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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER

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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.

| By: Rachael Weir

Providing a haven of peace and tranquility, the Underwater Suite at Atlantis, The Palm Dubai is a one-of-a-kind retreat. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows looking into the resort's 65,000 marine animal aquarium, guests of the suite can enjoy the marine life of the Ambassador Lagoon from the privacy of their own suite. Continue reading below the Underwater Suite photo. 

Underwater Suite Bedroom at Atlantis The Palm Dubai

Whether you want to lay in bed and watch the sharks swim by, or perhaps you prefer to soak in the marble Jacuzzi as the sting rays and fish glide past, this suite is ideal for couples seeking a one-of-a-kind retreat. The suite also includes 24-hour private butler service, in-room check-in and a complimentary interconnecting room. Learn more about Atlantis, The Palm below the photo of the Underwater Suite bathroom. 

Underwater Suite Bathroom at Atlantis The Palm Dubai

Atlantis, The Palm Dubai is an ocean-themed destination resort. Located on Dubai's Palm Island, the iconic property has 1548 rooms and suites, Atlantis Aquaventure waterpark, more than 23 world-class restaurants and bars, aquarium, and spa. 

Book a stay at Atlantis, The Palm Dubai


| By: Five Star Alliance

Five-star hotels are properties that offer their guests the highest levels of luxury through personalized services, a vast range of amenities, and sophisticated accommodations. Though there is no standard rating system for hotels, properties earn five-star distinction by providing guests experiences that meet or exceed even the highest of expectations for comfort, décor, and luxury.

5 Star Hotel Criteria

Though a luxury hotel may share many five-star hotel characteristics, a true five-star hotel should satisfy all these criteria:

5-Star Service

Five-star hotel employees should be polite, attentive, discreet, and can anticipate guests’ needs. All-in-all, consistently flawless excellence is the expectation. 

  • A high staff-to-room ratio—ideally above 2.5
  • Multilingual staff
  • 24-hour reception, room service, valet parking, butler, doorman
  • Standalone concierge staff available at least 16 hours a day
  • Nightly turndown 
  • Daily housekeeping that is also available upon request at any time
  • Laundry, ironing, dry cleaning, and shoe polishing
  • Guest elevators separate from staff elevators.
  • Luggage storage in which bags are out of guest view
  • Fine dining restaurant(s) and a standalone lounge and/or bar
  • Transfers and executive or house car
  • Childcare

5-Star In-Room Amenities

  • Electric safe
  • Laundry bags
  • Full-length mirror with lighting
  • Flat-screen TV with international programming
  • Stocked mini bar
  • Selection of daily newspapers
  • Wifi
  • At least four types of spa treatments 

5-Star Comfort

  • Guest rooms must be plush and inviting—especially the bed. (Ideally, there is a memory foam bed with high thread count sheets)
  • Pillow menu
  • Blackout shades
  • Bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, and large fluffy towels
  • Poolside daybeds, umbrellas, lotions, ice water, attendants, and food and beverage service

5-star hotel meaning

As more hotels aspire to five-star quality, we expect to see the very best hotels advance the standards of luxury. Here is what will become standard to all five-star hotels soon:

  • Communication with hotel staff via text
  • Remote access to room lighting, climate, and “do not disturb” 
  • Additional outlets for personal electronics, especially for USB plugs
  • Upgraded coffee machines
  • Smart TV features with access to streaming services
  • Bluetooth-enabled door locks

Who awards hotels 5 stars? 

There is no universal standard for hotel ratings. 

Terms such as Deluxe/Luxury, First Class/Superior, Tourist Class/Standard, and Budget Class/Economy are more widely accepted as hotel types, not hotel standards.

In North America, AAA rates hotels from 1 to 5 diamonds. The Forbes (Mobil) Travel Guide only ranks 4- and 5-star hotels. 

In Europe, the Hotelstars Union has standard hotel star ratings applicable to properties for more than 15 countries. Switzerland uses hotelleriesuisse which confirms a certain level of quality service, infrastructure, and equipment. The UK uses the Automobile Association's (AA) 1-to-5 star ratings.

Many other nations have laws to define hotel rating criteria.

In New Zealand, Qualmark, part of Tourism New Zealand, grades hotels from 1 to 5 stars.

In Australia, the Auto Clubs (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT) have awarded hotels star ratings that incorporate guest feedback. The ratings are now managed by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC).

In the Philippines, the Department of Tourism maintains hotel rating standards with a system that grades properties between 1 and 5 stars.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) grades hotels based on strict criteria and conditions in six categories.

India's classifications are handled by the Ministry of Tourism's Hotel and Restaurant Association Classification Committee (HRACC). The categories are 1 to 5 Stars and 5 Star Deluxe as well as categories for heritage: Heritage Grand, Heritage Classic, and Heritage Basic.

While it might be great for marketing, there are no 7-star or 6-star hotels

In addition to meeting the criteria above, Five Star Alliance hotels must maintain a high degree of satisfaction from guests across review sites and via feedback provided directly to us.

