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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.

Get Pampered at the Eventi Hotel After the NYC Marathon

October 26, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eventi Hotel in New YorkLooking for a place to crash after the NYC marathon on November 6? We know just the place. Eventi-- a luxurious Kimpton Hotel in Chelsea-- is promising to pamper all those brave runners with custom massages, soothing baths, and nourishing skin care products guaranteed to speed up the recovery process. Since it opened last year, Eventi has been getting lots of buzz for its warm service, eco-friendly spa, fitness center with city views, and complimentary morning coffee/tea bar. Here's what's included in the "NYC Marathon Package" at Eventi:

    * 50 minute Custom Massage
    * Kerstin Florian Futz Balm- soothing relief for race-tired feet.
    * Menthol, rosemary, pine, and lavender provide nourishing and protecting care for the feet.
    * $50 food and beverage credit
    * Rooms with tubs include Kerstin Florian Eucalyptus Bath to soothe tired, aching musles, feet, and joints.

Rates subject to space, availability and change, and black-out dates may apply.

Related Article: Hot Hotels in New York: Special Five Star Alliance Rates at Eventi


Neiman Marcus Dream Folly Package in the New Christmas Book Will Make Your Dreams Come True

October 25, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

If I had three wishes, I’d use up the first two on world peace and a grilled cheese sandwich. But the third one would be tough if I got them by acquiring the new Dream Folly from Neiman Marcus.  Because I’d already be spending the night in my third wish. An 18-foot-diameter yurt, a traditional tent going back to the Mongols, who clearly sacked Rome in style, is the centerpiece of a full package built to evoke an extravagant genie’s bottle. So it’s time to stop dreaming of Jeannie, and instead make your dream a reality, for this fantasy hideaway comes with a set of literally one-of-a-kind pillows by famed designer Rebecca Vizard, who creates her works of art by meticulously preserving 18th and 19th century prints on her lush, modern pillows. Not only that, the room is adorned with a handcrafted crystal chandelier and linen wall coverings. And while you’re living your fantasy, you can help the dreams of others come true, because with the purchase of Dream Folly, $5,000 of the proceeds will go The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

The Dream Folly package, which will see this fully customizable Yurt installed on your estate grounds, is a part of Neiman Marcus’s fantasy collection in the new Christmas book. Every item is perfectly designed to help you live your very own fantasy.  Check out the full collection here.

Photo Via Neiman Marcus.


Dance the Night Away with the Gift of Dancing Fountains

October 24, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

With the winter holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your family members and friends. This year, however, we bet you want something different, something special, something extravagant, something over the top. Did we just read your mind? For the luxury seekers, the best gift givers, and the folks who always go above and beyond what is expected, the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue may be just for you.

One of my personal favorite gifts offered is the Dancing Fountains from WET. WET, the company responsible for creating some of the most extravagent fountains in the world, including the Fountains of Bellagio and the Dubai Fountain is now bringing these charming creations to your home. With this fantasy gift, WET will install two underwater robotic nozzles that dance as a couple. This fountain will swirl, twirl, dip, and spin for you with the beauty of two graceful dancers. With this purchase, Neiman Marcus will donate $10,000 of the proceeds to Water.org, a nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water to people in developing countries. Curious what else the Neiman Marcus catalogue has to offer? Check out the Assouline Custom-Built Library, the Dream Folly, and the rest of the Holiday Catalogue.

(Photo via Neiman Marcus)


Mandarin Oriental Redesigns, Relaunches YouTube Channel; Still No Cat Videos

October 20, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

This will be a quick one because I like to let the talking pictures speak for themselves. Mandarin Oriental has relaunched its YouTube channel, and it’s gotten a full makeover and is chock full of pretty pictures and promotional interviews, like a piñata filled with the dreams of an overworked marketing executive. Go check out their new content here.


