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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.

Ready for a beach retreat? For a limited time, the Monarch Beach Resort is offering a special promotion. Book two nights at the Best Available Rate, and receive the Third Night Free! The special offer requires a Three Night Minimum Stay, and cannot be combined with other offers or promotions, blackout dates apply. Read more about the resort below the photo. 

Guest bath at Monarch Beach Resort

The Monarch Beach Resort epitomizes the California Coastal lifestyle. Set along Salt Creek Beach, about five miles north of San Juan Capistrano, the resort is located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Featuring redesigned rooms by Rodrigo Vargas Design, a Miraval Life in Balance Spa, and private beachfront dining at Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern, the  family-friendly luxury resort has an expansive pool complex. Read more below the photo.

Swimming pool complex at the Monarch Beach Resort

For recreation, the Monarch Beach Golf Links is a Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed 18-hole golf course. Featuring traditional Scottish-inspired style, the beachfront course has a golf shop, lessons, and the Club 19 restaurant on the first tee. There's also a private beach club with surf lessons led by the resort's Surf Host, paddle boarding, bonfires, and trail hikes.

Check availability at Monarch Beach Resort

I recently had the opportunity to spend two nights at The Allison Inn & Spa. Walking into the peaceful retreat makes it easy to see why the property is referred to as "The living room of the Willamette Valley". After a short drive from downtown Portland (just under an hour) and a lovely meandering drive amidst vineyards to reach the hotel, arriving at The Inn was like arriving at a soothing sanctuary. There were nature-inspired sculptures next to the entrances, greeters that swiftly opened the doors, and a friendly front desk staff. Continue reading below the photos.

Exterior of The Allison Inn & Spa

Stairwell at The Allison Inn & Spa

After a quick and easy check-in, I went to my room on the second floor. Furnished with a soothing color palette, the spacious room had a table near the entry with a plate of sweet bites waiting to be enjoyed, a gas fireplace, window seats with vineyard views, and a plush king bed. There was a minifridge stocked with glass bottles of filtered water, and a basket of Oregon snacks (including chocolate covered hazelnuts) to discover. Read more below the room photos. 

Guest room at The Allison Inn & Spa

Guestroom at The Allison Inn & Spa

But perhaps one of the most unique amenities of the room was the large bathroom with a walk-in shower and a large soaking tub complete with bath salts and a pillow, as well as a sliding door that opened to look out at the room and the windows with relaxing views. Read more below the bathtub photo.

Spa tub at The Allison Inn & Spa

Within my room there was also an outdoor patio with a charming sitting area perfect for enjoying morning coffee or a glass of local wine. Read more below the photo.

Patio at The Allison Inn & Spa

Offering an idyllic setting close to hundreds of Willamette Valley vineyards and tasting rooms, The Allison Inn & Spa provides a wine-infused setting at every turn. In the Spa, guests can select from a variety of treatments that incorporate the area's grapes and wines, as well as a pedicure salon, spa boutique, and separate men's and women's locker rooms with lounges, steam rooms, and saunas. Read more below the photo of the pedicure salon.

Pedicure Salon at The Spa at The Allison Inn & Spa

On the same floor as the spa, guests will find a large fitness room with cardio machines and strength training equipment, as well as an indoor pool surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows that open during warmer months. (Editor's note: I was there during the late fall, but with the large windows and the skylights, the pool had an airy, outdoor feel). Continue reading below the photo.

Pool at The Allison Inn & Spa

For dining, the award-winning Jory has large windows looking out to the vineyards and surrounding area, along with an open-kitchen where guests can watch the food preparation. The seasonal menu changes to incorporate locally sourced ingredients,and an extensive wine list that includes Austin Knoll wines, created from The Allison Inn's own vineyards. Read more below the photo of Jory.

Jory at The Allison Inn & Spa

Throughout the property, guests can explore the hotel's extensive art collection that includes 500 original works of art created by 100 Oregon artists. Within each of the hotel's 85 guest rooms there are least three original works of art. While one of the most unique pieces can be found by the pool, "Slackwater Terroir" by Oregon Professor Jay Noller features four types of soil: Jory, Nekia, Woodburn, and Amity, sourced directly from the property's soil during construction. Continue reading below the photo of "Slackwater Terroir".

