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.

Limited Time Promotional Rates at Keswick Hall, Charlottesville


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Keswick HallVirginia's rolling Piedmont is home to a magnificent country estate called Keswick Hall. Managed by Orient-Express, this decadent hideaway epitomizes the best of the "good life." Overlooking the Blue Ridge foothills not far from Thomas Jefferson's historic Monticello estate outside Charlottesville, Keswick Hall offers a horizon edge pool, Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, spa, gym, outstanding restaurant, and myriad country pursuits. This summer, take advantage of the "Ultimate Break" special offer and you can get the resort's best promotional rates-- starting at $225 in a Signature Room (or $195 in a Hall Guestroom). Available Sunday to Thursday, July 1- September 15, 2008.


Summer Sales in Florence, Italy at Rocco Forte’s Hotel Savoy


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Savoy, FlorenceLocation, location, location. The five-star Hotel Savoy has an unbeatable address in the heart of Florence, not far from the famous Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio. The stylish hotel offers 88 rooms and 14 suites appointed with carefully chosen ceramics, artworks and fabrics. You'll find beautiful mosaics in the marble bathrooms. Brimming with luxury and style, Rocco Forte's Hotel Savoy promises impeccable service (how about guaranteed tix to the Uffizi?) and the highest standards of cuisine at L'Incontro Bar and Restaurant where you can dine alfresco on the piazza. Hotel Savoy has put together a special summertime package for when the Summer Sales start on July 14, 2008. They run until the first week of September, and this is your chance to secure some great bargains at the most fashionable boutiques. Starting from EUR 315 in a Classic Double room, the offer includes Daily Buffet Breakfast, a welcome gift by a renowned Italian designer in the room, and an after shopping aperitif at the fashionable L'Incontro Bar.


Raffles Dubai: Best Hotels in Glitzy Dubai


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Raffles DubaiLooking for an over-the-top getaway in the heart of Dubai? Look no further than Raffles Dubai, the stunning 19-storey pyramid that has become a landmark on the city's skyline since its debut at the end of 2007. Easily one of the hottest hotel openings of the year, Raffles Dubai has it all: an extraordinary location in Wafi City, Dubai's ultra-exclusive lifestyle complex (read: shopping like you've never experienced), blissful pampering at the RafflesAmrita Spa, the one-hectare 'Raffles Botanical Garden', depicting the four 'Elements of Life' (earth, wind, fire and water). Don't miss Khan Murjan in Wafi City, a recreation of a 14th century souk where artisans and craftsmen display stunning gold products. Luxury abounds at Raffles Dubai, but for the ultimate indulgence, book the Royal Suite, a palatial 650 square meters of sheer opulence. You'll enjoy two separate "his and her" en-suite bathrooms, a huge master bedroom with four-poster bed, an elegant dining room, featuring a separate kitchenette with a discreet access for butlers, and an entertaining room with a gentlemen's bar. The best part of all? A terrace boasting sweeping views over Dubai.


Special Opening Rates at The Regent Bal Harbour, Florida


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Regent Bal HarbourCheck in to unrivaled luxury in the affluent enclave of Bal Harbour Village and score special seasonal rates at Regent's new flagship in the Americas. This ultra-luxury hotel-- the first to open in Bal Harbour Village in 50 years-- entices guests with privacy and exclusivity, the likes of which the area has rarely seen. Just 15 minutes from Miami's airport and a hop from the world-renowned designer shops at Bal Harbour, The Regent Bal Harbour boasts dramatic ocean views from each of its 124 guest rooms and bathrooms, never more than two guest rooms per floor; a $4 million, privately-commissioned art collection with works by established and emerging American artists; the first Guerlain Spa in North America, standing at 10,000 square-feet; as well as the signature 1 Bleu restaurant. Above all, The Regent is getting rave reviews for its highly personalized and anticipatory service. Experience The Regent Bal Harbour and enjoy The Regent Opening Rates starting at $375 per night on weekdays and $425 per night on weekends May 1 – September 30, 2008, including superior accommodations for two and breakfast in 1 Bleu. Considering that rack rates start at $750 per night, this is a hot deal.


