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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.

Holiday Happenings at The Jefferson, Richmond, Virginia

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Jefferson

The Jefferson is simply brimming with good cheer this holiday season. An American landmark since 1895, The Jefferson is one of only 23 hotels to hold both the Mobil Five Star and the AAA Five Diamond ratings. Located in the center of downtown Richmond, The Jefferson is a luxurious haven of old-world charm and personalized service. The fun-filled holiday events begin with the annual Grand Illumination on November 27 at 6pm in The Rotunda, when the 45-foot Christmas tree is illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights and ornaments. (Rumor has it that Mr. Claus will be there.) Throughout the month of December, The Jefferson will celebrate the season with Music at Midday, as gifted music makers from the Richmond area will perform at the hotel, starting with the Collegiate Strings on Wednesday, December 6. Of course there are exceptional dining experiences offered this holiday season; the Thanksgiving feast is a glorious affair with excellent Virginia specialties (lunch and dinner at TJ's, and a Champagne Brunch is available in The Rotunda). Christmas and New Year's seatings are likewise extraordinary events. The New Year's Eve Celebration includes a four-course prix fixe dinner at TJ's, dancing to the music of the Skip Gailes Quintet in The Palm Court, and a champagne toast at midnight. And there are excellent Holiday Packages available at The Jefferson. For example, the New Year's Eve Bed and Breakfast Package, priced at $255 for superior room, includes champagne upon arrival and full American breakfast.

Why Winter in Whistler: North America’s Top Ski Destination

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific Whistler

Eager skiers are anxiously counting down the days until the November 23, 2006 opening day of ski season at Whistler Blackcomb. The biggest ski resort in North America may also be the best-- judging by the number of accolades it's racked up recently. According to Conde Nast Traveler's annual readers' choice awards, Whistler hotels are the best in Canada: the Pan Pacific Mountainside, Four Seasons Whistler, and Westin are the top three. Luxury Spa Finder magazine ranked the The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Whistler as the third best spa in the world. Australia's Luxury Travel Magazine (Summer 2006) named Whistler the best overseas ski resort, and Forbes Traveler (along with Skiing Magazine) voted Whistler Blackcomb as the number one resort in North America. With the biggest vertical rise in North America (a whopping 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (8,171 acres), it's little wonder why Whistler has swept up the awards.

Conrad Chicago: Holidays on Magnificent Mile

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad Chicago The Windy City is magical during the holidays. From the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (November 18) to the Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier (think decorated trees, thousands of lights, and lots of family-style holiday attractions), Chicago knows how to celebrate in style. And of course the holiday shopping is world-class. This year, Conrad Chicago is offering a Holidays on Magnificent Mile package for lucky guests to enjoy Chicago at its glittery best. The package includes a fifty dollar gift card and VIP savings passport for Westfield North Bridge shopping mall, thirty dollars for shipping of items within the United States, gift wrapping, holiday martini at Rendez-Vous lounge, late check-out, and complimentary parking for one night. Located in the heart of it all in Chitown, Conrad Chicago is one of the most prestigious addresses on the Magnificent Mile. (The 311 guestrooms boast incredible views over the city skyline.) Within walking distance of The Loop, The Merchandise Mart, and Lake Michigan, the Conrad is a perfect urban oasis, with the best restaurants and shopping experiences at its doorstep.

Exclusive Thanksgiving Offers from Kor Hotels

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Campton Place

Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with up to 20 percent off select Kor Hotels in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Washington DC, San Francisco, and West Hollywood. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a luxurious getaway while award-winning chefs prepare your Thanksgiving dinner. At the Campton Place Restaurant (San Francisco), Executive Chef Peter Rudolph offers a four-course dinner with veg options available. (Adults $105, kids $35, 12pm-8pm.) The culinary creations include butter poached Maine lobster, Red Kuri squash soup, and roasted turkey breast and gravy with blue lake beans and potato puree. And Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica will host a decadent Thanksgiving extravaganza with delicious selections from Executive Chef Warren Schwartz that include pan seared New Zealand salmon and baby pumpkin filled with mascarpone polenta. (Adults $75, kids $37.50, 1pm-8:45 pm.) Taste buds tempted?

Eos Airlines Expands its Fleet

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eos Airlines

Just a year old and Eos Airlines is already legendary. The all premium-class airline, famed for its highly personalized level of service, has dazzled international business and leisure travelers with its enormous suites, featuring fully horizontal beds and 21 square feet of personal space. Specially configured Boeing 757's are configured for only 48 seats. The ultimate in convenience and comfort, Eos offers twice daily service from New York and London, including a curbside escort service through "fast-track" check-in. The airline recently announced that it has secured a second round of institutional investment ($75 million), which will enable it to expand its fleet of 757 aircraft in preparation for new routes in 2007.