Slackwater Terroir at The Allison Inn & Spa

In addition to the indoor spaces, there are beautiful pathways to meander around the property, as well as gardens with lounge chairs, and specially selected sculptures (including some that are for sale) around The Inn. Read more below the photo.

Exterior of The Allison Inn & Spa

After dining multiple times at Jory, relaxing in my room with the window seat, fireplace, and soaking tub, swimming in the pool, and unwinding at the spa, there is only one thing I would change...two nights wasn't long enough at the Inn or in the Willamette Valley. 

Check availability at The Allison Inn & Spa

Perched along the Pacific Ocean, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel offers a casual, yet elegant setting in Laguna Beach. Most of the luxury resort's guest rooms and suites have ocean views and private patios or balconies, while first floor rooms have sea views and fire pits. There's also 42-inch flat-screen TVs, as well as DVD players, coffeemakers, and full marble bathrooms with double sinks. Plus, there's The Ritz-Carlton Club Level with exclusive amenities. Continue reading below the photo.

Fire pit at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

The property offers an array of amenities for guests, including an oceanfront fitness center with cardio machines and strength training equipment, as well as two outdoor swimming pools and whirlpools. There's an Eco Adventure Center, wellness clases including Yoga and Pilates, two tennis courts, children's playground, and lawn areas with Adirondack chairs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Read more below the photo.

Pool at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

The Ritz-Carlton Spa has 12 luxurious treatment rooms, as well as a Salon & Spa Boutique. Continue reading below the spa photo.

Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

For dining, there are two restaurants, including Raya with signature Latin dishes prepared with locally-sourced produce, sustainable seafood, and organic meats. enoSTEAK features a modern steakhouse setting with wood-paneled walls and a showcase wine cabinet in the center of the restaurant. For casual dining with ocean views, 180Blu has a lounge style setting, and the Dana Pool Cafe has poolside food and beverages. 

Check availability at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel


Situated in the seaside town of La Jolla, the Grande Colonial Hotel was originally built as the Colonial Apartments and Hotel in 1913. Designed by celebrated architect Richard Requa, the property was the talk of the town. Today, the luxury hotel offers a chic coastal setting overlooking the Pacific Coast. Completely modernized, the property maintains architectural details from its storied past. Read more below the photo.

Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

Featuring windows that open to let in Pacific breezes, the boutique hotel's guest rooms and suites feature a coastal-inspired color palette, Keurig coffeemakers, Serta pillowtop mattresses, and goose down comforters. Continue reading below the photo.

One Bedroom Suite at the Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

Completely renovated in 2017, the NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar specializes in evolving California Cuisine with an emphasis on certified farm-to-table cuisine, as well as an extensive Wine Spectator cellar. Plus, there's an outdoor terrace with ocean views and al fresco dining. 

Check rates and availability at Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla

NINE-TEN Restaurant & Bar

Featured Journeys: Europe Christmas Markets

The holiday season is drawing near and the European Christmas Markets are about to open for the season. While Germany is traditionally known for the markets, there's also time-honored markets in France, Switzerland, and Austria. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're featuring three European cities: Strasbourg, Stuttgart, and Salzburg, which can easily be visited as part of a multi-destination European vacation, or choose one for a festive holiday-themed getaway. From traditional decor to handcrafted toys, as well as live Nativity scenes, choir concerts, ice skating, European Christmas Markets provide a one-of-a-kind setting for sipping mulled wine, enjoying gingerbread, and enjoying the local traditions of the season. 




Nestled in the Alsace region along the border of France and Germany, the first Christmas Markets in Strasbourg began in 1570. Referred to as the Capital of Christmas, Strasbourg's markets are considered to be the best in France. Open daily from November 24 to December 30, 2017, visitors to the city can visit multiple markets, including the original which is located in the heart of the city's Grand Ile quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll amidst more than 300 chalets offering local arts and crafts, sip hot wine from boot shaped mugs, and try Flammekeuche - a thin pizza with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon. While at the markets, visitors can watch Nativity plays, listen to carolers, and look for the city's mascot--stuffed white storks in Le Petite France set along a canal in the city center. 

