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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.

The Westcliff Hotel

If you long to play with a lion club but hate being mauled, The Westcliff Hotel has just the adventure for you.  The South African hotel, in conjunction with Suncross Tours, offers guests the opportunity to walk with lions and play with lion clubs. The tour can be combined with a morning of horseback riding in De Sweeded Spruit Valley nature preserve. 

On the horseback riding safari, guests are likely to spot giraffes, zebras, blue wildebeests, elands, waterbucks, warthogs,  and other exotic animals.  

Westcliff Hotel

Then there's a home-cooked lunch, before a brief talk about lions. Then guest take the lions on a nature walk (after learning how to behave around them), and after the walk is finished, guests will have to opportunity to feed and play with the adorable lion cubs.

The cubs are kept at the nature reserve for the first few years of their lives. They become very domesticated because of their constant contact with humans. After they leave the reserve the undergo a phased release into the wild. Their offspring will be totally wild and fully capable of surviving on their own.  The wildlife sanctuary only sells lions to ethical wild reserves in Southern Africa. 

To book the lion adventure, contact the hotel directly after you have made your reservations.

View rates, details, and more photos of The Westcliff Hotel >>


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I have a special place in my heart for tiny boutique hotels. It may be a little smaller than some of the other chambers, and there aren't enough spots for everybody, but that just makes the few who do make their way into my good graces all the more special. I can give each and every one the loving care and attention they deserve. And thus began my new segment on boutique hotels that I just adore.

South Africa had a major revitilization following their hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and it continues to be one of the major getaway destinations for someone looking for something a little different from the stereotypical Caribbean island vacation.  And in the spirit of looking out for something different, the Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa is even a little different from the standard fare in South Africa.  With only 24 suites on the property, I would say the entire resort could practically fit in the palm of your hand if it werent for the fact that for those 24 rooms, it has all the facilities of a hotel ten times its size.  Especially of note is the architectural emphasis on aquatics. The hotel's crowning jewel is its gorgeous infinity pool, which you can be assured is never too crowded and actually plays underwater music.  The hotel's spa makes use of the innovative treatments, including the Rasul Chamber, which you'll just have to experience for yourself.  The Saxon makes an effort not to be just another cookie-cutter luxury destination, and if you stay on your next trip to Africa, you'll feel the difference that makes.

The Oyster Box, South AfricaThe Oyster Box is legendary as one of the best hotels in South Africa. Overlooking the Umhlanga lighthouse near Durban, the hotel had a R400-million makeover two years ago, which landed it on Condé Nast Traveler's Hot List. So it's only fitting that South Africa's Charlene Wittstock, the bride-to-be in 2011's *other* royal nuptials, has chosen it as the setting for a lavish party she's throwing for friends and family who can't make it to her Monte Carlo wedding. In early July she's set to wed Prince Albert of Monaco, the "former playboy and only son of Hollywood actress Grace Kelly and the tiny principality's late ruler, Prince Rainier III." (Get this: All Monaco nationals are invited to their wedding!) What can guests expect at Charlene's shindig at The Oyster Box? A tailor-made menu with South African delicacies, designed by executive chef Kevin Joseph and paired with the best Champagne"- according to The Times Live.