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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER

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

| By: Rachael Weir

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

Happy Travels!

20. Manchester, England

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

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

Explore Manchester Luxury Hotels

19. The Big Island, Hawaii

20 Places To Go In 2020 Big Island Hawaii

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

Explore Big Island Luxury Hotels

18. Vienna, Austria

20 Places To Go In 2020 Vienna

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

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

Explore Vienna Luxury Hotels

17. Cape Town, South Africa

20 Places To Go In 2020 Cape Town

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

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

Explore Cape Town Luxury Hotels

16. Buenos Aires, Argentina

20 Places To Go In 2020 Buenos Aires

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

Explore Buenos Aires Luxury Hotels

15. Edinburgh, Scotland

20 Places To Go In 2020 Edinburgh

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

Explore Edinburgh Luxury Hotels

14. Kyoto, Japan

20 Places To Go In 2020 Kyoto

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

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

Explore Kyoto Luxury Hotels

13. Maine

20 Places To Go In 2020 Maine

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

Explore Maine Luxury Hotels

12. Galway, Ireland

20 Places To Go In 2020 Galway

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

Explore Galway Luxury Hotels

11. Macau

20 Places To Go In 2020 Macau

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

Explore Macau Luxury Hotels 

10. Tel Aviv, Israel

20 Places To Go In 2020 Tel Aviv

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

Explore Tel Aviv Luxury Hotels

9. Vancouver Island, Canada

20 Places To Go In 2020 Vancouver Island

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

Explore Victoria Luxury Hotels

8. Doha, Qatar

20 Places To Go In 2020 Doha

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

Explore Doha Luxury Hotels

7. Melbourne, Australia

20 Places To Go In 2020 Melbourne

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

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

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

Explore Melbourne Luxury Hotels

6. Nashville, Tennessee

20 Places To Go In 2020 Nashville

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

Explore Nashville Luxury Hotels

5. Dominica

20 Places To Go In 2020 Dominica

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

Book a stay at Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski

4. Porto, Portugal

20 Places To Go In 2020 Porto Portugal

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

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

Explore Porto Luxury Hotels

3. Plymouth, England & Plymouth, Massachusetts

20 Places To Go In 2020 Plymouth

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

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

2. Dubai, UAE

20 Places To Go In 2020 Dubai

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

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

Explore Dubai Luxury Hotels

1. Tokyo, Japan

20 Places To Go In 2020 Tokyo

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

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

Explore Tokyo Luxury Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Featuring breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps, the Corner Suites at the Gstaad Palace Hotel provide a luxurious alpine setting during the winter ski season and the summer months. Recently renovated, the suites have 90 square meters of space, including a bedroom with a king size bed, lounge area, and a dining room. Read more below the photo. 

Corner Suite at Gstaad Palace Hotel

For relaxation, each suite has a private balcony, and bathrooms feature steam baths. There are walk-in wardrobes and all Corner Suites can be connected to Deluxe Junior Suites. Continue reading below the photo.

Gstaad Palace Hotel

The Gstaad Palace Hotel is a legendary hotel in the heart of the Swiss Alps offering one-of-a-kind views. A favorite of national and international guests since opening in 1913, the hotel has been family owned for three generations. From elegant dinners to casual get togethers, the hotel has an array of dining options including Le Grill, and La Fromagerie serving Swiss specialties. Read more below the photo of Le Grill Restaurant.

Le Grill Restaurant at Gstaad Palace

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include daily dinner at Le Grand Restaurant (up to CHF110 per person) or CHF50 credit at all other restaurants and a CHF100 spa voucher per stay for spa services.

Check availability at Gstaad Palace Hotel


| 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

The holiday season is here, and New York City is a aglow with festiveness at every turn. The Rockettes perform their iconic show at the Radio City Music Hall, while steps away is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree illuminating the city and the ice skaters below. The department store windows are decorated with storybook scenes and the latest trends, while shoppers inside seek the perfect gifts to everyone on their list. 

In this edition of Destination Spotlight, we've gathered insider information and recommendations from Luxury Travel Intelligence, a site offering details for the well-informed luxury traveler. For timeless French cuisine Luxury Travel Intelligence recommends Boucherie Union Square, while Casa Apicii in Greenwich Village is a notable new addition serving Italian with a touch of California. Nobu Downtown has a 13-seat sushi bar with omakase and osusume menus, and the restaurant's signature dishes include "black cod miso, yellowtail jalapeño and rock shrimp tempura are all on the menu, as are new dishes like short ribs with jalapeño salsa and bigeye tuna tataki with eryngii mushrooms and Holland hot peppers."

