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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.

Your Questions Answered: Best Room Type at Barton Creek Resort and Spa for Family of 4

July 24, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our new blog series ‘Your Questions Answered’ to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

Question: We are traveling to Austin, Texas and hoping to stay at the Barton Creek Resort and Spa. We’re traveling with 2 kids ages 12 and 14; what would be a good room option for the 4 of us?

Answer: The Barton Creek Resort and Spa has a ‘Stunning hill country or golf course view room with a king size bed and a pull out bed.’ The pull out bed is slightly smaller than a queen size bed so it would be recommended to get an additional rollaway bed added to the room for a $35 one-time fee. To view full nightly breakdowns and to make your reservations, simply click on the hotel name link, enter your dates of travel, and select a specific room type. Please be sure to fill in the special request field stating that you'll be traveling with two kids ages 12 and 14 and that you’d like to have a rollaway bed added to the room.

Please be advised that the rates and availability are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.


New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2012: The James Royal Palm

July 10, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The James Royal Palm is opening in the fall of 2012 and it is currently accepting reservations. Featured as one of Forbes Magazine’s “top 10 most anticipated openings of 2012,” this luxury hotel is an oceanfront beach retreat topping everyone’s must-visit lists. Located in the heart of South Beach, the James Royal Palm is perfectly situated in a vibrant and energetic setting. The hotel will feature two swimming pools and cabanas, a full service spa with salt-infused treatments, two dining options, a poolside bar, and Lil James offerings for kids. Just a few steps from Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road, you will certainly have ample opportunities to wine, dine, shop, and unwind at this new luxury kid on the block, the James Royal Palm!


Inn at Harbour Town is a Hotspot for Eco-Tours

July 5, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Ecotourism has been growing in popularity with more and more luxury travelers searching for hotels that support conservation efforts and encourage socially responsible travel. Taking advantage of natural activities is a positive way to relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries while remaining active. Prepare for an exciting adventure and get ready for countless beautiful photo opportunities and a few fun facts learned along the way!

The Inn at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina is a charming and intimate European style hotel that has 605 acres of forest preserve for exploration. Hop on a hard-bottom inflatable boat for a guided tour through Calibogue Sound. Get ready to see shore birds, sea turtles, and bottom nose dolphins, and be sure to hop off at an island beach to find beautiful shells. If you’re hoping for something a little slower paced, check out the Alligator Wine and Cheese tour. Sail away on a sunset cruise on the freshwater lakes and discover native plants and animals while sipping on complimentary wine and nibbling on complimentary cheese. Whether you’re looking for exploration, relaxation, or a little bit of both, the Inn at Harbour Town has abundant ecotourism opportunities for a range of interests.


New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2012: SLS Hotel South Beach

June 28, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance are all about the best and most luxurious hotels. We certainly keep up with the happenings in the luxury travel world and take pride in bringing our clients the latest luxury travel news. Keep up with our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels opening in 2012 to stay on top of the trends and make your reservations at the newest hotspots.

The SLS Hotel South Beach opened on June 14th, 2012, and this new and swanky luxury hotel is located on the beach in the heart of South Beach, Florida. A few key highlights worth exploring are the hotel’s day club and nightclub, Hyde Lounge, located on Hyde Beach as well as The Bazaar, a world-renowned restaurant by James Beard and award winning chef Jose Andres. Hyde Lounge features 8,000 square feet of pool, beach, and a mix of indoor and outdoor space. Along with its incredible lounge and restaurant, the SLS South Beach has a Philippe Stark designed Salon offering the finest pampering options for the body and soul. Be sure to check out this new hip and trendy luxury hotel for your next visit to South Beach!


Celebrate the Fourth of July in DC!

June 25, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We can’t think of a better place to celebrate our country’s Independence Day than our nation’s capital! Take advantage of the mid-week holiday by taking an extra-long weekend to explore and take in everything DC has to offer. With 37 luxury hotels located in various parts of the city, Washington DC certainly has the perfect hotel for your individual stay. Take advantage of the free Smithsonian Folk Life Festival which celebrates unique cultures with music, food, demonstrations, and more on the National Mall as well as the patriotic programs put on at the National Archives, the National Cathedral, and the Smithsonian Museums. For more information about the happenings in Washington DC, check out washington.org. Explore the various hotel options and make your reservations in Washington DC to ensure you’re in on all the action this Fourth of July!


In Charleston, A Place Like Home

June 22, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

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.

