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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER

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The 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.

| By: Five Star Alliance

Five-star hotels are properties that offer their guests the highest levels of luxury through personalized services, a vast range of amenities, and sophisticated accommodations. Though there is no standard rating system for hotels, properties earn five-star distinction by providing guests experiences that meet or exceed even the highest of expectations for comfort, décor, and luxury.

5 Star Hotel Criteria

Though a luxury hotel may share many five-star hotel characteristics, a true five-star hotel should satisfy all these criteria:

5-Star Service

Five-star hotel employees should be polite, attentive, discreet, and can anticipate guests’ needs. All-in-all, consistently flawless excellence is the expectation.

  • Standalone concierge staff available at least 16 hours a day
  • A high staff-to-room ratio—ideally above 2.5
  • Multilingual staff
  • 24-hour reception, room service, valet parking, butler, doorman
  • Nightly turndown
  • Easy communication with hotel staff - even via text or app
  • Daily housekeeping that is also available upon request at any time
  • Laundry, ironing, dry cleaning, and shoe polishing
  • Guest elevators separate from staff elevators
  • Medical Team and resources on call
  • Luggage storage in which bags are out of guest view
  • Fine dining restaurant(s) and a standalone lounge and/or bar
  • Transfers and executive or house car
  • Childcare options including vetted babysitting service
  • Pre-check-in registration and preferences

5-Star In-Room Amenities

  • Luxurious Robes & Slippers
  • Electric safe
  • Laundry bags
  • Full-length mirror with lighting
  • Flat-screen TV with international programming
  • Outlets for personal electronics, especially extra USB plugs
  • Stocked mini bar
  • Selection of daily newspapers
  • Wifi
  • Specialty night lighting
  • At least four types of spa treatments
  • Digital room key entry

5-Star Comfort

  • Guest rooms must be plush and inviting—especially the bed (ideally, there is a memory foam bed with high thread count sheets)
  • Pillow menu
  • Blackout shades
  • Bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, and large fluffy towels
  • Night lighting in walking areas and bathrooms
  • Poolside daybeds, umbrellas, lotions, ice water, attendants, and food and beverage service

5-star hotel meaning

As more hotels aspire to five-star quality, we expect to see the very best hotels advance the standards of luxury. Here is what does exist in many five-star hotels, and will become standard for luxury hotels soon:

  • Remote access to room lighting, climate, and "do not disturb"
  • Upgraded coffee machines
  • Smart TV features with access to streaming services
  • Bluetooth-enabled door locks

Who awards hotels 5 stars? 

There is no universal standard for hotel ratings. 

Terms such as Deluxe/Luxury, First Class/Superior, Tourist Class/Standard, and Budget Class/Economy are more widely accepted as hotel types, not hotel standards.

In North America, AAA hotel ratings are from 1 to 5 diamonds. The Forbes (Mobil) Travel Guideonly ranks 4- and 5-star hotels.

In Europe, the Hotelstars Union has standard hotel star ratings applicable to properties for more than 15 countries. Switzerland uses hotelleriesuisse which confirms a certain level of quality service, infrastructure, and equipment. The UK uses the Automobile Association's (AA) 1-to-5 star ratings.

Many other nations have laws to define hotel rating criteria.

In New Zealand, Qualmark, part of Tourism New Zealand, grades hotels from 1 to 5 stars.

In Australia, the Auto Clubs (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT) have awarded hotels star ratings that incorporate guest feedback. The ratings are now managed by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC).

In the Philippines, the Department of Tourism maintains hotel rating standards with a system that grades properties between 1 and 5 stars.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) grades hotels based on strict criteria and conditions in six categories.

India's classifications are handled by the Ministry of Tourism's Hotel and Restaurant Association Classification Committee (HRACC). The categories are 1 to 5 Stars and 5 Star Deluxe as well as categories for heritage: Heritage Grand, Heritage Classic, and Heritage Basic.

While it might be great for marketing, there are no 7-star or 6-star hotels

In addition to meeting the criteria above, all of the Five Star Alliance hotels must maintain a high degree of satisfaction from guests across review sites and via feedback provided directly to us. This article and the details get updated frequently based on changing standards and newly available criteria.

 

Click here to explore all of our five-star hotels >>

5-star luxury hotel meaning

written by Courtney W. May, Five Star Alliance 

* This page is fully maintained and updated when appropriate

 


| By: Courtney W. May

Cruise Packing

Looking for an answer to what are some of the best non-obvious items to pack on a cruise? You've come to the right place. Below we suggest the best items to throw in your suitcase and why.

