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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

Aroma Restaurant at Palazzo Manfredi

The Eternal City offers centuries of history from Roman ruins to the Vatican. Featuring showstopping vistas and iconic landmarks at every turn, Rome attracts Christians for its religious sites, art lovers, culture seekers, history buffs, and travelers from around the globe seeking to understand its history while taking in the present pace of Rome via Vespas or romantic strolls. 

With two thousand years of history, the Colosseum is one of the city's top landmarks. Known as the Flavian Amphitheater, the building was home to gladiators taking on each other or fighting wild animals. In 2016, the building completed a massive renovation, making it even better for visitors. The largest, richest, and likely most famous church in all of Italy is St. Peter's Basilica. Completed in 1626, the church is home to significant works of art including Bernini's baldachin over the papal altar as well as Michelangelo's Pieta and awe-inducing dome. While the Vatican Museums showcase one of the world's greatest art collections with a range of masterpieces from Egyptian times to frescoes by Raphael and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. The 2,000-year-old Pantheon is now a church, but was originally built as a temple and is one of the Rome's most well-preserved ancient landmarks. 

Of course no trip to Rome would be complete without experiencing the food. From strolling with gelato to sipping a cappuccino, its important to allow time for gastronomic experiences, trattorias, pizza, and wine bars. 

Here are 5 Top Rome Luxury Hotels

5. Rocco Forte Hotel De Russie

Rocco Forte Hotel De Russie

A favorite of politicians, artists, and celebrities for generations, Rocco Forte Hotel De Russie is an iconic luxury hotel. Situated between Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo, the hotel offers one of the city's most prestigious address. There's a Mediterranean tiered Secret Garden with orange trees and rose bushes, the open-air Stravinskij Bar with crafted cocktails, and fine Italian dining at Le Jardin de Russie. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive daily buffet breakfast and an 85 Euros food and beverage credit per room/per stay.

Check availability at Rocco Forte Hotel De Russie

4. The St. Regis Grand Rome

The St. Regis Grand Rome

Blending history, location, and authentic charm, The St. Regis Grand Rome is a luxury hotel located on one of the city's most iconic palazzos. Following a meticulous renovation, the property has 161 guest rooms and suites, signature St. Regis Butler Service, Lumen Restaurant, and the Kami Spa & Fitness facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a range of treatments for relaxation and rejuvenation. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive buffet breakfast for two daily at Caelum Bar & Lounge, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per stay, and complimentary WiFi. 

Check availability at The St. Regis Grand Rome

3. Grand Hotel Via Veneto

Spa at Grand Hotel Via Veneto

Close to the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, Grand Hotel Via Veneto is a luxury hotel with Michelin Star dining, occupying two 19th century historical buildings. The exterior of the buildings is protected by Environmental and Architectural Heritage of Rome, while the interiors have custom-made Murano glass chandeliers, black granite floors, and travertine stairways with cast iron banisters. While the AQVA City Spa has Vichy showers, vitality pool, and exclusive Sisley treatments. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily, and 85 Euro food and beverage credit per room/per stay to be used at Times Restaurant & Wine Bar (alcoholic beverages excluded), complimentary WiFi, and an automatic room category upgrade at booking, based on availability. 

Check availability at Grand Hotel Via Veneto

2. Hotel d'Inghilterra Rome

Hotel d'Inghilterra Rome

Dating back to the 16th century, Hotel d'Inghilterra Rome is a short stroll from the Spanish Steps. Guests at the hotel can enjoy Roman cuisine in an al fresco setting at Cafe Romano, a British setting for a classic drink at the Bond Bar, and awake in one of the hotel's 88 rooms and suites, each offering its own style and identity. Located in the heart of the historical center of Rome, the property is steps from Via Condotti, Roman Forum, and the Trevi Fountain. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate, "Best Available Rate", as well as promotions and package rates with at least a three night stay, will also receive full breakfast for two daily in Café Romano, a 50 Euro Food and Beverage credit, per room/per stay, along with a bottle of wine & chef pastries on arrival. 