 

Click here to explore all of our five-star hotels >>

5-star luxury hotel meaning

 

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Happy 2020! It's the start of a new year and a new decade. Where will you go this year? This decade? If you're like us, your list is long. We've put together our top 20 picks for this year. From the Mayflower 400th Anniversary Celebrations in England and Massachusetts, to the Olympics in Tokyo, we've gathered some of the world's most exciting events and happenings, along with luxury hotel suggestions in each locale. 

Happy Travels!

20. Manchester, England

20 Places To Go In 2020 ManchesterOne of Europe's fastest growing cities, Manchester is a popular base for digital and media companies. Blending history and design, the city is experiencing a growth in new development, including the Cultureplex, a railway goods house transformed into a restaurant, bar, and cafe. The revolving program of film, performing arts, and visual arts provides a constant array of entertainment options, and epicurians flock to the city to dine at Mana, the city's first Michelin Star recipient with a Nordic-influenced menu.

A few luxury hotel options ideal for exploring Manchester include The Lowry Hotel, Macdonald Manchester Hotel, and the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Manchester Piccadilly.

Explore Manchester Luxury Hotels

19. The Big Island, Hawaii

20 Places To Go In 2020 Big Island Hawaii

Following the 2018 volcanic activity on Hawaii's Big Island, the five-month eruption has stopped, and the blue skies have returned. The Halemaumau crater is now three times as wide and four times as deep as it was prior to the 2018 eruption, and a freshwater lake has started to form on the crater's floor. The Thurston Lava Tube is expected to reopen in early 2020 with a redesigned parking area, and roads outside of the park have recently reopened. In November, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. There are multiple hotels on the island offering exclusive Perks, including the all-new Mauna Lani luxury resort, which will debut in January 2020 with a new era of experiential luxury. As well as the beachfront Fairmont Orchid Hawaii and the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

Explore Big Island Luxury Hotels

18. Vienna, Austria

20 Places To Go In 2020 Vienna

There's much to explore in this Germanic destination with cutting-edge art museums and music halls. The Musikverein concert hall will celebrate its 150th anniversary and events will be held throughout the city celebrating Beethoven's 250th birthday. While the classic city is known for its Baroque architecture and classical music venues, the contemporary art venue was transformed into the Belvedere 21, the Freud Museum will reopen in May following a major renovation with nearly 40,000 adds to its library, and the Belvedere Palaces with an extensive classical art collection have been completely renovated.

Luxury hotels in Vienna offer historic charm blended with contemporary amenities, such as the Hotel Sacher Wien, The Ring, and Park Hyatt Vienna, all with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. 

Explore Vienna Luxury Hotels

17. Cape Town, South Africa

20 Places To Go In 2020 Cape Town

Beginning this year, United Airlines will offer non-stop service from Newark to Cape Town, saving travelers up to eight hours of travel time from the United States. In addition to new air routes into the Mother City, there's a constantly evolving art scene, and the nearby Winelands offer plenty of vineyards to explore for wine enthusiasts. 

Cape Town is also home to an array of luxury hotels offering exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks including the One&Only Cape Town, Belmond Mount Nelson, and Taj Cape Town

Explore Cape Town Luxury Hotels

16. Buenos Aires, Argentina

20 Places To Go In 2020 Buenos Aires

Currently, travelers can stretch their travel dollars in the land of tango, beef, and Malbec, due to the devaluation of the Argentinian peso. The city is in the midst of a gentrification process with areas like the Old Market expanding with wine bars, cafes, and patisseries, and the Plaza Dorrego neighborhood is bustling with newness. There's a variety of luxury hotels within this South American city, many with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks including The Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, Alvear Palace Hotel, and the Sofitel Buenos Aires Recoleta Hotel

Explore Buenos Aires Luxury Hotels

15. Edinburgh, Scotland

20 Places To Go In 2020 Edinburgh

Scotland's capital city serves up plenty of history, a multitude of festivals, and the famous Edinburgh Castle. But this year the city is debuting several new attractions including the three-story Johnnie Walker Experience, which will feature a museum, event space, and whiskey shop. The city's ever-expanding selection of luxury hotels provide unique lodging options occupying historic buildings such as the Kimpton Charlotte Square within seven Georgian townhouses, the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Calendonian Victorian Railway hotel, and the Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel with its landmark clocktower. 

Explore Edinburgh Luxury Hotels

14. Kyoto, Japan

20 Places To Go In 2020 Kyoto

While Tokyo is hosting the Olympics, Kyoto is another trending destination within Japan. The city's imperial history is evident throughout, providing travelers with a glimpse into the past. There are temples, gardens, and tea houses for an authentic feel, along with museum expansions at the Fukuda Art Museum and the Kyocera Museum of Art.

