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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.

Two Of Our Favorite Spas in City Center Las Vegas

May 3, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger

Up and down the Strip, and throughout the downtown area, spas are serious business in Las Vegas. Two of our favorites are located within City Center, Las Vegas' newest complex nestled between Monte Carlo and Bellagio - The Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan and Spa & Salon Vdara. Our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, recently spelled out their perks.

Spa Cosmopolitan Las Vegas"The Sahra Spa & Hammam at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas covers 43,000 square feet and has an impressive range of spaces: Think 16 massage rooms, four body treatment rooms—each with private steam showers—six skincare treatment rooms, two hydrotherapy rooms and a series of specialty suites designed for group treatments.

The Hammam has proven to be a popular spot to unwind in for an afternoon. The 1,200-square-foot space can be used individually or by up to four guests, and has separate alcoves for steam and cold water plunge pools. Guests can also relax on the heated stone loungers or get a scrub massage to complete the treatment.

The signature Hammam treatment, the Sahra Journey, incorporates several cleansing, purifying, and exfoliating methods into a 2.5-hour package that also includes the Red Flower Hammam Experience. This unique therapy uses 11 flower oils and fruit essences, including Red Flower Lemon Coffee Blossom Olive Stone Scrub for varied scents and healing properties. A "vigorous scrub" is followed by a purifying clay wrap with essences of cardamom; all the while guests relax on warm stones.

Tops for girlfriends: The Sahra Suite has a living and entertaining area and private spa accommodations. (Perks include a flat-screen TV with DVD player, wet bar, whirlpool tubs, steam room, shower, changing and vanity areas.) Beyond massages and facials, girls can get nail treatments, hair and makeup, and can even order room service for dinner and champagne.

Good to know: Try to book at least a week in advance. Some services are only scheduled once per hour, so the farther out the booking, the better the likelihood of getting the dream treatment.

When staying at the hotel, ask to be booked into Terrace One Bedroom Suites, which have private terraces and deep Japanese soaking tubs (great for continuing the relaxation after spa treatments, we say).

 

Spa at VdaraAt CityCenter, the three-year-old multifunction city within a city, Vdara has an 18,000-square-foot, two-story spa, salon and fitness center.

The Naturopathica French Lavender Soothing Massage is a specialty treatment offered by the spa, but we hear the signature Bamboo Fusion Massage is tops. This signature treatment uses bamboo for Balinese ritual techniques, such as compression, tapotement, ringing, and skin rolling.

Good for kids: A children's manicure/pedicure is available for anyone under 14 years old. This children's service features a strawberries-and-creme (not "cream") pedicure, which we hear uses "farm fresh products."

Bridal parties are also in luck: Brides should try the "Head Over Heels" pedicure treatment, "Body & Soul" massage package, and Day-of Hair and Make-Up services. Grooms, meanwhile, can get a Men's Cut & Style and MAN-icure. Bonus: After the ceremonies, the couple can join up for a "Happily Ever After" couples massage package.

And at Vdara Pool & Lounge, book one of the six specially designated Spa Cabanas, which have a media unit for television and music, ceiling fans, safety deposit boxes, hand sinks, as well as a refrigerator stocked with mineral water and fresh fruit. Spa treatments can also be booked at the cabanas, including the Cabana Purifying Body Treatment & Massage.

Top Tip: At the hotel, book the Two Bedroom Penthouse Suite, which has two full master bedrooms, spa-style bathrooms and a full kitchen and living room. (Guests staying in the suite get four one-time use Spa Facility passes, so this is an especially good pick for spa-focused vacations.)"

Learn more about all the luxury hotels in Las Vegas >>

 


The Kamehameha Suite at Maui's Honua Kai Resort & Spa

April 30, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger

Five Star Alliance's sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, recently wrote an article about the Kamehameha Suite at Honua Kai Resort & Spa, a luxury resort which sits on 38 acres of Maui shoreline. 

Honua Kai Resort’s Kamehameha Suite"High rollers in Hawaii will want to make some room in their schedules to check out this swank accommodation. The six-room suite includes three bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and dining room. Three and a half bathrooms round out the space. Top Digs: The Oceanfront Suite is on the sixth floor and offers views of the West Maui Mountains, islands of Moloka’i and Lana’i and the Pacific Ocean.

We love the transition from indoor to outdoor space. Guests can lounge on one of the three sunbeds, whale watch on a chaise lounge, take in the sunset from the center seating area or share dinner under the stars. Note: There is 2,650 square feet of indoor space and 3,200 square feet of outdoor area.

Inside, guests will find a fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel Viking appliances, including a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and microwave; Bosch washer and dryer; wireless Internet; flat-screen TV; a king-size bed in every room and one queen-size sofa bed in the living room.

It will only set you back a nightly rate of $2,999."

