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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

Perched between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town is a first class luxury destination with a unique history. A popular destination for its golden beaches, water sports, mountaineering, and cycling, the city offers an array of five star hotels, high end spas, nightlife, and fine dining. While just a few miles from the city, travelers will find world-class vineyards with highly-rated restaurants. 

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. They recommend Reverie Social for a unique dining experience, Lew Rood for local concierge services, and NAC Helicopters for private flights over Table Mountain, vineyards, and beaches. Looking for an andrenaline rush? Apex Predators can arrange private cage dives with great white sharks.

Foodies and gourmands have plenty of world-class dining options while visiting Cape Town. "We suggest you go for lunch and enjoy outstanding food with a great selection of the vineyards wines and views over the mountains and vines. Restaurants we recommend for a leisurely lunch include: Rust en Vrede, and in the winery of the same name, the restaurant at Buitenverwachting, the restaurant at Jordans Wine EstatePierneef at La Motte wine estate, Terroir at Kleine Zalze Wine EstateBosjes – a wonderful find, around an hour’s drive from Cape Town, in Slanghoek valley (note that this has become a popular wedding venue so check that it is not closed for an event before you set off)," says Luxury Travel Insider. 

Here are 5 Top Cape Town Luxury Hotels: 

5. 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

Spa Picnic at 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

For travelers seeking a location outside of the city, 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is an award-winning hotel along Cape Town's scenic route. Set between the Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, the boutique hotel combines African style and classic European comforts. Boasting legendary Atlantic Ocean sunsets, the hotel has a 16-seat private theater, dining at the Azure Restaurant and Cafe Grill, famous Leopard Bar, spa, and shuttle service to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package", "Rack Rates", "Corporate Rates" or "Best Available" rates will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily, a two course lunch per person/per stay, and one afternoon tea per person/per stay.

Book a stay at Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

4. Cape Grace

Cape Grace

On its own private quay in the heart of the city, Cape Grace has French windows in all of the rooms providing views of the harbor, marina, and Table Mountain. Close to the Clock Tower, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Grace reflects the city's heritage with hand painted fabrics by local artists, Dutch china, and crystal chandelers. The Bascule whisky, wine, and cocktail bar has the largest selection of whisky in the southern hemisphere, and the spa on the top floor of the hotel provides views over Table Mountain, the marina, and the city. Luxury Travel Intelligence states "Rooftop Terrace rooms offer value for money. They are almost Junior Suites, with large sitting areas, a dressing room and a terrace with some of the best views in the hotel – room 402 in particular."

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include a R700 food and beverage credit per room/per stay and a full breakfast for two daily in Signal Restaurant or through room service. Reservations in a Suite for a minimum of two (2) nights will also receive two 60-minute Signature Spa treatments once per stay. 

Book a stay at Cape Grace

3.One&Only Cape Town

View from the Table Mountain Suite Balcony at One&Only Cape Town

Set between the sandstone cliffs cascading into the waters of two oceans, One&Only Cape Town is an urban chic luxury hotel located in the heart of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Showcasing captivating views of Table Mountain, there is a large free form infinity pool surrounded by lounge chairs. Luxury Travel Intelligence states "We like the contemporary African theme with polished floors, stone, wood and lots of glass – double height windows give an impressive view over Table Mountain" and "The Wine Loft has an unusual entrance through a three level glass and steel wall holding over 5000 bottles wine, the majority being South African."

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will also receive one complimentary select menu lunch or dinner for two in Reuben's once during stay (excluding beverages), full breakfast for two daily at Reuben's, and a room category upgrade at check-in (based on availability).

Book a stay at One&Only Cape Town

2. Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Belmond Mount Nelson

Situated a short stroll from Kloof and Long Streets, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is an iconic pink-clad building surrounded by palm trees. According to Luxury Travel Intelligence, the property is furnished in an elegant and colonial style, "think white suit and panama hat. Highly polished wood floors, traditional carpeting and black and white check floors in conservatory. Pink exterior makes this one of the most recognised hotels in Cape Town." Opened over 100 years ago, the hotel has been the place to stay for politicians and celebrities for decades, and the Planet Bar is popular today with young and affluent Capetonians.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked through Five Star Alliance will also include afternoon or evening tea for two once during stay, VIP status, a full breakfast for two daily in the restaurant OR a continental breakfast for two daily through in-room dining, complimentary internet access, and complimentary use of the business center.

Book a stay at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

1. Taj Cape Town

Presidential Suite Bath at Taj Cape Town

Providing a prime location at the entrance of the pedestrian precint of St. George's Mall, Taj Cape Town offers the award-winning Jiva Grande Spa. There are two on-site dining experiences including Bombay Brasserie serving fine Indian Cuisine, and Mint with a relaxed environment. Blending history and modernity, luxury rooms are set within the heritage and contemporary wings, offering city or Table Mountain views.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" will also include also receive full breakfast for two daily, a 1 and 1/2 hour city walking tour with a professional guide, a wine tasting for two in the Wine Gallery once during stay, a Cape Gin experience per guest per guest/per stay, and complimentary internet.

Book a stay at Taj Cape Town

Explore more Cape Town luxury hotels

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


| By: Rachael Weir

Happy 2019! The start of the new year is the perfect time to start planning adventures near and far. From bucket list destinations to weekend getaways, we've put together a list of our top 19 picks for places to go in 2019. 

19. The Florida Keys

19 Places To Go In 2019: The Floriday Keys

Fresh off revitalizations following Hurricane Irma, the Florida Keys are poised for a comeback with new hotel openings, hip restaurants, and laidback style. Popular with writers (Key West is home to more writers per capita than any other city in the US) and literary afficianados, the laidback island lifestyle attracts those seeking a change from the daily grind.

After a $25 million dollar renovation, The Cheeca Lodge & Spa has a breezy lobby with a modern vibe, Tiki Bar, and beach area, plus the FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Rack Rate" will also receive the Island Grand Buffet Breakfast for two daily in Atlantic's Edge and a $50 USD resort credit per room/per stay.

Casa Marina opened in 1920. Listed on the National Register for Historic Places, this legendary resort is located on Key West's largest private beach. Steps from the shops and restaurants along Duval Street, the resort blends history with contemporary sophistication, and offers guests an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive buffet breakfast for two daily, a welcome amenity on the night of arrival, and a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay. 

Want to experience the real-life Margaritaville? Featuring panoramic views of Key West Harbor, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Resort and Marina offers a variety of water sports and entertainment options. The Marina is one of three cruise ports in Key West, welcoming cruise ships from around the globe. There's a large outdoor pool, plus guests have access to a private beach on Sunset Key.

Explore more Florida Keys Hotels

18. Istanbul

19 Places to go in 2019: Istanbul

After a three year hiatus due to political unrest, cruise ships are heading back to Istanbul, and the first phase of Istanbul's new airport (which will someday be the largest in the world) has officially opened. There's a new cruise port planned to open as part of a larger waterfront development which will also be home to the Istanbul Modern Museum, as well as new hotels and restaurants. 

Showcasing inspired architecture, ravishing luxury, and gastronomical innovation, Raffles Istanbul is a culturally chic destination within the city. Located at Zorlu Center, the hotel is situated where high fashion, performance, and art converge. Plus there's a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily at Rocca Restaurant or with room service, a $100 USD food and beverage or spa treatment credit per room/per stay, complimentary WiFi, and a welcome amenity of Turkish Treats.