Keep in mind we are NOT including the obvious, essential items like a camera, small cash bills, sunglasses, walking shoes, your medications, etc.  

 


PACKING LIST

  • BINOCULARS

    • ​No need to tote around anything big. There are quite small high-powered ones that do the trick, especially for general uses for binoculars like sightseeing.
  • THANK YOU CARDS

    • Don't just use an envelope, give tips and gratuities to staff in a "Thank You Card" that can easily hold cash and is more heartfelt.

    NIGHTLIGHTS

    • Battery powered nightlights (not ones that need plugs). Getting up to go to the bathroom or whatever will be dark. Look for ones like "Magnetic LED Puck Light for Under Cabinet Lighting, Closet Light, Battery Powered, Push Lights, Tap Lights, Touch Lights". If you can also find motion detector ones. This one is my favorite that I take with me (they are small) link.

    CLOCK

    • LED digital, dimmable, battery operated alarm clock with large display. You will never know what time it is and have to check your phone/watch constantly. That's extra annoying in the middle of the night. 

    LAUNDRY DETERGENT

    • Woolite Travel Sized Laundry Detergent Packets - these are easy to carry and really easy to use. Whether in a tub, sink, or the floor of a shower, you can get laundry clean and then hang it to dry.

    MINI-PLUG EXTENDER

    • You cannot bring power strips on most ships. They will confiscate these from you. But you'll need more outlets than exist in the cabins. You are going to want to bring more than one wall mount multi-plug extender. Make sure you pick ones that have both outlets and USB ports. You will also want something like a "Fast Family USB Travel Charger". These are great for cruise ships but ALSO for using when you are at home or work.
  • LUGGAGE TAGS

    • Clear plastic luggage tags that can be zip sealed and have steel loops. These are for your luggage tags. Each cruise line will provide you with luggage tags prior to sailing - normally they are just paper and you staple or tap them on your baggage handles. The only your luggage is going to be brought to your room at the start of your cruise is if the luggage tag is displaying. You can buy these quality pouches in lots of different sizes and options for different cruise lines.

    TOWEL CLIPS

    • Beach Towel Clips. Cruise ships can get very windy. So can beaches. Using these clips will ensure you don't have towels flying off into the ocean but also denotes YOUR chairs and space so others won't try to take them. They have really fun designs and options.
  • EAR PLUGS

    • Noise Cancelling/Reducing Ear Plugs. You'd be surprised some of the stuff you might hear when you don't want to and can't avoid it.

    MINI FAN

    • Rechargeable, mini portable battery fan. Cabins may be individually climate controlled, but it can get hot.

 


MAGNETS

Your ceiling, doors, and 80% of your walls are magnetic. Strong magnets. You need to use this to your advantage.

  • HOOKS

    • Magnetic hooks. I own about 20 of these in different sizes and strength. Make sure to get ones that are Neodymium and hold at least 20 lbs. You'll use these to hang your lanyard, clothing, towels, ALL KINDS OF STUFF.  This is a must have and you will never have enough.
    • In the bathroom, make sure you add some more magnetic hooks for towels, bathing suits, etc.
  • NOTEPAD

    • Magnetic whiteboard or notepad (and magnetic pencil holder or string to tie a pen). You'll want to be able to leave notes for each other (you can stick them up with magnets), and also for your housekeeping staff, etc. It comes in more handy than you expect.
  • DECORATION

    • Refrigerator magnets, magnetic bumper stickers, etc. You're going to want to decorate each cabin door. Every hallways and every room look EXACTLY the same and go on forever and finding your room is annoying. If you aren't paying attention you could go in circle for house and never get these. Decorating your door with magnets (or painters tape) makes it easier to find your cabins, gives people walking by some enjoyment, and everyone loves them. You can also do the plastic/paper door covers or whatever, but you have magnets - take advantage of them. You will see lots of people who cruise frequently doing really elaborate stuff.

 


CRUISING WITH A GROUP

  • WALKIE-TALKIES

    • Communicate with your fellow travelers or between cabins if you have more than one. Lots of ships are providing wifi text and calling onboard so that passengers can communicate with each other - but that's not universally true. 
  • SHOWER CURTAIN

    • Extra long, magnetic shower curtain (not clear). Using the magnets, you'll hang this from the ceiling to divide up your room when necessary. In case you want to separate sleeping areas, privacy for changing outside the bathroom, etc. You can buy a few very cheap ones and then use them later in your home, or just keep them in your "cruise supplies" section. This is not a necessary item, but can be a cheap easy way to separate spaces for groups like yours.