Check availability at Hotel d'Inghilterra Rome

1. Palazzo Manfredi

Family Suite at Palazzo Manfredi

Directly across from the Colosseum, Palazzo Manfredi is located on the former site of a gladiator training school. The current building was originally built as a villa for the Evangelisti family in the 17th century. Rebuilt in the 18th century, the property was purchased in 2002 and transformed into a luxury boutique hotel by the noble Manfredi family. Commemorating the past while infusing the future, the hotel has a Michelin starred restaurant, AROMA offering Roman cuisine with views of the Colosseum, as well as the American Bar for cocktails with panoramic views, and a mini-gym.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests who book through Five Star Alliance receive a complimentary welcome drink, daily Continental breakfast for 2 guests, and entrance tickets for 2 to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and The Palatine Hill. Guests who book a one or two bedroom suite also receive a one way limousine transfer to or from the airport (not applicable to Junior Suite). 

Check availability at Palazzo Manfredi


| By: Five Star Alliance

Ready for a getaway overlooking a wildlife sanctuary and the Pacific Ocean? Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club, & Spa offers an idyllic location just north of San Diego. Amidst 200 acres of rolling valleys and lush hills, the property offers five restaurants, six-court lighted tennis center, all-inclusive wellness retreats, and the area's only Arnold Palmer-designed golf course. There is a 15,000-square-foot Aviara Spa with a variety of treatments, as well as a fully-equipped fitness center, outdoor recreation center, and Camp Hyatt Aviara Kids Academy, making it a perfect destination for multi-generational getaways. Discover a special 4th or 5th Night FREE offer below the photo.

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Pool

For a limited time, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club, & Spa is offering a 4th or 5th Night FREE this spring & summer!

In 2019, get a 4th Night Free for stays April 1 to June 13, or a 5th Night Free for stays June 14 to September 2. 

Plus, an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive buffet breakfast for two daily in California Bistro, a $100 resort credit per room/per stay, complimentary access to Aviara Spa (whirlpool, steam, sauna, and solarium lounge), and a seasonal culinary welcome amenity. 

Check availability at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club, & Spa


| By: Rachael Weir

It's National Pet Day! Today we are honoring our four-legged friends by creating a list of our top places to getaway with our pets. Why leave furry friends home when they can travel with you at these top luxury hotels? 

5 Top Pet-Friendly Hotels in the USA

1. Hotel Teatro

Hotel Teatro Denver Lobby

Set in the heart of downtown Denver, Hotel Teatro welcomes dogs. Located in one of the country's most pet-friendly cities, the hotel goes above and beyond with dog-friendly services and amenities. Dogs stay free with their owners, and the hotel can assist with arranging a "Pawdicure" at a nearby pet spa, or therapeutic massages with a certified canine massage therapist. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive breakfast for two daily in The Study (maximum $20 credit per person/per day), a welcome amenity, valet parking for one vehicle per night, and complimentary 2 pm late check-out. 

Check availability at Hotel Teatro

2. The Iron Horse Hotel

Iron Horse Hotel

When clients and their dogs check in at The Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, dogs of all sizes are greeting in the lobby with their name on the welcome chalkboard, as well as water and treats in the lobby. There's also a "Doggy-in-Room" door hanger and in-room doggy dining menu, as well as complimentary treats at the front desk. In addition, the hotel's staff can assist guests with recommendations for pet-friendly dining options, dog parks, and local pet stores. 

Check availability at The Iron Horse Hotel

3. Hotel del Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado dog photo

The Hotel Del Coronado's "Del Dogs & Cats" program welcomes pets with special amenities including placemats with water and food dishes as well as Del-ightful Dog and Cat Treats by the hotel's pastry chef. There are paw-friendly events like Yappy Hours on the Sun Deck, and gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs prepared by the property's talented chefs. Plus, pet-walking, pet-sitting, and dog grooming services can be arranged, and the hotel has a pet-friendly guide to exploring Coronado Island. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive daily buffet breakfast for two, VIP services, and a $100 spa treatment credit per stay. 

Check availability at the Hotel Del Coronado

 

4. The Hermitage Hotel

Pets at The Hermitage Hotel Nashville

Offering a historic setting in the heart of Music City, The Hermitage Hotel offers a specialty pet program with a welcome letter, nightly pet turndown service complete with pet treats, spring water, rolled towels, and an in-room dining menu for pets. In the rooms, pets are welcomed with specialty pet bedding, organic welcome treats, bottled spring water, personal-sized packs of organic pet food, and in-room water and food bowls. Plus, there's optional pet-walking services, leashes, and and on-call pet masseuse. 

