Quantcast The Luxury Hotel Insider | Five Star Alliance

IntroIcon

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.


Destination Spotlight: Vienna

Known for classical music and a one-of-a-kind coffee culture, Vienna comes alive during the holiday season with a variety of Christmas Markets such as the Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung, the Cultural and Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace, the Art Advent on Karlsplatz, the Winter Market on Riesenradplatz, and the Christmas village on Maria Theresien Platz. These markets come alive with festive Advent concerts, Gospel evenings, and the star-studded "Christmas in Vienna" Gala at the Konzerthaus. After Christmas, these markets become New Year's Markets, and the Vienna Philharmonic hosts its New Year's Concert in the Musikverein's Golden Hall every New Year's Day.  While the city's annual Ball Season begins in January and runs through February, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to "Waltz in Vienna" at one of 450 imperial venues. 

Featuring a cuisine and coffee culture of its own, Vienna is an ideal destination for food, art, music, and history enthusiasts. From Viennese coffee houses (part of cultural heritage of UNESCO since 2011) where coffee drinks, pastries, and international newspapers can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. There are traditional coffee houses in the Old City, Viennese Concert Cafes with live music, Viennese Ice Cream Parlours, and new modern interpretations of the traditional coffee house throughout the city.

In addition to the coffee culture, Viennese cuisine is the only cuisine in the world named after a city, making it the perfect place for foodies to explore. There are 10 restaurants with a shared 14 Michelin Stars, and 127 Viennese restaurants currently hold coveted Gault & Millau food critic awards. One of the pioneers in vegetable and herb cuisine, The Steirereck, is ranked tenth on the list of "World's 50 Best Restaurants". 

Visitors can explore a thriving gallery scene, schedule private access tours to the city's world-class museums for special insights, or book a personal tour in a limousine or VW Beetle Convertible. For those that love to shop for unique items, the city's list of "Wien Products" includes artistic crafts such as custom-made shoes and chandeliers from some of the most prestigious boutiques in Vienna. There's also an array of Austrian fashion designers, as well as a new service with select hotels offering guests the opportunity to rent fashions from Viennese designers. 

Here are Five Top Luxury Hotels in Vienna:

1. Hotel Sacher Wien

Hotel Sacher Wien

Recognized for luxury and high class service, Hotel Sacher Wien was founded in 1876 by Eduard Sacher, son of the creator of the Original Sacher-Torte. Directly opposite the State Opera House and next to the Albertina Gallery, the historica hotel offers exclusive amenities, guest rooms and suites with noble carpets and mulberry silk wall papers, as well as the recently renovated Anna Sacher restaurant with golden highlights. Sacher Eck services culinary creations in a dynamic atmosphere where guests can enjoy the Original Sacher-Torte, which is also available in the Cafe Sacher and Sacher Stube.

Check availability at Hotel Sacher Wien

2. Park Hyatt Vienna

Belle Epoque Suite at the Park Hyatt Vienna

Set within a 100-year-old building in Vienna's first district, Park Hyatt Vienna is within walking distance of important sights, monuments, museums, and shopping. The Arany Spa has a 15-meter indoor pool, wet area with a sauna, steam bath, vitality showers, and sanarium, plus a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an array of spa treatments. There's family- and pet-friendly amenities, as well as the Cafe Am Hof coffee house, Bank Brasserie & Bar for dining, and the Living Room with whisky, cognac, and cigars. 

Check availability at Park Hyatt Vienna

3. Palais Coburg Residenz

Palais Coburg Residenz

Featuring historically significant Renaissance fortifications from the 16th century, the Palais Coburg Residenz offers 34 individualized suites each dedicated to members of the Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha family dynasty that played a signifant role in the history of the property. The Silvio Nickol Gourmet Restaurant is a two Michelin Star recipient, and there are six wine cellars with a combined 60,000 bottles. There's also a garden and spa with unique spaces for guests to explore. 

Check availability at Palais Coburg Residenz

4. Hotel Bristol Vienna

Lounge at the Hotel Bristol Vienna

Built in 1892, the Hotel Bristol Vienna, A Luxury Hotel Collection is located in the heart of Vienna's cultural and business district. Offering Viennese charm with personalized service, rooms that face the Vienna State Opera are named after famous directors, and all accommodations have antiques mixed with modern comforts. The Bristol Lounge offers Art Deco ambiance, there's a winter garden with view on the Mahlerstrasses, and the Bristol Bar was the city's first American Bar. 