Ready for a holiday trip to New York City?

Here are 5 Top New York City Luxury Hotels:

5. Lotte New York Palace

Lotte New York Palace

Overlooking St. Patrick's Cathedral, Lotte New York Palace is a landmark hotel on the corner of 50th and Madison. For dining, the Villard House is the destination for New American fare within an elegantly-restored palazzo, and Pomme Palais provides the feel of a Parisian pastry shop. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include a full breakfast for two daily available in Villard Restaurant or Pomme Palais Bakery or through in-room dining (up to $100 credit per room per day inclusive of taxes and gratuity), a $100 spa credit once during stay (not applicable to products), complimentary WiFi, and a welcome card.

Book a stay at Lotte New York Palace

4. The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel

The Beekman

Nestled in lower Manhattan within a historic building dating back to 1883, The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel opened following a complete overhaul of the space. Guest rooms and suites within the landmark structure have bespoke and vintage furnishings, high ceilings, aged oak floors, and craft cocktail tables. Luxury Travel Insider remarked, "We love the spacious marble bathrooms with rain showers. The ground level has a lobby bar and two restaurants from Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally. The nine-story central atrium, which includes Victorian cast iron banisters and pyramidal skylight, is a real stand-out feature to this hotel."

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include continental breakfast for two daily in Tom Colicchio's Temple Court, a $50 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (no cash value), and a $50 minibar credit per room/per stay (no cash value).

Book a stay at The Beekman

3. The Lowell

Garden Suite at The Lowell

Steps from the fashion houses of Madison Avenue and the shops along Fifth Avenue, The Lowell offers timeless elegance in the Upper East Side. The property's newest dining additions are overseen by legendary restauranteur Charles Masson, The Club Room is a sophisticated retreat, and the Pembroke Room serves a beloved breakfast and afternoon tea.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the “5 Star Signature Package” rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily in The Pembroke Room (also available through room service), a $100 food and beverage credit, per room/per stay, and a seasonal welcome amenity. 

Book a stay at The Lowell

2. The Plaza Hotel

Holidays at The Plaza Hotel

Set at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, The Plaza Hotel is a legendary hotel offering the finest services and amenities. Completely revitalized, the property's guest rooms and suites have French decor and Louis XV styling, iPads to customize room environment and contact guest services, plus white-glove butler service. The Palm Court is an iconic destination for afternoon tea, while other culinary destinations include The Todd English Food Hall, The Rose Club, and The Champagne Bar.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Rack Rate" will also include continental breakfast for two daily and a $100 food and beverage credit once during stay.

Book a stay at The Plaza Hotel

1. Baccarat Hotel

The bar at Baccarat Hotel New York

Featuring a blend of modern Manhattan design and classic French hôtel particulier, the Baccarat Hotel provides an ideal location across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, just a short stroll from Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue. Luxury Travel Intelligence says "After a few false starts, Paris finally comes to New York". Designed by the esteemed French design team of Gilles & Boissier, there's a private art collection including works from the 18th century to modern day, and the bar is a chic spot for cocktails amidst the glow of Baccarat chandeliers. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include continental breakfast for two daily, a $50 food and beverage credit, a $50 spa credit at Spa de la Mer per room/per stay (no cash value), and $100 to be applied towards dining at 2 Michelin Star Gabriel Kreuther Restaurant in Bryant Park, per room, per stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full).

Book a stay at the Baccarat Hotel

Explore more New York City Luxury Hotels

Interested in becoming a member of Luxury Travel Intelligence? Click here and use invitation code: FIVESTAR400.


| By: Rachael Weir

Perched between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town is a first class luxury destination with a unique history. A popular destination for its golden beaches, water sports, mountaineering, and cycling, the city offers an array of five star hotels, high end spas, nightlife, and fine dining. While just a few miles from the city, travelers will find world-class vineyards with highly-rated restaurants. 

In this edition of Destination Spotlight, we've gathered insider information and recommendations from Luxury Travel Intelligence, a site offering details for the well-informed luxury traveler. They recommend Reverie Social for a unique dining experience, Lew Rood for local concierge services, and NAC Helicopters for private flights over Table Mountain, vineyards, and beaches. Looking for an andrenaline rush? Apex Predators can arrange private cage dives with great white sharks.

