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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

Situated steps from the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte is a luxury hotel providing a calm and relaxing environment in Versilia. Offering five floors of accommodatios with distinctively unique themes, the grand hotel is redefining the concept of a holiday with an all-encompassing experience. The refined restaurant, Piccolo Principe is the recipient of 2 Michelin Stars with refined cuisine, extensive wine list, and exclusive sea views. Read more below the photo.

Piccolo Principe at Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

For relaxation and rejuvenation, the Wellness Center has water features, holistic beauty treatmens, and a fitness center. Plus, guests have exclusive access to the panoramic rooftop with a heated swimming pool, solarium, and "The Little Prince" bar and restaurant open during the summer months. Continue reading below the photo.

Rooftop dining at Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

In addition to the hotel's amenities, the property offers an idyllic location for guests to reconnect with the sea at the nearby International Cetacean Sanctuary. The Tyrrhenian Sea is a haven for whale watching particularly from May to October, and the area is home to a large group of dolphins that live along the Viareggio Coast. Continue reading below the photo of the dolphins along the Viareggio coast.

Whale and dolphin watching off the coast by Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

The Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte provides an ideal setting for guests interested in going on organized day trips with marine biologists, as the luxury hotel is a 30-minute stroll from the Piazza Palombari dell'Artiglio, where the boat tours depart. The boat tours are organized by cooperatives that support the protection and peace of the dolphins and whales in the Pelagos Sanctuary. Established in 1999 between Italy, France, and Monaco, the sanctuary is an international reserve that extends north of the Tyrrhenian Sea, around the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago to Provence. Viareggio is one of the main starting points for exploring the Italian Cetacean Sanctuary via boat, where guests enjoy lunch on board, watch for whales and dolphins, as well as seeing a variety of marine animals like turtle, manta rays, swordfish and tuna. Read more below the photo.

Whale and dolphin watching cruise from Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

In addition to the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte's amenities and prime location for whale watching excursions, the hotel offers exclusive perks for Five Star Alliance guests. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive a $50 food and beverage credit per room, per stay. Plus, a bottle of Prosecco, welcome amenity, and subject to availability at check-in, a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Explore the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated at an enviable spot on Lake Como, Villa d'Este is a luxury hotel originally built in 1568 for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio and the residence of aristocrats for centuries. Transformed into a five-star resort in 1873, the property has welcomed princesses, sultans, tsars, and marquises. Offering guestrooms and suites within two buildings, the Cardinal Building and the Queen's Pavilion, accommodations are furnished with antiques, luxe marble bathrooms, silks, and velvets, with elegant paintings and prints. Continue reading below the photo of Villa d'Este. 

Villa d'Este exterior

Within the luxury resort there are two Presidential Suites. Providing incomparable charm, the suites have expansive views of Lake Como and the surrounding gardens. Lavishly furnished, the two Presidential Suites are located on the first floor of the Cardinal Building, with 50 square meters of space, and can be connected to adjoining suites for larger groups. Read more below the Presidential Suite photo.

Presidential Suite at Villa d'Este

In addition to the Presidential Suites, the property also offers four villas for guests seeking extra privacy. Providing all the services of the property, each of the four villas respects the regal history of the resort while providing an exclusive retreat. Including the Villa Garrovo, a three-story villa built in 1833 with six bedrooms, large living area, full kitchen, gym, veranda, and hidden garden. Read more below the Villa d'Este swimming pool photo.

Villa d'Este swimming pool

On the property there's a self-drive boat for guests to explore Lake Como. There's also a variety of dining options throughout the proeprty, including the Veranda Restaurant and Sundeck Bar. The Sporting Club has complimentary fitness equipment, and guests have access to the nearby Villa d'Este Golf Club. Plus, the Beauty Center of Villa d'Este is connected to the Sporting Club by an underground passage with a waterfall wall, Asian-inspired atmosphere, personalized treatments by physiotherapists and beauticians, and an exclusive line of products by Villa d'Este. 

