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.

Weddings & Honeymoons at Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico


By: Five Star Alliance

This article about having the perfect destination wedding or honeymoon at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, in Puerto Rico was originally posted in our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, and was written by Nanci McArdle.

Once a plantation, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, located in Puerto Rico, gives couples an option to celebrate their big day a quick plane-ride away. The private estate resort offers a variety of venues to exchange vows, including the Surf Room, a 4,558-square-foot luxury ballroom streaming with natural daylight provided by floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto an outside terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; Su Casa, an 8,000-square-foot private waterfront Spanish-Colonial hacienda; and several outdoor venues that highlight the lush grounds and ocean views. (Note: Su Casa, referred to as "the crown jewel of Dorado Beach," is a historic seaside home that was once owned by Clara Livingston and comes with five bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, vast outdoor space, wraparound verandas with oceanfront views and its own private pool, perfect for families and friends looking to share accommodations.)

After the last toast is given and the final dance takes place, honeymooners can retreat to the popular Tranquility Suite, which has a rooftop lounge area with a private plunge pool. Each room is designed to cater to the bride and groom's individual wishes, so they can choose which accommodation suits them best.

Learn more about Dorado Beach, a private estate resort >>

Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico


Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort Perfect for Weddings & Honeymoons


By: Five Star Alliance

This article about Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach, where couples can celebrate their special day with a perfect destination wedding, was originally posted by our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, and was written by Nanci McArdle.

Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach

Always a popular wedding and honeymoon destination, Hawaii offers myriad options. Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach near Kauai's southernmost point is one of the many options for couples to spend their honeymoon. Although wedding ceremonies and receptions are not currently available at Ko'a Kea, discounted accommodations are on offer for groups celebrating elsewhere on the island.

Among the most popular retreats for honeymooners is Room No. 376, an oceanfront suite closest to the water on Kauai. The 624-square-foot room has a separate living room, wooden-beamed ceiling and large soaking tub (one of just 12 on property). A patio with chaise lounges is ideal for taking in 180-degree views of Poipu Beach.

For family or friends traveling together to celebrate their loved ones' special day, the resort presents 29 sets of connecting rooms located in various areas of the property. They range from two Partial Ocean View Rooms (Nos. 269 and 271) to an Oceanfront Deluxe Room and Oceanfront Suite (Nos. 378 and 376). And good news for those traveling with their furry friends: the hotel permits dogs 25 lbs. or less. The pet fee is a non-refundable $100 per day, and a bed, food, water bowl and toys are supplied. (Note: Due to limited availability of oceanfront and suite rooms, it is advisable to book at least two months in advance. During high demand periods such as summer and winter holidays, booking three, or more, months before is recommended.)

Romantic dining can be found in the resort's upscale seafood restaurant, Red Salt, where they can enjoy the Red Coral Martini, Ko'a Kea's signature cocktail made with Stolichnaya vanilla and raspberry vodka with a splash of pomegranate juice. Tables 22 or 27, next to the windows overlooking the property and ocean, are the most romantic seats in the house. Reservations are recommended one week in advance.

Couples or groups can enjoy some down time at The Spa at Ko'a Kea, which has five treatment rooms, plus a seaside cabana. Why not live like the natives and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage before taking a walk along the seaside path that runs in front of the hotel or directly on the sand. More vigorous oceanfront hiking is located nearby on the bluffs of Mahaulepu. Bicycle rentals are available at Outfitters Kauai, about four minutes from the hotel.

Discover more about Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach >>

 


Whimsical Wedding at Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara


By: Five Star Alliance

This article originally appeared in our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, and was written by Nanci McArdle.

Exterior of the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara

Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara is one of our World's Best Destination Wedding Resorts for 2016. Find out why ...

Couples can celebrate their special day at the seaside sanctuary - Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara - that offers both romance and relaxation for newlyweds and their friends and families.

Bacara Resort & Spa is an ideal destination for couples that are California dreaming. The resort can accommodate wedding requests ranging from a private ceremony in one of the Mediterranean-style guestrooms to a ballroom wedding, hosting up to 1,250 guests and many options in-between.

The 11,300-square-foot Bacara Ballroom features 23-foot-high ceilings and six balconies and can be divided into three separate areas, each accommodating up to 350 wedding guests. The ballroom also has 8,700 square feet of additional event space, including a vaulted foyer with fireplace, an adjacent ocean-view terrace and an expansive lawn, where guests can enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres prior to the ceremony.

The Ocean Lawn at Bacara Resort & Spa affords panoramic ocean views for a wedding ceremony and is surrounded by the resort's lush landscaping.

Pictured: The Ocean Lawn at Bacara Resort & Spa affords panoramic ocean views for a wedding ceremony and is surrounded by the resort's lush landscaping.

