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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

Featured Journeys: Oregon Mountains to Vineyards

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

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

Bend, Oregon

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

Sunriver Resort

The Sunriver Resort

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

Check availability at Sunriver Resort

 

Portland

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

The Sentinel

The Room at the End of Hall at The Sentinel

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

Check availability at The Sentinel

 

Willamette Valley

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

The Allison Inn & Spa

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

Check availability at The Allison Inn & Spa

 

 

 


| By: Rachael Weir

I recently had the opportunity to spend two nights at The Allison Inn & Spa. Walking into the peaceful retreat makes it easy to see why the property is referred to as "The living room of the Willamette Valley". After a short drive from downtown Portland (just under an hour) and a lovely meandering drive amidst vineyards to reach the hotel, arriving at The Inn was like arriving at a soothing sanctuary. There were nature-inspired sculptures next to the entrances, greeters that swiftly opened the doors, and a friendly front desk staff. Continue reading below the photos.

Exterior of The Allison Inn & Spa

Stairwell at The Allison Inn & Spa

After a quick and easy check-in, I went to my room on the second floor. Furnished with a soothing color palette, the spacious room had a table near the entry with a plate of sweet bites waiting to be enjoyed, a gas fireplace, window seats with vineyard views, and a plush king bed. There was a minifridge stocked with glass bottles of filtered water, and a basket of Oregon snacks (including chocolate covered hazelnuts) to discover. Read more below the room photos. 

Guest room at The Allison Inn & Spa

Guestroom at The Allison Inn & Spa

But perhaps one of the most unique amenities of the room was the large bathroom with a walk-in shower and a large soaking tub complete with bath salts and a pillow, as well as a sliding door that opened to look out at the room and the windows with relaxing views. Read more below the bathtub photo.

Spa tub at The Allison Inn & Spa

Within my room there was also an outdoor patio with a charming sitting area perfect for enjoying morning coffee or a glass of local wine. Read more below the photo.

Patio at The Allison Inn & Spa

Offering an idyllic setting close to hundreds of Willamette Valley vineyards and tasting rooms, The Allison Inn & Spa provides a wine-infused setting at every turn. In the Spa, guests can select from a variety of treatments that incorporate the area's grapes and wines, as well as a pedicure salon, spa boutique, and separate men's and women's locker rooms with lounges, steam rooms, and saunas. Read more below the photo of the pedicure salon.

Pedicure Salon at The Spa at The Allison Inn & Spa

On the same floor as the spa, guests will find a large fitness room with cardio machines and strength training equipment, as well as an indoor pool surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows that open during warmer months. (Editor's note: I was there during the late fall, but with the large windows and the skylights, the pool had an airy, outdoor feel). Continue reading below the photo.

Pool at The Allison Inn & Spa

For dining, the award-winning Jory has large windows looking out to the vineyards and surrounding area, along with an open-kitchen where guests can watch the food preparation. The seasonal menu changes to incorporate locally sourced ingredients,and an extensive wine list that includes Austin Knoll wines, created from The Allison Inn's own vineyards. Read more below the photo of Jory.

Jory at The Allison Inn & Spa

Throughout the property, guests can explore the hotel's extensive art collection that includes 500 original works of art created by 100 Oregon artists. Within each of the hotel's 85 guest rooms there are least three original works of art. While one of the most unique pieces can be found by the pool, "Slackwater Terroir" by Oregon Professor Jay Noller features four types of soil: Jory, Nekia, Woodburn, and Amity, sourced directly from the property's soil during construction. Continue reading below the photo of "Slackwater Terroir".

Slackwater Terroir at The Allison Inn & Spa

In addition to the indoor spaces, there are beautiful pathways to meander around the property, as well as gardens with lounge chairs, and specially selected sculptures (including some that are for sale) around The Inn. Read more below the photo.

Exterior of The Allison Inn & Spa

After dining multiple times at Jory, relaxing in my room with the window seat, fireplace, and soaking tub, swimming in the pool, and unwinding at the spa, there is only one thing I would change...two nights wasn't long enough at the Inn or in the Willamette Valley. 

Check availability at The Allison Inn & Spa


| 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

Pet-friendly Hotels

What's a family vacation without the family pet? In honor of National Pet Day, we've pulled together five of the top pet-friendly hotels in the U.S.A. 

1. Hutton Hotel Nashville

Hutton Hotel Nashville

Close to downtown and Vanderbilt University, the Hutton Hotel Nashville offers specially designed pet floors, along with exclusive pet amenities. The Hotel's Happy Tails Pet Program greets furry friends with Hutton Bubba Rose welcome treats, pet bandanas, welcome toys, custom Hutton placemats, bowls, and leashes to use during the stay, bedding, and a special pet-friendly room service menu. 

Check rates at the Hutton Hotel Nashville

2. The Cottages at the Boat Basin

The Cottages at the Boat Basin

Providing a waterfront setting, The Cottages at the Nantucket Boat Basin offers special Woof Cottages along with Bailey, the Pet Concierge. When guests with furry friends check in, Bailey the Black Lab/Britney Spaniel mix is there to greet visitors and show four-legged guests to The Woof Cottages, which are equipped with pet beds, personalized pet tags, food and water bowls, plus a welcome bag of treats. There's also doggie turndown and walking services available. 

