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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.

Traveling with Pets: The Top Ten Fido-Friendly Luxury Hotels

September 4, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fido Friendly

Looking for the ultimate pet-friendly hotel in the US? You're not alone. According to a recent study by Travel Industry Association of America, 29 million dogs travel with their parents each year. And with Americans spending almost $40 billion yearly on their pets, hotels have rolled out the welcome mat. The Fall issue of Fido Friendly Magazine's got it covered, with the top ten list of exclusive resorts eager-to-please their pet clientele, including the AAA five-diamond Rittenhouse Hotel in Philly, where pets are pampered with specialized meals, always-fresh gourmet biscuits, walks from the bellman, and a take-home CD with calming music.


Luxury Hotel Doggie Digs

August 4, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

by Courtney W. May I'm a sucker for DailyCandy - well, most of the time, but with 4 or 5 daily newsletters from them in my inbox each day they are playing the percentages. But this time they really caught my attention, yet again. The July 22, 2006 DailyCandy Travel issue was entitled "Travel: Where Sleeping Dogs Lie" and led off with - "Vacation beckons, but you can’t stand the thought of leaving your best friend behind. Good thing hotels have gone to the dogs". You can find the article here at DailyCandy.com, but I have listed the highlights below: - The Woof for Wellness package at San Francisco's hip Hotel Palomar includes a deluxe room, a bucket of Spa Dog botanicals, a leopard-print doggie bed, and a donation to the SPCA. - The Madison Hotel, in Washington, D.C. (now managed by Loews Hotels), stocks the minibar with gourmet dog treats. - Sofitel Chicago Water Tower makes arrangements for a day at the doggie spa and an in-room fashion show of the latest canine couture. - Starwood Hotels (which includes W Hotels, Sheraton, Le Meridien, and Westin) love pets so much their dog beds mirror the hotels' designs. DailyCandy's favorite touches: Room service at the Westin features German Shepherd Pie, Shih-Tzu Sushi, and Scooby Stew; a licensed pet massage therapist does in-room rubdowns at the five W hotels in NYC. - But no one spoils dogs like Loews (see The Madison above). Coronado Bay Resort offers dog-centric surfing lessons followed by a surf 'n' turf dinner. Outward Hound at Loews Denver Hotel includes a two-hour guided hike with a personal trainer, fresh-baked treats, limo service, and digital pix. (Doggie daycare, group playtime, supervised swims, and Reiki also available.) And Loews Vanderbilt Hotel Nashville has a package for hounds to hit the studio for a professional recording session. Accompanied by a voice coach, they’ll howl along with a musician or bark to a karaoke beat. The price of fame: $1,599 a night. Check Out DailyCandy Here.


Five Star Pet Hotel in Washington DC

July 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pampered puppy

Doggies are going to love this one. While their owners are away, pampered pooches enjoy the plushest of suites and the finest five star service at the PetSmart PetHotel in Bethesda, MD-- all for just 23 bucks a night. According to Yahoo! News:

The doggie hotel is nothing like kennels of yore: in this inn there is lactose-free ice cream, indoor recreation, and for 10 more dollars a night, pooch can stay in a roomier "suite" with a television set showing an "animal related movie all day," said Vince Malanaphy, who manages the Bethesda PetsHotel.

A lot of the lucky canine guests are day boarders; poodles and labradors can "socialize" at Doggie Day Camp here in Bethesda for only 20 bucks a day.


Five Star Lodgings for Cats

June 21, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

…including webcam pet-watch services for travelers fraught with separation-anxiety from their four legged friends. That's right. The Russians sure are savvy when it comes to their pet hotels, which are springing up with reckless abandon around Moscow. As reported by the Moscow Times:

A sheet of paper was pinned to the door of each [pet] cabin for staff to keep records of the cats' appearance, psychological state, appetite and bowel movements; owners are also encouraged to leave tips about how their pets should be treated.
And at Cat's Dream Hotel:
Luxury cabins offer such perks as heated floors in winter, toys, premium cat food and fish bowls -- either real or on a flat screen. The business is so successful that the Kivva family is building another kennel exclusively for kittens. By the end of the summer, they hope to install video cameras linked to the Internet so that pet owners will be able to see their furry friends anytime, from anywhere.
Apparently, pet hotels are so popular, New Year's reservations require booking in August. Via The Moscow Times


Luxury Cruises with Pets

April 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pampered Pets

Set sail on the world's largest oceanliner-- Cunard's Queen Mary 2-- and bring Fido along for the pampering and indulgence. The "Pets on Deck" program provides a host of services and amenities, including freshly-baked doggie biscuits at turn-down, a choice of beds and fleece blankets, oodles of toys, a premium selection of pet food, and even a QM2 logo coat. Beloved beasts get gift packs with Frisbee, food dish and a complimentary portrait with pet owners. In addition, there is a Kennel Master who reigns over the ship's kennel program, taking care of feeding and walking its pampered pooches. The kennel fees range from $300 to $500.


