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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.

Did You Know? San Ysidro Ranch


By: Five Star Alliance

In the 1930s, Hollywood actor Ronald Colman and hotelier and former Senator Alvin Carl Weingand acquired the San Ysidro Ranch and transformed it into a hospitality haven – known for its idyllic setting, service, and guarding of guest privacy – for celebrities. The famous guests over the years range from Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx to Winston Churchill, Somerset Maugham, and Sinclair Lewis. Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier were married at the Ranch, John and Jacqueline Kennedy honeymooned there and John Huston completed the script for African Queen during a three-month stay.

San Ysidro Ranch

Book a stay at San Ysidro Ranch >>


New to Five Star Alliance: Lizard Island Resort


By: Five Star Alliance

Lizard Island Resort is the northern-most resort located directly on the Great Barrier Reef, with 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites.

Lizard Island Resort

Book your stay at Lizard Island Resort >>


New to Five Star Alliance: The Windsor Boutique Hotel


By: Five Star Alliance

The Windsor Boutique Hotel offers unique and upscale accommodations in the heart of downtown Asheville. Initially constructed in 1907, The Windsor recently completed an eighteen-month historic total renovation. It now features 14 new luxury suites, each with its own unique character and charm. Each suite has a private bedroom, bathroom, washer/dryer, full kitchen area and living room providing plenty of room to relax and unwind.

Windsor Boutique Hotel

Book a stay at The Windsor Boutique Hotel >>


Cool Pools: Rancho Valencia Resort


By: Five Star Alliance

Whether you're looking for an early-morning workout, or just looking for refreshment after your spa treatment or tennis match, the pools at Rancho Valencia do not disappoint. Featuring two saline pools, the main pool and adults-only spa pool are heated to a comfortable 82 degrees for year-round enjoyment. Large enough to swim laps yet serene enough to relax and lounge poolside in the San Diego sunshine, the pools offer the perfect place for both rest and recreation. They both also feature a bubbling Jacuzzi.

Rancho Valencia

Book a stay at Rancho Valencia >>


Enjoy the Perfect Massage at Inn and Spa at Loretto


By: Five Star Alliance

The Inn and Spa at Loretto is a boutique, luxury hotel in Santa Fe immersed in the culture and sophistication of New Mexico. It's award-wining spa offers a full line of massages designed to heal and relax.Inn and Spa at Loretto

Mindful Massage
The spa's most popular massage using medium pressure and multiple techniques to focus on areas of stress or concern. Create a personalized spa massage experience that you and your therapist orchestrate. 

Elemental Massage
Unwind with this gentle, relaxing Swedish-style massage that improves circulation and vitality. Pressure can range from light to medium. 

Sacred Stone Massage
Surrender to the healing warmth of this ancient spa massage. Heated, smooth volcanic river stones penetrate the deeper layers of your muscles to take you to a new dimension of relaxation. The Spa at Loretto

Sports Enthusiast Massage
A fit body is the most valuable equipment you can bring to your sport! Relieve tension, relax sore muscles and enhance your performance. Using a combination of medium pressure and stretching techniques, our therapists customize the massage focusing on the area most stressed by your sport. Light comfortable clothing may be worn. 

Dos Milagros 
Two therapists, four hands = pure bliss. 

Asian Fusion Massage
A combination of ancient forms of Shiatsu, Thai and Balinese, this massage combines pressure point techniques with rhythmic stretching movements to promote balance and relaxation. 

Deep Tissue Massage
Facilitate muscle recovery with this medium to firm massage, designed for athletes in training. Not recommended for those new to massage or visiting high elevations as it may cause extended days of soreness. 

Mother-to-Be Massage
Share a moment of serenity with your baby. This massage will ease the discomforts that occur as your body changes. We request your physician’s written consent. 

Sole Revival
Enjoy a gentle foot and leg massage created to relax and revitalize tired feet and legs. Disappear from the world while your therapist uses light to medium pressure and massage on the reflex points of the feet and lower legs. A perfect remedy for a day spent hiking or shopping. 

Couple’s Massage
The romantic couple's room is the perfect setting for two. See the Spa Coordinator to choose from a selection of spa massage rituals and experiences for your body. 

Inn and Spa at Loretto

The following additional services can also be added to any massage:

Intuitive Lifestyle Energy Work
Additional energy work to bring your massage to a deeper level of relaxation and healing.

Desert Sage Scrub
Add the spa's signature scrub to any massage for a softening and uplifting experience. 

Heavenly High Altitude Relief
Be surrounded in warm inhalation towels, enticing aromas and specific point work designed to alleviate symptoms of high altitude distress. 

Sole Revival
Enjoy a gentle foot massage created to relax and revitalize tired feet and legs. Your therapist uses light to medium massage on the reflex points of the feet. A perfect remedy for a day spent hiking or shopping. 