Chateau de l'Ile

Chateau de l'Ile at night

Situated within a historic 19th century castle, Chateau de l'Ile offers 62 guest rooms and suites inspired by the 19th century bourgeois houses. There's traditional Alsatian dining in the Winstub, a spa with an indoor pool, fitness room, whirlpool, and hammam, as well as bicyles, ping-pong, billiards, and the Heydt bar

Check rates and availability at Chateau de l'Ile


Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

Situated in the medieval quarter, Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile offers a recently renovated contemporary setting close to the Cathedral, Opera, and Petite France District. The Terroir & Co. Restaurant serves chef-prepared modern cuisine, there's a compact vineyard on-site, as well as a wine cellar with fine Alsatian wines.

Check rates and availability at Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

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Set amidst historic city squares, the sprawling Stuttgart Christmas Market dates back to the 17th century. Featuring more than 280 stalls set between the Gothic cathedral and the city's ivy-clad castle, visitors can find glass creations, wooden toys, handmade nutcrackers, and sheepskin clothing. The Kinderland has a mini steam railway, carousel, and Ferris wheel for children, while there are daily concerts in the castle's courtyard. Open from November 29 to December 23, 2017, there are illuminations, fir branches, and angels hanging between the city's gabled houses, and the smell of Glühpunsch wine infused with vanilla and cinnamon fills the air. For food, visitors can nibble roasted almonds, graze on sheep sausages, or try sweet favorites like waffles, gingerbread, and fruitcake (known as Hutzelbrot). In addition to the the city's market, the Esslingen Medieval Christmas Market and the Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas Market can be reached via a 15-minute ride on the S-Bahn light rail system. 

Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten

Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten

Surrounded by castle gardens, the Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten offers a city center location close to the Köngistrasse shopping street and the city's cultural mile. There are four restaurants within the hotel, including the Michelin-starred Restaurant Die Zirbelstube, bistro, and an American-style bar. The Weinwirtschaft Franz Keller is bistro and wine shop combined, serving regional cuisine with regional wine tastings. 

Check rates and availability at Althoff Hotel am Schlossgarten


DORMERO Hotel Stuttgart

DORMERO Hotel Stuttgart

Featuring panoramic city views, DORMERO Hotel Stuttgart offers contemporary accommodations in the heart of Stuttgart. Connected to the SI Center entertainment complex, the property offers easy access to musical theaters and the Stuttgart Casino. The Whitelounge offers 360-degree light and sound shows in the evenings, and there's multiple dining options including Tapas Y Vino, The Dubliner, and Red Black Burger. 

Check rates and availability at DORMERO Hotel Stuttgart

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In the midst of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Salzburg Christkindlmarkt is one of the oldest in Europe. Open each year from the Thursday preceding the first Sunday in Advent to December 26, the market is held in the Cathedral Square, under avant-garde glass casings with about 100 traditional huts selling traditional decor, local folk customs, and holiday treats like sweet mulled wine, roasted almonds and chestnuts, locally cured sausages, and Lebkuchen. The nearby Schloss Hellbrun features one of the world's largest Advent calendars and a living Nativity. 

Hotel Sacher Salzburg

Restaurant Zirbelzimmer at Hotel Sacher Salzburg

Built in 1832, Hotel Sacher Salzburg is located along the banks of the river Salzach. Featuring views of the Old Town and the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the property offers historic elegance with fine dining at the Restaurant Zirbelzimmer with traditional cuisine, and guests can enjoy the Original Sacher-Torte with coffee in the Cafe Sacher Salzburg, a classic Austrian coffee house within the hotel. 

Check rates and availability at Hotel Sacher Salzburg


Hotel Goldener Hirsch

Classic room at Hotel Goldener Hirsch

Set along the Getreidegasse Road in the city's Old Town, the Hotel Goldener Hirsch is a historic hotel that originally opened in 1407. Today, the property mixes original antiques and handcrafted furniture with modern amenities and Austrian traditions. The Restaurant Goldener Hirsch and Restaurant s'Herzel both serve Austrian cuisine in historic settings, and the Bar Goldener Hirsch is located within the hotel's original inner courtyard where horses once waited. Today, it is considered one of the best outfitted Bauernstil rooms with arched entrances, white walls, and stags on the walls. 

