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

Hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, Tokyo is a city of contrasts. From Zen-like gardens to Shiodome's skyscraper jungle, travelers to the city can explore an array of styles and destinations within the city's' eclectic neighborhoods. 

For those seeking to get in touch with nature and culture, Ueno Park is one of the city's largest parks, and the destination for springtime cherry trees. Within the park, visitors will find the Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Western Art, National Museum of Nature and Science, and the Shitamachi Museum with a bird sanctuary. There's also the Toshogu Shrine built in 1651, as well as the Kiyomizu Kannon-do Temple. 

Consumerism plays a prominent role within Tokyo, making it a hot spot for shopping. From the hip shops on Takeshita Street in Harajuku to designer boutiques on the ultramodern Omotesando Avenue, the city offers shopping destinations for all styles and personalities.  For a local experience, visit Tsukiji Fish Market to see local fish in the morning, or enjoy fresh sushi. 

5. Park Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo Dining

Featuring 360-degree views of the city and Mount Fuji, Park Hyatt Tokyo offers an oasis of calm. Occupying the top 14 floors of the 52-story tower, the hotel is a luxury residence with 177 guestrooms, each designed to feel like a private urban residence with original artwork and books. The Club on the Park Spa and Fitness Centre has a 26x65-foot indoor swimming pol with floor-to-ceiling glass walls as well as aqua classes. Plus, the New York Grill offers fine dining in a contemporary setting on the 52nd floor. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily in Girandole or through room service and a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (excluding minibar). 

Check availability at Park Hyatt Tokyo

4. Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Mandarin Oriental

Towering over the city, guests enter the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo via an entrance on the 38th floor. Offering a renowned spa, impeccable service, and contemporary style, the five-star hotel features exclusive views. Plus, there are innovative dining options with showstopping views such as Sense with Cantonese cuisine, Signature with fine French dining, and Tapas Molecular Bar. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include American Breakfast for two daily, a $100 hotel credit per room/per stay valid at the restaurants (excluding Gourmet Shop) or in-room dining or spa treatments (no cash value), personalized welcome amenities, and complimentary high speed internet access. 

Check availability at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

3. The Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo

Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo

Adjacent to Tokyo Station, Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo features panoramic city views of the Imperial Palace, central business district, and the new landmark Tokyo Skytree Tower. Offering 200 rooms, the hotel has three restaurants and one bar, as well as a 24-hour health club, CHI The Spa, heated indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna. Occupying the top 11 floors of the 37-floor mixed-use Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building, giving guests one-of-a-kind skyline views.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking  the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive full breakfast for two daily in Piacere, complimentary WiFi, USD 100 hotel credit per room/per stay (not valid on room rate, transportation, CHI The Spa retail products, Shangri-La Boutique and no cash value), a welcome amenity that includes fruits and chocolates. 

Check availability at The Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo

2. The Peninsula Tokyo

The Pool at The Peninsula Tokyo

Opposite the Imperial Palace and Hibiya Park, The Peninsula Tokyo is located in the Marunouchi district, a short walk from the shopping capital of Ginza. Featuring legendary service and commanding views of the Tokyo skyline, the property's Peninsula Spa received Forbes Five-Star status for the fifth year in a row, whilethe Hei Fung Terrace restaurant serves authentic Cantonese specialties with skyline views. 

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also recieve American Breakfast for two daily at The Lobby, complimentary WiFi, a seasonal welcome amenity, and a per room 10,000 JPY food and beverage credit per stay valid in all restaurants or in-room dining with the exclusion of Kyoto Tsuraya, mini-bar items and retail merchandise. 

Check availability at The Peninsula Tokyo

1. Aman Tokyo

Aman Tokyo

Adjacent to the Otemachi Forest, Aman Tokyo is located in the prestigious financial district of Otemachi. Set on the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower, the luxury hotel is a sanctuary rooted in ritual with a mix of urban dynamism and cultural sensibility. The boundary between indoors and out is blurred with Ikebana displays and engawa platforms. While ryokan-style rooms have views of the Tokyo skyline, the Aman Spa is one of the city's largest wellness facilities, and the property's bars and restaurants serve as a social hub.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily in the restaurant and a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (excludes minibar and no cash value).

Check availability at Aman Tokyo


| By: Rachael Weir

Happy 2019! 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 19 picks for places to go in 2019. 

19. The Florida Keys

19 Places To Go In 2019: The Floriday Keys

Fresh off revitalizations following Hurricane Irma, the Florida Keys are poised for a comeback with new hotel openings, hip restaurants, and laidback style. Popular with writers (Key West is home to more writers per capita than any other city in the US) and literary afficianados, the laidback island lifestyle attracts those seeking a change from the daily grind.

After a $25 million dollar renovation, The Cheeca Lodge & Spa has a breezy lobby with a modern vibe, Tiki Bar, and beach area, plus the FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Rack Rate" will also receive the Island Grand Buffet Breakfast for two daily in Atlantic's Edge and a $50 USD resort credit per room/per stay.

Casa Marina opened in 1920. Listed on the National Register for Historic Places, this legendary resort is located on Key West's largest private beach. Steps from the shops and restaurants along Duval Street, the resort blends history with contemporary sophistication, and offers guests an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive buffet breakfast for two daily, a welcome amenity on the night of arrival, and a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay. 

Want to experience the real-life Margaritaville? Featuring panoramic views of Key West Harbor, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Resort and Marina offers a variety of water sports and entertainment options. The Marina is one of three cruise ports in Key West, welcoming cruise ships from around the globe. There's a large outdoor pool, plus guests have access to a private beach on Sunset Key.

