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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.


Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, Castello Banfi - Il Borgo is an idyllic Tuscan retreat with a winery, outdoor pool, cooking classes, museum, and massages. Featuring guest rooms and suites designed by reknowned architect Federico Forquet, accommodations are set within homes from the 17th and 18th centuries. Continue reading below the photo. 

Junior Suite at Castello Banfi - Il Borgo

There are two authentic restaurants within the resort, including La Taverna with traditional lunches and an ancient vaulted ceiling. For dinner, Sala dei Grappoli has an elegant atmosphere and authentic Tuscan cuisine, along with a selection of the property's Castello Banfi wines. Read more below the restaurant photo.

La Taverna at Castello Banfi - Il Borgo

Castello Banfi's state-of-the-art on-site winery offers daily tours, there's the Museum of Wine and the Bottle within a historic building, and L'Enoteca is a wine bar with a Tuscan wine shop featuring the estate's wines, local olive oils, artisan crafts, and cheeses. Read more below the photo. 

L'Enoteca at Castello Banfi - Il Borgo

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations through Five Star Alliance receive breakfast daily,  a two course lunch paired with Castello Banfi wine at La Taverna (or at the Pool Bar during summer months) once during their stay, and a welcome bottle of Cuvée Aurora Rosé in the room upon arrival. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check rates and availability at Castello Banfi - Il Borgo


Featured Journeys: Romantic Trip Through Italy

Italy, known for food, art, and culture, it seems as if there's something new to discover at every turn. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're going on a Romantic Trip Through Italy. While there's so much to explore, this journey will feature three of the major cities, along with a stop in Tuscany for wine and enjoying la dolce vita. 

Rome
Siena
Florence
Venice

Rome

The journey begins in Rome. Founded around 753 B.C., the city is a haven for history lovers. Three of our favorite hotels below provide ideal locations to explore all the Eternal City has to offer, including the Colosseum, Pantheon, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican, and the Trevi Fountain. Thanks to Italy's fashion houses, many of the city's major landmarks, including the Trevi Fountain have recently been refurbished, making it an ideal time to visit. 

Here are a few of our top Rome hotels:

Palazzo Manfredi

Palazzo Manfredi

Directly opposite the Colosseum, the Palazzo Manfredi is a boutique hotel set within a 17th century villa. Offering the Michelin star Aroma Restaurant, guests can dine on award-winning cuisine while enjoying views of the iconic Colosseum. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive daily breakfast for 2, complimentary welcome drink, and entrance tickets for 2 to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill.

Palazzo Montemartini

Palazzo Montemartini

Situated in central Rome, Palazzo Montemartini offers a modern, yet romantic setting. The only hotel in the city crossed by the Servian Walls, the luxury hotel is set within a stately former palazzo with a spa, Turkish bath, and indoor lap pool. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive a bottle of wine, plus a 10% discount at the Senses restaurant and spa treatments. 

Fendi Private Suites

Fendi Private Suites

Why only shop at the Fendi flagship boutique when you can spend the night in the Fendi Private Suites? Offering seven chic and creative suites within the Palazzo Fendi, the innovative designs incorporate the brand's classical visual language in the heart of Rome.

Explore all Rome Luxury Hotels

 

Siena

Offering a medieval setting, the city of Siena makes for a great base for exploring Tuscany. While the town itself is charming, we recommend spending a few nights (or why not an entire week if timing allows?) at one of the area's vineyard hotels where you can relax, sip some wine, and take in the beauty of the Italian countryside. 

Here are a few of our top Siena hotels:

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

This majestic estate has an 800-year history. Set in Val d'Orcia just north of Montalcino, Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is one of Tuscany's largest contiguous estates. Completely restored, the property offers a focus on the land, wine, and history. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive $100 USD resort credit, and a welcome bottle of Castiglion del Bosco wine. 

