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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.


If you're seeking a lakeside retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life, yet yearn for contemporary design and modern comforts, the Azur Lodge in Queenstown, New Zealand is an ideal spot. Perched on a hilltop amongst native trees, with panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains, the property offers nine villas and a lodge with three fireplaces, cocktails, and refreshments.

Villa at Azur Lodge

Designed by local architect John Blair, the contemporary villas feature interior design by Singapore based LTW, providing an overall modern, yet relaxed feel. Offering complete privacy, all villas have private patios with scenic views, and gas fireplaces. There are plush beds with German-milled Egyptian cotton sheets by Ploh, as well as goose down pillows and duvets. Sleek bathrooms feature spa tubs with large windows to soak in the scenery, New Zealand-made Linden Leaves amenities, and rain forest showers.

Spa Tub with a View at Azur Lodge

To top off the outstanding views, Azur Lodge offers a variety of activities. Some of our favorite experiences include:

- Morning yoga on your own private patio (mats are supplied by the hotel)
- In-villa massage treatments
- Horseback riding through The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit filming locations
- Flightseeing to Milford Sound and landing on a glacier

Learn more about Azur Lodge >>

Horseback Riding at Azur Lodge

 

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Nestled amidst rugged snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s finest Lodge – Blanket Bay. In 1861, a mob of sheep owned by Mr William Gilbert Rees were sheared on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, in a bay just south of where the small town of Glenorchy is situated.  This bay was to be named Blanket Bay after blankets used to create the shed and shelters used to protect the eight Maori shearers and the wool from the elements.

Book astay at Blanket Bay>>


Each identical villa at Azur Lodge  is 79 square meters of open plan living in the midst of New Zealand’s natural environment.
Soak up the spectacular unobstructed views from the bathtub, which has been set into a bay window to give you a feeling of
being outdoors.

Azur Lodge

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Hotel DeBrett

If a visit to Auckland is on your horizon, check in to Hotel DeBrett. Located in an historic building, the 25-room luxury boutique hotel connects downtown's hip and fashionable High Street with the business district found on Shortland Street. One of Auckland's first hotels was located here in 1841. Since that time, it has survived two fires, and two rebuilds, before the current building was erected in 1925. 

Hotel DeBrett

Every room is individually designed and complemented with eclectic furniture, New Zealand art and photography. All rooms feature bespoke carpet from hand woven 100% New Zealand wool. Classic rooms are filled with light from either High Street or the glass roofed atrium. Boutique Suites are ideal for business travellers needing space for work and private meetings, or for couples wanting a little more space, as all have a separate living room. O'Connell Suites are spacious duplex suites have been designed to cater for families. There is a double sofa bed in the living room, additional to the king/queen size bed in the upper bedroom, and separate half bathroom on the lower floor. Finally, Loft Suites offer the option of a two level suite with spiral stair access from living to bedroom, or a one level suite – some have Juliet balconies onto the rustic courtyard and the glass roofed atrium, others have inner city views.

At the heart of the hotel sits DeBretts Kitchen and the famous Art Deco inspired Housebar. Experience contemporary New Zealand cuisine featuring the best local produce prepared and cooked with care. The famous Housebar has been meticulously restored as Auckland's premier meeting place. A private drawing room has been created for exclusive use by hotel guests – while a glass roofed atrium and courtyard form the central focal point for guests and diners at DeBretts Kitchen. At street level the colorful Cornerbar has an emphasis on local craft beers and boutique wines. 

Hotel DeBrett aims to create a warm,welcoming environment, where guests felt at home, but with a quirky, unpredictable flair, excellent amenities, and top-notch service. 

Book a stay at Hotel DeBrett >>


Hotel DeBrett was built as The Commercial Hotel in 1841, and wasone of Auckland's first hotels. It survived two fires, and two rebuilds, before the current building was erected in 1925.

Hotel DeBrett

Book a stay at Hotel DeBrett>>


Treetops Lodge and Estate has planted selected trees, some 70,000 in all, to ensure a better habitat and a better environment.

Treetops Lodge and Estate

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Blanket Bay
Blanket Bay Lodge sits at the north end of Lake Wakatipu amidst New Zealand's finest scenery. The luxury resort is known for its commitment to active vacations. Nearby activities include fly-fishing, heli-skiing, hiking on the Routeburn or Milford Tracks, jetboating, golfing kayaking, 4WD tours, horse riding, and flight-seeing over Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. 

For those guests whose interest's lie in the area of wine and art, the resort has the perfect activity. The Wine & Arts Trail takes you to the homes and galleries of New Zealand's pre-eminent artists coupled with sampling Otago's finest wines at the local vineyards. 

Guests spend the day visiting Kiwit artists in their home studios. Then, they can quaff some "New World" wines that the Southern Lakes region is known for. The hotel can arrange for a chaffeur-driven car, so that guests can imbibe freely.

Book your stay at Blanket Bay >>


SKYCITY Grand Hotel Auckland has a heated indoor 25-metre lap pool, sauna, and spa pool. It also offers SOAK - a luxurious in-room bathing menu for SKYCITY Hotel guests - designed to invigorate, de-stress, and indulge. There are five different cleansing baths to choose from - all with an inventive blend of ingredients, including bathing salts, oils and teas.

SKYCITY Grand Hotel Auckland 

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Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
 is a luxury hotel that places guests in the heart of Auckland Central between the upscale Viaduct Harbour lifestyle development and the attractions of the new Wynyard Quarter. Its understated elegance overlooks the shimmering Waitemata Harbour. Sofitel Auckland features luxuriously spacious rooms and suites featuring a private balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows along with the comfort of the Sofitel MyBed to marble bathrooms with both a rain shower and deep soaking tub.

 

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Eichardts Private Hotel  

Eichardts Private Hotel was born as a result of the rich vein of gold, which drew many prospectors, opportunists and downright optimists from around the globe to the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The quest for pastoral land brought William Gilbert Rees to the shores of Lake Wakatipu in 1859 when he built a homestead on the lakefront and erected a woolshed on the site now occupied by Eichardt's Hotel. When gold was discovered in the nearby Shotover River, Rees found himself at the centre of a gold rush - his homestead declared an official goldfield and the main business area developed around the station. The entrepreneurial Rees quickly turned to the hotel keeping business, the woolshed was given a wooden facade and turned into a hotel and named the Queen's Arms. In early 1866, Rees entered into partnership with Albert Eichardt who went on to become the sole proprietor of the hotel by 1869. Eichardt renamed the hotel Eichardt's Queen's Arms Hotel, but during his time there, it came to be known simply as Eichardt's Hotel where he catered mostly for tourists as the tenor of the town evolved from a mining settlement to something more permanent.

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