Check availability at Villa d'Este


| By: Rachael Weir

What's better than shopping at the Fendi flagship boutique in Rome? Staying above the store on the third floor of the Maison's home, Palazzo Fendi, which is now the Fendi Private Suites. Providing a stylish and elegant setting in the heart of Rome, the world's first Fendi hotel is steps away from the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, and just a short walk to the Pantheon, Vatican City, and the Piazza Navona. Read more below the photo of the Corner Suite at the Fendi Private Suites. 

Corner Suite at the Fendi Private Suites

Offering seven designer suites, the exclusive property features a one-of-the-kind retreat. Guests are immersed in the elegance of the Fendi world, which offers a highly sophisticated setting with the ultimate level of privacy. Situated within the historic noble home of the Boncompagni Ludovisi family that was transformed into the Fendi headquarters in 2005, the property provides a distinctive location on the Via dei Condotti, with accommodations that combine Roman elegance mingled with refined juxtapositions of contemporary design. Continue reading below the photo of the Deluxe Suite at the Fendi Private Suites. 

Deluxe Suite at the Fendi Private Suites

Guests can choose from seven suites at the property, including the Palazzo Suite with a separate master bedroom and living area, Karl Lagerfeld's original prints of Rome's fountains, and a bathroom with Carrara marble walls. Designed by Fendi Casa architects, the Deluxe Suite boasts two one-of-a-kind views of Via del Corso and Via Tomacelli with large windows, images from Lagerfeld's "The Glory of Water" series, and a headboard adorned with a fur masterpiece. While the Corner Suite overlooks the corner of Largo Goldoni and Via di Fontanella Borghese with a bed dressed in Fendi Casa’s Makò cotton satin bed linens, limited edition furnishings, and original Lagerfeld photographs. 

Check availability at Fendi Private Suites


| By: Rachael Weir

Showcasing Venetian history and culture, Palazzo Venart is an ultra-luxe hotel along the Grand Canal with direct water access. Set within a former aristocratic residence, the property offers accommodations and event venues with frescoes, marble fireplaces, and original works of art. Restored by Venetian specialists, the property retains its renaissance grandeur infused with modern luxuries such as flat-screen TVs, minibars, and marble bathrooms with tubs or showers. Plus, the property's 18 guestrooms and suites feature views of Venice. Read more below the photo.

Guest suite at the Palazzo Venart

In addition to historically-infused accommodations, Palazzo Venart has Michelin Star dining at The GLAM restaurant. Serving classic Venetian fare by chef Enrico Bartolini, the cuisine is prepared with a contemporary twist, for a modern take on local Venetian gastronomy. Guests enter the restaurant via a discreet courtyard shaded by magnolia trees, with indoor seating as well al fresco options. Continue below the photo for a special perks offer.

Dining at Palazzo Venart

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive  a complimentary aperitivo for two. For guests booking Luxury or Suite room categories receive a choice of an included one way transfer to or from the airport or ferry terminal OR a complimentary one hour walking tour.

Check availability at Palazzo Venart


| By: Rachael Weir

Adjacent to the Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Montemartini offers an exclusive setting in the center of Rome. The only hotel in the city crossed by the ancient Servian Wall, the luxury hotel occupies a former palazzo. Mixing historic 19th century details like marble and stucco with contemporary design and high-tech elegance, the prestigious property has 82 guestrooms and suites, including Signature Suites, Business Suites, and Spa and Fitness Suites. Read more below the photo of the Junior Suite. 

Junior Suite at Palazzo Montemartini

Steps from the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, designed by Michelangelo, Palazzo Montemartini has the exclusive Caschera Spa featuring packages and treatments inspired by the adjacent  Baths of Diocletian. There's also the Senses Restaurant & Lounge Bar providing a refined setting blended with Italian traditions and modern infusions. Read more below the photo of Senses Restaurant.

