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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: Five Star Alliance

Five-star hotels are properties that offer their guests the highest levels of luxury through personalized services, a vast range of amenities, and sophisticated accommodations. Though there is no standard rating system for hotels, properties earn 5-star distinction by providing guests experiences that meet or exceed even the highest of expectations for comfort, décor, and luxury.

5 Star Hotel Criteria

5Star-HotelsThough a luxury hotel may share many five-star hotel characteristics, a true five-star hotel should satisfy all these criteria:

5-Star Service

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

  • Standalone concierge staff available at least 16 hours a day
  • A high staff-to-room ratio—ideally above 2.5
  • Multilingual staff
  • 24-hour reception, room service, valet parking, butler, doorman
  • Nightly turndown
  • Easy communication with hotel staff - even via text or app
  • Daily housekeeping that is also available upon request at any time
  • Laundry, ironing, dry cleaning, and shoe polishing
  • Guest elevators separate from staff elevators
  • Medical Team and resources on call
  • Luggage storage in which bags are out of guest view
  • Fine dining restaurant(s) and a standalone lounge and/or bar
  • Transfers and executive or house car
  • Childcare options including vetted babysitting service
  • Pre-check-in registration and preferences
  • Local products and services, especially for dining

5-Star In-Room Amenities

  • Luxurious Robes & Slippers
  • Electric safe
  • Laundry bags
  • Full-length mirror with lighting
  • Flat-screen TV with international programming
  • Outlets for personal electronics, especially extra USB plugs
  • Smart TV features with access to streaming services
  • Stocked mini bar (with cocktail and wine accessories)
  • Selection of daily newspapers
  • Wifi
  • Specialty night lighting
  • At least four types of spa treatments
  • Digital room key entry

5-Star Comfort

  • Guest rooms must be plush and inviting—especially the bed (ideally, there is a memory foam bed with high thread count sheets)
  • Pillow menu
  • Blackout shades
  • Bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, and large fluffy towels
  • Night lighting in walking areas and bathrooms
  • Yoga or fitness equipment available for use in-room
  • Poolside daybeds, umbrellas, lotions, ice water, attendants, and food and beverage service

5-star hotel meaning

Some luxury hotels are even trying to out-do others to prove that they have 5-star amenities and are above and beyond the competition. These go far past the typical luxury upgrades. 

One example from Bloomberg Businessweek describes foraging in the woods for parts of your meal (Five-Star Mushroom Hunting Programs Are Newest Amenity at Top Hotels). Other's include in-room drink stations for cocktails or guest-use of boat or yacht (Gili Lankanfushi guests can access a 14-metre Riviera yacht). A hotel in Northern California Will Fill Your Room With Fresh Flowers and Houseplants — That You Can Take Home". Travel+Leisure also found this hotel in the Belize that will puts cocooning butterflies in rooms for guests to release.

During COVID-19 lock-downs, some 5-Star resorts even transformed themselves into full-service family getaways offering "work-from-home" office spaces, full time childcare (including camps and even schooling), and pet concierges. One examples is from back in 2020 when Island Destinations properties did private family camp getaways.

And as more hotels aspire to five-star quality, we expect to see the very best hotels advance the standards of luxury. Here is what does exist in many five-star hotels, and will become standard for luxury hotels soon:

  • Remote access to room lighting, climate, and "do not disturb"
  • Circadian lighting
  • Further upgraded coffee machines
  • Bluetooth-enabled door locks
  • Customizable smart beds
  • Sustainable and environmentally-friendly focus

Who awards hotels 5 stars? 

There is no universal standard for hotel ratings. 

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

In North America, AAA hotel ratings are from 1 to 5 diamonds. The Forbes (Mobil) Travel Guideonly ranks 4- and 5-star hotels.

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

Many other nations have laws to define hotel rating criteria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

In addition to meeting the criteria above, all of the Five Star Alliance hotels must maintain a high degree of satisfaction from guests across review sites and via feedback provided directly to us. This article and the details get updated frequently based on changing standards and newly available criteria.

 

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

5-star luxury hotel meaning

written by Courtney W. May, Five Star Alliance 

* This page is fully maintained and updated when appropriate

 


| By: Courtney W. May

Cruise Packing

Looking for an answer to what are some of the best non-obvious items to pack on a cruise? You've come to the right place. Below we suggest the best items to throw in your suitcase and why.

Keep in mind we are NOT including the obvious, essential items like a camera, small cash bills, sunglasses, walking shoes, your medications, etc.  

