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

Situated in the spirited St. Lawrence Gap area, Sandals Royal Barbados is a luxury all-inclusive, all-suite property for couples. Within the romantic resort, guests will discover a number of firsts for the Sandals group of resorts including the first 4-lane bowling alley, gourmet donut shop, rooftop pool and bar, as well as two new restaurant concepts: American Tavern and Chi Asian. Continue reading below the photo.

Bowling Alley at Sandals Royal Barbados

The all-suite couples resort offers 272 suites with Sandals signature accommodations including Skypool Suites, Swim-up Suites, and Millionaire Suites. Featuring panoramic ocean views, Butler Elite service, and exclusive exchange privileges at nearby Sandals Barbados, the property's Luxury Included experience is comprised of world-class international cuisine at the resort's seven restaurants, stocked bars in every room, unlimited premium spirits, and unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines. Learn more about the resort below the photo of the Pool Villas. 

Pool Villas at Sandals Royal Barbados

In addition to all-inclusive food and beverages, guests of the resort also receive a variety of included water and land activities, ranging from day and night tennis to snorkeling trips, kayaks, and professional instructions for water sports. Within the Sandals Royal Barbados there is a rooftop, zero-entry glass infinity pool, which is one of the property's 31 pools. Ideal for sunbathing, the rooftop pool also has a bar and lounge area. For a unique excursion, there are glass bottom boat tours, as well as day and evening entertainment throughout thre resort. 

Check availability at Sandals Royal Barbados


| By: Rachael Weir

Destination Spotlight: Antigua

Situated in the Northern part of the Eastern Caribbean, Antigua is the larger of the two islands of Antigua and Barbuda. Formerly a British colony, the now independent nation offers a sunny destination with enough beaches to visit a different one every day of the year. Rich in history, the southern coast is home to historic harbors showcasing the island's importance as a strategic naval port, including Nelson Dockyard's National Park. English traditions are woven into the island's culture, and the capital of St. John's is home to wooden houses with louvered verandas and corrugated iron roof.

Throughout the island, dramatic scenery and sugar-white sand beaches protected by coral reefs draw visitors seeking beach vacations. In the northwest, Dickenson Bay offers tranquil turquoise waters, ideal for families with small children. While Johnson's Point provides schools of tropical fish and stark white sands. Carved over time by lashing of breakers, Devil's Bridge is a natural bridge and popular attraction within Indian Town National Park. Bird enthusiasts will want to visit Frigate Bird Sanctuary to see the large nesting colonies of frigates, or man-o'-war birds. 

Here are 5 Top Antigua Luxury Hotels:

5. Sandals Grande Antigua

Pool at Sandals Grande Antigua

Along the famous beach of Dickenson Bay, Sandals Grande Antigua is an adult couples-only all-inclusive resort with six pools, nine restaurants, and eight bars, including an English Pub. Providing beachfront luxury, the property has a variety of water sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing, plus PADI Certified Scuba Diving, croquet, pool tables, tennis, beach parties, and casino nights. 

Check availability at Sandals Grande Antigua

4. Carlisle Bay

Private dining at Carlisle Bay

Featuring a backdrop of rolling hills and rainforest, Carlisle Bay is the sister hotel to the award-winning One Aldwych in London. Set on the island's south coast, the all-suite boutique property is on a secluded bay with all 87 suites offering beachfront suite-to-sand access. There's also four restaurants, four bars, kids club, and spa. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include a $100 spa voucher per suite, per stay.

Check availability at Carlisle Bay

3. Jumby Bay Island

Pool at Jumby Bay Island

Accessible only by boat from Antigua, Jumby Bay Island is a tropical Caribbean hideaway. Fresh off a multi-million dollar restoration, dining options include the Estate House, Verandah Restaurant & Bar, Pool Grille, and Beach Shack. Set along white sands and turquoise Caribbean waters, the property is a luxurious hideaway with an array of recreational amenities like cooking classes, sunset cocktail cruises, rum tastings, seasonal turtle watches, and yoga. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include a $100 spa services credit per accommodation/per stay (not valid on products) and culinary welcome amenity.