Castel Monastero

Castel Monastero

Set amongst the Chianti vines, Castel Monastero is situated within a medieval village from the 11th century. About 30 minutes from Siena, this country resort offers a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, an intimate church for weddings, wine cellar with Tuscan wine tastings, and spa with wellness programs and medical anti-aging treatments. Perk: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive a three course lunch for two with wine, and $100 spa credit. 

Castel Porrona Relais

Castel Porrona Relais

Nestled amongst vineyards, cypress trees, and olive groves, the Castel Porrona Relais is a historic village resort with an outdoor swimming pool, fine Tuscan cuisine at Il Chiostro Restaurant, and suites with personal butler service. The Agua Spa offers wine therapy baths, Moroccan-inspired hammam, and treatments incorporating Tuscan wine and olive oils. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive a complimentary bottle of wine and 15% discount on spa services. 

Explore all Siena Luxury Hotels

 

Florence

Considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a must-see for art lovers. Yes, Michelangelo's "David" is here, but there's so much more to see. Il Duomo, the Florence Cathedral was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, and was built on the site of 7th century Church of Santa Reparata, where visitors can see the remains of the foundation in the crypt. On the piazza outside of the cathedral is the Baptistery of St. John, considered the oldest religious site in all of Florence. Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio to the "newest" part of the city for shopping, and be sure to try the iconic Florentine Steak for one of your meals. 

Here are a few of our top Florence hotels:

Brunelleschi Hotel Florence

Brunelleschi Hotel Florence

Steps from Il Duomo Cathedral, Brunelleschi Hotel Florence is in the heart of historic city center. Set within a 6th century byzantine tower and medieval church from 1400, the luxury boutique hotel has an upscale Italian restaurant and traditional trattoria. Note: you may recognize the property, as it is where Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks' character) stays while in Florence in the DaVinci Code and Inferno. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive a $50 food and beverage credit per room, along with a welcome amenity. 

Hotel Il Salviatino

Hotel Il Salviatino

Perched on the hillside of Fiesole, Hotel Il Salviatino is set within a 15th century villa. Overlooking Florence and the rolling Tuscan hills, the unique property has outdoor pools set immersed in the green hills. There's a spa with aroma's of Dr Vranjes, an exclusive Florence perfume house, along with La Cucina serving Tuscan cuisine crafted with ingredients grown on the property. 

Belmond Villa San Michele

Belmond Villa San Michele

Surrounded by gardens with a facade attributed to Michelangelo, Belmond Villa San Michele is set within a former monastery. Minutes way from the center of Florence, the building was expertly restored with the assistance of the Florence Fine Arts Authority. There's an Italian Cookery School with hands-on cooking classes, La Loggia Restaurant, and a hilltop pool. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive lunch for two at the Pool Restaurant, fresh flowers, and fruit upon arrival. 

Explore all Florence Luxury Hotels

 

Venice

The final stop on the journey is Venice. The City of Canals offers a romantic setting with ornate palaces lining the Grand Canal, narrow mysterious streets, and arched marble bridges crossing over canals with gondalas. Popular with artists and writers for centuries, the city is an ideal place to roam and wander with the one you love. Designed to approach from the water, Venice's iconic St. Mark's Square is a must-see, but can get crowded. We recommend visiting in the early morning.

Here are a few of our top Venice hotels:

Boscolo Venezia

Guest room at the Boscolo Venezia

Overlooking the lagoon, Boscolo Venezia is tucked inside a 16th century villa with a hidden garden. Providing a classic Venetian setting, the hotel's Giardino Segreto Restaurant provides a Boscolo Food Experience with themed islands, open kitchens, and an emphasis on food presentation. The Serenissima spa draws inspiration from the city's wellness traditions, and the hotel has a private boat offering transportation to St. Mark's Square. 

JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa

JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa

Tucked on the private island of Isola delle Rose, the JW Marriott Resort and Spa is a 15-minute boat ride across the lagoon to St. Mark's Square. There is a Wine & Cooking Academy providing guests with the opportunity to learn the art of Venetian cuisine, and the family-friendly property has a kids club and family activities. There is a romantic church, four restaurants, water sports, and a rooftop lounge with a pool. Perk: Five Star Alliance guests receive VIP status, Venetian sweets, and a bottle of prosecco. 

Aman Canal Grande Venice

Aman Canal Grande Venice

Overlooking the Grand Canal, guests typically arrive by boat to the Aman Canal Grande Venice. Evoking the feeling of bygone era with sweeping staircases, soaring ceilings, and historic frescoes, the luxury hotel has private gardens, and a boutique specializing in Venetian glassware. There's a roof terrace, along with the Dining Room serving Italian and Asian cuisines, and guests have walking access to San Polo. 

Explore all Venice Luxury Hotels

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Nestled within an 800-year-old estate, in Val d'Oro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is a wine-lover's paradise. Featuring the Brunello di Montalcino winery, cooking school, and a spa with wine-focused treatments, the property is an ideal getaway, especially during harvest season. Learn more about the special festivities happening on the property in the article below from our sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor.

Five Star Alliance Perk Alert: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive a bottle of Castiglion del Bosco wine, $100 resort credit, and VIP status. Continue reading below the photo.

Pool at Rosewood Castiglione del Bosco

Winos, rejoice! Vineyards across Tuscany are preparing for the most exciting time of the year – harvest season. Massimo and Chiara Ferragamo's bucolic resort Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is offering guests a series of one-of-a-kind activities to capture the best of Italian wine country and to celebrate the autumnal harvest.

From September 26-30 guests can participate in every step of the annual harvest, from grapevine to glass. Start with a tour of the property's vineyard with local Enologist Cecilia Leoneschi. Then, head to the vines for an immersive grape-picking session where you'll collect Sangiovese grapes with your own personal scissors, gloves and boots.

Once you're done picking, enjoy a Tuscan Grigliata in the vineyards in the rolling hills of Val d'Orica. The resort's catering team is offering a private, rustic and fire-roasted BBQ in the on-site vineyards, complete with a live musical accompaniment. Continue reading below the photo.

Patio at Rosewood Castiglione del Bosco
If adventure is more your style, explore Bolgheri by helicopter. Hop on an aerial vineyard tour, stopping at Tenuta San Guido and Tenuta dell'Ornellaia to sample local wines and then enjoy lunch at Ristorante La Pineta, a Michelin-starred seafood restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

If you need to relax, try the resorts holistic wine ritual. Combine grapes, pomace and vino for a three-hour treatment at the Spa at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco to relax the body and cleanse your skin.

Of course, on-site winery tours and wine tastings are always available. As one of the region's leading producers of Brunello di Montalcino, the historic winery offers guests a comprehensive selection of activities catering to both the wine novice and aficionado alike.

Check rates and availability at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco >>

Vineyards at Rosewood Castiglione del Bosco

Situated in the Val d'Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is a 5,000-acre estate founded by Massimo and Chiara Ferragamo. One of Tuscany's largest contiguous vineyards, the 800-year-old estate encompasses the art and lifestyle of the region. The heart of the resort is formed around Borgo, the historic village, and the grounds include ancient castle ruins and a medieval church.  

The property offers the Brunello di Montalcino winery, cooking school, and two highly-regarded restaurants. The Spa at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco is set in the estate's former wine cellar, with its own natural body care line, sauna, steam bath, and lush private gardens. There's an 18-hole Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course. Spacious suites and villas are set within the Borgo's buildings, with exposed wooden beams, pergolas, stone, wood, antiques, and bespoke furniture. Plus, some of the villas feature private pools, tennis courts, and theaters. Continue reading below for a Five Star Alliance Perk.

Guest suite at the Rosewood Castiglione del Bosco
Kitchen in a villa at Rosewood Castiglione del Bosco

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive a complimentary bottle of Castiglion del Bosco wine, $100 resort credit, and VIP status.