 


PACKING LIST

  • BINOCULARS

    • ​No need to tote around anything big. There are quite small high-powered ones that do the trick, especially for general uses for binoculars like sightseeing.
  • THANK YOU CARDS

    • Don't just use an envelope, give tips and gratuities to staff in a "Thank You Card" that can easily hold cash and is more heartfelt.

    NIGHTLIGHTS

    • Battery powered nightlights (not ones that need plugs). Getting up to go to the bathroom or whatever will be dark. Look for ones like "Magnetic LED Puck Light for Under Cabinet Lighting, Closet Light, Battery Powered, Push Lights, Tap Lights, Touch Lights". If you can also find motion detector ones. This one is my favorite that I take with me (they are small) link.

    CLOCK

    • LED digital, dimmable, battery operated alarm clock with large display. You will never know what time it is and have to check your phone/watch constantly. That's extra annoying in the middle of the night. 

    LAUNDRY DETERGENT

    • Woolite Travel Sized Laundry Detergent Packets - these are easy to carry and really easy to use. Whether in a tub, sink, or the floor of a shower, you can get laundry clean and then hang it to dry.

    MINI-PLUG EXTENDER

    • You cannot bring power strips on most ships. They will confiscate these from you. But you'll need more outlets than exist in the cabins. You are going to want to bring more than one wall mount multi-plug extender. Make sure you pick ones that have both outlets and USB ports. You will also want something like a "Fast Family USB Travel Charger". These are great for cruise ships but ALSO for using when you are at home or work.
  • LUGGAGE TAGS

    • Clear plastic luggage tags that can be zip sealed and have steel loops. These are for your luggage tags. Each cruise line will provide you with luggage tags prior to sailing - normally they are just paper and you staple or tap them on your baggage handles. The only your luggage is going to be brought to your room at the start of your cruise is if the luggage tag is displaying. You can buy these quality pouches in lots of different sizes and options for different cruise lines.

    TOWEL CLIPS

    • Beach Towel Clips. Cruise ships can get very windy. So can beaches. Using these clips will ensure you don't have towels flying off into the ocean but also denotes YOUR chairs and space so others won't try to take them. They have really fun designs and options.
  • EAR PLUGS

    • Noise Cancelling/Reducing Ear Plugs. You'd be surprised some of the stuff you might hear when you don't want to and can't avoid it.

    MINI FAN

    • Rechargeable, mini portable battery fan. Cabins may be individually climate controlled, but it can get hot.

 


MAGNETS

Your ceiling, doors, and 80% of your walls are magnetic. Strong magnets. You need to use this to your advantage.

  • HOOKS

    • Magnetic hooks. I own about 20 of these in different sizes and strength. Make sure to get ones that are Neodymium and hold at least 20 lbs. You'll use these to hang your lanyard, clothing, towels, ALL KINDS OF STUFF.  This is a must have and you will never have enough.
    • In the bathroom, make sure you add some more magnetic hooks for towels, bathing suits, etc.
  • NOTEPAD

    • Magnetic whiteboard or notepad (and magnetic pencil holder or string to tie a pen). You'll want to be able to leave notes for each other (you can stick them up with magnets), and also for your housekeeping staff, etc. It comes in more handy than you expect.
  • DECORATION

    • Refrigerator magnets, magnetic bumper stickers, etc. You're going to want to decorate each cabin door. Every hallways and every room look EXACTLY the same and go on forever and finding your room is annoying. If you aren't paying attention you could go in circle for house and never get these. Decorating your door with magnets (or painters tape) makes it easier to find your cabins, gives people walking by some enjoyment, and everyone loves them. You can also do the plastic/paper door covers or whatever, but you have magnets - take advantage of them. You will see lots of people who cruise frequently doing really elaborate stuff.

 


CRUISING WITH A GROUP

  • WALKIE-TALKIES

    • Communicate with your fellow travelers or between cabins if you have more than one. Lots of ships are providing wifi text and calling onboard so that passengers can communicate with each other - but that's not universally true. 
  • SHOWER CURTAIN

    • Extra long, magnetic shower curtain (not clear). Using the magnets, you'll hang this from the ceiling to divide up your room when necessary. In case you want to separate sleeping areas, privacy for changing outside the bathroom, etc. You can buy a few very cheap ones and then use them later in your home, or just keep them in your "cruise supplies" section. This is not a necessary item, but can be a cheap easy way to separate spaces for groups like yours.