Kyoto has a variety of luxury hotel options with exclusive Perks ranging from the countryside Suiran within the grounds of the Tenryuji Temple to the contemporary Hyatt Regency Kyoto and the riverside The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Explore Kyoto Luxury Hotels

13. Maine

20 Places To Go In 2020 Maine

2020 marks 200 years of statehood for the state of Maine. In honor of the Bicentennial year, the state is hosting a year of special events. To experience coastal life, the Cliff House Maine has an oceanfront location where travelers can enjoy the waves hitting the rocky coast from the comfort of their room, plus exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. For a private cottage, Hidden Pond offers a charming setting with access to the Tides Beach Club situated two miles away at Goose Rocks Beach. While the White Barn Inn offers rustic luxury with the hotel's restaurant occupying two restored barns from the 1860s. 

Explore Maine Luxury Hotels

12. Galway, Ireland

20 Places To Go In 2020 Galway

This bohemian city with an arts-focused feel on the west coast of Ireland has long been a destination for creatives. Named a European Capital of Culture for 2020, the city by the sea is home to an array of festivals throughout the year, as well as forward-thinking luxury hotels like The G Hotel and The Galmont Hotel & Spa. For a unique and completely Irish experience, the nearby Ashford Castle is about a 30-minute drive from Galway City with creative cuisine, spa, and exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. 

Explore Galway Luxury Hotels

11. Macau

20 Places To Go In 2020 Macau

On December 20, Macau will celebrating its 20th anniversary as a Special Administrative Region of China. Macau is an international destination mixing Asian and European cultures, providing travelers with luxe hotels such as the Four Seasons Hotel Macao Cotai Strip, Wynn Macao, and the Banyan Tree Macau. In addition to fine hotels, Macau offers travelers an array of world-class dining options, casinos, and cultural experiences. 

Explore Macau Luxury Hotels 

10. Tel Aviv, Israel

20 Places To Go In 2020 Tel Aviv

Experience a destination where modern living merges with ancient history. In 2020, the Ben-Gurion Airport will expand to accommodate additional aircraft. Tel Aviv's White City Zone is a UNESCO-designated site and home to over 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings, the largest collection of its kind in the world. The area will take center stage this year, as Tel Aviv commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Bauhaus architecture movement. The beach city along Israel's Mediterranean coast offers an array of luxury hotels including three with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks: The Setai with a seafront location, beachfront Dan Tel Aviv Hotel, and the InterContinental David Tel Aviv

Explore Tel Aviv Luxury Hotels

9. Vancouver Island, Canada

20 Places To Go In 2020 Vancouver Island

From the capital city of Victoria on the harborfront to the surf town of Tofino, Vancouver Island offers land and sea experiences along with local cuisine. Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress is a classic institution. Travelers can experience Native traditions as the island is home to 50 First Nations communities, or book a cycling tour in Ucluelet. Spring is an ideal time to visit the island, with the West Coast Trail opening for hiking season May 1. Watch for whales from Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sook, or dine at the Pointe Restaurant offering ocean views at the Wickaninnish Inn. Located about 70 miles west of Vancouver, the island is reachable via ferry or flight into Victoria's International Airport. 

Explore Victoria Luxury Hotels

8. Doha, Qatar

20 Places To Go In 2020 Doha

In preparation for hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup, Doha introduced a brand-new underground railway system, and the city is expanding its arts and culture scene with the opening of new museums including the National Museum of Qatar. Getting from the airport to the palm-lined Corniche is more convenient than ever with the new transportation system, Old Doha provides a historic feel, and Souq Waqif is a must-see open-air street market. Choose from an array of luxury hotels in the city including the InterContinental Doha, JW Marriott Marquis City Center, and The St. Regis Doha

Explore Doha Luxury Hotels

7. Melbourne, Australia

20 Places To Go In 2020 Melbourne

Providing a European feel in the land of Oz, Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city known for its street art, constantly changing landscape, and live music. There's a strong coffee culture throughout the city, and it is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria. Ideal for foodies, coffee lovers, and art enthusiasts, Melbourne is considered the Culture Capital of Australia. Cobbled laneways in the city center have coffee shops, cafes, and one-of-a-kind boutiques ideal for exploring, while the Queen Victoria Markets is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.

The city will be hosting a number of major events throughout the year, including the Australian Open January 20 - February 2, the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 will February 21 - March 8, and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 will be October 18 - November 15.

Melbourne is home to an array of five star hotels, including several with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks such as The Langham Melbourne, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, and Park Hyatt Melbourne

Explore Melbourne Luxury Hotels

6. Nashville, Tennessee

20 Places To Go In 2020 Nashville

While this trend-setting destination has been popular for the past few years, Nashville is continuing to grow, adding new draws to the city beyond country music. In the summer of 2020, the National Museum of African American Music will open along Broadway, right in the heart of downtown. The museum will feature five interactive galleries showcasing the 50 genres of African American Music. Plus, the city is constantly expanding its hotel selection with new additions like the JW Marriott Nashville, Thompson Nashville in the growing neighborhood of "The Gulch", and the newly-renovated Hutton Hotel with writer's rooms and a 5,000-square-foot live music venue.