Senses Restaurant & Lounge Bar

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a bottle of Italian wine, 10% discount at Senses Restaurant and the Caschera Spa.

Check availability at Palazzo Montemartini


| By: Rachael Weir

18 Places to go in 2018 by Five Star Alliance

Happy 2018! The start of the new year is the perfect time to start planning adventures near and far. From bucket list destinations to weekend getaways, we've put together a list of our top 18 picks for places to go in 2018. 

1. Florence, Italy

18 Places to go in 2018 Florence, Italy

Following a two-year renovation, the half-mile-long Vasari Corridor will reopen this year. The 16th century passageway was built by the Medicis to move unseen across the Arno River between the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi Gallery offices. The Renaissance city also recently celebrated the opening of the Franco Zeffirelli Center for the Performing Arts in Plaza San Firenze with a lineup of classical music and Italian film events. In October, the Uffizi will unveil Codex Leicester, featuring a special collection of scientific drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci (on loan from Bill Gates). For views of Il Duomo (and special perks for Five Star Alliance guests) Brunelleschi Hotel Florence is located in the city's pedestrian-only historic center with an upscale Italian restaurant and traditional trattoria. Hotel Il Salviatino is set within a 15th century villa that features views of Florence and the rolling Tuscan hills, while Belmond Villa San Michelle is located on a hillside overlooking the city in a former monastery with suites, Tuscan dining, pool, and special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. 

Explore more Florence Hotels

 

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

18 Places to go in 2018 New Orleans, Louisiana

Celebrating its 300th birthday in 2018, the city of New Orleans will be hosting more than 160 events throughout the year to commemorate the tricentennial year. Always a haven for jazz lovers, history buffs, and foodies, there's a variety of events taking place annually including Mardi Gras in February, April welcomes Jazz Fest, and July is the time for Tales of the Cocktail where bartenders from around the world show off their skills in the city where cocktails were invented. The W New Orleans French Quarter is steps from Jackson Square, as well as live Jazz venues and popular restaurants. For historic charm along with an Oyster Butler, Crawfish Concierge, and Snowball Sommelier, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans offers a classic setting in two historic buildings on Canal Street. The NOPSI Hotel provides a boutique setting in the heart of the business district with Spa Suites, local cuisine, and a rooftop pool and lounge. While Le Meridien New Orleans features contemporary design with French-inspired amenities and a rooftop pool in downtown. 

Explore more New Orleans Hotels

 

3. Vienna, Austria

18 Places to go in 2018 Vienna, Austria

Known for classical music and the festive ball season, in 2018 Vienna is celebrating Modernism, as four of the art movement's most important artists--Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner, and Koloman Moser passed away 100 years ago. The Beauty and the Abyss celebration of Modernism will celebrated with with special exhibitions at a variety of venues including the Leopold Museum, Lower Belvedere, MAK--Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, Wien Museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, and the Jewish Museum Vienna. The historic Hotel Sacher Wien provides a central location in the heart of the city, opposite the Vienna State Opera House and next to the Albertina Gallery with a traditional Austrian coffeehouse and fine dining. Nearby, The Hotel Bristol Vienna, a Luxury Collection Hotel offers a historic setting with fine dining at the Art Deco Bristol Lounge, fitness center, and meeting venues. Built in 1863 for the prince of Württemberg, Hotel Imperial provides world class service and a unique location on the famous Ringstrasse next to the Musikverein Vienna. 

Explore more Vienna Hotels

 

4. Buenos Aires, Argentina

18 Places to go in 2018 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Home to an array of art galleries, Buenos Aires is partaking in the inaugural, yearlong Art Basel initiative, which will include art lectures, workshops, as well as showcase local and international artists. In October, the city is hosting the Youth Olympic Games. The trendy Tegui restaurant in the Palermo neighborhood made the list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants. Situated in El Porteno Building, Faena Hotel Buenos Aires allows guests to experience the city like a Porteno in an atmosphere dedicated to art and fine living. Decorated in Empire and Louis XV style, the Alvear Palace Hotel serves classic Afternoon Tea at L'Orangerie and the Cigar Bar with an exclusive selection. While the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires is located along the Avenida Alvear with fashionable shopping and a luxury spa. 