 


STORAGE

  • WATER BOTTLE/TRAVEL MUG

    • Refillable water bottles and travel mugs are great for grabbing what you need and always having some available, while not being as wasteful with glasses or waste.
  • HANGING TOILIETRIES BAG

    • Make sure your toiletries bag has a hook on it. Use the hook (and magnets if needed) to have constant access to your things without them flying all over the place, being touched by others, getting in the way of housecleaning, etc.
  • HANGING ORGANIZER

    • Bring a mesh, hanging organizer (one that can hang over the door, or in the closet, or off magnets on your wall -- like you would buy to use for shoes). You can use this for jewelry, smaller items, all kinds of things. Even shoes. Waterproof mesh hanging organizers can also be great in the shower to hold shampoo, conditioner, razors, soap, etc.
  • CLOTHESLINE

    • Portable Travel Clotheslines are great for the bathroom, balcony, or even up at the pool. They are pretty small but come in handy if you have a bunch of beeach/pool stuff to dry.
  • LANYARD POUCH

    • Clear, zip seal pouch on a lanyard to hold your identification, room key, credit cards, etc. You'll frequently have to be showing or using the onboard ship card and this helps keep it handy and you won't lose it.
  • WATERPROOF PHONE CARRIER

    • Waterproof phone pouch. They have gotten pretty sophisticated with these so that you can still use your touchscreen even when it is enveloped in plastic. You can also use these to hold room keys, vaccination documents, credit cards, identification, etc. They come on lanyards and make like much easier. 
  • WET/DRY BAG

    • Travel, hanging, washable Wet Dry Bags that allow you to carry your wet and dry items in the same bag.

 

Anything we're missing? Let us know!

What to Pack on a Cruise

 

 

 

Posted in: Articles

| By: Five Star Alliance

Learn More about Five Star Alliance's Private Car & Limo Service: Vitesse Worldwide

Five Star Alliance offers the most comprehensive collection of handpicked luxury hotels available anywhere, online or off. Our goal is to provide discerning travelers with the best hotel recommendations and reservations from our collection of 100% luxury hotels.

Customers often ask to recommend a chauffeured car service. After carefully researching the market, Five Star Alliance has partnered with Vitesse Worldwide, a company that shares our commitment to world-class service for discerning travelers.

Vitesse Worldwide handpicks drivers in every market, and customer service is their number one priority. Their range of services and fleet of luxury sedans, SUVs, limousines, corporate vans, executive vans, mini-coaches and motor coaches has been specially tailored to provide travelers with the widest selection of options available. All of their chauffeurs undergo background checks and are PAX certified – the gold standard for chauffeur training in customer service and driver safety.

Vitesse Fleet ChoicesThey offer:

  • Services in over 500 major cities and 90 countries worldwide
  • 365 days 24/7 operations
  • Private door-to-door luxury service
  • Airport Meet & Greet service
  • Corporate shuttles
  • Ground transportation management for conferences, conventions and road shows
  • Corporate events
  • Range of concierge services
  • Multilingual chauffeurs

 

Reserve a Sedan, SUV, Limo or other specialty vehicle now

To facilitate a quick, accurate quote or reservation, the following information will be required:

  • Passenger name and account name
  • Date, day, pick-up time and trip information
  • Pick-up address, phone number and email address
  • Drop-off address or airport, airline and flight number
  • Type of vehicle required: (Sedan, stretch limousine, SUV, etc.)
  • Your name, contact details and any special instructions

Through the Vitesse online reservations service you can now easily make bookings, edit them and view all your itinerary information from anywhere in the world. If you’ve already created an account, please login or create a new one.

Vitesse Worldwide will provide you with premium chauffeured car service from the airport to your hotel as well as customized trips almost anywhere in the world. Please have your airport, hotel, and address details available when you book. For VIP service, book online, call +1-203-902-5505 or email FiveStar (at) VitesseWorldwide.com.

Book online now >>

Vitesse Worldwide

Vitesse Car Options

Posted in: Articles

| By: Courtney W. May

Learn more about Silversea's Antarctic voyages through the video below - Inside Luxury featuring Ignacio Maza from Five Star Alliance. Then check out all of our Silversea Antarctica sailings that include exclusive, Five Star Signature offers.

