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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.

Puppies Get Love at the W Los Angeles Westwood

March 7, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Located on the foothills of Beverly Hills/Bel Air, the W Los Angeles Westwood can be found in the heart of all the glamour, in between Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica beaches. Its 258 modern and spacious bungalow-style rooms and suites feature beautiful views of Beverly Hills and lively colors to awaken your spirit. This luxury hotel not only has exceptional rooms, but its restaurant, the Backyard offers the best alfresco dining in Los Angeles. Not only can you get incredible Cal-Med fare amid a serene garden, but now your dog can enjoy his chow right along with you. The Backyard is now offering a pet-friendly ‘Fido’s Kitchen menu.’ The menu features healthy options for your puppies such as ‘Stella’s Mutt “za” Balls,’ which is organic chicken, free range eggs and brown rice, ‘Milo’s Chopped Veggie and Chicken Salad,’ and ‘Knuckle’s Frozen POP,’ an organic yogurt with a mashed banana and peanut butter. The dishes are named after the pets of hotel staff, and the executive chef, Dakota Weiss certainly expressed his creativity and love for dogs when designing the menu. The W Los Angeles Westwood also offers P.A.W. (pets are welcome) amenities which include a custom W pet bed, bowls, and a treat at turndown.

No need to leave your furry friends behind! Make a reservation for you and your puppies at the W Los Angeles Westwood today!


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #2 The Don CeSar Beach Resort

December 30, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

In the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests.

In the #2 spot we have the Don Cesar Beach Resorta beach front resort located on the island of St. Pete Beach, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Quick (or in this case, not so quick) facts about The Don CeSar:

Loews Don CeSar Beach Resort- Known as Florida's Legendary Pink Palace since 1928, the owner named it after Don Caesar DeBazan, the hero of William Vincent Wallace's opera Maritana

- The hotel quickly became a favorite romping ground for the rich and famous of the Jazz Age including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clarence Darrow, Al Capone, Lou Gehrig, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Pink Palace continued to attract the rich and famous throughout the Great Depression, thanks in part to a deal made with New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert to house his team during spring training for three years.

- After the sudden death of Rowe without a will, "The Don" was left to his estranged wife and began to fall into desrepair until the United States entered into World War II and the hotel was bought out by the Army for $450,000. It was converted into a military hospital and reopened in December 1942. In February 1944 the Don Ce-Sar became a U.S. Air Force convalescent center. In June 1945 it was ordered closed and was vacant by September. It was converted into a Veterans Administration Regional Office by the end of 1945.

Don CeSar Beach Resort- In November 1967 the Veterans Administration began moving out of the Don Ce-Sar. By spring 1969, the once grand hotel was vacant. The General Services Administration planned to raze the graffiti-covered hotel, but this was met with fierce opposition from local residents. In March 1972 the Don Ce-Sar was sold to Holiday Inn. The Don CeSar (now spelled without the hyphen) reopened on November 23, 1973. Multiple renovations from 1985 to 2001 have updated and added on to the hotel, including a 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) spa, a signature restaurant, and a second outdoor swimming pool. After the addition of the full-service beach club and spa, the official name of the hotel was changed to The Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa.

- References in popular culture include: The Don Cesar is featured in a full-color two-page spread in a 1982 issue of National Geographic. Parts of the 1984 crime film Once Upon a Time in America are filmed at the Don Cesar. Comedian Ron White talks about his stay at the Don Cesar in the movie Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers filmed a music video at the Don Cesar in 1985. Robert Altman's film Health was largely filmed in the hotel.

- The second, fifth and sixth floors of the hotel are said to be haunted by the ghost of Thomas Rowe. His apparition has been spotted overseeing the daily operations in the hotel, smiling at incoming guests and then disappearing, and walking along the beach front, dressed in a white suit. You can read more here >>

Don CeSar Beach Resort- Lowes Loves Kids and Loews Loves Teens programs offering unique and extensive services dedicated to the principle: "the family that stays together plays together".

- Lowes Loves Pets program featuring: Gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, prepared by an award-winning Master Chef. Creature comforts like specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes (and litter), pooper scoopers and more. Tail-wagging amenities such as dog-walking routes, pet placemats, water bowls, treats, doggie poop bags and more. Purr-fect indulgences like rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles. Pet-walking and pet-sitting services. Dog massages by a professional canine massage therapist, who works closely with you in the comfort of your room to design personalized treatment for your special "family member."

- The Don CeSar was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and became a founding member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America in 1989.

View photos, learn more about the hotel, and check availability at The Don CeSar Beach Resort >>

Be sure to keep up with our countdown! In case you missed it, here are our previously featured hotels:

#20 – The St. Regis Resort Aspen  
#19 – The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore  
#18 – The Peninsula Chicago  
#17 - The Tower Club at Lebua  
#16 - Auberge du Soleil  
#15 - The Mount Nelson Hotel  
#14 - The One and Only Maldives at Reethi Rah  
#13 - The Hotel de Crillon  
#12 - Peninsula Hong Kong  
#11 - Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi  
#10 - Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona 
#9 - Jumeirah Essex House
#8 - Atlantis the Palm Dubai
#7 - Hotel Le St. James  
#6 - Half Moon, a Rock Resort
#5 - Charleston Place
#4 - King George Palace
#3 - La Tremoille

Check-in tomorrow to find out which hotel got the coveted #1 spot in our countdown.