Explore more Buenos Aires Hotels

 

5. Minneapolis, Minnesota

18 Places to go in 2018 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Offering four distinctive seasons of outdoor activities, Minneapolis will be hosting the Super Bowl on February 4. Surrounding the Big Game festivities, there will be concerts, ice sculptures, and an Ice Palace in nearby St. Paul. While the city is known for cold winters, spring, summer, and fall provide idyllic weather for exploring the state's multitude of lakes, biking trails, and parks. Plus, Prince's Paisley Park recently opened for tours, the Walker Art Center recently remodeled their outdoor sculpture garden, the Uptown Art Festival the first weekend in August showcases local and international artists, and the annual Minnesota State Fair (August 23 to September 3, 2018) attracts visitors from all over the world. The W Minneapolis - The Foshay is an art deco landmark transformed into a chic boutique hotel, Loews Minneapolis is connected to the downtown area's skyway system and steps from Target Center and Target Field, and the Marquette Hotel is located in the inconic IDS Center. 

Explore more Minneapolis Hotels

 

6. Cairo, Egypt

18 Places to go  in 2018 Cairo

Not far from the Great Pyramids, The Grand Egyptian Museum is set to open in 2018. Designed by Heneghan Peng Architects, the new museum will showcase more than 100,000 artifacts, as well as an atrium with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall with panoramic views of the Pyramid of Menkaure and the Great Pyramid of Khufu. The Nile Ritz-Carlton features exclusive Nile views with a rooftop bar, Afternoon Tea, and Egyptian-infused spa. Situated thirty minutes from the Sphinx and Great Pyramids of Giza, The Fairmont Cairo, Nile City is located within the Nile City Corporate Complex and offers a full-service Willow Stream Spa and a rooftop poolside sky bar with panoramic views of the city and pyramids. For a boutique setting, Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City Cairo blends European luxury mixed with regional influences on the eastern bank of The Nile River.

Explore more Cairo Hotels

 

7. London, United Kingdom

18 Places to go in 2018 London

There's another royal baby due in the spring, and it's time for another Royal Wedding! Making London one of the places to be this year. Plus, there's a new movie about Winston Churchill, giving visitors the perfect reason to check out Churchill's War Rooms, and other historic sites throughout the British capital. Overlooking Hyde Park, The Wellesley is a boutique hotel close to Buckingham Palace with the Crystal Bar, Oval Restaurant, and one of Europe's largest Cigar Humidors. Combining English heritage with contemporary styling, Rosewood London offers fine dining, spa, and sophistication where the city meets Covent Garden and the West End on High Holborn. Situated in Belgravia, The Goring Hotel offers an unbeatable location close to Buckingham Palace with a Michelin-starred restaurant and classic English style. 

Explore more London Hotels

 

8. Los Cabos, Mexico

18 Places to go in 2018 Los Cabos

Booming with hip restaurant openings, new luxury resorts, and major renovations, the Baja Peninsula's San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas offer beachfront retreats. In addition to new resorts and dining options, the farm-to-table food scene is hot, as are the region's beaches and chic nightclubs. The recently opened Chileno Bay Resort & Residences provides a bayfront setting within a resort community with a swimmable beach, open-air dining, multi-level infinity pool, and championship golf. The Cape - A Thompson Hotel provides beachfront luxury with bi-level suites with private rooftops, private stairway to the surfing-friendly Monuments Beach, and regionally-inspired cuisine. While The Resort at Pedregal is reachable only via a private tunnel with 24 acres of mountainside property, featuring newly opened villas and revitalized culinary offerings. 

