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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.

Explore the Amazon in Peru with International Expeditions

November 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Amazon Expedition

For 25 years, International Expeditions travelers have been observing the natural wonders of the Amazon on riverboat expeditions in Peru. The Amazon is the mightiest river in the world, surrounded by pristine rainforest which shelters the most diverse ecosystem on the planet. On the 10-day expedition, travelers voyage along the Amazon's tributaries and see incredible wildlife: monkeys, birds, sloths, pink and gray dolphins, and more. The expedition travels deep into the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, the largest wetland reserve in the world. Expert local naturalist guides accompany each expedition. Despite the remote rainforest locale, guests enjoy fine accommodations-- state rooms are elegant, the bathrooms, spacious-- and delicious cuisine. For a limited time, take advantage of a special offer and enjoy savings of $500 per person. Explore the Peruvian Amazon on a 10-day journey with International Expeditions departing January 5, 2007 and get a real deal (It's often hard to persuade people to travel anywhere the first week of January, and thus there are still some spots remaining for this voyage. IE is rolling back the prices as a special inducement to fill the spots.) Lower deck cabins are priced at $2,398, and upper deck cabins for $2,498. Hurry! Just a few spots left. Call 1-800-633-4734 for reservations.


New England Thanksgiving: A Free Night at The Equinox Resort, Vermont

November 7, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Equinox Resort and Spa

The award-winning Equinox Resort and Spa is cooking up a delicious, New England style Thanksgiving feast. Escape to Manchester Village, Vermont for a fall getaway and celebrate Thanksgiving with a free night. Situated on 2,300 acres between the Green and Taconic Mountains, the Equinox dates back more than 200 years. Enjoy deluxe accommodations, a recently renovated Avanyu Spa, and year round outdoor activities. The Thanksgiving package includes four nights accommodations for the price of three, daily breakfast, daily dinner, complimentary use of the Avanyu fitness spa, and Thanksgiving dinner in either the Colonnade Dining Room or the Marsh Tavern. The four-night package is $918.50 per person, based on double occupancy. Available November 22-November 26, 2006.


Heavenly Hawaii: Shaken, Not Stirred Package at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel

November 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Mauna Lani

After the recent earthquake in Hawaii, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows has devised a perfectly delicious Shaken, Not Stirred Package, to tempt wary visitors to return to the islands. In the quake's aftermath, the AAA five-diamond luxury property is undamaged (and everything is a-ok), but lucky guests can now score rates of up to 40 percent off. Located on the Big Island's Kohala coast, Mauna Lani is surrounded by a lush volcanic landscape chock full of waterfalls, rainforests, active lava flows and even snow-capped mountains. The beachfront resort is recognized worldwide for its 25,000 sq ft spa, two championship Hawaii golf courses, top tennis facilities at the Sport and Fitness Club, and three miles of white sand beach, where guests can witness the whale migration just offshore. This is easily one of the most romantic spots in the world.

With the Shaken, Not Stirred Package, "discover first-hand that the tranquil beauty of Mauna Lani has not been stirred." Package includes two pineapple martinis, daily buffet breakfast for two, daily use of snorkeling equipment, access to the Mauna Lani Sports and Fitness Club, nightly Hawaiian entertainment, tours of Mauna Lani's historic fishponds and petroglyph fields. Rates start from $390 per night, available until December 19, 2006.


Holiday Happenings at The Jefferson, Richmond, Virginia

November 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Jefferson

The Jefferson is simply brimming with good cheer this holiday season. An American landmark since 1895, The Jefferson is one of only 23 hotels to hold both the Mobil Five Star and the AAA Five Diamond ratings. Located in the center of downtown Richmond, The Jefferson is a luxurious haven of old-world charm and personalized service. The fun-filled holiday events begin with the annual Grand Illumination on November 27 at 6pm in The Rotunda, when the 45-foot Christmas tree is illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights and ornaments. (Rumor has it that Mr. Claus will be there.) Throughout the month of December, The Jefferson will celebrate the season with Music at Midday, as gifted music makers from the Richmond area will perform at the hotel, starting with the Collegiate Strings on Wednesday, December 6. Of course there are exceptional dining experiences offered this holiday season; the Thanksgiving feast is a glorious affair with excellent Virginia specialties (lunch and dinner at TJ's, and a Champagne Brunch is available in The Rotunda). Christmas and New Year's seatings are likewise extraordinary events. The New Year's Eve Celebration includes a four-course prix fixe dinner at TJ's, dancing to the music of the Skip Gailes Quintet in The Palm Court, and a champagne toast at midnight. And there are excellent Holiday Packages available at The Jefferson. For example, the New Year's Eve Bed and Breakfast Package, priced at $255 for superior room, includes champagne upon arrival and full American breakfast.


Why Winter in Whistler: North America’s Top Ski Destination

November 6, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Pan Pacific Whistler

Eager skiers are anxiously counting down the days until the November 23, 2006 opening day of ski season at Whistler Blackcomb. The biggest ski resort in North America may also be the best-- judging by the number of accolades it's racked up recently. According to Conde Nast Traveler's annual readers' choice awards, Whistler hotels are the best in Canada: the Pan Pacific Mountainside, Four Seasons Whistler, and Westin are the top three. Luxury Spa Finder magazine ranked the The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Whistler as the third best spa in the world. Australia's Luxury Travel Magazine (Summer 2006) named Whistler the best overseas ski resort, and Forbes Traveler (along with Skiing Magazine) voted Whistler Blackcomb as the number one resort in North America. With the biggest vertical rise in North America (a whopping 5,280 feet) and the most terrain (8,171 acres), it's little wonder why Whistler has swept up the awards.