A Weekend with the Girls at The Sagamore Hotel


By: Guest Writer

A Weekend with the Girls at The Sagamore HotelFrom Victoria Winters

This past April I attended my girlfriend's bachelorette party in Miami, and naturally we stayed in South Beach. I had been to South Beach once before (for a the World Adult Kickball Competition I was in ... I kid you not), but was looking forward to a more upscale and relaxing vacation this time around with just the girls. We booked 2 rooms (414 and 416 at around $500 total per room) at The Sagamore Hotel for 8 women, each room was equipped with two double beds and a pull out couch. We arrived on a Thursday and stayed through Sunday.

Known as "The Art Hotel" I have to begin with the hilarious art work in the lobby. My friend and I probably spent the first 30 minutes at The Sagamore looking at photos upon photos of naked people.A Weekend with the Girls at The Sagamore Hotel Don't get me wrong this is tastefully done, but you would be amazed by how many people stripped down to their birthday suits for these photos….good way to avoid tan lines, I guess! Throughout the hotel (hallways, bathrooms, elevators…etc) you will constantly be engaging in new art mediums which makes for a really cool and interesting stay to say the least.

Besides staring at nudes... I also managed to experience the hotel restaurant, Social; lounge by the pool (and eat and drink poolside); go for a run at the gym; and take in some rays at the beach. The following is a list of pros and cons from my experience with the girls:

Pros:

    Excellent location (close to Lincoln Ave and all the hot night spots)

    Nice size suites (heard they are larger than the Delano)

    Excellent beds and comfortable bedding

    Pull out couch in each room

    Large L-shaped couches in rooms great for large groups and entertaining

    ipod docking station in each room with great speakers

    Separate toilet from bathroom

    Refrigerator with a good size freezer

    Excellent kitchen space for entertaining

    Excellent service all around

    Relaxing pool environment, not a pool “scene”

    Poolside bar & grill serves great drinks and food

    Private/designated beach area for guests

    Beach chairs (2 per room, additional chairs $15) and umbrella (1 per room)

    Interesting artwork throughout the hotel

Cons:

    Darks halls

    Single and shallow pool

    Odd layout of furniture in the rooms

    Weak hairdryers, if traveling with 2 or more women bring an extra

    Bad lighting in the bedroom near the mirrors which made getting ready with a group difficult

    Small gym with little equipment

    Good number of children at the pool (although if traveling with children this might be a pro)

    Social – restaurant is very cool but over priced for the food they serve

Would I go back to the Sagamore Hotel with the girls? Definitely! We loved that it wasn't "the place to be seen" which was exactly what you want the morning after a bachelorette party.


Doing Time at Boston’s Liberty Hotel: Spring Discount and More


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Liberty HotelLooking for a little solitary confinement this Spring? Boston's Liberty Hotel, the former-jail-turned-luxury-hotel that caused quite the stir when it opened last year, is offering 20 percent off plus complimentary valet parking with its Spring Special. This limited time offer must be booked prior to May 11, 2008 (mention "SPRING08" when booking). The hotel's got a killer location in Beacon Hill, and the guest rooms are positively plush. Think Molton Brown bath amenities, private bar with martini set, and flat-panel HD-LCD televisions. And the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows are stunning. Red Sox fans will go gaga over the "Swing! Batter, batter!" package offered by the Liberty Hotel, which includes lots of baseball swag, but-- as Hotelchatter advises-- doesn't promise the tickets themselves.


