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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.

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. 

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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>>

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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Lake Okareka Lodge, Rotorua, New Zealand

 Vacations and movies have a lot in common – both are an effective means of transporting ourselves to a far-away place to escape from the world we know and live in another for a while.  But while books and movies are only bounded by our imagination, we think vacations are limited to exploring this planet Earth we have come to know so well.  That’s a silly notion, and one I intend to dispel.  Vacations, too, can be a vehicle for the imagination, and many of the destinations here on Earth inspired the great authors and directors who bring us these fantasy worlds.  And whether you’re showing your kids the magic of the world or broadening your own horizons, there’s more than a few destinations that are guaranteed to instill wonder in you.  So turn on your flashlight and have a seat in my pillow fort, and join me on a multipart adventure as I share with you some of the best destinations our legs, and our minds, can take us. 

Part 1 - New Zealand

The first stop on our journey can be none other than the most iconic of fantasy and film landscapes:  Middle-Earth.  Or as we know it a little better – New Zealand.  All three parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed on site in New Zealand, and there could not be a more stunning and diverse location.  While you’re unlikely to be beset by Ringwraiths or seek refuge in the land of the elves, you might form a strong bond of fellowship with your companions as you explore the rolling hills, mountains and forests where Peter Jackson brought the world of Tolkein alive.  New Zealand is a perfect destination for nature-lovers, and your children (inner or actual) are sure to fall in love with the vibrant landscapes and the stories embodied there. 

Nearly all of New Zealand was used in the filming of the trilogy, so it’s hard to go wrong with any location.  Or plan to travel along the island, stopping to see everything of note.  The north, near Auckland, is the home of the Shire, and it’s only a short distance south to Mordor and the spot of the battle that marked the end of the Second Age.

For the second leg of the journey, the Intercontinental Wellington would be a great base of operations to foray to Mt. Victoria and the refuge of Rivendell.  It is also within reach of the Putanguria Pinnacles, one of the most eerie and impressive rock formations on earth and home of the dead army from the third film.  The cast and crew stayed on location for three years and have left their mark in the town itself, so you will never be short on star-studded locations, including the local vineyards that continue to be an attraction in their own right.

The city of Queenstown, famous in part for its fine hotels, Eichardts Private Hotel and The Spire, lies among such locations as Amon Hen, Isengard, and the Fangorn Forest, as well as the lakes that formed the centerpiece of the finale of the first film.  Just a short trip from so many different ecosystems, Queenstown is the perfect place to stay to experience all that New Zealand has to offer.

Just as with Frodo and Sam, this trip will remove the weight of the world from your shoulders.  But unlike them, you can sleep in a King-size bed in luxurious accommodations where they’re guaranteed to know about second breakfast and have the finest leaf in the South Farthing.