Explore Nashville Luxury Hotels

5. Dominica

20 Places To Go In 2020 Dominica

Paradise for outdoorsy travelers, Dominica is a 290-square-mile teardrop-shaped island with the world's second-largest hot spring, plus 300 miles of hiking trails, 365 rivers, and a dozen waterfalls. The recently opened Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski is a luxury five star resort with a spa designed to create a greater connection to nature and the island's ecosystem. The massive Spa at Kempinski Dominica offers mud baths sourced from the island's ten volcanoes, and a water temple surrounded by rainforest trees. There's also four restaurants and bars each with a local-focused approach, four hot and cold water pools, tennis courts, and easy access to the island's eco-tourism opportunities. Plus, exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. 

Book a stay at Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski

4. Porto, Portugal

20 Places To Go In 2020 Porto Portugal

Ideal for wine lovers and foodies, Porto offers idyllic weather along with great food and wine. As the home of Port wine (and the city's namesake), Porto is perfect as a starting point for exploring historic Port Wine houses and the vineyards of Douro Valley. Offering travelers a good value for their monty the city center of Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an easy trip from Lisbon.  

The city is also home to several luxury hotels including several with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks: The Yeatman, InterContinental Porto Palacio Das Cardosas, and Infante Sagres

Explore Porto Luxury Hotels

3. Plymouth, England & Plymouth, Massachusetts

20 Places To Go In 2020 Plymouth

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts. In celebration, both cities are hosting an array of events to commemorate the pioneering voyage and the group of travelers that would go on to have more than 30 million United States descendents. In England, the Mayflower 400 celebrations focus on the towns and cities along the national Mayflower Trail. While the Plymouth 400 events in the United States will be centered in the town of Plymouth, located 40 miles south of downtown Boston. 

Interested in partaking in these commemorative events? In England, travelers could consider basing themselves in London and taking daytrips via train to various towns on the Mayflower Trail. An additional option would be the Lime Wood in Lyndhurst, a Regency country house hotel located a short drive from Southampton, a key destination on the Mayflower Trail. For participaing in events near and around Plymouth, Massachusetts, we recommend a luxury hotel in Boston such as the Fairmont Copley Plaza or Fifteen Beacon

2. Dubai, UAE

20 Places To Go In 2020 Dubai

Beginning in October 2020, Dubai is hosting the World Expo. Lasting for 6 months, the city has designed the metropolis of the future with 130 buildings connected via smart technology. Later this year the Museum of the Future designed by a computer algorithm and the Aladdin City will also open.

For accommodations in this world-class city in the desert we have three key recommendations, each with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks: One&Only Royal Mirage, Taj Dubai, and Burj Al Arab

Explore Dubai Luxury Hotels

1. Tokyo, Japan

20 Places To Go In 2020 Tokyo

Hosting the XXXII Olympic Summer Games, Jul 24 - Aug 9, Tokyo is a business and cultural megacenter. Known for extreme attention to detail, the cutting-edge destination is home to world-class art galleries and museums, as well nightlife. With 234 Michelin-starred restaurants (the most of any city in the world), Japan's capital city is an ideal destination for foodies.

The Aman Tokyo offers an urban sanctuary setting on the top six floors of the recently-built Otemachi Tower, plus exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks including daily breakfast. For a landmark stay, The Peninsula Tokyo is an iconic destination in the prestigious Marunouchi financial district with sophisticated facilities including a wedding chapel, indoor pool, outdoor pool with views of the Imperial Palace Gardens, and exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. While the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is located directly above Shibuya Station with a modern design, entertainment venues, and perks for Five Star Alliance guests.

Explore Tokyo Luxury Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Featuring breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps, the Corner Suites at the Gstaad Palace Hotel provide a luxurious alpine setting during the winter ski season and the summer months. Recently renovated, the suites have 90 square meters of space, including a bedroom with a king size bed, lounge area, and a dining room. Read more below the photo. 

Corner Suite at Gstaad Palace Hotel

For relaxation, each suite has a private balcony, and bathrooms feature steam baths. There are walk-in wardrobes and all Corner Suites can be connected to Deluxe Junior Suites. Continue reading below the photo.

Gstaad Palace Hotel

The Gstaad Palace Hotel is a legendary hotel in the heart of the Swiss Alps offering one-of-a-kind views. A favorite of national and international guests since opening in 1913, the hotel has been family owned for three generations. From elegant dinners to casual get togethers, the hotel has an array of dining options including Le Grill, and La Fromagerie serving Swiss specialties. Read more below the photo of Le Grill Restaurant.

Le Grill Restaurant at Gstaad Palace

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include daily dinner at Le Grand Restaurant (up to CHF110 per person) or CHF50 credit at all other restaurants and a CHF100 spa voucher per stay for spa services.