Check rates and learn more about Castiglion del Bosco >>

Pool at the Rosewood Castiglione del Bosco
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Hotel Castello di Casole offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a restored Italian castle on a country estate in Tuscany. The castle's rich history dates back to the end of the 10th century, when it was built and christened Querceto Manor. Querceto Manor often hosted the political exiles of nearby Siena until it fell into decline starting in the 15th century. Owned and reconstructed during the 19th and 20th centuries by the Bargagli family of Siena – esteemed local aristocracy – the castle rose to a prominent position in the region, as the surrounding estate was a leading agricultural producer with 31 farms on 2200 acres. During the late 20th century the Castello was owned by prominent Italian film director Luchino Visconti, who entertained European and Hollywood luminaries throughout the estate.

Hotel Castello di Casole

Timbers Resorts acquired the estate in 2005 and immediately began a significant and authentic restoration of all of the buildings, including the historic castle. The restoration has made use of traditional construction methods and authentic materials found on the estate and throughout the region, while spaces were updated with modern conveniences and luxuries. Today, Hotel Castello di Casole reflects its proud history, offering a new and exciting experience for guests and Owners who treasure contemporary amenities in a classically traditional Italian castle. 

Book your stay at Hotel Castello di Casole >>


Villa Armena, Buonconvento, is in the heart of the Crete Senesi. An astoundingly attractive area of unsurpassable historical interest, Buonconvento - whose name derives from the Latin "bonus conventus" meaning a good-natured, fortunate community - is a member of the prestigious "Most Beautiful Villages in Italy" Association.

Villa Armena

The Villa, whose construction is attributed to Baldassarre Peruzzi, was built in the first half of the sixteenth century. It was the country residence of the noble Malavolti family from Siena who had the good fortune to number among their ranks nine Captains of the People, in other words the most important figures in Siena's political landscape at that time. Legend has it that the name Armena was given to the Villa and its immediate surroundings by a member of the Malavolti family who, returning from the Crusades in the Holy Land, stopped off in Armenia and fell in love with a beautiful local girl. He returned to Italy to get married and decided to devote his feud to his betrothed, calling it Armena as a sign of respect for the origins of the one who had entered his heart and his life so forcefully. 

View rates, details, and more images of Villa Armena >> 


Castel Monastero offers its guests an unique opportunity to get up close and personal with truffle hunting. Truffle hunting takes place in the morning, in Castel Monastero's fields and woods, an area famous in Tuscany for its black and white truffles. The excursion lasts approximately an hour and a half and the hunt will be led by an expert truffle hunter and his pack of dogs. At the end of the excursion guests can purchase the truffles they have foraged. The truffle hunt is followed by a truffle-based lunch at La Cantina restaurant. 

Castel Monastero

Get your truffle on at Castel Monastero >> 


Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort has seven pools, including one pool reserved for guests' pets. Lucky dogs.

Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort

View rates, details, and more images of Fonteverde Natural Spa Resort >>


Castello di Casole is a 4,200-acre five-star resort and private residence club in Tuscany, Italy, 45 minutes from Florence. It offers a collection of fine and casual dining venues serving traditional Italian cuisine with a twist. The focus is on simple, rustic food in the classic Italian tradition. Expect handmade pastas, fresh organic vegetables, fresh fish, and game from local sources – all paired with fine wines from the best wineries in Italy and around the world. 

Castello di Casole

View rates, details, and more images of Castello di Casole >>

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Certosa di Maggiano is a former Carthusian monastery that was built in 1314. It was paid for by a donation by Cardinal Riccardo Petroni as a place designed for meditation and prayer. In in the XVI century involved in a harsh war between Carl V Emperor of Spain and Henry II King of France. It was first restored as a private home and then became a luxury hotel in 1978.  

Certosa di Maggiano

Fall rates at Centosa di Maggiano start at EUR 315>> 

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