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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.

The Top 15 Luxury Hotel Destinations in 2012: #9 Sydney

December 23, 2012
By: Christopher Roney

In the final days of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 15 Luxury Hotels and Resort Destinations Worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

                                         Park Hyatt Sydney

 As of today, Five Star Alliance features 25 luxury hotels in Sydney, Australia. Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales, is the biggest and most populous city in Australia. Sydney is one of Asia-Pacific's most popular tourist destinations thanks to its sunny weather, fine beaches and landmarks like the Sydney Opera House (pictured above). 

What makes our guests love Sydney?

-Of the approximately 10,000 beaches in Australia, 70 of them are in Sydney. Bondi Beach, arguably Sydney's most famous sand spot, is  more than 100 meters wide and stretches for well over a kilometer.

-Beach, mountain, or city? No matter what type of vacation experience you like, Sydney has it.  Relax and take in the stunning views at Echoes Resort Blue Mountain (pictured), stay harbourside at The Darling Hotel Sydney, or be in the heart of the CBD (Central Business District) at The Westin Sydney

-November to February is the most popular time to visit Sydney.

Where to stay?

-As of this writing,  New Year's Eve was still available at select Sydney luxury hotels. Nightly rates range from $385 at  Blue Sydney to $622 at Westin Sydney $1646.20 at Wolgan Valley Resort.

-Planning ahead for Valentine's Day? The gorgeous Park Hyatt Sydney (pictured at top) is available for nightly rates starting at $1,102. The Langham Sydney also has city view rooms available for nightly rates starting at $369.

Did you know?

-The Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932 and is still the largest steel arch bridge in the world measuring 1,149 metres in length and 134 metres from sea level to the top of the arch.

 

Check out all the best luxury hotels and resorts in Sydney>>

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The Top 15 Luxury Hotel Destinations in 2012: #10 Bangkok

December 22, 2012
By: K. Clare Johnson

In the final days of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 15 Luxury Hotels and Resort Destinations Worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels! 

As of today, Five Star Alliance features 36 luxury hotels in Bangkok, Thailand. The populous capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is a bustling city with vibrant street life, historic temples and palaces, and an emerging fashion scene. Tourists will have a hard time choosing from among the vast amount of things to do. Sample regional cuisine or take a canal trips through Bangkok, "The Venice of the East." Or pay a visit to Siam Ocean World and swim with the sharks. The latest looks are available in the fashion center of Siam Square and bespoke tailoring is widely available in the city. Sports fans can take in a Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing) match or play some indoor soccer.

What makes our guests love Bangkok?

-Travel + Leisure has named Bangkok the World's Best City so many times (including this year), it's now in the magazine's Hall of Fame.

The great diversity of places to stay. From riverfront opulence of the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel to the post-Colonial 12-suite retreat of The Eugenia to the 338 rooms nestled in an 8-acre tropical park at Swissotel Nai Lert Park. There's also the dramatic city views found at the all-suites Tower Club at lebua and uniquely designed Peninsula Bangkok (pictured), located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. 

-Bangkok is one of the world's top tourist destination cities and is ranked third after London and Paris in MasterCard's Global Destination Cities Index.

Where to stay?

-As of this writing, several luxury properties have availability for New Year's Eve.  Nightly rates range from $208.71 at The Dusit Thani to $716 at The St. Regis Bangkok. One of our partner properties, Tower Club at lebua, has a special Bed and Breakfast rate for $774 per night.

-Think ahead and plan for Valentine's Day. As of this writing, nightly rates start at $176 at the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok (pictured below) to $235.40 at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok and $462.60 at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.

Did you know?

-Wat Kalayanamit temple is home to Thailand's largest indoor sitting Buddha,which is a soaring 49 feet high!

Check out all the best luxury hotels and resorts in Bangkok>> 

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Behind the Scenes, All Access Pass to Qatar Airways

September 26, 2011
By: Oksana Balytsky

Qatar Airways hosted a media reception at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. With the opportunity to attend the event, I thought you, our luxurious travelers might like an inside look into this luxury hotel in the sky!

Qatar Airways has earned the reputation of offering a luxurious experience the moment you set foot on the plane, but for us, the special treatment began the moment we arrived. Our evening started with champagne and hors d’oeuvres being served at Qatar Airway’s downtown office. Afterwards, we proceeded to Dulles Airport, aboard a Reston’s Limo Bus, giving everyone on board a flashback to senior prom. Upon arrival, we were taken on a tour of the airport and got a quick rundown of how the control tower manages incoming and outgoing flights.