Check availability at Jumby Bay Island

2. Hermitage Bay

Pool Suite at Hermitage Bay

Consisting of 30 freestanding suites with contemporary styling, Hermitage Bay is a secluded boutique retreat with a romantic setting. Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the eco-chic property is situated on the west coast of Antigua along a 1,250-foot beach with a mix of white sands and seashells that have washed ashore from the coral reef. Amidst 16 acres of tropical gardens, the gourmet all-inclusive features menus that change daily (no buffets), and made-to-order foods prepared with the finest ingredients. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive a $100 resort credit. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check availability at Hermitage Bay

1. Curtain Bluff 

Patio Terrace at Curtain Bluff

Positioned between two picturesque bays and the only rainforest in Antigua, Curtain Bluff is an all-inclusive resort. The 15-acre property has 72 rooms and suites scattered up the bluff. Ideal for couples and families, there is a variety of on-site activities including yoga, stand up paddleboarding, Pilates, four floodlit tennis courts, two beaches with a beach bar, and two restaurants. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will also receive a $100 resort credit per room, per stay.

Check availability at Curtain Bluff

Explore More Antigua Luxury Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Destination Spotlight: Santorini

Destination Spotlight: Santorini

From spectacular scenery showcased in multiple Hollywood films (including the new Mama Mia! Here We Go Again), to unbelievable sunsets over the Caldera, Santorini is reknowned for white washed houses amidst cliffs and blue-roofed churches. As one of the more well-known Greek islands, Santorini is a popular destination for couples and honeymooners due to it's romantic scene. But there's something for everyone on this island, including a variety of beaches to archaeological sites to vineyards. Looking to take in some of the island's best views? Hike along the Caldera rim from Fira to Oia. 

To experience local flavors, Fira is home to authentic tavernas where visitors can dine on mezedes (appetizers) and sip on anis-seed flavored ouzo. The island's vineyards of Pyrgos and Megalohouri are known for volcanic wines like the amber-hued Vinsanto and the dry white Assyrtikos, perfect for pairing with the Santorini's grilled fish dishes. 

History enthusiasts will want to visit Ancient Thira which straddles a high promontory, and is home to Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins. While the Museum of Pre-Historic Thira in Fira has frescoes and pottery on display from the Minoan town of Akrotiri that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1650 B.C. 

Time to relax? Santorini's perpendicular coastline offers a beach for every style. The family-friendly Monolithos is backed by rock formations, those looking for windsurfing and jet skiing can head to Perivolos or Perissa, and couples seeking seclusion can hop on a donkey for a trek to one of Oia's initimate beaches along only-in-Santorini blue waters. 

 

5. Grace Santorini

Villa view at Grace Santorini

Perched on the Caldera, Grace Santorini is an exclusive boutique hotel providing guests with one-of-a-kind views and sunsets. Rooms and suites have contemporary styling interspersed with handcrafted pieces, while bathrooms have rain showers with mosaic feature walls, and marble carved sink basins. There's a new Champagne Lounge offering Chef Spyros' signature dishes and the finest Champagnes, plus there's a variety of wellness amenities including a fitness area, yoga, and Pilates studio. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will also receive a welcome gift that includes a glass of champagne and bottle of wine and fruit platter; a private arrival transfer per room/per stay; full breakfast for two daily; and a private yoga class for two per room once during stay.

Check availability at Grace Santorini

4. Canaves Oia Epitome

Canaves Oia Epitome

Featuring all-villa accommodations, the newly opened Canaves Oia Epitome is situated just outside of the cosmopolitan town of Oia, and within walking distance to the beach. Accommodations feature modern Greek styling with a color palette of white, large windows, and pristine linens, accented by amenities such as SONOS speakers, minibars, and Nespresso machines. There's children's amenities, fine dining, a shuttle to town, and daily yoga sessions. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also include full breakfast for each guest daily, a welcome gift of fruit and wine, and an 80 Euro food and beverage credit per room/per stay.

Check availability at Canaves Oia Epitome

3. Mystique Santorini

Terrace Dining at Mystique Santorini

Combining high-end service and authentic local experiences, Mystique Santorini provides an exclusive hideaway in a natural setting. Amidst a legendary location, the property has uninterrupted views of the Caldera and waters of the Aegean. The property's Asian Spa Resort provides "whole being" treatments, and the Charisma Restaurant has open-air dining overlooking the infinity pool with a menu featuring local ingredients. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily (also available through room service), one wine tasting for two at Secret Wine Cove and one bottle of Santorini Wine, and a welcome amenity that includes a bottle of local liqueur and traditional sweets.

Check availability at Mystique Santorini

2. Katikies The Hotel

Dining at Katikies The Hotel

Popular with couples, Katikies The Hotel hugs the dramatic Caldera, and offers white washed suites with arched ceilings and majestic Aegean Sea views. A recipient of Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2018, the boutique hotel is comprised of a complex of bridges, cubist cottages, and infinity pools. While the Dinner Restaurant consists of just four candlelit tables, and the Kirini Pool Restaurant has panoramic views and traditional Mediterranean dishes.

