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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER

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The Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance.
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

| By: Rachael Weir

Nestled amidst the tropical forest, the Spring Villas at Nayara Springs is an ultra-luxe retreat ideal for couples. Located within an adults-only boutique resort, each Spring Villa has its own private plunge pool fed by natural mineral hot springs, indoor and outdoor seating areas with daybeds, and large private gardens with dual outdoor rain showers. Within each Spring Villa is a sleek four-poster king bed, spacious bathroom, indigenous wood and stone accents, exotic touches, and modern amenities such as air conditioning, flat-screen satelitte TV, and iHome audio system. In addition, the Spring Villas also include a private host to compliment the hotel's staff. Continue reading about the resort and an exclusive Perk below the photo. 

Spring Villa at Nayara Springs

Nayara Springs is an adults-only luxury boutique hotel in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Offering an authentic jungle experience, the property has all the amenities of a five-star hotel including two infinity pools, an award-winning spa with outdoor treatment bungalows, and two gastronomic restaurants--Amor Loco with candlelit gourmet dinners, and Mis Amores with Mediterranean cuisine. While staying at the resort, guests are immersed in the rainforests, where toucan, macaws, and hummingbirds fly amidst lush foliage. Learn about an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Nayara Springs Overview

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also include buffet breakfast for two daily at Altamira, and a $100 USD spa services credit per room/per stay.

Book a stay at Nayara Springs


| By: Rachael Weir

Vienna Christmas Market

As the festive season is underway, Europe's Christmas Markets provide an array of local products created by artisans, sweet specialties, and plenty to explore. In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're embarking on a multi-destination trip along the Danube to visit Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest.

Vienna, Austria

Get in the Christmas spirit perusing stalls with handcrafted goods, while the aroma of punch and roasted chestnuts fills the air. Dating back to 1298 when Albrecht I granted the city's citizens the privilege to hold the first Krippenmarkt, Vienna is now home to an array of Christmas markets including the Viennese Dream Christmas Market in front of City Hall (shown in the photo above), Christmas Village Belvedere Palace with the backdrop of the palace, Christmas and New Year's Market at Schönbrunn Palace, and Christmas Market at Spittelberg. 

In addition to the Christmas Markets, Vienna is a destination for culture and art lovers. From palaces and regal parks, to chandier-lit coffee houses, the city offers much to explore. The Riesenrad Ferris wheel provides a birds-eye view above the Prater. 

Park Hyatt Vienna

Park Hyatt Vienna

Set within a 100-year-old building, Park Hyatt Vienna is located within the city's most exclusive shopping district. Once the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank, the Park Hyatt Vienna is part of the city's First District, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Offering some of the city's largest guest rooms and suites, travelers can rejuvenate at the tranquil Arany Spa with treatments and facials, workout in the fitness center, or swim in the indoor pool. Plus, visitors can enjoy brasserie classics and cocktails at the historic The Bank Brasserie & Bar, a drink at the whisky and cigar lounge Living Room, sip a typical Viennese coffee specialty at the Café Am Hof, or schedule afternoon tea at the Lounge.

SUITE DEAL: Book 3 nights, get the 4th Night Free! Plus, enjoy exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks.
Book and travel by December 17, 2020. Based on availability, blackout dates apply. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive breakfast daily at The Bank Brasserie, also available with Room Service, a $100 USD hotel credit per room/per stay (valid at all food and beverage outlets, Room Service, Minibar, Spa treatments, and laundry) along with in-room fresh fruits and water daily.

Book a stay at Park Hyatt Vienna

Explore more Vienna Luxury Hotels

Bratislava, Slovakia

From stands with local goodies and craft products to glowing streets, Bratislava is a festive destination with multiple Christmas Markets spread throughout the city. The Main Christmas Market is located at the Main Square with a variety of local delicacies including potato pancakes, Lokša​, and Mead, and the Old Town Christmas Market is home to thematic workshops for children, a wooden Bethlehem, and a traditional ice rink. There's also a Vegan Christmas Market and Advent at the Castle.

Along with the Christmas Markets, Bratislava is a green city and the capital of Slovakia. The Bratislava Castle features views of the neighboring countries, and plenty of history to explore in the castle's museum. The three-nave St. Martin's Cathedral is a Gothic Church and former coronation church, the Old Town Hall is the seat of the Bratislava City Museum and a 45-meter tower with panoramic views, and Michael's Gate offers travelers the opportunity to see the only preserved gate remaining of the city's fortification system. 

Hotel Chateau Amade

Hotel Chateau Amade

Set in the middle of Rye Island, Hotel Chateau Amade is an idyllic destination about 50 km/31 miles from Bratislava. The eco-chic boutique hotel offers a unique and historic destination between Vienna and Budapest. The sanctuary of peace and quiet has 30 guest rooms and suites, along with a gourmet restaurant, wellness center, and hammam. 