Foodies and gourmands have plenty of world-class dining options while visiting Cape Town. "We suggest you go for lunch and enjoy outstanding food with a great selection of the vineyards wines and views over the mountains and vines. Restaurants we recommend for a leisurely lunch include: Rust en Vrede, and in the winery of the same name, the restaurant at Buitenverwachting, the restaurant at Jordans Wine EstatePierneef at La Motte wine estate, Terroir at Kleine Zalze Wine EstateBosjes – a wonderful find, around an hour’s drive from Cape Town, in Slanghoek valley (note that this has become a popular wedding venue so check that it is not closed for an event before you set off)," says Luxury Travel Insider. 

Here are 5 Top Cape Town Luxury Hotels: 

5. 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

Spa Picnic at 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

For travelers seeking a location outside of the city, 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is an award-winning hotel along Cape Town's scenic route. Set between the Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, the boutique hotel combines African style and classic European comforts. Boasting legendary Atlantic Ocean sunsets, the hotel has a 16-seat private theater, dining at the Azure Restaurant and Cafe Grill, famous Leopard Bar, spa, and shuttle service to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package", "Rack Rates", "Corporate Rates" or "Best Available" rates will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily, a two course lunch per person/per stay, and one afternoon tea per person/per stay.

Book a stay at Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

4. Cape Grace

Cape Grace

On its own private quay in the heart of the city, Cape Grace has French windows in all of the rooms providing views of the harbor, marina, and Table Mountain. Close to the Clock Tower, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Grace reflects the city's heritage with hand painted fabrics by local artists, Dutch china, and crystal chandelers. The Bascule whisky, wine, and cocktail bar has the largest selection of whisky in the southern hemisphere, and the spa on the top floor of the hotel provides views over Table Mountain, the marina, and the city. Luxury Travel Intelligence states "Rooftop Terrace rooms offer value for money. They are almost Junior Suites, with large sitting areas, a dressing room and a terrace with some of the best views in the hotel – room 402 in particular."

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include a R700 food and beverage credit per room/per stay and a full breakfast for two daily in Signal Restaurant or through room service. Reservations in a Suite for a minimum of two (2) nights will also receive two 60-minute Signature Spa treatments once per stay. 

Book a stay at Cape Grace

3.One&Only Cape Town

View from the Table Mountain Suite Balcony at One&Only Cape Town

Set between the sandstone cliffs cascading into the waters of two oceans, One&Only Cape Town is an urban chic luxury hotel located in the heart of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Showcasing captivating views of Table Mountain, there is a large free form infinity pool surrounded by lounge chairs. Luxury Travel Intelligence states "We like the contemporary African theme with polished floors, stone, wood and lots of glass – double height windows give an impressive view over Table Mountain" and "The Wine Loft has an unusual entrance through a three level glass and steel wall holding over 5000 bottles wine, the majority being South African."

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance will also receive one complimentary select menu lunch or dinner for two in Reuben's once during stay (excluding beverages), full breakfast for two daily at Reuben's, and a room category upgrade at check-in (based on availability).

Book a stay at One&Only Cape Town

2. Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Belmond Mount Nelson

Situated a short stroll from Kloof and Long Streets, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is an iconic pink-clad building surrounded by palm trees. According to Luxury Travel Intelligence, the property is furnished in an elegant and colonial style, "think white suit and panama hat. Highly polished wood floors, traditional carpeting and black and white check floors in conservatory. Pink exterior makes this one of the most recognised hotels in Cape Town." Opened over 100 years ago, the hotel has been the place to stay for politicians and celebrities for decades, and the Planet Bar is popular today with young and affluent Capetonians.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked through Five Star Alliance will also include afternoon or evening tea for two once during stay, VIP status, a full breakfast for two daily in the restaurant OR a continental breakfast for two daily through in-room dining, complimentary internet access, and complimentary use of the business center.

Book a stay at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

1. Taj Cape Town

Presidential Suite Bath at Taj Cape Town

Providing a prime location at the entrance of the pedestrian precint of St. George's Mall, Taj Cape Town offers the award-winning Jiva Grande Spa. There are two on-site dining experiences including Bombay Brasserie serving fine Indian Cuisine, and Mint with a relaxed environment. Blending history and modernity, luxury rooms are set within the heritage and contemporary wings, offering city or Table Mountain views.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" will also include also receive full breakfast for two daily, a 1 and 1/2 hour city walking tour with a professional guide, a wine tasting for two in the Wine Gallery once during stay, a Cape Gin experience per guest per guest/per stay, and complimentary internet.