 


STORAGE

  • WATER BOTTLE/TRAVEL MUG

    • Refillable water bottles and travel mugs are great for grabbing what you need and always having some available, while not being as wasteful with glasses or waste.
  • HANGING TOILIETRIES BAG

    • Make sure your toiletries bag has a hook on it. Use the hook (and magnets if needed) to have constant access to your things without them flying all over the place, being touched by others, getting in the way of housecleaning, etc.
  • HANGING ORGANIZER

    • Bring a mesh, hanging organizer (one that can hang over the door, or in the closet, or off magnets on your wall -- like you would buy to use for shoes). You can use this for jewelry, smaller items, all kinds of things. Even shoes. Waterproof mesh hanging organizers can also be great in the shower to hold shampoo, conditioner, razors, soap, etc.
  • CLOTHESLINE

    • Portable Travel Clotheslines are great for the bathroom, balcony, or even up at the pool. They are pretty small but come in handy if you have a bunch of beeach/pool stuff to dry.
  • LANYARD POUCH

    • Clear, zip seal pouch on a lanyard to hold your identification, room key, credit cards, etc. You'll frequently have to be showing or using the onboard ship card and this helps keep it handy and you won't lose it.
  • WATERPROOF PHONE CARRIER

    • Waterproof phone pouch. They have gotten pretty sophisticated with these so that you can still use your touchscreen even when it is enveloped in plastic. You can also use these to hold room keys, vaccination documents, credit cards, identification, etc. They come on lanyards and make like much easier. 
  • WET/DRY BAG

    • Travel, hanging, washable Wet Dry Bags that allow you to carry your wet and dry items in the same bag.

 

Anything we're missing? Let us know!

What to Pack on a Cruise

 

 

 

Posted in: Articles

| By: Five Star Alliance

Learn More about Five Star Alliance's Private Car & Limo Service: Vitesse Worldwide

Five Star Alliance offers the most comprehensive collection of handpicked luxury hotels available anywhere, online or off. Our goal is to provide discerning travelers with the best hotel recommendations and reservations from our collection of 100% luxury hotels.

Customers often ask to recommend a chauffeured car service. After carefully researching the market, Five Star Alliance has partnered with Vitesse Worldwide, a company that shares our commitment to world-class service for discerning travelers.

Vitesse Worldwide handpicks drivers in every market, and customer service is their number one priority. Their range of services and fleet of luxury sedans, SUVs, limousines, corporate vans, executive vans, mini-coaches and motor coaches has been specially tailored to provide travelers with the widest selection of options available. All of their chauffeurs undergo background checks and are PAX certified – the gold standard for chauffeur training in customer service and driver safety.

Vitesse Fleet ChoicesThey offer:

  • Services in over 500 major cities and 90 countries worldwide
  • 365 days 24/7 operations
  • Private door-to-door luxury service
  • Airport Meet & Greet service
  • Corporate shuttles
  • Ground transportation management for conferences, conventions and road shows
  • Corporate events
  • Range of concierge services
  • Multilingual chauffeurs

 

Reserve a Sedan, SUV, Limo or other specialty vehicle now

To facilitate a quick, accurate quote or reservation, the following information will be required:

  • Passenger name and account name
  • Date, day, pick-up time and trip information
  • Pick-up address, phone number and email address
  • Drop-off address or airport, airline and flight number
  • Type of vehicle required: (Sedan, stretch limousine, SUV, etc.)
  • Your name, contact details and any special instructions

Through the Vitesse online reservations service you can now easily make bookings, edit them and view all your itinerary information from anywhere in the world. If you’ve already created an account, please login or create a new one.

Vitesse Worldwide will provide you with premium chauffeured car service from the airport to your hotel as well as customized trips almost anywhere in the world. Please have your airport, hotel, and address details available when you book. For VIP service, book online, call +1-203-902-5505 or email FiveStar (at) VitesseWorldwide.com.

Book online now >>

Vitesse Worldwide

Vitesse Car Options

Posted in: Articles

| By: Courtney W. May

Within the center of one of Mexico's most historical colonial cities in a nineteenth-century building, Banyan Tree Puebla takes over the old Azul Talavera Hotel.