Read More at Luxury Travel Advisor>>


Rooftop Pleasures at Divani Caravel Hotel Athens

April 12, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

 

 

Soak up the sun while soaking up an unforgettable view at  The Divani Caravel Hotel Athens' rooftop, located in the heart of Athens, Greece. With an unbeatable panoramic view where guests can see Greece’s most prized sites like the ancient Acropolis and Lucabettus Hill, going to the rooftop at the Divani Caravel hotel is definitely a treat! Home to many swoon-worthy amenities that would make hotel guests never want to leave, the rooftop at the Divani Caravel hotel is like a fully-equipped luxurious relaxation oasis.


A one-stop relaxation shop, the rooftop houses an indoor/outdoor pool, relaxing saunas and steam baths, and a full-service pool bar. If you are looking for a relaxation experience that is tailor-made to fit every aspect of your personal taste, take a trip to the Peak Health Club and SPA. The spa is located on the rooftop of the Divani Caravel. will definitely raise the bar on your previous perception of relaxation. The spa rooms are specifically designed around the psychology of relaxation using specific colors, music and aromatherapy to calm the senses.

 

View details, rates, and more photos of The Divani Caravel Hotel Athens >>

 

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The Salamander Resort & Spa Sets August 2013 Opening

April 1, 2013
By: Five Star Alliance

Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VASalamander Resort & Spa, set on over 300 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia's famed horse country and lush vineyards announced that it is set to open this August. Located in the 18th century village of Middleburg, Salamander Resort is 30 minutes west of Dulles International Airport and an hour from downtown Washington, DC.

Set on 340 acres of farmland, the brand new resort will offer what was said to be "an unparalleled luxury experience in the region" with 168 guest rooms and suites; a culinary program led by Chef Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant in DC including two restaurants, wine bar, cooking studio and two-acre culinary garden; a spa with 14 treatment rooms and a couples suite; and various activities including an onsite Equestrian program, with a 22-stall barn, practice ring, riding trails and instructional classes.

The Salamander Resort outside Washington, DCThe property similarly boasts tennis courts and an outdoor pool complex, and guests have privileges at the nearby Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Fifty wineries are within an hour's drive of the resort, as are opportunities for whitewater rafting, sporting clays and raceway spectating.

Salamander Resort is also eyeing to be a destination for meetings or events. The property features a 5,000 square foot Grand Ballroom, as well as more intimate settings including a 1,800 square foot Junior Ballroom, Executive Boardrooms and breakout rooms, hospitality suites and 2,000 square foot Presidential Suite with an entertainment balcony.

Indoor and outdoor event facilities at Salamander are eyed to make events stand out, including the Equestrian Barn event room, the Stallion Barn, a, over a hundred year old stone building adjacent to the Grand Lawn, and the Cooking Studio, which may be reserved by groups for private events.

 


Inside Paradisus Cancun

March 24, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger

Five Star Alliance's sister publication, Travel Agent, recently wrote an article about the recently re-vamped Pardisus Cancun

Travel Agent visited Paradisus Cancun in January, following its reopening and rebranding on December 1. Before, the resort operated as a Gran Melia, but has since been repurposed as a Paradisus, Melia's luxury all-inclusive brand. 

The resort offers guests six restaurants and three bars, several pools, a YHI Spa, golf course and more. Paradisus Cancun is also home to the specialty Royal Service, a private enclave of rooms that are adults-only, and come with their own set of privileges. Those who book four nights in the Royal Service section receive an included meal at Tempo. Royal Service guests also have access to the YHI Spa's hydrotherapy suite without having a treatment scheduled. A private pool and beach section is also available for guests of Royal Service. The resort offers a selection of Life Enriching experiences to help bring guests closer to the culture of Mexico and Cancun. We participated in a tequila tasting with the resort's sommelier. Guests can also opt for experiences like massage classes, DJ lessons and more. The Paradisus Cancun

Guests will want to stay in the Deluxe Royal Service Ocean Front rooms, which are the most requested accommodations. However, if you are looking for something even more over-the-top, say for a CEO, for example, the Presidential and Government Suites are best. All rooms in the Royal Service section entitle guests to private butler service. 

Getting there: Cancun International Airport is just 25 minutes away. The concierge can arrange anything from a town car or limo to Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Mercedes Benz SLS. If guests want to land a private helicopter, Cancun's airport can accommodate. 

The YHI Spa is a great place to unwind. There are 11 treatment rooms in the 4,900-square-foot space (six regular rooms and five eco rooms; three are for couples). Reservations are taken starting a month in advance but it is best to book at least 24 hours out. Try the Ix-Chel Holistic massage. 

The resort features a 'pitch and put' golf course on the grounds. If guests want something a little more exclusive, the resort can arrange for a golf pro to come to the property for a private golf clinic.

View rates, details and more photos for The Paradisus Cancun >>

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Sponsored Article: Porto Zante Villas and Spa

March 18, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Contemplating a villa getaway to Greece? May we suggest a stay at Porto Zante Villas and Spa

Porto Zante Villas and Spa, located on a beautiful sandy beach on the island of Zakynthos, combines the privacy & space of world class luxury villas with the amenities and services of a leading five star hotel. This intimate boutique hotel is comprised of award-winning villas right on the beach, all with private heated pools. Each of the luxury villas offers privacy and splendid views of the nearby island of Kefalonia, the Peloponnese peninsula, and the endless crystal blue Ionian Sea.