Explore the elegant lifestyle of all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruising aboard Silversea's intimate luxury cruise ships sailing to Antarctica. With Silversea Cruises you'll enjoy free-flowing premium wines and spirits, gourmet cuisine, in-suite dining, full butler service for every suite (and yes, in every category), expedition activities and onboard lectures, and of course all gratuities. Savour the peace of mind of knowing that there is no salient price-tag at the end of a wonderful night of entertainment. Which is also complimentary, by the way.

Whether you are interested in an expedition to Antarctica or further North, with over 900 destinations across all 7 continents, wherever you want to go, you can get there with Silversea.

Click here to find all of the Five Star Signature Specials for Silversea Antarctic Voyages >>


| By: Courtney W. May

Limited Time Offers to Encourage Planning Your Next Adventure

In the midst of worldwide health challenges, we’re all asking if and when to travel. Ultimately, choosing to go forward with travel plans is a personal call and situations are rapidly evolving.

However, most travel companies have introduced very flexible policies covering deposits, cancellation penalties, and waivers in order to cancel for any reason. These hope to encourage travelers to look towards the future and plan an adventure for when you feel comfortable resuming travel again. With plunging airfares and flexible policies, start planning your next adventure, whether it’s for tomorrow or several months from now with a few of these risk-free choices below.

The following are accurate as of Thursday, March 12th and will updated when new information is available.

HOTELS

Jumby Bay Hotels

Luxury hotels in popular destinations are usually sold out at least 6 months to a year in advance and because of travel worries suddenly room availability has opened up. And to incentivize future travel, these hotels are modifying their usually strict high-season cancellation policies and including extra perks to those willing to make future plans. The increased flexibility can help travelers continue to make plans, while giving them options if the situation deteriorates or their destination hasn't improved prior to departure. Have questions? Get in touch with us, we're here as your partner to help!

Hilton Hotels

In regions affected by government-issued travel restrictions, Hilton will continue to waive change fees or offer full refunds. ALL exisiting reservations – even those described as non-cancellable (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are scheduled for arrival before April 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. Any NEW reservation you make – even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are booked between now and April 30, 2020 for any future arrival date, can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

IHG is enabling flexible travel by waiving cancellation fees for all existing and new bookings at ALL IHG hotels globally for stays between March 9, 2020 and April 30, 2020.

AMResorts

Exclusively for Five Star Alliance guests: until March 31, 2020 any existing reservations for all travel dates in 2020 who choose to keep their plans will have the following enhancements added to their booking: Complimentary room upgrade based upon availability at check in, additional $200 in resort coupons for a total of $400, and $50 spa credit. Another option is their "Move the Date, Keep the Rate" program which allows guests to change the date of their current booking for a future travel date between now and December 22, 2020. Additionally, guests have the option to change to another AMResorts property within the same brand, in a different destination with no additional fee or cancellation penalty. Travel to also be completed by December 22, 2020.

Doyle Collection

The Doyle Collection - with hotels in Dublin, London, and Washington, DC is offering a ‘No Charge to Change’ program which offers a flexible solution to travelers. All of their leisure offers are fully flexible and any prepaid bookings may be changed to an alternative date within 2020 without charge. Rates attached to these bookings will be honored for new dates booked within 2020.

Belmond Hotels

Has an updated cancellation and deposit policy to encourage reservations.

InterContinental Bordeaux - Le Grand Hotel

In addition to the current Five Star Alliance Offer of full breakfast for two daily, an 85 Euro hotel credit, complimentary WiFi, and VIP status - the hotel is offering a guaranteed upgrade at time of booking for any reservation made from March 11, 2020 to April 30, 2020 and for stays through April 30, 2020. 

Baglioni Hotels

Offers a Flexible Offer/Zero Penalty program. Book a springtime getaway or plan a summer vacation for with your family in Florence, London, Rome, Venice and Milan. You can cancel - for any reason without incurring any penalty by cancelling at least 1 day prior to your arrival before 1pm local time. The offer is valid from March 1st to August 31st, 2020.

explora

Receive a 50% discount in the companion rate for explora South America resorts. Valid for stays between April and October 2020 in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, and between April and June 2020 in Atacama, Easter Island, and the Chilean Patagonia. Minimum three-night bookings.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate includes continental breakfast for two daily at Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits and a $100 resort credit. Book through April 30, 2020 and travel between April 1, 2020 - October 27, 2020 and a $200 credit will be applied for all guestrooms and junior suites, and a $250 resort will be applied to bookings for ocean view one bedroom suite, residential suites and guestrooms with Club Lounge access.

