norman Love Chocolates, and a $50 resort credit to use in the restaurants, bars, beach club, and spa, starting at $915.

Mandarin Oriental Miami, Official Site

Mandarin Oriental Miami, Five Star Alliance


Special Offers: “Only One Way” Winter Rates at Fairmont Canadian Locations

January 11, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Whistler

Check out the great winter rates at Fairmont's Canadian hotels and resorts. Enjoy a 4th Night Free at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, or discover the charms of old Quebec at Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac for $179 a night (and that's Canadian dollars, folks!) or indulge in the luxurious Willow Stream spa at The Fairmont Empress for a mere $129 a night. Fairmont's Only One Way Winter Rates are available through April 30.

And get this. For any travelers booking before January 31, Fairmont is offering a $50 food and beverage credit for bookings of two nights or more!


After the Tsuanami: Discover Thailand at Le Royal Meridien Phuket Yacht Club

January 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Le Royal Meridien Phuket

Enjoy a winter respite on the stunning beaches of Thailand, and help the economy rebound from the tsunami devastation. Take advantage of special rates at the Le Royal Meridien Phuket Yacht Club, a steal at $175 a night. Soak up the sun on your room's private terrace overlooking the Andaman Sea, or enjoy a wide range of watersports activities. In the privacy of the luxurious Royal Spa—boasting spectacular treatment rooms with a large veranda, waterfall wall, and sweeping ocean views—indulge in the signature Spa Treatment. Le Royal Massage combines Thai and Swedish massage with aromatherapy and Shiatsu.

Le Royal Meridien Phuket Yacht Club, Official Site

Le Royal Meridien Phuket Yacht Club, Five Star Alliance


Annual Winter Art Show at The Sanctuary, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

January 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Charleston Art Show

Enjoy art from the renowned galleries of Charleston, SC, at the Second Annual Winter Art Show hosted by The Sanctuary. Together with the Charleston Fine Art Dealers' Association and Arts and Antiques magazine, the ultra-lux hotel is planning a spectacular weekend in celebration of Charleston's art on January 20-22. Escape to The Sanctuary—named "The Best New Resort Hotel" by Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report—for a fabulous weekend package that includes two nights accommodations in their super-swanky rooms, a Low-Country welcome amenity, the cocktail reception, gala dinner, gallery tour of Charleston, art show admission and reception. Rates from $320 per person (double occupancy).

The Sanctuary, Official Site

The Sanctuary, Five Star Alliance


Spotlight On: Cheeca Lodge and Spa in the Florida Keys

January 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cheeca Lodge and Spa

Kick off those ugg boots and give your cold, scaly, winter feet a break at the Cheeca Lodge and Spa. After all, their motto is "Barefoot Elegance." The resort is set on 27 lush acres on Islamorada, the most perfect little island in the Florida Keys archipelago. Besides its proximity to the only tropical coral reef in the continental U.S., the island is plugged as the sport fishing capital of the world, with 600 species of fish in the surrounding turquoise waters. But this is not just a paradise for anglers and snorkelers; Cheeca's got a heavenly spa with lap pool, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, six lighted tennis courts, saltwater lagoon stocked full of fish, a myriad of water sports, brand new Deluxe Beachfront Bungalows with private balconies and gardens, and award-winning dining.


The (Slightly Silly) Sensory Guest Room Experience at the Princeville Resort in Kaua’i

January 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Princeville guestroom

Hawaii's luxurious Princeville Resort—the gorgeous destination hotel on the north shore of the paradise of Kaua'i—touts their customized Hawaiian Sensory Room Experience, designed to "enhance smell, sight, touch, sound and taste to create a harmonious environment." This means your room is flooded with Maile Mist, an in-room aromatherapy program derived from the Maile vine indigenous to Hawaii, while a CD of traditional Hawaiian music floods your ears. Isn't it enough to be surrounded by some of the most exquisite natural scenery on the planet? Why have to recreate the Hawaii experience in the guestroom too? You might as well be at home in Tucson blasting Hawaiian tunes and slathering Maile lotion after a shower.