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18. Istanbul

19 Places to go in 2019: Istanbul

After a three year hiatus due to political unrest, cruise ships are heading back to Istanbul, and the first phase of Istanbul's new airport (which will someday be the largest in the world) has officially opened. There's a new cruise port planned to open as part of a larger waterfront development which will also be home to the Istanbul Modern Museum, as well as new hotels and restaurants. 

Showcasing inspired architecture, ravishing luxury, and gastronomical innovation, Raffles Istanbul is a culturally chic destination within the city. Located at Zorlu Center, the hotel is situated where high fashion, performance, and art converge. Plus there's a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily at Rocca Restaurant or with room service, a $100 USD food and beverage or spa treatment credit per room/per stay, complimentary WiFi, and a welcome amenity of Turkish Treats.

Looking to spend the night like royalty? Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul was once the residence of Ottoman Sultans. Within walking distance of the harborside district of Ortakoy, the resort provides a high profile setting accessible by car, yacht, and helicopter on the Bosphorous with a spa and heated infinity pool. FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive buffet breakfast for two daily at Ladelan Restaurant, a USD $100 hotel credit per room/per stay available at all food and beverage outlets (excluding in-room dining) and spa treatments, priority bookings at the hotel restaurants, and a welcome amenity. 

Blending Art Deco architecture with innovative interior design, Park Hyatt Istanbul Macka Palas is located in the upscale Nisantasi district known for trendy bars and restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Plus, an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily at Lounge at Park Hyatt, a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (not applicable to mini bar), and a welcome fruit amenity. 

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17. Seattle

19 Places to go in 2019: Seattle

Fueled with creative energy, Seattle is constantly evolving. The Space Needle recently underwent a refurbishment in honor of its 50th anniversary, the waterfront has been upgraded with a multi-billion-dollar tunnel that replaced a concrete expressway, Amazon built innovative new glass "spheres" office towers in the Denny Triangle neighborhood, and there's a Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. 

Perched above Pike Place Market, Thompson Seattle is a contemporary hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows, a signature restaurant serving Pacific Northwest cuisine, and a chic rooftop bar with city and water views. In addition, the hotel offers a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full American breakfast for up to 2 guests daily in Scout or in room dining (maximum credit of $30 per person), a one way airport transfer from Thompson Seattle to Seattle Tacoma International Airport for up to two guests in a sedan, and a seasonal welcome amenity (chef’s choice). 

While the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle is a historic hotel located in the heart of the city with Italian Renaissance architecture, elegant dining at The Georgian, a famous Afternoon Tea, and Shucker's--one of the oldest oyster bars in Seattle. Plus, a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive daily breakfast for two at The Georgian Restaurant or through room service, a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay, an Apple Harvest Box welcome amenity, and complimentary high speed internet access. 

Interested in the city's music scene? W Seattle is an urban lodge situated within a high-rise building providing pet-friendly accommodations and views of the Puget Sound. The design of the hotel draws from the city's music scene and Native American culture, while TRACE Restaurant & Bar serves innovative cuisine. FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate receive continental breakfast for each guest daily at TRACE and a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay. 

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16. St. Vincent & The Grenadines

19 Places to go in 2019: St. Vincent & The Grenadines

With newly added nonstop routes from New York and Miami, it is now easier than ever to reach St. Vincent & The Grenadines. Located in the Caribbean close to St. Lucia, this chain of islands was spared by the 2017 storms, and offers a blend of raw beauty and luxe resorts. There's a newly-opened airport on St. Vincent as well as an array of new hotels in progress. Snorkelers will love exploring the reef-protected tranquil waters on Indian Bay Beach, the Marriqua Valley is home to one of the Caribbean's lushest valleys, and the cuisine on the islands is a mix of West Indian Cuisine and fresh seafood. 

Following an extensive renovation two years ago, the Cotton House on Mustique Island is located amidst 13 acres of tropical gardens leading to Endeavor Bay. Offering villas, suites, and cottages with private verandas and plunge pools, the property is set on a former Cotton Plantation. On Canouan Island, Canouan Estate is an exclusive island all-villa retreat with a Jim Fazio-designed golf course, tennis center, and a spa with overwater glass-bottomed treatment palapas. The Palm Island Resort is a private island resort on the southern tip of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with all-inclusive options, TV and phone-free accommodations, indigenous wildlife, and hammocks for relaxing on the island's five white-sand beaches.

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15. Oslo

19 Places to go in 2019: Oslo

Named as the European Green Capital for 2019, Oslo is a city designed with sustainable neighborhoods, easily accessible mass transit, and Nordic cuisine. Once industrial waterfront areas have been transformed into new and original spaces, and the local government made efforts to minimize traffic and car pollution by closing down street parking, helping make room for bikes, benches, and green lungs to improve air quality and increase wellness. 

The Hotel Continental Oslo is located in the heart of the city, next to the National Theater, and a short stroll to the waterfront and Nobel Peace Prize Museum. In 2018, the property underwent a revitalization adding a new reception area and lobby bar, as well as signature suites and exclusive hotel rooms. The hotel also offers a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests making reservations with Five Star Alliance, except for the standard and superior room categories, will receive a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room. Guests receive full breakfast daily in Caroline, included in the rate. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

Recognized as one of the top addresses in the city, the Grand Hotel Oslo is a historic hotel with an entire floor only for women. There's Nordic-inspired dining and Afternoon Tea at the renowned Palmen restaurant, and the recently-opened Othilia Lobby Bar services cocktails and refreshments in a relaxed, yet luxurious environment. Overlooking the Oslo Fjords, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo towers 37 stories above the city next to the Oslo Central Station. Within walking distance of the Royal Palace, National Gallery, and Oslo Spektrum Arena, the hotel serves traditional Norwegian cuisine at 34th Restaurant & Bar, as well as Irish pub fare at Restaurant Gaio. 