Check availability at Hotel Bristol Vienna

5. The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

Situated within four 19th century palaces, The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is located on the iconic Ringstrasse, adjacent to the Stadtpark. Offering unique dining experiences, Dstrikt Steakhouse serves farm-to-table cuisine, and the Atmosphere Rooftop Bar provides skyline views and signature cocktails. The Ritz-Carlton Spa has six treatment rooms and personalized services, there's a state-of-the-art fitness center, and the 18-meter indoor pool has underwater music. 

Check availability at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna

Explore all Vienna luxury hotels


Facing the bay of Rapallo on the Italian Riviera, the Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo is a historic luxury hotel with with a beach club, spa, and event space. While The Hall is recognized for the property's collection of paintings, prints, furniture, and antiques. Guest rooms and suites look out onto the Portofino Coast, and feature locally-inspired furnishings, as well as antique furniture and prints. Read more below the guest room photo.

Guest room at the Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo

The Spa of the Excelsior Palace overlooks the sea with treatment rooms, indoor heated pool, and a fitness center with cardio machines. During the summer months the terrace hosts spinning classes, and there is a gazebo for outdoor massages. Read more below the photo.

Indoor Pool at Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo

From June to September, The Beach Club provides an outdoor oasis for guests to relax in the Italian sunshine. There are two infinity pools, cabanas, terraces with two Jacuzzis, and a jetty to transport guests via boat to Portofino, S. Fruttuoso, and the Cinque Terre. There's also the Eden Roc Lounge & Restaurant, serving lunch and dinner. Continue reading below the photo.

Dining at Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo

The property offers a Very Important Pet program, providing small cats and dogs with gourmet food options like braised beef and chicken with steamed rice for dogs, or scrambled egg with steamed salmon for felines. In addition to in-room amenities, there are special areas in the restaurant and the Beach Club where furry friends are welcome. Read more below the photo of the Beach Club's pet-friendly area.

Pet-Friendly Beach Club at the Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo

Plus, guests booking the Bed and Breakfast rate through Five Star Alliance with a stay of at least 3 nights receive a bottle of limoncello.

Check rates and availability at Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo


Overlooking Parisian rooftops, the Hotel du Louvre, a Hyatt Hotel offers classic French styling with views of the Louvre Museum, the Comedie Francaise Theatre, or the Avenue de l’Opera. There's a quiet indoor courtyard and Clefs d'Or concierge providing personalized recommendations for guests to experience the best of Paris. Built in 1855, the luxury hotel blends historic architecture with an idyllic location and modern amenities. Read more below the photo.

Hotel du Louvre Exterior

The Brasserie du Louvre offers traditional Parisian Brasserie dishes along with views of the Louvre Museum and the Comédie Française. During the warmer months there's an outdoor terrace under the Palais-Royal Square arches. While the hotel bar serves unique house cocktails in an intimate setting with live jazz on select evenings. Continue reading below the photo for a special offer.

Bar at the Hotel du Louvre

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome cocktail. 

Check availability at Hotel du Louvre


Featured Journeys: Europe Christmas Markets

The holiday season is drawing near and the European Christmas Markets are about to open for the season. While Germany is traditionally known for the markets, there's also time-honored markets in France, Switzerland, and Austria. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're featuring three European cities: Strasbourg, Stuttgart, and Salzburg, which can easily be visited as part of a multi-destination European vacation, or choose one for a festive holiday-themed getaway. From traditional decor to handcrafted toys, as well as live Nativity scenes, choir concerts, ice skating, European Christmas Markets provide a one-of-a-kind setting for sipping mulled wine, enjoying gingerbread, and enjoying the local traditions of the season. 


Strasbourg
Stuttgart
Salzburg

 

Strasbourg

Nestled in the Alsace region along the border of France and Germany, the first Christmas Markets in Strasbourg began in 1570. Referred to as the Capital of Christmas, Strasbourg's markets are considered to be the best in France. Open daily from November 24 to December 30, 2017, visitors to the city can visit multiple markets, including the original which is located in the heart of the city's Grand Ile quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll amidst more than 300 chalets offering local arts and crafts, sip hot wine from boot shaped mugs, and try Flammekeuche - a thin pizza with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon. While at the markets, visitors can watch Nativity plays, listen to carolers, and look for the city's mascot--stuffed white storks in Le Petite France set along a canal in the city center. 

