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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: Rachael Weir

Originally the home of Lords and Ladies of the Royal Court, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate occupies three palatial townhouses that overlook a private courtyard. Within the regal retreat there are a variety of 1, 2, or 3 bedroom suites, as well as larger residences and four signature suites, including the Jaguar Suite.

The only one of it's kind in the world, the Jaguar Suite has specially-commissioned furniture, artwork, and displays. Overseen by Ian Callum, Jaguar's Design Director, the two-bedroom suite features a sleek design inspired by classic and contemporary Jaguar models. From polished wood paneling in the entry to a clean-fuel fireplace that references the iconic brand's rear window, custom-made Jaguar wallpaper, and a wall covered in Italian leather, the suite provides an ideal place for motor enthusiasts. Within the living room, there is a 42-inch TV with Denon and Creston superior sound systems, Sonance ceiling speakers, a balcony overlooking the hotel's courtyard. Plus, guests of the suite have exclusive access to a chauffer driven Jaguar XJ, full butler service, and a fully-stocked bar. Continue reading below the photo of the Jaguar Suite. 

Jaguar Suite at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate

Providing guests with signature bespoke services, the five star Taj 51 Buckingham Gate offers a location close to Buckingham Palace and Mayfair. Just a short walk from some of the city's top landmarks and attractions, the property has Taj's Golden Keys Concierge Service, two bars, spa, and fitness center. For dining, there are three restaurants on-site including the Michelin-starred Quilon, and Bistro serving classic European cuisine. In addition, the property offers themed tea parties like Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea, as well as an opulent 24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea. Continue reading below the Afternoon Tea photo for a special perk offer for Five Star Alliance guests. 

24 Karat Gold Afternoon Tea at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive complimentary full English breakfast daily in the Kona Restaurant, a $100 USD equivalent food and beverage credit, 20% off treatments at the Wellness Center, and complimentary WiFi. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. Guests staying a minimum of 4 nights (or in the Cinema, Jaguar or Presidential Suites) also receive a one way airport transfer.

Check availability at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate


| By: Rachael Weir

Destination Spotlight: Kyoto

An ancient capital city, Kyoto provides visitors with an array of living Japanese traditions. Formerly Japan's capital and home of the emperor from 794 to 1868, the city is full of history with countless temples, shrines, monuments, and ancient architecture. Today, it is one of the country's 10 largest cities, and home to more than 1.5 million people. Once outside of the Kyoto Station area's highrises, visitors are greeted with quintessential Japanese architecture, geishas gliding through the meandering streets, and 17th century teahouses. 

Located 3.5 hours via highspeed rail from Tokyo, the city transports guests back in time to the age of empires at the Imperial Palace with moat-ringed gardens where the Imperial Family lived until 1868 when the capital city became Tokyo. Cherry blossoms line the canalside Philosopher's Path, and Gion, a UNESCO-listed neighborhood has winding cobblestone alleys with teahouses. Cypress wood carvings adorn the Nijo Castle, the temple of Daigoji is a must-see, and the rock gardens of Ryoanji provide a calm, meditative space. 

The city's traditions continue into shopping options for guests. From wooden combs, to fans and tea ceremony necessities, Shijo Dori Kawaramachi Dori, and the Kyoto Handicraft Center offer an array of specialty shops. Galleries with woodblock prints and antique shops can be found in Shinmonzen Dori, and Nishijin is Kyoto's historic textile district known for creating fabrics that are transformed into elegant kimonos. Visitors to the Textile District can see master weavers at the Watabun workshop, and visit the Orinasu-kan Museum of Hand-Weaving. 

Kyoto is also a destination with unique dining experiences where guests can dine on vegetarian cuisine, shojin ryori in the gardens of a Buddhist temple. The bars of Kita-ku specialize in noodles and tofu dishes, the red lanterns of Higashiyama-ku lead to yakitori-ya, where grilled chicken skewers are a specialty. Traditional restaurants serve lip-numbing puffer fish, and an authentic teahouse experience can be found at Hyotei, a 300-year-old venue set amidst maple-shaded gardens where diners can seasonal Japanese cuisine in artistic lacquered bowls. 