Check availability at Gstaad Palace Hotel


| By: Rachael Weir

Destination Spotlight: London

London calling? This classic European destination and capital city offers an array of history, art, culture, shopping, and contemporary style. Over the past 10 years, the city has heightened its game to offer luxury travelers some of the finest amenities, hotels, and attractions. 

In this edition of Destination Spotlight, we worked with Luxury Travel Intelligence to gain valuable insider information on some of London's top hotels, as well as recommended dining and entertainment options.

Some of London's top stores offer highly-regarded dining options, at Harrod's, Luxury Travel Intelligence suggests "Laduree – a lovely Parisian style tearoom with an outdoor pavement terrace. The Champagne Bar on the first floor, also serving some great small plates. Cafe Godiva – skip the line by requesting seats at the counter. And Chai Wu is an opulent full service restaurant with impressive contemporary Chinese cuisine." While Burger and Lobster for a "casual and fun" dining option at Harvey Nichols, and The Wine Bar at Fortnum & Mason has an impressive selection of wines by the glass.

Looking for a unique movie-watching experience? Visit Curzon at the Sea Container Hotel for an intimate setting with comfortable seating and stylish food and drink options. 

For a classic London experience, travelers will want to book a traditional afternoon tea. While there is an array of destinations and options for afternoon tea, Luxury Travel Intelligence says, "Our top picks are The Lanesborough in the beautiful Celeste restaurant, and Claridge’s for a real celebration. For impressive panoramic views of London with your afternoon tea, we love Ting at the Shangri-La at the Shard. Or for one of London’s most impressive rooms – perfect for a special occasion afternoon tea – we recommend the Oscar Wilde Lounge at Hotel Cafe Royal."

While the city offers many highly-rated hotels, here are 5 we recommend based on location, amenities, and exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks.

5. Rosewood London

Rosewood London Guest Room

Located in the hip 'Midtown' in the High Holborn neighborhood, Rosewood London offers a centralized location within walking distance of many of the city's major sites. Featuring a grand facade, guests enter through wrought iron gates. Set in a Grade II listed Belle Epoque building, Luxury Travel Intelligence says, "Its décor is quintessentially British, yet unusual – whimsical even – but many of the original listed features (the Grand Pavonazzo marble staircase and the 166 feet cupola, for example) remain in tact. You can expect excellent food and drink in the restaurants and bar (they are destinations in their own right), and a great spa and fitness centre."

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" include a full breakfast for two daily in the Holborn Dining Room, $100 USD equivalent hotel credit, per room/per stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full. Excludes Matthew Curtis Hair Salon) and a Chef's choice welcome amenity.

Book a stay at Rosewood London

4. The May Fair Hotel

Suite at The May Fair Hotel

Situated in the heart of Mayfair along Stratton Street, The May Fair Hotel is a legendary hotel. First opened by King George V in 1927, the property has a glamorous past. Bringing boutique hotel attention to detail with grand hotel service, the property offers 404 luxury hotel rooms and suites, and a diverse array of facilities within the hotel including The May Fair Theater, The Palm Beach Casino, May Fair Kitchen, May Fair Bar, and the May Fair Spa & Fitness Center. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" include a full English Breakfast for each guest daily at May Fair Kitchen, a 50 GBP spa credit per room/per stay (excluding spa products), a welcome card, and a seasonal welcome amenity.

Book a stay at The May Fair Hotel

3. The Langham London

The Langham London Executive Suite Bathroom

Since opening in 1865 as Europe's first "Grand Hote", The Langham London has been one of the city's finest locales for travelers. Located in the heart of the West End at the top of Regent Street, the hotel has the city's finest shopping, theater district, and cultural attractions at its doorstep. Within the hotel, fine dining is offered at Roux at The Landau, Artesian is an elegant destination for cocktails, and the Palm Court is known as the birthplace of the afternoon tea tradition. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate include a full English Breakfast for two daily and a USD $100 food and beverage credit once during stay.

Book a stay at The Langham London

2. The Goring

The Goring Hotel

Nestled in the heart of Belgravia, The Goring was recently refurbished to offer timeless elegance with the best in British design, and one of the largest private gardens in the city. According to Luxury Travel Intelligence, "Many of the rooms are quite small but they’re overflowing with character and comfort. We recommend taking a Deluxe category room at least, such as room 114, designed by Nina Campbell, which has soft furnishings, a quirky turret bathroom, a huge sleigh bath and a walk-in shower."

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate include continental breakfast for two daily, a welcome gift, and a $100 food and beverage credit in The Dining room per room/per stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full).

Book a stay at The Goring

1. Claridge's

Claridge's London

Luxury Travel Intelligence says, "With its stunning design, elegance and perfect location, Claridge’s is in a class of its own." Offering a range of rooms and suites by well-known designers including Guy Oliver and Diane von Furstenberg, each of the rooms is unique with a range of styles from Art Deco to traditional. All accommodations are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, guests can expect top-quality service, and there are two highly-rated restaurants and two chic bars steeped in history within the hotel. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate include a full English breakfast daily in The Foyer & Reading Room or through room service, a 75 GBP credit per room/per stay which can be applied towards food and beverage or spa services at the hotel, and a welcome amenity.