Chateau de l'Ile

Chateau de l'Ile at night

Situated within a historic 19th century castle, Chateau de l'Ile offers 62 guest rooms and suites inspired by the 19th century bourgeois houses. There's traditional Alsatian dining in the Winstub, a spa with an indoor pool, fitness room, whirlpool, and hammam, as well as bicyles, ping-pong, billiards, and the Heydt bar

Check rates and availability at Chateau de l'Ile

 

Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

Situated in the medieval quarter, Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile offers a recently renovated contemporary setting close to the Cathedral, Opera, and Petite France District. The Terroir & Co. Restaurant serves chef-prepared modern cuisine, there's a compact vineyard on-site, as well as a wine cellar with fine Alsatian wines.

Check rates and availability at Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

Explore more Strasbourg Luxury Hotels

 

Stuttgart

Set amidst historic city squares, the sprawling Stuttgart Christmas Market dates back to the 17th century. Featuring more than 280 stalls set between the Gothic cathedral and the city's ivy-clad castle, visitors can find glass creations, wooden toys, handmade nutcrackers, and sheepskin clothing. The Kinderland has a mini steam railway, carousel, and Ferris wheel for children, while there are daily concerts in the castle's courtyard. Open from November 29 to December 23, 2017, there are illuminations, fir branches, and angels hanging between the city's gabled houses, and the smell of Glühpunsch wine infused with vanilla and cinnamon fills the air. For food, visitors can nibble roasted almonds, graze on sheep sausages, or try sweet favorites like waffles, gingerbread, and fruitcake (known as Hutzelbrot). In addition to the the city's market, the Esslingen Medieval Christmas Market and the Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas Market can be reached via a 15-minute ride on the S-Bahn light rail system. 

Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten

Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten

Surrounded by castle gardens, the Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten offers a city center location close to the Köngistrasse shopping street and the city's cultural mile. There are four restaurants within the hotel, including the Michelin-starred Restaurant Die Zirbelstube, bistro, and an American-style bar. The Weinwirtschaft Franz Keller is bistro and wine shop combined, serving regional cuisine with regional wine tastings. 

Check rates and availability at Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten

 

DORMERO Hotel Stuttgart

DORMERO Hotel Stuttgart

Featuring panoramic city views, DORMERO Hotel Stuttgart offers contemporary accommodations in the heart of Stuttgart. Connected to the SI Center entertainment complex, the property offers easy access to musical theaters and the Stuttgart Casino. The Whitelounge offers 360-degree light and sound shows in the evenings, and there's multiple dining options including Tapas Y Vino, The Dubliner, and Red Black Burger. 

Check rates and availability at DORMERO Hotel Stuttgart

Explore more Stuttgart Luxury Hotels

 

Salzburg

In the midst of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Salzburg Christkindlmarkt is one of the oldest in Europe. Open each year from the Thursday preceding the first Sunday in Advent to December 26, the market is held in the Cathedral Square, under avant-garde glass casings with about 100 traditional huts selling traditional decor, local folk customs, and holiday treats like sweet mulled wine, roasted almonds and chestnuts, locally cured sausages, and Lebkuchen. The nearby Schloss Hellbrun features one of the world's largest Advent calendars and a living Nativity. 

Hotel Sacher Salzburg

Restaurant Zirbelzimmer at Hotel Sacher Salzburg

Built in 1832, Hotel Sacher Salzburg is located along the banks of the river Salzach. Featuring views of the Old Town and the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the property offers historic elegance with fine dining at the Restaurant Zirbelzimmer with traditional cuisine, and guests can enjoy the Original Sacher-Torte with coffee in the Cafe Sacher Salzburg, a classic Austrian coffee house within the hotel. 

Check rates and availability at Hotel Sacher Salzburg

 

Hotel Goldener Hirsch

Classic room at Hotel Goldener Hirsch

Set along the Getreidegasse Road in the city's Old Town, the Hotel Goldener Hirsch is a historic hotel that originally opened in 1407. Today, the property mixes original antiques and handcrafted furniture with modern amenities and Austrian traditions. The Restaurant Goldener Hirsch and Restaurant s'Herzel both serve Austrian cuisine in historic settings, and the Bar Goldener Hirsch is located within the hotel's original inner courtyard where horses once waited. Today, it is considered one of the best outfitted Bauernstil rooms with arched entrances, white walls, and stags on the walls. 