Book a stay at Hotel Chateau Amade

Explore more Bratislava Luxury Hotels

Budapest, Hungary

With more than 10 markets in the center of the city alone, Budapest is a festive destination for travelers. The scent of cinnamon and roast chestnuts fills the air as shoppers shop authentic Hungarian wares on display in wooden huts. In addition to the markets, the Balna Budapest ice cooridor is the largest free ice rink in the city, with a panoramic backdrop of Budapest while gliding over the frozen water. Illuminated by thousands of fairy lights, the City Park Rink has the Vajdahunyad Castle for a backdrop, and the grand cafes provide an idyllic post-shopping or skating retreat. 

Beyond the festive attractions, Budapest offers much for foodies including six Michelin Star Restaurants, and the old Jewish quarter is home to a variety of Ruin Bars. Ready for some down time? Discover some of the city's many thermal baths fed by natural hot springs. 

The Ritz-Carlton Budapest

The Ritz-Carlton Budapest Suite

Set within the city's fashionable 5th District, The Ritz-Carlton Budapest, the property is within walking distance of the main pedestrian shopping street, river Danube, and the Opera house. Amidst the rich historical heritage of the Castle District and Old Town, the property offers a tranquil setting with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and massage treatments. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay to be used in Kupola Lounge, Kupola Bar, Dean St. Kitchen, or via room service, and one bottle of mineral water daily per person.

Book a stay at The Ritz-Carlton Budapest

Explore more Budapest Luxury Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Nestled on a private island, the Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island is an all-inclusive eco-resort in the northern Majuro Atoll of the Marshall Islands. Amidst 3.6 acres of land, the retreat occupies the site of a former colonial coconut plantation. Providing accommodations for just three couples at a time, and surrounded by crystal clear waters and coral reefs, the property is an idyllic destination for honeymooners and those seeking a secluded, romantic retreat. Read more about the resort below the photo.

Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island

Guests of the resort fly into the Amata Kabua Airport in Majuro, where a shuttle takes guests to the jetty. From there, visitors board a private boat for a 45-minute trip along the atoll through scattered, mostly uninhabited islands. Continue reading below the boat photo.

Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island

Once guests arrive, they spend their time on the island in either one of two bungalows or a beach house. Featuring traditional colonial styling, accommodations have private en-suite bathrooms, exclusive works-of-art, antiques, daily turndown service, and complimentary minibars. Fresh fruits are delivered daily, and all-inclusive Cordon Bleu dining is available in the main house. Read more below the photo.

Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island

Surrounded by coral reefs, the eco-resort offers guests a variety of water-focused activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and fishing. There's aslo a well-stocked library on the island, and visitors can schedule in-room massages and beauty treatments.

Learn more about the Boutique Resort Bikendrik Island


| By: Rachael Weir

Featured Journeys: Oregon Mountains to Vineyards

Situated in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon offers seven diverse regions including mountains, high desert, cities, valleys, and beaches. On the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains is the high desert, in the middle of the state is Portland, and less than an hour west of downtown Portland is the Willamette Valley known for Pinot Noir. 

In this edition of Featured Journeys, we explore a multi-stop itinerary to explore Oregon's vast variety of landscapes, climates, and activities, while highlighting three top luxury hotels ideal for this adventure. 

Bend, Oregon

This high-desert mountain town offers a variety of outdoor adventures. Known for 300 days of sunshine and crisp, cool evenings, Bend is sometimes referred to as the "outdoor playground of the West" with hiking, mountain biking, skiing at Mt. Bachelor or meandering through Bend's ancient lava tubes. Beer enthusiasts will want to check out the Bend Ale Trail, and The Huffington Post named Bend as one of the top cities with the most eateries per capita. Plus, there's a variety of award-winning wineries and tasting rooms, as well as art galleries in the Old Mill District. 

Sunriver Resort

The Sunriver Resort

Located at the foothills of the Cascades, Sunriver Resort is an ideal place to begin an Oregon adventure. Situated about 180 miles southeast of the Portland International Airport (and 137 miles souteast of the Eugene Airport), the resort is home to four of the state's top golf courses, including Crosswater, Meadows, and The Woodlands. Guests have access to more than 40 miles of biking and hiking trails, plus kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, and white water rafting. For relaxation, there's a full-service spa and salon, as well as a variety of on-site dining options ranging from casual to chef-prepared local cuisine. 