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14. Nairobi

19 Places to go in 2019: Nairobi

For travelers seeking an authentic African experience, regardless of if they are going on safari, Nairobi makes an ideal base, and now with direct flight service from New York City via Kenya Airways, reaching East Africa from the United States is now much easier. There's a thriving creative scene in Nairobi where travelers can browse studios and boutiques showcasing locally-made ceramics, jewelry, and beads. To watch artists at work, GoDown Arts Centre provides a unique opportunity, and those looking to bring home local apparel, Designing Africa Collective showcases fashions created throughout Africa. 

Providing a legendary setting and oasis of calm since opening in 1904, Fairmont The Norfolk has a sophisticated setting in the heart of Nairobi with tropical gardens and heated outdoor pool. Within the hotel is the Lord Delamere Terrace--the city's most famous meeting place, Tatu American steakhouse, and The Tea Room with colonial charm serving the teas and coffees of Kenya. In addition, the hotel has a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily at Lord Delamere Terrace, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and complimentary WiFi. 

At the edge of Nairobi's Central Park, Nairobi Serena Hotel blends art and gastronomy with business and leisure, while celebrating the sophistication and design influences of Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West Africa, and East. For dining, Mandhari serves international specialties, there's a Patisserie, gelateria, coffee bar, and tea shop, plus poolside dining and the Ethiopian-style Aksum Bar. In addition, the hotel offers the Maisha Spa and Health Club, as well as a heated swimming pool. 

Opened in 1902, The Sarova Stanley was Kenya's first luxury hotel, and has hosted prominent world leaders, politicians, and celebrities. The historic property retains its charm while offering all the luxuries and amenities of a five-star hotel including world-class dining at Thai Chi and the open-air Thorn Tree Cafe. On the fifth floor, The Stanley Health Club has state-of-the-art exercise equipment, relaxation rooms, sauna, steam room, and adjoining swimming pool. 

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13. Mexico City

19 Places to go in 2019: Mexico City

Amidst 1,000 years of culture with civilizations built atop one another, Mexico City was named the World Design Capital in 2018. As the first city in the Americas to receive the title, Mexico's capital city is a creative destination showcasing centuries of design and artistic movements, centuries-old traditions, ancient ruins, and Baroque facades, juxtaposed amongst a modern business district, world-class shopping, and international food scene. 

Set within the fashionable Polanco district, Las Alcobas is an aesthetic marvel designed by power duo Yabu Pushelberg. Formerly a residence, the boutique property was created to be a home-away-from-home with palm trees, white stucco, and luxurious state-of-the-art amenities. Accommodations feature Bose surround sound systems and Italian bed linens, while chef-created dining is availalbe in the contemporary Anatol with a seasonal menu, and Dulce Patria with high-end Mexican cuisine. FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive a full Mexican Breakfast for each guest daily in the restaurant or through room service, complimentary WiFi, a 100 USD SPA credit per room/per stay, and one complimentary cocktail per person in Anatol once during the stay. 

Providing a traditional Mexican experience with a cosmopolitan feel in the exclusive Polanco district, Presidente InterContinental Mexico City has seven restaurants, 24-hour fitness center, and business center. In front of the National Auditorium, the property is steps from the Anthropology Museum and world-class shopping along Presidente Masaryk Avenue. There's also a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily in the Club Lounge, Club Lounge access, 20% off spa treatments on Monday - Friday, and complimentary WiFi. 

Towering over the Polanco District, Hyatt Regency Mexico City is a contemporary hotel with 755 guest rooms and suites. On the third floor of the property is a heated indoor pool with an adjacent outdoor sundeck, as well as a fitness center. For dining, Rulfo serves modern interpretations of dishes showcasing the flavors of Mexico, Argentina, and Peru, Yoshimi is a sophisticated Japanese restaurant with a Zen garden terrace, Teppan Grill serves meat and seafood dishes, while Amado is an artisinal bakery and candy shop. Plus, the hotel has an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for up to 2 guests daily in Rulfo, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and a welcome fruit plate. 

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12.  Madeira

19 Places to go in 2019: Madeira

Recognized for the wine that bears its name, Madeira is located on a Portuguese archipelago. In 2019, the city celebrates its 600th anniversary. Known as the "Island of Flowers", the area is known for dramatic landscapes, a 500-mile network of UNESCO-listed levadas (irrigation channels) that are now hiking and mountain biking trails, fishing villages, and pebble beaches. 

Perched above Funchal Harbour, Belmond Reid's Palace will debut refreshed rooms this year, as well as a fresh bar. In addition to the property's exclusive views, the hotel has a Michelin Star Restaurant, William serving locally-inspired seasonal cusine, a pool with Atlantic panoramas, and spa.  

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11. Brisbane

19 Places to go in 2019: Brisbane

Following the unveiling of the Howard Smith Wharves project along with new hotel openings, Brisbane is poised to become a top Australian destination. The new riverside project is set along the riverfront with multiple new restaurants and breweries, reimagined green spaces, and event venues. Visitors can reach the southernmost part of the Great Barrier roof as a daytrip from here, and this Queensland city is considered the most Australian of the country's big cities with a laid-back attitude and many of the major attractions are outside. 

Situated about an 8-minute walk from Brisbane's riverside restaurants, Sofitel Brisbane has three award-winning dining venues, cocktail lounge, bar, and gaming bistro. There's an outdoor pool, and a state-of-the-art SoFit Gymnasium, as well as a luxurious spa. Plus, a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily at THYME Restaurant, an AUD 50 hotel credit per room/per stay, and complimentary WiFi. 

