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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. 

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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. 

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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

Featured Journeys: Luxury Scandinavian Adventure

The newest edition of Featured Journeys takes us to Scandinavia. Land of the Midnight Sun, home of the Vikings, birthplace of Nordic cuisine, and recognized for modern design, the region offers a treasure trove of museums, historic sites, outdoor adventures, and cultural attractions. Recently, I had the opportunity to go on a 10-day excursion to Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. In this Featured Journeys: Luxury Scandinavian Adventure, I'll share a Luxury Hotel Insider's perspective with details on where I stayed along with highlights in each city.

Easily connected via high speed rail, venturing between Scandinavia's capital cities takes about 5.5 hours between Oslo and Stockholm, as well as Stockholm and Copenhagen. Trains are modern and clean, with on-board meal options. If you prefer to fly, there's a variety of direct flight options as well, but traveling by train provides an ideal way to see the landscapes while en route to the next stop. If time allows, I'd recommend at least four nights in each city, perhaps additional nights if you'd like to venture out of the city to explore all of the outdoor adventures each country offers.



Oslo, Norway

As Norway's capital city, Oslo is a walkable city with a mix of modern design, such as the Norwegian National Opera House & Ballet where visitors can walk on the roof, and historical sites like the Akerhus Castle. Within the past decade the harborfront has been revitalized, providing a lovely pedestrian-only waterfront area with the Nobel Peace Center, and a variety of restaurants offering plenty of outdoor dining options. From the harbor, visitors can take a short ferry boat ride to Bygdøy, the island of Oslo museums. Home to the royal family's summer palace, the island of museums offers a wide variety of options including the Viking Ship Museum, Fram Museum with the actual ship that traveled to the Artic, Kon-Tiki Museum, and the Norwegian Folk Museum with an open-air setting and 150 historic buildings on display from various times in the country's history. For art enthusiasts, there's the Edvard Munch Museum, the National Gallery with a nice selection of works by well-known artists, including Norway's own Edvard Munch's "The Scream", and the 63-acre Ekeberg Sculpture Park. Along Karl Johans Gate there's the Royal Palace, as well as upscale shopping and sidewalk cafes (during the summer months), and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Ski Museum is a must-visit on a clear day for panoramic views of the city and surrounding area. 

Interested in seeing the famous fjords? From Oslo it is possible to take a "Norway in a Nutshell" trip from Oslo to the fjords with a visit to Bergen, and a ride on the famous Flam Railway. 

Hotel Continental Oslo

Hotel Continental Oslo

During my visit, I enjoyed an Idyllic Stay at Hotel Continental Oslo. Providing a centralized location, the historic luxury hotel was a short walk to the harborfront, and just steps away from the National Theater, Karl Johans Gate, subway, and light rail stations. Since opening in 1900, Theatercaféen offers upscale dining and a bar, while Eik Annen Etage serves classic dishes in a Baroque-infused atmosphere. There's also the seasonal Steamen sidewalk cafe, and a recently revitalized fitness center. 

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Stockholm, Sweden

Set along the Baltic Sea behind a natural fortification, Sweden's capital city consists of 14 islands connected via 54 bridges. In the Gamla Stan (Old Town), the Royal Palace has a daily military parade and changing of the guard along with four museums and a chapel, the Nobel Museum tells the story of the prestigious award, there's Parliament tours, and guests can meander about the island filled with Medieval architecture. Stockholm's Djurgården, offers gardens and a variety of museums including the Vasa Museum, which showcases a 17th century warship raised from the seafloor after it sunk minutes after its first departure, the Skansen open-air folk museum, and the Nordic Museum. For relaxation, there are a variety of canal tours where visitors can see the city via the canals, as well as trendy sidewalk cafes ideal for people watching and trying Toast Skagen, a local delicacy with a mixture of prawns and shrimp mingled with mayonnaise and herbs. Not to be missed is the Swedish Fika, a traditional coffee break to mingle with friends and enjoy coffee with a sweet roll such as the Vetebullar with cinnamon and cardamon. 

Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Sea View Room at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

During my Springtime Stay at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm, I was able to easily explore the city on foot. Set along the Strandvägen, the hotel is a short walk along the boardwalk past cafes and boats to the Djurgården. Overlooking the Nybroviken, Deluxe Sea View Rooms offer exquisite views of the water, and the hotel's restaurant and bar provide a stylish setting for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Afternoon Tea. Built as a private residence in 1911, the boutique hotel was transformed into a luxury property in the 1960s, and features an extensive collection of art by Swedish artists, as well as the Hotel Diplomat Retreat--an exclusive and tranquil space for guests with a sauna, showers, and loungers available by appointment. 

