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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.

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.

 


Born Again: Hotel Palomar Comes to Phoenix

June 14, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I don't think anywhere in the dictionary of latin roots will you find the "-lomar" suffix as meaning awesome. But if two points make a line, then the Mallomars and the Hotel Palomar are definitely on to something here. With that in mind, every time I hear something about the new Hotel Palomar Phoenix, I can't help but imagine that one marshmallow that inevitably falls off the end of your stick straight into the flames sloughing off its charred exterior and rising again as a pure white, gooey mass, its new skin still tender with sugary goodness. Of course, my overactive imagination could turn even a normal day at the office into the epic of Gilgamesh, so it's probably best if you don't read into it too much.

In any case, the Hotel Palomar is one of the newest editions to our collection, and it builds on the prior iterations of the Palomar, found in DC, Chicago, San Francisco, and many southern cities. In the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Palomar is ideally located to reach all of the hot spots. The city's best shopping, dining, and entertainment are just a few blocks away. The hotel itself is designed to look and feel cosmopolitan. The rooms feature contemporary design that emphasizes the space while still managing to be a little quirky. You're more likely to end up with an abstract painting of a blue cow over your bed than generic landscape #34. And that's a good thing. It's a hard thing to walk the line between eccentricity and taste, and the Palomar manages to do it. The Hotel Palomar Phoenix is definitely a great addition to the Phoenician menagerie.


Kids Rock at the Sunset Marquis

June 1, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas is a private, Mediterranean-style, all-suite luxury hotel located in West Hollywood. It provides guests with luxurious accommodations and an opportunity to escape the craziness of LA and enjoy its five acres of lush gardens, ponds, waterfalls, brick paths, and tropical foliage. Accommodations range from 100 junior and 1 bedroom suites to 52 detached, private villas with private patios. Along with its bar, restaurant, spa, 2 pool areas, and private cabanas, the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas also goes above and beyond for its young travelers. Upon arrival, kids receive a black or pink backpack with a nametag attached. Inside it there’s a ‘Kids Rock’ pink or black t-shirt, crayons, a Sunset Marquis passport for coloring, a Hollywood themed mad lib, and a scavenger hunt on the property. Whether you’re a rock star looking for an escape or a family looking for an adventurous vacation, the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas certainly has something to offer you!


Impawsibly Luxurious: The Resort at Paws Up

May 31, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

If there was ever a hotel name that invited a pun, it's the Resort at Paws Up, and I'd like to pay proper tribute to that. Maybe your life has gotten a little hectic recently; things are moving a little too quickly, and it feels like everything is getting away from you. What you need is to take a step back and abandon the rat race; take a pause from your normal life. Or maybe you have a bunch of friends, and you're looking for a getaway to the Montana wilderness. Well, the Resort at Paws Up has room for your whole paws-e. Really, the pawsibilities are endless. Whew. That was exhausting. And I've even avoided making any pet jokes...

Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, we can move on to the business of describing exactly what makes the Resort at Paws Up unique besides the name. A lot of resort promise a wilderness experience, but you're really just two miles out of town and their wild forest is a five acre manicured lawn. Well, Montana is literally derived from the Spanish word for mountainous country, and the state animal is the grizzly bear. The wilderness in Montana doesn't mess around, and neither does Paws Up. The property has a number of different cabins avaiable from the meadow to the mountainside, and there's even an outdoor tent city if you want to really rough it. All this makes it sound like I'm describing something very different from the classic luxury resort, but don't let me fool you. The Resort at Paws Up constantly has luxury in mind; it just recognizes that even those who enjoy their five star dining and top-notch spa facility have come for the outdoors as much as the high thread count. In fact, I would argue that there's nothing lost on the luxury experience, but the surroundings are more real, highlighting the local freshness of cuisine homemade from local flora and fauna, like their unbelievable huckleberry toast. If you want your luxury to come with wilderness, or your wilderness to come with luxury, look no further than the Resort at Paws Up, where you'll get the best of both worlds.  