Check rates and availability at Hotel Goldener Hirsch

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Perched on a hillside along the Pacific Coast, Monarch Beach Resort celebrates the California Coastal lifestyle. From private beachfront dining at Michael Mina's Stonehill Tavern to surf lessons on the beach, the property embodies a SoCal way of life. Fresh off a $40 million transformation, guest rooms and suies feature ocean-inspired furnishings by Rodrigo Vargas Design, and the family-friendly property has a kids club and family pool with splash zones. In addition, the resort offers a variety of signature experiences for all interests. Continue reading more below the resort photo.

Outdoor Pool at the Monarch Beach Resort

Four Signature Experiences at Monarch Beach Resort

1. Miraval "Life in Balance" Spa

Overlooking the ocean with private beach access, the recently opened spa provides an array of treatments, services, and programs focused on health and wellness to reinvigorate the mind, body, and spirit. 

2. Monarch Beach Golf Links

The 18-hole championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., is an award-winning course. Set along the ocean, the 6,600-yard course has the Club 19 Restaurant and Grill, Mindful Golf Programs, and a top-ranked golf boutique. Read more below the photo.

Monarch Beach Resort

3. Miraval Tea

Focused on a healthful experience, the Miraval Tea is a high tea experience that includes chef-created lighter menu items, as well as custom blended teas like the Monarch Beach SoCal Citrus and Prickly Pear Black Tea. In addition, the tea includes spa access and $50 off a spa service. 

4. Surf, Body Board, and Body Surf Classes

Led by the area's top instructors, guests can experience quintessential beach activities by partaking in a class to learn how to surf, body board, or body surf.

Check availability at Monarch Beach Resort

Monarch Beach Resort

Surrounded by natural beauty, Four Seasons Jackson Hole blends rustic adventure with luxury accommodations. Featuring an array of outdoor activities including skiing, biking, hiking, and rafting, the property offers opportunities for relaxation at 11,685-square-foot spa with 16 treatment rooms and two private spa suites. Framed by the Grand Teton Mountain Range, the alpine resort is ideal for viewing an array of wildlife. Continue reading below the photo. 

Four Seasons Jackson Hole

Guests of the resort can choose from a variety of lodging options, including guest rooms, suites, and the ultra-luxe two-to-five bedrrom private residences. Within the private residences there are plush living rooms with gas fireplaces, seating for several people, and double sofa beds. There are solid wood doors with inlaid windows that open to private terraces or balconies furnished with teak tables and chairs, plus dining rooms and full kitchens equipped with dishwashers. Off of the entrances there are washers and dryers, and bathrooms have dual vanities, deep soaking tubs, and glass-enclosed showers. Read more below the photo of the Two-Bedroom Resort Residence - Valley View.

Two-Bedroom Resort Residence - Valley View

Within the resort, there are multiple dining options including The Handle Bar, an American Pub and Beer Hall popular with visitors and locals alike. While the Westbank Grill reflects the area's Western heritage with Teton views, large stone fireplace, open kitchen, and a menu of prime steaks, fine seafood, signature dishes, and an extensive wine list. 

Check availability at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole

Exterior of Four Seasons Jackson Hole

Offering a landmark setting in South Florida, The Biltmore Coral Gables is surrounded by 150 acres of tropical gardens. Home to one of the largest pools on the East Coast of the United States, the historic hotel offers a full-service European Spa, award-winning restaurants, and tennis. Minutes from downtown Miami and Miami Beach, The Biltmore is close to beaches, as well as upscale shopping and dining in downtown Coral Gables. Continue reading below the photo for 5 Reasons to Stay at The Biltmore Coral Gables, as well as special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. 

Outdoor Pool at The Biltmore Coral Gables

1. Biltmore Golf

Designed by Donald Ross in 1925, the Biltmore Golf Course is a 6,800-yard, 18-hole, par-71, championship course. Offering membership options, guests have access to the course, as well as the Biltmore Golf Academy, Jim McLean Golf School, and the Golf Shop. For children, there's a Junior Development Program, as well as a Kids Summer Camp. Continue reading below the photo. 