Check rates and availability at Hotel Goldener Hirsch

Explore more Salzburg Luxury Hotels

 

 


No tricks here, just Travel Treats! This Halloween we've gathered some of the top perks offers for Five Star Alliance guests around the globe. No need for anything scary here, just fabulous deals waiting for you. 

1. Taj Dubai

Taj Dubai

Soaring 35 stories over downtown, this opulent retreat features the Jiva Spa, luxe outdoor pool, stylish dining options, traditional Afternoon Tea, and creative activities for children.

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive daily breakfast for two at Tesoro, $100 Food and Beverage Credit per room, per stay. Plus, complimentary WiFi, and based on availability at check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check availability at Taj Dubai

2. Oceana Beach Club Hotel

Oceana Beach Club Hotel

Overlooking Pacific Palisades, this Southern California hotel offers wellness activities, locally sourced regional cuisine, and an outdoor pool with a fireplace. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive daily full American breakfast for two at Tower 8, in-room welcome amenity, and a welcome prosecco upon arrival. Also, subject to availability a room category upgrade, early check-in, or late check-out. 

Check availability at Oceana Beach Club Hotel

3. Nolinski Paris

Nolinski Paris

Set within a Haussmann building, this Parisian hotel is steps from the Comedie Francaise and the Palais Royal gardens with a spa, Grand Salon, and residential-style accommodations. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome pastry or appetizer, smartphone with unlimited international phone calls and internet to use during their stay, and guests staying between October 30, 2017 and February 25, 2018 receive a $100 spa credit per stay. 

Check availability at Nolinski Paris

4. Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Infused with genuine Inca culture and a location at the foot of Machu Picchu, this hotel offers Peruvian Cooking & Bar Classes, Andean Weddings, and ecological excursions. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a 50-minute massage for up to two people, and based on availability, an upgrade on arrival and early check-in/late check-out. 

Check availability at Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

5. Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

In the heart of Tuscany's Brunello winemaking region, the majestic estate with an 800-year history offers a Gothic chapel, 12th century castle fortress, and focus on wine. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive $100 USD resort credit (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full),  welcome amenity, and in-villa dinner delivered on arrival day. Also, based on availability at check-in/departure: room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check availability at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Looking for more exclusive offers? Explore all Five Star Alliance Perks


Love a good ghost story? So do we. This Halloween we've gathered a list of five luxury hotels known for eery experiences and legendary ghost stories. From London to Vancouver, here are five of our favorites. 

1. The Langham London

The Langham London

Built in 1865, this luxe hotel with a world-reknowned Afternoon Tea is also known for sightings of the paranormal kind. From a German prince in a military jacket that jumped to his untimely death, to a Victorian-era doctor who killed his bride and himself while on their honeymoon, the majority of the paranormal activity happens in Room 333.

Check availability at The Langham London

2. Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado

In 1892, a young woman arrived on Thanksgiving alone and never checked out. After five lonely days, Kate Morgan took her own life. To this day, the Ghost of Kate Morgan continues with stories of lights flickering, objects mysteriously moving, along with unexplained voices and footsteps. Paranormal researchers have documented supernatural activity from Kate's room on the third floor, and there have been Kate sightings along the seashore and in the hotel hallways. 

Check availability at the Hotel del Coronado

3. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Known as the "Castle in the City" the legendary Canadian National Railway hotel that first opened as a hotel in 1939, is also home to the Lady in Red, a friendly ghost. Often spotted on the 14th floor in an elegant red evening gown, she's also been seen on the first floor and gliding through the hallways. Security cameras have picked up strange sounds and disembodied footsteps, guests have reported sightings over the years, and a special cocktail is served at the lobby lounge in her honor. 

Check availability at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

4. Emily Morgan Hotel

Emily Morgan Hotel

Next to the Alamo, the hotel was originally constructed as the Medical Arts Building on the Alamo Plaza. Featuring a copper roof with wood ribs, the building is lined by an array of gargoyles, each depicting a medical ailment. Believed to be one of the most haunted hotels west of the Mississippi, there have been stories of guests' phones ringing in the middle, lights and TVs turning on mysteriously, bathtubs being filled on their own, and sightings of women dressed in white. The most common sightings have seemed to occur on floors 12 and 14, which were once surgery and crematorium floors. 

