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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 2020! It's the start of a new year and a new decade. Where will you go this year? This decade? If you're like us, your list is long. We've put together our top 20 picks for this year. From the Mayflower 400th Anniversary Celebrations in England and Massachusetts, to the Olympics in Tokyo, we've gathered some of the world's most exciting events and happenings, along with luxury hotel suggestions in each locale. 

Happy Travels!

20. Manchester, England

20 Places To Go In 2020 ManchesterOne of Europe's fastest growing cities, Manchester is a popular base for digital and media companies. Blending history and design, the city is experiencing a growth in new development, including the Cultureplex, a railway goods house transformed into a restaurant, bar, and cafe. The revolving program of film, performing arts, and visual arts provides a constant array of entertainment options, and epicurians flock to the city to dine at Mana, the city's first Michelin Star recipient with a Nordic-influenced menu.

A few luxury hotel options ideal for exploring Manchester include The Lowry Hotel, Macdonald Manchester Hotel, and the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Manchester Piccadilly.

Explore Manchester Luxury Hotels

19. The Big Island, Hawaii

20 Places To Go In 2020 Big Island Hawaii

Following the 2018 volcanic activity on Hawaii's Big Island, the five-month eruption has stopped, and the blue skies have returned. The Halemaumau crater is now three times as wide and four times as deep as it was prior to the 2018 eruption, and a freshwater lake has started to form on the crater's floor. The Thurston Lava Tube is expected to reopen in early 2020 with a redesigned parking area, and roads outside of the park have recently reopened. In November, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. There are multiple hotels on the island offering exclusive Perks, including the all-new Mauna Lani luxury resort, which will debut in January 2020 with a new era of experiential luxury. As well as the beachfront Fairmont Orchid Hawaii and the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

Explore Big Island Luxury Hotels

18. Vienna, Austria

20 Places To Go In 2020 Vienna

There's much to explore in this Germanic destination with cutting-edge art museums and music halls. The Musikverein concert hall will celebrate its 150th anniversary and events will be held throughout the city celebrating Beethoven's 250th birthday. While the classic city is known for its Baroque architecture and classical music venues, the contemporary art venue was transformed into the Belvedere 21, the Freud Museum will reopen in May following a major renovation with nearly 40,000 adds to its library, and the Belvedere Palaces with an extensive classical art collection have been completely renovated.

Luxury hotels in Vienna offer historic charm blended with contemporary amenities, such as the Hotel Sacher Wien, The Ring, and Park Hyatt Vienna, all with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. 

Explore Vienna Luxury Hotels

17. Cape Town, South Africa

20 Places To Go In 2020 Cape Town

Beginning this year, United Airlines will offer non-stop service from Newark to Cape Town, saving travelers up to eight hours of travel time from the United States. In addition to new air routes into the Mother City, there's a constantly evolving art scene, and the nearby Winelands offer plenty of vineyards to explore for wine enthusiasts. 

Cape Town is also home to an array of luxury hotels offering exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks including the One&Only Cape Town, Belmond Mount Nelson, and Taj Cape Town

Explore Cape Town Luxury Hotels

16. Buenos Aires, Argentina

20 Places To Go In 2020 Buenos Aires

Currently, travelers can stretch their travel dollars in the land of tango, beef, and Malbec, due to the devaluation of the Argentinian peso. The city is in the midst of a gentrification process with areas like the Old Market expanding with wine bars, cafes, and patisseries, and the Plaza Dorrego neighborhood is bustling with newness. There's a variety of luxury hotels within this South American city, many with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks including The Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, Alvear Palace Hotel, and the Sofitel Buenos Aires Recoleta Hotel

Explore Buenos Aires Luxury Hotels

15. Edinburgh, Scotland

20 Places To Go In 2020 Edinburgh

Scotland's capital city serves up plenty of history, a multitude of festivals, and the famous Edinburgh Castle. But this year the city is debuting several new attractions including the three-story Johnnie Walker Experience, which will feature a museum, event space, and whiskey shop. The city's ever-expanding selection of luxury hotels provide unique lodging options occupying historic buildings such as the Kimpton Charlotte Square within seven Georgian townhouses, the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Calendonian Victorian Railway hotel, and the Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel with its landmark clocktower. 