Golf Course at The Biltmore Coral Gables

2. The Biltmore Culinary Academy 

Opened in 2009, the resort's recreational cooking school offers a variety of classes and team-building events for both children and adults. Ideal for aspiring chefs of all ages, students are actively involved of every aspect of the food preparation, which concludes with a meal consisting of student-created recipes. 

The Biltmore Culinary Academy

3. The Spa

Offering a luxurious setting with a boutique, and a full range of services such as body treatments, massages, facials, hair and makeup services, makeup application, waxing, and microblading, the spa at the Biltmore provides a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. Within the spa there's also the Benessere at The Biltmore wellness program with special spa, dining, and fitness programs. 

Couples Spa Suite at The Biltmore Coral Gables

4. Children's Programs

From sports-focused programs to cooking classes, the resort offers a range of kid-focused activities. At the Biltmore Culinary Academy for Kids there are children's hands-on classes, along with family cooking classes. Plus, there are Golf Summer Camps and tennis lessons for children 7 to 14. 

5. Dining

The Biltmore Hotel offers multiple restaurants and dining options, including a popular Sunday Brunch and classic Afternoon Tea. For fine dining, Palme D'Or serves French cuisine, and Fontana specializes in Italian dishes. Plus, there's casual outdoor dining at Cascade, and the 19th Hole has golf course views. Continue reading below the photo about special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. 

Palm D'Or Restaurant at The Biltmore Coral Gables

Five Star Alliance Perk:  Guests booking  "Best Available" and "Signature" rate plans with Five Star Alliance will receive full breakfast for two daily in the Fontana Restaurant, a $100 spa treatment credit per room, per stay, and a welcome in-room fruit and chocolate amenity. Also, based on availability at the time of check-in/departure, a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check rates and availability at The Biltmore Coral Gables

Featured Journeys: Canadian Ski Adventure

As the leaves begin to fall in the Northern Hemisphere, we're starting to think about winter vacation plans. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're going on a Canadian Ski Adventure. Our expedition begins in the chic city of Vancouver, where visitors can go from the heart of the city to the slopes of Cypress and Grouse Mountains in 30 minutes or less. Then it's off to Whistler-Blackcomb with quintessential mountain charm and more than 200 marked runs. Finally, we end our experience in Banff & Lake Louise with opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, hockey, and ice skating. 




Home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the city of Vancouver is 15 minutes from Grouse Mountain with four seasons of outdoor activities, including a wildlife habitat and the Grouse Mountain Super Skyride providing panoramic views of the city and beyond. While Cypress Mountain is about 30 minutes from downtown and was the Official Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Offering 52 downhill winter skiing and riding runs, a magic carpet surface for the kids camp, a snowtubing park, 19 kilometers of Cross Country Ski trails, and snowshoeing tours around the historic Hollyburn Lodge, Cypress Mountain offers a range of activities. 

Four Seasons Vancouver

Four Seasons Vancouver

Offering a relaxed urban luxury experience, Four Seasons Vancouver towers 30 storeys above the Pacific Centre. The hotel's Health Club has the city's only resort-style indoor/outdoor pool, which also features men's and women's saunas and hot tubs. For dining, YEW seafood + bar serves sustainable Pacific Northwest seafood, wines, and innovative cocktails. Plus, guests can schedule massage services in the Red Cedar Massage Suite.

Check availability at the Four Seasons Vancouver


Fairmont Pacific Rim

Fairmont Pacific Rim

Providing panoramic views of the North Shore Mountains, Stanley Park, and Coal Harbor, the Fairmont Pacific Rim has a recently unveiled collection of Owner's Suites that incorporate the city's sense of fashion, art, and music. The Willow Stream Spa provides an urban oasis with meditation pods, fitness center, and outdoor terrace. Botanist is a new restaurant concept with four diverse spaces: Cocktail Bar and Lab, Garden, Dining Room, and Champagne Lounge, all inspired by the Pacific Northwest. There's also the giovane cafe + eatery + market with Italian fare, and the Lobby Lounge with sushi and cocktails.