Give the Gift of Intellect from the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue

October 20, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

With the winter holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your family members and friends. This year, however, we bet you want something different, something special, something extravagant, something over the top. Did we just read your mind? For the luxury seekers, the best gift givers, and the folks who always go above and beyond what is expected, the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue may be just for you.

For an intellectual and mind-opening gift, consider the custom library, with its shelves filled with 250 books for $125,000. This atypical gift comes from the publishing house Assouline, and the library can be added anywhere you’d like. From a house to a boat to an airplane, the sky is the limit. This gift includes a full redesign of the space of your choice by adding custom carpets, art objects, and exquisitely framed prints. After the space redesign, 250 contemporary and vintage volumes are added to the beautiful shelves in the genre of your choice. Line the bookshelves with masterpieces from renowned writers, artists, photographers, architects, designers, and culinary and fashion virtuosos. This is a gift that keeps on giving because aside from an incredible library, Neiman Marcus will also donate $2,500 to First Book, a non-profit organization that provides children in need access to new books. For details, call 1-877-9NM-GIFT, or visit neimanmarcus.com

The Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue is for the thoughtful gift-givers, and while it offers truly lavish gifts, about half are under $250, so whatever your price range, the Neiman Marcus Holiday Catalogue has something to offer you.  Looking for something a little different?  Consider booking a trip for your family and friends and spending the holidays somewhere exotic, snowy, sunny, or simply somewhere relaxing

(Photo via Neiman Marcus)


New Indian-Inspired Spa Treatments at The Pierre, New York

October 13, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel in New YorkNirvana in New York? Yes please! The Pierre, A Taj Hotel on New York's Central Park, is bringing a piece of India to lucky guests who need a little R&R. The luxury hotel has introduced Jiva Spa in-room treatments, inspired by India's ancient wellness rituals. Beginning with a foot bath in flower petals and soothing oil, the head-to-toe treatments range from massages to facials and everything in between. Utilizing all-natural signature Jiva products, the therapies are designed to create a holistic path to harmony and balance, and can be personalized for each guest. Only have 30 minutes? No prob! Bihar Yoga sessions are also available. These services are arranged in the comfort of your own guest room, or in the private treatment room on the third floor next to the fitness center. (A new Jiva Spa space will open at The Pierre in 2012.) A few examples from the menu:

Vishram Relaxation Massage: A full-body massage designed to melt away stress using alternating palm and thumb strokes and fragrant signature oil blends of kewda, frankincense and brahmi with infusions of sandalwood and sesame to release tension and instill ease and tranquility; 60-minutes, $220; 90-minutes, $300

Champi Indian Head Massage: This invigorating hair treatment is believed to promote hair growth and restore the natural sheen and glossiness of the hair fiber using a signature blend of traditional ingredients (amla, brahmi, jatamansi, curry leaves and neem) to instill long-lasting, enriching benefits and relieve muscular tension from the head, neck and shoulders to create a deep sense of joy and clarity of thought; 45-minutes, $180

Indian Aroma Therapy Treatment: Aromatic oil blends from Ayurveda Pharmacopoeias have been carefully chosen for these treatments, which have powerful healing properties. All ingredients used for these treatments are native to India. Choose from the selection of specially prepared signature oil blends to meet your need of the day; priced according to desired duration, from $180 - $300 for 30 - 90 minutes. 

Anana Lepa Facial: Many Indian women use homemade recipes passed down from mother to daughter to nourish their families and their skin. Following this custom, Jiva uses fresh, all natural ingredients straight from the home. Your facial will also include a face massage that tones and nourishes the skin so that you emerge with a radiant natural glow; 60-minutes, $220.