Book a stay at Taj Cape Town

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Interested in becoming a member of Luxury Travel Intelligence? Click here and use invitation code: FIVESTAR400.


| By: Rachael Weir

Love art, history, food, and sea breezes? In our latest Featured Journeys we are heading to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Our adventure begins in Barcelona where artists have created awe-inspiring spires and works of art. Then we venture to Provence to the port city of Marseille for history and waterside culture. Last but not least, we finish our multi-destination itinerary in Monte Carlo, Monaco, where the glitterati venture for the Grand Prix. 

Barcelona, Spain

An intersection of cultures for more than 2,000 years, Barcelona is the autonomous capital of Catalunya. While it is located in Spain, the city is Catalonian in every way from its beachside cafes to the medieval streets of the Barri Gotic. Visionary artists have influenced the style of the city from Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia to the Picasso Museum. Foodies and gourmands flock to La Boqueria Market for goat chees, seafood bars, olives, and Iberian ham. Park Guell is a sprawling outdoor green space filled with sculpted greenery, and the tree-lined La Rambla leads down charming alleyways to the Santa Maria del Mar church. Ready to relax? Barceloneta Beach is the destination for locals and tourists alike. 

Neri Hotel

Lobby of the Neri Hotel

Situated right beside the city's Cathedral, the Neri Hotel is a chic and exclusive boutique hotel in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. A member of the Relais & Chateaux, the property occupies two historic buildings, including a Medieval Palace from the XII century. Featuring sophisticated design throughout, the property blends music and sensual aromas to create a one-of-a-kind retreat in this ancient area of central Barcelona, steps from Las Ramblas, la Boqueria market, and the Picasso Museum. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily, private transfer from the airport, and a welcome bottle of Spanish olive oil.

Book a stay at Neri Hotel

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Marseille, France

Dating back to classical Greece, Marseille is a multicultural port city where grandeur and grit blend together. Named the European Capital of Culture in 2013, the city has welcomed world-class museums in recent years. Vieux Port (old port) is the heart of the city where yachts and pleasure boats set the scene. The Cathedrale de Marseille Notre Dame de la Major is the center of the Joliette neighborhood, and the Republique quarter is the destination for Haussmannian architecture and stylish boutiques. 

InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu

Terrace at InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu

The historic InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu is an iconic landmark property offering commanding views of the city of Marseille, Vieux-Port, and the iconic Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica. Designed by Mansart's nephew, the property is ideally situated at the gateway to Provence with 194 rooms, two restaurants, a bar, grand outdoor terrace, and a 10,000-square foot Spa by Clarins. Guests of the hotel can bear witness to the property's impressive historic via its majestic staircases, vaulted passages, French gardens, and terraces. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK:  Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily in Les Fenetres, a 50 EUR food and beverage credit in Les Fenetres per room/per stay, (or for stays in 2020, an 85 Euro or $100 USD hotel credit per person/per stay – not valid for Alcyone Michelin Star Restaurant, Spa by Clarins and Conciergerie), complimentary WiFi, access to the Clarins Spa facilities and an automatic room category upgrade to a Seaview room at booking, based on availability. With a stay of three (3) nights or more, guests also receive a bottle of Champagne.

Book a stay at InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu

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Monte Carlo, Monaco

Surrounded by France on three sides and the Mediterranean on the fourth, the city-state of Monaco is home to the world's greatest number of billionaires per capita. A haven for celebrities and high-rollers for centuries, most of Monaco's revenue comes from banking, tourism, and gambling. The world's second-smallest country is just 200 hectares, and it is home to the annual Formula One Grand Prix. Monte Carlo is dominated by glass and concrete, with high-rise hotels and super yachts along its meandering streets.

Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo

Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo

Situated a stone's throw from the famous Casino Square, Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo provides carefree elegance. Located in the heart of Monaco, this historic palace hotel combines tradition with contemporary comforts and offers guests extravagance at its finest. There are three restaurants and bars, including  one-starred Michelin Le Vistamar restaurant, to experience “la dolce vita à la Rivera” with Grand Cru wines, plus a wellness center with a heated seawater pool and fitness center with panoramic views. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive daily buffet breakfast for two at Eiffel Mezzanine, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay (excluding the minibar), the Cercle Monte Carlo Card with added special privileges, complimentary WiFi, and a VIP welcome.