Check availability at Fairmont Pacific Rim


Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Within walking distance of Stanley Park as well as Robson Street's high fashion boutiques, Rosewood Hotel Georgia first opened in 1927. Set within a Georgian Revival building, the iconic property has welcomed celebrities and dignitaries for decades. Following a major renovation in 2011, the property combines 1920s glamour with contemporary design. There's a Rosewood Spa with an indoor pool, Hawksworth Restaurant with contemporary Canadian cuisine, Bel Cafe Patisserie, and Prohibition Cocktail Bar for on-site dining.

Check availability at Rosewood Hotel Georgia


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Located less than two hours via car from Vancouver via the Sea-to-Sky Highway, the world-class Whistler-Blackcomb Resort area consists of Whistler and Blackcomb, two side-by-side mountains, with Whistler Village set in the middle of the two mountains. Offering a range of activities for all seasons including lift accessed alpine hiking and mountain biking, Whistler Blackcomb has one of North America's longest ski and ride seasons. Receiving an average of 458 inches of snow annually, there are three glaciers, 16 alpine bowls, and more than 200 marked runs. As one of North America's most varied terrains, there's vertical runs and lifts for downhill skiing and snowboarding, plus backcountry, heli-skiing, sleigh rides, and snoeshoeing. Whistler Village is home to a community of hotels, boutiques, and restaurants, providing a walkable town to explore. 


Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Featuring a modern alpine setting, Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a ski-in/ski-out hotel and golf resort with a par 72, 18-hole Audubon-certified championship course. The property has Whistler Experience Guides to provide guests with exclusive excursions and scheduled tours, as well as special events like the Women's Weekend Retreat and Holiday festivities. There are multiple on-site dining options including The Chalet--a winter dining destination with fondue and alpine cuisine, plus the Grille Room with exceptional chops, steaks, and seafood, as well as the Wildflower restaurant for gourmands. The Vida Spa provides treatments focused on health and healing, and the Health Club has an indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, outdoor 60-foot heated lap pool, tennis courts, saunas, steam rooms, and whirlpools. 

Check availability at Fairmont Chateau Whistler


Four Seasons Whistler

Four Seasons Whistler

Set in the heart of Whistler Village, the Four Seasons Whistler has a Ski Concierge that can assist with everything from lessons to equipment needs. Guests can partake in Wilderness Wellness programs including helicopter flights over ice caps to tour the areas ice caves (or Glacier Golf during warmer months), and the heated outdoor pool and whirlpools are open year round, ideal for post-ski or hiking relaxation. There are daily wine tastings, and the SIDECUT Modern Steak + Bar provides a modern alpine setting with views of the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. 

Check availability at Four Seasons Whistler


The Westin Resort and Spa Whistler

The Westin Resort and Spa Whistler

Offering 400 residentially-styled suites, The Westin Resort & Spa Whistler has an elevated, slopeside location that served as the host resort for downhill events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Accommodations feature fireplaces, soaking tubs, kitchenettes, mountain views and indigenous materials. The acclaimed Grill & Vine Restaurant serves regionally-inspired Canadian cuisine with an innovative twist and a modern atmosphere inspired by the surrounding landscape. Plus, the Avello Spa & Health Club provides rejuvenating treatments design to sooth after a day on the slopes.

Check availability at The Westin Resort & Spa Whistler


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Set within Banff National Park (Canada's oldest national Park), Banff offers a dramatic setting with high moraine lakes, flowing rivers, and mountain landscapes. There's plenty of professional guides and outfitters to help guests explore the great outdoors via raft, bicycle or horse during the warmer months, or visitors during the winter can explore the landscape while cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or via the slopes. Banff townsite has a historic main street with quaint buildings, and it is also home to the Banff Springs Hotel, which was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1888. While Lake Louise offers a picturesque lakeside location with a variety of year round activities. 

Fairmont Banff Springs

Fairmont Banff Springs

Referred to as Canada's "Castle in the Rockies", the Fairmont Banff Springs was built in 1888 as one of the grand Canadian Railroad Hotels. Set where the Bow and Spray Rivers converge, the hotel is located within Banff National Park, and offers year-round luxury with a championship golf course for the summer months and world-class skiing during the winter. There's the European-style Willow Stream Spa for rejuvenating treatments, as well as multiple dining options including the 1888 Chop House with a classic menu, and the Waldhaus Restaurant with authentic alpine cuisine.