A 3-Day Weekend in New York: 30% Off at The Mark

October 12, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Mark, New YorkThe Mark is inviting you to make it a three-day weekend in Manhattan this Fall with a tempting 30% off when you arrive on Friday and stay for three nights. That's the equivalent of one complimentary night! So why not linger longer for less? From The Mark's address on one of the best blocks in the Upper East Side, Central Park is at your doorstep. With that extra savings, why not hit up the neighborhood's fine boutiques then splurge on an extra dessert (or two) at The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges? Housed in a 1927 landmark building from 1927, The Mark was completely reimagined by designer Jacques Granges and now offers one of the finest hotel experiences in New York.

Here's the fine print on the "3-Day Weekend" offer at The Mark: Valid on all room categories. Available for Friday arrivals only until December 31, 2011, subject to availability, and some blackout dates may apply. Additional nights offered at the Best Available Rate.

Related Article: The Mark Hotel New York Now Offers a Private Courtesy Car for Suite Guests


The New York Times Reviews The James Hotel New York

October 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The James New YorkIn typical New York Times fashion, Sunday's Travel section was a whopper. A fantastic piece on Paris by Matt Gross, Fall Foliage Deals in the "Practical Traveler" column, and "Caves and Kayaks in a Quiet Corner of Thailand." We were also pleased to see an in-depth review of one of our fave hotels, The James in New York. From its location at the edge of SoHo to its rooftop pool and art collection, it's hard to pinpoint what we love most about this place. Here's a memorable quote from the most venerable of papers:

...The hotel’s striking lobby offers free use of Apple computers, alongside free happy-hour wine with snacks. Each floor features work by a different contemporary artist, with explanatory texts and mobile tagging. There’s also a small rooftop bar and heated pool; a well-equipped gym; the Treetop terrace bar; and a restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, serving modern American fare. The mini-bar was chockfull of healthy organic snacks, as well as an “intimacy kit.”...

 

Bottom line: If you picture life as a magazine spread-- where the architecture is modern, the art cutting-edge and everything else organic or free-range — then the James New York may fit you to a T.

Interested in seeing photos or booking the hotel? Click here.


Catch a Concert at Madison Square Garden; Stay at Affinia Manhattan Across the Street

October 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Two for the Show package at Affinia ManhattanHoping to catch a concert at Madison Square Garden this fall? There's an impressive roster of big names coming to New York. Try Duran Duran, Foo Fighters, Katy Perry, Enrique Iqlesias, Taylor Swift, Josh Groban, and more... After your show, get some shut-eye at the Affinia Manhattan, located just across the street. Fresh from a $25 million redesign by the internationally acclaimed Rockwell Group, the hotel has designed a special package that's sure to delight music fans. Available through December 31, 2011, the "Two for the Show" package includes a complimentary room upgrade, two cocktails at Niles New York City Bar & Restaurant, a $10 iTunes gift card to buy your favorite songs before the show, and a late check-out at 3 pm so you can sleep in after a late night on the town. Need tickets to the show? The hotel’s resourceful concierge can be reached at 646-733-2901.


Ice Skating by Moonlight in Manhattan with the Setai Fifth Avenue

October 6, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Setai Fifth Avenue, New YorkManhattan by moonlight from an ice rink open just for you... For all you romantics out there, it doesn't get much better than this. The Setai Fifth Avenue, a Capella Managed Hotel, has set the bar high with a new package that offers an exclusive winter experience. Enjoy an evening of jazz at the Bar on Fifth, bottle of Champagne included. And then when the clock strikes midnight, you'll get the famous Wollman Rink in Central Park all to yourselves for an hour. Return to your swank guest room at The Setai Fifth Avenue, outfitted with plush amenities like Pratesi linens, a Duxiana bed and a Zuma Deep soaking tub. Available from November 1, 2011 to February 28, 2012, the "Manhattan by Moonlight Winter Romance Experience" is priced from $2,850, based on double occupancy and a two-night minimum stay, and includes two nights accommodation; a reserved table and bottle of Champagne for a jazz performance at Bar on Fifth; one hour of private, midnight skating at the Wollman Rink; and luxury transportation from The Setai Fifth Avenue to and from Wollman Rink