Check availability at Katikies The Hotel

1. Canaves Oia Hotel

Canaves Oia Hotel

Perched above the Caldera, Canaves Oia Hotel provides a location convenient to Oia's beaches and tranquil blue waters. The all-suite property mixes 17th century Canaves carved into the cliffside with state-of-the-art amenities and antiques. Designed for guests 13 years of age and older, the exclusive retreat is popular with couples, and offers a Honeymoon Suite with soaking tub and private pool with sea views. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include arrival airport transfer, full breakfast for each guest daily, and a welcome amenity that includes a bottle of wine and fresh fruit.

Check availability at the Canaves Oia Hotel

Explore more Santorini Luxury Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated about a 5-minute walk from the Mykonos City Center, Absolut Mykonos is an adults-only retreat with contemporary design and a stylish atmosphere. Guests are greeted at the Welcome & Goodbye Desk, and the entire property is "Social Media Friendly"...meaning there's plenty of instagram-worthy spaces throughout the resort sure to make everyone back home just a bit jealous. Continue reading below the photo.

Welcome & Goodbye Desk at Absolut Mykonos

The all-suite property features minimalist-inspired furnishings along with premium linens, slippers, and bathrobes. Accommodations are loaded with a variety of amenities including Nespresso coffee machines, minifridges that can be pre-filled with minibar boosters, and flat-screen TVs providing guests with access to on-site services like scheduiling massages or getting important island tips. Read more below the photo.

Guest suite at Absolut Mykonos

Providing guests with stylish amenities, the property has the Meet Feed Me restaurant offering modern interpretations of Greek specialties for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Heming Bar has an indoor minimalist setting for cocktails, and the Wetbar serves poolside drinks. Continue reading below the photo.

Wetbar at Absolut Mykonos

In need of a massage or a workout? The Enso Spa & Fitness Center offers a stylish destination for massages and cardio activities. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive complimentary arrival and departure transfers from the port or airport, 15% discount for massage services, pool & beach towels, and access to the Enso Spa & Fitness Center.

Check availability at Absolut Mykonos


| By: Rachael Weir

Ahhh...winter. As charming as sweater season and relaxing by a warm fire can seem, at a certain point, it's time for an escape. But with all the hurricanes that happened in 2017, it can be a bit daunting to determine what Caribbean destinations are open and ready for visitors. To make it a bit easier, we've gathered five of our top Caribbean resorts picks for idyllic winter escapes so you can relax in the sunshine instead of trying to stay warm in the more than brisk winter weather.

1. Jade Mountain Resort

Jade Mountain Resort St. Lucia

Located in the Southern Caribbean on the island of St. Lucia, Jade Mountain Resort provides panoramic views of the island's Piton World Heritage Site and the Caribbean Sea. The exclusive resort-within-a-resort concept by Anse Chastenet, features bold architecture with open-concept designs linking bedrooms and living areas with infinity pools, providing viewing platforms to take in the island's natural beauty. 

Check availability at Jade Mountain Resort

 

2. The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort

The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort

Recognized as one of the world's most exclusive resorts, The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, formerly the One&Only Ocean Club, offers an iconic location in the Bahamas with recently refurbished accommodations, restaurants, and public spaces. Set along a 5-mile stretch of beach, the resort provides a laid-back Bahamian lifestyle amidst Versailles-inspired lawns and gardens with three swimming pools, six tennis courts, Balinese-inspired spa, kids' club, and access to the adjacent Tom Weiskopf-designed Ocean Club Golf Course.

Check availability at The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort

 

3. Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curacao

Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curacao

Located on the island of Curacao, about 35 miles from Aruba, Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curacao is set amidst 2,000 acres. Within the resort guests can play tennis, partake in a variety of watersports, lounge poolside, hike or bike amidst rock formations, caves, and caverns, or go yachting from the resort's marina. For dining, SHORE provides open-air fine dining with sea views as well as the Jun's at Shore with sushi specialties, Medi Restaurant offers international cuisine, and SPLASH Pool Bar & Grill serves casual fare. 

Check availability at Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curacao

 

4. Sandals La Source

Sandals La Source

Providing an all-inclusive setting for couples Sandals La Source provides an exotic setting on the "Spice Isle"  of Grenada, which is one of the world's only producers of Nutmeg, which is infused in many dishes and products on the island. The island is also home to the world's first underwater sculpture park, and the resort offers four unique villages with a variety of suites and villas, including some with swim-up access and butler service. 