Check availability at the Emily Morgan Hotel

5. Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

Featuring old world grace and charm, W. A. Chambers was one of the designers behind the opulent hotel. He left for a trip to England once the blueprints were completed, and returned to discover the design was not being carried out as planned. According to legend, he jumped to his death from the fifth floor, and stories have told he's been spotted roaming the halls of the hotel to this day. 

Check availability at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai


Exuding Provincial charm, the Garden Suites at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons take inspiration from Raymond Blanc's travels to France. Situated in the Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, the property offers an intimate setting with 32 guest rooms and Michelin Star gastronomic experiences. Read more below the photo.

Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons

Within the French-inspired property, there are four ground-floor Garden Suites: L'Orangerie, Provence, Opium with Asian-inspired furnishings, and Blanc de Blanc, each with a family-friendly setting in the hotel's Garden Courtyard. Continue reading below the photo of the Blanc de Blanc Garden One Bedroom Suite's bedroom.

Blanc de Blanc Garden Suite at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons

The Blanc de Blanc Suite (shown above) provides a serene and eco-friendly environment. Furnished with layers of natural and white textures, the suite has a formal dining room, living room, and master bedroom. Found on the ground floor, the Blanc de Blanc Suite is accessed through a private terrace for an extra level of privacy. Plus, there's a spacious sitting room and walk-through dressing area. Read more below the photo of the Blanc de Blanc living room. 

Blanc de Blanc Garden Suite Living Room at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons

In addition to the Garden Suites, each of the hotel's rooms and suites feature individually-designed furnishings. There's also the Restaurant at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons (shown below), which has maintained two Michelin Stars  since opening over 30 years ago. Considered one of Britain's top restaurants, guests enter the restaurant via a lavender scented footpath. Once inside, visitors are treated to a gastronomic experience featuring organic produce with a twist of imagination. Guests can also take culinary classes via the hotel's Cookery School.

Check rates and availability at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons

The Restaurant at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons


Happy National Coffee Day! Specialty coffee sales are inceasing around the world at a rate of about 20% per year. In the U.S., the average person drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day, yet the U.S. is not in the top 10 for coffee consuption in the world. If you love coffee as much as we do, here's a list of five hotels in top cities for coffee that we love a latte (sorry, we couldn't resist). 

1. Thompson Seattle

The Nest at the Thompson Seattle

Home of Starbucks and known for chilly and rainy weather, Seattle is a haven for coffee lovers. The Thompson Seattle is perched above Pike's Place Market, making it a quick walk to the original Starbucks. Featuring contemporary design and floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Puget Sound, Pike's Place Market, and the Olympic Mountains, the Thompson Seattle has a rooftop bar and the signature Scout restaurant specializing in Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Check availability at Thompson Seattle

 

2. Hotel Continental Oslo

Bar at Theatercafeen at Hotel Continental Oslo

Norway is in the top 10 countries for coffee consuption, and Kaffe is typically served at breakfast and after dinner with dessert, while Turkaffe is traditional Norwegian hiking coffee. At the Hotel Continental Oslo, guests can begin their day with a fresh-brewed pot of coffee at Caroline's, then explore the walkable Nordic city, and finish up their day with a gourmet dinner at Theatercafeen complete with dessert and coffee. Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive a $100 food and beverage credit per room as well as VIP status.

Check availability at Hotel Continental Oslo

 

3. The Nines, Portland

The Nines Portland

Portland, Oregon is known for a unique coffee culture with a mix of independent roasters and coffee cafes brewing espressos and lattes topped with artful foam. At The Nines, guests can stay in the heart of the city in the historic Meier & Frank Building, formerly a department store. The LEED Silver Certified Hotel is steps from Pioneer Square and the trendy Pearl District, plus there's two gourmet restaurants on-site specializing in local Pacific Northwest cuisine. 