Meliá Hotels

Join the MeliáRewards program and plan your vacations with no worries. Choose your ideal destination, take advantage of a discount up to 45% (an incredible discount) and a free cancellation. Make your reservation starting March 05, 2020 for stays through December 31, 2020. All Meliá Hotels are participating. (Pssst - this also applies to the Paradisus Resorts)

Nayara Resorts

These 3 Relais & Chateaux resorts in Costa Rica are encouraging new bookings by offering flexibility with the booking terms and conditions. This includes the opportunity to postpone travel to a later date without any additional charges.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort 

The resort is offering rooms at up to 30% off now through Friday, March 20, 2020 at 5 pm Hawaii Time. The sale is valid for stays from March 22 to Dec. 15 but be you'll have to be confident in your travel dates - these are non-changeable, non-cancellable rates.

 

PACKAGES

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Resort Orlando

Offering a special (and flexible) policy to encourage travelers to plan their summer getaways - all cacation package reservations made between March 4, 2020 and April 15, 2020 for travel between March 4, 2020 and August 31, 2020 may be modified with no fee as long as it is done at least 24 hours prior to arrival.

Interested in one of our Package Offers? Contact us by clicking here

CRUISES

Luxury Cruises

If you are interested in any of the opportunities below or would like to learn more about cruising in the future, please click here

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian is allowing guests who book a sailing through Sept. 30, 2020 to cancel their trip up to 48-hours beforehand and receive a 100% future cruise credit with its 'Peace of Mind' cancellation policy. Passengers may also delay final payments on June and July voyages. Norwegian is also relaxing its name change policy for up to 45 days before sailing.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

All guests sailing on or before July 31, 2020 may now choose to cancel their reservation up to 48 hours prior to departure. Should a guest wish to cancel after their final payment deadline, a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) will be administered in the full amount of each guest’s applicable cancellation fees. (FCC amounts will vary and are dependent upon the standard cancellation timeline). Guests can apply these credits to any future cruise of their choice departing on or before December 31, 2021.

Oceania Cruises

Announced a new Traveler's Assurance booking policy for all existing and new bookings made by April 30, 2020 for any voyages departing between March 10 and Sept. 30, 2020. Guests may cancel up to 48 hours prior to cruise departure and will receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid.

Princess Cruises

UPDATE: Princess Cruises announced March 12th that it will pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months. The 60-day suspension will impact voyages departing Mar. 12 to May 10. Princess is offering the opportunity to transfer 100% of the money paid for their canceled cruise to a future cruise of their choice, as well as an additional future cruise credit, which can be applied to the cruise fare or onboard expenses. In addition, Princess will honor this offer for those guests who had made final payment and canceled their bookings on or after Feb. 4, 2020. The future cruise credit can be used on any voyage departing through May 1, 2022. Guests who do not want to receive a credit will be able to complete an electronic form at Princess.com to request a cash refund. Princess Cruises plans to be back in operation beginning with cruises departing May 11, 2020.

Azamara 

In addition to our “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy, they've taken additional steps to help reassure you by updating the CruiseCare travel protection program to cover all booking cancellations, regardless of the specified reason for bookings made by April 30, 2020 and sailing before December 31, 2021.

Seabourn

The new "Book with Confidence" policy allows bookings made between Mar. 2 and Apr. 30, 2020, for sailings departing Apr. 1 through Oct. 15, to be canceled up to 30 days prior to departure. Guests will receive a future cruise credit that must be used within 90 days for cruises departing before Dec. 31, 2021.

Silversea

Voyages departing before July 31, 2020, including both existing and future bookings, now have the additional option of cancelling their voyage as late as 48 hours prior to sailing with a Future Cruise Credit. For all sailings departing after July 31 until December 31, 2020, a 30-day prior to sailing cash cancellation option will be in place.

Regent Seven Seas

Guests on sailings scheduled from March 10 through Sept.30, 2020, booked by April 30, 2020, may cancel up to 48-hours prior to sailing and receive a 100% future cruise credit. Regent is also deferring the final payment for all sailings where the final payment is due within the next 30 days, to 60 days before sailing.

Uniworld

Uniworld 2020 cruises may be canceled up to 14 days prior to sailing. The river cruise line also added a temporary change fee waiver for any 2020 and 2021 cruise.