Looking to spend the night like royalty? Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul was once the residence of Ottoman Sultans. Within walking distance of the harborside district of Ortakoy, the resort provides a high profile setting accessible by car, yacht, and helicopter on the Bosphorous with a spa and heated infinity pool. FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive buffet breakfast for two daily at Ladelan Restaurant, a USD $100 hotel credit per room/per stay available at all food and beverage outlets (excluding in-room dining) and spa treatments, priority bookings at the hotel restaurants, and a welcome amenity. 

Blending Art Deco architecture with innovative interior design, Park Hyatt Istanbul Macka Palas is located in the upscale Nisantasi district known for trendy bars and restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Plus, an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily at Lounge at Park Hyatt, a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (not applicable to mini bar), and a welcome fruit amenity. 

Explore more Instanbul Hotels

17. Seattle

19 Places to go in 2019: Seattle

Fueled with creative energy, Seattle is constantly evolving. The Space Needle recently underwent a refurbishment in honor of its 50th anniversary, the waterfront has been upgraded with a multi-billion-dollar tunnel that replaced a concrete expressway, Amazon built innovative new glass "spheres" office towers in the Denny Triangle neighborhood, and there's a Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. 

Perched above Pike Place Market, Thompson Seattle is a contemporary hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows, a signature restaurant serving Pacific Northwest cuisine, and a chic rooftop bar with city and water views. In addition, the hotel offers a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full American breakfast for up to 2 guests daily in Scout or in room dining (maximum credit of $30 per person), a one way airport transfer from Thompson Seattle to Seattle Tacoma International Airport for up to two guests in a sedan, and a seasonal welcome amenity (chef’s choice). 

While the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle is a historic hotel located in the heart of the city with Italian Renaissance architecture, elegant dining at The Georgian, a famous Afternoon Tea, and Shucker's--one of the oldest oyster bars in Seattle. Plus, a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive daily breakfast for two at The Georgian Restaurant or through room service, a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay, an Apple Harvest Box welcome amenity, and complimentary high speed internet access. 

Interested in the city's music scene? W Seattle is an urban lodge situated within a high-rise building providing pet-friendly accommodations and views of the Puget Sound. The design of the hotel draws from the city's music scene and Native American culture, while TRACE Restaurant & Bar serves innovative cuisine. FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate receive continental breakfast for each guest daily at TRACE and a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay. 

Explore more Seattle Hotels

16. St. Vincent & The Grenadines

19 Places to go in 2019: St. Vincent & The Grenadines

With newly added nonstop routes from New York and Miami, it is now easier than ever to reach St. Vincent & The Grenadines. Located in the Caribbean close to St. Lucia, this chain of islands was spared by the 2017 storms, and offers a blend of raw beauty and luxe resorts. There's a newly-opened airport on St. Vincent as well as an array of new hotels in progress. Snorkelers will love exploring the reef-protected tranquil waters on Indian Bay Beach, the Marriqua Valley is home to one of the Caribbean's lushest valleys, and the cuisine on the islands is a mix of West Indian Cuisine and fresh seafood. 

Following an extensive renovation two years ago, the Cotton House on Mustique Island is located amidst 13 acres of tropical gardens leading to Endeavor Bay. Offering villas, suites, and cottages with private verandas and plunge pools, the property is set on a former Cotton Plantation. On Canouan Island, Canouan Estate is an exclusive island all-villa retreat with a Jim Fazio-designed golf course, tennis center, and a spa with overwater glass-bottomed treatment palapas. The Palm Island Resort is a private island resort on the southern tip of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with all-inclusive options, TV and phone-free accommodations, indigenous wildlife, and hammocks for relaxing on the island's five white-sand beaches.

Explore more St. Vincent & The Grenadines Hotels

15. Oslo

19 Places to go in 2019: Oslo

Named as the European Green Capital for 2019, Oslo is a city designed with sustainable neighborhoods, easily accessible mass transit, and Nordic cuisine. Once industrial waterfront areas have been transformed into new and original spaces, and the local government made efforts to minimize traffic and car pollution by closing down street parking, helping make room for bikes, benches, and green lungs to improve air quality and increase wellness. 

The Hotel Continental Oslo is located in the heart of the city, next to the National Theater, and a short stroll to the waterfront and Nobel Peace Prize Museum. In 2018, the property underwent a revitalization adding a new reception area and lobby bar, as well as signature suites and exclusive hotel rooms. The hotel also offers a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance, except for the standard and superior room categories, will receive a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room. Guests receive full breakfast daily in Caroline, included in the rate. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Recognized as one of the top addresses in the city, the Grand Hotel Oslo is a historic hotel with an entire floor only for women. There's Nordic-inspired dining and Afternoon Tea at the renowned Palmen restaurant, and the recently-opened Othilia Lobby Bar services cocktails and refreshments in a relaxed, yet luxurious environment. Overlooking the Oslo Fjords, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo towers 37 stories above the city next to the Oslo Central Station. Within walking distance of the Royal Palace, National Gallery, and Oslo Spektrum Arena, the hotel serves traditional Norwegian cuisine at 34th Restaurant & Bar, as well as Irish pub fare at Restaurant Gaio. 

Explore more Oslo Hotels

14. Nairobi

19 Places to go in 2019: Nairobi

For travelers seeking an authentic African experience, regardless of if they are going on safari, Nairobi makes an ideal base, and now with direct flight service from New York City via Kenya Airways, reaching East Africa from the United States is now much easier. There's a thriving creative scene in Nairobi where travelers can browse studios and boutiques showcasing locally-made ceramics, jewelry, and beads. To watch artists at work, GoDown Arts Centre provides a unique opportunity, and those looking to bring home local apparel, Designing Africa Collective showcases fashions created throughout Africa. 

Providing a legendary setting and oasis of calm since opening in 1904, Fairmont The Norfolk has a sophisticated setting in the heart of Nairobi with tropical gardens and heated outdoor pool. Within the hotel is the Lord Delamere Terrace--the city's most famous meeting place, Tatu American steakhouse, and The Tea Room with colonial charm serving the teas and coffees of Kenya. In addition, the hotel has a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily at Lord Delamere Terrace, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and complimentary WiFi. 

At the edge of Nairobi's Central Park, Nairobi Serena Hotel blends art and gastronomy with business and leisure, while celebrating the sophistication and design influences of Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West Africa, and East. For dining, Mandhari serves international specialties, there's a Patisserie, gelateria, coffee bar, and tea shop, plus poolside dining and the Ethiopian-style Aksum Bar. In addition, the hotel offers the Maisha Spa and Health Club, as well as a heated swimming pool. 

Opened in 1902, The Sarova Stanley was Kenya's first luxury hotel, and has hosted prominent world leaders, politicians, and celebrities. The historic property retains its charm while offering all the luxuries and amenities of a five-star hotel including world-class dining at Thai Chi and the open-air Thorn Tree Cafe. On the fifth floor, The Stanley Health Club has state-of-the-art exercise equipment, relaxation rooms, sauna, steam room, and adjoining swimming pool. 

Explore more Nairobi Hotels

13. Mexico City

19 Places to go in 2019: Mexico City

Amidst 1,000 years of culture with civilizations built atop one another, Mexico City was named the World Design Capital in 2018. As the first city in the Americas to receive the title, Mexico's capital city is a creative destination showcasing centuries of design and artistic movements, centuries-old traditions, ancient ruins, and Baroque facades, juxtaposed amongst a modern business district, world-class shopping, and international food scene. 

