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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

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. 

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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. 

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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.  

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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). 

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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. 

Explore more Ischia/Amalfi Coast Hotels

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

Featuring Philippe Starck-designed bathtubs-with-a-view, the three Yaku Suites at Mashpi Lodge provide intimate luxury in the heart of a rainforest. Situated in the eco lodge's northwestern end on the first floor, these unique suites are named for the Kicha word meaning water. Sustainably furnished in modern style, the spacious suites have 495 square feet of space, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into the rainforest, king-size beds, reusable water flasks, fresh & filtered water, safes, and WiFi. The luxe bathrooms have soaking tubs with tropical foliage views, twin washbasins, bathrobes, and slippers. Continue reading about the resort below the Yaku Suite photo.

Mashpi Lodge

In the midst of a rainforest with waterfalls, Mashpi Lodge is an eco-focused retreat set within a nature reserve. Situated at 900 meters (3,116 feet) above sea level, the resort is located between lower montane forests and cloud forests, making it a haven for 500 species of birds, monkeys, and pumas. There's a two-story dining room serving chef-prepared Ecuadorian cuisine, and a bar with natural energy drinks and house cocktails, as well as Chilean and Argentinean vintages. Read more below the photo.

Dining at Mashpi Lodge

In addition to the luxurious accommodations and dining options at the all-inclusive property, lodge guests have access to a wide array of exploration programs including Sky Biking through the rainforests on two-person bicycles suspended above the forest canopy via cables, hiking along the Capuchin Monkey Trail, visiting the Torrenteer Lagoon, or going to the observation tower. 

Check availability at Mashpi Lodge


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated in the Cayo District of Belize, the Ka'ana Boutique Resort is located near the area's major tourist attractions. Ideal for adventure seekers, the property's tour specialists can arrange a variety of personalized experiences including visits to what was once the center of the Mayan Empire, helicopter tours, cave tubing, ziplining, Crystal Cave tours, horseback riding, and bird watching. For relaxation there's Mayan cooking classes, ceramic making in San Antonio, and private picnics at Big Rock Falls. Read more below the photo. 

Balam Suite at Ka'ana Boutique Resort

Focused on offering seasonal and local cuisine, Ka'ana Boutique Resort offers La Ceiba Restaurant. Inspired by the array of farms surrounding the property, the full-service restaurant has a chef-driven menu with international and local cuisine that incorporates produce from the property's on-site organic garden, as well as an extensive wine cellar and farmhouse design. Read about a special Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Dining at La Ceiba within the Ka'ana Boutique Resort

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations through Five Star Alliance receive full breakfast daily at La Ceiba Restaurant, $100 resort credit, bottle of sparkling wine at arrival, wine cellar orientation, and welcome drink. Plus, VIP status with a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out, based on availability at the time of check-in. 

Check rates and availability at Ka'ana Boutique Resort


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated in Argentina's lake district, Llao Llao Hotel and Resort is a luxury mountain lodge with grand stone fireplaces, exposed cyrpress walls, and views of Andean peaks. Providing travelers with a true Patagonian experience while in the midst of a full-service luxury resort, guests can partake in a variety of active excursions including extreme mountain biking, skiing, condor sightings, 4x4 driving on the Patagonian steppes, rafting, and rappelling. Continue reading more below the photo.

Llao Llao Hotel and Resort

The hotel has two wings: Ala Bustillo Wing with rooms, suites, and studios that opened in 1940, and the Lago Moreno Wing a mix of classic and modern designed deluxe studios and suites. In the Moreno Wing, the suites offer large windows, and the Deluxe Moreno Lake Suite has a unique bathroom with a double jacuzzi and expansive window providing a panoramic view. There's also a log fireplace and terraced balcony in the 678-square-foot suite. Read more below the photo of the Deluxe Moreno Lake Suite. 

Deluxe Moreno Lake Suite Bathroom

In addition to the hotel's exclusive setting and outdoor activities, the property offers a pampering spa with a variety of treatments, Kids & Teens Spa for guests 3 to 12 years of age, and a Health Club with a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, stength training, and relaxation room. There's also a kids' club with supervised activities, and a hospitality lounge for skiiers during the winter season. For dining, Los Cesares Grill & Pasta serves a variety of grilled meats, fish, and homemade pastas. While the Patagonia Coffee Shop offers a relaxed setting, and the Lobby Bar is a lodge-style destination for evening cocktails. Read more below the Lobby Bar photo.

Lobby Bar at Llao Llao Hotel and Resort

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a $100 USD spa credit, welcome chocolate amenity, and subject to availability, an early check-in or late check-out. 