Check availability at The Hermitage Hotel

5. Liberty Hotel 

Pets at the Liberty Hotel in Boston

From seasonal "Yappier Hours" where guests can mix-and-mingle with canines and cocktails in The Yard to dog-friendly amenities, the Liberty Hotel in Boston is an ideal choice for dog owners. Plus, there are Saturday Yoga classes for humans, bicycle rentals, and Liberty Affairs. 

Check availability at the Liberty Hotel

Happy travels with your furry travel partners!


| By: Five Star Alliance

Top Luxury Hotels Near Golf Courses in Salt Lake City

By: Jonathan Stuart, guest blogger

Nestled between the Great Salt Lake and the majestic Wasatch Mountain Range, Salt Lake City has some of the most scenic places to visit in the country. In addition to Fifth Water Hot Springs and City Creek Canyon, guests will find many must-play golf courses. Flying in for a weekend of golf is a common practice. It all started with the emergence of luxury hotels situated minutes from the greens.

Here are 5 Top Salt Lake City Luxury Hotels Near Golf Courses: 

The Grand America Hotel

The Grand America Hotel

Located in the heart of Salt Lake City, The Grand America Hotel is the only AAA Five Diamond hotel in the city. Here, guests will step back in time via the gleaming chandeliers, marble work, and solid wood furniture that accent the lobby and main floor.

Guests feel transported to a different country when dining on the terrace of Garden Café. There’s nothing quite like dining outside and watching the sunset after a day on the course. Afternoon Tea is available from 2pm-5pm every afternoon in the lobby. The Gibson Lounge is the perfect spot to grab a cold one and watch the big game as well.

The Grand America Hotel sits in the middle of downtown, four miles from Bonneville, one of the premier golf courses in Salt Lake City. Wingpointe, one of the city’s municipal courses in 5 miles away. Guests are only eight minutes away from the Glendale Golf Course. After a day of golf, come back to the hotel for a dip in either the indoor, or outdoor pool or you can enjoy a massage at the full-service spa.

Check availability at The Grand America Hotel

 

Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

Dramatic and modern accommodations welcome guests at the Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City. This trendy hotel offers a unique style with vivid colors, geometric carpet patterns, and sultry furniture. There are 225 distinctive guest rooms available, all featuring modern colors, shapes, and textures. Best of all, it’s only four miles away from the course at Bonneville and 5 miles from Wingpointe and Glendale. Gather with friends after a day on the course in the unique communal spaces or enjoy fine dining in the Bambara restaurant. The Hotel Monaco, located in downtown Salt Lake City, makes it a prime spot to take in the other activities that the city has to offer.

Check availability at Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

 

St. Regis Deer Valley

The St. Regis Deer Valley

Tucked away in a private and gated community, the St. Regis Deer Valley sits on the edge of the Wasatch Mountains. 181 custom-designed guest rooms await those travelers looking for the beauty and class that only a 5-star hotel will bring. Skiing is popular during the winter months with easy access to golf courses all over Park City during the summer. Some golf courses, like the Park City Golf Course located a quick 10 minutes away, offer cross country skiing during the winter, and the Canyons Golf Course is a quick 20-minute drive as well. Guests will enjoy the heated infinity swimming pool that features a split-level as well as over 13,000 square feet of spa service areas. St. Regis Deer Valley is the perfect place to unwind after a long day out on the course.

Check availability at St. Regis Deer Valley

 

Hotel Park City

Hotel Park City

Many of Utah’s most scenic Golf courses are only a few minutes outside of the city. Canyons Golf Course on Sundial Court offers some of the best views and a challenging course full of hills. It’s just three miles away from Hotel Park City. This hotel gets kudos from Tripadvisor for its consistent luxury with 100 guest suites. All suites feature jacuzzi bathtubs and private balconies with excellent view of the mountains and golf course. Guests also enjoy the King-size beds in each of the suites as well as the cozy fireplace. Many travelers looking for a romantic getaway choose Hotel Park City for its charm and romantic atmosphere.

