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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.

Winter Escapes: Sundance Resort, Utah

November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Sundance Resort

Created by Robert Redford, Sundance Resort is an intimate preserve that balances art, nature, and community. Situated at the base of 12,000 foot Mount Timpanogos, the resort consists of 95 luxurious guest cottages and 6,000 acres of pristine mountain wilderness to explore. Though rooms may be all booked for the celebrated Sundance Film Festival (January 18-28, 2007), superb winter packages entice guests to indulge in a luxurious hideaway at Sundance. Dine in the highest Zagat-rated fine restaurant in the state of Utah, the Tree Room. Pamper yourself at the Native American-inspired spa, which utilizes all organic products in its sumptuous treatments. Take a class at the artisan center: jewelry making, photography, painting, pottery, and recycled glass blowing demonstrations. And explore Utah's beautiful terrain with a vast array of mountain activities including biking, hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing. For a limited time, enjoy a one-night escape at an amazing value, starting at $160.25 (based on double occupancy). Package includes a luxurious night in one of the mountain cottages and a full American breakfast for two in the Foundry Grill. Available until December 7, 2006. Sundance Resort offers another excellent package: Stay 3 Ski Free. If you book three or more nights in a cottage suite, enjoy two all day lift passes per day. Also includes breakfast for two. Package starts at $927 based on double occupancy.


The Surf Concierge at Four Seasons Resort Aviara, San Diego

November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Aviara

Surf's up. Welcome to San Diego, where it's always sunny and seventy degrees, and the leading luxury resort-- the AAA five diamond Four Seasons Aviara-- has a surf concierge. That's right. This concierge dude hangs out in a poolside surf shack and relays the latest wave conditions and ocean temperature to interested guests. A Surf Shuttle departs from the resort daily at 10:30 am to transport guests to Moonlight Beach, one of San Diego's top surf spots, where lessons are held. The surf concierge-turned-instructor gives personalized two-hour lessons, which includes wetsuit and board. (Never fear: s/he's a professional, and life-guard-certified.) The ultimate goal of the surf concierge: help you catch your first wave.


A Swinging New Year at the Art Deco Hotel Montana, Lucerne, Switzerland

November 15, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Art Deco Hotel Montana

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Art Deco Hotel Montana is-- you guessed it-- a celebration of everything Art Deco. Since its opening in 1910, the stylish hotel has dazzled guests with its vistas and fun bravura design. Originally built as a palace hotel, the Art Deco Hotel Montana is within walking distance to the picturesque city center of Lucerne. The 62 guest rooms and suites are individually designed with flair: salmon, turquoise, and sienna yellow bathrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors, original art deco bars and spiral staircases in the Tower Suites, bold and modern touches throughout. From your balcony, enjoy fantastic views across Lake Lucerne to the Swiss Alps. (There's even a cable car from the lobby to the lake promenade.) This New Year's, escape to Switzerland for a fun end-of-year bash, and welcome in 2007 in style. The Art Deco Hotel Montana is hosting a celebration with a Hula Hoop theme, so grab a hula hoop and hit the dance floor. Package includes three nights accommodations, breakfast, and five-course gala dinner plus entertainment on New Year's Eve. Rates starting from CHF 1,386 per room inclusive of tax and service charge. Minimum three nights stay, available from December 30, 2006 to January 5, 2007.


The Best Restaurants in LA: The Belvedere at The Peninsula Beverly Hills

November 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Belvedere

It’s really no wonder The Belvedere is so good. It's located in the only hotel in So Cal to earn the distinction of an AAA Five-Diamond and Mobil Five-Star rating for 13 consecutive years. Its sophisticated ambience, impeccable service, and outstanding American cuisine have distinguished The Belvedere as one of the finest restaurants in LA. In fact, readers of Travel and Leisure recently voted it the "Best Hotel Restaurant in the Continental US and Canada." Star chef Sean Hardy has created a beautiful menu which includes signature items like the famed "Macaroni and Cheese", Elbow Pasta with Taleggio Cheese, Shaved Truffles, and a Parmesan Tuile, or Potato-Crusted California Sturgeon. Guests can dine on the patio and soak up the California rays while indulging in the exemplary cuisine. One can even get their food to go (*gasp*) with the Pen-Air menu, originally designed to accommodate guests on their flights home. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The Sunday brunch is especially popular.


Announcing The Resort at Singer Island, Florida

November 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Resort at Singer Island

Palm Beach County's newest luxury resort, smack on the oceanfront on Florida's Gold Coast, is a member of Starwood's Luxury Collection. The 239 elegant suites are mammoth, ranging in size from 800-2,100 sq ft, outfitted with high tech kitchens, marble baths, and modern decor. And then there's the view. From the expansive suite terraces, guests can take in breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Resort facilities include an 8,500 sq ft spa, two swimming pools, beach and pool cabanas, luxury collection kids club, and exquisite dining. (There's even a temperature-controlled wine room available to store private wine collections.) And of course butler service, valet attendants, and a full-time concierge will dote on guests' every need. Now accepting reservations for arrival on or after February 1, 2007. PS. It's totally smoke-free.