Set within the fashionable Polanco district, Las Alcobas is an aesthetic marvel designed by power duo Yabu Pushelberg. Formerly a residence, the boutique property was created to be a home-away-from-home with palm trees, white stucco, and luxurious state-of-the-art amenities. Accommodations feature Bose surround sound systems and Italian bed linens, while chef-created dining is availalbe in the contemporary Anatol with a seasonal menu, and Dulce Patria with high-end Mexican cuisine. FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive a full Mexican Breakfast for each guest daily in the restaurant or through room service, complimentary WiFi, a 100 USD SPA credit per room/per stay, and one complimentary cocktail per person in Anatol once during the stay. 

Providing a traditional Mexican experience with a cosmopolitan feel in the exclusive Polanco district, Presidente InterContinental Mexico City has seven restaurants, 24-hour fitness center, and business center. In front of the National Auditorium, the property is steps from the Anthropology Museum and world-class shopping along Presidente Masaryk Avenue. There's also a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily in the Club Lounge, Club Lounge access, 20% off spa treatments on Monday - Friday, and complimentary WiFi. 

Towering over the Polanco District, Hyatt Regency Mexico City is a contemporary hotel with 755 guest rooms and suites. On the third floor of the property is a heated indoor pool with an adjacent outdoor sundeck, as well as a fitness center. For dining, Rulfo serves modern interpretations of dishes showcasing the flavors of Mexico, Argentina, and Peru, Yoshimi is a sophisticated Japanese restaurant with a Zen garden terrace, Teppan Grill serves meat and seafood dishes, while Amado is an artisinal bakery and candy shop. Plus, the hotel has an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for up to 2 guests daily in Rulfo, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and a welcome fruit plate. 

Explore more Mexico City Hotels

12.  Madeira

19 Places to go in 2019: Madeira

Recognized for the wine that bears its name, Madeira is located on a Portuguese archipelago. In 2019, the city celebrates its 600th anniversary. Known as the "Island of Flowers", the area is known for dramatic landscapes, a 500-mile network of UNESCO-listed levadas (irrigation channels) that are now hiking and mountain biking trails, fishing villages, and pebble beaches. 

Perched above Funchal Harbour, Belmond Reid's Palace will debut refreshed rooms this year, as well as a fresh bar. In addition to the property's exclusive views, the hotel has a Michelin Star Restaurant, William serving locally-inspired seasonal cusine, a pool with Atlantic panoramas, and spa.  

Explore more Madeira Hotels

11. Brisbane

19 Places to go in 2019: Brisbane

Following the unveiling of the Howard Smith Wharves project along with new hotel openings, Brisbane is poised to become a top Australian destination. The new riverside project is set along the riverfront with multiple new restaurants and breweries, reimagined green spaces, and event venues. Visitors can reach the southernmost part of the Great Barrier roof as a daytrip from here, and this Queensland city is considered the most Australian of the country's big cities with a laid-back attitude and many of the major attractions are outside. 

Situated about an 8-minute walk from Brisbane's riverside restaurants, Sofitel Brisbane has three award-winning dining venues, cocktail lounge, bar, and gaming bistro. There's an outdoor pool, and a state-of-the-art SoFit Gymnasium, as well as a luxurious spa. Plus, a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily at THYME Restaurant, an AUD 50 hotel credit per room/per stay, and complimentary WiFi. 

Nestled between the Brisbane River and the Botanic Gardens, Stamford Plaza Brisbane has a central location for exploring the city and going to the theater. There's a "Spirit of Queensland High Tea" as well as additional themed teas, Kabuki Teppanyaki Restaurant, heated outdoor pool, spa, and sauna. While the Limes Hotel is a design-focused boutique hotel with a rooftop featuring a bar, hot tubs, and city views. 

Explore more Brisbane Hotels

10. Belize

19 Places to go in 2019: Belize

Situated on the world's second largest living coral reef, Belize has gone from a backpacker's destination to a luxe haven of resorts offering laidback luxury and a host of activities from exploring Mayan ruins to fly-fishing. Just down the coast from the Yucatan and about a 5 hour flight from NYC, Belize is less crowded than Riviera Maya. There's an array of five-star resorts currently in Belize, with new openings coming in 2019, including the rumored soon-to-open Blackadore Caye, Leonardo DiCaprio's private island eco-resort. 

One of the first luxe beach retreats, the Turtle Inn by Francis Ford Coppola is steps from the Caribbean sea where accommodations are set within individual thatched-roof cottages featuring locally-infused furnishings and screened porches. There's a dive shop with equipment rentals, two infinity pools, Sunset Spa with an open-air Balinese Rice House, and three restaurants including the flagship Mare Restaurant. Plus, a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily at Mare or through room service and a $100 credit (applicable to tours only). 

Close to ancient Mayan civilizations, Blancaneaux Lodge is a luxury eco-retreat nestled within a remote mountain setting above a jungle canopy with farm-to-fork cooking classes, swimming pool, and horse stables. Surrounded by rainforest, guests can explore the area on horseback, and there's a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive daily full breakfast for two at Montagne or through room service, complimentary WiFi, a Horseback Riding Trip to Big Rock Falls for two once during stay.

For a boutique setting, Ka'ana Resort is a small luxury resort in Western Belize's Cayo District. Once in the center of the Mayan Empire, there is a variety of historic and eco-adventure options, as well as a restaurant with authentic Belizean cuisine, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive complimentary full breakfast for each guest daily at La Ceiba Restaurant (also available through room service), a $50 resort credit, one bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival, wine cellar orientation, and a welcome drink. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Explore more Belize Hotels

9. Singapore

19 Places to go in 2019: Singapore

With "Crazy Rich Asians" featured on the big screen and the re-launched world's longest flight from Newark to Singapore on Singapore Airlines, Singapore is a top international destination for 2019. From restored heritage buildings to a strong street food scene, Singapore is going beyond being a global business center to a destination for food, arts, and culture. 

For panoramic Marina Bay views, the Mandarin Oriental Singapore is an ultimate urban retreat. There is an outdoor pool with one-of-a-kind views, guest rooms with city views, spa, and multiple restaurants including Teppan-Ya and Morton's Steakhouse. Plus, the property has a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the 5 Star Signature Package rate will also include daily international breakfast buffet for two at Melt Cafe, $100USD Food & Beverage or Spa Credit, oner per room, per stay (except Morton's Steakhouse & Teppan-Ya), welcome chocolates, and WiFi. Based on availability at booking, a room category upgrade (upgrades are up to City Suite tier), and subject to availability at check-in/check-out: early check-in and late check-out.  

Close to the renowned shops of Orchard Road, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is where the legendary hospitality of Shangri-La first began. By day, guests can meander in the landscaped gardens, relax by the pool, or enjoy pampering at CHI, The Spa, then dine in the evening at The Line, Waterfall Ristorante Italiano, Origin Grill, NAMI or Shang Palace. There is also a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include daily full breakfast for two, $100 USD Hotel Credit per room, per stay valid for food, beverage, and spa (excludes room service and minibar), Welcome Chinese Tea and Fruit in room. Subject to availability at time of check-in/departure: room upgrade, early check-in, and/or late check-out until 4 PM.  

In 2019, Raffles Singapore will reopen following a massive renovation. The iconic hotel will be revitalized with new restaurants, bars, courtyards, and social spaces, while retaining historic details and legendary service. 