Highlights include:

  • The Italian restaurant Trattoria Cello
  • Banyan Tree's signature Saffron Thai restaurant
  • An iconic rooftop terrace amid the sweeping skyline with a church steeple, historic bell towers and five stunning volcanoes on the horizon
  • A Banyan Tree Spa
  • 78 stunning rooms and suites await

 

Check rates, availability, and more for Banyan Tree Puebla here: https://www.fivestaralliance.com/luxury-hotels/puebla/banyan-tree-puebla

 

Posted in: Mexico, New Hotels, Puebla

| By: Courtney W. May

Learn more about Silversea's Antarctic voyages through the video below - Inside Luxury featuring Ignacio Maza from Five Star Alliance. Then check out all of our Silversea Antarctica sailings that include exclusive, Five Star Signature offers.

Explore the elegant lifestyle of all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruising aboard Silversea's intimate luxury cruise ships sailing to Antarctica. With Silversea Cruises you'll enjoy free-flowing premium wines and spirits, gourmet cuisine, in-suite dining, full butler service for every suite (and yes, in every category), expedition activities and onboard lectures, and of course all gratuities. Savour the peace of mind of knowing that there is no salient price-tag at the end of a wonderful night of entertainment. Which is also complimentary, by the way.

Whether you are interested in an expedition to Antarctica or further North, with over 900 destinations across all 7 continents, wherever you want to go, you can get there with Silversea.

Click here to find all of the Five Star Signature Specials for Silversea Antarctic Voyages >>


| By: Rachael Weir

Destination Spotlight: Los Cabos

From bountiful sunshine to championship golf courses, Los Cabos is a destination for fun in the sun. Located on the Pacific Coast along the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, Los Cabos is comprised primarily of two towns, San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. Linked by a 20-mile corridor, the area offers an array of world-class resorts and championship golf courses.

Sometimes referred to as "Land's End," Los Cabos is a magical region full of contrasts. From the Sea of Cortez to desert and mountains, the region abounds with natural splendor and biodiversity.

Cabo San Lucas is known for vitality and nightlife, as well as a variety of attractions including the marina. It is the Marlin Capital, and it is also the home of The Arch, where the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean meet. Originally a fishing village, the area has expanded over the years and is now home to the biggest fishing tournament in the world, luxe resorts, and a marina where some of the best deep-sea fishing excursions begin. Some of the region's top beaches are located here including Lover's Beach, Divorce Beach, and Medano Beach.

Whether you're seeking to plan a destination wedding or honeymoon, Los Cabos offers a variety of options including civil ceremonies, beach settings, or church weddings. Golfers can choose from an array of courses with amazing views, including Quivira located amidst rolling dunes at Land's End, 275 feet above the sea. If wellness is your style, the region's resorts have a variety of mind, body, and spirit treatments along with one-of-a-kind spa retreats.

 

Here Are 5 Top Los Cabos Hotels

 

5. Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Providing an oasis of luxury and sophistication, Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is a beachfront resort set amidst the cliffs at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula. The secluded oasis offers Mexican hospitality with a bottle of Clase Azul Reposado tequila to welcome guests, local cuisine at Don Manuel's, a cliffside culinary experience at El Farallon, and an array of sensory treatments inspired by the moon, sea, and Mexican folk healing at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. Plus guests can partake in a curated collection of nature focused activities that reveal the diverse landscape, wildlife, and people of the Baja region.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive daily full breakfast for two daily and a $150 resort credit once per stay.

Book a stay at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal >>

 

4. Chileno Bay Resort & Residences

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences

Offering a waterfront setting and a three-tiered resort pool, Chileno Bay Resort & Residences is a luxury resort within the Auberge Resorts Collection. Set on one of Cabo's only swimmable beaches, the resort provides guests with a variety of sports options, including paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. COMAL showcases views of the Sea of Cortez within an open-air setting and the Spa at Chileno Bay provides award-winning Auberge Signature Treatments along with purification gardens and an aromatherapy steam room. Resort guests have access to the private members-only Chileno Bay Club's championship golf course designed by Tom Fazio.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will receive daily full breakfast in Comal and a $100 spa treatment credit per room, per stay.