Nestled between the Brisbane River and the Botanic Gardens, Stamford Plaza Brisbane has a central location for exploring the city and going to the theater. There's a "Spirit of Queensland High Tea" as well as additional themed teas, Kabuki Teppanyaki Restaurant, heated outdoor pool, spa, and sauna. While the Limes Hotel is a design-focused boutique hotel with a rooftop featuring a bar, hot tubs, and city views. 

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10. Belize

19 Places to go in 2019: Belize

Situated on the world's second largest living coral reef, Belize has gone from a backpacker's destination to a luxe haven of resorts offering laidback luxury and a host of activities from exploring Mayan ruins to fly-fishing. Just down the coast from the Yucatan and about a 5 hour flight from NYC, Belize is less crowded than Riviera Maya. There's an array of five-star resorts currently in Belize, with new openings coming in 2019, including the rumored soon-to-open Blackadore Caye, Leonardo DiCaprio's private island eco-resort. 

One of the first luxe beach retreats, the Turtle Inn by Francis Ford Coppola is steps from the Caribbean sea where accommodations are set within individual thatched-roof cottages featuring locally-infused furnishings and screened porches. There's a dive shop with equipment rentals, two infinity pools, Sunset Spa with an open-air Balinese Rice House, and three restaurants including the flagship Mare Restaurant. Plus, a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily at Mare or through room service and a $100 credit (applicable to tours only). 

Close to ancient Mayan civilizations, Blancaneaux Lodge is a luxury eco-retreat nestled within a remote mountain setting above a jungle canopy with farm-to-fork cooking classes, swimming pool, and horse stables. Surrounded by rainforest, guests can explore the area on horseback, and there's a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive daily full breakfast for two at Montagne or through room service, complimentary WiFi, a Horseback Riding Trip to Big Rock Falls for two once during stay.

For a boutique setting, Ka'ana Resort is a small luxury resort in Western Belize's Cayo District. Once in the center of the Mayan Empire, there is a variety of historic and eco-adventure options, as well as a restaurant with authentic Belizean cuisine, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive complimentary full breakfast for each guest daily at La Ceiba Restaurant (also available through room service), a $50 resort credit, one bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival, wine cellar orientation, and a welcome drink. Also, subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out.

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9. Singapore

19 Places to go in 2019: Singapore

With "Crazy Rich Asians" featured on the big screen and the re-launched world's longest flight from Newark to Singapore on Singapore Airlines, Singapore is a top international destination for 2019. From restored heritage buildings to a strong street food scene, Singapore is going beyond being a global business center to a destination for food, arts, and culture. 

For panoramic Marina Bay views, the Mandarin Oriental Singapore is an ultimate urban retreat. There is an outdoor pool with one-of-a-kind views, guest rooms with city views, spa, and multiple restaurants including Teppan-Ya and Morton's Steakhouse. Plus, the property has a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the 5 Star Signature Package rate will also include daily international breakfast buffet for two at Melt Cafe, $100USD Food & Beverage or Spa Credit, oner per room, per stay (except Morton's Steakhouse & Teppan-Ya), welcome chocolates, and WiFi. Based on availability at booking, a room category upgrade (upgrades are up to City Suite tier), and subject to availability at check-in/check-out: early check-in and late check-out.  

Close to the renowned shops of Orchard Road, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is where the legendary hospitality of Shangri-La first began. By day, guests can meander in the landscaped gardens, relax by the pool, or enjoy pampering at CHI, The Spa, then dine in the evening at The Line, Waterfall Ristorante Italiano, Origin Grill, NAMI or Shang Palace. There is also a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include daily full breakfast for two, $100 USD Hotel Credit per room, per stay valid for food, beverage, and spa (excludes room service and minibar), Welcome Chinese Tea and Fruit in room. Subject to availability at time of check-in/departure: room upgrade, early check-in, and/or late check-out until 4 PM.  

In 2019, Raffles Singapore will reopen following a massive renovation. The iconic hotel will be revitalized with new restaurants, bars, courtyards, and social spaces, while retaining historic details and legendary service. 

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8. Copenhagen

19 Places to go in 2019: Copenhagen

Known for its Nordic cool vibe, Copenhagen is a destination for foodies, bicyclists, and eco-enthusiasts. On Refshaleøen is Reffen, a former shipyard transformed into a food and craft market, New-Nordic Noma has reopened in a new location with must-try Scandinavian cuisine, and the Danish Architecture Centre moved into Ellen van Loon's BLOX cultural center. Bikes are the transportation method of choice throughout the city, and in mid-2019 the Cityringen metro line will be completed, making it even easier to get around the city via public transport.

Featuring a grand setting in the heart of the city, Hotel D'Angleterre Copenhagen has Michelin Star dining at Marchal, an indoor pool, spa, champagne bar, and ideal location adjacent to the Strøget. In addition, there's a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily in Marchal, VIP status, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay in Marchal (excluding alcohol), and a welcome amenity. 

Nobis Hotel Copenhagen combines Danish classicism with contemporary luxury next to Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen Central Station. Occupying a landmark building, the boutique hotel has a restaurant serving French and Nordic cuisine, Scandinavian bar, fitness center, marble hamam, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily, VIP status, complimentary WiFi, and a 300 DKK food and beverage credit per room/per stay. 