Book a stay at Claridge's

Explore our entire collection of London Luxury Hotels

Interested in becoming a member of Luxury Travel Intelligence? Click here and use invitation code: FIVESTAR400.

Posted in: London

| By: Rachael Weir

Vienna Christmas Market

As the festive season is underway, Europe's Christmas Markets provide an array of local products created by artisans, sweet specialties, and plenty to explore. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're embarking on a multi-destination trip along the Danube to visit Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest.

Vienna, Austria

Get in the Christmas spirit perusing stalls with handcrafted goods, while the aroma of punch and roasted chestnuts fills the air. Dating back to 1298 when Albrecht I granted the city's citizens the privilege to hold the first Krippenmarkt, Vienna is now home to an array of Christmas markets including the Viennese Dream Christmas Market in front of City Hall (shown in the photo above), Christmas Village Belvedere Palace with the backdrop of the palace, Christmas and New Year's Market at Schönbrunn Palace, and Christmas Market at Spittelberg. 

In addition to the Christmas Markets, Vienna is a destination for culture and art lovers. From palaces and regal parks, to chandier-lit coffee houses, the city offers much to explore. The Riesenrad Ferris wheel provides a birds-eye view above the Prater. 

Park Hyatt Vienna

Park Hyatt Vienna

Set within a 100-year-old building, Park Hyatt Vienna is located within the city's most exclusive shopping district. Once the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank, the Park Hyatt Vienna is part of the city's First District, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Offering some of the city's largest guest rooms and suites, travelers can rejuvenate at the tranquil Arany Spa with treatments and facials, workout in the fitness center, or swim in the indoor pool. Plus, visitors can enjoy brasserie classics and cocktails at the historic The Bank Brasserie & Bar, a drink at the whisky and cigar lounge Living Room, sip a typical Viennese coffee specialty at the Café Am Hof, or schedule afternoon tea at the Lounge.

SUITE DEAL: Book 3 nights, get the 4th Night Free! Plus, enjoy exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks.
Book and travel by December 17, 2020. Based on availability, blackout dates apply. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive breakfast daily at The Bank Brasserie, also available with Room Service, a $100 USD hotel credit per room/per stay (valid at all food and beverage outlets, Room Service, Minibar, Spa treatments, and laundry) along with in-room fresh fruits and water daily.

Book a stay at Park Hyatt Vienna

Explore more Vienna Luxury Hotels

Bratislava, Slovakia

From stands with local goodies and craft products to glowing streets, Bratislava is a festive destination with multiple Christmas Markets spread throughout the city. The Main Christmas Market is located at the Main Square with a variety of local delicacies including potato pancakes, Lokša​, and Mead, and the Old Town Christmas Market is home to thematic workshops for children, a wooden Bethlehem, and a traditional ice rink. There's also a Vegan Christmas Market and Advent at the Castle.

Along with the Christmas Markets, Bratislava is a green city and the capital of Slovakia. The Bratislava Castle features views of the neighboring countries, and plenty of history to explore in the castle's museum. The three-nave St. Martin's Cathedral is a Gothic Church and former coronation church, the Old Town Hall is the seat of the Bratislava City Museum and a 45-meter tower with panoramic views, and Michael's Gate offers travelers the opportunity to see the only preserved gate remaining of the city's fortification system. 

Hotel Chateau Amade

Hotel Chateau Amade

Set in the middle of Rye Island, Hotel Chateau Amade is an idyllic destination about 50 km/31 miles from Bratislava. The eco-chic boutique hotel offers a unique and historic destination between Vienna and Budapest. The sanctuary of peace and quiet has 30 guest rooms and suites, along with a gourmet restaurant, wellness center, and hammam. 

Book a stay at Hotel Chateau Amade

Explore more Bratislava Luxury Hotels

Budapest, Hungary

With more than 10 markets in the center of the city alone, Budapest is a festive destination for travelers. The scent of cinnamon and roast chestnuts fills the air as shoppers shop authentic Hungarian wares on display in wooden huts. In addition to the markets, the Balna Budapest ice cooridor is the largest free ice rink in the city, with a panoramic backdrop of Budapest while gliding over the frozen water. Illuminated by thousands of fairy lights, the City Park Rink has the Vajdahunyad Castle for a backdrop, and the grand cafes provide an idyllic post-shopping or skating retreat. 

Beyond the festive attractions, Budapest offers much for foodies including six Michelin Star Restaurants, and the old Jewish quarter is home to a variety of Ruin Bars. Ready for some down time? Discover some of the city's many thermal baths fed by natural hot springs. 