Pet Pampering at Loews Hotels

March 2, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

Gary Stram, Director of Sales & Marketing, The Regency, A Loews Hotel

Loews Loves Pets Program

If you were watching the NBC Today Show on Wednesday morning, March 1st, you may have seen Mike Leonard's report on Loews Hotels and pet vacations titled "Pamper your pooch with a trip fit for a king". The packages they focused on - "The Hound of Music", "Su'ruff Camp", and "Outward Hound" - aren't available at all of the Loews Hotels, but the "Loews Loves Pets" program has been in place at each and every Loews Hotel since 2000.

As part of the program at the 18 Loews Hotels, each visiting VIP (Very Important Pet) can travel in first-class comfort with gourmet room service, specialized bedding, a pet amenity, and guest services designed to make pets and their owners feel right at home.

Each pet is welcomed with a personal note from the hotel's general manager which includes a listing of pet services available at the hotel including a map of the area with dog-walking routes highlighted, and information on veterinarians, pet shops, groomers, pet attractions, pet-friendly restaurants, and other resources. In the guestroom is a special ...

... amenity that includes special pet place mats with food and water bowls, toys and treats, and a "Do Not Disturb" sign that let housekeeping know that a pet is in the room. Pet walking and pet sitting services are available through the hotels' concierge desks. The latest addition to the Loews Loves Pets program is the "Puppy Pager" service. For the duration of their stay, pet owners are asked for a cell phone number or provided with a pager that enables the hotel staff to contact them immediately in case of emergency.

Don CeSar Pet Program

Finicky felines and hungry canines can choose from their own special room service menu that was designed to provide proper nutrition to help pets deal with travel stress including jet lag and altitude adjustments. The pet room service varies at each hotel and most include items such as roasted salmon and tuna delight for cats and bow wow burgers, chicken and rice and grilled filet for dogs. All menu items and preparations for the room service menu were developed and approved by a licensed veterinarian.

The newest item on the menu is "HERO STARS," gourmet dog biscuits which benefit the American Kennel Club's "DOGNY" Canine Support and Relief Fund for Police Search and Rescue Dog Teams across the country. A tasty and healthy new addition to the Loews Loves Pets offerings, HERO STARS are available for $10 at Loews Hotels in-room mini bars. Beverages include bottled water and milk. Additionally, selections of dry and canned pet foods are available for in-room delivery.

Loews Hotels also loans its guests pet necessities such as dog and cat beds in different sizes, leashes and collars, and pet videos. Kitty litter boxes and litter, pooper-scoopers, and a selection of pet toys (such as rawhide bones, catnip, and scratch poles) are also available for purchase.

Each hotel has established special cleaning procedures for pet stays including the use of HEPA-filtered vacuums so that all traces of pet allergens are removed in preparation for the next guest. Some of the Loews Hotels charge a one-time pet fee, guests should check with the individual properties to determine their policy.

Charlotte St. Martin, executive vice president for marketing for Loews Hotels says - "Pets provide unconditional love and people love their pets unconditionally. At Loews we've found that taking care of pets is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty and give our guests—and their companions—a good night's sleep."

She's right.

Loews Hotels, Official Site

Loews Hotels, Five Star Alliance


Resources for Travel with Pets

February 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Frommer's has compiled a fabulous list of sites with loads of recommendations, information, accommodations and booking services (not to mention leisure wear and travel gadgets for Fashionable Fido).


Flying with Fido: Travel with Pets to Europe

October 17, 2005
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

This month's issue of National Geographic Traveler explains the regulations required by the European Union when traveling with a pet. It's pretty gnarly. Not just rabies vaccinations-- we're talking microchips embedded in your little mutt. You may want to skip the bureaucratic mayhem and leave Fido at home. The rules as outlined by the United Kingdom's DEFRA