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Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

In the midst of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is surrounded by soaring mountains, with views of the Victoria Glacier, and the emerald-hued Lake Louise. Recognized for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism, the resort offers an array of outdoor recreational activities including ice skating, snowshoeing, snowboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing, plus horse drawn sleigh rides. There are wellness retreats held throughout the year, as well as a kid's camp, and luxury spa. 

Check availability at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise


The Post Hotel 

The Post Hotel

Featuring one of Canada's most extensive wine cellars, with more than 25,000 bottles and over 2,200 labels, the Post Hotel serves award-winning chef-prepared cuisine at the Post Hotel Dining Room, plus fondue at the adjacent Fondue Stubli. Opened in the 1940s, the hotel is nestled in the Bow River Valley, offering suites with wood-burning fireplaces, and views of the surrounding wilderness teaming with wildlife. Five minutes from the Lake Louise Ski Resort with downhill skiing and snowboarding, guests can enjoy an array of winter activities, including cross country ski lessons and heli-skiing. 

Check availability at the Post Hotel


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Featured Journey: Luxury Vineyard Tour Through France Travel Blog

In this edition of Featured Journeys, we'd like to raise a toast to French wines!  As the fall season begins in the Northern Hemisphere, the harvest season starts in France, when the finest grapes are picked and the wine making process begins. We start our journey with a glass of bubbly, in France's Champagne Region. From there, we make our way to the Loire Valley, onto Bordeaux, and complete our experience in the Burgundy or Bourgogne Region. From castles to chateaux, boutique properties and former monasteries, we've pulled together an itinerary featuring the best luxury hotels in each region, which make excellent destinations in their own right, or can be perfectly paired for a grand tour through the wine regions of France -- à votre santé!

Loire Valley


Famous for the sparkling wine that bears its name, the Champagne Region is located in the northeast of France. Long associated with French monarchs, this historic area's terroir is ideal for growing three types of grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier. The champagne houses have different philosophies and formulas for mixing the various grapes and the aging process, resulting in distinctively unique flavors. Resilient through World War I, parts of the region, including some champagne houses and cellars were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015.

Domaine Les Crayeres

Domaine Les Crayeres

Guests can discover more than 600 champagne labels while dining at Chef Phillippe Mille's gourmet restaurant, situated within Domaine Les Crayeres. This Relais & Chateaux property is nestled amidst seven acres of lush vegetation. Formerly the home of the de Polignac family, the property provides reminagined chateau style accommodations with classical French style. Ideal for exploring the Champagne region, the elegant property is located in the heart of Reims. 

Check rates and availability at Domaine Les Crayeres


Chateau De Fere

Chateau De Fere

Situated about one hour and 15 minutes from Paris, Chateau De Fere offers a historically rich setting in the village of Fere-en-Tardenois. Combining contemporary styling with Old World charm, guest rooms and suites are housed within a 16th century castle and feature wood floors, intricate woodwork, exposed beams, and old stones. The restaurant is divided into three private rooms and furnished with representations of the Fables of Jean de la Fontaine. There's the ruins of a Chateau de Fere-en-Tardenois on-site, as well as an outdoor swimming pool, tennis, ping pong, and bicycles. 


Loire Valley

Following the Loire River, this region is widely known for its white wines, but also offers premium reds. Divided into three regions: Upper Loire which is just south of Paris and known for Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume wines that showcase the area's Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the Central Loire Valley is recognized for both white and red wines including the dry Chenin Blanc, the Coulée de Serrant dessert wine, and Vouvray wines, and Pays Nantais which is located close to the Atlantic Ocean and recognized for Muscadet wines that pair well with clams, oysters, mussels, and seafood. In addition to wines, the Loire Valley is known for its castles, as well as Monet's Home and the village of Giverny. 


Domaine des Hauts de Loire

Domaine des Hauts de Loire

Built in 1860 by Panckoucke, the famous publisher, Domaine des Hauts de Loire is located in the heart of the castles of Loire Valley, about two hours from Paris. The former hunting lodge has been transformed into a luxury Relais & Chateaux destination with a cooking school, outdoor pool, tennis, and pétanque play area. Set along the Loire Valley Wine Route, guests can explore the area's vineyards by car, foot, or bicycle, and the property's gourmet restaurant is a two Michelin Star recipient. 