Learn more about Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Across the Oresund Bridge from Sweden, Copenhagen is Denmark's capital city. Featuring a walkable core, the city offers historic points of interest like the Nyhavn with waterfront cafes and bars, Amalienborg Palace and Square with a changing of the guard, and Kastellet Park with an Anglican Church built of flint, and The Little Mermaid statue in honor of local author Hans Christian Andersen, as well as the Rosenborg Castle of Christian IV. Biking is the preferred method of transit, with biking lanes throughout the city and many hotels offering bicycles for guests to use during their stay. There are cafes and Michelin-rated restaurants scattered throughout the capital of Nordic cuisine, Tivoli Gardens is a seasonal playground for Danes of all ages with gardens, rides, and performances, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek showcases Egyptian, French, Greek, and Etruscan art under glass domes with indoor gardens. For shopping, the Strøget--Europe's longest pedestrian-only shopping street offers the finest brands interspersed with kitchy boutiques and local designers. While visiting, be sure to try the Danish art of Hygge, which is the idea of taking a moment either alone or with someone to be present in something cozy, charming, or special. 

Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen

One Bedroom Suite at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen

While in Denmark, my stay in a Deluxe Suite at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen provided an ideal location for exploring the city. Right on Kongens Nytorv (King's New Square), the hotel was next to the National Theater, and adjacent to the famous Strøget lined with department stores and upscale boutiques. Within the hotel there was the Amazing Space Spa with an indoor pool, saunas, and treatments utilizing exclusive natural products, as well as the Michelin-awarded Restaurant Marchal with fine dining and Kongens Nytorv views. Plus, the Balthazar Champagne bar with a chic setting, Champagne-focused cocktails, and exclusive entry for guests.

Check availability at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen 

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Posted in: Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm

| By: Rachael Weir

Set in the heart of Copenhagen, Hotel D'Angleterre provides an ultra-luxe setting adjacent to the Strøget--Europe's longest pedestrian-only shopping street. Recently I had the opportunity to spend two nights in room 405, a Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite. 

Featuring a grand facade and opulent lobby, guests are greeted with the scent of fresh flowers exquisitely arranged at the hotel's Flower Atelier Creations. Next to the reception desk, there's an illuminated Lego replica of the hotel, a gift from the Danish company that provides a whimsical conversation piece. Read more below the photos.

Entrance of the Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen

Upon entering the suite, I was wowed by a walk-in closet on the right, elegant powder room on the left, and a spacious living room with a well-appointed seating area, bottle of chilled champagne, exquisite art pieces, Bang & Olufsen entertainment system, and windows with views of Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn. Continue reading below the photo. 

Hotel D'Angleterre Deluxe One-Bedroom Suite

Within the living area, there was an executive desk with a control panel to connect laptops and other devices to the 42-inch Bang & Olufsen TV, ideal for in-room meetings or entertainment. There was also a well-stocked in-room minibar with a Nespresso machine, array of wines, beverages, and snacks. 

The suite's bedroom offered a welcoming space with a DUX King Bed furnished with exclusive bed linens (which can be purchased at the D'Angleterre Creations boutique). There was also an additional sitting area with a large TV and plush lounge chair. Read more below the photo. 

Deluxe Suite Bedroom at Hotel D'Angleterre

The suite's master bathroom provided a relaxing retreat with a glass-walled shower, separate soaking tub, lighted makeup mirror, and sumptuous bathrobes. Plus, an array of exclusive organic bath amenities from the hotel's own Amazing Space Spa, perfect for pampering oneself after a day of traveling or exploring. Read more below the bathroom photos. 

Deluxe Suite Bathroom at Hotel D'Angleterre

Amazing Spa Products at Hotel D'Angleterre

Restaurant Marchal (named after the hotel's founder) turns evening meals into one-of-a-kind dining experiences. Awarded one Michelin Star, the elegant space serves Nordic-inspired cuisine infused with French style and preparation techniques, resulting in an artful presentation of flavors. The restaurant also offers a lavish morning breakfast, as well as gourmet lunches. Continue below the Restaurant Marchal photo. 

Restaurant Marchal at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen

Throughout the entire hotel the furnishings blend historic fixtures and accents with classic styling and modern design, creating an upscale and welcoming atmosphere. Within the event cooridor there are historical photographs of the hotel, and the Palm Court, Louis XVI, Gallery, and Salons feature exquisite chandeliers and ornamental fixtures demonstrating the hotel's gilded history. 

