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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.

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


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.


WWWD: What Would W Do? Host a Turkey, That's What.


By: Christopher Roney

While we’re all going to be busy gobbling up our food, there’s one gobble that’s escaping the avian terror that sweeps our nation this holiday season. The aptly named Thanksgiving is not just a day for giving thanks, it’s a day for giving forgiving. And every year, the President of the United States, and in this case, his two daughters Sasha and Malia, give a pardon to one very lucky turkey. Though he hasn’t run afowl of the law, the bald-headed birdy is certainly happy to be spared the feasting.

Instead of gracing our dinner tables, the pardoned turkey will be staying the night in the famed W Hotel Washington DC and getting the five-star treatment before the official ceremony. And his thankfully vegetarian thanksgiving feast comes in the form of a Munchie Box: cranberries, soy, and corn comprise the free room service. The room even gets an extra bedding of sawdust to spend the night in comfort regardless of where he chooses to bed down. I think we can all agree that’s the kind of special guest worthy of exclusive service. After pardoning, the nation’s feathered friend will live out his days in peace on a farm in Mount Vernon, VA. So when you’re staring down at your roasted feast, take a moment to think of the one bird who is flying free (as well as a turkey can fly, at least) and meeting the president this weekend.  Not to mention a stay at the W Washington DC!


Luxury for Less: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Hotel Deals


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).


Calling All Food Lovers in D.C. and New York


By: Oksana Balytsky

If you’re a food connoisseur looking for a true epicurean experience, then check out the East Coast Travel package put on by the Westend Bistro, a Ritz-Carlton Washington D.C. restaurant and Le Bernardin, Chef Ripert’s New York restaurant.

The dine and travel weekend will kick off with a 3-course lunch at Le Bernardin in New York City. After an incredible meal by Chef Ripert, participants will hop on the Acela Express train to D.C. and check into the Ritz-Carlton with accommodations on the hotel’s Club level. For dinner, participants will enjoy dishes at Westend Bistro, which is located in the lobby of the hotel. Guests will savor a 3-course meal with a behind the scenes view into the kitchen to participate in an intimate and stimulating dining experience.

This package is priced from $1,025, and we encourage you to visit www.westendbistrodc.com for more information.


Mandarin Oriental Redesigns, Relaunches YouTube Channel; Still No Cat Videos


By: Christopher Roney

This will be a quick one because I like to let the talking pictures speak for themselves. Mandarin Oriental has relaunched its YouTube channel, and it’s gotten a full makeover and is chock full of pretty pictures and promotional interviews, like a piñata filled with the dreams of an overworked marketing executive. Go check out their new content here.


Bazaar-o World: Extraordinary SLS Hotel/José Andrés Restaurant Is Going Global


By: Christopher Roney

Being a Washington, DC, local, I can’t help but fall in love with the cuisine of José Andrés, the James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur. He has pioneered the field of molecular gastronomy by cleverly manipulating texture to subvert our expectations. For instance, at his signature DC restaurant, Minibar, instead of a salt-lined margarita glass, you can expect an aerated salty sea-foam floating above your drink. His visionary view of food’s potential to surprise and entice has inspired a new direction in the culinary arts.

So when I heard that his SLS Hotel restaurant in Los Angeles, the Bazaar, is thinking of going global with its brand, I practically jumped out of my chair in anticipation. José Andrés is already slated to open another establishment at the upcoming SLS Hotel in South Beach, Florida, and Robbie McKay, Director of Communications for SBE, the luxury hospitality group who owns the Bazaar, says that they have their eye on the DC market as a possible next location. Keep an eye out on this one folks. This is a hotel restaurant that is far more than the standard luxury fare.

For now, you can only dine at the Bazaar at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.  It's well worth the trip.

Via Tim Carman (@timcarman) at the Washington Post.