Explore Edinburgh Luxury Hotels

14. Kyoto, Japan

20 Places To Go In 2020 Kyoto

While Tokyo is hosting the Olympics, Kyoto is another trending destination within Japan. The city's imperial history is evident throughout, providing travelers with a glimpse into the past. There are temples, gardens, and tea houses for an authentic feel, along with museum expansions at the Fukuda Art Museum and the Kyocera Museum of Art.

Kyoto has a variety of luxury hotel options with exclusive Perks ranging from the countryside Suiran within the grounds of the Tenryuji Temple to the contemporary Hyatt Regency Kyoto and the riverside The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Explore Kyoto Luxury Hotels

13. Maine

20 Places To Go In 2020 Maine

2020 marks 200 years of statehood for the state of Maine. In honor of the Bicentennial year, the state is hosting a year of special events. To experience coastal life, the Cliff House Maine has an oceanfront location where travelers can enjoy the waves hitting the rocky coast from the comfort of their room, plus exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. For a private cottage, Hidden Pond offers a charming setting with access to the Tides Beach Club situated two miles away at Goose Rocks Beach. While the White Barn Inn offers rustic luxury with the hotel's restaurant occupying two restored barns from the 1860s. 

Explore Maine Luxury Hotels

12. Galway, Ireland

20 Places To Go In 2020 Galway

This bohemian city with an arts-focused feel on the west coast of Ireland has long been a destination for creatives. Named a European Capital of Culture for 2020, the city by the sea is home to an array of festivals throughout the year, as well as forward-thinking luxury hotels like The G Hotel and The Galmont Hotel & Spa. For a unique and completely Irish experience, the nearby Ashford Castle is about a 30-minute drive from Galway City with creative cuisine, spa, and exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. 

Explore Galway Luxury Hotels

11. Macau

20 Places To Go In 2020 Macau

On December 20, Macau will celebrating its 20th anniversary as a Special Administrative Region of China. Macau is an international destination mixing Asian and European cultures, providing travelers with luxe hotels such as the Four Seasons Hotel Macao Cotai Strip, Wynn Macao, and the Banyan Tree Macau. In addition to fine hotels, Macau offers travelers an array of world-class dining options, casinos, and cultural experiences. 

Explore Macau Luxury Hotels 

10. Tel Aviv, Israel

20 Places To Go In 2020 Tel Aviv

Experience a destination where modern living merges with ancient history. In 2020, the Ben-Gurion Airport will expand to accommodate additional aircraft. Tel Aviv's White City Zone is a UNESCO-designated site and home to over 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings, the largest collection of its kind in the world. The area will take center stage this year, as Tel Aviv commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Bauhaus architecture movement. The beach city along Israel's Mediterranean coast offers an array of luxury hotels including three with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks: The Setai with a seafront location, beachfront Dan Tel Aviv Hotel, and the InterContinental David Tel Aviv

Explore Tel Aviv Luxury Hotels

9. Vancouver Island, Canada

20 Places To Go In 2020 Vancouver Island

From the capital city of Victoria on the harborfront to the surf town of Tofino, Vancouver Island offers land and sea experiences along with local cuisine. Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress is a classic institution. Travelers can experience Native traditions as the island is home to 50 First Nations communities, or book a cycling tour in Ucluelet. Spring is an ideal time to visit the island, with the West Coast Trail opening for hiking season May 1. Watch for whales from Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sook, or dine at the Pointe Restaurant offering ocean views at the Wickaninnish Inn. Located about 70 miles west of Vancouver, the island is reachable via ferry or flight into Victoria's International Airport. 