Learn more about The Cottages at the Boat Basin

3. Virgin Hotel Chicago

Virgin Hotel Chicago

Offering pet-friendly chambers with porcelain watchdogs outside the doors, Virgin Hotel Chicago provides an array of in-room amenities including dog beds, food and water dishes, plus treats and Virgin Hotels bandanas. Two blocks from the Chicago Riverwalk, the hotel is located within a historic building in Chicago's Loop neighborhood. 

Check rates and availability at Virgin Hotel Chicago

4. Hotel Monaco Portland

Dakota the Director of Pet Relations, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland

Situated within a historic 1912 building designed in Anglo-Chinois style, the Hotel Monaco Portland is a pet-friendly hotel with no size, weight, or breed restrictions. Dakota, the Director of Pet Relations greets all guests at the door, pets are welcome at the nightly wine reception, and in-room amenities include loaner pet beds, water and food bowls, plus courtesy bags for walking the dog. Don't have a pet to bring along? Guests can request companion goldfish to enjoy for the duration of their stay. 

Learn more about Hotel Monaco Portland

5. Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

Voted the nation's "Pet Friendliest Destination" by Animal Fair magazine, the Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC welcomes pets with Lord Jameson treats at turndown, monogrammed mats with pet's names on it, food and water bowls, Fiji water, toys, and collar tags that read "I am staying at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC." There's additional enhancements available, including name tags, puppy purses, and personalized pet beds. 

Check rates at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC


| By: Five Star Alliance

The vanishing edge swimming pool at The Allison Inn and Spa is flooded with daylight from the large skylight. An inviting whirlpool provides landscape views. With warm sunny days, sliding glass doors open to cushioned lounge chairs and umbrellas on the sun terrace - a comfortable place to read, unwind after a day of wine tasting, or a business meeting.

The Allison Inn and Spa

Book a stay at The Allison Inn and Spa >>


| By: K. Clare Johnson

The Heathman Hotel
Long before 50 Shades of Gray made it popular, The Heathman Hotel had a reputation as one of the most haunted hotels in America. Rooms whose numbers end in 03 are rumored to be the most haunted in the hotel. The origin of this is a guest who committed suicide by jumping out of the window of room 1003. 703 is also considered haunted, but those not comfortable with the spirit world should avoid all 03 rooms. 

Guests have reported clean towels used when no one is in the room, glasses of water mysteriously emptying, and chairs moving around. Cold spots, sounds that can't be explained, and faces that appear in the dark have also been reported. Most chillingly, some guests have reported feeling a ghostly presence in bed with them. 

Shudder. Talk about double occupancy. 

Book your own ghostly stay at The Heathman Hotel >>


| By: Betsy LeTourneau

The Allison Inn and Spa Hotel
We at Five Star Alliance work tirelessly to ensure we bring you the best luxury hotels selection and information regarding amenities, location, and highlights so you are confident that the hotel you choose will exceed your expectations and serve your needs. Sometimes, however, you are left with a few questions that go unanswered, and that’s why we’re here. Be sure to explore our blog series Your Questions Answered to find answers to real questions submitted to us by our clients regarding traveling with kids, pets, the best beach hotels, and much more.

QUESTION: We are looking to stay in the Northwest. What resort offers the best accommodations for our family that offers a number of activaties and wine tastings?

ANSWER: The Allison Inn and Spa Hotel blends so naturally into the lush beauty of Oregon Wine Country's Willamette Valley, it's as if its always been here. There are 85 luxury guestrooms and suites with gas fireplaces, a signature restaurant featuring Oregon Wine Country cuisine, a pampering spa with 12 treatment rooms, a fitness studio, and a swimming pool. The Allisons immaculate grounds on 35 acres beckon guests with fragrantly elegant gardens and pathways connecting to the hotel's vineyards and picnic area. The hotel offers a showcase for local artists, wine cellar, wine seminars, and tastings.

The Allison Inn

Guest Rooms are quietly luxurious and thoughtfully appointed with custom built-in closets, upholstered window seats, and king beds. Oversized windows let sunlight in and provide vistas of the vineyards and countryside. All rooms feature a gas fireplace, wet bar, original artwork, and custom crafted furnishings, while a complimentary welcome snack basket, luxurious robes, and slippers make guests feel at home. Cabinets contain an ironing board, iron, and full-length mirror. Bose sound systems, Wi-Fi, and movies on demand provide in-room entertainment and connectivity. Spacious spa-like bathroom with five fixture baths, double vanities, and a sliding panel provide a glimpse of the fireplace and outdoor landscapes from the soaking tub.