 


New Ownership for the Grove Park Inn, Hotel Del Coronado Renovations

June 19, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

KSL Resorts have made a couple of new additions to their collection in 2012, and a change in ownership is always an exciting time for guests of a hotel. New ownership means a new philosophy, and often most importantly, an infusion of investment that allows for extensive renovations. KSL has taken over the iconic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, and invested in renovating the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA.

The Grove Park Inn is a huge attraction for locals and travelers alike, a perfect getaway for a weekend of relaxation for anyone on the East Coast or even just visiting the area. Its spa is top-notch, and it has a real down-home authentic feel to both the rooms and the hospitality. We're excited to see what KSL is doing with their newest addition.

While the Grove Park Inn epitomizes southern luxury, Hotel del Coronado has its feet firmly planted in west coast culture. The 368 have also been completely redesigned and purposed for rejuvenation. The resort itself rests on Coronado Island, sunning itself on the picturesque California beaches. With a distinctly Victorian atmosphere coupled with California's standard of relaxation, its no wonder that the Travel Channel has rated it the number one wedding destination in America. The Hotel Del Coronado is already a great resort, and we're looking forward to trying out the redesigned rooms.

 


Jose Andres Brings Spanish Flair to Miami with SLS

June 14, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I love José Andrés. If you could have a crush on a food philosophy, I would write Andres's Minibar awkwardly endearing notes to slip into her locker when no one's looking and buy a beat up car just to drive around with her. Fortunately, my anthropomorphizing is a little far-fetched, so I'm not actually in danger of running away to Vegas to marry a sea foam margarita and Erizos de mar con pipirrana. That said, there is a distinct possbility I'll be hopping on a flight shortly just to sample the newest of Jose Andres's establishments all the way down in Miami. Jose Andres is bringing his signature experimental style to the newly opening SLS South Beach, mirroring its Beverly Hills location. 

Jose Andres is well known for his style that pushes the boundaries of what we typically consider food. Playing with taste and texture, he radically subverts your expectations while still respecting the traditions of the dishes he's preparing. While he has a distinctive Spanish flair, he experiments consistently with new cultures, and you'll see the menu at the new SLS hotel divided into different regions. Andres tries his hand at foods from both Miami and Singapore alongside the expected Spanish cuisine. If you're picking a hotel based on its food, SLS is definitely going to delight you on your next South Beach stay. If you find yourself on the west coast instead, the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills will give you the same Jose Andres experience, and you can never forget his Washington, DC, staples, Jaleo and Minibar.


James Royal Palm To Open Fall 2012

June 1, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

When the James Royal Palm introduces itself at cocktail parties, I imagine it sidles up coolly, shaken martini in hand. "Palm, James Palm," it says, and then promptly films a movie set in its own hotel. The James Royal Palm could very well be the set for the most British of secret agents, though he will have to wait until the fall of this year to park his Aston Martin when the hotel opens to much fanfare. Miami beach is the perfect setting for the kind of adventure in high society that Bond inevitably finds himself in although, despite having Royal in the name, there's no casino at the James Royal Palm. You will find everything else there, from two swimming pools with a poolside bar to a full-service spa and gym. The James Royal Palm reimagines the original Royal Palm Hotel, paying tribute by preserving some of the original architecture, including the lobby compass rose and green glass front desk. Lil' James, who is releasing his debut rap album this year (not really), provides great children's amenities for the younger folks in your party. Reservations are currently available starting in the fall at the James' own website, and keep an eye for them on Five Star Alliance soon.

Photo via WSJ/Rottet Studio


Hotels with a History: The Betsy Hotel

May 30, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Certain hotels have a story behind them, a culture that seeps through the walls and a personality that emanates from every room. Every city has an appreciated and valued history worth exploring, and certain hotels have become a part of that rich and interesting past. For this reason, we’d like to introduce you to our blog series, Hotels with a History where we’ll be featuring unique hotels that have a little more to them than a comfortable bed and superb amenities.

Opened in South Beach in 1942, the Betsy Rose Hotel stood out from the traditional style of architecture with its Florida Georgian façade in an Art Deco dominated neighborhood. This luxury hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2009 while maintaining its original design and timeless style. This boutique hotel has 63 private, beachside rooms and suites equipped with the latest technology. The Betsy Hotel offers its guests ample opportunities to relax on the white sandy beaches, play a round of golf, partake in water sports, and much more!  The Betsy Hotel has also gone green and is committed to making eco-friendly decisions without sacrificing luxury, ensuring that its guests get the most out of their stay while keeping the environment in mind. Be sure to check out this historic and beautiful luxury hotel for your next trip down to South Beach!