Now Open: The Mansion on Peachtree, Atlanta


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Mansion on PeachtreeBuckhead's newest luxury addition is now accepting reservations. We've been watching this one for months, and now Rosewood's opulent Mansion on Peachtree-- a combo of luxury residences and intimate ultra-luxury hotel-- is set to dazzle Atlanta. Plush velvet, macasser ebony, polished chrome and marble... Sound good? There's more. Each and every guest will get the personal attention of a private butler. On site: exquisite dining options (the Italian-inspired Neo and haute cuisine at Craft Atlanta), indoor lap and leisure pool, and 15,000-square foot luxury spa designed by 29 Cosmetics' Lydia Mondavi.


Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Pool Entrance Package, Dubai


By: Madelyn Giblin

Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Pool Entrance Package Dubai You'll find tranquility for the whole family with Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort Dubai's Pool Entrance Package. Located amongst the impressive sand dunes, guests can enjoy the 250 sunloungers available beside the luxury infinity pool. And don't worry about the kids! With entrance children have full access to the waterfall at the children's pool, complimentary camel rides, a falcon show and access to Sinbad's Kids Club. Parents can sit back and relax, in the sun or the shade and enjoy lunch from one of the hotel's fantastic restaurants, with all-inclusive soft drinks. In addition guests have access to the changing rooms, unlimited towels, and the variety of extra activities available at the pool, including putting green, tennis, volleyball and aqua aerobics classes. Open from 9am to 6pm, children under the age of 6 earn free admission, children 6 to 12 are AED 300, and adults 12 years or older are AED 500. (Rates subject to change on holidays.) The all day price includes: * All day access to the pool and sunloungers * Lunch of your choice from our superb restaurants, Al Forsan restaurant, Masala Indian restaurant and Pizzeria Le Dune, or a la carte service available at the pool-side. * All inclusive of soft drinks during meal time (juices and all other beverages are charged additionally) * Use of the changing rooms, showers and personal secured lockers, and unlimited towels * Cold towels and use of local newspapers and magazines * Camel, pony riding and falcon show available in the late afternoon * Use of Sinbad's Kids Club * A variety of games and fitness activities, including a 9-hole putting green, croquet, petanque, table tennis, volleyball, bicycle tours, aqua aerobics * Amenity services around the pool


Weekend Buyout of the Viceroy Santa Monica


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Viceroy Santa MonicaIt doesn't get much better than this. Santa Monica's swanky Viceroy Hotel, quite the happening hotspot, is available-- in its entirety-- for a two-night, two-day buyout celebration. Designed by Kelly Wearstler, this posh adult playground is the ideal spot for "Opulence Unleashed." With this Friday and Saturday night package, you'll get the entire 162 room hotel, fully stocked mini-bars in every room, and an ongoing schedule of extravagant dining events for up to 300 guests. It all starts Friday evening, with a poolside dinner orchestrated by Whist Restaurant. Executive Chef Warren Schwartz will man the outdoor grill, while personal mixologists take care of drinks. (There's also a cigar tent.) On Saturday, your guests will indulge in an all-day pool party, with DJ and dancing, on demand massage service and a fabulous brunch with an open bar. In the evening, guests are transported to the Getty Museum for a private, catered event that includes dinner and drinks. The weekend concludes with poolside brunch on Sunday. Guests will receive a Viceroy travel package, before being transported to LAX by luxury shuttle service. All for just $500,000. Plus tax.


Tax Rebate Package at Acqualina Resort, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

AcqualinaOf all the tax rebate packages offered by hotels right now, this has got to be one of the best deals. Rosewood's sumptuous Acqualina Resort, situated on the white sand between Ft Lauderdale and Miami, was one of the hottest hotel openings of 2006. Guests are lured by the ESPA oceanfront spa, acclaimed Il Mulino New York restaurant, marine-biology based kids' program, and glorious swimming pools overlooking the Atlantic. Here's the skinny on the tax rebate package: A couple can take their $1200 and splurge on a two night stay in an oceanfront room, daily continental breakfast for two, and a 60-minute spa treatment per person. Considering that the rack rate for 2008 is $1050 per night, lucky guests are getting a good value. Valid from May-September.