Larger families should consider booking the Grand Two Bedroom Suite. Located on Penthouse Level, the 575 square foot suite includes a spacious living room with fireplace, two bedrooms with private baths. reception foyer, butler's pantry, powder room, dining table for six, gas fireplace in master bedroom, large balcony with dining table and chairs, bay window seat, six foot soaking tub, dual vanities, and filtered water. 
The Allison Inn and Spa

Nearby Activites Include:

-Wine & Olive Oil Tasting
-Nature Hiking
-Biking
-Golf
-Equestrian rides to wineries
-Hot Air Balloon Rides
 

Book your stay at The Allison Inn and Spa >>

All rates are based on double occupancy and extra person charges may apply. Please be advised that the rates, availability, as well as any extra person charges are subject to change depending on the hotel’s policies.

 


| By: K. Clare Johnson

River's Edge Hotel and Spa
River's Edge Hotel and Spa
makes being green look easy. The Portland luxury hotel combines upscale surroundings with warm Pacific Northwest hospitality and a commitment to responsible environmental practices. The hotel offers dog-friendly rooms, and a there's even a Bark Bar Menu available from room service. In keeping with Portland's bike-friendly reputation, the hotel offers complimentary bikes for guest's enjoyment. It is also located on the Willamette Greenway Trail. River's Edge Hotel and Spa recommends day hikes, walking tours, wine tours, and explorations of Hoyt Arboretum, Latourell Falls, and Ecola State Park to Indian Beach.

Green Awards Include:
TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 - Hotels In Portland
TripAdvisor Green Leaders Silver Level 2014
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Silver Certification:
GreenGuard Certified
Energy Star Partner
Recycle at Work Award 
Program Ally of Energy Trust of Oregon, Inc.

River's Edge Hotel & Spa was also recognized among hotels in Portland for improving the building's energy efficiency through a CFL retrofit and participated in a pilot project to change out all showerheads from 2.5 gpm to 2.0 gpm.

View rates, details, and more images of River's Edge Hotel & Spa >>

Posted in: Portland, OR

| By: Five Star Alliance

The Heathman Hotel


In 1984, The Heathman Hotel was the first luxury, art dedicated, boutique hotel to open in Portland. The Heathman has an outstanding collection that features a well-balanced and beautiful mix of historic, modern and contemporary art. Personally curated by Elizabeth Leach, from the Pearl District distinct gallery of the same name, the Heathman’s Fine Art Suite exhibits the most influential and stunning art in the collection. These works include a phenomenal light installation by Portland born Hap Tivey, a sensational abstract relief painting by local artists Joe Thurston and two unique pieces by internationally renowned artist and film maker Gus Van Sant. Your support, as a portion of your room revenue will be donated, assists the multitude of non-profit organizations across the city of Portland.

 

View rates, details, and more images of The Heathman Hotel >>

 

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| By: K. Clare Johnson


Portland, Oregon used to be known for being a sleepy little Pacific Northwest hamlet. About ten years ago, it quietly transformed into a yuppie/hipster nirvana, complete with coffee houses, organic restaurants, a quirky sensibility, and a stable of cool celebrities such as filmmaker Gus van Sant, Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, and indie rocker Carrie Brownstein.  Then, the Independent Film Channel (IFC) showed up with Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen and Brownstein in tow. Thus was Portlandia launched. The sketch comedy show turned out to be a big hit for the cable channel, and tourism climbed. The city obliged with such ventures as walking and bike tours of notable spots featured in the show. 

So, if the siren call of the hipster-doofus show has you booking plane tickets on your smart phone as you twirl your handlebar mustache whilst sipping a craft cocktail, here's some suggestions as to where to stay:

 

the Nines

 

 

the Nines
Don't even think about capitalizing the first word in the hotel's name. Just don't. So uncool. This boutique LEED Silver-certified hotel perches in the heart of the city center at the top of one of Portland most beloved landmarks, the stately Meier & Frank Building. Fine dining on site promises gourmet cuisine entwined with indigenous flavors," and toiletries are from the eco and animal friendly Bee-Kind line. Nightly rates for a mid-June stay currently start at around $253.

 

 

 

Hotel Monaco Portland

 


Hotel Monaco Portland
This being a Kimpton hotel, there's the company-standard wine happy hour from 5-6pm every day. Complimentary yoga mats are provided in each of the 221 guestrooms so you can get your zen on, along with complimentary bicycles to ensure that exploring the city doesn't mean expanding your carbon footprint. Pets are welcome, but those with allergies will be glad to know that there's an hypoallergenic, pet-free hotel floor featuring special air filters, allergen-free cleaning methods, and gluten-free honor bar selections. Nightly rates for a mid-June stay currently start at around $295.

 

 

 

Heathman Hotel

 

Heathman Hotel
Fitness fans can join Heathman General Manager Chris Erickson on an early morning run. Those preferring less-sweaty pursuits will appreaciate the downtown hotel world-class contemporary art collection and a unique cataloged guest lending library of 4,000 plus titles, each signed by the author who enjoyed a stay in the hotel. The Heathman Hotel is adjacent to the Portland Center for the Performing Arts and the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and just steps away from the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Historical Society Museum, Nordstrom's, Powell's Books, Pioneer Place, and the fashionable Pearl District. There are 150 guestrooms, and nightly rates for a mid-June stay currently start at around $215. 

 

 

 

More of Portland's Finest >>

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