Spa Trends: “Spadominiums” from Miraval Living and Canyon Ranch

By: Mary Winston Nicklin


In today's article "Living in Zen: The Spa Life, 24/7" the NYT identified the latest trend in lifestyle community living: "spadominiums" brought to you by Miraval, the Tucson-based destination spa, and Canyon Ranch, its chief competitor. Spa lifestyle communities have been springing up rapidly across the country in recent years; most of them are second-home condos at destination resorts. But now Miraval and Canyon Ranch are creating condominium projects in major cities to help foster a balanced urban life dedicated to wellness and healthy living.

Beginning in early 2008 those who choose to relocate to 515 East 72nd Street will be able to experience Miraval’s spa, fitness, nutrition and general wellness programming from the comfort of their own high-rise condominium homes. The project will be known as Miraval Living; the company is billing it as New York City's first "inspired living residence" and the first of what John Vanderslice, the chief executive, said would be 10 to 15 similar developments in the next decade in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Washington.

Canyon Ranch has similar spa-living condos under development in Miami and Chicago.

Related Articles:

Dr. Andrew Weil Presents Healthy Aging at Miraval, Life in Balance, Resort

Five-Star Dining in Phoenix, Arizona: Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass

Kai, the renowned restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa on the Gila River Reservation, was recently awarded the covered five-diamond award from AAA. Located within the rugged expanse of Arizona's Sonoran Desert, the resort is designed to be an authentic representation of the Gila River Indian Community's cultural heritage. Its restaurant, Kai (meaning "seed" in the Pima language) is tribe-owned, and offers a menu rich in Native American culture. In fact, Executive Chef Michael O'Dowd and Native American Chef de Cuisine Jack Strong have masterfully created an indigenous menu focusing on locally farmed ingredients. (James Beard Award-winning Chef Janos Wilder is consulting chef for Kai.) Sample menu items include Tenderloin of Buffalo from the Cheyenne River Tribe (with Smoked Corn Puree, Barbeque Scarlet Runner Beans, Saguaro Blossom Syrup, Cholla Buds and Seasonal Mushrooms) and Sugpiaq Black Cod with Los Palacios Chorizo and Red Lake Wild Rice (accompanied by Plantain Creme Brulee, Guava Nectar, Caramelized Young Pineapple Wild Rice and Yucatan Coconut Cream). Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, reservations are recommended.


Thanksgiving in Charleston, South Carolina at Charleston Place

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Charleston Place

Welcome to the finest hotel in Charleston, the stunning Orient-Express property located at 205 Meeting Street. At Charleston Place, guests are charmed by the best Southern hospitality in elegant surroundings. Relax in your beautifully appointed room, or treat yourself to some time at the incredibly lavish European-style Spa (there's a clay tennis court and heated horizon edged swimming pool with retractable glass roof). The NYT raves:

With a prime location, two top-flight restaurants, and an indoor-outdoor pool, this 450-room sister ship of Venice Cipriani easily tops the roster of Charleston Hotels.

The Charleston Place Thanksgiving Package includes three nights room accommodation, two tickets to the Thanksgiving Culinary Celebration at the elegant Palmetto Cafe, and a $25 gift certificate good for use in any of the Shops at Charleston Place. Valid from November 21-26, 2006. Starting from $808 in a Deluxe Room (Club Level Room is $1,138). Taxes and gratuities not included.

Lufthansa One Day Sale Today: Incredible Savings

By: Mary Winston Nicklin


Don't miss this. Today-- one day only!-- Lufthansa is having an exclusive online sale where travelers can get 20 percent off the price of flights. The discount is available for travel from November 8, 2006 to March 31, 2007. Sample fares are one-way based on round-trip purchase in Economy Class:

PHL to FRA $146

NYC to FRA $162

NYC to MUC $162

SFO to LON $162

WAS to LON $162

BOS to LON $162

Hurry! Tickets available online only.

Aspen World Cup Ski Package at the St. Regis Resort Aspen

By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St Regis Resort Aspen

The prestige and excitement of World Cup ski racing returns to Aspen again this winter. Take advantage of the exclusive World Cup Ski Package at the St. Regis Resort, easily the most fashionable spot in Aspen. Gorgeous rooms, the all-new Remède Spa (the flagship of the global spa brand developed for St. Regis), heated outdoor pool, attentive service... this is the ultimate in indulgence for the discerning traveler. The package includes luxurious accommodations, two lift tickets daily, breakfast for two at Olives, two authentic Swiss cow bells for race day, and USA Ski Team souvenirs. Rates start from $460 per night when you arrive Sunday through Thursday for a minimum two-night stay. Available from November 23 through December 21, 2006.