Learn more about Domaine des Hauts de Loire


Chateau D'Artigny
Chateau D'Artigny

In the heart of the Loire Valley, about 15 km (9 miles) outside of Tours, Chateau D'Artigny was built by the famous perfumer F. Coty. Completed in 1929, the castle hotel offers the L'Origan restaurant, serving chef-prepared French cuisine made with local ingredients in a sophisticated setting with high windows, woodwork reliefs accented with gold-leaf gilding, and fluted columns. There's also a spa with an indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, Duo Cabin, meditation room, and a fitness center. 

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Known around the world for the finest red wines, the Bordeaux Region is located in the southern part of France along the Atlantic Coast. The Dordogne and Garonne Rivers run through the region, with most of the  wine estates set along the Gironde or one of the river's tributaries. Bordeaux is the country's fourth largest city, and is located in the center of the region. Most of the area is flat, which combined with the landscape, unique soil and maritime climate, make the region an ideal area for wine production. The native Bordelais have been producing wine for about 2,000 years, and the historic town of St.-Emilion is an idyllic stop while visiting Bordeaux.

Chateau des Vigiers

Chateau des Vigiers

Nestled amidst world-famous vineyards, Chateau des Vigiers is located within a 16th century chateau in Dordogne, between Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion. Known as the "Petit Versailles" the luxury property offers Michelin Star dining at Les Fresques, and accommodations accented by authentic period furniture, hand-woven tapestries, and carved marble fireplaces. There's a 27-hole golf course on-site, as well as the Maria Galland Beauty Spa. Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests that book through Five Star Alliance receive a bottle of the property's Bergerac Red Wine, as well as a wine tasting with the hotel's sommelier in the wine cellar. 

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Les Sources de Caudalie

Le Sources de Caudalie

Nestled amidst the vineyards of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Sources de Caudalie was inspired by the French Paradox, a study from 20 years ago that proved the diet and lifestyle in the Southwest France is conducive to good health. Amidst vineyards and forests, the architect crafted the retreat from recycled local materials that are in tune with the surroundings. The hotel has 40 guest rooms, 21 suites, and five cottages, each with antiques and elements inspired by the region's heritage. For dining, the hotel's La Grand'Vigne Restaurant is located withing a former orangery, and offers chef-created cuisine prepared using local ingredients. 

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Our vineyard tour of France wraps up in Burgundy. Southeast of Paris, the Burgundy (Bourgogne in France) Wine Region is recognized around the world for its fine red wines. Somewhat fragmented,  the area consists of four contiguous districts: Chablis, Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais, and the disconnected Beaujolais Region about 70 miles south. Some of the region's cities include Dijon, the capital of Burgundy, as well as Beaune, Cluny, Macon, and Vézelay. Burgundy's vineyards tend to be smaller than those in Bordeaux, resulting in a limited production of a particular wine causing higher prices, and multiple brands of any one wine. This area is best known for Pinot Noir due to the climate and soil, as well as Chardonnay wines that can age for decades. 


Chateau De Gilly

Guest Room at Chateau De Gilly

Transformed into a luxury hotel in 1988, the Chateau De Gilly was originally built at a castle for relaxation in the 16th century. Specializing in French cuisine, the chateau's Clos Prieur restaurant is nestled within a rib-vaulted room that was once the cellar for the Cistercian monks of Gilly. Midway between Dijon and Beune, the property is opposite the prestigious Clos Vougeot Castle vineyard, and about 25 km (15.5 miles) from the Beaune Hospices wine cellar and vineyard. 

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Hotel Le Cep

Hotel Le Cep Exterior

Originally built as a private residence in 1442, Hotel Le Cep is located in Beaune's town center, close to the Basilique Notre Dame church and the famous Hospices de Beaune. Guest rooms and suites are set within two historic mansions with traditional French courtyards, and each room is named after a Burgundian village or Grand Cru wine. The hotel's Michelin-starred Loiseau des Vignes restaurant offers a gastronomic experience, and there is the Spa Marie de Bourgogne with 14 sensorial experiences. 

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