The Top 20 Hotels in 2011: #20 The St. Regis Aspen Resort

December 12, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

The St Regis Aspen Resort Guest RoomIn the final days of 2011, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 20 Luxury Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, as decided by our guests. 

In the #20 Spot we have The St. Regis Aspen Resort located at the base of Aspen Mountain. 

 

Quick Facts about the St. Regis Resort in Aspen:

 - The resort is finishing a $40 million dollar renovation leading up to the 2012 ski season, featuring 20 remodled rooms, renovated meeting and restaurant space, new library, and resurfaced pool, hot tubs, and pool deck amongst other updates.  

 - Located at the base of Aspen Mountain between the gondola and lift 1A, the resort is convenient to Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass ski areas.

- 179 guestrooms and suites, including two 2,000-square-foot presidential suites.

The St Regis Resort Aspen Outdoor Heated Pool- Dog friendly rooms available and includes in-room pet beds, dog walking service and more.

- The Resort offers the St. Regis Signature Butler Service which includes packing and unpacking, laundry service, shoe shines, and many other personal assistant services available 24-hours a day.

- Heated outdoor swimming pool with sundeck and three heated outdoor spas.

- A luxurious 15,000-square-foot resort spa with 15 treatment rooms. Remède offers a complete treatment menu in addition to customized facials and massages. Remède Spa at St. Regis Aspen is the flagship spa of a new global spa brand.

- Rated a United States Leading Ski Resort by World Travel Award.

 

View photos, read more, and check availability at the St. Regis Resort Aspen >>


Winter White Out: Discounts at Boston's XV Beacon Hotel

November 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fifteen BeaconWhen snowfall covers Boston, we can't think of a better place to warm up than XV Beacon- the stylish hotel perched at the crest of Beacon Hill. Housed in a landmark, turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts building, XV Beacon pampers guests all year round- but the winter season is extra special. Cozy up in front of the hotel's fireplace with a hot toddy (or cider), and embrace Boston's festive season with some shopping on the lamp-lit streets and cobblestone alleys. Bostonians know how to enjoy the colder weather! Splash out with a feast at one of the city's renowned restaurants, attend a show, go skating on the Frog Pond, and discover the beauty of traditional New England holidays. As an added enticement, XV Beacon is offering a "Winter White Out" deal with discounts on room rates, plus a food credit of $40 to be used at the hotel's excellent Mooo restaurant (or room service). Stay two nights and receive 15% off per night; stay three nights or more, and receive 20% off per night. Bookable now for stays starting December 1, 2011 through March 19, 2012. Rates starting from $295. Package based on availability and blackout dates may apply.


Sponsored Article: Winter Wonderland in Canada with Fairmont Hotels

November 7, 2011
By: Five Star Alliance

Skiing in Whistler, Fairmont HotelsLet it snow! November means it’s time to take advantage of some early-season ski deals so you can hit the powder fast. Without a doubt, the best place to embrace the winter is our neighbor to the north. Canada’s pristine wilderness is home to the number one ski resort in North America (Whistler), and Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a storybook winter setting in the Canadian Rockies. Here, the wide-open wilderness makes for some epic skiing on what feels like your very own private pistes.

Fairmont offers three legendary resorts where skiers and non-skiers alike revel in luxury while soaking up the surrounding natural beauty. Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, the Fairmont Banff Springs resort is located in the heart of the park with three pristine ski resorts at your doorstep. With the “Couples Holiday Getaway,” you get a third night for free when you stay for the festive Christmas season between December 17th and December 30th, 2011. Another hot offer: With “Extend Your Stay,” you’ll get discounts until February 10, 2012. Stay two nights and save 25% off each night when you stay two nights; 30% off each night when you stay three nights; 35% off each night when you stay four or more nights.

Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseAlso located in Banff National Park, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the ultimate winter playground. Oft described as Canada’s most scenic ski resort, the Lake Louise Ski Resort has 139 marked ski runs and back bowls on four mountain faces. Beyond skiing, the snow adventures are endless-- from dog sledding the Great Divide to horse-drawn sleigh rides through the glacial shadows. Take advantage of the resort’s “Ski & Play for Free” and you’re guaranteed the ski trip of a lifetime. Included in the package: luxury accommodations, two adult Lake Louise Ski Resort passes per room per night OR a $100 Fairmont Chateau lake Louise resort credit (in place of each ski day), plus transportation to the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Valid from November 15th, 2011 until May 1st, 2012, starting from $299 CAD per night.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler-- nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain-- offers ski-in/ski-out access, amenities for pets, and a lavish spa. The “Ski for Free” package means you get Whistler Blackcomb lift tickets included with your low room rates (from $269 CAD per night) until November 23, 2011. Or book the “Everyone's An Original Winter Offer “ for double airline reward miles.