Explore more Los Cabos Hotels

 

9. Mauritius

18 Places to go in 2018 Mauritius

This year, the island nation of Mauritius is celebrating 50 years of independence after years of colonization by the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands. The airport is expanding and transforming into a hub for traveling to Asia, English is the dominant language, and the architecture and culture mix African, French, Chinese, and Indian traditions. Known for relaxed resorts and tropical mountain peaks, the country offers a retreat surrounded by the Indian Ocean. For privacy and luxury, Constance Le Prince Maurice has 64 Junior Suites, plus Family Suites, villas, and a Princely Suite, as well as the U Spa, Kids' Club, shopping, and two 18-hole golf courses. The Residence Mauritius provides a beachfront setting with accommodations in turn-of-the-century-inspired plantation houses, with family-friendly and adults-only pools and special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. While the oceanfront Constance Belle Mare Plage has a variety of water-focused recreation, four swimming pools, seven restaurants, and five bars within a tropical setting. 

Explore more Mauritius Hotels

 

10. Malta

18 Places to go in 2018 Malta

This island country is the designated European Capital of Culture in 2018, where the arts will be celebrated in a country that mixes Sicilian, North African, and Colonial England cultures. There's ornate architecture throughout the island, including the baroque St. John's Co-Cathedral, pre-historic ruins, and the must-try Stuffat tal-fenek--the national dish of rabbit stew. In January, Valetta's National Baroque Festival is held, and the Grand Excelsior Hotel makes an ideal base for exploring the capital city with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, Le Grand Spa, and a marina. The InterContinental Malta provides a modern island retreat with a casino, six restaurants and bars, spa, conference center, and spa close to Valetta, while The Xara Palace features a boutique setting in the medieval city of Medina. 

Explore more Malta Hotels

 

11. Oslo, Norway

18 Places to go in 2018 Oslo

This Nordic capital city is marking two important events in 2018. Norway's King and Queen are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and the modern Oslo Opera House is marking it's 10th year with a season of celebratory performances. The Hotel Continental Oslo offers a historic setting next to the National Theater, and close to the city's revitalized harbor with special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. While the Grand Hotel Oslo offers a grand setting along Karl Johan's  Gate close to shops and sidewalk cafes. For a contemporary setting, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo soars 37 stories above the Oslo Fjord. 

Explore more Oslo Hotels

 

12. San Antonio, Texas

18 Places to go in 2018 San Antonio

Marking its 300th anniversary this year, San Antonio has recently unveiled a variety of new developments, including the Bottling Department (the city's first food hall), the iconic barges along the River Walk were upgraded with electric models, and San Pedro Creek Culture Park transformed an old drainage ditch into a waterfront promenade with performance and art spaces. Special Tricentennial commemorative events will take place May 1-6, including events at each of San Antonio's five missions. On the historic River Walk, the Omni La Mansion del Rio is celebrating it's 50th anniversary of being transformed from a Catholic School into a luxury hotel for the 1968 World's Fair. The Grand Hyatt San Antonio overlooks the River Walk with an outdoor pool, sundeck, and special perks for Five Star Alliance guests. For those seeking a resort setting overlooking Texas Hill Country, La Cantera Resort and Spa recently underwent a complete renovation, and offers furnishings inspired by the area's ranch heritage, two championship golf courses, and five pools about 30 minutes from downtown. 

Explore more San Antonio Hotels

 

13. Sevilla, Spain

18 Places to go in 2018 Sevilla, Spain

In the midst of reinvigorating its artistic past, Sevilla is currently celebrating the 400th anniversary of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, a homegrown Baroque painter with special one-of-a-kind exhibitions. The city is also hosting the 31st European Film Awards, and the historic center provides an enchanting blend of architectural styles including a Gothic cathedral, medieval lanes, Flamenco clubs, baroque churches, and Mudéjar palaces. Once the Moorish capital, today Sevilla is the capital of Andalucia, offering luxury hotels such as the historic Hotel Alfonso XIII in the historic center with traditional architecture, courtyard, and regional cuisine. Nearby, Gran Melia Colon is furnished with reproductions of artwork by Spanish masters, a boutique hotel with RedLevel service within the hotel, and dining venues serving modern Andalusian cusine. For a well-preserved example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, Casa de Carmona is located about 20 minutes north of Sevilla and offers accommodations within a palace built in 1561, and fine dining in the former stables. 

