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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.

Four Seasons L.A. Launches ICE Technology, and It's Changing the Way We Stay

October 21, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles is the first Four Seasons to embrace ICE technology to digitally connect every room to all parts of the hotel. Before we dive into what that means for travelers, let’s explore what this Four Seasons has to offer. The Four Season Hotel L.A. has a tropically landscaped rooftop pool, Jacuzzi, and a pool grill, allowing you to indulge in seasonal specialties in full relaxation mode. Aside from rooftop fun, the Four Seasons L.A. also has a full-service spa where you can unwind in the steam sauna or pamper yourself with various spa treatments. After a day of exploring Hollywood and Rodeo Drive, enjoy a leisurely dinner at the award winning Gardens Restaurant.

With the launch of ICE Technology, all of the amenities available to guests remain the same, but the way you can access and utilize those amenities will change. All of the guestrooms and suites will have iPad2 devices, permitting guests to customize their stay with the push of a few buttons. Guests will be able to make restaurant reservations, order in-room dining, research nearby attractions, call valet parking, coordinate airport transportation, make beauty and spa appointments, make specific housekeeping requests, research transportation options, schedule wake up calls, check out of the hotel, and much more. Is this technology essentially eliminating the need for face-to-face customer service? Not necessarily. According to Mehdi Eftekari, the General Manger at the Four Seasons Los Angeles, “most of our guests travel with a smartphone, tablet, or both, so it made sense to provide access to the hotel’s services through the same intuitive touch interface.” How are guests reacting to this new technology? Mehdi Eftekari reports that “guests are very impressed. The interface is so intuitive and easy to use, they feel right at home.” What do you think about this new development? Check into the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles to experience it for yourself.

We encourage you to check out the article about ICE technology by Melanie Nayer here.


Mandarin Oriental Hits the Suite Spot: Best Suites for Families and Groups

October 19, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

Whether you’re planning a family vacation, reunion with old friends, or an unforgettable bachelor/bachelorette party, the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas has the best and most luxurious suites to fit your specific needs. This luxury hotel is running a November special, so make your plans now, and get ready for an incredible weekend getaway to Sin City.

One of the most coveted suites the Mandarin Oriental has to offer is the Apex Suite, and it’s located on the highest floors and at the apex point of the building. If you’re looking for an unforgettable night on the town, consider the Apex Suite overlooking the Strip. If you’re more interested in exploring the unique culture Las Vegas has to offer, consider choosing the Apex Suite overlooking the architecture of CityCenter. The bedroom in the Apex Suites has two glass walls converging, giving two contrasting views of the room, while the private dining area is equipped with a bar and a separate entrance so you will not be disturbed by dinner preparations. Aside from an incredible view and incredible layout, the Apex Suite also comes equipped with plug and play iPod/video docking station, a DVD player and stereo bar with subwoofer system, a large screen TV, a valet closet for delivery without disruption, and so much more. With 1,625 – 2,125 square feet of space and $1,984 per night, for weekend nights in November, you’ll be ready for whatever Las Vegas throws your way!


Winter in Venice: $149 Rates at The Venetian and The Palazzo, Las Vegas

October 18, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The VenetianThis holiday season, how about winter in Venice? Not Italy, but the Las Vegas Strip! The Venetian and The Palazzo are putting on a one-of-a-kind celebration that they say will be the "most majestic winter wonderland Las Vegas has ever seen." The five-diamond resorts will transform into a winter wonderland with an ice skating rink above The Venetian's outdoor Grand Canal-- complete with snowflakes, strung holiday lights, and a 65-foot LED holiday tree perched atop the Doge's Palace fountain. While you stroll around, you'll be entertained by a colorful cast of characters: magicians, carolers, puppets, jugglers, and candy cane stilt walkers. Enjoy seasonal treats like eggnog cupcakes, warm apple cider, spiced cocktails, and hot chocolate. And to cap off each day, you’ll be in for a treat: a "spectacular light show performance beyond your wildest imagination." Winter in Venice will take place from November 21, 2011- January 8, 2012. Special package rates are available for $149 per night in a luxury suite, two-night minimum required, with a bunch of add-ons included (hot chocolate for two, skate rentals, $40 off seasonal spa treatments).


