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.

Five Star Perks at Cheval Blanc Saint-Barth


By: Rachael Weir

Set along Flamands Beach, one of the prettiest stretches of beach on St. Barthélemy, Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France is a luxury boutique hotel in the Caribbean. Combining French and St. Barth's style, the resort offers La Case de L'Isle - an al fresco restaurant along the beach specializing in locally-inspired French cuisine, the Cheval Blanc Spa with outdoor treatment pavillions, children's programs, and tailor-made island experiences.

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests that book through Five Star Alliance receive complimentary continental breakfast for two daily, and a 50 Euro food and beverage credit per stay. Also, based on availability at the time of check-in/departure, an upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check rates and escape to Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France >>

Main Pool at the Cheval Blanc St. Barth Isle de France

 

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Relaxing Retreat At The Umstead


By: Rachael Weir

Nestled amongst the Carolina Pines just a few miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, The Umstead Hotel and Spa offers a peaceful retreat-like setting. Surrounded by 12 acres of wooded land, with gardens, fine art, and a shimmering lake encircled with a trail, the property feels worlds away from it all, yet it's just minutes away from the Triangle.

Five Star Alliance was invited to visit The Umstead Hotel and Spa to discover all the property has to offer. Read more below.

Exterior of The Umstead

Walking into the entrance, we were greeted by friendly doormen, along with a soothing lobby featuring a view of an exquisite piece of art by glass artist, Dale Chihuly, piano music, and sunshine flowing in from the hotel's expansive patio. 

Dale Chihuly Sculpture at the Umstead Hotel

Our spacious spa-inspired guest rooms offered a peaceful setting with large windows, plush beds with fluffy goosedown comforters, and a neutral color palette. The large marble bathrooms have soaking tubs complete with a bath caddy and bath salts, separate showers, and an array of Lather bath products, plus a special black towel designated for makeup removal. Continue reading below the guest room images.

Guest Room at The Umstead Hotel

Bathroom at the Umstead Hotel

Bath caddy and makeup towel at the Umstead

The Umstead Spa is an ideal setting for relaxing and melting away the stresses of daily life. Featuring a variety of massages, skin treatments, the air is filled with soothing botanical fragrances and soft music. Visitors are provided with a plush robe, along with access to separate men's and women's relaxation lounges with therapeutic whirlpools, eucalyptus saunas and steam rooms, and an outdoor meditation courtyard. There are teas and fruit-infused waters, along with cool towels and cucumber slices to add to the overall rejuvenating environment. Plus, a boutique filled with pampering products to add to one's spa experience.

Lake at the Umstead HotelSurrounded by trees and overlooking a 3-acre lake, the Umstead offers a retreat-like feel with manicured gardens and a lakeside 1/4-mile walking/jogging trail. There are bicycles, helmets, and trail maps available to explore the trails around the property leading to the William B. Umstead State Park. For added relaxation, the hotel's outdoor swimming pool is set amongst the serene setting with large sundeck, lounge chairs, cabanas, and poolside food and beverage service. 

Pool Deck at the Umstead Hotel

For an elegant dining experience, Herons, the hotel's signature Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. On select days, afternoon tea service is served in the lounge area along with a harp serenade. If you're looking for casual dining, there's an outdoor patio overlooking the gardens and lake. During the evenings, there is live music and crafted cocktails in the bar & lounge - an ideal spot to sip and reminisce about the day's events. Feeling like staying in? We recommend room service.

Tip: Be sure to inquire with the concierge about morning yoga, bike, and art tours as the property offers a variety of events for guests.

On a side note, we noticed the hotel is very pet-friendly, with special accommodations for canine guests and the DogWoods enclosed play area. 

Check rates and plan your relaxing retreat at The Umstead Hotel and Spa >>

The Umstead Hotel

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Explore the National Parks at Enchantment Resort


By: Five Star Alliance

In honor of the U.S. National Parks 100th Anniversary, the Enchantment Resort is offering an “Over-the-Top Grand Canyon Adventure Package”, which includes a private helicopter ride for four people from the resort to the Grand Canyon. Ideal for families, the Sedona Resort is surrounded by natural vermillion-colored rock formations, with hiking trails, Camp Coyote kid's club, Mii amo spa, outdoor swimming pool, golf, and tennis. Read more below about this special package from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, written by Ruthanne Terrero.

Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa

A Southwest getaway for the family should include active experiences plus some quality downtime. We say Enchantment Resort in Sedona might just fit the bill, especially with the program it's created for the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. The “Over-the-Top Grand Canyon Adventure Package” provides for a private helicopter ride for four people to take a flight from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. When it's time to come home, a clay wrap spa treatment is included, at Enchantment's sister property, Mii amo. Which room works best for families? We're thinking it's the two-bedroom “Full Hacienda Suite,” which has a living room (think high ceilings and a fireplace) with two queen pull-down beds. If a family member likes to barbecue, a nice big deck has a built-in grill and lots of seating for the family to sit around and critique the cook. There's a kitchen inside as well and a dining room area for six. There's no arguing over who gets the best bedroom since both are masters (some with king beds, some with two queens, just ask). All told, there are plenty of private bathrooms for all, including one off the living room.

Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa

Enchantment, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, has a program for children ages four to 12, which provides nature walks, pottery classes, star gazing, scavenger hunts, cooking classes and yoga. Older children and teens can also participate in tennis camp clinics. They can also take a Pink Jeep tour and visit Native American ruins in the area.

Family Dining Tip: Enchantment has two restaurants. Tii Gavo has a more casual Southwestern vibe while Che-Ah-Chi is the fine-dining venue. Reservations can be made at any time for either, but do know that both have great views of the red rock canyon. We suggest making reservations at least two weeks out for a window seat or outdoor table for optimal views. 

Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa

Good to know: Families sometimes want to relax and not worry about disturbing guests around them, so, we suggest a private room at Che-Ah-Chi for parties of six to 12. Another fun option is to request in-room dining served on your private patio. Enchantment has plenty of other venues for larger groups.

Tip: Spring and summer are peak seasons at Enchantment Resort, so management recommends booking six to 12 months in advance.

Check rates and learn more about Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa>>

Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa

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Glamping in NYC with W Hotels


By: Rachael Weir

If you've ever dreamed of camping without leaving the city, here's your chance...

The W New York partnered with Laurel & Wolf to temporarily transform the patio of its Extreme Wow Suite's terrace into an Outdoor Glamping Suite. 

Glamping at the W New York

Featuring a whimsical approach to urban glamping, the suite offers a 12-foot yurt decorated in colorful fabrics and textures with glowing lanterns. Finished with rattan hanging chairs for lounging, and a fire pit that ignites with the flip of a switch. Surrounded by a canopy of twinkling lights, the rustic-luxe oasis is a chic glamping option in the city.

Located in the center of Manhattan, the W New York is steps away from Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, the Theater District, and Rockefeller Center. Plus, there's a FIT Gym and Bliss 49 Spa, ideal for relaxing and pampering during your glamping getaway.

Note: this special suite will be available until fall 2016.

Check rates and learn more about the W New York >>

Glamping at the W New York

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The First W Sound Suite at the W Retreat Bali


By: Five Star Alliance

The very first W Sound Suite from W Hotels is available at the W Retreat & Spa Bali, in the vibrant Seminyak neighborhood. W Hotels plans to unveil additional sound studios in the W Hollywood, W Barcelona, and W Seattle, but for now, check out what the W Bali can exclusively offer:

Designed by New York-based Josh Held Design, the W Sound Suite is a private, soudproof recording studio and writing room available to both professional musicians and hotel guests. A private vocal booth overlooks the hotel's tropical garden.

W Sound Suite is the idea of Chicago-based producer DJ White Shadow, W's North American music director. The DJ affixed the large soundproof studio with sound equipment and helped determine its layout. The studio has locally sourced wooden furniture, hand-carved wooden blocks and handwoven rugs. Other touches include an oversized print of a 1980s boombox by artist Lyle Owerko and a photography print spanning the entire room. 

Coca-Cola also contributed to the development of the studio, which has subtle touches of red, a chandelier made from melted Coke bottles and oversized wall text featuring lyrics from the 1970s "I'd like to teach the world to sing..." advertisement.

Make your reservation for the W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak >>

3 photos below of the W Studio Suite:

W Studio Suite at W Retreat Bali

W Studio Suite at W Bali Seminyak

W Studio Suite seating area at W Bali Seminyak

Read More from Hotel Management here >>


The Ideal Bachelor(ette) Party Getaway at The Villas of Grand Cypress


By: Five Star Alliance

Orlando isn't just a place for the kids. Next to Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Florida, and contiguous to Walt Disney World®, is The Villas of Grand Cypress. Featuring elegant Villas with one to four bedrooms for even the largest group, the resort is an ideal destination for bachelor and bachelorette getaways. Features include:

- 45 holes of award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed golf, top-notch instruction at Grand Cypress Academy of Golf

- Twelve private tennis courts with eight Har-Tru and four Deco-Turf II courts, five lighted courts and and two racquet ball courts

- Extensive, state-of-the-art fitness center

- 9-Hole Pitch 'n' Putt golf

- In-Room/Villa Spa Services

- Two Pools, both with waterfalls and one with two waterslides

- Game Room

- Fishing Pools and Tackle, 24' Rock Climbing Wall, Jogging, Biking (including a Bicycle Fleet), and Fitness Trails