Explore more Sevilla Hotels

 

14. Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil

18 Places to go in 2018 Iguazu Falls

Millions of visitors go to this famous UNESCO World Heritage Site with 275 roaring waterfalls straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil. To accommodate the influx of visitors, Cataratas del Iguazú Airport is expanding and modernizing. Within the national park, the Ecological Jungle Train that takes visitors on a 25-minute journey to the Devil's Throat Cascade is being converted from gas to electric, and multiple luxury resorts are set to open later this year. On the Brazil side of the falls, Belmond Hotel das Cataras offers guests exclusive access to the falls as well as a pastel-pink hideaway with gardens, fine dining, and a luxe outdoor pool. While The Iguazu Grand Resort Spa and Casino is located on the Argentina side of the falls with a full-service resort setting including authentic Argentine dining at La Terraza and the Spa del Parasiso providing treatments infused with natural ingredients like yerba mate and chocolate from nearby sources. 

Explore Iguaza Falls Hotels

 

15. Toronto, Canada

18 Places to go in 2018 Toronto

Last year Canada celebrated 150 years, and Toronto continues to add to the city's cosmopolitan "it" factor with new luxury hotels like the Bisha Hotel Toronto, along with hip restaurants with an understated Canadian vibe are taking the city to a new level. In 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art is relocating to a former factory in the Junction Triangle, and VIKINGS: The Exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum runs through April 2, 2018. The Thompson Toronto offers a modern residential style with floor-to-ceiling windows and a rooftop pool with skyline views. While The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto provides a classic downtown retreat along Wellington Street. 

Explore more Toronto Hotels

 

16. Bangkok, Thailand

18 Places to to go in 2018 Bangkok

In 2016, Bangkok was the most visited city in the world, with more than 21 million guests. Its popularity is sparking a rise in new luxury hotels and restaurants. In 2018, The Michelin Guide will debut, giving even more attention to  the city's creative culinary atmosphere. For art enthusiasts, Warehouse 30 is opening in  transformed World War II warehouses, ChangChui is a new entertainment complex constructed from upcycled materials, and the Thailand Creative & Design Center is moving to the iconic Charoen Krung Road in a space that was once a post office. To stay in the heart of Bangkok's historical palaces and temples, The Siam Hotel is set along the River of Kings with bespoke cultural amusements and an urban resort design with spacious suites, pool villas, and open-air roof terraces. Soaring 39 stories, The Peninsula Bangkok features panoramic city views on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and a three-tiered swimming pool. For contemporary style, Anantara Bangkok Sathorn is located within a 37-floor twin tower with an infinity pool and holistic spa treatments. 

Explore more Bangkok Hotels

 

17. Salzburg, Austria

18 Places to go in 2018 Salzburg

Referred to as the "City of Mozart" and the "Rome of the North" , Salzburg was a church state for more than 1,100 years. Symbols of the Catholic Church can be discovered throughout the historic Old Town of Salzburg, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2018, the City of Salzburg will celebrate the 200th anniversary of "Silent Night", which was written and first performed in the village of Oberndorf near Salzburg on December 24, 1818. The special exhibition "Silent Night 200 - History. Message. Present." will be open September 28, 2018 to February 3, 2019, and the musical "My Silent Night" will be performed at the iconic Felsenreitschule on November 24, 2018. Hotel Sacher Salzburg provides idyllic views of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, as well as fine dining at the Zirbelzimmer, and the Original Sacher-Torte cake in the Sacher Cafe. In the baroque city center, Hotel Goldener Hirsch combines a historic setting with Austrian style and state-of-the-art amenities, while Schloss Fuschl Resort and Spa features a lakeside setting in the Archbishop of Salzburg's former hunting lodge. 