The Ritz-Carlton Budapest

The Ritz-Carlton Budapest Suite

Set within the city's fashionable 5th District, The Ritz-Carlton Budapest, the property is within walking distance of the main pedestrian shopping street, river Danube, and the Opera house. Amidst the rich historical heritage of the Castle District and Old Town, the property offers a tranquil setting with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and massage treatments. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay to be used in Kupola Lounge, Kupola Bar, Dean St. Kitchen, or via room service, and one bottle of mineral water daily per person.

Book a stay at The Ritz-Carlton Budapest

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| By: Five Star Alliance

Seeking sea breezes and time to unwind? For a limited time, Park Hyatt St. Kitts is offering a resort credit of up to $300 for guests staying four nights. Learn more about this special offer below the photo.

View at Park Hyatt St. Kitts

Book a stay for 4 nights at Park Hyatt St. Kitts, receive an additional resort credit* plus exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks:

- $200 USD Resort Credit for a four night stay from January 4, 2020 – June 27, 2020 

- $300 USD Resort Credit for a four night stay from June 28, 2020 – December 18, 2020

OR

Book a stay for 5 nights and receive one night free** for stays between January 4, 2020 to December 18, 2020.

Plus, travelers booking through Five Star Alliance receive exclusive Perks including daily breakfast for two and WiFi. 

Park Hyatt St. Kitts is set within the Christophe Harbour development on Banana Bay. Offering three signature restaurants, guests can enjoy outdoor yoga and non-motorized water sports on the resort's long stretch of beach. Plus, there are two swimming pools, a spa with an array of services and treatments, and suites with private rooftop pools. Learn more about an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Adults-Only Pool at Park Hyatt St. Kitts

This offer is combinable with this exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations made with Five Star Alliance will also include a full breakfast for two daily in The Great House, a $100 resort services credit per room/per stay, and in-room welcome amenity, and complimentary WiFi. 

Book a stay at Park Hyatt St. Kitts

*Four nights minimum stay required or ** Five nights minimum stay required.  Rate varies by accommodation type, date of travel and season, subject to availability. Valid on any new bookings, promotions are not combinable with each other or any other packages, promotions or groups. Any unused portions of the package are non-refundable and non-transferable.  Rates are exclusive of taxes and fees. A credit card guarantee is required. Cancel 14 days prior to arrival to avoid penalty charges. Valid for stays January 4, 2020 to December 18, 2020.

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Featuring direct lagoon access, Luxury Overwater Bungalows at the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island offer one-of-a-kind retreats. Ideal for honeymooners or romantic vacations, each private bungalow has an outdoor shower, king bed, luxe bathroom with rainshower or bathtub, ceiling fan, minibar, and air conditioning. Plus a large outdoor terrace providing an idyllic place to take in the surrounding views of the turquoise lagoon. Continue reading about the resort and an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Overwater Bungalow at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island

Guests arrive at the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island Resort via a 20-minute boat ride from the airport. Upon arrival, travelers experience a priviliged setting with 360-degree views of the island of Bora Bora, the ocean, and Mount Otemanu. The iconic boutique hotel focuses on privacy and seclusion, as well as tailor-made services and endless lagoon views. Learn about an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Lounge at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will also receive Continental breakfast for two guests daily, a 7,500 XPF food and beverage credit, per room/per stay, and a welcome amenity.

Book a stay at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island


| By: Rachael Weir

The holiday season is here, and New York City is a aglow with festiveness at every turn. The Rockettes perform their iconic show at the Radio City Music Hall, while steps away is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree illuminating the city and the ice skaters below. The department store windows are decorated with storybook scenes and the latest trends, while shoppers inside seek the perfect gifts to everyone on their list. 

In this edition of Destination Spotlight, we've gathered insider information and recommendations from Luxury Travel Intelligence, a site offering details for the well-informed luxury traveler. For timeless French cuisine Luxury Travel Intelligence recommends Boucherie Union Square, while Casa Apicii in Greenwich Village is a notable new addition serving Italian with a touch of California. Nobu Downtown has a 13-seat sushi bar with omakase and osusume menus, and the restaurant's signature dishes include "black cod miso, yellowtail jalapeño and rock shrimp tempura are all on the menu, as are new dishes like short ribs with jalapeño salsa and bigeye tuna tataki with eryngii mushrooms and Holland hot peppers."

Ready for a holiday trip to New York City?

Here are 5 Top New York City Luxury Hotels:

5. Lotte New York Palace

Lotte New York Palace

Overlooking St. Patrick's Cathedral, Lotte New York Palace is a landmark hotel on the corner of 50th and Madison. For dining, the Villard House is the destination for New American fare within an elegantly-restored palazzo, and Pomme Palais provides the feel of a Parisian pastry shop. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include a full breakfast for two daily available in Villard Restaurant or Pomme Palais Bakery or through in-room dining (up to $100 credit per room per day inclusive of taxes and gratuity), a $100 spa credit once during stay (not applicable to products), complimentary WiFi, and a welcome card.

