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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

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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| By: Rachael Weir

Happy National Coffee Day! Specialty coffee sales are inceasing around the world at a rate of about 20% per year. In the U.S., the average person drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day, yet the U.S. is not in the top 10 for coffee consuption in the world. If you love coffee as much as we do, here's a list of five hotels in top cities for coffee that we love a latte (sorry, we couldn't resist). 

1. Thompson Seattle

The Nest at the Thompson Seattle

Home of Starbucks and known for chilly and rainy weather, Seattle is a haven for coffee lovers. The Thompson Seattle is perched above Pike's Place Market, making it a quick walk to the original Starbucks. Featuring contemporary design and floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Puget Sound, Pike's Place Market, and the Olympic Mountains, the Thompson Seattle has a rooftop bar and the signature Scout restaurant specializing in Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Check availability at Thompson Seattle

 

2. Hotel Continental Oslo

Bar at Theatercafeen at Hotel Continental Oslo

Norway is in the top 10 countries for coffee consuption, and Kaffe is typically served at breakfast and after dinner with dessert, while Turkaffe is traditional Norwegian hiking coffee. At the Hotel Continental Oslo, guests can begin their day with a fresh-brewed pot of coffee at Caroline's, then explore the walkable Nordic city, and finish up their day with a gourmet dinner at Theatercafeen complete with dessert and coffee. Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance receive a $100 food and beverage credit per room as well as VIP status.

Check availability at Hotel Continental Oslo

 

3. The Nines, Portland

The Nines Portland

Portland, Oregon is known for a unique coffee culture with a mix of independent roasters and coffee cafes brewing espressos and lattes topped with artful foam. At The Nines, guests can stay in the heart of the city in the historic Meier & Frank Building, formerly a department store. The LEED Silver Certified Hotel is steps from Pioneer Square and the trendy Pearl District, plus there's two gourmet restaurants on-site specializing in local Pacific Northwest cuisine. 

Check availability at The Nines

 

4. Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna

Cafe Sacher Wien at Hotel Sacher Wien

Viennese coffee houses are an institution in Vienna, typically with marble tables, newspapers, pastry creations, and of course, coffee drinks. At the Hotel Sacher Wien, guests can experience a Viennese coffee house within the hotel. The Cafe Sacher Wien is a traditional Viennese coffeehouse with a refined setting featuring red interiors, chandeliers, pastries, coffee specialties, and teas, as well as local dishes like fried chicken salad, Wiener Schnitzel, or Tafelspitz.

Check availability at Hotel Sacher Wien

 

5. Palazzo Manfredi, Rome

Aroma Restaurant at Palazzo Manfredi

Known for coffee houses where espresso is served at a bar, and guests drink the coffee quickly while standing, Rome offers a coffee culture of its own. At the Palazzo Manfredi, guests stay in the heart of Rome, steps from the Colosseum and the city's coffee houses. There's also the rooftop Aroma restaurant with Michelin Star cuisine, as well as the American Bar on-site. Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a welcome drink, daily Continental breakfast for two, and tickets for two to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill. 

Check availability at Palazzo Manfredi


| By: Rachael Weir

Featured Journeys: Luxury Scandinavian Adventure

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

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

Oslo
Stockholm
Copenhagen

 

Oslo, Norway

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

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

Hotel Continental Oslo

Hotel Continental Oslo

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

Check rates at Hotel Continental Oslo

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Stockholm, Sweden

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

Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Sea View Room at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

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

Learn more about Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

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Copenhagen, Denmark

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

Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen

One Bedroom Suite at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen

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

Check availability at Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen 

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Posted in: Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm

| By: Rachael Weir

Directly across from the National Theater, the Hotel Continental Oslo provides a luxurious setting in the heart of Norway's capital city. I recently had the opportunity to stay in a Standard Room at the hotel, and found it to be an ideal location for exploring the area. Read more about the visit below the photo of the hotel's entrance.

Entrance of the Hotel Continental Oslo

After a long day of traveling, I received a warm welcome at check-in. Once I reached my guest room (520), it was easy to feel at home. There was a comfortable chair by the window to relax a bit, spacious work desk for planning my time in Oslo, and an ultra-plush bed to evoke much needed rest. Continue reading below the room photos. 

Standard Room at the Hotel Continental Oslo

Standard Room at the Hotel Continental Oslo

In addition to a cozy and comfortable living space, the room had a smartly-organized bathroom with a glassed-in shower, Molton Brown bath amenities, lighted makeup mirror, and a roomy sink/vanity area with plenty of space for getting ready with ease. 

Standard Room Bathroom Amenities at Hotel Continental Oslo

Morning breakfast at the hotel's Caroline restaurant is an ideal way to begin the day. Featuring a choice of made-to-order omelettes and eggs delivered to your table, along with a buffet filled with everything from freshly made pastries to yogurt, smoked fish, meats, cheeses, and organic juices, there was a wide variety of options. Read more below the breakfast photo.

Caroline breakfast at Hotel Continental Oslo

Plus, the staff was always attentive and friendly, and the large windows provided views of the surrounding area. (Editor's note: breakfast restaurant Caroline is closed through July 31, 2017, so breakfast is currently being served in Theatercaféen) 

During my stay, I found the Hotel Continental to be an ideal base for exploring Oslo and the surrounding area. From the concierge I was able to purchase an Oslo Pass which included museum entry as well as public transportation. Right outside of the hotel I was able to take a subway train to Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower, easily access the light rail, and go on a short stroll to the harborfront to visit the Nobel Peace Museum or catch a ferry to Bygdøy, The Island of Oslo Museums. The Royal Palace, Karl Johans Gate, and the National Art Gallery were all within an easy walk from the hotel as well. Read more below the photo of the exterior of the hotel. 

Exterior view of the Hotel Continental Oslo

The hotel's restaurant, Theatercaféen opened in 1900, right across from the National Theater. It offers a warm and inviting atmosphere with chef-prepared cuisine for lunch and dinner, as well as an elegant bar. Continue reading below the Theatercaféen photo.

Theatercafeen at Hotel Continental Oslo

During the summer months, the hotel offers guests Steamen, a sidewalk cafe right along Olav Vs gate. Ideal for people watching, the nautical-themed space has outdoor seating along with coffee, beer, wine, and cocktails.  Read more below the photo.

Steamen at Hotel Continental Oslo

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance, except for the Standard Room category, receive a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check rates and availability at Hotel Continental Oslo


| By: Rachael Weir
Situated in the heart of the city, close to the Royal Palace and National Theater, the Hotel Continental Oslo is a historic landmark hotel. Offering 155 elegant guest rooms and 23 suites, the landmark property combines Scandinavian style with contemporary trends for a welcoming and upscale feel. The hotel's famous restaurant, Theatercaféen opened in 1900, and is part of Norway's cultural history with a rich ambiance that features arched ceilings and a Nordic-inspired international menu. There's also a sidewalk cafe to enjoy during warmer months, Eik Annen Etage is an upscale dining room featuring Baroque furnishings, and Caroline serves classic European breakfasts. Continue reading below the photo.

Hotel Continental Oslo

Five Star Alliance Perk Alert: All guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance (excluding the standard room category), receive a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room and VIP status. Plus, based on availability at check-in: room upgrades, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Check rates and availability at Hotel Continental Oslo >>

Hotel Continental Oslo