Conrad Chicago: Holidays on Magnificent Mile

November 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Conrad Chicago The Windy City is magical during the holidays. From the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (November 18) to the Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier (think decorated trees, thousands of lights, and lots of family-style holiday attractions), Chicago knows how to celebrate in style. And of course the holiday shopping is world-class. This year, Conrad Chicago is offering a Holidays on Magnificent Mile package for lucky guests to enjoy Chicago at its glittery best. The package includes a fifty dollar gift card and VIP savings passport for Westfield North Bridge shopping mall, thirty dollars for shipping of items within the United States, gift wrapping, holiday martini at Rendez-Vous lounge, late check-out, and complimentary parking for one night. Located in the heart of it all in Chitown, Conrad Chicago is one of the most prestigious addresses on the Magnificent Mile. (The 311 guestrooms boast incredible views over the city skyline.) Within walking distance of The Loop, The Merchandise Mart, and Lake Michigan, the Conrad is a perfect urban oasis, with the best restaurants and shopping experiences at its doorstep.


Exclusive Thanksgiving Offers from Kor Hotels

November 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Campton Place

Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with up to 20 percent off select Kor Hotels in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Washington DC, San Francisco, and West Hollywood. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a luxurious getaway while award-winning chefs prepare your Thanksgiving dinner. At the Campton Place Restaurant (San Francisco), Executive Chef Peter Rudolph offers a four-course dinner with veg options available. (Adults $105, kids $35, 12pm-8pm.) The culinary creations include butter poached Maine lobster, Red Kuri squash soup, and roasted turkey breast and gravy with blue lake beans and potato puree. And Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica will host a decadent Thanksgiving extravaganza with delicious selections from Executive Chef Warren Schwartz that include pan seared New Zealand salmon and baby pumpkin filled with mascarpone polenta. (Adults $75, kids $37.50, 1pm-8:45 pm.) Taste buds tempted?


Eos Airlines Expands its Fleet

November 3, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Eos Airlines

Just a year old and Eos Airlines is already legendary. The all premium-class airline, famed for its highly personalized level of service, has dazzled international business and leisure travelers with its enormous suites, featuring fully horizontal beds and 21 square feet of personal space. Specially configured Boeing 757's are configured for only 48 seats. The ultimate in convenience and comfort, Eos offers twice daily service from New York and London, including a curbside escort service through "fast-track" check-in. The airline recently announced that it has secured a second round of institutional investment ($75 million), which will enable it to expand its fleet of 757 aircraft in preparation for new routes in 2007.


Spa Trends: “Spadominiums” from Miraval Living and Canyon Ranch

November 2, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Miraval

In today's article "Living in Zen: The Spa Life, 24/7" the NYT identified the latest trend in lifestyle community living: "spadominiums" brought to you by Miraval, the Tucson-based destination spa, and Canyon Ranch, its chief competitor. Spa lifestyle communities have been springing up rapidly across the country in recent years; most of them are second-home condos at destination resorts. But now Miraval and Canyon Ranch are creating condominium projects in major cities to help foster a balanced urban life dedicated to wellness and healthy living.

Beginning in early 2008 those who choose to relocate to 515 East 72nd Street will be able to experience Miraval’s spa, fitness, nutrition and general wellness programming from the comfort of their own high-rise condominium homes. The project will be known as Miraval Living; the company is billing it as New York City's first "inspired living residence" and the first of what John Vanderslice, the chief executive, said would be 10 to 15 similar developments in the next decade in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Washington.

Canyon Ranch has similar spa-living condos under development in Miami and Chicago.

Related Articles:

Dr. Andrew Weil Presents Healthy Aging at Miraval, Life in Balance, Resort


Five-Star Dining in Phoenix, Arizona: Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort

November 2, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sheraton Wild Horse Pass

Kai, the renowned restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa on the Gila River Reservation, was recently awarded the covered five-diamond award from AAA. Located within the rugged expanse of Arizona's Sonoran Desert, the resort is designed to be an authentic representation of the Gila River Indian Community's cultural heritage. Its restaurant, Kai (meaning "seed" in the Pima language) is tribe-owned, and offers a menu rich in Native American culture. In fact, Executive Chef Michael O'Dowd and Native American Chef de Cuisine Jack Strong have masterfully created an indigenous menu focusing on locally farmed ingredients. (James Beard Award-winning Chef Janos Wilder is consulting chef for Kai.) Sample menu items include Tenderloin of Buffalo from the Cheyenne River Tribe (with Smoked Corn Puree, Barbeque Scarlet Runner Beans, Saguaro Blossom Syrup, Cholla Buds and Seasonal Mushrooms) and Sugpiaq Black Cod with Los Palacios Chorizo and Red Lake Wild Rice (accompanied by Plantain Creme Brulee, Guava Nectar, Caramelized Young Pineapple Wild Rice and Yucatan Coconut Cream). Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, reservations are recommended.

Via AZCentral.com