Head and Neck Bliss
Focused massage work targeting tension in the head and neck 

Desert Quench Bliss
Head and Neck Bliss with the addition of a Shea butter and nutrient rich oil hair conditioner. 

Soak 
Immerse yourself in one of the spa's beautiful over-sized tubs infused with aromatherapy, rose petals, and soothing salts. Soak alone or with a loved one. 

Signature Aroma Therapy 
The Spa at Loretto's Aromatherapy blends used for centuries to improve overall health and relieve tension, essential oil blends can turn any massage into a fragrant indulgence. Choose from our house crafted oil blends: Earth, Fire, Water, Air or Spirit. 

Book your massage at Inn and Spa at Loretto >>


Cool Pools: The Redbury South Beach


By: Five Star Alliance

The 12,000-square-foot rooftop pool and deck at The Redbury South Beach is one of the hotel's signature features. Guests can take in the gorgeous Miami skyline by day or night, lounge in a comfy chaise, and take a dip in the pool. The Rooftop Pool is also available for private parties and special events.

The Redbury South Beach

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St Regis Gets Bloody (Mary)


By: K. Clare Johnson

St Regis New YorkA staple of brunch menus everywhere, you can thank the St Regis New York for perfecting the Bloody Mary. In 1934, Fernand Petiot, the bartender at The St. Regis New York’s King Cole Bar, perfected the recipe for a vodka-and-tomato juice cocktail he dubbed the Bloody Mary. Deemed too racy a name for the hotel’s clientele, it was rechristened the Red Snapper, a name that didn't last long. 

Today, the Bloody Mary remains the signature cocktail of the St. Regis brand, with each hotel crafting its own interpretation of the libation. Here's three of our favorites:

The St. Regis Beijing-Great Wall Bloody Mary

Taking its cue from the inclusion of beer in ancient worship rituals, this cocktail substitutes Chinese pilsner for vodka.

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 oz / 75 ml Tsingtao® beer
3 1/2 oz / 100 ml Bloody Mary mix
3 oyster shooters, for garnish
1 lemon wedge, for garnish

DIRECTIONS
Pour the beer into an 8 oz / .2 l white wineglass filled with ice. Then pour the Bloody Mary mix on top. Garnish with the oyster shooters and lemon wedge.

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort-Bora Mary
The discovery of a watermelon plantation on a nearby coral reef islet led to the creation of a delightfully refreshing cocktail.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 oz / 45 ml premium vodka
1 1/2 oz / 45 ml Bloody Mary mix
1 oz / 30 ml lime juice
1 1/2 oz / 45 ml watermelon juice (or strawberry juice)
Watermelon cube (or whole strawberry), for garnish

DIRECTIONS
Blend all ingredients with ice until frothy. Pour into a 6 oz / 150 ml champagne flute. Strawberry may replace watermelon in this recipe. Garnish with a cube of watermelon to size or strawberry, if using.

The St. Regis Houston-Harry's Texas Bloody Mary
Cajun seasoning, tequila, vodka, and jalapeño give this bold cocktail a decidedly Texas kick.

INGREDIENTS
1 oz / 30 ml premium vodka
6 oz / 30 ml tequila
5 oz / 150 ml Bloody Mary mix
1 lemon wedge / 5 ml fresh lemon juice
1 lime wedge / 5 ml fresh lime juice
4 slices jalapeño
1/2 tsp / 2 g sugar
2 olives
1 thin tomato slice, for garnish
1 celery spear, for garnish

DIRECTIONS
Combine all of the ingredients over ice and shake. Pour into an 8 oz / .2 l highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a thin slice of tomato on the celery spear.

If none of those suit your fancy, you can find all the St. Regis Bloody Mary Recipes here

 

 


Best Bathrooms: The Hazelton Hotel Toronto


By: Five Star Alliance

Ensuite bathrooms at The Hazelton Hotel Toronto are done entirely in galaxy green granite comes
complete with heated floors. Deep soaking tub and separate rainfall shower, an LCD television built
into the mirror, as well as his and her sinks
Hazelton Hotel Toronto

Book a stay at The Hazelton Hotel Toronto >>


San Francisco's Iconic Palace Hotel Completes a Multi-Million Dollar Renovation


By: Five Star Alliance

Palace HotelEverything old is new again. Elegantly so, in the case of San Francisco's iconic Palace Hotel. Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. Expect new looks in the guest rooms, the indoor pool, fitness center, lobby, promenade, The Garden Court, and GC Lounge.

 The fresh design approach at this historic hotel captures timeless warmth and elegance beautifully married with chic, contemporary elements. Modern amenities and historic touches are complemented by superior service.