Check availability at Hotel Park City

 

Montage Deer Valley

Montage Deer Valley

Guests looking for a high-quality mountain lodge resort should look no further than the Montage Deer Valley. This classic 5-star hotel, perched at the top of the Empire Canyons, gives guests gorgeous and unparalleled views. A luxurious stay starts with the stunning Great Room that features vaulted ceilings and iron chandeliers. Artwork featured throughout the mountain lodge spark conversation in the small and large gathering areas for guests to chat with friends. Guests return to the Montage Deer Valley for its uncrowded and civilized demeanor despite its overall lodge aesthetics. Elegance flanks all aspects of the lodge that expertly weaves together upscale service mingled with a cozy mountain resort. Play a round of golf at nearby courses like the Park City Golf Course that is a 12-minute drive or the Painted Valley Golf Course that is about a  drive from the hotel.

Check availability at Montage Deer Valley

People visit here for the golf and skiing, but many end up staying because of views. Consider booking a room at any one of these top luxury hotels near golf courses in Salt Lake City on your next visit.

Explore more Salt Lake City Luxury Hotels

Jonathan Stuart is an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for hiking, hunting, rock climbing and golf. You’ll often find him camping near one of Colorado’s many 14ers getting ready for his next big adventure.


| By: Rachael Weir

Taj Lake Palace

Offering a contrast of cultures, religions, and history, India provides a range of experiences for travelers. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're highlighting royal palace hotels on this multi-destination trip to India. We begin in Hyderabad at the Taj Falaknuma Palace, next we head to a palace in the middle of a lake at the Taj Lake Palace (shown above), and we end our journey in Mumbai, the Gateway to India. 

Hyderabad, India

One of India's former princely states, Hyderabad was once one of the country's largest and wealthiest states. More than 400 years old, the city built its fortune on pearls, gold, steel, fabric, and diamonds. At one time, the city and the Golconda Fort was the most famous dining mining area in the world, as Golconda is where the Koh-i-Noor and Hope diamonds were excavated. Today, the city is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, and it is known for thriving information technology and biotech research industries. There's a vibrant culture here with luxury hotels and regional cuisine. 

Taj Falaknuma Palace

Green palace bedroom at Taj Falaknuma Palae

Formerly the palace of the Nizam, Taj Falaknuma Palace was built in 1894. Perched 2,000 feet above the City of Pearls, the grand palace offers guests a royal experience. Visitors arrive via a horse-drawn carriage, and butlers attend to their needs while staying at the palace. Spread over 32 acres, the palace hotel has 60 guest rooms and suites where opulence, excess, and historical details are honored and revered. Adaa provides a gastronomic experience with fine Indian cuisine, the Jiva Spa has an array of treatments rooted in traditional Indian practices, and afternoon tea is served on the Jade Terrace. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations through Five Star Alliance receive full breakfast daily and one dinner at Adaa per person, per stay. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check rates at Taj Falaknuma Palace

Explore more Hyderabad Luxury Hotels

 

Udaipur, India

This picturesque area in Rajasthan is set around Lake Pichola with the purple-hued Aravalli Range of mountains in surrounding the city in every direction. Here travelers can visit colorful bazaars to shop for local goods, take in a lively arts scene, go for a boat ride, and explore city's palaces, temples, and traditional decorated residences called havelis

Taj Lake Palace

Spa Boat at Taj Lake Palace

Built as a pleasure palace by the the young prince, Maharana Jagat Singh II of Udaipur in 1746, Taj Lake Palace is a heritage hotel situated in the middle of Lake Pichola. Restored to its pristine and elegant glory, the hotel's 65 luxe guest rooms and 18 grand suites feature views of the lake, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills, and Jag Mandir. The site of a variety of movies including the Bond film "Octopussy", this regal property is popular for weddings and honeymoons, as well as travelers seeking a royal experience at the Jiva Spa (including the spa boat shown above) or authentic Rajasthani at Neel Kamal. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive lunch or dinner for two once during stay, a Heritage Walk of the property followed by a glass of sparkling wine, a 15% discount on spa services, Butler Service, daily a la carte breakfast for two in Jharokha Restaurant, and a traditional welcome amenity. 

