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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.


Featured Journeys: Canadian Ski Adventure

As the leaves begin to fall in the Northern Hemisphere, we're starting to think about winter vacation plans. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're going on a Canadian Ski Adventure. Our expedition begins in the chic city of Vancouver, where visitors can go from the heart of the city to the slopes of Cypress and Grouse Mountains in 30 minutes or less. Then it's off to Whistler-Blackcomb with quintessential mountain charm and more than 200 marked runs. Finally, we end our experience in Banff & Lake Louise with opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, hockey, and ice skating. 

Vancouver
Whistler
Banff

 

Vancouver

Home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the city of Vancouver is 15 minutes from Grouse Mountain with four seasons of outdoor activities, including a wildlife habitat and the Grouse Mountain Super Skyride providing panoramic views of the city and beyond. While Cypress Mountain is about 30 minutes from downtown and was the Official Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Offering 52 downhill winter skiing and riding runs, a magic carpet surface for the kids camp, a snowtubing park, 19 kilometers of Cross Country Ski trails, and snowshoeing tours around the historic Hollyburn Lodge, Cypress Mountain offers a range of activities. 

Four Seasons Vancouver

Four Seasons Vancouver

Offering a relaxed urban luxury experience, Four Seasons Vancouver towers 30 storeys above the Pacific Centre. The hotel's Health Club has the city's only resort-style indoor/outdoor pool, which also features men's and women's saunas and hot tubs. For dining, YEW seafood + bar serves sustainable Pacific Northwest seafood, wines, and innovative cocktails. Plus, guests can schedule massage services in the Red Cedar Massage Suite.

Check availability at the Four Seasons Vancouver

 

Fairmont Pacific Rim

Fairmont Pacific Rim

Providing panoramic views of the North Shore Mountains, Stanley Park, and Coal Harbor, the Fairmont Pacific Rim has a recently unveiled collection of Owner's Suites that incorporate the city's sense of fashion, art, and music. The Willow Stream Spa provides an urban oasis with meditation pods, fitness center, and outdoor terrace. Botanist is a new restaurant concept with four diverse spaces: Cocktail Bar and Lab, Garden, Dining Room, and Champagne Lounge, all inspired by the Pacific Northwest. There's also the giovane cafe + eatery + market with Italian fare, and the Lobby Lounge with sushi and cocktails.

Check availability at Fairmont Pacific Rim

 

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Within walking distance of Stanley Park as well as Robson Street's high fashion boutiques, Rosewood Hotel Georgia first opened in 1927. Set within a Georgian Revival building, the iconic property has welcomed celebrities and dignitaries for decades. Following a major renovation in 2011, the property combines 1920s glamour with contemporary design. There's a Rosewood Spa with an indoor pool, Hawksworth Restaurant with contemporary Canadian cuisine, Bel Cafe Patisserie, and Prohibition Cocktail Bar for on-site dining.

Check availability at Rosewood Hotel Georgia

 

Explore more Vancouver hotels

 

Whistler

Located less than two hours via car from Vancouver via the Sea-to-Sky Highway, the world-class Whistler-Blackcomb Resort area consists of Whistler and Blackcomb, two side-by-side mountains, with Whistler Village set in the middle of the two mountains. Offering a range of activities for all seasons including lift accessed alpine hiking and mountain biking, Whistler Blackcomb has one of North America's longest ski and ride seasons. Receiving an average of 458 inches of snow annually, there are three glaciers, 16 alpine bowls, and more than 200 marked runs. As one of North America's most varied terrains, there's vertical runs and lifts for downhill skiing and snowboarding, plus backcountry, heli-skiing, sleigh rides, and snoeshoeing. Whistler Village is home to a community of hotels, boutiques, and restaurants, providing a walkable town to explore. 

 

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Featuring a modern alpine setting, Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a ski-in/ski-out hotel and golf resort with a par 72, 18-hole Audubon-certified championship course. The property has Whistler Experience Guides to provide guests with exclusive excursions and scheduled tours, as well as special events like the Women's Weekend Retreat and Holiday festivities. There are multiple on-site dining options including The Chalet--a winter dining destination with fondue and alpine cuisine, plus the Grille Room with exceptional chops, steaks, and seafood, as well as the Wildflower restaurant for gourmands. The Vida Spa provides treatments focused on health and healing, and the Health Club has an indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, outdoor 60-foot heated lap pool, tennis courts, saunas, steam rooms, and whirlpools. 

