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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.

Pre-Packaged Florence Experiences At Your Fingertips!

July 23, 2013
By: Elaine Lee

Hotel Il Salviatino
If you are planning on visiting Florence, Italy and tired of surfing the Internet on places to go and things to do in order to maximize your experience in the area, look no further than Il Salviatino! With the property being just as beautiful as the views it provides, also takes the guess work out of planning your trip with their pre-packaged experiences that cater to different types of guests. Their Dine Around package is ideal for foodies on the hunt for a Tuscan gastronomical experience. The package comes complete with hand-picked restaurants to help tourists discover the best of Florence through the best Italian fare.

For those looking for a romantic way to propose, look no further than the Perfect Proposal package Il Salviatino provides. It even comes up with a backup plan option, providing guests with an all-night open-bar if their proposal is rejected.

Hotel Il Salviatino

Not ready to get engaged? Il Salviatino has a Romantic Getaway package for you, complete with romantic activities for you and your loved one to participate in while enjoying Florence and each other. If you are looking to vacation in the more relaxed side of things, try the Relax and Enjoy Florence package, ideal for spa enthusiasts.

 

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Did You Know? Schlosshotel Velden

July 21, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Schlosshotel Velden began as the Castle Velden in 1590. A fire in 1762 burned the castle, and it was then rebuilt and opened as a hotel in 1890.

Schlosshotel Velden

 

 

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Image of the Day: Anassa

July 19, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Anassa, which means "queen" in ancient Greek, is a luxury 5 star hotel resort on the Mediterranean shores of Cyprus.

Anassa 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Image of the Day: Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Walk

July 15, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Walk is located just steps away from Waikiki's famous white sand beaches and the new Waikiki Beach Walk offering vibrant entertainment, exclusive boutiques and world-class restaurants.

Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach

View details, rates, and more images of Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Tower >>

 

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The Story of The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC

July 12, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, recently acquired by Omni Hotels, set atop Sunset Mountain features guestrooms with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its lush Donald Ross–designed golf course and is is one of the South's best-loved resorts. Celebrating its Centennial today, the luxurious Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Here's the story of how it all began: 

The Grove Park Inn - Then and Now"Edwin Wiley Grove, known as the "Father of Modern Asheville" was born in 1850 on a small farm in Tennessee. After serving in the Civil War he had a very definite plan for his life and career – the pharmaceutical business and the determination to rise from his early poverty to great wealth and success.

He purchased a pharmacy in Paris, Tennessee in his mid-twenties. He put all of his energy into formulating a tasteless quinine to prevent malaria, a life-threatening disease that permeated the South in the 19th century (he suspended quinine in liquid form). After experimenting for several years, Grove introduced Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic and experienced immediate success. In the late 1890's Grove's Tasteless Chill Tonic, which had become a household staple, sold more bottles than Coca-Cola. After 20 years on the market, Grove had sold over 1.5 million bottles of his Tonic and surpassed his dreams by making millions of dollars. 

Grove himself was often ill, afflicted with periods of bronchitis and exhaustion and his doctors recommended the clean mountain air of Asheville, NC to relax and recover. He spent time in Asheville throughout the year and that is where he would realize his next big dream.

While still pursuing new pharmaceutical inventions, Grove met Fred Seely in Detroit, who was making a name for himself in the pharmaceutical business. While working together in Detroit, the two sparked a friendship and mutual admiration. Grove invited Seely to his summer home in Asheville. One week later he left his position in Detroit to work for Grove and his Paris Medicine Company. But business was not the only thing that interested Seely. When Grove introduced his daughter, Evelyn, to the bachelor, within 24 hours Grove had given Seely permission to wed her.

Grove Park Inn and SpaSeely began working for the Paris Medicine Company in June 1898 and in October of that year married Evelyn. Both men ventured into other businesses including real estate. In Asheville Grove began purchasing property, he had successfully developed residential neighborhoods in Atlanta and was considering doing the same in prospering Asheville. With the expansion of the railroad and publicity surrounding the opening of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore House, Grove was positioning himself as a serious investor in the future of Asheville. In 1909 Grove purchased 408 acres in north Asheville, including what would become The Grove Park Inn. But he would concentrate on residential neighborhoods before ever considering building a hotel.

Two years later Grove began to plan the building of a hotel on Sunset Mountain. In 1911 Seely became involved with the plans. After reviewing the plans of several prominent architects, Grove did not find any of them satisfactory. The consummate visionary, Seely presented a sketch of the proposed hotel to Grove and he not only accepted the plan but gave Seely the enormous task of building the hotel.