Offering 38 unique rooms and suites, the Hotel Nimb is a boutique retreat. All but one of the property's rooms has views of the Tivoli Gardens, Nimb Wellness has spa treatements, hammam, and relaxation lounge, and the Nimb Roof is home to an exclusive emerald green pool with a built-in tide. There's also a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for two daily, including room service, DKK 650 food and beverage credit, per room/per stay (no cash value if not redeemed in full), welcome drink and Tivoli Gardens table book. 

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7. Alberta

19 Places to go in 2019: Alberta

Culture and architecture enthusiasts will find new icons to explore in the Canadian province of Alberta. Home of Banff National Park, which released a heard of Bison into the wild last year to help the animals make a come back after overhunting, as well as skiing in Jasper and Banff, Alberta is also becoming a place for visitors to explore new museums like the recently-opened Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. There's also the new Calgary Central Library, an architectural marvel with 460 white hexagonal panels designed by Snøhetta and DIALOG, as well as the Kananskis Nordic Spa in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies with hydrotherapy pools, steam rooms, and salt exfoliation cabins. 

In Edmonton, the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is a historic landmark hotel known as the "Chateau on the River" with a canine ambassador, state-of-the-art amenities, BMW car service, fine dining, and public gardens. While the Fairmont Paliser provides a historic hotel in the heart of downtown Calgary. Popular with royalty and celebrities since opening in 1914, the hotel will introduce new dining options in 2019.

For an opulent setting in the Rocky Mountains, Fairmont Banff Springs is styled after a Scottish baronial castle with a championship golf course, Willow Stream Spa, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily, a $50 Spa credit, per person/per stay towards a 90 minute massage or facial or body treatment, and complimentary basic internet.

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6. Houston

19 Places to go in 2019: Houston

The largest city in Texas is celebrating a major milestone in July 2019, the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. NASA's Johnson Space Center is honoring the special event with the restoration of the Apollo Mission Center, as well as a display of symbolic Apollo artifacts. The coastal capital city also has a booming food scene with five food halls opening this year, including the Bravery Chef Hall--a 9,000-square-foot establishment featuring five chef-led restaurants. Also, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Holocaust Museum will complete major expansions. 

For technology-infused accommodations and Houston-themed dining, JW Marriott Houston Downtown offers a hip setting with local artwork in the iconic and historic Samuel F. Carter skyscraper. Plus, an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive continental breakfast for each guest daily in Griffin Lounge, a $50 food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and an automatic room category upgrade at booking based on availability. 

Hotel Alessandra provides a boutique setting in the Central Business District with an outdoor rooftop pool, Maserati car service within the downtown area, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance for hotel stays through March 31, 2019 will also receive a wine and cheese platter in the guest room and a one category room upgrade based on availability at check-in. 

Featuring views of the Houston skyline, The St. Regis Houston has a prime location in the River Oaks neighborhood with live music on Friday and Saturday evenings at The Remington Bar, award-winning dining at The Remington Restaurant, and a spa. FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive continental breakfast for two daily and a Signature Afternoon Tea for two per stay or $100 food and beverage credit at The Remington Restaurant for two guests per stay ($50 per person and no cash value). 

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5. Ischia

19 Places to go in 2019: Ischia

Fan of Elena Ferrante's novels? The volcanic island of Ischia on the Amalfi Coast is the setting for the new HBO Series "My Brilliant Friend", and Maronti Beach is where Ferrante's narrator spends her time sunbathing. Just an hour from Naples, the island offers old-school charm, beaches studded with umbrellas, resort villages, and thermal spas. Must-sees: the candy-colored fishing village of Sant'Angelo and the medieval Castello Aragonese.

L'Albergo della Regina Isabella sits along a tranquil bay amidst rocky outcrops and Mediterranean pinewoods with a spa featuring thermal baths, as well as three bars and restaurants featuring views of the gardens or sea. Grand Hotel Punta Molino Terme offers sea views with a fusion of historic elegance and modern style, plus gourmet Mediterranean dining, and a thermal spa center. While San Montano Resort & Spa has lemon gardens, the Ocean Blue Spa (the only seaview spa in Ischia), and eight pools. 

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4. Bhutan

19 Places to go in 2019: Bhutan

Travelers seeking spiritual experiences will find Bhutan a one-of-a-kind retreat. Bumthang is believed to be the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan, there's hundreds of temples throughout the small country where pilgrims gather at local festivals, and traditional and progressive beliefs blend harmoniously together. Visitors can climb the Tiger Nest Monastery for the ultimate spiritual journey, as well as partake in a Butter Tea Ceremony with traditional customs. 

At Amankora, visitors experience the Himalayan landscape in Balakha Village amidst the shadows of the 17th century Drukyel Dzong, while staying in suites with natural rammed-earth walls, traditional bukhari wood-burning stoves, and large terrazo-clad baths. Plus, a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a $100 USD resort credit per room/per stay. 

For an intimate setting, COMO Uma Paro is a 29-room resort in the Paro Valley with a COMO Shambhala Retreat where guests can enjoy a full range of holistic, Asian-inspired treatments including Ayurveda, two private Bhutanese hot stone bathhouses, a large indoor pool with alfresco sundeck, steam rooms for men and women, a gym, and yoga studio with Paro Valley views. The hotel also offers a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also include full breakfast for two daily at Bukhari Restaurant and lunch for two once during stay. For stays of four (4) nights or more, guests receive a 60 minute Como Shambhala massage per person/per stay, and for Villa bookings of three (3) nights or more, guests receive a Bhutanese hot stone Bath Treatment (30 minute bath and 1 hour treatment) once during stay.