Here are 5 Top Kyoto Luxury Hotels:

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Featuring a design concept based on five feelings: Utage (festive), Seido (serenity and movement), Miyabi (elegance), Hana (splendid), and Nagomi (harmony), The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto pays tribute to the cultural history of the city while providing a high level of service and international luxury amenities. The downtown resort is set on the banks of the Kamogawa River with expansive views of the famous Higashiyama Sanju-Roppo. There's an extensive art collection on display featuring local artists, world-class Japanese and Western dining, a luxury spa, and an indoor swimming pool. 

Check availability at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

2. Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Close to major Kyoto sites including Chishakuin Temple, Sanjusangendo Temple, and the Kyoto National Museum, Hyatt Regency Kyoto has contemporary Japanese guestrooms and suites. There's a Japanese garden, and multiple restaurants including The Grill with French cuisine, Trattoria Sette with casual Italian, and Touzan Japanese restaurant. The on-site Spa and Fitness Center has 10 rooms with pampering treatments, and the fitness center offers personal programs. 

Check availability at Hyatt Regency Kyoto

3. RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

Situated near Kyoto Station, RIHGA Royal Hotel was renovated in September 2016. Offering all new facilities, the property has a luxe bar, heated indoor pool, and a fully-equipped fitness center. The restaurant on the 14th floor, Top of Kyoto is the city's only revolving restaurant, Teppan-yaki AOI offers a traditional setting, and Tachibana has French Kaiseki-style gourmet cuisine. There's a boutique in the hotel with souvenirs, and a 24-hour business center. 

Check availability at RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto

4. Suiran

Family room at Suiran

Situated in western Kyoto's scenic Ukyo-ku, Suiran, A Luxury Collection Hotel, offers an authentic Japanese-style experience. Set along the peaceful Hozu River, the intimate property has 39 guestrooms with traditional Japanese accents, restaurant Kyo-Suiran serves authentic cuisine in Baron Shozo Kawasaki's former summerhouse, Teppanyaki Kanzan has Japanese beef and fresh seafood, and the casual Saryo Hassui has a riverside location in a historic building originally built for 19th century poets. There's also a spa with local treatments and a private open-air bath on the third floor. 

Check availability at Suiran

5. The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto

The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto

Amidst gardens and nature, The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto is a historic resort overlooking downtown Kyoto. There's an indoor pool with a wall of windows providing views of the mountains, and a seasonal outdoor pool shaped like Lake Biwa. Guests can take the trail behind the resort to the Wild Bird Sanctuary, and there are three Japanese-style gardens with historical significance, waterfalls, pines, and maples. For dining, the property offers a variety of options including the Grand View restaurant with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows serving French and Western cuisine, as well as the Mayfair Tea Room. 

Check availability at The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto

 

Explore more Kyoto Luxury Hotels

 


| By: Five Star Alliance

Sponsored Post*

Located in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, Belmond Charleston Place is located steps away from the city’s famous landmarks, historic homes, award-winning restaurants, and exceptional boutique shops. Continue reading below the photo.

Belmond Charleston Place

For a true taste of Southern charm, Belmond Charleston Place leaves nothing to chance. Luxurious fixtures and fittings dance between modern elegance and old-world style. Featuring 434 spacious and stylishly furnished guest rooms, including 48 suites and two presidential suites, guests will feel the comforts of home. Designed to capture the essence of this world-class destination, the rooms can be described as classic, timeless, and sophisticated. 

For an indulgent and private retreat, we invite visitors to stay on our legendary Club Level. Occupying the top two floors and available by private elevator access, you’ll find our most exclusive accommodations featuring the city’s best views of the historic skyline and harbor. With 72 guest rooms, The Club hosts numerous extras including an array of culinary delights, complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, after-dinner cordials, and desserts. Read more below the Club Room photo.

Club Room at Belmond Charleston Place

Step outside the luxurious accommodations and take time to discover and delight in the endless on-property amenities. From Four Diamond dining, live jazz music, and hand-crafted cocktails to the full-service spa, salon, and rooftop pool, there is much to explore. Make the most of your summer getaway with a stay at the city’s landmark destination. Learn about a special offer below the photo.

Dining at Belmond Charleston Place

Third Night's a Charm Offer: Enjoy 25% off a three night stay in a Suite or Club Level room. Unwind in the hotel's spacious accommodations or indulge in all day food and beverage service from the private Club Level lounge. Valid for travel May 6, 2018 – August 31, 2018.

Check availability at Belmond Charleston Place

*The content of this sponsored article was provided by Belmond Charleston Place. Offers and packages are subject to change.