Haunted Halloween: Get Spooked at Hotel Monaco Alexandria


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Monaco AlexandriaEveryone's favorite holiday is just around the corner, and for little ghouls and ghosts, historic Old Town, Alexandria makes for some excellent trick or treating just outside the nation's capital. Some of the cobblestone streets are shut down to traffic, residents don their best costumes, and fantastic Jack-o'-lanterns decorate the Federalist houses. For out-of-town visitors, book the "Ghosts of Alexandria Family Package" at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria, starting at just $150 per room, and you'll get spooked on a "Ghosts and Graveyards" tour of Old Town by lantern light-- led by a guide in period costume who tells ghost stories and local lore. Available through November 20, 2011, the package includes two tickets for this tour (additional tix can be purchased for $12 per person and $6 per kids aged 7- 17). You'll stay on the hotel's "haunted 6th floor" and get free valet parking, a copy of the book "Ghosts of Alexandria," and the "Alexandria Key to the City Pass" with discounts on historic sights. Note: Kids under 17 stay for free at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria.


What's Hot in D.C.: Capella Georgetown to Open in January 2012


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Capella GeorgetownCome January 2012, Washington D.C. will have a swell addition to its luxury hotel scene. Capella is coming to town! (The ultra-luxury brand has established a reputation in the hospitality world for its service standards. Read: Personal assistants for each and every guest.) Located at 1050 31st Street, NW alongside the historic C&O Canal, the Capella Georgetown will be intimate in size. Just 48 guest rooms and suites will cater to "a sophisticated and discerning clientele including global industry leaders, heads of state and other visitors." What else is in store? An elegant restaurant and lounge serving seasonal cuisine overlooking the Canal, a rooftop pool and bar, and exclusive spa.

Related Articles: Design Dream: Capella Singapore Features Objets d’Art from Lamont Design

Announcing the Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas

The World’s Hottest Hotels: Capella Ixtapa (Special Introductory Rates Available)


New Fahrenheit Ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Ritz-Carlton GeorgetownThrowing a ball or getting hitched in D.C.? A new ballroom is turning heads in town, located- where else?- in the swank Ritz-Carlton Georgetown. The official press release cited "greater guest demand" as the reason why the hotel is transforming Fahrenheit restaurant into permanent banquet rental space, and the hotel's bar and lounge into a three-meal restaurant and bar called Degrees Bistro. Slated to open in a matter of weeks on November 1, 2011, the Fahrenheit Ballroom has already been picked by Daily Candy D.C. as a prime wedding venue:

Turn up the heat at The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown’s new event space, the Fahrenheit Ballroom. Located on the top floor of the brick factory-turned-hotel, the grand dance hall wows with huge windows, steel beams, and a loftlike feel.

Related Article: Ritzy the Nesting Duck Checks in to the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown


Champagne and Chocolate: The Madison Washington DC Offers Romantic Getaway


By: Christopher Roney

Madison Hotel Washington DC

The Madison Washington DC is offering a romantic getaway escape that's perfect for enjoying the capital's sophisticated dining and historic landmarks with that special someone. Whether you want to explore the sights of D.C. or spend an intimate evening rekindling the flame, The Madison is prepared to accommodate your every wish. Clichés exist for a reason, and the Madison realizes that they come together to make the recipe for a perfect evening. What could be more indulgent than beginning your romantic stay with a bottle of champagne and some heavenly strawberries smothered in the finest chocolate? It may be a feature of every romantic dinner scene in the last ten years, but who wouldn’t want the movie-star treatment?

And after a long night, nothing says relaxing like waking up to a fresh and delicious breakfast, right at the foot of your bed.  The Madison is prepared to make your romantic getaway as relaxing or adventurous as you like.  Don’t move an inch except to don your bathrobe and wander down to the 24-hour Spa, or put on your traveling boots and head out to explore the history of a nation.  And regardless of whether you’re stretching your legs for the first time or winding down from an exciting day, there’s no better cap to a wonderful evening than a stroll through a gorgeous twilight cityscape – complimentary, of course. 

The package includes

• Two night stay in a guest room, with complimentary upgrade to a suite based on availability 
• Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries on arrival
• Breakfast in bed each morning
• An unforgettable experience in one of the most storied, and historic, cities in America