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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.

Le Spiderman, Alain Robert, Climbs to the Top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai

March 30, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, DubaiIt took him just six hours to scale the tallest building in the world. Known for his "death-defying stunts"-- climbing skyscrapers around the world without safety equipment-- "Spiderman" Alain Robert has successfully added another notch to his belt. On Monday, the French urban climber topped the Burj Khalifa, the soaring glass tower in Dubai that's home to the Armani Hotel. "Le Spiderman" has scaled some 70 skyscrapers, but complied with safety regulations for this latest stunt, using a rope and harness. He even summited the tapered spire above the top floors of the building, 2,717 feet above the ground. Robert finished the climb in the darkness.


Balconies in Every Room at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek

March 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira CreekAmong Dubai hotels, the Radisson Blu Hotel on Deira Creek stands out for a unique amenity: balconies in each and every room, a luxury to be found in no other Dubai city hotel. Grab a seat (all balconies are furnished) and take in the views of the sunset over the Dubai skyline. (And why not video stream the image to friends back home with your free Internet access?) Perched on the banks of Deira Creek in the heart of Old Dubai, the Radisson Blu is within walking distance to the city's cultural treasures: traditional souks, the pretty waterfront, the Dubai Museum. Dubai Airport is only seven kilometers away. And when it comes time to chow, you won't be wanting for good food here. The hotel has 16 food and beverage outlets to whet your appetite. Fitness buffs will also appreciate the tennis court, squash courts, and two hi-tech gyms with cardio equipment. There's also an outdoor swimming pool with a large sundeck overlooking Deira Creek.


Conrad Hotels Celebrates 25 Years: Get a Free Night in Chicago, Miami, Brussels and More

March 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad ChicagoConrad Hotels & Resorts-- described as "the most global contemporary luxury brand of the Hilton Family"-- has been around for a quarter century. To celebrate this milestone, Conrad is giving you a night on the house. Available for stays booked between March 1 and June 12, 2011 and completed by June 30, 2011, this offer is available at choice locations around the globe-- from Bali to Brussels, Singapore to San Juan. A minimum night stay requirement applies and varies by each individual hotel. For example, stay three nights at Conrad Chicago, a prime Windy City address, and get your fourth night for free. (Rates from $195.) Soak up the sun in Miami and get your fourth night free- with rates starting from $299. Check out the art, culture and design in the European Capital and get a third night free at Conrad Brussels- with rates starting from €199 per night. Offer is subject to availability and black-out dates may apply.


Hotel Missoni Kuwait Opens Its Doors Today

March 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Missoni KuwaitHallelujah! The day has finally arrived. The second Missoni hotel-- a partnership between the Rezidor Hotel Group and the Milan-based fashion house-- has debuted in Kuwait City with glamorous interiors by Creative Director Rosita Missoni. Over 85 shades of color were used in decorating the hotel, featuring the brand's colorful signature prints combined with gold, turquoise, and beige accents inspired by the beaches and bright blue Arabian Sea just outside the front door. Artisans crafted Missoni stripes throughout the hotel and on the swimming pool's tiled floor using 10 million individual mosaic tiles. In fact, the swimming pool could be the stand-out amenity here. Billed as one of the most glamorous pools in the world, the Missoni-tiled pool has dramatic sea views from its terrace. Though the Six Senses Spa-- slated to open later this spring-- could be a close second. We're also excited about the authentic Italian cuisine serviced at Cucina. Did we mention Hotel Missoni Kuwait's all-inclusive perks like free wifi, fully stocked mini bar, and in-room movies?

Related Article:

Buzzworthy: New Hotel Missoni Kuwait Introduces “Dry Sommelier” Concept


The World’s Tallest Hotels (in Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai… Where Else?)

February 25, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Burj Al ArabCurious about the tallest hotels on the planet? Do any hotels in the Americas make the cut? Web Urbanist just published the Top 10 List, and it's making the Internet rounds. Burj Al Arab-- the sail-shaped wonder soaring over the beach in Dubai-- lands on the list, along with two other Dubai properties: The Rose Rayhaan by Rotana and Jumeirah Emirates Towers. The rest of the buildings can be found in cities across Asia: The Baiyoke Tower II in Bangkok, The Cullinan I in Hong Kong, the Grand Lisboa in Macau, The Lanko-Grand Hyatt Hotel in Chongqing, Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore, Oasis Skyway Garden Hotel in Shanghai, JR Central Hotel Tower in Nagoya, and Ryugyong Hotel Tower in Pyongyang. Check out all the photos here.