Check availability at The Nines

 

4. Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna

Cafe Sacher Wien at Hotel Sacher Wien

Viennese coffee houses are an institution in Vienna, typically with marble tables, newspapers, pastry creations, and of course, coffee drinks. At the Hotel Sacher Wien, guests can experience a Viennese coffee house within the hotel. The Cafe Sacher Wien is a traditional Viennese coffeehouse with a refined setting featuring red interiors, chandeliers, pastries, coffee specialties, and teas, as well as local dishes like fried chicken salad, Wiener Schnitzel, or Tafelspitz.

Check availability at Hotel Sacher Wien

 

5. Palazzo Manfredi, Rome

Aroma Restaurant at Palazzo Manfredi

Known for coffee houses where espresso is served at a bar, and guests drink the coffee quickly while standing, Rome offers a coffee culture of its own. At the Palazzo Manfredi, guests stay in the heart of Rome, steps from the Colosseum and the city's coffee houses. There's also the rooftop Aroma restaurant with Michelin Star cuisine, as well as the American Bar on-site. Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome drink, daily Continental breakfast for two, and tickets for two to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill. 

Check availability at Palazzo Manfredi


Featured Journey: Luxury Vineyard Tour Through France Travel Blog

In this edition of Featured Journeys, we'd like to raise a toast to French wines!  As the fall season begins in the Northern Hemisphere, the harvest season starts in France, when the finest grapes are picked and the wine making process begins. We start our journey with a glass of bubbly, in France's Champagne Region. From there, we make our way to the Loire Valley, onto Bordeaux, and complete our experience in the Burgundy or Bourgogne Region. From castles to chateaux, boutique properties and former monasteries, we've pulled together an itinerary featuring the best luxury hotels in each region, which make excellent destinations in their own right, or can be perfectly paired for a grand tour through the wine regions of France -- à votre santé!


Champagne
Loire Valley
Bordeaux
Burgundy

Champagne

Famous for the sparkling wine that bears its name, the Champagne Region is located in the northeast of France. Long associated with French monarchs, this historic area's terroir is ideal for growing three types of grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier. The champagne houses have different philosophies and formulas for mixing the various grapes and the aging process, resulting in distinctively unique flavors. Resilient through World War I, parts of the region, including some champagne houses and cellars were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015.

Domaine Les Crayeres

Domaine Les Crayeres

Guests can discover more than 600 champagne labels while dining at Chef Phillippe Mille's gourmet restaurant, situated within Domaine Les Crayeres. This Relais & Chateaux property is nestled amidst seven acres of lush vegetation. Formerly the home of the de Polignac family, the property provides reminagined chateau style accommodations with classical French style. Ideal for exploring the Champagne region, the elegant property is located in the heart of Reims. 

Check rates and availability at Domaine Les Crayeres

 

Chateau De Fere

Chateau De Fere

Situated about one hour and 15 minutes from Paris, Chateau De Fere offers a historically rich setting in the village of Fere-en-Tardenois. Combining contemporary styling with Old World charm, guest rooms and suites are housed within a 16th century castle and feature wood floors, intricate woodwork, exposed beams, and old stones. The restaurant is divided into three private rooms and furnished with representations of the Fables of Jean de la Fontaine. There's the ruins of a Chateau de Fere-en-Tardenois on-site, as well as an outdoor swimming pool, tennis, ping pong, and bicycles. 
 

 

Loire Valley

Following the Loire River, this region is widely known for its white wines, but also offers premium reds. Divided into three regions: Upper Loire which is just south of Paris and known for Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume wines that showcase the area's Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the Central Loire Valley is recognized for both white and red wines including the dry Chenin Blanc, the Coulée de Serrant dessert wine, and Vouvray wines, and Pays Nantais which is located close to the Atlantic Ocean and recognized for Muscadet wines that pair well with clams, oysters, mussels, and seafood. In addition to wines, the Loire Valley is known for its castles, as well as Monet's Home and the village of Giverny. 

 

Domaine des Hauts de Loire

Domaine des Hauts de Loire

Built in 1860 by Panckoucke, the famous publisher, Domaine des Hauts de Loire is located in the heart of the castles of Loire Valley, about two hours from Paris. The former hunting lodge has been transformed into a luxury Relais & Chateaux destination with a cooking school, outdoor pool, tennis, and pétanque play area. Set along the Loire Valley Wine Route, guests can explore the area's vineyards by car, foot, or bicycle, and the property's gourmet restaurant is a two Michelin Star recipient. 

