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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.

A Peachy Recipe from the Shop at Andaz 5th Avenue Pastry Chef

September 6, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Andaz 5th AvenueSure, it's September, but we're still craving summer peaches. Lucky for us, New York Magazine has published a fabulous recipe, bringing together two of our favorites: Andaz 5th Avenue (the NYC hotel that's quite the crowd-pleaser) and that divine fruit of the gods. Try this sweet and spicy recipe from the pastry chef at the Shop at Andaz 5th Avenue, and prolong your summer just a little bit more...

Charmaine Mcfarlane’s Peaches With Chiles, Sugar, Salt, and Lime

6 tbs. sugar, 2 tbs. salt, 2 Thai chiles (chopped), 2 limes, 6 peaches

Combine the sugar, salt, and chopped chiles in a mortar and pestle and grind to a consistency like wet sand. Zest the limes and reserve the fruit for another use. Stir zest into the sugar-salt-and-chile mixture. Halve the peaches by (1) slicing them along their seams and cutting through to the pits and around the fruits. (2) Gently twist until the halves separate. Remove pits. Blanch the peach halves for 45 seconds and remove to an ice bath for a minute. (3) Peel off the skins. Sprinkle peaches with the sugar-and-salt mixture and let macerate for half an hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream.


3rd Night Free at The Carlyle in New York

August 19, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Carlyle, New YorkLive it up in Manhattan with a stay at The Carlyle, a timeless classic in the Upper East Side overlooking Central Park. Part of the Rosewood Hotels collection, this ultra-luxurious hotel emanates New York luxury-- from the legendary Bemelmans Bar to the jewel-like Sense Spa. (Even the tiniest guests are spoiled rotten at The Carlyle; the Rose Buds Kids program means Baby Primrose skincare products, the Madeleine tea, and lush velour terry child-sized bath robes and slippers.) Bed down in this refined residence, called home by leaders in business and society, and get a special rate this summer. Take advantage of the "MORE Rosewood" offer and get one more night on the house. Stay two nights and get the third night for free, valid through August 31, 2011.


Private Tours of the MoMA with The Setai Fifth Avenue

August 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Setai Fifth AvenueGet a load of this. The Setai Fifth Avenue-- the luxurious, Capella managed hotel in Midtown-- now offers guests private tours of the MoMA. Before New York's world-famous Museum of Modern Art opens its doors to the daily hordes of tourists and art enthusiasts, hotel guests can get a private viewing of "the greatest collection of modern art in the world" (to quote The New York Times).

This distinctive offering is part of "The Connoisseur" package, which also includes swank overnight accommodations and a complimentary breakfast delivered to the room. "The Connoisseur" is available at a starting rate of $1,046. All guests of The Setai Fifth Avenue also enjoy signature Capella Hotels and Resorts amenities such as the attention of personal assistants; complimentary snacks, water and soft drinks stocked and replenished in-room daily.


Spa Retreat in New York: Spend the Day at the Plaza Athénée

August 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Plaza Athenee New YorkDid you know you can get a room at Manhattan's Hotel Plaza Athénée just for the day? Yup, the Upper East Side hotel, located just one block from Central Park, is the ideal spa retreat for New Yorkers looking to disconnect from their blackberries and unwind in luxury. Get ready for some head-to-toe pampering. The package includes a 50 Minute Signature Plaza Athénée Massage, a 50 Minute Valmont Signature Facial or Detoxifying Body Treatment, and a manicure and pedicure. After blissing out in the spa, relax in your guest room for the day, as the "Spa Retreat" package comes complete with day use in a Classic guest room from 10 am - 7 pm. Rates are $700 for the first guest, $500 for each additional guest. Subject to availability. Gift certificates are also available.

Additional articles about the Hotel Plaza Athénée:

An Insider's View of Central Park

Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York: Pillows and Penguins Children’s Package

Thanksgiving at the Hotel Plaza Athenee New York (and Hot Rates Post-Fete)


Watch the U.S. Open: Game.Set.Match at the Westin New York at Times Square

August 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Westin New York at Times SquarePlanning to take in all the action at the U.S. Open this year? Tennis fans who bed down at The Westin New York at Times Square, the official NYC hotel sponsor of the U.S. Open, will get get spoiled with extra treats. Starting at $269 per night and available August 29- September 11, 2011, the Game.Set.Match package includes round-trip MetroCard transportation for two to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center via subway, and a gift bag with a signature US Open item (a $30 value). A two-night minimum stay is required.