Book a stay at Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo

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| By: Rachael Weir

Steps from Madrid's Golden Mile with museums and designer boutiques, Hotel Unico Madrid offers a historic setting infused with contemporary style and modern amenities. Read more about the hotel and an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Dining at Hotel Unico Madrid

For travelers seeking the feel of having their own apartment with all the services of a superior category room, the Grand Suite provides a residential retreat within a refurbished palatial town house. The private pied-à-terre has plenty of natural light, a master bedroom with a king bed topped by Egyptian cotton sheets and four pillows, plus a separate living room with a sofa bed, 48-inch TV, Bluetooth sound system, minibar, and Nespresso coffee machine.

While the centerpiece of the suite is the bathroom showcasing a Kaos bathtub with massage jets by the Italian firm Bath Italy, natural paraben-free toiletries by Finca Gayeta of Mallorca, and a separate shower stall with ceiling-mounted Dormbracht rain shower head. Learn more about the hotel and an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo. 

Grand Suite Bath at Hotel Unico Madrid

The hotel's restaurant Ramón Freixa is a recipient of 2 Michelin Stars. With a mission to bring the most creative and innovative cuisine to the table, the restaurant offers guests a Madrid-focused gastronomic experience. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: All reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include daily full breakfast for two in Ramon Freixa Restaurant and a 4G Pocket WiFi Device for use during the stay. Reservations for a minimum of two (2) nights will also receive a 45 Euro lunch credit once per stay and per person for up to 2 guests (no cash value and excluding alcoholic beverages/taxes/gratuities). Reservations for a minimum of three (3) nights in a Suite or Junior Suite will also enjoy the private use of an iPad during their stay and a 30 Euro laundry services credit.

Check availability at Hotel Unico Madrid


| By: Rachael Weir

Blending art, culture, heritage, and creativity, Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo is a luxury hotel set within a former prison, just around the corner from the Grand Palace. Set amidst cobbled streets, the hotel's historic architecture is accented by the latest in modern comforts, providing guests with a range of chic rooms and suites with views of either the Grand Palace or the rooftops of Brussels. Learn more about the hotel and an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Suite at Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo

Offering a central location in the city's Old Town, the hotel makes an ideal base for exploring historic and cultural sights, European Parliament, and the financial district. Brussels is a destination for world-class contemporary art, and guests of the hotel can enjoy the property's extensive on-site collection of artwork including original Magritte lithographs, prints of Herge’s enduring classic, Tintin, and pieces by Goossens, Moulinsart, and Broodthaers. Read more below the photo.

Executive Suite at Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo

For dining, Ristorante Bocconi provides a menu showcases fine Italian cuisine prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. While the glamorous Bar A serves cocktails in a candlelit atmospere with live music. Learn about an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the restaurant photo.

Ristorante Bocconi

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily at Ristorante Bocconi, and an 85 Euro food and beverage credit per room/per stay.

Check availability at Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo


| By: Rachael Weir

Set along the Danube, Budapest offers a sophisticated setting steeped in history with a thriving nightlife scene. Featuring Hapsburg architecture throughout the city, visitors can enjoy the grandeur of the Hungarian State Opera house, Royal Palace, and the grand boulevards. 

Travelers will want to visit the Castle District, home to the Royal Palace and the gothic Matthias Church. Heroes Square is a spot known for frescoes and Old Master paintings, and the City Park provides a lake-dotted green respite in the city. 

Due to an array of hot springs, locals and travelers having been "taking to the waters" since the Romans first arrived. Today, travelers can choose from a variety of bathhouses reflecting various styles from art nouveau like Széchenyi to the Turkish-style Rudas. 

While foodies will have plenty to discover in Budapest as well. The flavors of Eastern and Central Europe combine to create a cusine of its own, which pairs well with Hungary's fine wines ranging from Eger's reds to Somló’s crisp whites. 

History enthusiasts will find remnants of the past throughout Budapest including the Shoes on the Danube Memorial, and the House of Terror that is now a museum detailing the stories of the parties that ruled Budapest. While evidence of bullet holes and shrapnel pockmarks remind visitors of the past.