Viking River Cruises

They announced earlier this month that any passenger scheduled to depart before Apr. 30 may cancel up to 24 hours in advance of their trip, without incurring a fee, and receive credit for another Viking cruise to be used within a year. UPDATE: Viking will suspend its river and ocean cruise operations until May 1, 2020. All guests will receive a 125% future cruise credit, which they’ll be able to use over the next 24 months on any of Viking’s cruise products. The credit is also fully transferable. If a guest doesn’t use the voucher, Viking will send a refund equal to the amount paid to Viking after it expires.

Windstar

Windstar will allow passengers to cancel a sailing up to 15 days prior to departure for cruises departing on or after June 1, 2020.

Disney Cruise Line

Bookings can be changed up until the day before embarkation. Guests scheduled to sail between now and May 31, 2020 can change their reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100% cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 12 months of their original sail date.

PONANT/Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin changed the final payment policy for June and July 2020 voyages which will now be due 60 days prior to the sailing date. Ponant's new "Worry Free Bookings," allows final payment 30 days closer to the sailing date for all new bookings on 2020 departures. Those 2020 departures will only require a 10% deposit. Ponant has also changed its cancellation policy for new bookings for 2020, 2021, and 2022—it will allow guests to cancel sailings up to 90 days after confirmation and receive a full refund for new bookings.

If you are interested in any of the opportunities above or would like to learn more about cruising in the future, please click here


| By: Courtney W. May

New York, NY – Five Star Alliance, the leading site for luxury hotel reservations by affluent clients around the globe, recently debuted an all new website. Five Star Alliance is the leader in online to offline transactions, giving affluent customers the choice of booking electronically or via live expert advisors.

Focused on luxury travel, Five Star Alliance underwent a site overhaul to enhance the customer booking experience. The modern color palette and sleek fonts offer a fresh feel, while layout and formatting changes have simplified the search and booking process. In addition, as mobile transactions continue to grow, Five Star Alliance has upgraded its responsive mobile design and functionality. 

“Five Star Alliance is excited to share a new look with our clients,” said John P. McMahon, President & CEO of Five Star Alliance. “This new design and upgraded mobile experience reflects the needs and wants of today’s luxury travelers. Visitors will be able to find the luxury hotels they want within an easier search format, as well as unlock exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks to add value to their travels. This new look and feel is just the first phase of exciting things to come for Five Star Alliance in the luxury travel space.”

As the leading site for luxury hotel reservations, Five Star Alliance has a curated collection of luxury hotels around the world. In addition, the website has exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks featuring value-added offers at more than 1,200 luxury hotels, with an average value of $500 per stay. Recently, Five Star Alliance launched the Five Star Alliance Air Services Desk, Group Travel Desk, and Luxury Travel Planning Services.

Five Star Alliance, a member of the Signature Travel Network, was founded as an online tool to help discerning travelers find and book verified luxury hotels. Dedicated to being an online destination for luxury travelers, Five Star Alliance is transforming beyond hotels to provide clients with a comprehensive travel solution for luxury hotels, air, cruise, and bespoke experiences.

Example of New Five Star Alliance Hotel Listing with Exclusive Perks Offer

New Five Star Alliance Listing Page

Example of the New Five Star Alliance Listing Page

Press Contact:

John McMahon

President & CEO

Five Star Alliance
[email protected]

917-727-8901

 

 


| By: Five Star Alliance

New York, NY –  Five Star Alliance is excited to share the unveiling of the all-new www.FiveStarAlliance.com. As the leading site for luxury hotel reservations, the new website is designed to simplify the search and booking process, as well as showcase the world’s top luxury properties. In addition, the website’s mobile platform underwent a redesign, to maximize responsiveness and make it easy to book a luxury hotel from a mobile device.

“Five Star Alliance is excited to share a new look with our clients,” said John P. McMahon, President & CEO of Five Star Alliance. “This new design and upgraded mobile experience reflects the needs and wants of today’s luxury travelers. Visitors will be able to find the luxury hotels they want within an easier search format, as well as unlock exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks to add value to their travels. This new look and feel is just the first phase of exciting things to come for Five Star Alliance in the luxury travel space.”

The online luxury boutique travel agency Five Star Alliance provides luxury travelers with a curated collection of luxury hotels around the world, with the option to book online or to work with one of our expert travel planners (or a combination of the two). In addition, the website has exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks featuring value-added offers at more than 1,200 luxury hotels, with an average value of $500 per stay. Recently, Five Star Alliance launched the Five Star Alliance Air Services Desk, Group Travel Desk, and Luxury Travel Planning Services. Read more below the photo.