Destination Berlin: Rocco Forte’s New Hotel de Rome

November 14, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel de Rome

"Berlin is Europe's new cultural and entertainment powerhouse," says Frommer's. And with three opera houses, 150 performance stages, 200 art galleries, 170 museums, and more bars than any other German city, Berlin easily lives up to the hype. The dynamic capital is a hip and exciting European destination, with myriad five-star hotels to boot. The latest luxury hotel on the scene is Rocco Forte's Hotel de Rome, which opened recently in the fashionable Mitte district. Housed in the historic bank building, the EUR 70 million hotel features spectacular panoramic views of the city's best attractions. The hotel retains the classical style of the original 1889 building-- mosaic floors, the bank vault now converted into a pool-- while showcasing edgy, contemporary design from Tommaso Ziffer, who also designed the Hotel de Russie in Rome. The 146 guest rooms are modern, comfortable, luxurious, and feature all the latest cutting-edge technology, including Broadband Internet and interactive flat-screen television. Book the 120 square meter Presidential Suite and enjoy the incredible full-length terrace overlooking Bebelplatz.


Hotel Bora Bora: Pacific Paradise

November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Bora Bora

Overwater bungalows perched over a turquoise lagoon beneath the lush green volcanic peaks of Mount Otemanu. Palm-fringed gardens. Endless stretches of white sand beach. An offshore coral reef, 25 miles long, which hosts a variety of colorful marine life. Welcome to paradise. Hotel Bora Bora is a picture-perfect vacation destination, a luxurious boutique hotel with 54 Polynesian-style bungalows and fares amidst the tropical perfection of French Polynesia. Enjoy swimming, diving, snorkeling, sailing, and deep-sea fishing. Bungalows are outfitted in rattan and bamboo, with Tasmanian oak floors, red-cedar walls, and ceilings of pandanus lashed to beams of Douglas fir. Some feature sundecks, private pools, and outside showers. Until March 31, 2007, take advantage of a special offer at Hotel Bora Bora which includes complimentary breakfast with a stay in a bungalow, plus a complimentary massage for two with a minimum five-night stay. Includes round-trip airport transfers. Starting from $700 in a bungalow.


Wine Tasting at The Milestone Hotel, London

November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Milestone Hotel

The Wine Dinners at The Milestone Hotel, compiled by famed Cellar Master, Nicolas Clerc, are sumptuous affairs, tailored for connoisseurs of fine food and wine. Each wine dinner begins at 7 pm with aperitifs, followed by a four-course dinner paired with different wines. Upcoming events are on Wednesday, November 22, with David Powell from Torbreck Estate, Australia (GBP 75), and Wednesday, December 13, with London's foremost Burgundy importers who seek out small, family owned domaines (GBP 90). Take advantage of the Wine and Dine Package at The Milestone Hotel and Apartments and enjoy a luxurious guest room, full English breakfast, personal wine tasting with the Sommelier, and an elaborate four-course gourmet dinner.


Four Seasons Great Exuma at Emerald Bay, Bahamas: Golf and Spa Package

November 13, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Great Exuma

Escape to the secluded Exuma cays, a beautiful tropical oasis just a short flight from Florida. At the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma, indulge in luxury while surrounded by crystal-clear Bahamian waters and silky sand beaches. Lounge poolside at the free-form Active Pool, amidst the lush landscaping, while attendants provide iced water, cold towels, and refreshing chilled spritz. Play a round of golf on the breathtaking championship 18-hole course designed by golf legend, Greg Norman, or hit some tennis on one of six Hydro Har-Tru courts (all lit for night play). Or indulge in an indulgent spa treatment at the beautiful open-air spa, followed by relaxation in the tranquil spa garden. The Golf and Spa package at Four Seasons Great Exuma has been designed for couples to make the most of their vacation in paradise. For each night you stay, choose either a 50-minute spa treatment or one round of golf, for the perfect combination of recreation and pampering. Package includes luxurious accommodations and choice of one round of golf (inclusive of cart) and one 50-minute spa treatment (for up to two persons, per room, per night). Starting at $628 per night in a Garden View Room. Valid until December 16, 2006.


Winter Getaway at The Merrion, Dublin: Truffles, Irish Coffee, and Literary Inspirations

November 10, 2006
By: Mary Winston Nicklin

The Merrion

The Merrion-- Dublin's finest five-star hotel-- is the place to be this winter season. A crackling fire lights the Drawing Room, and the bar and restaurant buzz with action. The luxurious Georgian surroundings of the Merrion-- comprised of four restored townhouses-- are filled with warmth and good cheer. At the vibrant Cellar Bar, fashionable patrons sip the ultimate Irish Coffee, or choose from one of fifty select wine vintages, now served by the glass. On the evening of November 14, 2006, The Cellar Restaurant will be showcasing an indulgent truffle menu guaranteed to dazzle even the most serious of gourmands. The experience will start with an introduction to truffles before the exceptional six course menu created by Executive Chef Ed Cooney in conjunction with the world renowned Urbani family.

During the winter months, curl up with a good book and unwind in style at The Merrion. The hotel has created a Literary Inspirations Experience for guests to soak up Ireland's literary heritage while being pampered in luxury; the package includes overnight stay, full Irish breakfast, and the rare opportunity to see the collected works of WB Yeats in the nearby National Library with a private curator tour.

And of course, there are myriad festivities and events to celebrate the holiday season: feasts, family entertainment, traditional menus, and a trip to Dublin's premiere race: Leopardstown Christmas Race Festival. After all that merry-making, detox at the luxurious Tethra Spa, a favorite of Dubliners and guests from around the world, which offers a variety of sumptuous treatments, an infinity pool, and fitness center.