A Boutique Critique: Inn at the Presidio

May 24, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

I have been spotlighting a lot of cutting edge designer hotels lately. There is another side of boutique hotel with a perfectly American flavor that is not represented in this group. The small boutique hotel can also be a down-home experience that mimics the classical elegance of the old-school inn and upscale roadhouse. The Inn at the Presidio is just that, a 22-room house that gives the impression that San Francisco was built around it, though that is not to say that it appears in any way dated. In fact, given that description, you would never expect that the Inn at the Presidio is as freshly minted as they come, opening just in April of this year. 

The interior spaces are slick and well-crafted, bringing the American Inn into the 21st century. The Inn at the Presidio is what a classic inn would be if it were opened in 2012, rather than a preservation of antique furniture. Most importantly, the privileged position afforded the Inn, right by the waterfront, means that third floor rooms boast a breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The one-bedroom suites that make up the bulk of the rooms offer a separate sitting area and gas fireplace alongside the standard bedroom. While the Inn at the Presidio certainly couldn't accommodate gold rush numbers, that only enhances its charm, and you would do well to give it a gander next time you're heading westward.


Deals and Steals at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa

May 23, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

We at Five Star Alliance know that our travelers are in search of luxurious accommodations at the best prices available, so we go above and beyond to find the best promotional packages and specials to ensure you get the most from your hotel experience. We’re thrilled to introduce our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels that offer you more than just room-only rates. Whether you’re traveling on business or pleasure, we certainly have something for you. Be sure to check in with us often to get the inside scoop on the best deals and packages available at luxury hotels all over the world!

If you're looking for a getaway near Palm Springs at a wonderful luxury resort, look no further than the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa. Not only is the 240-acre resort a great retreat for families and couples alike, everything you need is within an arm's length. Simply stretch out, and you'll find a drink or a pool towel, whatever you'd like, at your fingertips. To celebrate the summer season, Rancho Las Palmas has a number of great deals and packages available.

Get the Summer Experience for a rate that offers a $50 food and beverage credit and the summer package with more than $500 of different deals available around the resort, from a discount on your restaurant bill or golf rental to a spa happy hour.

Enjoy the Taste of Rancho which includes a $100 dining credit towards a beautiful four-course meal with executive Chef Sean O'Connell (no, not Connery, fortunately)

Play an unlimited day of golf with the Unlimited Golf for Two package that includes one day of unlimited play on the 27-hole, Ted-Robinson-designed course. A great value for the golf enthusiast.

Simply check for rates and availability at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to see the packages available for your stay!


A Boutique Critique: Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa

May 22, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

If there is such a thing as an icon for boutique hotels, a type that prides itself on diversity and individuality, the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa could be regarded as it. It may tend towards a little bit larger and a little bit more standard in its service and amenities than some of the more outlandish design hotels, but in its solidity lies its strength. Sedona Rouge does everything that a boutique hotel should, and it does it very well. The specialty of the hotel is, of course, its spa, which is a destination in and of itself. Customizable treatment and ample facilities mean you can always find what you're looking for, and a few things that you weren't. Enjoy the outdoor seating at Reds Restaurant in their cozy bamboo garden, and when you're done, you can soak in their heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi. Sedona Rouge brings the Mediterranean to the Southwest, transplanting the European hotel spa culture to the breathtaking landscape of Arizona's mountainous desert regions. 


Your Luxury Summer Travel Guide: Wine Tasting at the Auberge Du Soleil

May 21, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

Swimming, fishing, hiking, sun bathing, and kayaking are just a few of the various activities to partake in during the incoming summer months. We’ve combined luxury hotels with exciting activities to give you the ultimate summer luxury travel guide perfect for folks looking for an adventure, a weekend away, or just an opportunity to take advantage of the beautiful weather! Check in with us often for a few ideas on where the summer should take you!

Our featured activity today is wine-tasting, and we can’t think of a better place in the United States to swirl, sip, and spit than Napa Valley, California. The Auberge du Soleil is one of northern California’s most revered dining establishments, and its located on a hillside with fantastic views of Napa Valley. Its 52 luxury rooms feature Mediterranean inspired décor and private outdoor terraces for relaxing and dining. The restaurant at the Auberge du Soleil features delectable dishes perfectly paired with wines in ways that delight and inspire even the greatest of food connoisseurs. And with over 120 wineries open to the public in Napa Valley and a concierge to assist with planning your itinerary, the Auberge du Soleil is the perfect luxury hotel for a food and wine-filled summer weekend!