We then proceeded to the best part of the evening, an on-the-ground tour of a Boeing 777. The sheer size of the plane was breathtaking, and it made you wonder for a second how a machine of that magnitude can fly. Our tour continued onto the aircraft, which had two business classes, accommodating 42 seats total. The plush, crimson chairs recline fully, and the pristine flight attendants pride themselves on providing five-star service. Qatar Airways prides itself on delivering individual service and catering to every passenger on board. There is no designated meal time; at any point during your flight you can enjoy anything off the unlimited menu that offers indulgences such as zucchini soup, salmon, and even ice cream. And by unlimited, they really mean unlimited. If you want eight servings of ice cream, you are more than welcome to it.

Our evening ended with an incredible dinner, and at that point it was quite clear why Skytrax voted Quatar Airways Airline of the Year in 2011. Qatar Airways flies to over 100 destinations, and since it is at the forefront of the luxury travel industry, it’s bound to meet and exceed your expectations.

Bottom Line: For your next trip to a 5-star resort, consider flying with the leader in luxury, Qatar Airways.

(Photo via Qatar Airways)


Luxury Resorts & Hotels: The Great Summer Escape

May 26, 2009
By: Alison Victor

Carmel Valley Ranch ResortLuxury Resorts & Hotels is the name behind many unique and luxurious properties. They are dedicated to creating an overall guest experience that is memorable and exceptional. Luxury Resorts wants to give you a reason to "escape" this summer by offering a great deal. Book any number of their properties, such as the

Carmel Ranch Resort or The Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa, by July 15th, and you will receive a certificate for a future stay at any one of their participating hotels. Good through December 20, 2009, you can decide when and where you want to go.


Escape World Cup Madness with SLH Member Hotels

June 15, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

from Courtney W. May and Lanny Grossman, Director of Communications for Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Chateau St Gerlach

Now that the World Cup is officially underway in Germany (my bracket has the Czech Republic walking away with it all - even though I am a huge US fan), some travelers might be looking for alternatives to dealing with the crazed soccer fans who have descended on Germany this summer. Personally, I can't imagine not wanting to be in the thick of things, but if you're one of those looking to go away during June, SLH has the following promotion "7 : 0 for Small Luxury Hotels: Best Escapes from the Soccer World Championship".

With World Cup madness hitting Germany and much of Western Europe, here are seven ways to visit the region and escape to a world of private luxury and ultimate experiences.

Wild Water Rafting in the Austrian alps: Around Kitzbuhel numerous river routes through spectacular mountain gorges are available for wild water rafting excursions, which the Hotel Tennerhof (www.slh.com/tennerhof) can arrange for its guests. A more tranquil alternative exclusiv for hotel guests: Fishing at a lake nearby where the Tennerhof holds private fishing rights.

Falconry in baroque gardens: As stylish as the ambiance of the castle hotel Chateau St. Gerlach (Netherlands) are the leisure activities of this SLH hotel: Golf, Horse-Riding, Tennis and falconry are on offer in the hotel's baroque gardens and in the wonderful nature of the Geul valley. (pictured)

Clay Pigeon shooting high above Mozart town: Salzburg lies afoot the Vitalhotel Kobenzl. On the Gaisberg mountain, high above the city, which celebrates this year Mozart's 250th anniversary, the Hotel offers attractive sporting alternatives: Clay Pigeon shooting, fishing, mountain hiking and biking as well as sailing, tennis and croquet.

Hot Air Balooning in the Black Forest: The Hotel Belle Epoque (www.slh.com/belleepoque), a neo renaissance villa from 1870, arranges sightseeing flights from Baden-Baden into the wonderful nature of the Black Forrest.

Archery in nature's paradise: Golf, Horse-riding, archery, mountain climbing and many more activities offers the Hoteldorf Gruner Baum (www.slh.com/grunerbaum) in the spectacular mountain world of Gastein. The main building of the hotel was built 1831 as hunting lodge for Duke Johann. Besides the countless leisure activities of the hotel the surroundings tempt visitors with romantic castles, dripstone caves and the national parc Hohentauern.

Formula 1 at the Hotel die Hirschgasse: The hotel offers a Formel 1-Package, which includes a three nights stay in a suite with jacuzzi, daily breakfast buffet and a bottle of champagne at arrival. Tickets and transfer to the Grand Prix at Hockenheimring can be arranged by the concierge. The package is available from 27 to 30. July 2006 and costs 1.300 Euro per room. www.slh.com/diehirschgasse

Arlberg from a bird's eye view: Many guests of the SLH Hotel Kristiania Lech in Austria (www.slh.com/kistiania) arrive by helicopter and enjoy a bird's eye view of the wonderful alpine nature: only 300 metres from the hotel, guests can also find a paragliding field .

View more Small Luxury Hotels with Five Star Alliance.