Check availability at Llao Llao Hotel and Resort


| 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. 

Explore more New Orleans Hotels

 

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

No tricks here, just Travel Treats! This Halloween we've gathered some of the top perks offers for Five Star Alliance guests around the globe. No need for anything scary here, just fabulous deals waiting for you. 

1. Taj Dubai

Taj Dubai

Soaring 35 stories over downtown, this opulent retreat features the Jiva Spa, luxe outdoor pool, stylish dining options, traditional Afternoon Tea, and creative activities for children.

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive daily breakfast for two at Tesoro, $100 Food and Beverage Credit per room, per stay. Plus, complimentary WiFi, and based on availability at check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check availability at Taj Dubai

2. Oceana Beach Club Hotel

Oceana Beach Club Hotel

Overlooking Pacific Palisades, this Southern California hotel offers wellness activities, locally sourced regional cuisine, and an outdoor pool with a fireplace. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive daily full American breakfast for two at Tower 8, in-room welcome amenity, and a welcome prosecco upon arrival. Also, subject to availability a room category upgrade, early check-in, or late check-out. 

Check availability at Oceana Beach Club Hotel

3. Nolinski Paris

Nolinski Paris

Set within a Haussmann building, this Parisian hotel is steps from the Comedie Francaise and the Palais Royal gardens with a spa, Grand Salon, and residential-style accommodations. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome pastry or appetizer, smartphone with unlimited international phone calls and internet to use during their stay, and guests staying between October 30, 2017 and February 25, 2018 receive a $100 spa credit per stay. 

Check availability at Nolinski Paris

4. Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Infused with genuine Inca culture and a location at the foot of Machu Picchu, this hotel offers Peruvian Cooking & Bar Classes, Andean Weddings, and ecological excursions. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a 50-minute massage for up to two people, and based on availability, an upgrade on arrival and early check-in/late check-out. 

Check availability at Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

5. Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

In the heart of Tuscany's Brunello winemaking region, the majestic estate with an 800-year history offers a Gothic chapel, 12th century castle fortress, and focus on wine. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive $100 USD resort credit (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full),  welcome amenity, and in-villa dinner delivered on arrival day. Also, based on availability at check-in/departure: room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check availability at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Looking for more exclusive offers? Explore all Five Star Alliance Perks


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated in southern Costa Rica, Hacienda AltaGracia, an Auberge Resort features a boutique hotel setting perched atop the lush Perez Zeledon mountains. Surrounded by nature, accommodations are set within 50 haciendas and casitas, each with panoramic terraces, luxury linens, iPads, docking stations, Apple TVs, wifi, espresso machines, and designer bathrooms. While dining choices include fresh, seasonal options at Ambar with farm-to-table fusion cuisine, El Bistro with casual snacks, pastries, and coffee drinks, plus La Cantina with cocktails, snacks, and billiard games. Continue reading below the resort photo.

Hacienda AltaGracia

For relaxation, the spa offers signature treatments like the Classic Auberge Massage, as well as Coconut Hand and Reflexology. There's also Water Suites with hydrotherapy tubs, vichy showers, and private sun gardens. The Forest Stretching Ritual is a holistic treatment combining Thai massage and functional stretching. Plus, guests can partake in fitness classes with expert instructors, including bootcamps and yoga. Read more below the spa photo.

The Spa at Hacienda AltaGracia

The resort also offers a variety of complimentary activities including meditation sessions, guided hikes, horse feedings, scrub making classes, and tropical fruit tastings. Plus, guests can schedule unique experiences to local farms, or visit local tribes to learn about tribal lifestyles and culture for an additional fee. Learn more about a special perks offer for Five Star Alliance guests below the photo.

Dining at Hacienda AltaGracia

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a $100 USD Resort Credit, welcome fruit basket, 10% off spa treatments at Auberge Spa, and based on availability at check-in, a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check rates and availability at Hacienda AltaGracia


| By: Five Star Alliance

Escape to Hacienda AltaGracia

We have exciting news to share! Thank you to everyone who entered the Escape to Hacienda AltaGracia. All the details are finalized, and we are excited to announce we officially have a winner.

Congratulations to Kim D. of Virginia!

Courtesy of Hacienda AltaGracia, Kim and a guest will receive a 5-night stay at the resort, along with breakfast, guided horseback rides, Auberge Classic Massages, and Life on the Farm Experience. Continue reading below the photo. 