Curious what other luxury hotels await you? Check out the other phenomenal options in Napa Valley here!


Deals and Steals at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix

May 14, 2012
By: Oksana Balytsky

We at Five Star Alliance know that you, our loyal travelers, are in search of luxurious accommodations at the best prices available, so we go above and beyond to find the best promotional packages and specials to ensure you get the most from your hotel experience. We’re thrilled to introduce our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring luxury hotels that offer you more than just room-only rates. Whether you’re traveling on business or pleasure, we certainly have something for you, so be sure to check in with us often to get the inside scoop on the best deals and packages available at luxury hotels all over the world!

The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona is known throughout the world as the ‘Jewel of the Desert,’ and it provides the perfect oasis of beautiful gardens, sparkling swimming pools, and Frank Lloyd Wright influenced architecture. It is considered one of the most spectacular resorts in the world and features 738 guestrooms including 78 one and two bedroom villas, 8 swimming pools, 7 tennis courts, an 18-hole putting course, and a full service European spa, salon, and fitness center. Check out the following packages perfect for golf lovers, foodies, and folks looking for a stress-free vacation.

Golf Package

This package is available for a variety of room types including Classic Rooms with 1 king or 2 queen beds, Resort Rooms with 1 king or 2 queen beds, 2 Bedroom Villas, Premiere Rooms with 1 king or 2 queen beds, 1 Bedroom Villas, Executive Rooms with 1 King or 2 Queen beds, and Mobility Accessible rooms with 1 king or 2 queen beds. This package includes $50 daily food and beverage resort credit and 1 round of golf per person.

Daily F & B Credit Package

This package is available for Classic Rooms with 1 king or 2 queen beds, 1 Bedroom Villas, Resort Rooms with 1 king or 2 queen beds, Premier Rooms with 1 king or 2 queen beds, 2 Bedroom Villas, and Mobility Accessible rooms with 1 king or 2 queen beds. This package includes $50 daily food and beverage resort credit and one room category upgrade if available.

All Inclusive Package

This package is available for a variety of room types and includes classic accommodations, breakfast for 2, lunch for 2, dinner for 2, 30% off spa a la carte services, and free self-parking. Offer is subject to availability. Room rate does not include tax, gratuities, or incidental charges. All offer inclusive meals are valid for up to two adults on each day of stay and include tax & gratuity with a combined daily value for two adults up to US$32 per breakfast; up to US$62 per lunch; and up to US$99 for dinners. All meals valid at hotel restaurants only and excludes in-room dining. Meal plan and spa discounts are non-transferable and can not be redeemed for cash or used for future stays. Discount of 30% on spa services is valid only for a la carte services for the duration of guest stay. Spa discount can not be used for salon services, spa/salon packages and cannot be combined with any other special offers or discounts. Advance reservations are required. This offer may not be combinable with any other offers, promotions and/or coupons. Offer is not valid for group rates or select plan codes.

Be sure to take advantage of these phenomenal packages and deals for your next visit to Phoenix, Arizona!


The Grapes of Fest: Newport Beach Wine Festival May 25-27

May 9, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

Wine is probably the closest thing we have on earth to ambrosia, the fabled nectar of the gods. Maybe it is actually, and we're just too mortal to realize what a good thing we've stumbled upon. Well, Newport Beach is trying its hand at celebrating this luscious liquid just a few weekends from now. The Newport Beach Wine Festival is being held by the Balboa Bay Club & Resort from May 25th-27th, and you too can join in on the inebriating fun. The Grand Tasting Gala event will feature over 60 wineries, and the Balboa Bay Club & Resort are putting on everything from an Argentinian BBQ to a Master Sommelier's Wine Dinner. Check out a full brochure of the event here, and be sure to get your room before they fill up for the big celebration.  With California wine country nearby, you're sure to be tasting some of the best wines America has to offer.