Learn more about Domaine des Hauts de Loire

 

Chateau D'Artigny
Chateau D'Artigny

In the heart of the Loire Valley, about 15 km (9 miles) outside of Tours, Chateau D'Artigny was built by the famous perfumer F. Coty. Completed in 1929, the castle hotel offers the L'Origan restaurant, serving chef-prepared French cuisine made with local ingredients in a sophisticated setting with high windows, woodwork reliefs accented with gold-leaf gilding, and fluted columns. There's also a spa with an indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, Duo Cabin, meditation room, and a fitness center. 

Check rates and availability at Chateau D'Artigny

 

 

Bordeaux

Known around the world for the finest red wines, the Bordeaux Region is located in the southern part of France along the Atlantic Coast. The Dordogne and Garonne Rivers run through the region, with most of the  wine estates set along the Gironde or one of the river's tributaries. Bordeaux is the country's fourth largest city, and is located in the center of the region. Most of the area is flat, which combined with the landscape, unique soil and maritime climate, make the region an ideal area for wine production. The native Bordelais have been producing wine for about 2,000 years, and the historic town of St.-Emilion is an idyllic stop while visiting Bordeaux.

Chateau des Vigiers

Chateau des Vigiers

Nestled amidst world-famous vineyards, Chateau des Vigiers is located within a 16th century chateau in Dordogne, between Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion. Known as the "Petit Versailles" the luxury property offers Michelin Star dining at Les Fresques, and accommodations accented by authentic period furniture, hand-woven tapestries, and carved marble fireplaces. There's a 27-hole golf course on-site, as well as the Maria Galland Beauty Spa. Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests that book through Five Star Alliance receive a bottle of the property's Bergerac Red Wine, as well as a wine tasting with the hotel's sommelier in the wine cellar. 

Learn more about Chateau des Vigiers

 

Les Sources de Caudalie

Le Sources de Caudalie

Nestled amidst the vineyards of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Sources de Caudalie was inspired by the French Paradox, a study from 20 years ago that proved the diet and lifestyle in the Southwest France is conducive to good health. Amidst vineyards and forests, the architect crafted the retreat from recycled local materials that are in tune with the surroundings. The hotel has 40 guest rooms, 21 suites, and five cottages, each with antiques and elements inspired by the region's heritage. For dining, the hotel's La Grand'Vigne Restaurant is located withing a former orangery, and offers chef-created cuisine prepared using local ingredients. 

Check rates and availability at Les Sources de Caudalie

 

Burgundy

Our vineyard tour of France wraps up in Burgundy. Southeast of Paris, the Burgundy (Bourgogne in France) Wine Region is recognized around the world for its fine red wines. Somewhat fragmented,  the area consists of four contiguous districts: Chablis, Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais, and the disconnected Beaujolais Region about 70 miles south. Some of the region's cities include Dijon, the capital of Burgundy, as well as Beaune, Cluny, Macon, and Vézelay. Burgundy's vineyards tend to be smaller than those in Bordeaux, resulting in a limited production of a particular wine causing higher prices, and multiple brands of any one wine. This area is best known for Pinot Noir due to the climate and soil, as well as Chardonnay wines that can age for decades. 

 

Chateau De Gilly

Guest Room at Chateau De Gilly

Transformed into a luxury hotel in 1988, the Chateau De Gilly was originally built at a castle for relaxation in the 16th century. Specializing in French cuisine, the chateau's Clos Prieur restaurant is nestled within a rib-vaulted room that was once the cellar for the Cistercian monks of Gilly. Midway between Dijon and Beune, the property is opposite the prestigious Clos Vougeot Castle vineyard, and about 25 km (15.5 miles) from the Beaune Hospices wine cellar and vineyard. 

Check rates and availability at Chateau De Gilly 

 

Hotel Le Cep

Hotel Le Cep Exterior

Originally built as a private residence in 1442, Hotel Le Cep is located in Beaune's town center, close to the Basilique Notre Dame church and the famous Hospices de Beaune. Guest rooms and suites are set within two historic mansions with traditional French courtyards, and each room is named after a Burgundian village or Grand Cru wine. The hotel's Michelin-starred Loiseau des Vignes restaurant offers a gastronomic experience, and there is the Spa Marie de Bourgogne with 14 sensorial experiences. 