Explore Victoria Luxury Hotels

8. Doha, Qatar

20 Places To Go In 2020 Doha

In preparation for hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup, Doha introduced a brand-new underground railway system, and the city is expanding its arts and culture scene with the opening of new museums including the National Museum of Qatar. Getting from the airport to the palm-lined Corniche is more convenient than ever with the new transportation system, Old Doha provides a historic feel, and Souq Waqif is a must-see open-air street market. Choose from an array of luxury hotels in the city including the InterContinental Doha, JW Marriott Marquis City Center, and The St. Regis Doha

Explore Doha Luxury Hotels

7. Melbourne, Australia

20 Places To Go In 2020 Melbourne

Providing a European feel in the land of Oz, Melbourne is a cosmopolitan city known for its street art, constantly changing landscape, and live music. There's a strong coffee culture throughout the city, and it is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria. Ideal for foodies, coffee lovers, and art enthusiasts, Melbourne is considered the Culture Capital of Australia. Cobbled laneways in the city center have coffee shops, cafes, and one-of-a-kind boutiques ideal for exploring, while the Queen Victoria Markets is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.

The city will be hosting a number of major events throughout the year, including the Australian Open January 20 - February 2, the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 will February 21 - March 8, and the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 will be October 18 - November 15.

Melbourne is home to an array of five star hotels, including several with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks such as The Langham Melbourne, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, and Park Hyatt Melbourne

Explore Melbourne Luxury Hotels

6. Nashville, Tennessee

20 Places To Go In 2020 Nashville

While this trend-setting destination has been popular for the past few years, Nashville is continuing to grow, adding new draws to the city beyond country music. In the summer of 2020, the National Museum of African American Music will open along Broadway, right in the heart of downtown. The museum will feature five interactive galleries showcasing the 50 genres of African American Music. Plus, the city is constantly expanding its hotel selection with new additions like the JW Marriott Nashville, Thompson Nashville in the growing neighborhood of "The Gulch", and the newly-renovated Hutton Hotel with writer's rooms and a 5,000-square-foot live music venue.

Explore Nashville Luxury Hotels

5. Dominica

20 Places To Go In 2020 Dominica

Paradise for outdoorsy travelers, Dominica is a 290-square-mile teardrop-shaped island with the world's second-largest hot spring, plus 300 miles of hiking trails, 365 rivers, and a dozen waterfalls. The recently opened Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski is a luxury five star resort with a spa designed to create a greater connection to nature and the island's ecosystem. The massive Spa at Kempinski Dominica offers mud baths sourced from the island's ten volcanoes, and a water temple surrounded by rainforest trees. There's also four restaurants and bars each with a local-focused approach, four hot and cold water pools, tennis courts, and easy access to the island's eco-tourism opportunities. Plus, exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. 

Book a stay at Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski

4. Porto, Portugal

20 Places To Go In 2020 Porto Portugal

Ideal for wine lovers and foodies, Porto offers idyllic weather along with great food and wine. As the home of Port wine (and the city's namesake), Porto is perfect as a starting point for exploring historic Port Wine houses and the vineyards of Douro Valley. Offering travelers a good value for their monty the city center of Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an easy trip from Lisbon.  

The city is also home to several luxury hotels including several with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks: The Yeatman, InterContinental Porto Palacio Das Cardosas, and Infante Sagres

Explore Porto Luxury Hotels

3. Plymouth, England & Plymouth, Massachusetts

20 Places To Go In 2020 Plymouth

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts. In celebration, both cities are hosting an array of events to commemorate the pioneering voyage and the group of travelers that would go on to have more than 30 million United States descendents. In England, the Mayflower 400 celebrations focus on the towns and cities along the national Mayflower Trail. While the Plymouth 400 events in the United States will be centered in the town of Plymouth, located 40 miles south of downtown Boston. 