Check availability at Fairmont Chateau Whistler

 

Four Seasons Whistler

Four Seasons Whistler

Set in the heart of Whistler Village, the Four Seasons Whistler has a Ski Concierge that can assist with everything from lessons to equipment needs. Guests can partake in Wilderness Wellness programs including helicopter flights over ice caps to tour the areas ice caves (or Glacier Golf during warmer months), and the heated outdoor pool and whirlpools are open year round, ideal for post-ski or hiking relaxation. There are daily wine tastings, and the SIDECUT Modern Steak + Bar provides a modern alpine setting with views of the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. 

Check availability at Four Seasons Whistler

 

The Westin Resort and Spa Whistler

The Westin Resort and Spa Whistler

Offering 400 residentially-styled suites, The Westin Resort & Spa Whistler has an elevated, slopeside location that served as the host resort for downhill events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Accommodations feature fireplaces, soaking tubs, kitchenettes, mountain views and indigenous materials. The acclaimed Grill & Vine Restaurant serves regionally-inspired Canadian cuisine with an innovative twist and a modern atmosphere inspired by the surrounding landscape. Plus, the Avello Spa & Health Club provides rejuvenating treatments design to sooth after a day on the slopes.

Check availability at The Westin Resort & Spa Whistler

 

Explore more Whistler hotels

 

Banff

Set within Banff National Park (Canada's oldest national Park), Banff offers a dramatic setting with high moraine lakes, flowing rivers, and mountain landscapes. There's plenty of professional guides and outfitters to help guests explore the great outdoors via raft, bicycle or horse during the warmer months, or visitors during the winter can explore the landscape while cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or via the slopes. Banff townsite has a historic main street with quaint buildings, and it is also home to the Banff Springs Hotel, which was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1888. While Lake Louise offers a picturesque lakeside location with a variety of year round activities. 

Fairmont Banff Springs

Fairmont Banff Springs

Referred to as Canada's "Castle in the Rockies", the Fairmont Banff Springs was built in 1888 as one of the grand Canadian Railroad Hotels. Set where the Bow and Spray Rivers converge, the hotel is located within Banff National Park, and offers year-round luxury with a championship golf course for the summer months and world-class skiing during the winter. There's the European-style Willow Stream Spa for rejuvenating treatments, as well as multiple dining options including the 1888 Chop House with a classic menu, and the Waldhaus Restaurant with authentic alpine cuisine.

Check availability at Fairmont Banff Springs

 

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

In the midst of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is surrounded by soaring mountains, with views of the Victoria Glacier, and the emerald-hued Lake Louise. Recognized for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism, the resort offers an array of outdoor recreational activities including ice skating, snowshoeing, snowboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing, plus horse drawn sleigh rides. There are wellness retreats held throughout the year, as well as a kid's camp, and luxury spa. 

Check availability at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

 

The Post Hotel 

The Post Hotel

Featuring one of Canada's most extensive wine cellars, with more than 25,000 bottles and over 2,200 labels, the Post Hotel serves award-winning chef-prepared cuisine at the Post Hotel Dining Room, plus fondue at the adjacent Fondue Stubli. Opened in the 1940s, the hotel is nestled in the Bow River Valley, offering suites with wood-burning fireplaces, and views of the surrounding wilderness teaming with wildlife. Five minutes from the Lake Louise Ski Resort with downhill skiing and snowboarding, guests can enjoy an array of winter activities, including cross country ski lessons and heli-skiing. 

Check availability at the Post Hotel

 

Explore more Banff hotels

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Suite Saturdays Canada Day

Welcome to Suite Saturdays: Canada Day Edition! In honor of the country's 150th birthday today, we've gathered a list of some of Canada's best suites. From the East Coast to the West Coast, Canada offers breathtaking natural beauty, cosmopolitan cities, cultural festivities, along with contemporary hotels and historic grand railroad properties, many of which are part of the Fairmont Hotels collection. 

Explore all Canada Luxury Hotels

Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Westin Nova Scotian

The Crown Suite at The Westin Nova Scotian

Set on the 11th floor, The Crown Suite (shown above) at the Westin Nova Scotian features sweeping views of Georges Island and the Halifax Harbor. Providing panoramic sunset views, the elegant space has a dining area with space for up to 20 people, separate bar and lounge area, menus created by Executive Chef Mark Marchment, and live music upon request. Located along the city’s harborfront, the hotel has an indoor pool, Sykea Salon and Spa, fitness studio, and Yuk Yuk’s Halifax Comedy Club. 