Hacienda AltaGracia Exterior View

Resort Amenities include:

- Multiple dining outlets, in-room dining service, and private dining for families, groups and couples
- Pool and sundeck
- Full service spa with indoor and outdoor treatment areas
- Fitness center and outdoor ranchos/palapas for activities and treatments
- Billiards & Games room
- Concierge services and specially curated experiences and adventures, including shopping
- Complimentary WiFi and Apple TV
- Private air transfers and transportation services
- Ultralight Flight Tours

Complimentary activities include: guided forest hike, mountain biking, garden walk, meditation, equestrian care, DIY exfoliating scrub, and tropical fruit tastings.

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests that book through Five Star Alliance receive a $100 USD resort credit, welcome fruit basket, 10% off spa treatments at Auberge Spa, and VIP Status. 

Congratulations Kim D.!

For all of those who didn't win, keep an eye out for future giveaways on our Facebook and Twitter pages, or sign up for our newsletters


| By: Rachael Weir

As part of the resort's 10 year anniversary celebration, the Ka'ana Boutique Resort in Belize has a special Summer Respite Offer:

-- Book a three night stay at Ka'ana before August 31, get the fourth night free.

In addition, guests will receive a private mixology class learning to mix traditional libations with Belizian flair. For stays of three nights or more prior to September 21st, guests also receive a bottle of champagne and a complimentary upgrade (based on availability). Read more below the photo. 

Ka'ana Boutique Resort Belize

The Ka'ana Boutique Resort is located near the Cayo District in Western Belize. Set amidst Mayan civilizations and natural wonders, the property provides a bespoke setting with curated experiences designed to provide guests with an adventurous mix of authentic Belize culture and style. There are luxurious suites or one- and two-bedroom villas with private pools, plus La Ceiba Restaurant with authentic Belizean Cuisine, Wallace Bar & Lounge with handcrafted drinks by experienced mixologists, a 1,000 bottle wine cellar, and a 2-acre organic garden where 80% of the property's produce is sourced. The boutique hotel will arrange candlelit dinners and customized picnics for one-of-a-kind customized experiences, and adventure options include cave tubing, helicopter tours, horseback rides to Xunantunich Maya Ruins, and Yaxha sunset tours. Read more below the photo for a special perk.

Ka'ana Boutique Hotel Belize

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests that book through Five Star Alliance receive complimentary breakfast daily at La Ceiba Restaurant (room service also available), a $100 resort credit, one bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival, wine cellar orientation, and a welcome drink. As well as VIP status and a room upgrade, early check-in, or late check-out based on availability. 

Check rates at Ka'ana Boutique Resort 

 


| By: Five Star Alliance

Escape to Hacienda AltaGracia

Ready for a one-of-a-kind getaway? Enter to win our Escape to Hacienda AltaGracia, an Auberge Resort, and enjoy a relaxing five night stay in a Master Casita, plus daily breakfast, a guided horseback ride, a unique Life on the Farm Experience at a locally-owned family farm, and a relaxing Classic Auberge Massage that can be customized for individual needs. Plus, exclusive amenities and activities in Costa Rica's Southern Region.  

Prize includes: 
- 5-night stay for two people in a Master Casita at Hacienda AltaGracia, an Auberge Resort. 
- Daily breakfast for two at Ambar Terrace.
- 90-minute Horseback Ride for two. 
- Life on the Farm Experience for two. 
- 60-minute Classic Auberge Massage for two. 
- Valid for two people sharing until August 1, 2018. Subject to availability at time of booking. Black out dates apply. Not combinable with other offers. Excludes: alcohol and gratuities, additional restrictions may apply.

Click here to to sign up for our newsletter between now and Friday, July 28, 2017 to be entered to win.

Hacienda AltaGracia Spa, Dining, and Outdoor Pool

The Hacienda AltaGracia, an Auberge Resort is situated in southern Costa Rica, atop the lush mountains of Perez Zeledon. The property offers 50 estate-sized suites and casitas, each designed to allow guests to enjoy the green surroundings with luxurious furnishings and comforts, including leather and wood accents. Regional cuisine is crafted with local ingredients by an award-winning master chef, there's a spa with 6 indoor treatment rooms, and an outdoor pool with panoramic views of the valley. Within the resort's Casa Grande, guests can enjoy private movie screenings or read by the fireplace at La Biblioteca. The property's equestrian facility has 28 over-sized indoor stables, private tours, and instructors offering unique riding experiences. Plus, there's a variety of exclusive activities available for guests.

Check rates and availability at Hacienda AltaGracia, an Auberge Resort


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