Check availability at Sunriver Resort

 

Portland

Proud to be a unique city, Portland has a variety of nicknames including the Rose City, Beervana, and Bridgetown. Home to the world's largest independent bookstore, with a thriving food scene, and appreciation for the arts, Portland is a walkable city with new flavors to explore around every corner. Set along the Willamette River close to the Oregon and Washington border, Portland is a green city where you can see Mount Hood on a clear day, drive to the Pacific Ocean in just over an hour, or head to the vineyards of the Willamette Valley. There's trees and green spaces galore, and the public transportation system provides an efficient and green way to get around. 

The Sentinel

The Room at the End of Hall at The Sentinel

Providing a convenient location in the heart of downtown, The Sentinel offers a historic setting steps from a trolley stop, and some of the city's top restaurants. Occupying two historic buildings, the Seward Hotel and the Portland Elks Lodge, the property mixes the architecture of the National Historic Landmark with luxury boutique amenities and locally-infused accents like Pendleton throw blankets on the beds and local snacks in the minibar. Jake's Grill has an American steakhouse grill feel, and Jacknife serves crafted cocktails just off the lobby. Five Star Alliance recently had the opportunity to visit the property, learn more about the hotel in the article, Historical Luxury at The Sentinel

Check availability at The Sentinel

 

Willamette Valley

Less than an hour outside of Portland, the Willamette Valley offers a wine-filled retreat. With the Oregon Coast to the West and the Cascades to the East, and the Willamette River flowing through the region, the valley is an idyllic setting for growing Pinot Noir. Home to more than 150 wineries and tasting rooms in towns like Newburg, Dundee, and McMinnville, the Willamette Valley was selected as 2016 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiasts. In addition to wine, the picturesque area is home to a variety of restaurants serving chef-prepared cuisine with a focus on local ingredients such as hazelnuts and marionberries. 

The Allison Inn & Spa

In the heart of the Willamette Valley, The Allison Inn & Spa provides a luxurious setting amidst its own vineyards, minutes from some of the area's top vineyards and tasting rooms. There's a full-service spa with signature "Pinotherapy" treatments focused on the energies and healing benefits of the region's pinot noir grapes, flowers, and herbs. The indoor pool is surrounded by windows with a skylight and sun terrace, and the award-winning JORY Restaurant is known for seasonal farm-to-table dining paired with an extensive selection of Willamette Valley wines. Five Star Alliance recently had the opportunity to visit the property, learn more about the hotel in the article, Relaxing Retreat at The Allison Inn & Spa.

Check availability at The Allison Inn & Spa

 

 

 


| By: Rachael Weir

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

Mashpi Lodge

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

Dining at Mashpi Lodge

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

Check availability at Mashpi Lodge


| By: Rachael Weir

Providing a secluded retreat in Bali's central foothills, Alila Ubud is a luxury hotel located about 15 minutes from Ubud, the island's cultural center. Set on a hillside on the edge of the Ayung River valley, the property provides guests with an immersive experience through the guidance of the Alila Leisure Concierge team for active pursuits, such as exploring rice terraces at Tegalalange, visiting the Goa Gajah Elephant Cave, or taking cooking classes. Learn more about a special perks offer for Five Star Alliance guests below the photo. 

Valley Villa at Alila Ubud

Accommodations at Alila Ubud include Superior and Deluxe Rooms, Valley and Pool Villas, plus Terrace Tree Villas, and Two Bedroom Terrace Tree Pool Villas. Furnished in contemporary Balinese style, there are private balconies with daybeds, in-room safes, minibars, and coffee & tea-making facilities. Continue reading below the Terrace Tree Villa Bathroom photo.

Terrace Tree Villa Bathroom

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations through Five Star Alliance receive full breakfast daily at Plantation restaurant, $50 food and beverage or spa or Alila Experience credit, per room, per stay, and a welcome fruit basket. Plus, based on availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Check availability at Alila Ubud

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Overlooking the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, Constance Tsarabanjina is an all-inclusive luxury resort offering 25 beach villas. Set within a sacred islet where the tomb of the Sakalava kings of the Mitsio islands is located, Tsarabanjina is one of the islets of the Mitsio Archipelago. Situated in the Northwestern part of Madagascar, the region is fringed by white sand beaches, coral reefs, lush vegetation, and array of tropical birds. Continue reading below the photo. 

Constance Tsarabanjina

The intimate eco-retreat provides visitors with a laid back atmosphere. The property's 25 villas offer a barefoot chic environment where guests can have Robinson Crusoe-style experiences on a Madagascar island without sacrificing all of the modern comforts. The villas have ecological thatch roofing, furnishings in simple tones, private terraces with two deck chairs, minibars, and bathrooms with showers and separate toilets. Read more below the villa photo. 