59 New Members for SLH in 2006

March 9, 2006
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

From Lanny Grossman, Director of Communications, Small Luxury Hotels of the World In the last 18 months, SLH has received over 1100 enquiries for membership. In 2005 alone, the brand received over 650 membership enquiries via its website, of which only 17 hotels met the standards and earned membership for 2006. Regionally, SLH received 23 requests for membership from hotels in Thailand but only 5 became members for 2006. 91 requests were received from the U.S.A. but only 6 became members. A total of 55 requests from Italian hoteliers lead to the biggest grouping of 11 new members; finally, 30 requests from the UK and 26 from France both only delivering two members each. Although Small Luxury Hotels of the World continues to receive requests for membership in the traditional markets, the brand is making a concerted effort to expand into newer, emerging markets. This effort has already paid off for 2006 with the addition of hotels in Laos, China, South Korea and Russia. Areas of interest for future growth in 2007 are Dubai, South America, Eastern Europe, China and Japan where the brand is already in serious discussion with luxury boutique properties. The total collection now stands at 359 hotels in 59 countries, and for the first time includes a presence in South Korea, Laos, St Lucia, Russia and Estonia. See the list after the jump.

In The Americas 1. Adara Hotel at Whistler; Canada 2. Le Chateau du lac Sacacomie; Quebec, Canada 3. Dolphin Bay Hotel & Residences; San Louis Obispo, CA 4. The Inn of the Five Graces; Sante Fe, NM 5. Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate; Huntington, NY 6. Goodstone Inn & Estate; Middleburg, VA 7. Marina Inn at Grande Dunes; Myrtle Beach, SC 8. Castle Hill Resort & Spa; Ludlow, VT 9. Sivory Punta Cana; Dominican Republic 10. Discovery at Marigot Bay; St Lucia 11. Gaia Hotel & Reserve; Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica In Asia Pacific 1. Echoes Boutique Hotel & Restaurant; Katoomba, Australia 2. The Country Club Sydney; Nr Sydney, Australia 3. Island Hideaway Spa Resort & Marina; Dhonakulhi Island, Maldives 4. The Fortress; Galle, Sri Lanka 5. The Beach Negombo; Negombo, Sri Lanka 6. Banyan Tree Lijiang, Lijiang, China 7. Fuchun Resort Hangzhou; Hangzhou, China 8. Losari Coffee Plantation Resort & Spa; Central Java, Indonesia 9. Maison Souvannaphoun Hotel; Luang Prabang, Laos 10. Eros Spa & Resort Club Parthenon; Chungnam Province, South Korea 11. Hotel Hera Club Parthenon; Chungnam Province, South Korea 12. The Baan Thai Wellness Retreat; Bangkok, Thailand 13. D2hotel chiang mai; Chiang Mai, Thailand 14. The Racha; Phuket, Thailand 15. Nakamanda Resort & Spa; Krabi, Thailand 16. Aleenta Resort & Spa; Phang Nga, Thailand In Europe 1. Hoteldorf Gruner Baum; Salzburg, Austria 2. Manos Premier Hotel; Brussels, Belgium 3. Padaste Manor; Muhu Island, Estonia 4. Estate Hotel Schwarzer Adler; Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany 5. Brandenburger Hof; Berlin, Germany 6. De Hoefslag; Utrecht, The Netherlands 7. Dwor Oliwski Hotel & Restaurant; Gdansk, Poland 8. Savoy Moscow; Moscow, Russia 9. Royal Park Hotel; Bernese Oberland, Switzerland 10. Chateau de Cely; Ile de France, France 11. L’Hermitage Gantois; Lille, France 12. St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel; Crete, Greece 13. Villa Le Scale; Isle of Capri, Italy 14. Albergo San Montano; Isle of Ischia, Italy 15. Townhouse 12; Milan, Italy 16. Townhouse 31; Milan, Italy 17. Townhouse 70 Suite Hotel; Turin, Italy 18. Masseria Torre Coccaro; Puglia, Italy 19. Inn at the Roman Forum; Rome, Italy 20. View at the Spanish Steps; Rome, Italy 21. Relais la Suvera; Tuscany, Italy 22. Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte; Tuscany, Italy 23. I Casali di Monticchio; Umbria, Italy 24. Selenza Thalasso Wellness Hotel; Andalucia, Spain 25. Hotel Club Maritimo Sotogrande; Andalucia, Spain 26. Vincci Seleccion La Plantacion del Sur; Canary Islands, Spain 27. Mas Passamaner; Tarragona, Spain 28. The El Rodat Hotel; Alicante, Spain 29. The Goring; London England 30. Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island; Argyll, Scotland 31. La Stampa Hotel & Spa; Dublin, Ireland 32. La Sultana Hotel & Spa; Marrakech, Morocco
Our question? Who dropped out ... Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Official Site Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Five Star Alliance