Not to be missed is the hotel's Amazing Space Spa, with an exclusive line of natural spa products and 15 specially trained therapists for a variety of pampering services. The spa is also home to central Copenhagen's only heated indoor swimming pool, plus locker rooms with saunas, and steam rooms. Continue reading below the Amazing Space photos.

Amazing Space at Hotel D'Angleterre

Across from the spa, the D'Angleterre Creations boutique offers exquisite floral arrangements, and exclusive products such as the DUX beds and fine linens available for guests to purchase as a way to continue the D'Angleterre experience in their own homes. 

Hotel D'Angleterre Creations Boutique

Ready for some champagne? The hotel's Balthazar Champagne Bar offers a fashionable setting for Champagne by the glass as well as Champagne-focused cocktails. And, there's an exclusive entrance for hotel guests. Read more below the Balthazar photo.

Balthazar Champagne Bar at Hotel D'Angleterre

For guests arriving early in the morning or departing late, Hotel D'Angleterre provides a posh lounge for guests. Continue below the lounge photo.

Guest Lounge at Hotel D'Angleterre

The Hotel D'Angleterre offers a centralized location on Kongens Nytorv. Founded in the 1700's by Mr. and Mrs. Marchal, the historic hotel has welcomed presidents, dignitaries, royalty, and celebrities for generations. The regal hotel is close to the Royal Theater, the Royal Palace, the Little Mermaid Statue, and numerous upscale shops and restaurants. 

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Posted in: Copenhagen

| By: Rachael Weir

Offering a grand balcony with panoramic views of old Kongens Nytorv square, the Royal Suite at Hotel D'Angleterre provides a palatial setting in the heart of Copenhagen. The legendary suite has welcomed political icons, Hollywood legends, and pop stars to its opulent space with gilded paneling and gleaming chandeliers. Read more below the balcony photo.

Royal Suite Balcony at Hotel D'Angleterre

Within the suite there is a master bedroom with a DUX king bed and en-suite marble bathroom featuring a bathtub with TV, separate shower, douche toilet, and Amazing Space Spa bathroom amenities. Continue reading below the photos of the master bedroom and bathroom. 

Royal Suite Master Bedroom at the Hotel D'Angleterre

Royal Suite Bathroom at Hotel D'Angleterre

There's a spacious living room with a 42-inch B&O LED TV and media hub, a private dining room, and a minibar with a Nespresso machine. Guests of the Royal Suite are welcomed with fresh fruit, homemade gourmet chocolates, and a bottle of champagne. Plus, complimentary airport transfers are available. For additional space, the Royal Suite can be combined with the rest of the first floor, making it the largest presidential suite in Copenhagen. Read more below the photo. 

Royal Suite Dining Room at  Hotel D'Angleterre

The Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen is a neoclassic palace fully refurbished in 2013, which maintained its 1870s historical aspects while blending in the latest technology and modern elegance. Offering an iconic setting in the heart of Copenhagen, the property has a Michelin star restaurant, spa, fitness center, and indoor swimming pool. Situated next to the Royal Danish Theatre on the Kongens Nytorv Square, the hotel offers a centralized location connected to the Strøget pedestrian shopping street. 

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| By: Five Star Alliance

First Hotel Skt Petri is named after Saint Peter, who holds the keys to Paradise. Only 20 minutes away from the Airport by metro, Skt. Petri is located at the very heart of Copenhagen’s lively Latin Quarter.

First Hotel Copenhagen

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| By: Five Star Alliance

In the last month of 2012, Five Star Alliance is counting down the Top 30 Luxury Hotels and Resorts worldwide, as decided by you, our luxury travelers! Be sure to check in with us daily to keep up with our countdown and explore a few of the absolute best and most luxurious hotels in the world for your future travels!

Occupying the #29 spot on our list is FRONT hotel, which is located in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Here are a few fun facts about this luxury hotel:

- Located in Copenhagen's popular Nyhavn area, 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district.

- The Scandic Front is set opposite Copenhagen's contemporary Opera House.

- The Danish design mixes luxury with comfort.

- Front Diner serves classic dishes in a trendy environment. In the summer months, you can dine al fresco.

- The lobby and restaurant offer a rotating display of local artists' work.


Explore photos, availability, and rates at the FRONT Hotel here>>




Posted in: Copenhagen