Explore more Salzburg Hotels

 

18. Melbourne, Australia

18 Places to go in 2018 Melbourne, Australia

As the events capital of Australia, Melbourne is a growing city offering a cosmopolitan core that serves as an ideal gateway to exploring a variety of Australia's attractions, including the Phillip Island penguin walk which is 90 minutes from the city, and an hour and a half north of the city is the Nagambie Lakes, one of the country's oldest viticulture areas with renowned wineries and outdoor activities. For a grand setting opposite Parliament, The Hotel Windsor was built at the top of Collins Street in 1883. For panoramic views of the skyline and Yarra River from the hotel pool, Langham Hotel Melbourne provides an elegant setting on the Southbank Promenade, and the Art Series The Olsen is a luxury boutique hotel on Chapel Street. 

Explore more Melbourne Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Perched on the hillside of Fiesole, Hotel Il Salviatino provides a grand setting with views of Florence. Amidst the rolling Tuscan hills, the property is 15 minutes from the city center. Providing panoramic views of the surrounding area as well as  the Duomo, the hotel is set within a hand-restored 15th century villa with original frescoes that originally belonged to the Baldesi family. There are lush organic gardens, a terrace with Florence panoramas, private winery tours, and truffle hunting on the property grounds. Continue reading below the photo. 

Exterior of Hotel Il Salviatino

The hotel offers 44 guest rooms and suites, each with local artisianship and modern technology, including Nespresso coffee machines, WiFi, rain showers, and 24-hour Service Ambassadors. Read more below the guest room photo.

Green House Suite at Hotel Il Salviatino

During the summer months (May to October), the Il Salviatino has a two-tiered outdoor pool with incomparable views of the surrounding area. There's also a fully-equipped fitness center, and the spa has four treatment rooms, steam shower, and a variety of of aromatic and anti-agingin treatments. Read more below the pool photo.

Pool at Hotel Il Salviatino

For dining, La Cucina serves a seasonal menu highlighting organic fruits and vegetables grown on-site. Please note, the property is open seasonally from March to November.

Check rates and availability at Hotel Il Salviatino

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Facing the bay of Rapallo on the Italian Riviera, the Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo is a historic luxury hotel with with a beach club, spa, and event space. While The Hall is recognized for the property's collection of paintings, prints, furniture, and antiques. Guest rooms and suites look out onto the Portofino Coast, and feature locally-inspired furnishings, as well as antique furniture and prints. Read more below the guest room photo.

Guest room at the Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo

The Spa of the Excelsior Palace overlooks the sea with treatment rooms, indoor heated pool, and a fitness center with cardio machines. During the summer months the terrace hosts spinning classes, and there is a gazebo for outdoor massages. Read more below the photo.

Indoor Pool at Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo

From June to September, The Beach Club provides an outdoor oasis for guests to relax in the Italian sunshine. There are two infinity pools, cabanas, terraces with two Jacuzzis, and a jetty to transport guests via boat to Portofino, S. Fruttuoso, and the Cinque Terre. There's also the Eden Roc Lounge & Restaurant, serving lunch and dinner. Continue reading below the photo.

Dining at Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo

The property offers a Very Important Pet program, providing small cats and dogs with gourmet food options like braised beef and chicken with steamed rice for dogs, or scrambled egg with steamed salmon for felines. In addition to in-room amenities, there are special areas in the restaurant and the Beach Club where furry friends are welcome. Read more below the photo of the Beach Club's pet-friendly area.

Pet-Friendly Beach Club at the Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo

Plus, guests booking the Bed and Breakfast rate through Five Star Alliance with a stay of at least 3 nights receive a bottle of limoncello.