Example of New Five Star Alliance Hotel Listing Page with Exclusive Perks

New Five Star Alliance Hotel Listing Page Example

Five Star Alliance, a member of the Signature Travel Network, was founded as an online tool to help discerning travelers find and book verified luxury hotels. Dedicated to being an online destination for luxury travelers, Five Star Alliance is transforming beyond hotels to provide clients with a comprehensive travel solution for luxury hotels, air, cruise, and bespoke experiences.

Example of New Five Star Alliance Mobile Listing Page

Mobile Listing Page Example


| By: Five Star Alliance

Cabo San Lucas boasts a location that is almost too good to be true. Crosswinds from multiple directions grace visitors, providing a nice complement to the gentle, welcoming temperatures that can be experienced all year long. This is naturally a great backdrop for a honeymoon. Cabo San Lucas is well-positioned to be the ideal lovers' playground. Furthermore, the resorts in the area are well up to the task. Here are some perfect hotels in Cabo San Lucas that deserve a look.

Paradisus Los Cabos

Paradisus Los CabosParadisus Los Cabos

With its broad, outreaching beach dotted with rocks that seem to be considerately set off away from the swimming area, Paradisus Los Cabos impresses from the moment you lay eyes on it. The spa combines old world charm with 21st-century comforts, allowing you to absorb the luxury while your senses are stimulated. Its gardens are well-appointed and could provide the ideal backdrop for an intimate destination if that’s what you desire. Either way, the arrangement of seven restaurants after getting the exclusive treatment package appropriately named Royal Service.

Solaz Resort

Solaz ResortSolaz Resort

Like a honeymoon, Solaz Resort is all about making connections between the old and the new. The history of the Baja area is brought into the careful architecture and design of the resort, providing a bridge between the old and the new. Open, modern layouts are enhanced with locally sourced woods keeping honeymooners in touch with both the past and future of Baja. The rooms provide stretching sea views looking out over a horizon full of hope and promise while the black marble-lined pool and exterior infinity pool give guests the relaxing touch needed to turn down the volume and enjoy the hush of Baja. The restaurant boasts breathtaking views and an equally impressive wine collection.

Grand Velas

Grand Velas Los CabosGrand Velas Los Cabos

Grand Velas brings the romance of a honeymoon to another level with ocean views so far out they need a telescope to fully appreciate—one that the resort happily provides. The theme of providing for guests is continued with the deep dark and refreshingly light woods that grace the dining rooms and guest rooms alike. Enjoy a night watching movies under the stars or take a brief jaunt out to sea for a quaint, yet stunningly beautiful brunch experience. More telescopes are provided for star gazing after a day of falling deeper in love to the tune of the lightly crashing waves at its expansive beach. To top it off, there’s a tequila and mescal tasting room complete with the kind of collection you would expect from a resort that assumes the tradition of Baja as well as the task of forging into the future.


Cabo San Lucas is a great place to visit but a perfect place to honeymoon. With postcard-worthy shots at every angle, you simply can’t go wrong. Removed from the hustle and bustle yet still well-equipped with long lists of contemporary luxuries, these resorts are a pristine launch pad for a wonderful marriage. 

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Posted in: Articles

| By: Five Star Alliance

Vacationing as a couple is something that is as special as it is unique. Everything has to be as close to perfect as possible—for the sake of both the experience and the memories. So where is the best place to vacation as a couple? Despite the undeniable truth of the saying, “To each his own,” one of the most undeniably perfect spots to vacation as a couple is The Caves in Negril, Jamaica, which is closely followed by the Emaho Sekawa Resort in Fiji, and Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia.

The Caves Negril, Jamaica

Candlelit dining at The CavesCandlelit dining at The Caves

The Caves is perched on the edge of gentle limestone cliffs that descend into the crisp light blue Caribbean Sea. It’s a relatively short drive, just 80 minutes away from the Montego Bay airport. The property is immersed in lush greenery that simultaneously reflects the raw feel of the Jamaican jungle and the thoughtfulness of well-manicured landscaping. Guests have the option of 12 accommodations situated right next to the cliff, affording views that stretch for miles and miles of light to heavy blue sea.

The Caves has a mix of private and shared dining. Guests can sit in their own candlelit nook, sit at the edge of the cliff and gaze out over the water, or nestle in with other guests under a tasteful thatched palapa. An escape to the spa for a brown sugar body scrub or a massage while looking out at the ocean provides the perfect end of a day at the beach or exploring the sights and flavors of Negril.

