LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
The 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.
Undoubtedly one of our most popular resorts in the Charleston area is none other than Charleston Place, a 17th century residence complete with open-arm staircase and crystal chandelier that make you feel as if you've stepped off the street into a high society ball. Outside the threshold of that entrance is Charleston's historic downtown, which is filled with classic southern homes with more historical significance than Lord Wellington. Golf is easy to find, with over 20 courses, ranging from the Arnold Palmer signature course at Rivertown to the Kiawah and Wild Dunes. Dine at the Charleston Grill, a recipient of both a Forbes four-star rating and the AAA Four Diamond Award, so you know you're getting possibly the best food in the entire state. If you like things a little more casual, the Palmetto Cafe should be your choice for breakfast and lunch as its open-air design takes advantage of a landscaped courtyard for a calming ambiance that only makes the food taste all the more delicious.
Special rates abound at Charleston Place. To see exactly what is available, simply enter your dates of travel here. Currently rates are available with a range of amenities, including a $75 spa, restaurant, or bar credit, so you can enjoy everything Charleston Place has to offer. Select the special Five Star Alliance rate for wine and breakfast, and for stays until August 23rd, you'll also get a free upgrade the next room category! Before booking, see here for more details. This summer is the perfect time to explore one of the South's most storied cities, and what better place to stay than its historic heart and soul, Charleston Place.
It's not possible to get any closer to the shores of the Bosphorus than the A'jia Hotel. It's just about literally on the water, and this jewel of the Mediterranean gleams with a particular lustre. The Ottoman mansion has only 16 rooms and you're basically guaranteed a wonderful view. The unique location of the property allows it to be both hidden away and easily accessible from the city of Istanbul, so you can tour the sites and head out on the town without skipping a beat. Of course, you might not want to head into the city for dinner, since the A'jia restaurant could go toe-to-toe with almost any in the world. And because the hotel is so small, you're sure to have an intimate dining experience. The A'jia hotel is a fusion of timeless elegance, maintaining the beauty of its original 1800s construction and merging it with all of the modern amenities. If you're looking to explore the beauty and wonder of the Mediterranean and have an experience of both an incredible luxury hotel and an amazing natural setting, the A'jia Hotel should be on your shortlist.
I don't think anywhere in the dictionary of latin roots will you find the "-lomar" suffix as meaning awesome. But if two points make a line, then the Mallomars and the Hotel Palomar are definitely on to something here. With that in mind, every time I hear something about the new Hotel Palomar Phoenix, I can't help but imagine that one marshmallow that inevitably falls off the end of your stick straight into the flames sloughing off its charred exterior and rising again as a pure white, gooey mass, its new skin still tender with sugary goodness. Of course, my overactive imagination could turn even a normal day at the office into the epic of Gilgamesh, so it's probably best if you don't read into it too much.
In any case, the Hotel Palomar is one of the newest editions to our collection, and it builds on the prior iterations of the Palomar, found in DC, Chicago, San Francisco, and many southern cities. In the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Palomar is ideally located to reach all of the hot spots. The city's best shopping, dining, and entertainment are just a few blocks away. The hotel itself is designed to look and feel cosmopolitan. The rooms feature contemporary design that emphasizes the space while still managing to be a little quirky. You're more likely to end up with an abstract painting of a blue cow over your bed than generic landscape #34. And that's a good thing. It's a hard thing to walk the line between eccentricity and taste, and the Palomar manages to do it. The Hotel Palomar Phoenix is definitely a great addition to the Phoenician menagerie.
Everyone loves a beach resort, and the shallow waters of the Maldives make it possible to find a truly singular experience. Because the oceans are uniquely calm, resorts like the Waldorf Astoria have built out entire bungalows just above the lapping waves. From your residence, you'll have a truly panoramic view of the surrounding waters. Among a series of already outstanding resorts, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives sets itself apart even from that distinguished crowd. I'd hate to turn this into an apotheosis of the Waldorf, but it's hard not to exalt the virtues of a resort that is its own island. The seclusion of having your own bungalow on a private island is truly unmatched.
When a resort is an island, it is doubly important that it has the luxurious facilities to accommodate your every desire. While fine dining and a top-notch spa are the unmistakable call signs of any luxury resort, the Waldorf Astoria has taken them to another level. Their world-class Modun Spa is organized around the concept of a winding journey towards self-discovery and holistic rejuvenation with the spa facilities laid out along a twisting path that leads you through a natural progression of treatment. Dine on incredibly sumptuous cuisine either at one of the many restaurants and bars or bring that very same experience to the comfort and privacy of your own villa. Children are cared for in the Kids' Club, leaving the adults free to experience the unmatched luxury. If I wanted the experience of the unmistakable Maldivian bungalow, I would be remiss if I didn't seriously consider the Waldorf Astoria Maldives as my destination of choice.
If there was ever a hotel name that invited a pun, it's the Resort at Paws Up, and I'd like to pay proper tribute to that. Maybe your life has gotten a little hectic recently; things are moving a little too quickly, and it feels like everything is getting away from you. What you need is to take a step back and abandon the rat race; take a pause from your normal life. Or maybe you have a bunch of friends, and you're looking for a getaway to the Montana wilderness. Well, the Resort at Paws Up has room for your whole paws-e. Really, the pawsibilities are endless. Whew. That was exhausting. And I've even avoided making any pet jokes...
Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, we can move on to the business of describing exactly what makes the Resort at Paws Up unique besides the name. A lot of resort promise a wilderness experience, but you're really just two miles out of town and their wild forest is a five acre manicured lawn. Well, Montana is literally derived from the Spanish word for mountainous country, and the state animal is the grizzly bear. The wilderness in Montana doesn't mess around, and neither does Paws Up. The property has a number of different cabins avaiable from the meadow to the mountainside, and there's even an outdoor tent city if you want to really rough it. All this makes it sound like I'm describing something very different from the classic luxury resort, but don't let me fool you. The Resort at Paws Up constantly has luxury in mind; it just recognizes that even those who enjoy their five star dining and top-notch spa facility have come for the outdoors as much as the high thread count. In fact, I would argue that there's nothing lost on the luxury experience, but the surroundings are more real, highlighting the local freshness of cuisine homemade from local flora and fauna, like their unbelievable huckleberry toast. If you want your luxury to come with wilderness, or your wilderness to come with luxury, look no further than the Resort at Paws Up, where you'll get the best of both worlds.
I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.
There are few places in the world as storied as Ireland, and people travel there specifically for the romance of the countryside. Why then would one stay in a large city hotel when your accommodations can be as magical as the views? Ballyfin, at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, was restored in an eight year process that just finished in 2011 to allow it to open as a 5-star country house hotel with the pure Gaelic soul of the rolling hills. 600 acres of land hold just fifteen rooms, so you'll experience the greenery in perfect quiet.
Open to children 14 and over, the all-inclusive resort maintains the original 1820s design, full of antiques and gorgeous art. Row boats are available on a nearby lake, and you can even go ice skating in the wintertime. This small boutique hotel is the perfect destination for a wedding or retreat, and, listed as a Forbes Top Life Hotel, it has the accolades to back up its reputation. If you want to experience Ireland as she's meant to be, then you should think about staying at Ballyfin.