Check availability at Sandals La Source

 

5. The West Bay Club Turks & Caicos

The West Bay Club Turks & Caicos

Situated along the world-famous Grace Bay Beach, The West Bay Club Turks & Caicos is a luxury boutique resort. Offering an array of amenities, guests can enjoy complimentary bicycles and watersports, lounge by the beach or pool with personalized service, relax at the Anani Spa, entertain young travelers with supervised children's programs, workout at the fitness center, or experience fine dining at Drift, an open-air restaurant on the shores of Grace Bay Beach. Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a $100 Resort Credit per room, per stay, plus a welcome fruit and water amenity.

Check availability at The West Bay Club Turks & Caicos


| By: Rachael Weir

Featuring an idyllic setting El Dorado Royale, by Karisma, is an adults-only all-inclusive resort designed to help guests relax and unwind while on vacation. There are world-class restaurants serving cuisine by renowned chefs, as well as personal concierges and bars pouring top shelf cocktails. Twice a month there are culinary series showcasing visiting chefs from around the world, as well as fitness classes, dance lessons, and wine tastings. The beachfront property offers a wide array of services and activities, discover 5 of our favorite activity options below the resort photo.

Jacuzzi Suite at El Dorado Royale

5 Top Activities at El Dorado Royale

1. 5K Races

Every Friday morning the resort hosts a casual 5K Race through the property's mangroves, jungles, and beachfront. 

2. Greenhouse Tours

Greenhouse at El Dorado Royale

Guests can tour the resort's 76,000 square-foot hydroponic greenhouse to see how the resort's fruits and vegetables are grown sustainably on-site. 

3. Bonanza Ranch Horseback Riding

Explore the property's jungles, fruit orchards, cenote caves, and crystal pools while saddled up for a chance to see monkeys and tropical birds. 

4. Tequila Tastings

Sip house-infused tequilas as well as expertly selected premium tequilas ideal for sipping. 

5. Snorkeling

See rare coral and tropical fish while snorkeling through the waters just off the resort's beaches. Read more about the resort below the photo.

La Isla at El Dorado Royale Spa Resort

In addiition to the activities listed above, the property has an aqua gym, archery, rifle shooting, cigar rolling lessons, ranch tours, and cooking classes. The Gourmet-inclusive resort has 15 restaurants on-site, as well as six pools and two full-service spas. Ideal for couples, honeymooners, and weddings, the all Jacuzzi-suite resort is set along the Caribbean Sea in the heart of Riviera Maya. 

Check availability at El Dorado Royale


| By: Rachael Weir

Providing an ultra-luxe and secluded setting down the cliff from Agios Giorgios Church, the Elite Luxury Suites Santorini offers a sumptuous experience. Featuring a cliffside location down the hill from the Agios Giorgios Church, the chic property accepts guests age 12 and older. Offering just four villas, the exclusive retreats have Cycladic-style architecture, private pools, kitchens, and living areas with flat-screen TVs and satellite channels. Continue reading about each of the four villas below the photos. 

Private pool at Elite Luxury Suites Santorini

Featuring a pampering and romantic retreat, the Elite Suite is a 60 square meter (645 square feet) one bedroom cave house. The outdoor terrace has a private pool, there's a spacious living room with a full kitchen, and the intimate bedroom has a walk-in closet and two private bathrooms. Read more below the photo of the Elite Suite's master bedroom. 

Elite Suite Bedroom at the Elite Luxury Suites Santorini

Offering a tranquil setting for up to four people, the Premier Suite has 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) of space. There are two bedrooms, each with walk-in closets, king size beds, and private bathrooms. Plus, there's a living area with a full kitchen, and a private terrace with panoramic views and a private pool. Continue reading below the photo of the Premier Suite's kitchen. 

Premier Suite Kitchen at the Elite Luxury Suites Santorini

Built into a cliff, the Grand Suite is 130 square meters (1,399 square feet), and offers one master bedroom with two private bathrooms, two additional bedrooms each with their own bathroom, and walk-in closets in each room. The open-concept living room has a furnished kitchen, and there is a fully-equipped gym (shown below) within the suite. Capable of accommodating up to 6 people, there's a private terrace with a pool, as well as Caldera and Aegean Sea views. Continue reading below the photo of the Grand Suite's fitness room. 

Grand Suite Fitness Center at the Elite Luxury Suites Santorini

Providing unrivalled views to the Caldera and Aegean Sea, the Presidential Suite is set within a tradtional Cycladic cave offering 140 square meters (1,507 square feet) of space. Within the suite there is a fully-equipped kitchen, spacious living room, private gym, and an outdoor terrace with a pool. Providing space for up to four people, the suite has a master bedroom with a king size bed and bathroom, plus an additional bedroom with a smaller private bath and walk-in closets. Read more below the photo of the Presidential Suite. 