St. Regis Plans Hotel for Amman, its First in Jordan

January 28, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Hotel Amman, JordanHot off the press. After opening a hotel on the top of the world a few months ago (in the remote capital of Tibet), St. Regis is now making a foray into the Middle East- with a luxury hotel planned for Jordan's capital city of Amman. The St. Regis brand-- founded by John Jacob Astor IV over a century ago-- got its start in New York City, and has now expanded to prime locations around the globe, bringing its fabled butler service to nearby cities and far-off continents. Slated to open in 2014, the new St. Regis Amman will be situated in Amman's Abdoun district. The 270-room Jordan hotel will be among five St. Regis openings in the Middle East in the coming years, including properties in Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In fact, the brand has more than doubled its portfolio of worldwide hotels and resorts in the past year. Amman serves as the gateway to Jordan's rich touristic treasures-- including Petra, numerous religious sites (including the mountain from where Moses looked out over the promised land), the Wadi Rum desert (described as "vast, echoing, and Godlike" by Lawrence of Arabia), and the Dead Sea. Significantly, Amman is also a business capital in the region.

Image via The Jordan Times


Where to Stay in Dubai for the Middle East’s Top Tennis Tournament

January 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival CityTennis fans, thinking of heading to the UAE in February for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships? The top tennis tournament in the Middle East will feature star talent like Swiss sensation (and 16-time Grand Slam winner) Roger Federer, Andy Murray, World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, and defending champions Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams. The region's only ATP 500 tour event and a favorite of top ranked female players on the WTA's Premier-Event calendar, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships will take place at the Dubai Tennis Stadium at the Aviation Club on February 14, followed by the men's tournament from February 21-26. Tickets can be purchased online at Time Out Tickets. Need a place to crash while in town for the matches? The closest five-star hotels are the Al Bustan Rotana and the InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City (pictured at right).


Buzzworthy: New Hotel Missoni Kuwait Introduces “Dry Sommelier” Concept

January 21, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Missoni KuwaitHotel Missoni Kuwait will debut in just a few weeks now, and we can hardly wait. Come March 1, the design hotel will be shaking things up on the Arabian Gulf. Gorgeous interiors, an inspiring spa by Six Senses, tasty eats at the Cucina Missoni restaurant, a pool decorated with tile in the signature Missoni pattern... In short: a glamorous destination sure to dazzle its guests. There's also the all-inclusive aspect that has tongues wagging; services like Wifi, in-room movies, and mini-bar items are included in the room rates. We expect nothing less from the Milan-based fashion house.

News: We've just learned about an innovative service that the Hotel Missoni Kuwait will be introducing on the premises. To honor both local Kuwaiti culture as well as Creative Director Rosita Missoni's passion for pairing wines with meals, the "Dry Sommelier" will suggest specialty "mocktails"-- think fresh fruit juices, homemade Missoni syrups with infused ices, and mineral waters-- to go with each guest's meal.


Say Hello to the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre

January 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial CentreHave you heard? The biggest news out of Dubai these days is the opening of the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, featuring an enormous waterfall in the lobby. Cascading down the building into the hotel's courtyard, the 10-storey waterfall is one of eight cool water features in the hotel. Not only does the hotel get props for its design, it's also in the spotlight for its ballroom (the biggest in Dubai's financial district), swanky 13-room spa, fully-equipped health club, and restaurants. From the official press release:

A dramatic 100-foot wine wall that is home to 3,000 bottles of the finest varietals in the world is a focal point for gourmands and wine connoisseurs. Other dining selections include Blue Rain, the signature Thai fine-dining restaurant; Can Can, a French all-day dining brasserie and the Center Cut steakhouse, providing multiple settings for the enjoyment of the cuisine made famous by The Ritz-Carlton chefs. The Lobby Lounge & Terrace offers a casual elegance for the enjoyment of afternoon tea. Each restaurant boasts an expansive outdoor terrace.

The 341-room hotel is the second Ritz-Carlton in Dubai, and the only hotel to be directly linked to the Dubai International Financial Centre.


Oman on My Mind: Anantara Al Madina A’Zarqa Resort & Spa Opens in 2011

December 29, 2010
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Anantara Al Madina A'Zarqa Resort, OmanWe've long had our eye on Oman as a destination to watch. Travelers who return from the Middle Eastern oasis spin tales of mysterious landscapes, rugged natural beauty, and ancient historic sites- untouched by tourism. We love that you can arrive by hang-glider at the Six Senses Hideaway at Zighy Bay. Though not far as the crow flies from over-the-top Dubai, the Sultanate of Oman is investing in a different type of tourism with a sustainable, long-term approach to economic diversification. In fact, the government is now investing $20 billion in the tourism sector to diversify the economy now dependent on oil production. The goal is to attract 12 million upscale visitors annually by 2020. The official Tourism Ministry website says it best: "Beauty has an address." Convinced yet?

Come 2011 there will be another exciting luxury hotel on the scene, the latest property from Bangkok-based Anantara Hotels & Resorts. Just an hour outside Muscat, the Anantara Al Madina A’Zarqa Resort & Spa is situated on a natural peninsula jutting into the Gulf of Oman. The 122-room luxury resort showcases traditional Arabian architecture, reminiscent of an ancient Omani castle on the beach. Facilities will include a fitness center, Anantara spa, business center, beach club bar, wine cellar and top-notch restaurants.