Book a stay at Chileno Bay Resort and Residences >>

 

3. Montage Los Cabos 

Montage Los Cabos

Situated along 39 acres of white-sand beach where the Sea of Cortez meets the Baja desert sands is Montage Los Cabos. Offering 122 rooms, suites, and casitas, as well as 52 Montage Residences, the property features modern Mexican styling. The swimmable beach provides guests with swimming, diving, and snorkeling options, while Paintbox provides immersive programs for children. For dining, the resort showcases a fresh take on Mexican culinary traditions with an emphasis on seafood and locally sourced ingredients, as well as a Master Tequilero to create tailor-made experiences.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will receive full breakfast for two daily available in the restaurant or through in-room dining, a $100 food and beverage credit, and a welcome amenity. Specialty Suites (Beachfront Junior Suite and above categories) will also receive a one way airport transfer for up to 4 guests.

Book a stay at Montage Los Cabos >>

 

2. The Cape, A Thompson Hotel

The Cape, A Thompson Hotel

Featuring a vibrant 1960s-meets-Southern-California feel with a mid-century modern aesthetic, The Cape, A Thompson Hotel, is a luxury beach resort and spa. There's a private stairway to the secluded surfing destination of Monuments Beach, and a host of local experiences for guests including visiting the surf village of Todos Santos and the Cabo Pulmo Marine Preserve on the Sea of Cortez. The resort's cuisine highlights regional food and beverages, and a sunken seating area with a fire pit and communal tables has views of downtown Cabo and The Arch. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also include full breakfast for two daily in The Ledge, complimentary Wi-Fi, a $100 food and beverage, and a welcome amenity.

Book a stay at The Cape >>

 

1. One&Only Palmilla

One&Only Palmilla

Set at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, One&Only Palmilla is an exclusive luxury resort with beachfront access to one of the region's few swimmable beaches. Golfers can hit the 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed golf course with deep arroyos and scenic ocean views. There is a destination spa with a pampering salon, daily yoga in a secluded garden, and a movement studio. The distinctive menu by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is served in four unique venues, and rooms are appointed with deluxe amenities. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include continental breakfast for two daily and a $150 resort credit.

Book a stay at One&Only Palmilla >>

 

Explore more Los Cabos Luxury Resorts


| By: Courtney W. May

This luxury boutique hotel is one of the most beautiful fairytale romantic castle hotels in the Czech Republic, built in 1903 and was famous for attracting elite people of the time. Today, after extensive renovations, Hotel Rübezahl is an exclusive location for travelers wishing to treat themselves to reenergizing relaxation, savor exquisite dishes accompanied by the tones of classical music in the gourmet restaurant “The Castle”, or experience an array of outdoor activities in the fresh air such as golf in the “Royal Golf course”, skiing, cycling or horseback riding, to mention but a few of the countless possibilities. Guests can also spend an evening at the gorgeous Casino Bellevue. Continue reading below the photo.

Rubezahl Castle

This luxury castle hotel in Czech Republic is a haven of lavish living across its three floors and 43 elegantly appointed rooms and suites. Wrapped in a legendary atmosphere, the hotel captivates its guests with the refinement of its details which places it amongst the most prestigious in the Czech Republic. The splendor of the marble, the crystal chandeliers, precious wood, grand staircases, classic motifs and antique furnishings — this majestic property offers its guests an extraordinary fairytale holiday experience. Here, you will be able to enter the realm of fairytales and be introduced to a land full of mythand legend. In fact, the statue of the mythical figure of local folklore “Rubezahl, Lord of the Mountains” stands proudly in our grounds and was erected before the castle hotel was built. Rubezahl Marienbad takes its name after this mountain spirit who was so revered for centuries, and considered the protector of the region. His benevolent energy is something that graces our estate, with our esteemed guests’ testimonials reporting to having experienced an incredibly restful sleep and positive energy upon awakening. The location of this historical luxury castle hotel is simply unique. Read more below the photo.

Rubezahl Castle Room

Positioned on top of a hill, it is surrounded by the Slavkovsky forest. It offers stunning panoramic views of the town below that will instill a sublime sense of relaxation and rejuvenation. You will feel as if you have found the portal to a different era, and experience a holiday with a wellness element that will remain etched in your memory for years to come Wellness Castle Hotel in Marianske Lazne Enjoy the great feeling of absolute relaxation and let yourself be pampered from head to toe. The wellness area at Hotel Rübezahl in Marianske Lazne comprises a Roman Irish bath (sauna, hamam, wet massage, jet pool), different massages, salt cave and salt sauna as well as a fully equipped fitness center. Our wellness center also offers two programs for its guests, Burnout syndrome recovery and weight loss program.