Book a stay at Lotte New York Palace

4. The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel

The Beekman

Nestled in lower Manhattan within a historic building dating back to 1883, The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel opened following a complete overhaul of the space. Guest rooms and suites within the landmark structure have bespoke and vintage furnishings, high ceilings, aged oak floors, and craft cocktail tables. Luxury Travel Insider remarked, "We love the spacious marble bathrooms with rain showers. The ground level has a lobby bar and two restaurants from Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally. The nine-story central atrium, which includes Victorian cast iron banisters and pyramidal skylight, is a real stand-out feature to this hotel."

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include continental breakfast for two daily in Tom Colicchio's Temple Court, a $50 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (no cash value), and a $50 minibar credit per room/per stay (no cash value).

Book a stay at The Beekman

3. The Lowell

Garden Suite at The Lowell

Steps from the fashion houses of Madison Avenue and the shops along Fifth Avenue, The Lowell offers timeless elegance in the Upper East Side. The property's newest dining additions are overseen by legendary restauranteur Charles Masson, The Club Room is a sophisticated retreat, and the Pembroke Room serves a beloved breakfast and afternoon tea.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the “5 Star Signature Package” rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily in The Pembroke Room (also available through room service), a $100 food and beverage credit, per room/per stay, and a seasonal welcome amenity. 

Book a stay at The Lowell

2. The Plaza Hotel

Holidays at The Plaza Hotel

Set at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, The Plaza Hotel is a legendary hotel offering the finest services and amenities. Completely revitalized, the property's guest rooms and suites have French decor and Louis XV styling, iPads to customize room environment and contact guest services, plus white-glove butler service. The Palm Court is an iconic destination for afternoon tea, while other culinary destinations include The Todd English Food Hall, The Rose Club, and The Champagne Bar.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Rack Rate" will also include continental breakfast for two daily and a $100 food and beverage credit once during stay.

Book a stay at The Plaza Hotel

1. Baccarat Hotel

The bar at Baccarat Hotel New York

Featuring a blend of modern Manhattan design and classic French hôtel particulier, the Baccarat Hotel provides an ideal location across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, just a short stroll from Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue. Luxury Travel Intelligence says "After a few false starts, Paris finally comes to New York". Designed by the esteemed French design team of Gilles & Boissier, there's a private art collection including works from the 18th century to modern day, and the bar is a chic spot for cocktails amidst the glow of Baccarat chandeliers. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include continental breakfast for two daily, a $50 food and beverage credit, a $50 spa credit at Spa de la Mer per room/per stay (no cash value), and $100 to be applied towards dining at 2 Michelin Star Gabriel Kreuther Restaurant in Bryant Park, per room, per stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full).

Book a stay at the Baccarat Hotel

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Interested in becoming a member of Luxury Travel Intelligence? Click here and use invitation code: FIVESTAR400.


| By: Rachael Weir

Perched on the 59th floor of the iconic One57 luxury residential tower, the newly unveiled Manhattan Sky Suite at the Park Hyatt New York is the highest suite overlooking Central Park. Featuring unobstructed views, the 4,200-square-foot suite has 11-foot ceilings throughout, three bedrooms, and a grand salon living area with a 75-inch TV and integrated media hub, glass-enclosed three-piece gas fireplace, and oversized personal bar. Continue reading about the new suite and an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Master Bedroom in the Manhattan Sky Suite at Park Hyatt New York

The full chef's kitchen features professional-grade Miele appliances, a breakfast nook, and dining area with seating for 10. In the master bedroom there is a luxurious bathroom with a bidet toilet, and a personally styled master closet by Nordstrom NYC. While all of the bathrooms have soaking tubs, walk-in rain showers, and Le Labo bath amenities. 

The Manhattan Sky Suite provides guests with exclusive amenities including complimentary airport transfers via helicopter, a personal chef, butler service, daily breakfast, and 60-minute spa treatments for up to 6 guests. Learn more about the Park Hyatt New York and an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk.

Indoor pool at Park Hyatt New York

The Park Hyatt New York is located across the street from Carnegie Hall and one block from Central Park. Blending a rotating art collection with striking interior design, the 211-room hotel offers a personalized wellness experience at Spa Nalai with a eucalyptus steam room, indoor swimming pool, and oversized hot tub, plus a first-class on-site culinary experience. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full American Breakfast for up to two guests daily in the hotel restaurant or through room service and a $100 hotel Incidentals credit total per stay.

Plus, this property offers exclusive 2019 FIVE STAR ALLIANCE SUITE PRIVILEGES that can be combined with the FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK (if requirements are met). 

2019 FIVE STAR ALLIANCE SUITE PRIVILEGES: Guests booking a stay of 2 or more nights in a suite receive a $100 USD Hotel Credit, once per stay. This offer is valid for stays of at least two nights through December 31, 2019 in the Studio Suites, One King Suites, One Bedroom Suites, One Bedroom City View Suites, One Bedroom Residential Suites, One Bedroom Terrace Suites, Carnegie Suites, and Presidential Suites. 

Book a stay at Park Hyatt New York


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