A Fresh Redesign: Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles Reopens

October 13, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Now this is the story all about how

my life got flipped, turned upside down

And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there

I’ll tell you how I went on vacation to a hotel called Bel-Air.

Now here’s news: The Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles is reopening this month, and the property has turned things upside-down with its renovation. With a fresh new look, they’re positioning themselves to be the prince of spa services. The revitalized property offers a 4,000 sq. ft. spa by La Prairie and is the first US hotel to launch a line of in-room amenities by the same luxury Swiss company. The familiar swans still glide across the serene lake they call home, and their habitat is now maintained by an updated circulation system that saves over 1.5 million gallons of water. It’s great to see more and more hotels incorporate green engineering into their modernized design plans. Alongside the familiar Grace Kelly suite, the new presidential suite even offers a private courtyard and private pool where can guests can relax after enjoying dinner for up to ten people from their private chef’s kitchen. The main buildings preserve some of the original colonial Spanish aesthetic, while also being ‘modernized’ to include retro themes from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. This is hotel the Dorchester Collection is clearly proud to be reopening, and as well they should be.

Not only does the Hotel Bel-Air feel completely renewed, until December 29th, Hotel Bel Air will include a $100 dining credit with your reservation, so you can enjoy fresh cuisine imagined by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck the next time you stay at this lovely hotel.


Adventurous Skiers, Check Out the Inn at Lost Creek

October 12, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

Are you tired of skiing/snowboarding down your town’s proclaimed black diamonds and looking for a real mountain this winter? Then explore our list of the best ski resorts and get ready for not only some of the most incredible slopes and breath-taking views, but also luxurious accommodations that will revitalize your adventurous spirit, leaving you ready to fly down the mountain and do it all again the next day!

Consider checking into the Inn at Lost Creek in Telluride, Colorado, one of the most unique and personal luxury resorts. We truly believe that you’ve never stayed at a place this charming and genuine. The Inn at Lost Creek is located in the Mountain Village, and it provides access to some of the most beautiful mountains. This resort offers fully equipped suites and provides all the comforts of home such as a balcony, kitchen, fireplace, in-suite laundry, jetted tub, and steam shower. Aside from these comforts, guests have the opportunity to unwind and relax in two roof top hot tubs and indulge at the Inn’s Southwest inspired restaurant and bar. And with only 32 rooms, this small, luxurious hotel has some of the best folks on staff who are truly dedicated and delighted to ensure you have a magnificent stay. From finishing your laundy to pre-stocking your fridge with groceries, they happily do it all. With ski season fast approaching, make your reservation today and be well on your way to an incredible ski resort!


Candy and Kitties: Kimpton Does Customer Service Right

October 10, 2011
By: Christopher Roney

Sometimes hotel news is awesome.  HotelChatter reports that a guest of the Hotel Monaco Portland wrote to jokingly request a “a bed full of puppies” and “a bathtub full of Reese’s Pieces” two weeks before his stay.  On top of this, he wished to be treated like a man “just acquitted of quintuple homicide charges.” Two weeks later he had completely forgotten, but arrived to discover a bowl of reese’s pieces atop his dresser and a hand-written note congratulating him for exonerating himself.  The Kimpton concierge wrote, "there weren't any spare puppies, but this kitten looked lonely and needed some love.  We've been calling him "Whiskers," and even threw in a $10 coupon for the minibar.

In my mind, this is what customer service should be. There’s so much effort put into standardizing across brands so people are comfortable and know what to expect, but it’s the unique experiences that really create a memorable trip. We would never go to a McDonald’s or a Subway for a gourmet meal and it’s just so with the hotel world. I’d rather have an experience tailored specifically to me than even the most luxurious industry standards. If a hotel’s staff is having fun, the guests will be, too.  So next time you book your stay at the Hotel Monaco Portland, or anywhere else, try cracking a few jokes, and who knows? You might just be rewarded for it.