Explore more Singapore Hotels

8. Copenhagen

19 Places to go in 2019: Copenhagen

Known for its Nordic cool vibe, Copenhagen is a destination for foodies, bicyclists, and eco-enthusiasts. On Refshaleøen is Reffen, a former shipyard transformed into a food and craft market, New-Nordic Noma has reopened in a new location with must-try Scandinavian cuisine, and the Danish Architecture Centre moved into Ellen van Loon's BLOX cultural center. Bikes are the transportation method of choice throughout the city, and in mid-2019 the Cityringen metro line will be completed, making it even easier to get around the city via public transport.

Featuring a grand setting in the heart of the city, Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen has Michelin Star dining at Marchal, an indoor pool, spa, champagne bar, and ideal location adjacent to the Strøget. In addition, there's a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily in Marchal, VIP status, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay in Marchal (excluding alcohol), and a welcome amenity. 

Nobis Hotel Copenhagen combines Danish classicism with contemporary luxury next to Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen Central Station. Occupying a landmark building, the boutique hotel has a restaurant serving French and Nordic cuisine, Scandinavian bar, fitness center, marble hamam, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily, VIP status, complimentary WiFi, and a 300 DKK food and beverage credit per room/per stay. 

Offering 38 unique rooms and suites, the Hotel Nimb is a boutique retreat. All but one of the property's rooms has views of the Tivoli Gardens, Nimb Wellness has spa treatements, hammam, and relaxation lounge, and the Nimb Roof is home to an exclusive emerald green pool with a built-in tide. There's also a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily, including room service, DKK 650 food and beverage credit, per room/per stay (no cash value if not redeemed in full), welcome drink and Tivoli Gardens table book. 

Explore more Copenhagen Hotels

7. Alberta

19 Places to go in 2019: Alberta

Culture and architecture enthusiasts will find new icons to explore in the Canadian province of Alberta. Home of Banff National Park, which released a heard of Bison into the wild last year to help the animals make a come back after overhunting, as well as skiing in Jasper and Banff, Alberta is also becoming a place for visitors to explore new museums like the recently-opened Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. There's also the new Calgary Central Library, an architectural marvel with 460 white hexagonal panels designed by Snøhetta and DIALOG, as well as the Kananskis Nordic Spa in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies with hydrotherapy pools, steam rooms, and salt exfoliation cabins. 

In Edmonton, the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is a historic landmark hotel known as the "Chateau on the River" with a canine ambassador, state-of-the-art amenities, BMW car service, fine dining, and public gardens. While the Fairmont Paliser provides a historic hotel in the heart of downtown Calgary. Popular with royalty and celebrities since opening in 1914, the hotel will introduce new dining options in 2019.

For an opulent setting in the Rocky Mountains, Fairmont Banff Springs is styled after a Scottish baronial castle with a championship golf course, Willow Stream Spa, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily, a $50 Spa credit, per person/per stay towards a 90 minute massage or facial or body treatment, and complimentary basic internet.

Explore more Alberta Hotels

6. Houston

19 Places to go in 2019: Houston

The largest city in Texas is celebrating a major milestone in July 2019, the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. NASA's Johnson Space Center is honoring the special event with the restoration of the Apollo Mission Center, as well as a display of symbolic Apollo artifacts. The coastal capital city also has a booming food scene with five food halls opening this year, including the Bravery Chef Hall--a 9,000-square-foot establishment featuring five chef-led restaurants. Also, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Holocaust Museum will complete major expansions. 

For technology-infused accommodations and Houston-themed dining, JW Marriott Houston Downtown offers a hip setting with local artwork in the iconic and historic Samuel F. Carter skyscraper. Plus, an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive continental breakfast for each guest daily in Griffin Lounge, a $50 food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and an automatic room category upgrade at booking based on availability. 

Hotel Alessandra provides a boutique setting in the Central Business District with an outdoor rooftop pool, Maserati car service within the downtown area, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance for hotel stays through March 31, 2019 will also receive a wine and cheese platter in the guest room and a one category room upgrade based on availability at check-in. 

Featuring views of the Houston skyline, The St. Regis Houston has a prime location in the River Oaks neighborhood with live music on Friday and Saturday evenings at The Remington Bar, award-winning dining at The Remington Restaurant, and a spa. FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive continental breakfast for two daily and a Signature Afternoon Tea for two per stay or $100 food and beverage credit at The Remington Restaurant for two guests per stay ($50 per person and no cash value). 

Explore more Houston Hotels

5. Ischia

19 Places to go in 2019: Ischia

Fan of Elena Ferrante's novels? The volcanic island of Ischia on the Amalfi Coast is the setting for the new HBO Series "My Brilliant Friend", and Maronti Beach is where Ferrante's narrator spends her time sunbathing. Just an hour from Naples, the island offers old-school charm, beaches studded with umbrellas, resort villages, and thermal spas. Must-sees: the candy-colored fishing village of Sant'Angelo and the medieval Castello Aragonese.

L'Albergo della Regina Isabella sits along a tranquil bay amidst rocky outcrops and Mediterranean pinewoods with a spa featuring thermal baths, as well as three bars and restaurants featuring views of the gardens or sea. Grand Hotel Punta Molino Terme offers sea views with a fusion of historic elegance and modern style, plus gourmet Mediterranean dining, and a thermal spa center. While San Montano Resort & Spa has lemon gardens, the Ocean Blue Spa (the only seaview spa in Ischia), and eight pools. 

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4. Bhutan

19 Places to go in 2019: Bhutan

Travelers seeking spiritual experiences will find Bhutan a one-of-a-kind retreat. Bumthang is believed to be the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan, there's hundreds of temples throughout the small country where pilgrims gather at local festivals, and traditional and progressive beliefs blend harmoniously together. Visitors can climb the Tiger Nest Monastery for the ultimate spiritual journey, as well as partake in a Butter Tea Ceremony with traditional customs. 

At Amankora, visitors experience the Himalayan landscape in Balakha Village amidst the shadows of the 17th century Drukyel Dzong, while staying in suites with natural rammed-earth walls, traditional bukhari wood-burning stoves, and large terrazo-clad baths. Plus, a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a $100 USD resort credit per room/per stay. 

For an intimate setting, COMO Uma Paro is a 29-room resort in the Paro Valley with a COMO Shambhala Retreat where guests can enjoy a full range of holistic, Asian-inspired treatments including Ayurveda, two private Bhutanese hot stone bathhouses, a large indoor pool with alfresco sundeck, steam rooms for men and women, a gym, and yoga studio with Paro Valley views. The hotel also offers a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily at Bukhari Restaurant and lunch for two once during stay. For stays of four (4) nights or more, guests receive a 60 minute Como Shambhala massage per person/per stay, and for Villa bookings of three (3) nights or more, guests receive a Bhutanese hot stone Bath Treatment (30 minute bath and 1 hour treatment) once during stay.

While Taj Tashi is located in the heart of the Thimphu Valley with classical hand-drawn Buddhist murals, Bhutanese Hot Stone baths in the spa, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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3. Tahiti

19 Places to go in 2019: Tahiti

Known for vanilla and pearls, the islands of French Polynesia are an eight-hour nonstop flight from the west coast of the USA. With new nonstop flight options from major carriers, this idyllic island paradise is easier to reach than ever before.

Eco-conscious travelers will want to stay at The Brando, a model in the industry for sustainable luxury tourism. Originally bought by Marlon Brando in the 1960s, the property is located in the Tetiaroa atoll, which is about a 20-minute flight from Tahiti's main airport. Plus, there's a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a 100 Euro resort credit per villa/per stay (not applicable to the Hinerava Pearl shop or room rate, no cash value).