Constance Tsarabanjina Beach Villa

The resort is surrounded by calm seas, providing guests with a variety of experiences in the natural surroundings. There are guided nature walks and snorkeling excursions, private cruises, and the Akio Diving staff is available for underwater excursions. For dining at the all-inclusive property, gourmet Malagasy specialties are served in a sand-floored restaurant with a premium drink selection. 

Check availability at Constance Tsarabanjina


| By: Rachael Weir

Interested in being part of a cause while on vacation? The Four Seasons Resort Nevis has partnered with the Sea Turtle Conservancy for over a decade, helping engage visitors and residents in the protection of endangered sea turtles. During the resort's Sea Turtle Weekend, held July 14-17, 2017, guests can participate in a volunteer group with members of the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Four Seasons to look for nesting sea turtles along the island's shores.

Four Seasons Nevis Sea Turtle Conservation Program

Once a sea turtle is found and nesting is complete, the group will bring the turtle back to the resort to be fitted with a satellite transmitter. The next morning the sea turtle will be released, and the data transmitted will help scientists and researchers follow the migration of the sea turtles. The weekend will also include a Sea Turtle Orientation and Reception, as well as a Sea Turtle Camp for children.

In addition, from July to October resort guests can help the Nevis Turtle Group mark turtle nests for safekeeping, as well as assisting in the tracking of the migratory paths of sea turtles from Nevis. 

The Four Seasons Resort Nevis

The Four Seasons Resort Nevis is an beachfront resort featuring local Nevisian architecture with a West Indian plantation-style Great House and two-story cottages set amidst lush tropical gardens. Set on the site of a former sugar and coconut plantation, the resort has a spa with signature Rum Tonic body treatments, five pools, tennis, the Robert Trent Jones II golf course, water sports, and a kids' club. 

Check rates and availability at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis


| By: Five Star Alliance

Overlooking the city skyline, English Bay, and the historic Vancouver Art Gallery, the Prime Minister Suite at the Four Seasons Vancouver offers a one-of-a-kind setting. Designed to provide a sanctuary from the city, the two-level suite is located on the top two floors of the hotel with high ceilings, a master bedroom, separate living room and entertaining area with a large dining room table for eight situated under a modern crystal chandelier. Continue reading below the photos.

The Living Room of the Prime Minister Suite Four Seasons Vancouver

Dining Room of the Prime Minister Suite at the Four Seasons Vancouver

The master bedroom is furnished in a warm West Coast-inspired color palette with a mix of elegant and modern accents such as dark wood furniture and leather chairs. The en-suite marble bathroom has a vanity with double sinks and in-mirror TV, plus a spacious walk-in shower. There's a second full bathroom for company, and the suite can be connected with an additional suite, making the space a two bedroom configuration. Read more below the master bathroom photo.

Prime Minister Suite Master Bathroom Four Seasons Vancouver

In addition to luxury services and amenities in the heart of downtown, the Four Seasons Vancouver is a recipient of the Five Green Key rating for exemplirary environmental and social stewardship. The hotel's Sempa Hybrid Heating system reduces the hotel's green house gas emissions by 50% each month, newspapers are delivered in reusable canvas bags, and LED lighting sources are used throughout the property.

Check rates and availability at the Four Seasons Vancouver

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Looking to travel green and help the bees? Fairmont Hotels has partnered with the Pollinator Partnership to create habitats at various hotels and resorts for bee nesting and reproduction. To date, Fairmont now has more than 40 honeybee apiaries and pollinator bee hotels around the world, helping to combat declining pollinator habitats. 

Of particular note, the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver has a "Bee and Bee" Pollinator Hotel set within the property's 2,400 square foot rooftop garden. As part of The Pollinator Partnership Canada and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts WILD FOR BEES national program, the hotel's Bee Butler Michael King, Executive Chef Dana Hauser, PR Manager Kristyna Vogel, and Hives for Humanity's Sarah Common worked together to create the bee hotel. Every piece of the habitat tells a story: fire bricks are from Downtown Eastside, logs were sourced from fallen trees in Stanley Park, East Van Roasters provided burlap, wood is from the Haida nation, and branches, nests, twigs, and leaves were collected from around the city. Read more below the photo.

Bee and Bee at the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver

Set on the third floor of the hotel along with 2,100 square-foot herb garden--which is the source of sustainable herbs, vegetables, and edible blossoms used in culinary creations throughout the hotel, the apiary contains five beehives with more than 250,000 honeybees that have produced 125 pounds of honey since 2015. From May to September, guests can experience a beehive tour with the hotel's Bee Butler.

Honey from the hotel's rooftop beehives is used throughout the property to create seasonal dishes in the ARC restaurant, chocolate, pastries, salad dressings, and signature cocktails. Plus, the local Whistler Brewing Company incorporates the honey into the "Fairmont Stinger Honey Lager", served on-site. 

Learn more about the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver


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