Book your party at the Villas of Grand Cypress now >>

Villas Grand Cypress

Villas of Grand Cypress Orlando

 

 

 

 


Exploring the Accommodation Types at Constance Lemuria Seychelles


By: Five Star Alliance

Luxury travelers flock to Constance Lemuria Seychelles for the gorgeous beaches, clear water, and lush vegetation. While there, they can indulge in golf at the only 18-hole course in the Seychelles, dive in one of the world's top scuba destinations, dine on gourmet meals, explore the island, or relax at the spa. There's also the Constance Kids Club to entertain smaller guests and give parents a real vacation. The resort offers a variety of spacious suite and villa accommodations to suit every traveler. To create a cocoon of luxury amidst vibrant nature, materials such as wood, stone, pink granite, marble, and thatch palm has been beautifully used to create a modern yet warm feel.

 

Constance Lemuria Seychelles Junior Suite

Junior Suite

All Junior suites are set in the Seychellois gardens 15 metres from the shore and designed in a minimalist, yet luxurious style with large bathrooms and private dining space.Suites measure 52 square meters and offer: Air-conditioning, tea and coffee facilities, minibar, satellite TV with a wide range of films and music/DVD player, Mac mini (iPod connection, CD &DVD), high-speed internet connection, individual safe, telephone answering machine, hairdryer, and 24-hour room service.

Occupancy:  3 persons

 

Constance Lemuria Seychelles Senior SuiteSenior Suite

Situated just 15 meters from the shore, palm-thatched Senior Suites have a contemporary interior. The living room leads directly to an outdoor dining area and a personal massage pavilion. Ideal for a couple. Each Senior Suite measures 115 square meters including a living room and offers: air-conditioning, tea and coffee facilities, minibar, satellite TV with a wide range of films and music/DVD player, Mac mini (iPod connection, CD &DVD), high-speed internet connection, 24-hour room service, a bath tub with whirlpool in the master bathroom, separate lounge with shower/WC and a double size terrace/balcony, and a choice of pillows on arrival from the special pillow menu.

Occupancy:  4 persons

 

Constance Lemuria Seychelles Villa

Villa

Set in private garden with direct beach access, the palm-thatched Villas have beautiful interiors of wood and stone and come with dedicated villa master service. The living room leads directly outside to a dining area and a personal massage pavilion. The villas offer spacious accommodation for a family or with a group of friends. Each Villa measures 725 square meters and offers: Air-conditioning, bathrooms with separate bath and shower/open air bath and shower room, personal relaxation and massage pavilion, private chef service or in-villa barbeque available on request, satellite TV with films and music/DVD/ Sony PlayStation (on request), Mac mini (iPod connection, CD &DVD), internet access, and a choice of pillows on arrival from the special pillow menu.

Occupancy:  6 persons
 

Constance Lemuria Seychelles Presidential VillaPresidential Villa

The Presidential Villa stretches out majestically against its granite backdrop. Its design of high-raftered ceilings, marble, and local pink granite give it a Seychellois elegance that fits perfectly with its environment. The master suite is a haven, with its own terrace overlooking the ocean, open air bathroom complete with jacuzzi and sauna. Each suite has a terrace which leads to one of the villa's 3 multi level swimming pools and down to the private beach. The Presidential Villa measures 1250 square meters and offers: Personal relaxation and massage pavilion, fully equipped office, Air-conditioning, bathrooms with separate bath and shower, satellite TV with a wide range of films and music/DVD, Sony Playstation (on request), minibar, safe, Mac mini (iPod connection, CD &DVD), and internet access.

Occupancy:  9 persons

Book your stay at Constance Lemuria Seychelles >>


Best Bathrooms: Lake Placid Lodge


By: Five Star Alliance

Lake Placid Lodge features a number of unique accommodations. Birch features a king bed with a comfortable sitting area in front of a huge, stone, wood-burning fireplace. This unique lodging in Lake Placid, NY features two bathrooms, one with a deep soaking tub and the other with a double-headed shower, as well as a spacious walk-in closet. Just outside, a log-railed front porch is shaded by a canopy of trees and outfitted with a swing for two.

Lake Placid Lodge

Book a stay at Lake Placid Lodge >>


Dining al Fresco: Weekapaug Inn


By: Five Star Alliance

A generous breakfast in The Restaurant is a treasured ritual at the Weekapaug Inn, but you don’t even have to leave your room on lazy mornings; you can also order in from their selection of continental breakfast items. 

Weekapaug Inn

Book a stay at Weekapaug Inn >>


Image of the day: Casta Diva Resort


By: Five Star Alliance

The view from Casta Diva Resort includes Lake Como and the mountains in the background. 

Casta Diva Resort

Book a stay at Casta Diva Resort >>