Travelers seeking overwater bungalows will want to consider the InterContinental Resort Tahiti with Polynesian style design, 32 acres of gardens, and a private sand beach with a location ideal for watching one-of-a-kind sunsets. There's also a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full American Breakfast for two daily and a $30 (2700 CFP) food and beverage credit per room/per stay. 

Offering just 9 beachfront and overwater bungalows, Vahine Island Resort and Spa is a remote Polynesian hideaway. Nestled amidst coconut trees on its own private island, this resort has a restaurant created for foodies with a relaxed island atmosphere and French cuisine infused with Mediterranean and local influences. 

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2. Berlin

19 Places to go in 2019: Berlin

In 2019, Berlin will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Throughout the year, the city's cultural calendar demonstrates a post-reunification arts renaissance, including a variety of exhibits commemorating 100 years of the Bauhaus movement. The Humbolt-Box will provide a sneak peek of the new Humbolt Forum (opening late 2019), which will be a place for people to learn about and experience the world with an array of exhibitions. Foodies may want to consider visiting the city in February for the eat! Berlin Festival which will celebrate everything from currywurst to vegetarian cuisine. 

Situated in Berlin City West, Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm is a contemporary hotel showcasing German artists, timeless design, and dining on the terrace of Le Faubourg Restaurant. Designed by German architect Jan Kleihues, the 17-story hotel has a lounge, fitness center, and wellness area plus a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily, a 65 EUR Food & Beverage Credit per room, per stay, and VIP Treatment. The following are subject to availability at the time of check-in: upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Das Stue is located in Berlin's Diplomatic Quarter. Inspired by Danish classicism, the historic building was originally built in the 1930s with a modernist fascade. Today, the boutique hotel has a central location nestled in the Tiergarten Park, with fine dining, spa, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate receive full breakfast for each guest daily at The Casual and a 85 Euro food and beverage credit per room/per stay to be used at Casual Restaurant or 5-Cinco by Paco Perez or Stue Bar. 

Overlooking historical Gendarmenmarkt Square with magnificent 18th century cathedrals and the concert hall, the Regent Berlin is a luxury hotel in downtown Berlin. Steps from the city's top department stores, boutiques, and the Brandenburg Gate, the hotel is built on an intimate scale. Amenities include the Regent's Health Club with exercise machines and sauna, as well as a spa with skilled therapists, plus a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a la carte breakfast for two daily in the restaurant, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and an automatic room category upgrade at booking based on availability. 

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1. Tokyo

19 Places to go in 2019: Tokyo

Sure, Tokyo is hosting the Olympics in 2020, but this year is a great year to visit the Land of the Rising Sun, before all the crowds. There's new hotels and attractions opening throughout the city, dining is superb in the most Michelin-starred city in the world, and Japan will welcome a new emperor on May 1. Plus, the city has one of the lowest crime rates of any major city in the world, and visitors can enjoy a mix of traditional tea ceremonies, temples, and tech-infused skyscrapers. 

For an urban sanctuary towering over the city, Aman Tokyo is located on the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower. Drawing design inspiration for traditional Japanese residential structures, the hotel offers a mix of cultural immersion and the latest technology, plus a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a full breakfast for two daily in the restaurant and a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (excludes minibar and no cash value). 

Opposite the Imperial Palace, The Peninsula Tokyo is a landmark hotel in the prestigious Marunouchi Financial District. Blending Japanese tradition and modernity, the award-winning hotel offers the celebrated Peninsula Afternoon Tea in the lobby, accommodations with views of Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace, intimate dining at Hei Fung Terrace, a 20-meter indoor swimming pool and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive American Breakfast for two daily at The Lobby, complimentary WiFi, a seasonal welcome amenity, and a per room 10,000 JPY food and beverage credit per stay valid in all restaurants or in-room dining with the exclusion of Kyoto Tsuraya, mini-bar items and retail merchandise. 

Adjacent to Tokyo Station, the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo is set on the top 11 floors of the Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building. Featuring the brand's hallmark Asian design, the hotel has spacious accommodations with sweeping views of the city, Imperial Palace, or Tokyo Bay. In addition, the hotel offers a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also include full breakfast for two daily in Piacere, complimentary WiFi, USD 100 hotel credit per room/per stay (not valid on room rate, transportation, CHI The Spa retail products, Shangri-La Boutique and no cash value), a welcome amenity that includes fruits and chocolates. 

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| By: Rachael Weir

Nestled amidst the rolling foothills of Mount Meru where the aroma of coffee scents the air, lies the Arusha Coffee Lodge. Hidden in one of Tanzania's largest coffee plantations, the property offers coffee tours where visitors can learn about the bean-to-cup process, the Bacchus Restaurant with chef-prepared local cuisine, and the Peaberries Spa with a variety of treatments. Read more below the photo.

Restaurant at Anusha Coffee Lodge

There's also an indoor pool, picnic lunches are available for guests looking to dine outside while exploring, and there is a Traders Walk where visitors can discover five gourmet and retail boutiques showcasing local traditions. Situated about five minutes from the Arusha Airport, the property offers a luxe setting ideal for before and after East African safaris. Continue reading below the photo. 

Pool at Arusha Coffee Lodge

Comprised of 30 plantation houses nestled amidst the coffee fields, the property offers Plantation Rooms and Plantation Suites. The rooms feature a cozy setting with in-room log fires and verandas overlooking the coffee gardens. For a larger setting with additional amenities, Plantation Suites provide a home-away-from home retreat. There are plush beds with netted canopies, living areas with large sofas, and 32-inch TVs with satellite access. Read more below the photo.

Plantation Suite Living Room at Arusha Coffee Lodge

Bathrooms in Plantation Suites have large soaking tubs and separate rainfall showers. Continue reading below the photo.

Plantation Suite Bathroom at Arusha Coffee Lodge

In addition to the interior space, Plantation Suites have private outside terraces with log fires. Read more below.

Plantation Suite Exterior at Arusha Coffee Lodge

Featuring an omnipresent coffee theme, the Arusha Coffee Lodge was designed around the original landowner's home, which dates back to the early 1900s. The main Plantation House has an 'a la carte' restaurant and an intimate cafe bistro, each with open log fires for guests to relax after a day of exploration. 

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| By: Rachael Weir

Set along the soft white sands of a turquoise-hued lagoon, Constance Belle Mare Plage is a luxury resort providing a high-end setting in Mauritius. Offering beachfront luxury, the recently renovated resort has two golf courses, a full-service spa, kids' club, and four swimming pools, making it an ideal retreat for travelers of all ages. Read more about the resort below the pool photo. 

Beachfront luxury at Constance Belle Mare Plage

For accommodations, guests can choose from 104 Prestige Rooms, 149 Junior Suites, 6 Deluxe Suites, 18 Villas, or the Presidential Villa. Facing the Indian Ocean, accommodations are located in buildings of no more than three floors. Featuring modern island styling, all rooms and suites have furnished terraces or balconies, air conditioning, TVs with satellite channels, minibars, Apple mac minis, safes, desks, sitting areas, and laundry facilities. Within the rooms there's luxurious bathrooms with showers, bathtubs, and water closets. Continue reading below the photo of the Deluxe Suite. 