Other options include the Rotunda and Rotunda Terrace, a 1,734-square-foot circular area atop Bacara's main lobby offering views of the ocean, along with an outdoor area perfect for an al fresco celebration. For a more intimate wedding, Bacara's wine cellar features a display of 12,000 wines from around the world, along with a private dining room that can seat up to 40. Those looking to take in the natural beauty of the resort can choose from The Bluff, an expansive lawn area with ocean views that can accommodate up to 300 guests for a seaside wedding ceremony or reception; the Ocean Lawn, which affords panoramic ocean views; or the Residence Lawn, a more intimate, oceanside venue that can be reserved in conjunction with The Residence, Bacara's 3,700-square-foot retreat. This option can accommodate up to 120 guests for outdoor wedding receptions and includes a two-night stay in The Residence. Finally, the Oval Lawn offers couples a private and enclosed garden area, accommodating up to 300 guests.

After the tying the knot, newlyweds can retire to one of the rooms right on property. The Residence, which is the closest accommodation to the ocean on the bluff and includes ocean views, three wood-burning fireplaces, a patio for private dinners and its own workout area, is one of the top two options for honeymooners. The other is The Terrace Suite, which features ocean views, a master bedroom area with a fireplace, a wrap-around terrace overlooking the ocean and a relaxing soaking bathtub.

Outdoor Pool at Bacara Resort and Spa, Santa Barbara

When the new couple is ready to venture out, many options are right at their fingertips, including a visit to the 4,200-square-foot, 36-room spa that offers private treatments, or they can reserve the roof deck area, where they can host a group get-together with their wedding guests, enjoying treatments such as a private mud bar and private massages, overlooking the ocean. While it is recommended to make reservations as far in advance as possible, the spa will do its best to make last minute arrangements.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Bacara offers a variety of ocean sports, including surfing, body boarding, ocean kayaking and sailing. Also available is horseback riding, cycling, mountain biking and hiking. Those looking to hit the links are in luck. There are three nearby 18-hole championship golf courses: Sandpiper Golf Club, Glen Annie and Rancho San Marcos.

For those with kids, Monarch Kids' Club offers fun activities and exploration options for children ages five through 12. The program was designed especially to reflect Bacara's surroundings and rich Chumash history.

Click here to learn more and check availability at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA >>


The New Villa One at One&Only Palmilla


By: Five Star Alliance

This article was first published in our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor, by Natalie Maneval, under the title "The Villa Experience."

One&Only Palmilla Villa One

On the tip of the Baja Peninsula, discerning travelers now have a new villa accommodation to choose from when traveling to the One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos. Villa One is complete with four bedrooms and an additional Butler Suite (for that top-notch service). By day, the guests will have 14,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor space to venture through, complete with an infinity-edge pool and fire pit. Seeking a wellness experience? We suggest making an appointment with the villa's dedicated fitness trainer or spa therapist, who will, of course, provide treatments onsite.

For a taste of adventure, the Villa Team can plan custom experiences, including deep sea fishing excursions, full-day surf lessons and cruising on One&Only Palmilla's Catari Yacht. In fact, travelers that stay at least four nights in Villa One will get to choose between a complimentary private yacht cruise or art walk tour. During the cruise, guests will explore the Sea of Cortez complete with a spin to Medano Bay - the view of the coastline will amaze. Meanwhile, an Art Walk takes guests to San Jose del Cabo to check out the Gallery District from the months of November to June. Guests will peruse different galleries like La Sacristia and Galeria Corsica.

One&Only Palmilla Villa One

Back at Villa One, the culinary staff can create custom meals to fit all tastes. We suggest asking for a themed dinner like taco night or barbeque. Tip: Complimentary sunset margaritas and Mexican canapés are served daily.

This accommodation is ideal for multigenerational families - the bedrooms come in several configurations, including an 870-square-foot master suite, a second bedroom with a king size bed and a secluded sun deck, a third room with two queen size beds and private patio and a fourth guestroom with bunk beds. When it comes time for those special family moments, convene in the great room. There, the doors open 30 feet wide to reveal views of the infinity-edge pool, the gardens and the sea. The prime views continue throughout the guesthouse, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass doors.

Click here to learn more about One&Only Palmilla >>

One&Only Palmilla Villa One


Honeymoon in Paradise at Ocean Key Resort and Spa


By: Five Star Alliance

Ocean Key ResortIf Key West is on your list of honeymoon destinations, check out this offer from Ocean Key Resort and Spa. Their Honeymoon in Paradise package includes:

Luxury accommodations
A welcome bottle of chilled champagne
Daily waterfront breakfast for two
A dinner for two at Hot Tin Roof
A 50 minute couples massage

The package is subject to availability, and a three night minimum stay is required. Additional terms and conditions may apply.

Book a stay at Ocean Key Resort and Spa >>


Four Seasons Resort Maldives Landaa Giraavaru Unveils Its Overwater Wedding Bungalow


By: Five Star Alliance

There's a new place for nuptials. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru in the Maldives has unveiled its Overwater Wedding Bungalow. The freestanding pavilion is accessible only by boat, and has a glass-bottomed aisle. There's room for 16 lucky guests, and the resort's wedding planner can assist with flowers, decorations, and candles.