Learn more about Hotel Le Cep

 

Would you like to receive emails with more Featured Journeys? Sign up for our email newsletters and special offers.


Exploring a city during Christmas and New Years provides visitors with a new perspective on traditions, flavors, and holiday celebrations. At the Hotel Brunelleschi Florence, guests can experience traditional Italian holiday flavors at the property's on-site restaurants. From Friday, December 8, 2017 to Saturday, January 6, 2018, the hotel's Osteria della Pagliazza in addition to its regular menu, will offer traditional Christmas dishes like Stuffed Pig's Trotter with Lentils, Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi, Meat-filled Pasta Parcels in Capon Broth, Traditional Panforte Vin Santo Sauce, Beef Wellington with Sauteed Vegetables, and Beef Cheek Braised in Chianti with Black Cabbage Sauce. Continue reading below the photo of Osteria della Pagliazza. 

Osteria della Pagliazza

The hotel's Christmas Eve Dinner will be prepared by chef Rocco de Santis and served the evening of Sunday, December 24 in the Byzantine Pagliazza Tower. The dinner will feature a welcome toast with the chef, Crisp Octopus with Guacamole, Garlic, and Almond Mousse, traditional Sardinian Fregola Pasta, Roast Salmon with Parsnip and Capers, as well as a slice of Panettone with Orange Sauce, and Cinnamon-flavored Meringue with Coffee Sauce, plus wine and coffee pairings.

On Christmas Day, the hotel will offer a Florentine Christmas Lunch. Set in the Salone delle Feste, the chef-created lunch by Rocco de Santis will feature a traditional menu with Rolled Roast Rabbit and a Parmesan Mousse with a hint of Truffle Gravy with Wild Herbs, Homemade Pasta Stuffed with Lampredotto, Capon Broth, and Orange Zest, plus the Slow-cooked Saddle of Suckling Pig, Cream of Chickpeas and Carmelized Apples, as well as Mille-feuille with Ricotta and Candied Fruite Mousse, Pears with Moscato and Red Berry Sauce, and traditional Panettone and Pandoro with sauces. Complimented by paired wines and coffee options.

In addition to special Christmas dining options, the Hotel Brunelleschi Florence is offering a variety of New Years options, including special packages with accommodations and gourmet meals. As well as two New Year's Eve Dinner choices, one dinner will be held in the Saloni delle Feste with Salted Beef Roll, Red Cow Parmesan Risotto, Handmade Pasta, Beef Tenderloin, and Panettone Semifreddo. While the New Year's Dinner Luxury Edition will feature wine pairings by the maitre and a menu with Blinis with Asetra Iranian Caviar, White Prawns with Parsley, Baby Squid filled with Provola Cheese and Lime Bechamel, Breaded Scampi, Burrata and Green Olive Sauce, Lobster Marinated in Citrus Fruit, San Miniato White Truffle, Porcini Mushrooms and Almonds, Ravioli Stuffed with Turnip Tops and Red Shrimp, Baked Wild Sea Bass with Chestnuts, Venus Clams, and Lemon Sauce, and completed with Nougat Semifreddo, Clementine Sauce, Cinnamon Crumble, Panettone by Master Baker Alfonso Pepe with traditional Pandoro with Vanilla Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce, as well as dried fruit, Petits Fours, mineral water, and espresso. Read more below the photo of Saloni delle Feste. 

Saloni delle Feste

On New Years Day, the hotel will host a brunch in the Saloni delle Feste, featuring dishes like Marinated Salmon, Quiches, Tuscan Cold Cuts and Cheeses, Recco-style Focaccia, Warm Seafood Salad with Vegetables and Saffron Potatoes, Marinated Meat Rolls, and traditional Pandoro and Panettone with Vanilla Sauce. Continue reading below the photo of the Bargello Suite. 

Bargello Suite at Hotel Brunelleschi Hotel Florence

The Hotel Brunelleschi Florence is situated in the heart of the city, in the shadows of Il Duomo. Steps from Signoria Square, major attractions, shops, and restaurants, the boutique hotel occupies two historic buildings, with an upscale Italian restaurant and traditional trattoria. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a $50 food and beverage credit per room, per stay, a bottle of Prosecco, welcome amenity, and VIP Status.

Learn more about the Hotel Brunelleschi Florence


Pages