For dining, Restaurant “The Castle” We serve an enticing selection of unique recipes that are a perfect blend of traditional meets creative, prepared by the expert hands of our talented chef and his team. Here you will experience an incomparable evening of fine-dining by candle light that invites guests to explore the culinary treasures of Czech Republic gastronomy, using only the finest and freshest of ingredients. Read more below the Restaurant "The Castle" photo.

Restaurant The Castle at Rubezahl Castle

Nearby sights include: Boheminum Miniature Park, Singing fountain, Tepla Abbey, Trips to Bohemia, Prague as well as tours to Austria and Bavaria.

Visit the Hotel Rübezahl's website to book a stay


| By: Courtney W. May

Limited Time Offers to Encourage Planning Your Next Adventure

In the midst of worldwide health challenges, we’re all asking if and when to travel. Ultimately, choosing to go forward with travel plans is a personal call and situations are rapidly evolving.

However, most travel companies have introduced very flexible policies covering deposits, cancellation penalties, and waivers in order to cancel for any reason. These hope to encourage travelers to look towards the future and plan an adventure for when you feel comfortable resuming travel again. With plunging airfares and flexible policies, start planning your next adventure, whether it’s for tomorrow or several months from now with a few of these risk-free choices below.

The following are accurate as of Thursday, March 12th and will updated when new information is available.

HOTELS

Jumby Bay Hotels

Luxury hotels in popular destinations are usually sold out at least 6 months to a year in advance and because of travel worries suddenly room availability has opened up. And to incentivize future travel, these hotels are modifying their usually strict high-season cancellation policies and including extra perks to those willing to make future plans. The increased flexibility can help travelers continue to make plans, while giving them options if the situation deteriorates or their destination hasn't improved prior to departure. Have questions? Get in touch with us, we're here as your partner to help!

Hilton Hotels

In regions affected by government-issued travel restrictions, Hilton will continue to waive change fees or offer full refunds. ALL exisiting reservations – even those described as non-cancellable (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are scheduled for arrival before April 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. Any NEW reservation you make – even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are booked between now and April 30, 2020 for any future arrival date, can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

IHG is enabling flexible travel by waiving cancellation fees for all existing and new bookings at ALL IHG hotels globally for stays between March 9, 2020 and April 30, 2020.

AMResorts

Exclusively for Five Star Alliance guests: until March 31, 2020 any existing reservations for all travel dates in 2020 who choose to keep their plans will have the following enhancements added to their booking: Complimentary room upgrade based upon availability at check in, additional $200 in resort coupons for a total of $400, and $50 spa credit. Another option is their "Move the Date, Keep the Rate" program which allows guests to change the date of their current booking for a future travel date between now and December 22, 2020. Additionally, guests have the option to change to another AMResorts property within the same brand, in a different destination with no additional fee or cancellation penalty. Travel to also be completed by December 22, 2020.

Doyle Collection

The Doyle Collection - with hotels in Dublin, London, and Washington, DC is offering a ‘No Charge to Change’ program which offers a flexible solution to travelers. All of their leisure offers are fully flexible and any prepaid bookings may be changed to an alternative date within 2020 without charge. Rates attached to these bookings will be honored for new dates booked within 2020.

Belmond Hotels

Has an updated cancellation and deposit policy to encourage reservations.

InterContinental Bordeaux - Le Grand Hotel

In addition to the current Five Star Alliance Offer of full breakfast for two daily, an 85 Euro hotel credit, complimentary WiFi, and VIP status - the hotel is offering a guaranteed upgrade at time of booking for any reservation made from March 11, 2020 to April 30, 2020 and for stays through April 30, 2020. 

Baglioni Hotels

Offers a Flexible Offer/Zero Penalty program. Book a springtime getaway or plan a summer vacation for with your family in Florence, London, Rome, Venice and Milan. You can cancel - for any reason without incurring any penalty by cancelling at least 1 day prior to your arrival before 1pm local time. The offer is valid from March 1st to August 31st, 2020.

explora

Receive a 50% discount in the companion rate for explora South America resorts. Valid for stays between April and October 2020 in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, and between April and June 2020 in Atacama, Easter Island, and the Chilean Patagonia. Minimum three-night bookings.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate includes continental breakfast for two daily at Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits and a $100 resort credit. Book through April 30, 2020 and travel between April 1, 2020 - October 27, 2020 and a $200 credit will be applied for all guestrooms and junior suites, and a $250 resort will be applied to bookings for ocean view one bedroom suite, residential suites and guestrooms with Club Lounge access.