For over a century, The Garden Court has been known as one of the world's most beautiful dining rooms. The renovation now reveals two beautiful venues– The Garden Court and GC Lounge. GC Lounge is located at the front of the room. Stylish, comfortable chairs and couches create private vignettes.  A communal table offers a perfect place for a gathering. The GC Lounge experience is contemporary, savvy, and social. Garden Court at Palace Hotel The entrance to the Garden Court has been completely transformed. Guests are escorted to the dining room via private marble entrance. The 120 seat dining room celebrates tradition with a modern twist. The dining experience in The Garden Court offers locally sourced cuisine, refined service, and unforgettable surroundings.

Palace Hotel Guestroom Corridor

The 556 newly renovated guest rooms are a seamless blend of yesterday and today. Keeping true to the integrity of the hotel, guests will open the solid oak doors adorned with brass monogrammed knobs – both have graced the Palace since 1909. Crossing the threshold, an entry flows in to a room washed in a palette of midnight blue, charcoal, dove grey, and plum. The 11 foot ceilings and expansive windows create a naturally well-lit room filled with warmth. The artwork, topographical inspired carpeting, retro trunks, and suitcase handles incorporated into fixtures and furnishings pay tribute to time and travel.  Every item in the room has been custom created exclusively for the Palace.  

Palace Suites

The Palace Suites (pictured right) showcase a spacious living room with soaring windows. The rooms offer modern furnishings, a coffee table, desk, and 48” LED television. Historic architecture is accented with artistic lighting, blending vintage with new. Teal and navy are used to punctuate the grey and neutral palette that is rich and welcoming. Original hardwood floors are finished in dark brown and polished to high shine. Plush area rugs complete the interior of the Palace suites for a beautiful and comfortable home away from home. 

The Deluxe Suites with high ceilings, light filled windows, and authentic elements are the perfect place for a San Francisco escape. The focal point of the bedroom is a tufted, black leather headboard that frames the pillow top bed for the ultimate in luxury and comfort. Unique, curated photography adds retro charm to the contemporary design.

The corner Royal Suite displays curved windows and architectural details including an intricately carved marble fireplace. Beautifully finished hardwood floors are layered with custom-made area rugs. At 970 square feet, the spacious, light filled room offers two televisions, a large living room, formal dining table, luxurious four post king size bed, and a city chic bathroom.

Palace Hotel State SuiteThe Square State Suite (pictured left) is a beautiful, light-filled space. Pale blue, plum and ivory set the tone for the interior that feels like an elegant San Francisco apartment.  A large living room with hand carved marble encased fireplace, formal dining table, comfortable seating, and 42" television add to the residential feel. A luxurious king bedroom with pillow top four post bed, a second television, and serene spa-like bath complete this city retreat.

The Chancellor Suite features a large entry leading to an open living room with intricate wood work, original fireplace, and a view of Market Street. The dining room seats eight. This suite features a beautifully designed seating area with upholstered furnishings, modern chandeliers, chic coffee table, large desk, 48” LED television, and Keurig coffee maker.  The inviting bedroom is spacious and beautifully appointed with a four post bed, chaise lounge, dark wood, and mixed metals.  A large bath with rain shower and spa tub offer the perfect place to relax and retreat.

The Presidential Suite is a grand six room suite, lined with expansive windows, that wraps around the corner of the hotel overlooking Market Street. A luxurious bedroom adorned in neutral tones and ocean blues invite the calm of sand and shore. The large marble bath features a glass enclosed rain shower, spa tub, and exquisite amenities.  Indoor Pool at the Palace San FranciscoA spacious living room and formal dining room – each with original carved fireplaces, authentic architectural detail, and vintage chandeliers are beautifully appointed with classically inspired, contemporary furnishings.  A baby grand piano sits in the corner of the living room. The media room features two plush sofas and a large plasma television.  A kitchen and guest bath completes the feeling of a private residence in a cosmopolitan city setting. The Palace Presidential Suite is perfect for a private escape or an elegant party for up to 20.

The newly renovated Palace Hotel pool and fitness center invite wellness and retreat. The restored, soaring sky lit ceiling opens the space to natural light and showcases the San Francisco cityscape. The Palace pool is ready for an aquatic workout or a leisurely swim. The new, spacious fitness center’s floor to ceiling windows look out to the swimming pool for an inspiring workout view.  The men’s and women’s changing rooms have all been updated. Features include luxurious marble bath areas, spa showers, fresh design elements and large back lit mirrors. 

Book your stay at The Palace Hotel >>


Dining al Fresco: Belmond Maroma Resort and Spa


By: Five Star Alliance

At Belmond la Samanna, El Restaurant offers authentic Mexican cuisine that celebrates
the flavor and traditions of the region with a modern twist. Baja California style shrimp tacos,
pescadillas, panuchos and sopes are some of the delicacies on offer. 

Belmond La Maroma

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