Posted in: Charleston, SC

| By: Rachael Weir

Showcasing Mediterranean design in the midst of the Southwest, Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa is a luxury hotel surrounded by the scenery of Red Rock Country. Offering a AAA Three Diamond approved spa, as well as modern cuisine at Reds Restaurant, the property provides guests with a ideal location for relaxation and rejuvenation.

The Spa at Sedona Rouge is a full-service facility specializing in customized services that incorporate the pure scents of rare flower oils and elements of the earth to invigorate, rejuvenate, and restore. Guests can choose from a variety of services including massages, detoxifying herbal wraps, and baths scented with locally hand-crafted products featuring exotic and indigenous scents. Continue reading below the photo. 

Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa

The luxury hotel offers guestrooms and suites infused with local influences, as well as plush amenities like Simmons Super Plush Pillowtop mattresses, lambswool throws, and crisp white linens. Accommodations feature views of the surrounding area or the courtyard, and many of the rooms have balconies or patios, as well as fireplaces. Read more below the photo.

Guestroom at Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa

Renowned for energy enhancing Vortex site locations, Sedona provides an array of options for exploring nature. The Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa is located one mile from the trailheads at Thunder Mountain, the Coconino National Forest, and the entrance to Red Rock Country. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliane receive a $25.00 Spa credit during their stay.

Check availability at Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa


| By: Rachael Weir

Steps from Piazza San Marco and the Art Biennale, the Hotel Metropole Venice is a luxury hotel in the heart of the city, yet removed from the crowds. Providing panoramic views of the lagoon and the island of San Giorgio, featuring an emphasis on fashion, the property blends a display of antiques with modern elements and Venetian details for an exclusive setting. Frequented by famous guests through the years, the hotel has been visited by Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud, and Marcel Proust, as well as Vivaldi, who composed many well-known works on this site. Continue reading below the photo.

Hotel Metropole Venice

Within the hotel, the Met Restaurant is a Michelin Star recipient, serving elaborate Italian cuisine by Chef Luca Veritti with traditional and contemporary influences. While the Oriental Bar has a one-of-a-kind design in the midst of the Courtyard Citrus Garden with apertifs and live music. Learn more about a special perk for Five Star Alliance guests below the photo.

Dining at Hotel Metropole Venice

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive a welcome fruit basket and locally made tea biscuits, as well as complimentary entrance to the Venice Casino on the Grand Canal. Guests making reservations in Suites, including Junior Suites, additionally receive a 50 Euro credit to be used towards services in the hotel, VIP welcome amemities, and express check-in/check-out.

Check availability at Hotel Metropole Venice


| By: Rachael Weir

Set on the banks of the Arno River, Villa La Massa is a luxury hotel in the heart of Tuscany. The 16th century estate was originally built for a member of the Medici family, and today is surrounded by twenty-two acres of gardens filled with lemon and olive trees. Featuring authentic Florentine decor with the feel of a Renaissance hideaway, the property recently introduced the Arno Spa providing treatments and services showcasing the products of the Officina Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Continue reading below the photo.

Guestroom at Villa La Massa

Providing a romantic setting under a vaulted ceiling, Il Verrocchio, the property's traditional Italian and Tuscan restaurant, has indoor dining as well as an outdoor terrace overlooking the Arno River and Rufina hills. The Tuscan Bistrot is located in the Noble Villa next to the Medician Bar with a relaxed setting for lunch and dinner, and the Pool Bar has light snacks. Read more below the photo about a special perk at Villa La Massa. 

Dining at Villa La Massa

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive buffet breakfast for 2 daily at Verrocchio Restaurant, an arrival transfer pick-up in a Mercedes vehicle from Florence Amerigo Vespucci Airport or Maria Novella Railway Station, a 50 Euro credit at Arno Spa once per stay, complimentary WiFi, and an arrival welcome drink for to 2 guests per room. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out of 4pm.

Check availability at Villa La Massa


| By: Rachael Weir

Featured Journeys: Oregon Mountains to Vineyards

Situated in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon offers seven diverse regions including mountains, high desert, cities, valleys, and beaches. On the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains is the high desert, in the middle of the state is Portland, and less than an hour west of downtown Portland is the Willamette Valley known for Pinot Noir. 

In this edition of Featured Journeys, we explore a multi-stop itinerary to explore Oregon's vast variety of landscapes, climates, and activities, while highlighting three top luxury hotels ideal for this adventure. 