Meliá Hotels

Join the MeliáRewards program and plan your vacations with no worries. Choose your ideal destination, take advantage of a discount up to 45% (an incredible discount) and a free cancellation. Make your reservation starting March 05, 2020 for stays through December 31, 2020. All Meliá Hotels are participating. (Pssst - this also applies to the Paradisus Resorts)

Nayara Resorts

These 3 Relais & Chateaux resorts in Costa Rica are encouraging new bookings by offering flexibility with the booking terms and conditions. This includes the opportunity to postpone travel to a later date without any additional charges.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort 

The resort is offering rooms at up to 30% off now through Friday, March 20, 2020 at 5 pm Hawaii Time. The sale is valid for stays from March 22 to Dec. 15 but be you'll have to be confident in your travel dates - these are non-changeable, non-cancellable rates.

 

PACKAGES

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Resort Orlando

Offering a special (and flexible) policy to encourage travelers to plan their summer getaways - all cacation package reservations made between March 4, 2020 and April 15, 2020 for travel between March 4, 2020 and August 31, 2020 may be modified with no fee as long as it is done at least 24 hours prior to arrival.

Interested in one of our Package Offers? Contact us by clicking here

CRUISES

Luxury Cruises

If you are interested in any of the opportunities below or would like to learn more about cruising in the future, please click here

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian is allowing guests who book a sailing through Sept. 30, 2020 to cancel their trip up to 48-hours beforehand and receive a 100% future cruise credit with its 'Peace of Mind' cancellation policy. Passengers may also delay final payments on June and July voyages. Norwegian is also relaxing its name change policy for up to 45 days before sailing.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

All guests sailing on or before July 31, 2020 may now choose to cancel their reservation up to 48 hours prior to departure. Should a guest wish to cancel after their final payment deadline, a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) will be administered in the full amount of each guest’s applicable cancellation fees. (FCC amounts will vary and are dependent upon the standard cancellation timeline). Guests can apply these credits to any future cruise of their choice departing on or before December 31, 2021.

Oceania Cruises

Announced a new Traveler's Assurance booking policy for all existing and new bookings made by April 30, 2020 for any voyages departing between March 10 and Sept. 30, 2020. Guests may cancel up to 48 hours prior to cruise departure and will receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid.

Princess Cruises

UPDATE: Princess Cruises announced March 12th that it will pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months. The 60-day suspension will impact voyages departing Mar. 12 to May 10. Princess is offering the opportunity to transfer 100% of the money paid for their canceled cruise to a future cruise of their choice, as well as an additional future cruise credit, which can be applied to the cruise fare or onboard expenses. In addition, Princess will honor this offer for those guests who had made final payment and canceled their bookings on or after Feb. 4, 2020. The future cruise credit can be used on any voyage departing through May 1, 2022. Guests who do not want to receive a credit will be able to complete an electronic form at Princess.com to request a cash refund. Princess Cruises plans to be back in operation beginning with cruises departing May 11, 2020.

Azamara 

In addition to our “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy, they've taken additional steps to help reassure you by updating the CruiseCare travel protection program to cover all booking cancellations, regardless of the specified reason for bookings made by April 30, 2020 and sailing before December 31, 2021.

Seabourn

The new "Book with Confidence" policy allows bookings made between Mar. 2 and Apr. 30, 2020, for sailings departing Apr. 1 through Oct. 15, to be canceled up to 30 days prior to departure. Guests will receive a future cruise credit that must be used within 90 days for cruises departing before Dec. 31, 2021.

Silversea

Voyages departing before July 31, 2020, including both existing and future bookings, now have the additional option of cancelling their voyage as late as 48 hours prior to sailing with a Future Cruise Credit. For all sailings departing after July 31 until December 31, 2020, a 30-day prior to sailing cash cancellation option will be in place.

Regent Seven Seas

Guests on sailings scheduled from March 10 through Sept.30, 2020, booked by April 30, 2020, may cancel up to 48-hours prior to sailing and receive a 100% future cruise credit. Regent is also deferring the final payment for all sailings where the final payment is due within the next 30 days, to 60 days before sailing.