Check rates at The Westin Nova Scotian

St. Andrews, New Brunswick

The Algonquin Resort

The Algonquin Resort with One Bedroom Suites and the Algonquin Golf Course

The six One Bedroom Suites (shown above) at The Algonquin Resort offer separate living rooms and bedrooms, with queen or king pillow top beds, plus sofa beds in the living rooms. Recently remodeled, the suites have 32-inch flat-screen TVs, custom artwork, and three-piece bathrooms with stand alone showers. Situated in St. Andrews by-the-sea, New Brunswick, the Algonquin Resort opened in 1889 in Canada's first seaside resort town. Featuring maritime hospitality, the iconic building is a year-round destination with indoor and outdoor pools, private beach, spa, seasonal whale watching, and the award-winning Algonquin Golf Course. 

Learn more about The Algonquin Resort

Quebec City, Quebec

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Exterior and Frontenac Suite

Set within the walls of Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac offers a recently renovated atmosphere infused with European elegance. The Frontenac Suites (shown above) have 670 square feet of space, including parlors that seat up to 10 people, and separate master bedrooms. Providing views of the old fortified city and the St. Lawrence River, the iconic hotel offers guided tours of the property, the landmark Champlain Restaurant,1608 Wine & Cheese Bar, Bistro Le Sam, Place Dufferin, Spa du Château, grand event spaces, and an indoor pool. 

Check rates at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Ottawa, Ontario

Fairmont Château Laurier

Fairmont Chateau Laurier

Across the canal from Parliament Hill, the Presidential Suites (shown above) at the Fairmont Château Laurier offer a residential style setting overlooking the city with a living room featuring a faux fireplace, large flat-screen TV, work desk, and spacious seating area. Plus, a dining room with seating for eight, and a separate bedroom with a dressing room, armoire, and bureau. Recently revitalized and located in the country's capital city, the historic grand railroad hotel offers award-winning regional cuisine, indoor swimming pool, and grand event venues. The property has welcomed numerous dignitaries, presidents, and celebrities since opening in 1912.

Learn more about Fairmont Château Laurier

Winnepeg, Manitoba

Fairmont Winnipeg

Fairmont Winnipeg Royal Alexandra Suite

Featuring contemporary furnishings and original Manitoban art, the Royal Alexandra Suite (shown above) at the Fairmont Winnipeg evokes a residential feel. Set on the 20th floor, the spacious suite has a living room with a baby grand piano, gas fireplace, 42-inch flat-screen TV, and expansive views of the city. The large dining room has seating for six, along with a butler's pantry and half bath. The master bedroom overlooks Portage and Main with a king size bed, and a full bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower and separate soaking tub. Steps from the city's major attractions including the Forks National Historic Site and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the hotel has upscale dining at the VG Restaurant, fitness club, and an indoor saltwater pool. 

Check rates at Fairmont Winnipeg

Lake Louise, Alberta

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Glacier Suite at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Set within Alberta's Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is an grand luxury hotel built in 1890. The two-level Glacier Suite (shown above) has a dining and living area with a sofa bed on the main floor,  and a spiral staircase leading to a secluded bedroom with king size bed and ensuite bathroom. There's also a large covered balcony featuring views of the Victoria Glacier, Lake Louise, and mountains. Originally built as for outdoor enthusiasts, the property offers year-round alpine activities including world-class winter skiing, canoeing in the summer, and guided mountain tours. There's also a kid's camp, luxury spa, and elegant dining options, as well as horse drawn sleigh rides during the winter. 

Learn more about Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Vancouver, British Columbia

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Royal Suite

Referred to as the "Castle in the City" the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver offers a historic location in the heart of the city. Since opening in 1939, many members of the British monarchy have visited the Hotel Vancouver, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the grand opening of the hotel. The Royal Suite (shown above) provides an opulent and spacious setting with four bedrooms, large dining room that can seat up to 10 guests, and an elegant living room with a grand hearth. Plus, from May to September 3, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is offering the Canada 150 Afternoon Tea

Check rates at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Explore all Canada Luxury Hotels


Fairmont Banff Springs
The 
Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta is an internationally recognized symbol of Canadian hospitality. It was built during the 19th century as one of Canada's grand railway hotels, being constructed in Scottish Baronial style and located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The hotel was opened to the public on June 1, 1888. The likes of Helen Keller, Marilyn Monroe, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
visited the hotel.
 