Bend, Oregon

This high-desert mountain town offers a variety of outdoor adventures. Known for 300 days of sunshine and crisp, cool evenings, Bend is sometimes referred to as the "outdoor playground of the West" with hiking, mountain biking, skiing at Mt. Bachelor or meandering through Bend's ancient lava tubes. Beer enthusiasts will want to check out the Bend Ale Trail, and The Huffington Post named Bend as one of the top cities with the most eateries per capita. Plus, there's a variety of award-winning wineries and tasting rooms, as well as art galleries in the Old Mill District. 

Sunriver Resort

The Sunriver Resort

Located at the foothills of the Cascades, Sunriver Resort is an ideal place to begin an Oregon adventure. Situated about 180 miles southeast of the Portland International Airport (and 137 miles souteast of the Eugene Airport), the resort is home to four of the state's top golf courses, including Crosswater, Meadows, and The Woodlands. Guests have access to more than 40 miles of biking and hiking trails, plus kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, and white water rafting. For relaxation, there's a full-service spa and salon, as well as a variety of on-site dining options ranging from casual to chef-prepared local cuisine. 

Check availability at Sunriver Resort

 

Portland

Proud to be a unique city, Portland has a variety of nicknames including the Rose City, Beervana, and Bridgetown. Home to the world's largest independent bookstore, with a thriving food scene, and appreciation for the arts, Portland is a walkable city with new flavors to explore around every corner. Set along the Willamette River close to the Oregon and Washington border, Portland is a green city where you can see Mount Hood on a clear day, drive to the Pacific Ocean in just over an hour, or head to the vineyards of the Willamette Valley. There's trees and green spaces galore, and the public transportation system provides an efficient and green way to get around. 

The Sentinel

The Room at the End of Hall at The Sentinel

Providing a convenient location in the heart of downtown, The Sentinel offers a historic setting steps from a trolley stop, and some of the city's top restaurants. Occupying two historic buildings, the Seward Hotel and the Portland Elks Lodge, the property mixes the architecture of the National Historic Landmark with luxury boutique amenities and locally-infused accents like Pendleton throw blankets on the beds and local snacks in the minibar. Jake's Grill has an American steakhouse grill feel, and Jacknife serves crafted cocktails just off the lobby. Five Star Alliance recently had the opportunity to visit the property, learn more about the hotel in the article, Historical Luxury at The Sentinel

Check availability at The Sentinel

 

Willamette Valley

Less than an hour outside of Portland, the Willamette Valley offers a wine-filled retreat. With the Oregon Coast to the West and the Cascades to the East, and the Willamette River flowing through the region, the valley is an idyllic setting for growing Pinot Noir. Home to more than 150 wineries and tasting rooms in towns like Newburg, Dundee, and McMinnville, the Willamette Valley was selected as 2016 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiasts. In addition to wine, the picturesque area is home to a variety of restaurants serving chef-prepared cuisine with a focus on local ingredients such as hazelnuts and marionberries. 

The Allison Inn & Spa

In the heart of the Willamette Valley, The Allison Inn & Spa provides a luxurious setting amidst its own vineyards, minutes from some of the area's top vineyards and tasting rooms. There's a full-service spa with signature "Pinotherapy" treatments focused on the energies and healing benefits of the region's pinot noir grapes, flowers, and herbs. The indoor pool is surrounded by windows with a skylight and sun terrace, and the award-winning JORY Restaurant is known for seasonal farm-to-table dining paired with an extensive selection of Willamette Valley wines. Five Star Alliance recently had the opportunity to visit the property, learn more about the hotel in the article, Relaxing Retreat at The Allison Inn & Spa.

Check availability at The Allison Inn & Spa

 

 

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Featuring one-of-a-kind views of Lake Geneva, the Bellevue Suite at Hotel d'Angleterre Geneva provides guests with a private haven to enjoy the scenery of one of the world's iconic cities. Furnished in understated elegance, the suite includes personal butler service, a VIP champagne welcome, fresh flower bouquet, basket of fruits and mineral water, a selection of homemade mignardises, and evening canapes with cognac and porto. Continue reading below the photo of the Bellevue Suite. 

