Five Star Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
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.

Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.: Middleburg and More

November 28, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Goodstone Inn and Estate, MiddleburgJust an hour west from Washington D.C., the rolling hills of Virginia's Piedmont make for a fantastic day trip or weekend outing from the nation's capital. A number of vineyards offer wine tastings (in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Rappahannock Counties), and for those seeking adventure, excellent hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains abound. This is horse country (read: you should dress the part) so pick up some threads in the charming stores that line Middleburg's main drag, where you'll also find all kinds of organic goodies at the Home Farm Store (Ayrshire Farm's gourmet retail shop). For a sweet treat and an excellent cup of coffee, Warrenton's Red Truck Bakery is *the* place to go.

Looking for a place to stay in the countryside? Folks make pilgrimages to The Inn at Little Washington in Rappahannock County for some of the best food you'll eat in the US of A. Another good bet: The Goodstone Inn and Estate, recently profiled by the good folks at Daily Candy. To quote: "Pretend you’re visiting a rich uncle’s estate at the welcoming Goodstone Inn & Restaurant. Book a room in the carriage house for breathtaking views or gather a weekend party group to rent an entire house (bonus: A chef can make your meals using local ingredients and freshly picked veggies from the garden). Then unwind in the spa or stroll the grounds to visit with farm animals."

For more information about visiting Virginia, check out Virginia is for Lovers, the Official Tourism Website of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Christmas in New Orleans: Hotel Monteleone Welcomes Local School Choirs

November 22, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Monteleone, New OrleansYou're invited... to partake in the festive yuletide cheer at the “Grande Dame of the French Quarter" in New Orleans. The Hotel Monteleone, a landmark since 1886 and the largest full-service hotel in the area, gets serious props for decking the halls in such a big way every year. The hotel will start hosting local school choirs in its lobby for 30-minute performances every weekday starting Monday, November 28 through Friday, December 16. Free and open to the general public, the concerts feature everyone's favorite holiday songs. Here's the schedule:

November 28 (11:00 am) St. Matthew the Apostle School

November 29 (11:00 am) St. Benilde School

November 30 (10:30 am) St. Matthew the Apostle School

December 1 (11:30 am) St. Mary’s Academy and (12:00 pm) St. Augustine High School

December 2 (11:00 am) Country Day School

December 5 (11:00 am) Kehoe-France School and (12:00 pm) Holy Cross School

December 6 (11:30 am) St. Philip Neri School

December 7 (11:00 am) St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School

December 8 (11:00 am) St. Alphonsus School

December 9 (12:00 pm) St. Rita School

December 12 (11:30 am) St. Clement of Rome School

December 13 (10:30 am) Ursuline Academy and (12:00 pm) Archbishop Chapelle High School

December 14 (12:00 pm) St. Anthony of Padua School

December 15 (11:00 am) Memorial Baptist Christian School and (11:30 am) St. Paul’s Episcopal School

December 16 (11:30 am) Isidore Newman School


I Declare: Exclusive Rates at the Keswick Hall at Monticello

November 21, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

We’re proud to announce that the Keswick Hall at Monticello is now offering specially exclusive Five Star Alliance rates, and I, for one, am tickled pink at the thought of heading down there. Located in Monticello, Keswick makes its home in a region fit to hold the house of many a founding father in its rolling landscape. The father found the most around Keswick is Thomas Jefferson himself, the author of the Declaration of Independence and famous as a collector of books. Keswick reinvigorates the 18th century equestrian lifestyle with modern amenities, supplementing hiking, biking, and fly fishing with its very own 18-hole golf course and luxurious spa. Framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll never feel more at home at a traditionally American hotel.

And these special rates just sweeten the deal.  We know you love free things, so good through 2012, Five Star Alliance guests who book our rate get a free room upgrade on arrival and a wine tasting for two. The room upgrade is subject to availability, of course, and the wine tasting is subject to your desire to enjoy some seriously fine American wines in the Virginia tradition. So if your idea of a vacation is getting away with that special someone and enjoying a glass of fermented grape, look no further than the Keswick Hall at Monticello.