Deluxe Suite at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Surrounded by tropical gardens, the resort's beach is protected by an offshore coral reef, providing visitors with an ideal location for snorkeling, water sports, and swimming. There are catamaran sundowner cruises, underwater walks, and parasailing experiences, plus cooking classes where guests can learn to make local cuisine. In addition, the resort has four floodlit tennis courts, table tennis, French bowling, mini golf, and two 18-hole championship golf courses, all with complimentary access for resort guests. 

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| By: Rachael Weir

Showcasing a modern approach to design, Constance Lemuria Seychelles is a luxury resort blending nature with high-end architecture. Following a complete renovation, the resort reopened in late 2016. Providing all-inclusive rate options, accommodations are set within suites and villas, perfectly positioned steps from the sea amidst natural gardens. Continue reading below the villa photo. 

Constance Lemuria Seychelles Villa Exterior

The family-friendly property offers a variety of amenities to accommodate families. The Constance Kids Club has scavenger hunts, culinary activities, and island exploration trips led by fully-trained experts. The property's suites and villas provide spacious accommodations with living rooms and gathering spaces ideal for families. Read more below the Junior Suite Family Area. 

Junior Suite Family Area at Constance Lemuria Seychelles

In addition to family-friendly accommodations, the resort has an 18-hole championship golf course and the U Spa by Constance with wellness-focused spa services and treatments. Plus, there's gastronomic experiences at three restaurants and four bars featuring chef-prepared local and international cuisine. Read more below the photo.Legends Restaurant at Constance Lemuria Seychelles

Set amidst three white sand beaches, Constance Lemuria Seychelles is located on the northwest coast of Praslin Island. The deluxe property has 88 Junior Suites, 8 Senior Suites, 8 Beach Villas, and a Presidential Villa. 

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| By: Rachael Weir

Overlooking the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, Constance Tsarabanjina is an all-inclusive luxury resort offering 25 beach villas. Set within a sacred islet where the tomb of the Sakalava kings of the Mitsio islands is located, Tsarabanjina is one of the islets of the Mitsio Archipelago. Situated in the Northwestern part of Madagascar, the region is fringed by white sand beaches, coral reefs, lush vegetation, and array of tropical birds. Continue reading below the photo. 

Constance Tsarabanjina

The intimate eco-retreat provides visitors with a laid back atmosphere. The property's 25 villas offer a barefoot chic environment where guests can have Robinson Crusoe-style experiences on a Madagascar island without sacrificing all of the modern comforts. The villas have ecological thatch roofing, furnishings in simple tones, private terraces with two deck chairs, minibars, and bathrooms with showers and separate toilets. Read more below the villa photo. 

Constance Tsarabanjina Beach Villa

The resort is surrounded by calm seas, providing guests with a variety of experiences in the natural surroundings. There are guided nature walks and snorkeling excursions, private cruises, and the Akio Diving staff is available for underwater excursions. For dining at the all-inclusive property, gourmet Malagasy specialties are served in a sand-floored restaurant with a premium drink selection. 

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| By: Rachael Weir

Overlooking the Port Launay marine national park, Constance Ephelia Seychelles is a luxury resort with pampering amenities as well as family-friendly offerings. Set on the island of Mahe, the resort is located on 120 hectares of land, including two pristine beaches. The property's location provides guests with an array of activities including diving in the Indian Ocean, stand up paddleboarding, zipling through tropical foliage, bicycling, rock climbing, raquetball, tennis, and kayaking. Continue reading below the photo.

Kayaking at Constance Ephelia Seychelles

In addition to activities for all ages, Constance Ephelia Seychelles has the Constance Kids Club, providing supervised experiences for children 4 to 11 years old. Guests can register children at any time during their stay, and amenities include outdoor spaces for running relays and playing games, computer stations for gaming, open play areas for movies and interactive games, and a swimming pool with water activities. There's arts & crafts programs with traditional and local touches, along with theme days where children can create pizzas, make ice cream, or enjoy homemade treats. While kids ages 4 to 6 can visit the imagination space with kitchenettes, 4-wheel transportation rides, playhouses, and tool workshops. Babysitting services are also offered for an additional fee, and the resort has baby amenities upon request. Continue reading below the photo of the Spa Villa.

Spa Villa at Constance Ephelia Seychelles

For relaxation, the Spa Village of Constance Ephelia offers a pampering oasis amidst tropical gardens. Guests can select from a variety of therapies and services designed to promote relaxation, rejuvenation, deep cleansing, or detoxification. Plus, spa facilities including a dry heat sauna, steam room, thermal pool, Jacuzzi, still pool, Kneipp foot path, reflective pool, and a yoga pavilion.

Check availability at Constance Ephelia Seychelles


| By: Rachael Weir

18 Places to go in 2018 by Five Star Alliance

Happy 2018! The start of the new year is the perfect time to start planning adventures near and far. From bucket list destinations to weekend getaways, we've put together a list of our top 18 picks for places to go in 2018. 

1. Florence, Italy

18 Places to go in 2018 Florence, Italy

Following a two-year renovation, the half-mile-long Vasari Corridor will reopen this year. The 16th century passageway was built by the Medicis to move unseen across the Arno River between the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi Gallery offices. The Renaissance city also recently celebrated the opening of the Franco Zeffirelli Center for the Performing Arts in Plaza San Firenze with a lineup of classical music and Italian film events. In October, the Uffizi will unveil Codex Leicester, featuring a special collection of scientific drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci (on loan from Bill Gates). For views of Il Duomo (and special perks for Five Star Alliance guests) Brunelleschi Hotel Florence is located in the city's pedestrian-only historic center with an upscale Italian restaurant and traditional trattoria. Hotel Il Salviatino is set within a 15th century villa that features views of Florence and the rolling Tuscan hills, while Belmond Villa San Michelle is located on a hillside overlooking the city in a former monastery with suites, Tuscan dining, pool, and special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. 

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2. New Orleans, Louisiana

18 Places to go in 2018 New Orleans, Louisiana

Celebrating its 300th birthday in 2018, the city of New Orleans will be hosting more than 160 events throughout the year to commemorate the tricentennial year. Always a haven for jazz lovers, history buffs, and foodies, there's a variety of events taking place annually including Mardi Gras in February, April welcomes Jazz Fest, and July is the time for Tales of the Cocktail where bartenders from around the world show off their skills in the city where cocktails were invented. The W New Orleans French Quarter is steps from Jackson Square, as well as live Jazz venues and popular restaurants. For historic charm along with an Oyster Butler, Crawfish Concierge, and Snowball Sommelier, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans offers a classic setting in two historic buildings on Canal Street. The NOPSI Hotel provides a boutique setting in the heart of the business district with Spa Suites, local cuisine, and a rooftop pool and lounge. While Le Meridien New Orleans features contemporary design with French-inspired amenities and a rooftop pool in downtown. 

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3. Vienna, Austria

18 Places to go in 2018 Vienna, Austria

Known for classical music and the festive ball season, in 2018 Vienna is celebrating Modernism, as four of the art movement's most important artists--Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner, and Koloman Moser passed away 100 years ago. The Beauty and the Abyss celebration of Modernism will celebrated with with special exhibitions at a variety of venues including the Leopold Museum, Lower Belvedere, MAK--Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Wien Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, and the Jewish Museum Vienna. The historic Hotel Sacher Wien provides a central location in the heart of the city, opposite the Vienna State Opera House and next to the Albertina Gallery with a traditional Austrian coffeehouse and fine dining. Nearby, The Hotel Bristol Vienna, a Luxury Collection Hotel offers a historic setting with fine dining at the Art Deco Bristol Lounge, fitness center, and meeting venues. Built in 1863 for the prince of Württemberg, Hotel Imperial provides world class service and a unique location on the famous Ringstrasse next to the Musikverein Vienna. 