Four Seasons Landaa Maldives

Book a stay at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru >>


Your Questions Answered: What Resort in Cancun Can Host a Symbolic Wedding Ceremony for a Same-Sex Couple?


By: Betsy LeTourneau

Hyatt Zilara Cancun
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: What resort in Cancun will host a symbolic wedding ceremony for a same-sex couple?

ANSWER: Hyatt Zilara Cancun. Prominently located on the widest stretch of beach in the heart of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, Hyatt Zilara Cancun is an adults-only, all-suite, all-inclusive resort where guests experience traditional Mexican warmth in an intimate yet casual setting. The resort features spacious suites with breathtaking views of the Caribbean and offers world-class dining, an impressive array of upscale amenities, outstanding service from an attentive and thoughtful staff, and spectacular grounds and facilities. Hyatt Zilara Cancun offers a myriad of activities and conveniences including rejuvenating treatments and services at The Spa– Cancun's only ocean view spa – wine and spirits tastings, enhanced pool and beach butler service, and more.Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Whether celebrating a religious, civil, spiritual wedding, union or vow renewal, Hyatt Zilara Cancun offers extraordinary settings and exceptional accommodations to create memories that will last a lifetime. The experienced staff of professional wedding planners assists couples every step of the way to create extraordinary events. Design your own wedding or choose from a wide selection of celebrations, including a boutique complimentary wedding, to barefoot beach weddings, to lavish celebrations. Every detail is artfully arranged by the dedicated staff including flowers, music, photography, the wedding cake, the catering, and so much more.  

Honeymoon couples enjoy extra special amenities and romantic services in their suite, including a rose petal strewn bed, aromatherapy candles, a sweetheart cake and sparkling wine. For added luxury, choose a Romance Package with even more special touches such as a private candlelight beach dinner for a truly unforgettable experience.

Please note that no children are allowed on property, even for ceremonies and events. 

Book a stay at Hyatt Zilara Cancun >>

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.
 


Honeymooning at Sandals LaSource Grenada


By: Five Star Alliance

Recently two of our favorite clients got married and decided to honeymoon at the brand new, all-inclusive, couples only Sandals LaSource Resort in Grenada

Zach and Alexandra stayed in room 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda. Located within the Italian village, 1 bedroom oceanview skypool suites feature a full living room with butler pantry, wet bar, indoor dining table, plush sofa and chairs, and HD LED Smart TV. There is also a desk with wireless internet and USB ports. The double doors open into a bedroom with a king size bed, and large HD LED Smart TV. The bathroom includes two Carrera marble vanities with backlit mirrors, Kohler claw footed tub, separate frosted glass shower and a frosted glass water closet. The bedroom opens for access to a cantilevered heated private plunge pool with an infinity edge. The flooring is made of Turkish ivory patika travertine natural stone with accents of pebbles and porcelain planks from Italy. Some suites also have an oversized balcony with two comfortable lounge chairs, ottoman, side table and soaking tub. Some have an oversized day bed. Your own personal butler service is included.

Sandals LaSource is in the heart of exclusive Pink Gin Beach and offers 225 rooms and suites, 10 restaurants, 3 freshwater pools and 2 river pools, just minutes from the airport.

They shared some of their photos with us below, click on any photo to learn more:

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Outdoor verandah of suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite

Verandah of Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Beach area at Sandals LaSource

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource from the water

Sandals LaSource Grenada from the water

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada Beach

Night view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

Night View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Beach at Sandals LaSource

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

The view from suite 3403, a 4th floor One Bedroom Oceanview Skypool Butler Suite with Veranda

View from Skypool Suite at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada Beach

View of Sandals LaSource Grenada

View of Sandals LaSource Grenada

Beach at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada Beach

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Butler setup for honeymooning couple at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Butler bath setup at Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Learn more about Sandals LaSource then check rates and availability >>


Weddings at Cabo Azul Resort and Spa


By: Five Star Alliance

Cabo Azul Weddings

Destination wedding-bound? Consider Cabo Azul Resort and Spa. El Corazon, the resort's open-air, five story wedding chapel has the Sea of Cortez as a backdrop, and a candlelit water fall to up the romance factor. The resort also offers a team of wedding coordinators, event planners, and a catering staff to make your special day perfect. There's also bridal and honeymoon packages Additionally PAZ, the resort's award winning Spa has a wide range of personal treatments and services designed to relax and rejuvenate the whole wedding party.

Book your wedding at Cabo Azul Resort and Spa >>


Did You Know? Daydream Island


By: Five Star Alliance

Daydream Island Resort and Spa

Located in Queensland, 15 minutes from Airlie Beach, Daydream Island Resort and Spa is a superbly appointed four and a half star resort. With two stunning outdoor ceremony locations and an elegant wedding chapel overlooking the Whitsunday passage, Daydream Island is the perfect setting for a special day. It also has the only chapel in the Whitsundays with the capability to broadcast a wedding live via a satellite broadband connection.

Book your wedding at Daydream Island Resort and Spa>>