Luxury for Less: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Hotel Deals

November 17, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Lorien HotelGearing up for Black Friday? Planning your strategy for Cyber Monday (the biggest online shopping day of the year)? Expect deals galore, especially if you're looking to travel. Hotels are catering to travelers looking for internet savings. We've been keeping tabs on the great online deals available. And the offers keep flooding in! Here's a sampling.

Marriott’s Florida Resorts (like Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach and Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort) are joining together to offer up to 25% savings on Cyber Monday with rates starting from $95 to $186 per night. Available online on Monday, Nov. 28 only, the savings can be applied on stays from Nov. 29, 2011 through Jan. 8, 2012.

Kimpton is holding a 72-hour Cyber Monday Sale, starting 12 am on Monday, November 28, 2011, for 12 Mid-Atlantic region hotels in DC, Virginia and Maryland, giving away top suites and specialty rooms for the price of a standard guestroom. Hotels include Hotel Palomar Washington DC and the Lorien in Alexandria, where you can nab an overnight stay in the one-of-a-kind Diplomat Suite, featuring a 550-foot private furnished balcony, wet bar, and oversized bathroom for just $159 per night.

Trump ChicagoThe newly-renovated Warwick New York Hotel is offering a four-day Black Friday deal of 30% off the best available rate with savings extending through Feb. 29, 2012.

The Trump Hotel Collection is offering 30% off all suites that are booked on November 28, 2011 only. Available for travel January 1- March 31, 2012 at all Trump Hotel Collection properties – New York (Central Park and SoHo), Chicago, Las Vegas, Waikiki, Panama and Toronto (opening Jan. 31, 2012).


Sun and Sand on Florida's Riviera at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach

November 15, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Acqualina Resort and Spa on the Beach, FloridaLooking for a warm-weather respite with a generous helping of luxury? Make a b-line for Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, located just north of Miami in Sunny Isles. It's not just the postcard-perfect beach that'll sooth your winter-weary soul. The hotel was recently singled out as one of the Top 20 Beach and Family Resorts winners in the 2011 Reader Survey of Andrew Harper’s exclusive Hideaway Report. (Andrew Harper and his editors travel incognito to find the best accommodations on the planet.) Also the recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award, the hotel has a 20,000 square foot spa by ESPA, two oceanfront restaurants (including the famous Il Mulino New York), three swimming pools overlooking the Atlantic, and a marine biology-based AcquaMarine children’s program.


Renaissance Austin Hotel Offering Incredible Packages at Incredible Rates

November 14, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Renaissance Austin Hotel is currently offering package deals that take the stress out of planning and offer a perfect escape for business travelers, shoppers, and couples. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a shopping excursion, this charming Austin, Texas hotel has something for you.

Shopping Package: The Renaissance Austin Hotel is conveniently located within the Arboretum Market Shops area, and it’s the perfect place to unwind while enjoying a shopping excursion with family or friends. This package offers an overnight accommodation in a deluxe room, complimentary regular Starbuck’s coffee for two, complimentary valet parking, and a $50 gift card to the arboretum shops. This package is starting at $209 per night, and it has come just in time for the holiday season.

Romance Package: Enjoy a quiet night with your special someone and take some time just enjoying each other’s company. This package includes a deluxe room, complimentary bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, full American breakfast for two in Banderas or room service, complimentary valet parking, and late check-out at 2:00pm. This package is starting at $219 per night.

Wired for Business Package: This package is for the business traveler who is looking to escape the hustle and bustle and get work done. This package includes an overnight accommodation in a deluxe room, internet access in your room, complimentary coffee at Ustinbytes Cyber Café, and complimentary valet parking. This package is starting at $239 per night.

Pick the package that's right for you, and have an adventure!


The World's Best Hotels: Announcing the Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011

November 10, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bel-AirLooking to get inspired for your next getaway? The savvy editors at Fodor's have just released their first-ever list of the world's best hotels. After careful deliberation, the team of Fodor's editors and writers curated the "Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards 2011" spanning eight hotel categories. Here's a sampling of some of our favorites that made the cut.