The Reindeer are Coming Back to Play at Trump International Chicago

November 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Rudolph at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, ChicagoLast year Chicago got a kick out of the live reindeer imported to the Trump International Hotel & Tower to play on the River Walk. Now that's our kind of holiday party! We hear that the luxury hotel is at it again this year, organizing a special celebratory family event on Saturday, November 19 with two reindeer, holiday music, lots of good food, and a viewing of Chicago's annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival fireworks show. Straight from the horse's reindeer's mouth: "Rudolph has informed us of his master plan to escape the North Pole and join us for the magical Festival of Lights. Rudolph will be staying at Trump International Hotel & Tower with a few of his friends and is eager to meet you."

Book "Rudolph's Great Escape," starting from $465 per night, and enjoy accommodations in a Deluxe King Guestroom; assorted cookies and milk at turndown; a vintage Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer DVD; complimentary meals for children under 10 years-old from the in-room dining children's menu (only when accompanied with an adult entree); photos with the reindeer; and a plush stuffed reindoor toy.


Pampered Pooches: Luxury Pet Products from Puppy de Paris

June 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Puppy de Paris, luxury pet goodsFrom opulent pet hotels to pet-dedicated airlines and pampering day spas, we often report on the trends in luxury pet travel. Folks sure love spoiling their four-legged friends! Now Luxury Insider has spilled the beans about a new luxury line for canines, and it's positively swanky. We're talking a doghouse inspired by the regal facades of the Place Vendome in Paris. Here's the skinny about the doghouse from Puppy de Paris:

Ex-fine jeweler Karin Fainas’ "Appartement de Place Vendome" features gilded doors crafted from a House founded in 1885, with an archive of fancy doorknobs and elaborate closures that stretch back to the epoch of Louis XIV. Other French artisans are in charge of the kennel’s plush upholstery, stretching and folding the canine couches' fabric coverings just so. Other offerings in the line include "Le Canape Place de la Madeleine," a velvet bed hand painted with scenes from Parisian bakeries and fitted with lion's paw feet in hand-cast silver, and a baroque doggy bowl in gold-dipped bronze. Such extravagances come with a hefty price tag: about US$14,000 for the dog bowl to about $21,000 for the Haussmannian master apartment house. Chew on that!

Posted in: Paris, Travel with Pets

Paws at the Park: Dog-Friendly Happy Hour at Park Hyatt Washington DC

June 3, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Park Hyatt Washington DCHappy hour is going to the dogs. Literally. The Park Hyatt Washington DC-- the sleek hotel between Dupont Circle and Georgetown that was stylishly remodeled by designer Tony Chi-- is hosting "Paws at the Park"- a series of dog-friendly happy hours kicking off on June 8, 2011. While you cool off with a refreshing libation, Fido can mingle and make new friends at the monthly happy hour that's open to the public. Cost is $12 which includes two drink tickets for beer/wine and ample dog treats, and proceeds benefit Washington Animal Rescue League. Yelp tips us off that there will be "adoptable and adorable dogs from the Washington Animal Rescue League... for attendees to interact with (and quite possibly take home!)"


Special Rates with Added Amenities at The Surrey New York

March 31, 2011
By: Guest Writer

The Surrey, New YorkBedside cocktails, cuisine by acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud, and a wow-worthy rooftop garden are enough reason to head to The Surrey Hotel in Manhattan's Upper East Side. An exceptional guest experience is assured at the hotel that once hosted JFK, as The Surrey, recreated by interior designer Lauren Rottet, has just about everything the modern traveler could dream of. (Yes, even pooches are pampered here with Lauren Rottet-designed pet beds and Pratesi pet robes.) Hot rates: If you book with Five Star Alliance and choose "Five Star Alliance" rates, you'll get a discount on your room plus loads of freebies: in-room Continental breakfast for two, 20% off spa services (not available on mani-pedis), a welcome amenity from the General Manager, and an upgrade based on availability.

Related Article:

Padma Lakshmi’s Luxury Jewelry Collection at The Surrey, New York


Stay in Bed at the Hotel Marlowe, A Kimpton Hotel in Cambridge, MA

March 14, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Marlowe, Cambridge, MAAs if you needed a reason to let yourself sleep in... Hotel Marlowe, the popular luxury boutique hotel located on the Charles River overlooking Boston, has a sweet offer called "Stay in Bed" that includes breakfast in bed, complimentary parking, and late check-out. True to form, this Kimpton hotel offers a slew of tantalizing amenities-- including complimentary morning coffee, a hosted evening wine hour, and pet-friendly services. (If he's stayed at the Hotel Marlowe five times as a VIP-- Very Important Pet-- Fido gets a lunch box full of yummy free treats.) Just minutes from Harvard Square and the MIT campus, the four diamond hotel has 236 guest rooms designed with a subtle nautical theme. Each room comes with a LCD flat screen TV, iHome, coffee maker, luxurious bed linens and down comforter, and spa-inspired Etro bath amenities.

PS. The Hotel Marlowe has another enticing package called "Stay, Save & Enjoy" where you get to choose between breakfast for $1 more or 20% off your room plus cocktails.