While Taj Tashi is located in the heart of the Thimphu Valley with classical hand-drawn Buddhist murals, Bhutanese Hot Stone baths in the spa, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Explore more Bhutan Hotels

3. Tahiti

19 Places to go in 2019: Tahiti

Known for vanilla and pearls, the islands of French Polynesia are an eight-hour nonstop flight from the west coast of the USA. With new nonstop flight options from major carriers, this idyllic island paradise is easier to reach than ever before.

Eco-conscious travelers will want to stay at The Brando, a model in the industry for sustainable luxury tourism. Originally bought by Marlon Brando in the 1960s, the property is located in the Tetiaroa atoll, which is about a 20-minute flight from Tahiti's main airport. Plus, there's a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a 100 Euro resort credit per villa/per stay (not applicable to the Hinerava Pearl shop or room rate, no cash value).

Travelers seeking overwater bungalows will want to consider the InterContinental Resort Tahiti with Polynesian style design, 32 acres of gardens, and a private sand beach with a location ideal for watching one-of-a-kind sunsets. There's also a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full American Breakfast for two daily and a $30 (2700 CFP) food and beverage credit per room/per stay. 

Offering just 9 beachfront and overwater bungalows, Vahine Island Resort and Spa is a remote Polynesian hideaway. Nestled amidst coconut trees on its own private island, this resort has a restaurant created for foodies with a relaxed island atmosphere and French cuisine infused with Mediterranean and local influences. 

Explore more Tahiti Hotels

2. Berlin

19 Places to go in 2019: Berlin

In 2019, Berlin will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Throughout the year, the city's cultural calendar demonstrates a post-reunification arts renaissance, including a variety of exhibits commemorating 100 years of the Bauhaus movement. The Humbolt-Box will provide a sneak peek of the new Humbolt Forum (opening late 2019), which will be a place for people to learn about and experience the world with an array of exhibitions. Foodies may want to consider visiting the city in February for the eat! Berlin Festival which will celebrate everything from currywurst to vegetarian cuisine. 

Situated in Berlin City West, Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm is a contemporary hotel showcasing German artists, timeless design, and dining on the terrace of Le Faubourg Restaurant. Designed by German architect Jan Kleihues, the 17-story hotel has a lounge, fitness center, and wellness area plus a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive full breakfast for each guest daily, a 65 EUR Food & Beverage Credit per room, per stay, and VIP Treatment. The following are subject to availability at the time of check-in: upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out. 

Das Stue is located in Berlin's Diplomatic Quarter. Inspired by Danish classicism, the historic building was originally built in the 1930s with a modernist fascade. Today, the boutique hotel has a central location nestled in the Tiergarten Park, with fine dining, spa, and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate receive full breakfast for each guest daily at The Casual and a 85 Euro food and beverage credit per room/per stay to be used at Casual Restaurant or 5-Cinco by Paco Perez or Stue Bar. 

Overlooking historical Gendarmenmarkt Square with magnificent 18th century cathedrals and the concert hall, the Regent Berlin is a luxury hotel in downtown Berlin. Steps from the city's top department stores, boutiques, and the Brandenburg Gate, the hotel is built on an intimate scale. Amenities include the Regent's Health Club with exercise machines and sauna, as well as a spa with skilled therapists, plus a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a la carte breakfast for two daily in the restaurant, a $100 USD food and beverage credit per room/per stay, and an automatic room category upgrade at booking based on availability. 

Explore more Berlin Hotels

1. Tokyo

19 Places to go in 2019: Tokyo

Sure, Tokyo is hosting the Olympics in 2020, but this year is a great year to visit the Land of the Rising Sun, before all the crowds. There's new hotels and attractions opening throughout the city, dining is superb in the most Michelin-starred city in the world, and Japan will welcome a new emperor on May 1. Plus, the city has one of the lowest crime rates of any major city in the world, and visitors can enjoy a mix of traditional tea ceremonies, temples, and tech-infused skyscrapers. 

For an urban sanctuary towering over the city, Aman Tokyo is located on the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower. Drawing design inspiration for traditional Japanese residential structures, the hotel offers a mix of cultural immersion and the latest technology, plus a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive a full breakfast for two daily in the restaurant and a $100 food and beverage credit per room/per stay (excludes minibar and no cash value). 

Opposite the Imperial Palace, The Peninsula Tokyo is a landmark hotel in the prestigious Marunouchi Financial District. Blending Japanese tradition and modernity, the award-winning hotel offers the celebrated Peninsula Afternoon Tea in the lobby, accommodations with views of Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace, intimate dining at Hei Fung Terrace, a 20-meter indoor swimming pool and a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive American Breakfast for two daily at The Lobby, complimentary WiFi, a seasonal welcome amenity, and a per room 10,000 JPY food and beverage credit per stay valid in all restaurants or in-room dining with the exclusion of Kyoto Tsuraya, mini-bar items and retail merchandise. 

Adjacent to Tokyo Station, the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo is set on the top 11 floors of the Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building. Featuring the brand's hallmark Asian design, the hotel has spacious accommodations with sweeping views of the city, Imperial Palace, or Tokyo Bay. In addition, the hotel offers a FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also include full breakfast for two daily in Piacere, complimentary WiFi, USD 100 hotel credit per room/per stay (not valid on room rate, transportation, CHI The Spa retail products, Shangri-La Boutique and no cash value), a welcome amenity that includes fruits and chocolates. 

Explore more Tokyo Hotels


| By: Rachael Weir

Featured Journeys: Luxury Tour of Japan

In this edition of Featured Journeys, we're going on a Luxury Tour of Japan. The country's four main islands (Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku) are connected via a network of railways. For this journey, we recommend beginning in Tokyo, then using the country's network of trains to reach Kyoto and Osaka. Japan's shinkansen (bullet trains) operate local and express routes, while long-haul routes referred to as futsū or kaku-eki-teisha, have green car carriages which are more spacious and similar to business class. 