New & Noteworthy- The Year's Best New and Reinvented Hotels: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Mondrian Soho in NYC, Hotel Bel-Air & The Redbury in Los Angeles

Grande Dame- Legendary Hotels with Superlative History and Service: The Carlyle in NYC, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel du Russie in Rome, The Savoy in London

Casual Chic- Effortlessly Stylish Hotels with Rustic-Modern Appeal: Cavo Tagoo in Mykonos, Bardessono in Napa, The Allison in Oregon

Design- Cutting-Edge Boutique Hotels at All Price Points: Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh, Jia in Hong Kong

Cavo Tagoo, MykonosLocal Flavor- Go-To Hotels for a Truly Authentic Experience: Fairmont Chateau Montebello in Quebec, Evason Ma'in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa in Jordan

Clubby Atmosphere- Hip Urban Pied-à-Terres: 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, The Liberty in Boston, The Augustine in Prague

Luxurious Retreat- Top Choices for a Complete Escape: Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in the Florida Keys, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Inkaterra Machu Picchu

Trusted Brand- World-Class Examples of International Hotel Chains: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, The Peninsula Bangkok


Get Steeped: Fairmont Celebrates Tea Around the World on Nov 12

November 9, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Fairmont Celebrates TeaFairmont has declared November 12, 2011 an official "tea day"-- celebrating all things tea-- and being tea fans ourselves, we're thrilled about the "tea-rrific" events they have planned at hotels and resorts around the world. From tastings with a tea sommelier at The Fairmont Empress in Victoria to tours of a neighboring tea estate at Kenya's historic Fairmont The Norfolk, the festive events celebrate Fairmont's historic connection to the traditional afternoon ritual. Other fun, noteworthy celebrations: get discounts for wearing fancy hats at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise; imbibe signature "Tea-quila" cocktails at The Fairmont Dallas; try Swiss-style tea at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace featuring finger sandwiches made with local Gruyère cheese; partake in a multi-cultural tea celebration at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. For the full run-down of activities, check out the official website. And if you're in need of a little Tea Etiquette, the experts at The Fairmont Empress have some top tips.

Pssst. You can also try some tea-infused cocktails from the hotel brand's top mixologists.

Image via Fairmont Hotels/ Everyone's an Original


Opening in January 2012: St. Regis Bal Harbour with the J&G Grill by Jean-Georges

November 1, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

St. Regis Bal HarbourSlated to open on January 19, 2012, the new St. Regis Bal Harbour promises to bring a new level of luxury to the affluent Florida enclave. Inside the oceanfront development (pictured), both residences and hotel rooms will be available for luxury-seeking sun-worshippers. Rising 27 storeys above the beach, the three all-glass towers will house-- to quote the press release-- "a sprawling Remède Spa, a world class dining experience at Jean-Georges' restaurant J&G Grill, exquisite interior design by Yabu Pushelberg, renowned contemporary art and the finest finishes with one-of-a-kind West African Movinque wood and Chinese God Flower Stone Marble from a private quarry commissioned exclusively for the resort." Guests can also expect the signature St. Regis butler service, and an impressive contemporary art collection showcased throughout the hotel. For some gorgeous pix, check out the photo library.


More in Miami: 3rd Night Free at the Mandarin Oriental

October 24, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Mandarin Oriental MiamiSo you're craving a little Miami flavor. Not just the South Beach glamour, but also some Latin beats, some Cuban cuisine, sparkling sand and sultry temps. Here's an offer you can't refuse: The Mandarin Oriental, a sublime sanctuary for relaxation after sampling the city's red-hot nightlife, is giving away a third night free with the "More in Miami" offer. Just imagine: From your balcony at the Mandarin, watch the sunset glittering on Biscayne Bay or the sparkling lights of the city skyline. Opulent rooms have spa-like marble bathrooms and enough luxurious amenities to get you recharged for another week at the office. The offer brings your nightly rate down to $266- which isn't exactly cheap- but this is Miami we're talking about. And the Mandarin Oriental offers the crème de la crème of hotel experiences, so what are you waiting for?