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4. Buenos Aires, Argentina

18 Places to go in 2018 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Home to an array of art galleries, Buenos Aires is partaking in the inaugural, yearlong Art Basel initiative, which will include art lectures, workshops, as well as showcase local and international artists. In October, the city is hosting the Youth Olympic Games. The trendy Tegui restaurant in the Palermo neighborhood made the list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants. Situated in El Porteno Building, Faena Hotel Buenos Aires allows guests to experience the city like a Porteno in an atmosphere dedicated to art and fine living. Decorated in Empire and Louis XV style, the Alvear Palace Hotel serves classic Afternoon Tea at L'Orangerie and the Cigar Bar with an exclusive selection. While the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires is located along the Avenida Alvear with fashionable shopping and a luxury spa. 

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5. Minneapolis, Minnesota

18 Places to go in 2018 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Offering four distinctive seasons of outdoor activities, Minneapolis will be hosting the Super Bowl on February 4. Surrounding the Big Game festivities, there will be concerts, ice sculptures, and an Ice Palace in nearby St. Paul. While the city is known for cold winters, spring, summer, and fall provide idyllic weather for exploring the state's multitude of lakes, biking trails, and parks. Plus, Prince's Paisley Park recently opened for tours, the Walker Art Center recently remodeled their outdoor sculpture garden, the Uptown Art Festival the first weekend in August showcases local and international artists, and the annual Minnesota State Fair (August 23 to September 3, 2018) attracts visitors from all over the world. The W Minneapolis - The Foshay is an art deco landmark transformed into a chic boutique hotel, Loews Minneapolis is connected to the downtown area's skyway system and steps from Target Center and Target Field, and the Marquette Hotel is located in the inconic IDS Center. 

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6. Cairo, Egypt

18 Places to go  in 2018 Cairo

Not far from the Great Pyramids, The Grand Egyptian Museum is set to open in 2018. Designed by Heneghan Peng Architects, the new museum will showcase more than 100,000 artifacts, as well as an atrium with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall with panoramic views of the Pyramid of Menkaure and the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The Nile Ritz-Carlton features exclusive Nile views with a rooftop bar, Afternoon Tea, and Egyptian-infused spa. Situated thirty minutes from the Sphinx and Great Pyramids of Giza, The Fairmont Cairo, Nile City is located within the Nile City Corporate Complex and offers a full-service Willow Stream Spa and a rooftop poolside sky bar with panoramic views of the city and pyramids. For a boutique setting, Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City Cairo blends European luxury mixed with regional influences on the eastern bank of The Nile River.

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7. London, United Kingdom

18 Places to go in 2018 London

There's another royal baby due in the spring, and it's time for another Royal Wedding! Making London one of the places to be this year. Plus, there's a new movie about Winston Churchill, giving visitors the perfect reason to check out Churchill's War Rooms, and other historic sites throughout the British capital. Overlooking Hyde Park, The Wellesley is a boutique hotel close to Buckingham Palace with the Crystal Bar, Oval Restaurant, and one of Europe's largest Cigar Humidors. Combining English heritage with contemporary styling, Rosewood London offers fine dining, spa, and sophistication where the city meets Covent Garden and the West End on High Holborn. Situated in Belgravia, The Goring Hotel offers an unbeatable location close to Buckingham Palace with a Michelin-starred restaurant and classic English style. 

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8. Los Cabos, Mexico

18 Places to go in 2018 Los Cabos

Booming with hip restaurant openings, new luxury resorts, and major renovations, the Baja Peninsula's San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas offer beachfront retreats. In addition to new resorts and dining options, the farm-to-table food scene is hot, as are the region's beaches and chic nightclubs. The recently opened Chileno Bay Resort & Residences provides a bayfront setting within a resort community with a swimmable beach, open-air dining, multi-level infinity pool, and championship golf. The Cape - A Thompson Hotel provides beachfront luxury with bi-level suites with private rooftops, private stairway to the surfing-friendly Monuments Beach, and regionally-inspired cuisine. While The Resort at Pedregal is reachable only via a private tunnel with 24 acres of mountainside property, featuring newly opened villas and revitalized culinary offerings. 

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9. Mauritius

18 Places to go in 2018 Mauritius

This year, the island nation of Mauritius is celebrating 50 years of independence after years of colonization by the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands. The airport is expanding and transforming into a hub for traveling to Asia, English is the dominant language, and the architecture and culture mix African, French, Chinese, and Indian traditions. Known for relaxed resorts and tropical mountain peaks, the country offers a retreat surrounded by the Indian Ocean. For privacy and luxury, Constance Le Prince Maurice has 64 Junior Suites, plus Family Suites, villas, and a Princely Suite, as well as the U Spa, Kids' Club, shopping, and two 18-hole golf courses. The Residence Mauritius provides a beachfront setting with accommodations in turn-of-the-century-inspired plantation houses, with family-friendly and adults-only pools and special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. While the oceanfront Constance Belle Mare Plage has a variety of water-focused recreation, four swimming pools, seven restaurants, and five bars within a tropical setting. 

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10. Malta

18 Places to go in 2018 Malta

This island country is the designated European Capital of Culture in 2018, where the arts will be celebrated in a country that mixes Sicilian, North African, and Colonial England cultures. There's ornate architecture throughout the island, including the baroque St. John's Co-Cathedral, pre-historic ruins, and the must-try Stuffat tal-fenek--the national dish of rabbit stew. In January, Valetta's National Baroque Festival is held, and the Grand Excelsior Hotel makes an ideal base for exploring the capital city with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, Le Grand Spa, and a marina. The InterContinental Malta provides a modern island retreat with a casino, six restaurants and bars, spa, conference center, and spa close to Valetta, while The Xara Palace features a boutique setting in the medieval city of Medina. 

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11. Oslo, Norway

18 Places to go in 2018 Oslo

This Nordic capital city is marking two important events in 2018. Norway's King and Queen are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and the modern Oslo Opera House is marking it's 10th year with a season of celebratory performances. The Hotel Continental Oslo offers a historic setting next to the National Theater, and close to the city's revitalized harbor with special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. While the Grand Hotel Oslo offers a grand setting along Karl Johan's  Gate close to shops and sidewalk cafes. For a contemporary setting, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo soars 37 stories above the Oslo Fjord. 

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12. San Antonio, Texas

18 Places to go in 2018 San Antonio

Marking its 300th anniversary this year, San Antonio has recently unveiled a variety of new developments, including the Bottling Department (the city's first food hall), the iconic barges along the River Walk were upgraded with electric models, and San Pedro Creek Culture Park transformed an old drainage ditch into a waterfront promenade with performance and art spaces. Special Tricentennial commemorative events will take place May 1-6, including events at each of San Antonio's five missions. On the historic River Walk, the Omni La Mansion del Rio is celebrating it's 50th anniversary of being transformed from a Catholic School into a luxury hotel for the 1968 World's Fair. The Grand Hyatt San Antonio overlooks the River Walk with an outdoor pool, sundeck, and special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. For those seeking a resort setting overlooking Texas Hill Country, La Cantera Resort and Spa recently underwent a complete renovation, and offers furnishings inspired by the area's ranch heritage, two championship golf courses, and five pools about 30 minutes from downtown. 