Four-hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week. With only the use of mules, wagons and ropes, granite boulders, some weighing as much as 10,000 pounds, were hauled from Sunset Mountain to build the hotel. Seely kept his promise to be open for business in less than one year from the ground breaking.

Just three days shy of one year, The Grove Park Inn opened on July 12, 1913. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, delivered the keynote address to four hundred of the most distinguished men of the South, gathered for the opening banquet. 

Another version of this story is available at http://www.groveparkinn.com/the-grove-park-inn-story

View more photos and check rates and availability for The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa >>


Did You Know? Vidago Palace

July 11, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Commissioned by King Carlos of Portugal in 1908, Vidago Palace was originally conceived as an opulent holiday residence for His Majesty and his entourage, who, since the late 1800s, had been regular visitors to the region in order to enjoy the therapeutic effects of Vidago's famed mineral waters. Assassinated later that year, King Carlos never saw his project completed. Nor, in an ironic twist of fate, did his son and successor, King Manuel II, who was deposed in the republican revolution that swept across Portugal on October 5th 1910 – the day before Vidago Palace was meant to open. Although it would never host its intended royal residents, Vidago Palace became a favoured destination among Portuguese and European aristocracy and was considered to be the most luxurious hotel on the Iberian Peninsula.

Vidago Palace 

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The Arizona Biltmore - Then and Now

July 8, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Arizona Biltmore Resort in PhoenixBuilt as one of Phoenix's first resorts in 1929, the Arizona Biltmore was constructed in grand form by brothers Albert, Charles and Warren McArthur. Frank Lloyd Wright served as the consulting architect, and the Arizona Biltmore remains one of the only existing hotels in the world to benefit from his influence. The Arizona Biltmore has been an Arizona landmark since its opening on Feb. 23, 1929 when it was crowned "The Jewel of the Desert."

In 1930, when the estimated $1 million construction cost doubled, Chicago chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr., one of the original investors in the project, became the sole owner. Over the next 44 years, the Wrigley family owned and operated the Arizona Biltmore and it became world renowned as the preferred luxury oasis for celebrities, heads of state, captains of industry and other famous travelers.

Arizona Biltmore Hotel Pool DiverDid you know that the famed song composer Irving Berlin penned many tunes, including "White Christmas" while sitting poolside at the Arizona Biltmore? Or that the pool was first built by the Wrigleys in 1930 and was host to diving competitions as well as fashion shows? Marilyn Monroe called this her favorite pool. A Who's Who of rockers have vacationed at the Arizona Biltmore – Elton John, Eric Clapton, U2, Steely Dan, Neil Diamond and Bruce Springsteen, to name a few. 

Today, the luxury hotel features 740 hotel guest accommodations; 78 one-and two-bedroom villas; eight swimming pools; seven tennis courts; a full-service resort spa, salon and fitness center; and five dining options across 39 acres. The adjacent Arizona Biltmore Country Club boasts two of the best 18-hole PGA golf courses in Phoenix: The Links and The Adobe.

The Arizona Biltmore offers 1.5 hour long History Tours three times per week - free to registered guests or $10 for the general public.

More archival photos available here: Arizona Biltmore Archive Photos

Learn more about the hotel and check rates and availability here: Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona


Image of the Day: Patios de Cafayete

July 2, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Patios de Cafayate Hotel and Spa embraces its spectacular views of the Calchaqui Valley vineyards.
Patios de Cafayate Hotel and Spa

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Image of the Day: The Ritz Carlton Sharq Village and Spa

July 1, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

The Ritz Carlton Sharq Hotel and Spa has a Six Senses Spa with over 71, 500 square feet, fully equipped exercise facilities, 23 treatment rooms, a hair and beauty salon complete with hairdressing, manicure/ pedicure, and intricate henna treatments. Entire villas within the Six Senses Spa may be rented out for private party treatment experiences.

Ritz Carlton Sharq Hotel and Spa

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Image of the Day: Canouan Resort

June 30, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Canouan Resort showcases 30 one and two bedroom luxuriously appointed pool or beachfront locations suites, hidden coves, beautiful white sand beaches, tennis, water sports, signature restaurants and bars, a large freshwater swimming pool, Sugar Palms Kids Club, and the magnificent Canouan Resort Spa.

Canouan

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