Tokyo
Kyoto
Osaka

Tokyo

This megapolis offers a study of contrasts, from Shiodome's skyscrapers to the trendy Harajuku, and Zen-like gardens that come alove with cherry blossome in the springtime, Tokyo offers a mix of urban settings and traditional gardens. For a spectacular display of Japanese arts, visit the Tokyo National Museum. Be sure to meander the indoor Tsukiji Fish Market--one of the largest fish markets in the world, and go to the 45th floor of the Tokyo Government Office (TMG) for a panoramic view of the metropolis and Mount Fuji on clear days. When it's time for contemplation, head to Hama Rikyu Garden with fish ponds, moon-viewing pavilion, and teahouses. From the garden's pier, visitors can board the ferry to Asakusa, filled with traditional homes and narrow streets that were once the pleasure quarters of the old Edo. The area, sometimes referred to as shitamachi (old town), is also home to the Buddhist Sensoji Temple, dating back to A.D. 628, it is the city's oldest temple, and it is reachable via the Nakimise Dori, a colorful pedestrian lane lined with shops selling traditional products and souvenirs. For electronics, Akihabara is Japan's shopping destination for electronics, appliances, gadgets, and the latest gizmos, while Ginza is Tokyo's upscale shopping district with international boutiques, exclusive restaurants, and department stores. Nightlife options include kabuki dance-drama shows at Kabuki-za, sumo wrestling at Kokugikan Stadium, and Nippon Professional Baseball games from late March to early October. 

Here are a few of the top Tokyo Luxury Hotels:

Aman Tokyo

Suite bathroom at the Aman Tokyo

Perched on the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower, Aman Tokyo combines modernity and tradition. Designed to offer a warm sanctuary, guest rooms and suite feature Washi paper, timbers, and stone furnishings mingled with luxurious fabrics. Located in Otemachi, the property is close to Tokyo Station and the Nihonbashi district. 

Check availability at Aman Tokyo

 

The Peninsula Tokyo

The Pool at The Peninsula Tokyo

Opposite the Imperial Palace and Hibiya Park, The Peninsula Tokyo is steps away from the upscale shopping district of Ginza. From the outdoor terrace of The Peninsula Spa, guests can see the Imperial Palace, or relax in the indoor heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, saunas, and relaxation areas. Offering five unique restaurants, the property also has a wedding chapel, Japanese ceremony room, two ballrooms, and six function rooms.

Learn more about The Peninsula Tokyo

 

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

The Lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Upon arrival at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, guests are ushered to a private entrance and whisked to the hotel's Sky Lobby on the 38th floor. For a serene experience, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental has heat and water experiences, a crystal steam room for meditation, four treatment rooms, and five private spa suites with views of the city 36 floors below. There's also gourmet dining, and a fully-equipped fitness center with a high-tech gymnasium. 

Check availability at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

 

Explore all Tokyo Luxury Hotels

 

Kyoto

While Tokyo may showcase the futuristic side of Japan, Kyoto offers visitors a glimpse into the country's mysterious past. Featuring thousands of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, visitors can travel back in time to the city's age of empires at the Imperial Palace with moat-ringed gardens and the cypress wood carvings at Nijo Castle. In Gion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, geishas glide through cobblestone alleys past traditional teahouses, and Ryoanji provides a peaceful rock garden setting for meditation. As the craft capital of Japan, the Kyoto Handicraft Center is the place to find fans, wooden combs, and fabrics ideal for hosting a tea ceremony, while department stores are best for kimonos and lacquerwares. Kyoto is also filled with cherry trees, making it an ideal destination during sakara, the cherry blossom season (usually mid-March to mid-April) with Imperial Palace Park (Kyoto Gosho) and the canalside Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-Michi) both offering ideal places to view the blossoms. 

The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

The Garden Terrace Suite Tatami at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

Providing scenic views of the Higashiyama Sanju-Roppo, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is located on the banks of the Kamogawa River. The property's 134 guest rooms and suites were designed by Remedios Design Studio and feature a blend of traditional Japanese decor, Kyoto craft traditions, and luxurious modern comforts such as private Zen garden terrace decks, traditional tatami mats, and views of the river and Higashiyama mountains. 

Learn more about The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

 

The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto

The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto

Receiving guests since 1890, The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto is perched on a hilltop with 16 acres of Japanese gardens and a wild bird sanctuary. Close to temples and Kyoto sites, there's a light-filled indoor pool with floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light and mountain views, plus a seasonal Lake Biwa-shaped outdoor pool. 

Check availability at The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto

 

Suiran

Springtime at Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Situated along the river, Suiran, A Luxury Collection Hotel, is located within a historic Kyoto community. Steps away from the Tenryu-ji World Heritage Site, the hotel provides an authentic Japanese experience. There are two restaurants on-site serving local cuisine, plus a spa nestled within a Japanese garden with two treatment rooms featuring open-air baths with healing waters from the Arashiyama hot springs. 

Learn more about Suiran, A Luxury Collection Hotel

 

Explore all Kyoto Luxury Hotels

 

Osaka

Considered the Gateway to Western Japan, Osaka has a history dating back nearly 1,500 years. Over time, the city became an important distribution center, especially for the rice trade. Today, Osaka is the third largest city in Japan, and known as an international and progressive business center. The Osaka Castle was built about 400 years ago, offering visitors a glimpse into the past along with panoramic city views from the castle's observation deck. To learn more about the city, the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living has a replica of the city and a variety of exhibits. One of the city's most recognizable landmarks is the Umeda Sky Building, which has an observation deck, and Universal Studios Japan is a short train ride from the city. Known for its strong food culture, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and udon should be on visitors lists of foods to try.