Bedroom of the Bellevue Suite at Hotel d'Angleterre Geneva

There's a private balcony for guests to relax, as well as two bathrooms within the suite, one with a bath and the other with a hammam and Italian shower. Deluxe sizes of Penhaligon's toiletries are provided, as well as a selection of international soaps, plus bathrobes and slippers. For technology, there's an LED TV with 50 satellite channels, AT&T direct access facility, a Logitech iPod docking station with an integrated digital clock, and a DVD player is available upon request. Read more below the photo of the Bellevue Suite's living room. 

Bellevue Suite at Hotel d'Angleterre Geneva

The Hotel d'Angleterre Geneva is a historic boutique hotel poised on the edge of the lake. Combining British charm with Swiss hospitality, the Red Carnation Collection hotel offers the Windows Restaurant with a gastronomic experience and views of Mont Blanc. Traditional British Afternoon Tea is served in the Observatory, and the Leopard Bar has live music and cocktails.

Check availability at Hotel d'Angleterre Geneva


| By: Rachael Weir

Featuring Philippe Starck-designed bathtubs-with-a-view, the three Yaku Suites at Mashpi Lodge provide intimate luxury in the heart of a rainforest. Situated in the eco lodge's northwestern end on the first floor, these unique suites are named for the Kicha word meaning water. Sustainably furnished in modern style, the spacious suites have 495 square feet of space, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into the rainforest, king-size beds, reusable water flasks, fresh & filtered water, safes, and WiFi. The luxe bathrooms have soaking tubs with tropical foliage views, twin washbasins, bathrobes, and slippers. Continue reading about the resort below the Yaku Suite photo.

Mashpi Lodge

In the midst of a rainforest with waterfalls, Mashpi Lodge is an eco-focused retreat set within a nature reserve. Situated at 900 meters (3,116 feet) above sea level, the resort is located between lower montane forests and cloud forests, making it a haven for 500 species of birds, monkeys, and pumas. There's a two-story dining room serving chef-prepared Ecuadorian cuisine, and a bar with natural energy drinks and house cocktails, as well as Chilean and Argentinean vintages. Read more below the photo.

Dining at Mashpi Lodge

In addition to the luxurious accommodations and dining options at the all-inclusive property, lodge guests have access to a wide array of exploration programs including Sky Biking through the rainforests on two-person bicycles suspended above the forest canopy via cables, hiking along the Capuchin Monkey Trail, visiting the Torrenteer Lagoon, or going to the observation tower. 

Check availability at Mashpi Lodge


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated steps from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte is a luxury hotel providing a calm and relaxing environment in Versilia. Offering five floors of accommodatios with distinctively unique themes, the grand hotel is redefining the concept of a holiday with an all-encompassing experience. The refined restaurant, Piccolo Principe is the recipient of 2 Michelin Stars with refined cuisine, extensive wine list, and exclusive sea views. Read more below the photo.

Piccolo Principe at Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

For relaxation and rejuvenation, the Wellness Center has water features, holistic beauty treatmens, and a fitness center. Plus, guests have exclusive access to the panoramic rooftop with a heated swimming pool, solarium, and "The Little Prince" bar and restaurant open during the summer months. Continue reading below the photo.

Rooftop dining at Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

In addition to the hotel's amenities, the property offers an idyllic location for guests to reconnect with the sea at the nearby International Cetacean Sanctuary. The Tyrrhenian Sea is a haven for whale watching particularly from May to October, and the area is home to a large group of dolphins that live along the Viareggio Coast. Continue reading below the photo of the dolphins along the Viareggio coast.

Whale and dolphin watching off the coast by Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

The Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte provides an ideal setting for guests interested in going on organized day trips with marine biologists, as the luxury hotel is a 30-minute stroll from the Piazza Palombari dell'Artiglio, where the boat tours depart. The boat tours are organized by cooperatives that support the protection and peace of the dolphins and whales in the Pelagos Sanctuary. Established in 1999 between Italy, France, and Monaco, the sanctuary is an international reserve that extends north of the Tyrrhenian Sea, around the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago to Provence. Viareggio is one of the main starting points for exploring the Italian Cetacean Sanctuary via boat, where guests enjoy lunch on board, watch for whales and dolphins, as well as seeing a variety of marine animals like turtle, manta rays, swordfish and tuna. Read more below the photo.

Whale and dolphin watching cruise from Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

In addition to the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte's amenities and prime location for whale watching excursions, the hotel offers exclusive perks for Five Star Alliance guests. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive a $50 food and beverage credit per room, per stay. Plus, a bottle of Prosecco, welcome amenity, and subject to availability at check-in, a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Explore the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte


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