Check rates and availability at Excelsior Palace Hotel Rapallo


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated in the ancient city of Verona, Palazzo Victoria provides a quintessential Veronese setting infused with contemporary design and modern amenities. Located directly on the main street of Corso di Porta Borsari, the luxury hotel is steps from the Arena. There are a variety of elegant shops and restaurants to explore nearby, as well as the Piazza delle Erbe. Continue reading below the photo.

Exterior of Palazzo Victoria

Designed in typical Veronese style, the hotel has an inner courtyard and an original Zen garden. Throughout the property there are social spaces designed for guests to gather, such as an area with a pool table and the large contemporary lobby. There are ancient Roman remains that can be seen under the hotel, and within the building there are medieval frescoes and furnishings by renowned Italian designer Gaetano Pesce. Read more below the photo.

Lobby of Palazzo Victoria

The hotel's 74 guest rooms and suites combine modern conveniences with the refined atmosphere of the city's palaces of Verona. Age-old remains, marble, warm colors, and ancient techniques combine with incomparable views of the historic city. Continue reading below the photo.

Guest room at the Palazzo Victoria

For dining, Borsari 36 provides a gastronomic journey with a show kitchen, a window in the floor featuring views of Roman remains below, and air filled with the aromas of olive trees, fresh flowers, rosemary, sage, and basil. The chef-prepared cuisine is a modern interpretation of classic Italian traditions, including fresh grilled meats off an open barbeque, and either homemade pastas or artisinal dried pasta by Verrigna. 

Just outside of Verona begins the Valpolicella wine region which stretches west to Lake Garda. Renowned for classic reds that pair well with the region's hearty cuisine, the area offers a variety of vineyards to visit, as well as rustic osterie and family-run agriturismi. 

Learn more about Palazzo Victoria


| By: Rachael Weir

No tricks here, just Travel Treats! This Halloween we've gathered some of the top perks offers for Five Star Alliance guests around the globe. No need for anything scary here, just fabulous deals waiting for you. 

1. Taj Dubai

Taj Dubai

Soaring 35 stories over downtown, this opulent retreat features the Jiva Spa, luxe outdoor pool, stylish dining options, traditional Afternoon Tea, and creative activities for children.

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive daily breakfast for two at Tesoro, $100 Food and Beverage Credit per room, per stay. Plus, complimentary WiFi, and based on availability at check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check availability at Taj Dubai

2. Oceana Beach Club Hotel

Oceana Beach Club Hotel

Overlooking Pacific Palisades, this Southern California hotel offers wellness activities, locally sourced regional cuisine, and an outdoor pool with a fireplace. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive daily full American breakfast for two at Tower 8, in-room welcome amenity, and a welcome prosecco upon arrival. Also, subject to availability a room category upgrade, early check-in, or late check-out. 

Check availability at Oceana Beach Club Hotel

3. Nolinski Paris

Nolinski Paris

Set within a Haussmann building, this Parisian hotel is steps from the Comedie Francaise and the Palais Royal gardens with a spa, Grand Salon, and residential-style accommodations. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome pastry or appetizer, smartphone with unlimited international phone calls and internet to use during their stay, and guests staying between October 30, 2017 and February 25, 2018 receive a $100 spa credit per stay. 

Check availability at Nolinski Paris

4. Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Infused with genuine Inca culture and a location at the foot of Machu Picchu, this hotel offers Peruvian Cooking & Bar Classes, Andean Weddings, and ecological excursions. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a 50-minute massage for up to two people, and based on availability, an upgrade on arrival and early check-in/late check-out. 

Check availability at Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

5. Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

In the heart of Tuscany's Brunello winemaking region, the majestic estate with an 800-year history offers a Gothic chapel, 12th century castle fortress, and focus on wine. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive $100 USD resort credit (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full),  welcome amenity, and in-villa dinner delivered on arrival day. Also, based on availability at check-in/departure: room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check availability at Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

Looking for more exclusive offers? Explore all Five Star Alliance Perks


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