 Presidential Suite at the Elite Luxury Suites Santorini

Within walking distance of shops and attractions along the island's main road, the Elite Luxury Suites Santorini has four villas with modern styling, providing guests with a unique and private setting.

Learn more about Elite Luxury Suites Santorini


| By: Rachael Weir

While many Caribbean islands have been heavily damaged by hurricanes in 2017, Barbados has thankfully been spared of major damage. The Little Arches Boutique Hotel offers an all-suite, adults-only retreat in Christ Church. Perched on a cliff, the romantic property has a certified wedding planner on-site and a cliffside wedding garden, as well as the internationally acclaimed Café Luna, with a rooftop setting and farm-to-table pan tropical cuisine. Continue reading below the Cafe Luna photo for additional details and a special offer.

Cafe Luna at the Little Arches Boutique Hotel

7-NIGHT MINIMUM STAY SPECIAL: Guests booking stays for at least 7 nights receive the best available rate, plus a sunset wine and cheese perk per stay, a la carte breakfast daily, arrival gift, manager's cocktail reception, and use of tandem bicycle. Read more below the Suite photo for an additional Five Star Alliance perk. 

Suite at the Little Arches Boutique Hotel

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome bottle of Mount Gay Rum, VIP Status, and based on availability at check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. Continue reading below the photo.

Pool at the Little Arches Boutique Hotel

The Little Arches Boutique Hotel provides a romantic setting on the south coast of the island. The property's 10 rooms and suites have tropically-inspired furnishings with artist-commissioned watercolor paintings, and bathrooms with custom coral stone vanities and handmade pottery basins. There's also a mini-spa with a garden-inspired suite providing signature services like the Sensational Surrender treatment, and the beach is a short stroll from the hotel. 

Check rates and availability at Little Arches Boutique Hotel


| By: Rachael Weir

Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the Little Arches Boutique Hotel is an adults-only retreat in Barbados. Featuring tropical-inspired furnishings, the property's 10 guest rooms and suites have Italian ceramic floors, king size beds, and artist-commissioned watercolor paintings. While bathrooms have custom coral stone vanities and hand-made pottery basins. In addition, guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive special perks. Continue reading below the guest room photo.

Guest room at Little Arches Boutique Hotel

The property's rooftop Mediterranean-style restaurant, Cafe Luna, is an award-winning eatery with panoramic sea views and Pan-Tropical cuisine, which blends Caribbean, Asian, and Mediterranean flavors. There's also a mini-spa with signature treatments, as well as a freshwater swimming pool, and cliffside wedding garden. Read more below the pool photo.

Pool at the Little Arches Boutique Hotel

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome bottle of Mount Gay Rum and VIP status. Plus, based on availability, a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Learn more about Little Arches Boutique Hotel


| By: Rachael Weir

Sponsored Content*

Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma

Set just off the white sands of Maroma Beach, the new Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma provide a unique escape. Surrounded by turquoise waters, the recently opened luxury bungalows have glass bottom floors, private infinity pools, oversized decks with wooden lounge chairs, snorkeling equipment, and ladders providing direct access to the ocean. Read more below the photo. 

Palafitos Overwater Bungalows Private Pool at El Dorado Maroma

Providing a romantic and private setting within the adults-only resort, the Palafitos have "Aguas del Amor" outdoor showers, and indoor jacuzzis for two. There's also personal Majordomos to cater to guest's specific needs and requests, as well as a premium selection of alcohol and snacks. Plus, visitors staying in Palafito Overwater Bungalows for five or more nights can schedule an exclusive chef-prepared moonlight dinner on their own private terrace. Read more below the photo. 

Palafitos Overwater Bungalow Bedroom at El Dorado Maroma

Within the all-inclusive resort there's also the Overwater Grill & Wine Bar with glass floors and an international grill menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Continue reading below the photo.

Overwater Dining at El Dorado Maroma

El Dorado Maroma, a Beachfront Resort by Karisma is an adults-only property with an intimate design, where the beach, pools, restaurants, and spa are a short stroll from one another. There are six dining options, as well as a large beach area with non-motorized water sports, and three freshwater pools with swim-up bars. The resort's spa offers a full menu of services, including Sky Massages performed in thatched-roof oceanfront huts. 

Visit the El Dorado Maroma website

*The content of this sponsored article was provided by El Dorado Maroma. Offers and details are subject to change.


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