Check rates at Taj Lake Palace

Explore more Udaipur Luxury Hotels

 

Mumbai, India

Once known as Bombay, Mumbai is a fusion of cultures and time periods. Reminders of its colonial past are never far away, and new malls mix with historic sites like the UNESCO-protected Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The fast-growing city has been the Gateway to India for centuries due to its strong port location, and it continues to evolve while maintaining its spiritual roots. Babulnath Temple is a serene destination for Hindu pilgrims, and Muslims walk to the white marble Haji Ali shrine via the seafront causeway.

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

Within walking distance of the Colaba Causeway, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai was recently trademarked. Built in 1903, the property has been a landmark in the city's harbour, welcoming kings, dignitaries, and prominent figures from around the world since its opening. Overlooking the Gateway of India, the hotel is strategically located in the city's historic and commercial hub. Close to the financial hub, parliament, stadium, shopping, and office districts, as well as museums, churches, and synagogues, the palace hotel harkens the glamour of a bygone era. Golden Keys Concierge can assist guests with exclusive experiences, authentic cuisine is served at Masala Kraft, and Golden Dragon offers Chinese specialties. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive buffet breakfast for two daily at Sea Lounge and a one way airport to hotel transfer in a Mercedes car on a sharing basis. 

Check rates at The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai

Explore more Mumbai Luxury Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Destination Spotlight: Punta Cana

Destination Spotlight: Punta Cana

Situated in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is one of the top destinations for travelers seeking luxury beach resorts. Offering sugar-white sands, Caribbean blue waters, and natural beauty, it's easy to see why this tropical island is one of the region's fastest growing destinations. In this edition of Destination Spotlight, we feature 5 Top Punta Cana Luxury Resorts.

Located on the eastern tip of the island, Punta Cana is a destination for travelers seeking luxury resorts with high-end amenities, multiple pools, private beaches, spas, and an array of international dining options. There is an international airport here, making it easy for visitors to fly in from around the world, and be on the beach in no time at all. 

Here are 5 Top Punta Cana Luxury Resorts:

5. Paradisus Punta Cana All Inclusive

Paradisus Punta Cana All Inclusive

Featuring a tropical setting amidst mangroves and beaches, Paradisus Punta Cana All Inclusive is a family-friendly property with a mini water park. Guests can tour the mangroves, see flamingos and turtles, or enjoy a variety of beach activities. The YHI Spa has a variety of treatments, and there are five pools to lounge, swim, or soak up the sunshine. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance will also receive one 50 minute massage for up to 2 adults per stay, full breakfast for each guest daily, and a welcome amenity. The following are subject to availability at the time of check-in and departure: upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check availability at Paradisus Punta Cana All Inclusive

4. Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

Accommodations at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana are nestled within exclusive cane-thatch roofed suites with hardwoods and cathedral ceilings. Featuring a 200-yard stretch of pristine beachfront, guests can swim amidst the tranquil waters, relax at the spa providing indigenous-inspired treatments, dine at four restaurants or the cafe, and sip & savor cocktails at three bars and lounges. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive one 50 minute spa treatment per person, per stay, plus an in-room welcome amenity.

Check availability at Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

3. Paradisus Palma Real All Inclusive

Paradisus Palma Real All Inclusive

Set along the white sands of Bavaro Beach, Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort is an all-inclusive retreat for couples and families. The new adults-only Royal Service offers inclusive personalized butler service, two story Royal Service Lounge, exclusive Italian restaurant, and access to a private adult-only pool and beach area. For families, the Kid's Zone at The Reserve has a mini water park for children including slides, children's pool, and toddler splash pool. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will also receive one 50 minutes massage per person/ per stay (adults only), full breakfast for each guest daily, unlimited golf, and a welcome amenity. The following are subject to availability at the time of check in and departure: upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check availability at Paradisus Palma Real All Inclusive

2. Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay in Punta Cana

Located within a gated community, Tortuga Bay is an award-winning luxury resort offering accommodations designed by Oscar de la Renta. Guests are welcomed at the aiport with VIP service, and once they arrive at the resort they have a personal concierge, and a golf cart for exploring the resort. There are six world class restaurants on-site, and the property's respect for the environment is demonstrated via Responsible Luxury practices through its Ecological Foundation, including a watering preservation system on the resort's golf course. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive one spa consultation plus a 30-minute Six Senses Signature massage per adult/per stay, nightly VIP turndown service with a platter of Dominican sweets, breakfast for two daily at Bamboo Restaurant, VIP Arrival Service, roundtrip airport transfer, and a welcome fruit platter and bottled water in room upon arrival. Reservations that are five (5) or more nights will also receive a US $50 food and beverage credit for Bamboo Restaurant per room/per stay. 

