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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

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

Nestled within the priviliged Habsburg district of old Madrid, Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques provides a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. Close to the Royal Palace, Opera House, Cathedral, Puerta del Sol, and Gran Via shopping area, the luxury urban resort occupies two historic buildings, a 13th-century convent and the 19th-century Palace of Dukes of Granada de Ega. There's a lush outdoor space for guests, as well as a solarium, garden, and the Coroa Gallery Lounge & Gardens with contemporary Spanish cuisine and avant-garde decor. Read more about exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks & Suite Privileges below the hotel photo.

Rooftop Pool at Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

Offering a range of guest rooms and suites, one of the property's highlights is the One Bedroom Suite. Featuring a bedroom with a King Bed, these suites have 506 square feet (47 square meters) of space, a separate living room with a sofabed, 55-inch TVs, and Nespresso makers. Read more about the suite below the photo.

One Bedroom Suite at Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

Luxe spa-inspired bathrooms have bathtubs with rainshowers and Clarins amenities. Plus, guests of the One Bedroom Suites have access to exclusive services inclusind a private reception area, lounge with open bar and TV area, and daily breakfast.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include buffet breakfast for each guest daily in Coroa Gallery Lounge & Gardens, a 40 Euro food and beverage credit per room/per stay (excludes Dos Cielos Restaurant), and a welcome amenity. 

Plus, this property offers exclusive 2019 FIVE STAR ALLIANCE SUITE & VILLA PRIVILEGES that can be combined with the FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK (if requirements are met). 

2019 FIVE STAR ALLIANCE SUITE & VILLA PRIVILEGES: Guests booking a stay of 2 or more nights in a suite receive a $100 USD Hotel Credit, once per stay. This offer is valid for stays of at least two nights through December 31, 2019 in the One Bedroom Suite, Master Suite, Penthouse Suite, Presidential Suite, and the Royal Suite.

Check availability at Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques


| By: Rachael Weir

Featured Journeys: Spanish Experience

Our newest Featured Journeys highlights three of Spain's top destinations: Malaga, Madrid, and Barcelona. From Mediterranean breezes to bodegas buzzing with locals and tourists, Spain offers adventures for culinary and enthusiasts, as well as one-of-a-kind nightlife options. Learn more about top luxury hotels in these Spanish cities below. 

Malaga

Set along Spain's "Gold Coast", Malaga is an Andalusian destination for Mediterranean sunlight, beaches, buzzing tapas bars, and palm-lined promenades. Picasso's original hometown offers art enthusiasts the Picasso Museum. Nestled in a 16th century palace, the museum showcases Picasso's late 1970s paintings. The city's Renaissance cathedral is an ornate masterpiece, and the Moorish Alcazaba are two of the city's iconic architectural highlights. 

La Malagueta beach and the coves at El Palo are the must-visit spots for sunshine. The Paseo del Parque promenade is an ideal place to meander and cool down under the shade of palms, and La Concepcion Botanical Gardens is brimming with tropical flowers. 

Dining in this region is all about tapas. Malaga is home to 1,001 tascas (tapas bars), and these bars are an ideal spot to mingle with the outgoing locals while having fresh anchovies, Serrano ham, and calamari. Pedralejo and La Caleta are popular destinations for beach cafes, fried fish, and cocktails at sunset. While the Old Town is a nightlife destination with live music bars, clubs, and bodegas.

Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa 

Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa

About 50 minutes southwest of Malaga in Marbella, Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa offers a traditional Andalusian retreat along the "Golden Coast". From Afternoon Tea on the terrace to a round of golf or relaxing poolside, the luxurious property provides a relaxing setting for travelers looking to soak in the sun and local culture. There's 14 different restaurants on-site, an open-air courtyard ideal for cocktails, spa & wellness facilities, tennis courts, and botanical gardens. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will receive full breakfast for each guest daily at Alhambra Restaurant and a $100 USD resort credit per room/per stay.

Check availability at Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa

Explore more Malaga luxury hotels

Madrid

Modern Madrid is a diverse destination where cobbled lanes and historic chapels meet contemporary boulevards lined with skyscrapers. Locals and tourists alike can revel in the centuries-old sport of bullfighting at the city's largest bullring--Plaza de Toros, or browse the Prado's extensive collection of art from around the world as well as Spanish masters like Goya and Velazquez, and every Wednesday and Saturday, the Changing of the Guard happens at the Royal Palace.

Madrid offers an eclectic food scene along Ventura de la Vega, Plaza de Santa Ana, and the Plaza de Santa Barbara where Madrilenos begin the evening at tapas bars serving manchego cheese, stuffed peppers, chorizo, and Spanish wine, then dine on dinners highlighting Spanish flavors like Valencian paella, Andalusian gapacho, and the Cocido--Madrid's own lamb and vegetable stew. 

For shopping, Rastro has been the destination for locals and bargain hunters for 500 years. While the Gran Via is the city's trendy shopping neighborhood with Art Deco shops selling the latest styles including handbags made from Spanish leather. To get a panoramic view of the city, Faro de Moncloa is a former transmission tower that has been reimagined into an observation deck 92 meters above the city. 

Looking for a night on the town? Madrid's biggest clubs are set along Calle Arenal, while the bars of Chucca and Huertas are popular after Midnight.

Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

Premium King Guest Room at Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

Inspired by the paintings of Velazquez, Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques is located in the heart of Madrid. Nestled within a 19th century palace, the hotel has a historic garden, and guest rooms and suites are infused with touches on the Velazquez masterpiece, Las Meninas. Situated in the former palace stables, the Michelin-starred Restaurant Dos Cielos Madrid by Hermanos Torres with a locally-inspired menu and exclusive location. There's also a seasonal rooftop pool and Thai Room Wellness Center. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive buffet breakfast for each guest daily in Coroa Gallery Lounge & Gardens, a 40 Euro food and beverage credit per room/per stay (excludes Dos Cielos Restaurant), and a welcome amenity.

Check availability at Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

Explore more Madrid luxury hotels

Barcelona

Offering a cosmopolitan destination on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is a vibrant city with Gothic and Modernist architecture. Effortlessly cool, the city is known for the turrets of Sagrada Familia, La Boqueria Market's Iberian ham, olives, and goat cheese, El Born's clubs where partiers dance 'til dawn, and hidden courtyards. 

La Sagrada Familia cathedral is one of the city's top destinations. Gaudi's masterpiece is full of symbolism. Started in 1882, the church has iconic turrets, stone carvings, and grand facades. The tree-lined La Rambla is ideal for a walk to the maze-like alleyways in Barri Gotic that lead to Santa Maria del Mar Church, and Montjuic's gardens are an ideal spot for those seeking some shade. At the Picasso Museum, visitors can see some of the artist's finest works from early sketches to Blue Period works.

For beaches and no-frills fish restaurants, Barcelonta is the place to go. Barri Gotic serves up Catalan fare including Los Caracoles (the snails), salted cod salad known as esqueixada, and pan tomaquet (tomato bread). For Michelin-starred restaurants that put the city on the gastro map, Eixample and El Born offers a variety of gastronomic experiences. In the evening, head to the jazz clubs and tapas bars of Placa Real.  

Seeking some retail therapy? Passieg de Gracia is known for designer lables, El Corte Ingles is one of Barcelona's top department stores, and boutiques in Barri Gotic, El Born, and El Raval sell unique finds and art.

Neri Hotel

Suite Bat at Neri Hotel

Situated on Sant Felip Neri Square, the Neri Hotel is a Relais & Chateaux property in the heart of the city's Gothic Quarter. Next to the church where Gaudi prayed daily, the boutique hotel has the Neri Restaurant with a creative Mediterranean menu as well as outdoor seating on San Felip Neri Square. For a unique outdoor setting, the Roba Estesa has a rooftop setting for casual cuisine and cocktails overlooking the Gothic Quarter. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guest 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.

Check availability at Neri Hotel

Explore more Barcelona Luxury Hotels


| By: Five Star Alliance

Wellington Hotel


Wellington Hotel
 was opened in 1952. It was the brainchild of businessman Baltasar Iban Valdes. Valdes was also the founder of the bullfighting breed that carries his name. During the 1950’s, Curro Romero, a promising matador apprentice, established his residency at the Hotel.Ever since, the hotel has been a second home for bullfighters.  Bullfighters such as Paco Camino, Jaime Ostos, Rafael de Paula, Manuel Benitez "El Cordobés,", El Niño de la Capea, Manuel Caballero, Finito de Córdoba, Ortega Cano, Cesar Rincón, Luis Francisco Esplá, Espartaco, Francisco Rivera Ordóñez, Dávila Miura, "El Cid", Sebastián Castella and the Alejandro Talavante are just some of the bullfighters who have stayed at Hotel Wellington. Bullfighters aren’t the only celebrities of this art that grace the halls. Rejoneadores (bullfighters who fight riding a horse) along with bullfighting businessmen, cattle-raisers, and bullfighting journalists are also regular guests. The bull of Baltasar Ibán’s livestock that, after being killed in Alicante by Paco Camino, was even stuffed and displayed at the hotel .

Book your stay at Wellington Hotel >>


| By: Five Star Alliance

Enjoy this stunning view of Madrid from the rooftop terrace at De Las Letras Hotel.
Book one of the 7 superior rooms with terrace and the view is all yours.

De Las Letras Hotel

View rates, details, and more images of De Las Letras Hotel >>


| By: Five Star Alliance

 At Madrid's Hotel Villa Magna, guests can enjoy the garden year-round.

Hotel Villa Magna

View rates, details, and more images of Hotel Villa Magna >>

 

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| By: Oksana Balytsky

Visiting the Prado Museum, strolling through Retiro Park, and enjoying a few tapas at an outdoor café are all wonderful activities every visitor to Madrid should experience, but once you’ve checked these must-sees off your list, how should you spend your time? Check out our newest blog series where we’ll be featuring a few fun places to explore and things to do during your visit to various cities around the world that you wouldn’t come across in every tour book.

Experience a new side of Spain by visiting the Alcala de Henares, one of the first designated university cities. Its located about 20 miles outside Madrid, and it’s the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the author or the world renowned book, ‘Don Quixote.’ The center of the city remains relatively medieval with beautiful, winding cobblestone streets and preserved, historic buildings. The city has a Moorish, Jewish, and Christian quarter, earning it its reputation of “the city of three cultures.” Make your reservations at any of our luxury hotels in Madrid and take a day trip to Alcala de Henares to fight windmills and rescue damsels in distress!

Photo of the Mirasierra Suites Hotel