Emaho Sekawa Resort Fiji

Emaho SekawaEmaho Sekawa

The Emaho Sekawa redefines the concept of getting away. Tucked in the reaches of Fiji, Emaho Sekawa brings its guests to a world simultaneously outside of our own and the best of what this planet has to offer. Endless stretches of ocean views are only interrupted by the Fijian mountains on the horizon. The rooms are cozy and integrated with the outside, complete with the rustic-chic finishes of natural local woods and contemporary South Pacific architecture.

Enjoy a candle-lit dinner surrounded by mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, or eat inside at their first class restaurant. Couples are treated to a local serenade or equally romantic quiet dinners or spa treatments for two. 

Jade Mountain Resort St. Lucia

Jade Mountain ResortJade Mountain Resort

With the Caribbean Sea and the mountains of St. Lucia in the background, couples can truly dive into the St. Lucia experience with Jade Mountain Resort. True to its name, the lush green mountains jut out of the landscape like the fingers of hands gently holding guests in a home away from home.

However, the comforts of home are eclipsed by views that are simply unreal, melding guests with a virtual deck of postcard shots. Sit in an infinity pool surrounded by natural rock and look out into the sea. Or couples can relax with a massage complemented by the warm Caribbean breeze.

Jade Mountain’s property includes their own organic farm that supplies the ingredients for their two top-end restaurants, guests’ private dining, and even a chocolate lab where guests can sample the fruits of chocolate experimentation—all in the name of science, of course. 


A couple’s vacation is a special time that shouldn’t be interrupted by anything. These destinations take couples out of the day-to-day grind and into a vacation that turns regular life into a faint memory.


Posted in: Articles

| By: Five Star Alliance

With its stretches of mountains, crisp blue sea, and ideal climate, it’s hard to find a better place to honeymoon than Jamaica. With a plethora of colorful, romantic choices, it could be hard to commit to just one. Here are some of the best.

Sandals Inn Montego Bay

Sandals Inn Montego BaySandals Inn Montego Bay

Curving like the wing of a hummingbird into the waters of Montego Bay, Sandals Inn is a mainstay of the Jamaican honeymoon scene. Honeymooners can take a dip in their choice of any of the five pools on site. The hotel is in the scenic heart of Montego Bay, making it an ideal base to visit Dunns River Falls during the day, and then dance the night away in an epic night in Negril just up the road. Sandals includes the option for private dining, giving a honeymooning couple a truly special experience. The couples treatment continues in the day with excursions that can be tailored just for the two honeymooners. With an ideal location, private beaches and tons of privacy options, Sandals Inn Montego Bay is a worthy top choice.

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Montego Bay

Hyatt Zilara Rose HallHyatt Zilara Rose Hall

The Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is a gem in gorgeous Montego Bay. The honeymoon atmosphere is solidified by the fact that it’s an adults-only escape, so honeymooners can enjoy each other, kid-free. From the stunning dining areas to the pools and comfortable outdoor lounge, nothing is “regular,” with all of the touches you would expect from a resort of this caliber. Enjoy breakfast in bed and pampering at its world-class spa. In the mood for some activity? Have some fun: various water sports and excursions are there for the taking. With fine dining offering upscale Caribbean cuisine and cocktails reflecting local and international culture, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall provides guests with all the trimmings for an unforgettable honeymoon experience. 

Azul Beach Resort, Negril

Azul Beach ResortAzul Beach Resort

In the heart of Negril lies this expansive tropical hideaway. With tropical flora and fauna behind and the Caribbean Sea in front, Azul Beach Resort is a picture-perfect honeymoon escape. As an extra thoughtful touch, to help ensure a peaceful vacation, there are adults-only sections where honeymooners can get some true peace and romantic silence. This sets the scene for an incredible honeymoon where lovers can enjoy any of the 136 ocean view rooms, pools and first class spa. However, Azul Beach Resort really shines when it comes to dining options with gourmet cuisine provided by the Karisma Gourmet Inclusive Experience. Enjoy the personalized service of beach butlers and 24-hour room service, as well as the special little details like rainforest showerheads and deluxe bathrobes. In addition, there are bars where honeymooners can grab an exotic cocktail to get the night started or finish off the day.


All three of these destinations are ideal honeymoon escapes. With the integration of luxury and the appeal of nature, they set the stage for an incredible honeymoon, perfectly designed to launch the first of many happy years of marriage.



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