Check availability at Tortuga Bay

1. Eden Roc at Cap Cana

Drone view of Eden Roc at Cap Cana

Nestled in the most exclusive gated beachfront community on the island, Eden Roc at Cap Cana is a five-star Relais & Chateaux resort. Amidst 30,000 acres with a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, towering cliffs, idyllic beaches, and tropical forests, the resort offers all-suite accommodations that blend French & Italian Riviera styling with the relaxed charms of the Caribbean. There's a beach club with a private beach and infinity pool, plus oceanfront dining at La Palapa, and chef-prepared cuisine at the fine dining Mediterraneo Restaurant. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive a complimentary $100 food and beverage credit, a bottle of Champagne, a fresh fruit platter welcome amenity, and full breakfast daily, included in the rate. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in: room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check availability at Eden Roc at Cap Cana

Explore more Punta Cana Luxury Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Love spending time with your four-legged friend? Perhaps a Yappy Hour at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is in order. Offered once a month, Yappy Hours provide people and haute hounds the opportunity to mix and mingle while enjoying special libations including bacon, chicken, beef, or vegan-flavored waters for the dogs, and for humans--Mutt Lynch Unleashed Chardonnay, Merlot Over and Play Dead, Chateau d’Og Cabernet Sauvignon or a refreshing cocktail featuring Tito's Vodka. There's also a variety of beers and barbecue items, while proceeds benefit local charities. Read more below the photo.

Yappy Hours at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Offering casual luxury, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is located within an oceanfront community on Laguna Beach. Guests of the resort receive preferred access to the Monarch Beach Golf Links, a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course, and there's a full-service spa. For those interested in Southern California's natural wonders, the resort's Eco Adventure Center has a variety of programs for children and adults including whale watching, and the Eco Artist program where guests create keepsakes to remember as part of the resort's partnership with nature artist, Wyland. Discover special Five Star Alliance Perks below the photo.

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full American Breakfast daily in Raya or The Market Place or through in-room dining, and a $100 resort credit per stay (excluding room, tax, resort fee, overnight valet parking, tennis, or Eco-Adventure Center charges).

Check availability at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel


| By: Rachael Weir

Destination Spotlight: Charleston

Ranked by Conde Nast Traveler as the #1 Small U.S. City for eight years running, Charleston, South Carolina is a city steeped in history and culture. The walkable city offers well-preserved architecture with ironwork balconies, antebellum styling, and colorful stucco, amidst streets lined with sidewalk cafes and boutiques ideal for meandering and exploring. 

Founded by English colonists in 1670, Charleston is one of the best-preserved cities in the "Old South" where visitors can hear church bells ringing, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, and see more than 600 buildings erected prior to the 1840s, including 73 Colonial buildings. The city has withstood a number of hardships including Yankee bombardments during the Civil War, earthquakes, and fires, yet many historic sites remain including St. Michael's Episcopal Church and the Calhoun Mansion. Plus, there are plantations like Boone Hall where guests can gain a greater understanding of the city's history. 

Foodies will find plenty of flavors to discover within the city, including low country favorites like She-Crab Soup and the area's classic morning dish of shrimp and grits. Charleston's vibrant food scene includes chic cafes, fine dining, food festivals, and locally-infused Southern cuisine. 

For outdoor enthusiasts, the region provides an array of top-ranked golf courses, as well as beaches, parks, and nature tours of the area's beaches, marshes, and rivers.

Here are 5 Top Charleston Luxury Hotels:

5. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

For travelers seeking a resort-style getaway within a short drive of the city, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island is an ideal destination. Situated 21 miles from downtown Charleston, the property is an oceanfront hotel providing Southern hospitality, The Sanctuary Spa, luxury shopping, tennis packages, golf, and multiple dining options. There's also an array of recreational activities such as bicycle rentals, Kamp Kiawah for young vacationers at Night Heron Park, fitness classes, and nature programs. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a daily full buffet breakfast for two in Jasmine Porch or a la Carte through room service, VIP status, a one time $100 resort credit per room (not valid towards the room rate), complimentary WiFi, and one bottle of Simonet Sparkling Wine from the mini-bar per room/per stay.