The Post Hotel
The Post Hotel's wine cellar is located adjacent to the Lake Louise Dining Room and has an inventory of over 25,500 bottles and more than 2300 selections of the finest wines available. Thanks to the efforts of Lake Louise Hotel owner George Schwarz, the wine list at the Post has become one of the most comprehensive in the country and continues to impress dining room guests. Since 2002, Wine Spectator, the authoritative wine magazine of North America, has awarded the Post Hotel its highest honour – The  "Grand Award." It is one of only four restaurants in Canada to achieve this recognition, which is regarded as the pinnacle of restaurant success worldwide.

Book a stay at The Post Hotel >>           

 


Fairmont Banff Springs
Legend has it that a bride fell down the marble staircase at Fairmont Banff Springs and died on her wedding day. She's also rumored to have caught fire on the way down, due to the torches that lit the staircase.  The bride has been sighted dancing in the Cascade Ballroom, and cold air on the staircase is said to be her doing. 

Tip: If an elderly Scottish man offers to help with your bags, he's a ghost. Sam the Bellman was a longtime employee who has apparently made good on his threat to come back and haunt the place. The random opening and closing of the elevator doors is also attributed to Sam.

Book a spooky stay at Fairmont Banff Springs >>

 


We understand that no one aims to come in second place; there is no recognition for mediocrity. We at Five Star Alliance understand better than anyone the importance of offering the most luxurious resorts in the world, so we notice what’s going on in the industry, and it matters to us, because it matters to you. We work hard to offer you the best in the industry, and we’d like to welcome you to our second blog series where we feature the best and most luxurious resorts in the world. But don’t take our word for it. These resorts have been recognized as the best in the business and have made the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012.

The Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2012 is the eighth of their annual lists, and the hotels chosen by their team of editors and experts are the best for service, food, location, rooms, leisure facilities, ambiance and design.

The Fairmont Banff Springs is featured on the Gold List 2012: Best for location. This luxury hotel is a unique blend of opulence and seclusion, a symbol of the Rocky Mountain beauty for over a century. It is styled after a Scottish castle, and it offers breath-taking views, an incredible golf course, unrivaled skiing, and a phenomenal European-style spa. Its location in the wilderness provides guests with an incredible escape to a beautiful land full of luxury and wonder.

Check rates, availability, photos and more at the Fairmont Banff Springs here!


Skiing in Whistler, Fairmont HotelsLet it snow! November means it’s time to take advantage of some early-season ski deals so you can hit the powder fast. Without a doubt, the best place to embrace the winter is our neighbor to the north. Canada’s pristine wilderness is home to the number one ski resort in North America (Whistler), and Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a storybook winter setting in the Canadian Rockies. Here, the wide-open wilderness makes for some epic skiing on what feels like your very own private pistes.

Fairmont offers three legendary resorts where skiers and non-skiers alike revel in luxury while soaking up the surrounding natural beauty. Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, the Fairmont Banff Springs resort is located in the heart of the park with three pristine ski resorts at your doorstep. With the “Couples Holiday Getaway,” you get a third night for free when you stay for the festive Christmas season between December 17th and December 30th, 2011. Another hot offer: With “Extend Your Stay,” you’ll get discounts until February 10, 2012. Stay two nights and save 25% off each night when you stay two nights; 30% off each night when you stay three nights; 35% off each night when you stay four or more nights.

Fairmont Chateau Lake LouiseAlso located in Banff National Park, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the ultimate winter playground. Oft described as Canada’s most scenic ski resort, the Lake Louise Ski Resort has 139 marked ski runs and back bowls on four mountain faces. Beyond skiing, the snow adventures are endless-- from dog sledding the Great Divide to horse-drawn sleigh rides through the glacial shadows. Take advantage of the resort’s “Ski & Play for Free” and you’re guaranteed the ski trip of a lifetime. Included in the package: luxury accommodations, two adult Lake Louise Ski Resort passes per room per night OR a $100 Fairmont Chateau lake Louise resort credit (in place of each ski day), plus transportation to the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Valid from November 15th, 2011 until May 1st, 2012, starting from $299 CAD per night.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler-- nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain-- offers ski-in/ski-out access, amenities for pets, and a lavish spa. The “Ski for Free” package means you get Whistler Blackcomb lift tickets included with your low room rates (from $269 CAD per night) until November 23, 2011. Or book the “Everyone's An Original Winter Offer “ for double airline reward miles.