Here are 5 Top Budapest Luxury Hotels:

5. Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

Featuring a landmark setting along the Danube, Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace is a luxury hotel blending historic grandeur with a youthful spirit and Four Seasons hospitality. The restored palace has an ornate Preciosa chandelier, dramatic stairways, and two million mosaic tiles. The spa pays homage to Budapest's heritage in wellness, and named after the Hungarian word for collage, Kollazs is a contemporary European brasserie serving contemporary interpretations of European classics. 

Book a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

4. Kempinski Hotel Corvinus

Dining at Kempinski Hotel Corvinus

Comprised of 351 rooms and suites, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is located a short walk from the Danube River. The property offers culinary attractions within its Gastronomic Quarter Downtown Budapest, including two restaurants, two bars, a coffeehouse, and a deli. Close to the city's main attractions, the hotel has Kempinski The Spa for a variety of treatments, along with ten meeting and event venues. 

Book a stay at Kempinski Hotel Corvinus

3. The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest

The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest

Blending modern luxury with a touch of tradition, The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest is a luxury hotel set within a 20th century heritage building. Located a short stroll from St. Stephen's Basilica, Erzsébet Square, and the River Danube, the hotel offers residential-style accommodations, a European spa, and Hungarian-infused cuisine at Deák St. Kitchen. 

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

Book a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest

2. Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Opened in 1896 as the Grand Hotel Royal, the Corinthia Hotel Budapest is a grand hotel blending the highest standards of contemporary luxury with the glamour of a bygone age with marble floors, a six-story atrium, glimmering chandeliers, and a ballroom. Plus, The Royal Spa has been fully remodeled with the finest modern treatments and services, as well as a 15-meter swimming pool.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily at Brasserie and Atrium Restaurant, a complimentary one-way transfer between the hotel and the Budapest Airport, and a personalized welcome in-room water and fruit amenity.

Book a stay at Corinthia Hotel Budapest

1. Aria Hotel Budapest

Aria Hotel Budapest

Blending a lavish palace with the feel of a private residence, Aria Hotel Budapest is a luxury hotel infused with a music theme. The glass-enclosed Music Garden is set within a climate-controlled courtyard with piano key floor tiles, LED imaging screen, and sophisticated atmosphere. Accommodations are located within four wings dedicated to the major genres of Classical, Opera, Contemporary, and Jazz. While the High Note SkyBar is a full-service rooftop garden with landscaping, dining, cocktails, sunbathing, and one-of-a-kind views of the Basilica and historic city. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily in Music Garden/Stradivari Restaurant, an EUR 80 SPA credit, per room/per stay, and a welcome fruit plate and chocolate amenity.

Book a stay at Aria Hotel Budapest

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| By: Rachael Weir

Providing a one-of-a-kind retreat in the iconic Hotel Dieu, the Presidential Suite at the InterContinental Lyon - Hotel Dieu provides balconies with exclusive views of the dome signed by architect Soufflot. Designed by luxury hotel designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, the unique suite features contemporary styling with 150 square meters of space (1,614 square feet). There's a living room with two large sofas and two chairs, as well as a dining room with seating for six. Plus, a separate bedroom with a luxurious setting. Continue reading about the hotel and exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks below the photo.

InterContinental Lyon - Hotel Dieu

Built on the banks of the Rhone River between 1741 and 1761 following the plans of architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot, the Hotel Dieu was once a renowned surgical center. In 1914 the hospital was requisitioned by the French Army as a military hospital. During World War II the Hotel Dieu was severly damaged on many level, and the Grand Dome Soufflot destroyed by fire on September 4, 1944. The reconstruction wouldn't be completed until the 1960s. In 2010, the property closed down permanently as a hospital.

In 2015, the contruction of the Grand Hotel Dieu began, and the hospital was transformed into a grand luxury hotel in the heart of the city of gastronomy. The InterContinental Lyon-Hotel Dieu opened in 2019. Considered one of Lyon's most historic and emblematic landmark buildings, the property offers a contemporary take on design, classic French dishes with a modern twist, and views of the Rhone River. Continue reading below the photo for an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk. 

Lobby of InterContinental Lyon - Hotel Dieu

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for each guest daily in the hotel restaurant, a 50 Euro food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and a with a minimum 3 night stay, a bottle of Champagne.

Check rates at InterContinental Lyon - Hotel Dieu


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