Check rates at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

4. The Dewberry

The Dewberry

Tucked within a historic Mid-Century Modern building (formerly the Mendel Rivers Federal Building), The Dewberry is a luxury boutique hotel featuring "Southern Reimagined" by a group of architects, designers, and preservation specialists. Guest rooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Charleston Harbor and the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, as well as Irish mattresses and linens, artwork by local artists, and minibars curated seasonally by the hotel's executive chef. The Spa provides low country-inspired signature treatments infused with local ingredients, and Henrietta's French Brasserie overlooks Meeting Street with Southern-influenced cuisine. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive breakfast for two daily ($30 per person and $60 max per day), a guaranteed room category upgrade at booking based on availability, complimentary WiFi, and a $100 spa credit per room/per stay.

Check rates at The Dewberry

3. Hotel Bennett

Hotel Bennett

Opening in late 2018, Hotel Bennett is situated at the intersection of Marion Square and King Street. Transformed by native Charlestonians, the authentic retreat is located within the former Charleston County Library and The Citadel. Offering a two-tiered signature restaurant and Camelias Bar, the hotel also has a patisserie, signature spa, and rooftop pool, steps from King Street shops, restaurants, and museums. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the  the “5 Star Signature Package” rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily in Gabrielle (max $30 per person, max $60 per day), and a $100 hotel credit per room/per stay.

Check rates at Hotel Bennett

2. Belmond Charleston Place 

Belmond Charleston Place

Evoking the feel of a 17th century European residence, Belmond Charleston Place is an iconic luxury hotel in the heart of Charleston's historic downtown. Offering high-end shopping, full-service spa, and a rooftop indoor/outdoor pool, the property is an ideal place for exploring the city, or a relaxing retreat. Popular with celebrities, princes, and politicians, the hotel has award-winning dining at the Palmetto Cafe and the Charleston Grill.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK:  Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive breakfast for each guest daily (maximum of $30 per person/per day), a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and a welcome amenity.

Check rates at Belmond Charleston Place

1. The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor

The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor

Set on Patriots Point in the upscale community of Mount Pleasant, The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor is an upscale waterfront resort with panoramic views of Charleston Harbor and the downtown skyline. There are three on-site dining options including the waterfront Charleston Harbor Fish House, and The Bridge Bar with an open-air setting. For relaxation The Estruary Spa and Salon offers a range of treatments, and there are three outdoor pools including one with a Tiki Bar. There's also a custom theater, full-service marina, seaside bocce court, and the College of Charleston Sail School is located on-site. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive continental breakfast for each guest daily at The Fish House, a $100 resort credit per room/per stay (not valid on room rate and no cash value), and a welcome cookie amenity.

Check rates at The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor


| By: Five Star Alliance

'Tis the season to find the perfect gift. Have a traveler on your list?

Here are 10 luxury gifts for Travelers from wee ones to the seasoned ones who seem to have everything. 

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase, Five Star Alliance may earn a commission. 

1. Lug Via RFID Tote

This 3-in-1 Travel Bag transforms from a shoulder bag to a backpack with ease. Featuring a wide mouth bag opening on the top, insulated back zipper compartment, two soft lined accessories pockets, side cargo water bottle holder, and removable key fob, this bag makes it easy to keep things organized. The RFID protection protects cards from skimming devices while traveling, and the luggage strap glides over a roller bag.

Buy the Lug Via RFID Tote at ebags.com

Fuji Instax Camera

2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 Camera

Featuring sleek styling, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 Camera is ideal for the traveler that loves to take selfies and document their travels. Snap a picture and a credit card-sized photo prints out instantly--perfect for sharing with friends or putting in a travel journal.

