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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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As our friends over at Travel Agent Central report, Whistler is one of this year's most popular wintertime destinations, and that's in part because they've greatly expanded to the attractions that skyrocketed Whistler to international fame following the Winter Olympics.  New this year, you can live the experience of a professional bobsledder, even taking a turn on the last third of the Olympic course.  Reaching speeds of up 84 mph with a professional driver, of course, you'll get to experience the thrill of Olympic bobsled for yourself without the years of exacting and dangerous practice.  The biathlon course has added 43 miles of ski trails, and you can even try your hand at the shooting range.  Coming off the third snowiest November on record, there's plenty of powder to go around, so tourists and ski bums alike can enjoy the thrill of cutting through a fresh course.  Check out Whistler Sport Legacies for more information on the best winter activities.

If you're looking to warm up to a cup of hot cocoa after a day on the slopes, there are plenty of great luxury options in Whistler. Four Seasons, Westin, and Fairmont all have local outposts, and the Pan Pacific Whistler offers a Mountainside resort as well as in the Village Centre.  


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.


Fairmont Chateau WhistlerPlanning a winter vacay to North America's no. 1 ski resort? Whistler beckons with waist-deep powder and lots of black diamond runs... plus plenty of bunny slopes, too. Sprawling across two mountains, the resort has more than 200 trails and over 8,100 acres of terrain for skiers and snowboarder to experience. Bunk down at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and you'll be treated to ski in/ski out accommodations in the lap of luxury at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. There's also snowmobiling, snowshoe tours, horse drawn sleigh rides, and firelight fondue dinners. The best part of all? The resort offers "Whistler Ski for Free" package rates all season long!

The details: Stay two nights, receive a total of two Whistler Blackcomb lift passes per room / per stay. Stay three nights, receive a total of four Whistler Blackcomb lift passes per room / per stay. Stay four nights, receive a total of six Whistler Blackcomb lift passes per room / per stay. Available November 23, 2011, through April 25, 2012, subject to availability. Two night minimum stay required, and the maximum is seven nights. Rates for the "Whistler Ski for Free" package start from $239 CAD (early season) and $399 CAD (peak season) based on double occupancy in a Deluxe room, taxes not included.


Pan Pacific Whistler MountainsideGet the guys together for some golf and biking and revelrous good times. The Pan Pacific Mountainside-- the luxurious four-season resort located at the base of the gondolas in Whistler Village-- has put together a swell Man-cation package for male bonding in the spectacular Coast Mountain Range. Bike on some 350+ kilometers of trails, go golfing at the Whistler Golf Club, hang poolside with views of the action in the Bike Park, or just kick back over a pint at Dubh Linn Gate Pub. Available until November 23, 2011, the package is priced from $699 CDN in a Two Bedroom Suite Valley View (maximum 6 people) and includes:

* Two nights’ accommodation in a spacious suite

* One Day Valley Trail Bike rental per person from Salomon Store on Lobby level

* A $200 Credit for the Whistler Golf Club

*Dinner in Dubh Linn Gate one night -includes choice of entree and a pint from Whistler's best beer selection

* Complimentary Valet Parking for one vehicle

Subject to availability, black-out dates may apply.