Kick Off the Ski Season with a Free Night at Park City's Grand Summit Resort

October 7, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Grand Summit Hotel at Canyons Resort, Park City

The first snow storm of the year has hit Utah, and ski hounds may already be jonesing for their first taste of the mountains. Canyons Resort in Park City has a fab "Season Starter Special" so you can take advantage of all that fresh powder on the slopes when the season officially kicks off in 50 days. The snow-obsessed can get one more exhilarating night in the mountains-- on the house. Come early in the season-- any time between November 24 and December 13, 2011-- and get your fourth night free at Canyons' preferred properties like The Grand Summit Hotel- a AAA Four-Diamond resort that boasts an exceptional ski-in / ski-out location, great service and "livable luxury." Come between December 14th and 17th, and it’s the fifth night you get for free. You'll get a thrill out of the resort's 4,000 acres of unparalleled ski and snowboarding terrain.


Travel Trends: Hotel Lounges Exclusively for Teens

October 5, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, TucsonFrom special spa treatments to private guitar lessons for adolescents, hotels are noticing the teenager set. The latest trend in the hospitality world is the teen lounge created exclusively for teenagers at luxury hotels. Read: no adults allowed. At the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, the Blur Teen Lounge was an instant hit when it opened in April. Traveling with an adolescent can be tricky, but the Teen Lounge provides a separate area for independent-minded teens to hang out and relax, while still on hotel property. Another big attraction? All the technology, like iPads, an Xbox 360, a Playstation 3, a 46-inch LCD HDTV, and a DVD library. Also in Arizona: the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has an exclusive teen lounge called The Hang Out.


Retail Therapy in San Francisco: Holiday Shopping with the Four Seasons Hotel

October 4, 2011
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Hotel San FranciscoThe holidays are right around the corner, and the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is getting in the mood with a holiday shopping spree and some festive cocktails. To the delight of guests, the luxury hotel in downtown San Francisco has partnered with Bloomingdale's to create a luxe holiday shopping package. Guests can indulge in some retail therapy with discounts, personal shopping services, and an après-shopping spa treatment. Bloomingdale’s flagship West Coast store is just two blocks from Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, a five-level shopping mecca of 300,000 square feet. Shop 'til you drop, then unwind with a complimentary Spiked Hot Chocolate at Seasons Bar and Lounge and a post-shopping massage at The Spa at the Sports Club/LA, located within the Hotel. (The enormous Sports Club/LA is a great place to burn off those pre-holiday calories.)

The Bloomingdale’s Luxe Holiday Package is available from November 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012 and includes:

    * Luxurious accommodations
    * $100 Bloomingdale’s gift card
    * 15 percent all-day savings certificate (see in-store certificate for details)
    * Signature Bloomingdale’s gift upon arrival at Visitor Center
    * Hotel delivery service for purchases
    * One-on-one makeup consultation and deluxe sample with Dior
    * Beauty Imaging System skin analysis and Facial Treatment Mask with SK-II
    * Appointment with a Bloomingdale's “At Your Service” personal shopper
    * Two specialty cocktails at Seasons Bar and Lounge
    * A 25-minute head, neck and shoulder massage at the Spa at Sports Club/LA

 


Golf, Tennis, and Spa: A Special Offer at Arizona's Boulders Resort

October 3, 2011
By: Guest Writer

The Boulders Resort and Golden Door SpaNestled in the Sonoran Desert just outside Scottsdale, Arizona, the Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa is surrounded by spectacular scenery: the painted desert sand, boulder formations, towering green cacti and blue sky. This unique place sets the stage for a full-service resort that has two golf courses, an award-winning spa, tennis, and more. And the adobe-inspired accommodations were recently renovated to feature wood burning fireplaces, 42-inch flat screen HD TV’s, separate tub and natural stone shower, and a private patio or balcony. The Boulders Resort is inviting you to escape on a luxury getaway, and get a total resort experience without shelling out for each activity. When you book the limited-time "One For All" package, starting from $499 per night, you'll enjoy a slew of add-ons: a round of golf per adult for each night, one 50-minute Golden Door Massage per room per night. Also included: nightly accommodations for up to two adults in a Casita, Pueblo Villa or Hacienda Resort (Resort Fee and Room Rate Tax included); valet parking; high-speed Internet access and daily newspaper; a $25 per adult Food and Beverage Credit for every paid night.