Buy the Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 Camera at ebags.com

RuMe Travel Organizer

3. RuMe Garment Travel Organizer

Make packing and unpacking easy with the RuMe Garment Travel Organizer. The two-sided travel bag has a garment bag on one side for dresses and suits, the other side has compartments for tops, pants, and necessities. Machine washable and crafted of lightweight polyester, the Garment Travel Organizer rolls up to fit perfectly in a 20-inch carry-on suitcase. Once you arrive at your destination, just unfold and hang in the closet for easy accessibility. 

Buy the RuMe Garment Travel Organizer at ebags.com

Paravel Fold-Up Bag

4. Paravel Fold-Up Bag

Did a little extra shopping at the boutiques while on vacation? Not a problem with the Paravel Fold-Up Bag. Available in five color options, this feather-light bag zips into itself, and lies completely flat. Ideal as a personal item or carry-on for the trip home (or even a gym bag), this chic design slides over the handles of wheeled luggage, making getting those fun finds home from your trip with ease. 

Buy the Paravel Fold-Up Bag at Tourparavel.com

Tumi International Carry-on

5. Tumi Latitude International Carry-On

Durable and lightweight, the Tumi Latitude is crafted with layers of specially woven SRPP Ballistic Material, making the outer shell flexible and responsive. There's a brand-new Tumi wheel system for smooth maneuvering through airports, and the size and design is ideal for domestic and international travel. Available in four colors, personalization is also available. 

Buy the Tumi Latitude International Carry-On at Tumi.com

Tumi ID Lock Passport Case

6. Tumi ID Lock Passport Case

Protect your passport and cards while traveling with the Tumi ID Lock Passport Case. Available in three colors, the case is made with Tumi's signature ballistic nylon and trimmed with leather. This item can be monogrammed and features an ID window with several card slots, in addition to the passport slot. 

Buy the Tumi ID Lock Passport Case at Tumi.com

Tumi Ruma Crossbody

7. Tumi Ruma Crossbody

Versatile and practical yet elevated with gold zippers, the Tumi Ruma Crossbody is constructed with lightweight nylon. Featuring a vertical design, this style is ideal for holding a phone, wallet, passport, and tickets, along with room to spare for small essentials. Perfect for travel, yet ideal for everyday, this handbag is an ideal addition to one's travel wardrobe.

Buy the Tumi Ruma Crossbody at Tumi.com

Slip for beauty sleep Silk Travel Set

8. Slip for beauty sleep Silk Travel Set

Get your beauty sleep on the plane or anywhere you go with the Slip for beauty sleep Silk Travel Set. This gift set includes a travel pillow with a luxurious slipsilk pillowcase, as well as a sleep mask with a silk-covered elastic band to keep the mask from messing up your hair. It's a luxe must-have for long haul flights, and available in pink or black. 

Buy the Slip for beauty sleep Silk Travel Set

Little Passports

9. Little Passports

Designed for curious kids, Little Passports is an award-winning subscription service. Created to inspire children to learn about the world, monthly subscriptions are available for a variety of ages and themes including the Early Explorers for ages 3 to 5, World Edition for ages 6 to 10, USA Edition for ages 7 to 12, and the Science Expeditions for ages 9 and older. 

Buy a Little Passports subscription at Littlepassports.com

Easy Tiger US Map Wall Decor

10. Easy Tiger US Map Wall Decor

Pin your adventures! This cork map is ideal for plotting the next journey, providing an interactive way for families to travel plan, or just showcasing mementos from your trips. Made in the USA, this wall map wipes clean and measures 24"x18".

Buy the Easy Tiger US Map Wall Decor at Bloomingdales.com

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase, Five Star Alliance may earn a commission. 


| By: Rachael Weir

Destination Spotlight: Santorini

Destination Spotlight: Santorini

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

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

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

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

 

5. Grace Santorini

Villa view at Grace Santorini

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

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

Check availability at Grace Santorini

4. Canaves Oia Epitome

Canaves Oia Epitome

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

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

Check availability at Canaves Oia Epitome

3. Mystique Santorini

Terrace Dining at Mystique Santorini

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

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

Check availability at Mystique Santorini

2. Katikies The Hotel

Dining at Katikies The Hotel

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

Check availability at Katikies The Hotel

1. Canaves Oia Hotel

Canaves Oia Hotel

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

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

Check availability at the Canaves Oia Hotel

Explore more Santorini Luxury Hotels


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