Uniworld

Uniworld 2020 cruises may be canceled up to 14 days prior to sailing. The river cruise line also added a temporary change fee waiver for any 2020 and 2021 cruise.

Viking River Cruises

They announced earlier this month that any passenger scheduled to depart before Apr. 30 may cancel up to 24 hours in advance of their trip, without incurring a fee, and receive credit for another Viking cruise to be used within a year. UPDATE: Viking will suspend its river and ocean cruise operations until May 1, 2020. All guests will receive a 125% future cruise credit, which they’ll be able to use over the next 24 months on any of Viking’s cruise products. The credit is also fully transferable. If a guest doesn’t use the voucher, Viking will send a refund equal to the amount paid to Viking after it expires.

Windstar

Windstar will allow passengers to cancel a sailing up to 15 days prior to departure for cruises departing on or after June 1, 2020.

Disney Cruise Line

Bookings can be changed up until the day before embarkation. Guests scheduled to sail between now and May 31, 2020 can change their reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100% cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 12 months of their original sail date.

PONANT/Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin changed the final payment policy for June and July 2020 voyages which will now be due 60 days prior to the sailing date. Ponant's new "Worry Free Bookings," allows final payment 30 days closer to the sailing date for all new bookings on 2020 departures. Those 2020 departures will only require a 10% deposit. Ponant has also changed its cancellation policy for new bookings for 2020, 2021, and 2022—it will allow guests to cancel sailings up to 90 days after confirmation and receive a full refund for new bookings.

If you are interested in any of the opportunities above or would like to learn more about cruising in the future, please click here


| By: Rachael Weir

Nestled amidst the tropical forest, the Spring Villas at Nayara Springs is an ultra-luxe retreat ideal for couples. Located within an adults-only boutique resort, each Spring Villa has its own private plunge pool fed by natural mineral hot springs, indoor and outdoor seating areas with daybeds, and large private gardens with dual outdoor rain showers. Within each Spring Villa is a sleek four-poster king bed, spacious bathroom, indigenous wood and stone accents, exotic touches, and modern amenities such as air conditioning, flat-screen satelitte TV, and iHome audio system. In addition, the Spring Villas also include a private host to compliment the hotel's staff. Continue reading about the resort and an exclusive Perk below the photo. 

Spring Villa at Nayara Springs

Nayara Springs is an adults-only luxury boutique hotel in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Offering an authentic jungle experience, the property has all the amenities of a five-star hotel including two infinity pools, an award-winning spa with outdoor treatment bungalows, and two gastronomic restaurants--Amor Loco with candlelit gourmet dinners, and Mis Amores with Mediterranean cuisine. While staying at the resort, guests are immersed in the rainforests, where toucan, macaws, and hummingbirds fly amidst lush foliage. Learn about an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Nayara Springs Overview

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also include buffet breakfast for two daily at Altamira, and a $100 USD spa services credit per room/per stay.

Book a stay at Nayara Springs


| By: Rachael Weir

Offering an all-inclusive family retreat in Jamaica, Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is a luxury resort in Montego Bay. Set on 670 feet of Caribbean beachfront, the resort has 16 restaurants, bars, and lounges. There's also two outdoor swimming pools and two heated whirlpools, as well as daily activities including watersports, dance lessons, and games. While the Zen Spa & Salon provides massages, facials, hair, and nail services. Read more below the photo.

Overview of Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall

For families, the KidZ Club playground, game room, and lounge is a destination for young travelers. While the Rose Hall Village has gifts, beach gear, cigars, and jewelry. Plus, there is a 24-hour fitness center with daily workout classes, and nightly evening entertainment featuring live music and theater shows. 

The resort offers 277 unique rooms and suites including swim-up rooms and butler suites. One of the unique accommodation options is the One Bedroom Swim Up Suite. Featuring direct access to a semi-private pool with in-pool lounge chairs, the suite has 1,083-square feet of space, including separate living and sleeping areas. The one bedroom suite sleeps up to three guests with a bedroom featuring a Hyatt Grand Bed, and a pull-out sofa bed in the living room. While the bathroom has a rainfall shower and separate bathtub. Continue reading below the photo.

Swim Up Suites at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance for this family-friendly all-inclusive retreat will also receive a 50 minute Swedish Massage per room/per stay, subject to the hotel's terms and conditions, and a welcome amenity.

Book a stay at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall


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