Here are a few villa options:

-The One-bedroom Deluxe Spa (85 m²), located on the beachfront, has a private heated swimming pool. It is comprised of a large master bedroom with a king size bed and an open plan living area with a Kitchenette. There's also a separate additional living room with a sofa bed, and a desk with a personal computer. The large en-suite bathroom is lined with Dionysian antique marble and features a Jacuzzi bath tub and separate shower cabin with hydro-jet devices.

-Taking the family with you? Try the The Presidential Spa Villa, also located on the beachfront. This 2-Bedroom luxury villa (170 m²)  has panoramic glass doors that lead out to a private deck which has direct access to a private swimming pool and a beautifully landscaped garden with sun beds, teak garden furniture, and dining area. This luxury villa consists of an entrance hall, two master bedrooms with king size beds, two en-suite marble lined bathrooms featuring a Jacuzzi bath tub and separate shower cabin with hydro-jet devices, walk-in dressing rooms, a luxuriously decorated living & dining area, a desk with a PC, and a small kitchen.

-Taking all your friends with you? Consider the Imperial Spa Villa, which sleeps 8-12 people.  It's perfect for those who want to rent a private estate with its own private area on the beach and large tropical gardens. The Imperial Spa Villa, offers a private area on the beach with personal sun beds & umbrella. It is a 4-Bedroom luxury villa (420 m²) with a private heated swimming pool and an outdoor Spa pool. The villa’s private estate entrance & gated back yard  makes for the ultimate in privacy & security. This luxury villa consists of an entrance hall, four master bedrooms with king size beds, four en-suite antique Dionysian marble lined bathrooms featuring a Jacuzzi bath tub and separate shower cabins with hydro-jet devices, large walk-in dressing rooms, a luxuriously decorated living & dining area with a fireplace, a desk with a PC, and a large fully equipped kitchen.

Guests at Porto Zante Villas experience an exceptional level of personal service, away from the stress of large impersonal hotels.  If the private pools and beaches aren't enough, guests can choose from a number of activities during their stay, from scuba diving & snorkeling to a spa treatment and private in-villa dining. 

See rates, details, and more photos of Porto Zante Villas and Spa >>

 


Spa Nautica at the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey

March 14, 2013
By: Meagan Drillinger

 

Five Star Alliance's sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, recently wrote an article about Ritz-Carlton's Marina Del Ray's new Spa Nautica:

 

We’ve discovered a new way for you to unwind in the California sun. The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey in Los Angeles has opened the full-service Spa Nautica. The spa had its soft opening on February 1, but the grand opening was at the beginning of this month. We love the spa’s nautical theme (how appropriate). There are seven treatment rooms, including separate rooms for couples’ treatments and wet treatments, as well as a full-service nail salon. During the warmer months, outdoor treatments will be available on the hotel’s pool deck. We hear Natura Bisse is the product of choice at this posh playground—great for pampering VIPs before a red carpet debut. And, true to SoCal mentality, the spa is environmentally conscious (think organic and vegan products). Each of the spa’s treatments can be enhanced with a variety of options, depending on the service, including aromatherapy, hot stone infusion, hand and foot polish, reflexology, hot oil scalp treatment, micronized algae mask, and Glyco 3 peel. In the land of Hollywood glitz and glam, figure-friendly cuisine is of the utmost importance. Spa Nautica features healthy selections of spa cuisine that can be snacked upon poolside. The hotel’s Executive Chef Umit Kaygusuz sources local, organically grown produce at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Nice Touch: Any 60-minute spa treatment booking gains guests access to the pool, Jacuzzi and eucalyptus steam rooms.

 

View rates, details and more photos for Ritz Carlton Marina del Ray >>

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Image of the Day: Petriolo Spa Resort

March 1, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Petriolo Spa Resort is located in a private natural reserve, positioned over the medieval baths of Petriolo. The thermal water is the basis of all treatments of the spa, along with exclusive seasonal products of Tuscany.

 


View rates, details, and more photos for Petriolo Spa Resort >>

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Image of the Day: Banyan Tree Hangzhou

February 24, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

Banyan Tree Hangzhou is a Jiangnan-style "water-village" resort experience located inside the Xixi wetlands, China's first wetlands reserve. The Xixi National Wetland Park is home to an amazing wealth of thriving plant and animal life.

 

View rates, details and more photos for Banyan Tree Hangzhou >>

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Image of the Day: Four Seasons Milan

February 21, 2013
By: K. Clare Johnson

 

Designed by celebrated architect Patricia Urquiola, the Spa at Four Seasons Milan is accented with wood, cream and grey design elements to embrace you in warmth and comfort. This sleek Milan spa retreat offers a delectable range of massage, facial, nail and body treatments in seven luxurious treatment rooms, including a spa suite.

 

 

 

View rates, details and more photos for Four Seasons Milan >>

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