Interested in partaking in these commemorative events? In England, travelers could consider basing themselves in London and taking daytrips via train to various towns on the Mayflower Trail. An additional option would be the Lime Wood in Lyndhurst, a Regency country house hotel located a short drive from Southampton, a key destination on the Mayflower Trail. For participaing in events near and around Plymouth, Massachusetts, we recommend a luxury hotel in Boston such as the Fairmont Copley Plaza or Fifteen Beacon

2. Dubai, UAE

20 Places To Go In 2020 Dubai

Beginning in October 2020, Dubai is hosting the World Expo. Lasting for 6 months, the city has designed the metropolis of the future with 130 buildings connected via smart technology. Later this year the Museum of the Future designed by a computer algorithm and the Aladdin City will also open.

For accommodations in this world-class city in the desert we have three key recommendations, each with exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks: One&Only Royal Mirage, Taj Dubai, and Burj Al Arab

Explore Dubai Luxury Hotels

1. Tokyo, Japan

20 Places To Go In 2020 Tokyo

Hosting the XXXII Olympic Summer Games, Jul 24 - Aug 9, Tokyo is a business and cultural megacenter. Known for extreme attention to detail, the cutting-edge destination is home to world-class art galleries and museums, as well nightlife. With 234 Michelin-starred restaurants (the most of any city in the world), Japan's capital city is an ideal destination for foodies.

The Aman Tokyo offers an urban sanctuary setting on the top six floors of the recently-built Otemachi Tower, plus exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks including daily breakfast. For a landmark stay, The Peninsula Tokyo is an iconic destination in the prestigious Marunouchi financial district with sophisticated facilities including a wedding chapel, indoor pool, outdoor pool with views of the Imperial Palace Gardens, and exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks. While the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is located directly above Shibuya Station with a modern design, entertainment venues, and perks for Five Star Alliance guests.

Explore Tokyo Luxury Hotels


| 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. 

Explore more Florence Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Vienna Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Buenos Aires Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Minneapolis Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Los Cabos Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Mauritius Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Malta Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Oslo Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Sevilla Hotels

 

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. 

Explore Iguaza Falls Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Bangkok Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Salzburg Hotels

 

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. 

Explore more Melbourne Hotels


| 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


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated in the town of Aguas Calientes, Sumaq Machu Picchu offers a luxurious setting for exploring the flavors of southern Peru, Incan culture, and the sacred site. For an in-depth visit, the hotel's Mystical Tour in Machu Picchu offers a unique experience for guests visiting the historical sanctuary. Guided by an authentic shaman from the Sacred Valley of the Incas, participants will gain an insider's perspective of the energy sources, mystery, and magical connections within the site, Pachamama, Mother Earth, and sacred temples. 

The 8 hour tour includes entrance tickets to the citadel, round trip bus transfers, a boxed lunch, private tour guide, cleansing session, and Pachamama Mystical Kit. Read more below.

Exterior of Sumaq Machu Picchu

In addition to the Mystical Tour, the property offers an array of activities for guests including Andean marriage ceremonies, payment to earth rituals, and Mandor hikes. For culinary enthusiasts, guests can partake in cooking classes, traditional Pachamanca Sumaq experiences, and romantic Peruvian dinners. Read more below the photo.

Dining at Sumaq Machu Picchu

Recently renovated, Sumaq Machu Picchu is surrounded by the majestic bio-diversity of Machu Picchu Archaeologcal Park with valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and ancient ruins. Committed to sustainability, the hotel's mission is to protect the local environment and indigenouse culture. Focused on service with a warm and friendly atmosphere, the property offers a luxuriou setting for exploring the historic region. Continue reading below for a special Five Star Alliance Perk.

Guest Suite at Sumaq Machu Picchu

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance get a complimentary 50-minute massage for up to two people, per room, once during the stay. Plus, based on availability, a room upgrade, early check-in, or late check-out.

Check rates and availability at Sumaq Machu Picchu


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