Bump It Up Bliss: The Pre-Natal Spa Package at The Peninsula New York

August 2, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Pensinsula New YorkThe Peninsula New York knows what to expect when you're expecting: lots of backaches and muscle pain! So the ultra-luxury hotel is pampering mothers-to-be with pre-natal massages, personal training sessions, cravings-based snacks and more. In designing the "Bump It Up Bliss" spa package, The Peninsula Spa by ESPA has partnered with Amy Tara Koch, style expert and author of “Bump It Up: Transforming Your Pregnancy into the Ultimate Style Statement”. Manhattanites will want to splurge on this one! Here's what's included in the $660 package:

* Three 60-minute Maternity Massages

* Three 30-minute Pre-natal Personal Training sessions

* Cravings-based welcome snack and “preggo-tini” by the pool

* Copy of “Bump it Up: Transforming Your Pregnancy into the Ultimate Style Statement”

* Complimentary day use of the swimming pool, fitness centre and all yoga and core classes


Sponsored Article: A Rooftop Retreat at The James New York

July 29, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

The James New YorkThe James New York brings luxury liberated from tradition to Soho. Located on the corner of Thompson and Grand, the newly built property was conceived and designed as a locally inspired, community focused and environmentally thoughtful hotel. Unique outdoor spaces include an Urban Garden and rooftop pool.

 

Enjoy an R&R retreat at the rooftop pool located on the hotel’s 18th floor. This unique rooftop retreat in New York City, surrounded by inspiring skyline views, boasts a concrete “halo” roof that frames the pool deck, teak decking, an outdoor shower and plush chaise lounges. Available for hotel guests to relax and soak up the sun, visitors can take in the 360 views of the Manhattan Bridges, New Jersey and The Freedom Tower to The Empire State Building.

The James New York

The Urban Garden is an artistically-inspired multi-tiered outdoor escape, featuring sculptures made from recycled and reused materials, and rustic furnishings surrounded by park-like landscaping.

More than just a green space, the Urban Garden is a venue for entertainment, cultural events and fine cuisine. With activities including Tribeca Film Festival screenings, video art program, spa services, croquet and more, the Urban Garden is a hub for creative communities to gather and interact. Guests can enjoy outdoor yoga classes, one-on-one fitness sessions with celebrity trainer Oscar Smith and spa services at Urban Spa Cabana. In addition, this space features a 130-seat David Burke Garden restaurant and bar as well as a working herb garden.


Stay Weekends and Save at The Iroquois New York

July 27, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Iroquois New YorkLooking for a place to bed down in Midtown Manhattan this summer? The Iroquois New York-- tucked between Fifth and Sixth Avenues on quiet Club Row-- is rolling out the red carpet with the "Stay Weekends and Save" package. Stay Saturday and Sunday nights and receive a $75 hotel credit to be used during your stay. Or book Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and get a $100 hotel credit to be used during your stay. (Subject to availability, valid through September 5, 2011.) Within walking distance of some of NYC's best loved attractions, The Iroquois spoils guests with a host of creature comforts: free Wifi, a modern fitness center with Finnish sauna, luxurious guest rooms with Frette linens and Molton Brown bath amenities. Be sure to dine at Triomphe Restaurant, helmed by new executive chef Jason Tilmann whose career includes stints at Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod; "21" Club, Union Square Café, Daniel and Le Cirque in Manhattan; and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. (He has also appeared on the Food Network shows "Chopped" and "Iron Chef America.") For excellent cocktails, head to Lantern's Keep, styled like a turn-of-the-century salon.


Hot in New York: Weekly Rooftop Pool Parties at Gansevoort Park Avenue

July 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Gansevoort Park Avenue, New YorkThe best way to cool off in steaming hot New York? A rooftop pool, of course. The Gansevoort Park Avenue's got a pretty one (with plenty of pretty people, to boot). Lots of open-air terraces, fireplaces, international DJs spinning the tunes over a killer sound system... All 20 storeys above the city with fab 360 degree views. For the summer, The Gansevoort is kicking things up a notch with the "vitaminwater zero Gansevoort summerseries," an exclusive weekly pool party taking place every Sunday from 3- 9 pm on the roof- with "world renowned DJs spinning poolside." The website indicates that "guests are admitted on a first come, first serve basis with no cover" though it looks like it's by guest list only. Of course you could shell out for VIP bottle service and guarantee yourself entrance and a reserved table. Price tag? A poolside table can be yours for $2000 minimum, and a sundeck table for $1000.


Buzz: Art in the City and the Urban Spa Cabana at The James New York

July 20, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James New YorkThere's a lot going on in Manhattan this summer. And The James New York-- right in the thick of things-- puts the best of the city at your doorstep. A champion of the arts, this hot hotel offers three summer-long programs in the outdoor Urban Garden. Running through September, the film series features selections from the 2011 TriBeCa Film Festival. On the garden's outdoor wall, videos are projected from the best up-and-coming international artists in the "Moving Image Art Fair." The hotel also hosts a series of film screenings and art showings followed by discussions with the artist and/or their galleries. Book the "See Art Soho" package at The James New York and check out the neighborhood's hidden talent from the perspective of the Art Curator, Matt Jenson. Return from your walking tour and head straight to the Urban Garden for a massage in-- check this out!-- the Urban Spa Cabana, the hotel's newest feature. (In-room spa treatments are also available seven days a week.)