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13. Sevilla, Spain

18 Places to go in 2018 Sevilla, Spain

In the midst of reinvigorating its artistic past, Sevilla is currently celebrating the 400th anniversary of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, a homegrown Baroque painter with special one-of-a-kind exhibitions. The city is also hosting the 31st European Film Awards, and the historic center provides an enchanting blend of architectural styles including a Gothic cathedral, medieval lanes, Flamenco clubs, baroque churches, and Mudéjar palaces. Once the Moorish capital, today Sevilla is the capital of Andalucia, offering luxury hotels such as the historic Hotel Alfonso XIII in the historic center with traditional architecture, courtyard, and regional cuisine. Nearby, Gran Melia Colon is furnished with reproductions of artwork by Spanish masters, a boutique hotel with RedLevel service within the hotel, and dining venues serving modern Andalusian cusine. For a well-preserved example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, Casa de Carmona is located about 20 minutes north of Sevilla and offers accommodations within a palace built in 1561, and fine dining in the former stables. 

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14. Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil

18 Places to go in 2018 Iguazu Falls

Millions of visitors go to this famous UNESCO World Heritage Site with 275 roaring waterfalls straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil. To accommodate the influx of visitors, Cataratas del Iguazú Airport is expanding and modernizing. Within the national park, the Ecological Jungle Train that takes visitors on a 25-minute journey to the Devil's Throat Cascade is being converted from gas to electric, and multiple luxury resorts are set to open later this year. On the Brazil side of the falls, Belmond Hotel das Cataras offers guests exclusive access to the falls as well as a pastel-pink hideaway with gardens, fine dining, and a luxe outdoor pool. While The Iguazu Grand Resort Spa and Casino is located on the Argentina side of the falls with a full-service resort setting including authentic Argentine dining at La Terraza and the Spa del Parasiso providing treatments infused with natural ingredients like yerba mate and chocolate from nearby sources. 

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15. Toronto, Canada

18 Places to go in 2018 Toronto

Last year Canada celebrated 150 years, and Toronto continues to add to the city's cosmopolitan "it" factor with new luxury hotels like the Bisha Hotel Toronto, along with hip restaurants with an understated Canadian vibe are taking the city to a new level. In 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art is relocating to a former factory in the Junction Triangle, and VIKINGS: The Exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum runs through April 2, 2018. The Thompson Toronto offers a modern residential style with floor-to-ceiling windows and a rooftop pool with skyline views. While The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto provides a classic downtown retreat along Wellington Street. 

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16. Bangkok, Thailand

18 Places to to go in 2018 Bangkok

In 2016, Bangkok was the most visited city in the world, with more than 21 million guests. Its popularity is sparking a rise in new luxury hotels and restaurants. In 2018, The Michelin Guide will debut, giving even more attention to  the city's creative culinary atmosphere. For art enthusiasts, Warehouse 30 is opening in  transformed World War II warehouses, ChangChui is a new entertainment complex constructed from upcycled materials, and the Thailand Creative & Design Center is moving to the iconic Charoen Krung Road in a space that was once a post office. To stay in the heart of Bangkok's historical palaces and temples, The Siam Hotel is set along the River of Kings with bespoke cultural amusements and an urban resort design with spacious suites, pool villas, and open-air roof terraces. Soaring 39 stories, The Peninsula Bangkok features panoramic city views on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and a three-tiered swimming pool. For contemporary style, Anantara Bangkok Sathorn is located within a 37-floor twin tower with an infinity pool and holistic spa treatments. 

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17. Salzburg, Austria

18 Places to go in 2018 Salzburg

Referred to as the "City of Mozart" and the "Rome of the North" , Salzburg was a church state for more than 1,100 years. Symbols of the Catholic Church can be discovered throughout the historic Old Town of Salzburg, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2018, the City of Salzburg will celebrate the 200th anniversary of "Silent Night", which was written and first performed in the village of Oberndorf near Salzburg on December 24, 1818. The special exhibition "Silent Night 200 - History. Message. Present." will be open September 28, 2018 to February 3, 2019, and the musical "My Silent Night" will be performed at the iconic Felsenreitschule on November 24, 2018. Hotel Sacher Salzburg provides idyllic views of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, as well as fine dining at the Zirbelzimmer, and the Original Sacher-Torte cake in the Sacher Cafe. In the baroque city center, Hotel Goldener Hirsch combines a historic setting with Austrian style and state-of-the-art amenities, while Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa features a lakeside setting in the Archbishop of Salzburg's former hunting lodge. 

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18. Melbourne, Australia

18 Places to go in 2018 Melbourne, Australia

As the events capital of Australia, Melbourne is a growing city offering a cosmopolitan core that serves as an ideal gateway to exploring a variety of Australia's attractions, including the Phillip Island penguin walk which is 90 minutes from the city, and an hour and a half north of the city is the Nagambie Lakes, one of the country's oldest viticulture areas with renowned wineries and outdoor activities. For a grand setting opposite Parliament, The Hotel Windsor was built at the top of Collins Street in 1883. For panoramic views of the skyline and Yarra River from the hotel pool, Langham Hotel Melbourne provides an elegant setting on the Southbank Promenade, and the Art Series The Olsen is a luxury boutique hotel on Chapel Street. 

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| By: Rachael Weir

Set on a one-mile stretch of white sand beach along the Indian Ocean, The Residence Mauritius offers an island setting. Inspired by the the island's turn-of-the-century plantation houses, the luxury resort provides a mix of classic colonial style, modern elegance, and simplicity. Guest rooms and suites are furnished with beds infused with drops of ylang ylang to promote slumbers, shutters to filter in the sunlight, a color palette of white and beige, and large marble bathrooms with soaking tubs. Plus, personal butler service is available for an added level of luxury. Continue reading below the photo.

Oceanfront accommodations at The Residence Mauritius

Offering a family-friendly setting, there is a beachfront kids' club with professionally-led activities such as cooking classes, snorkeling, pony rides, and picnics. There's also water activities like glass bottom boat rides, catamarans, and paddle boats. For adults, The Sanctuary offers a zen-like setting with a variety of spa treatments, hair and beauty services, saunas, Hammam, and steam room. Learn about a special perk for Five Star Alliance guests below the photo. 

Dining at The Residence Mauritius

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome fruit basket, along with a local Mauritian rum tasting once during the stay with 4 rums and canapes. Also, based on availability at check-in, an upgrade to the next room category.

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Poolside setting at The Residence Mauritius


| By: Rachael Weir

Perched atop granite boulders on the southern tip of Anse Kerlan, the Presidential Villa at the Constance Lemuria Seychelles features an exclusive setting. Designed to provide a private hotel within the resort, the villa is a one-of-a-kind retreat in Seychelles wtih a master suite complete with a terrace bathroom and jacuzzi. Separated from the master suite is two additional suites. Continue reading below the photo of the Presidential Villa. 

Presidential Villa at the Constance Lemuria Seychelles

Surrounded by buildings for complete privacy there are three multi-level pools with direct access to the villa's private beach. Read more below the photo. 

Exterior of Presidential Villa at Constance Lemuria Seychelles

In addition to the bedroom suites and pool, there is a fully-equipped office, as well as a spacious living room designed for entertaining. Read more below the photo.

Presidential Villa at Constance Lemuria Seychelles

The Constance Lemuria Seychelles offers a secluded beachfront retreat with white sand beaches, lush flora, and the only 18-hole golf course of the Seychelles. Designed to balance indulgence with simplicity, the property has a variety of restaurants and bars, plus a spa, kids club, diving, and tennis. 

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