The St. Regis Osaka

The St. Regis Osaka

Set along the famed street of Midosuji, referred to as the Champs Elysées of Osaka, The St. Regis Osaka provides an ultra-luxe setting with gastronomic discoveries and high end services, including personalized St. Regis Butler Service. There's multiple gourmet dining options, and guest rooms have upscale amenities including pillow menus with 11 options, 300-thread-count-sheets, and espresso machines. Plus, the Family Traditions program offers unique experiences geared toward young travelers.

Check availability at The St. Regis Osaka

 

The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka

Japanese Suite at the Ritz-Carlton, Osaka

Within walking distance of boutique shopping and ancient sites, The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka is located in the prestigious Nishi-Umeda district. Featuring a style reminiscent of an 18th century English manor house, the hotel has a 450-piece art and antique collection. There's Japanese, Chinese, and Italian restaurants, plus a spa, and fitness center with a heated indoor pool, saunas, and indoor and outdoor whirlpools. 

Learn more about The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka

 

Hotel Hankyu International

Hotel Hankyu International

Featuring European-inspired interiors, Hotel Hankyu International occupies the top ten floors and the first six levels of the Applause Tower. Inspired by the 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, public spaces evoke the feel of Venice and Florence with atrium ceilings, a courtyard with a fountain, and elevators with golden ceilings. Overlooking the city, mountains, and Yodo River, guest rooms and suites have spacious bathrooms with marble floors and large windows. 

Check availability at Hotel Hankyu International

Explore all Osaka Luxury Hotels

 

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| By: Five Star Alliance

The Cafe by Aman at Aman Tokyo is a peaceful oasis on the ground floor of The Otemachi Tower. Nestled amid the Otemachi Forest, a 3,600-square-metre manmade woodlands incorporating fauna from across Japan, The Cafe is flooded with natural light through its floor-to-ceiling windows, and seating is available both indoors and outdoors for lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. The Café is open from 11am to 10pm on weekdays.  11am to 9pm on weekends and holidays.

Aman Tokyo

Book a stay at Aman Tokyo >>


| By: Five Star Alliance

The Presidential Suite at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo has marbled bathroom features, a Jacuzzi bathtub,
walk-in shower, black marble sinks, and a television. There are heated floors and towel racks, and plush
terry bathrobes. The view from the tub includes a glimpse at Mount Fuji.

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Book a stay at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo >>


| By: Five Star Alliance

Occupying the top six floors of the recently-built Otemachi Tower, Aman Tokyo is an urban sanctuary high above the atmospheric whirl of tradition and modernity that epitomises Tokyo. A warm and exclusive sanctuary, Aman Tokyo draws its design inspiration from traditional Japanese residential structures. Classic Japanese materials such as timber, Washi paper and stone are blended to great effect with modern technology and luxurious fabrics. Filtered light contrasts with solid elements, creating a subtle interplay of shadow and light fundamental to the design and ambiance of the hotel.

Aman Tokyo

Book a stay at Aman Tokyo >>


| By: Five Star Alliance

Park Hyatt Tokyo features a 26x65 foot (8x20 metre) Sky Pool. Stunning panoramic views of Tokyo and a snow-peaked Mount Fuji can be seen through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls from the surrounding deck chairs. Club On The Park offers classes in aqua exercise and aqua walking which rotate every six months. After a swim, guests may enjoy soothing drinks and light refreshments from the poolside menu.

Park Hyatt Tokyo 

View rates, details, and more images of Park Hyatt Tokyo >>


| By: Betsy LeTourneau

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 new 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.

Hotel Nikko TokyoQUESTION: We are a family of 5 and looking to stay in Tokyo . What resort offers the best accommodations for our family?

ANSWER: Hotel Nikko Tokyo offers a truly unique view of the exciting Tokyo's urban waterfront from all of the spacious and luxurious guestrooms, which are equipped with spacious balconies and state of the art facilities. For your family, we recommend Ocean View -Connecting Rooms For 4 -6 People. There are also Superior Category rooms offering Partial Ocean View. These rooms offer twin beds or a double bed. Rooms are 40 sqM in size.

At this amazing location, guests enjoy top-class lodging, quality dining, a spa with wide range of programs, full blown convention facility, wedding services, and refined and sincere hospitality. Enjoy the sunset with selected champagne. Feast your palate while you feast your eyes with the spectacular landscape, be it at a traditional Japanese Sushi bar or a cheerful terrace restaurant. Wrap up your day at a quiet bar. All is possible on-site at Hotel Nikko Tokyo. Top quality dining is offered at 10 restaurants and bars in the premises, presenting various styles of cuisines, prepared with fresh and carefully sort-after ingredients, that are guaranteed to make your Tokyo stay memorable. 

Hotel Nikko Tokyo

Indulge yourself in the Spa and fitness facility Zen before and after a busy day of sightseeing with personalized and original spa programs ranging from Shiatsu with the locally-famous Namikoshi methods, to various Thalasso and originally developed Aroma therapy programs which will soothe and revitalize you after sight-seeing or shopping duties. 

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.

View rates, details, and more images of Hotel Nikko Tokyo >>

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| By: Elaine Lee

The Peninsula Tokyo
The Peninsula Tokyo
has rolled out an exciting new array of experiential courses for guests wanting to learn first-hand about Japanese culture.  The experiential learning is done through personalized classes, tours, and activities. These new programs have been designed from a local Japanese perspective and highlight key aspects that speak to the Japanese culture, heritage, lifestyle, cuisine, arts, and more. "The Art of the Kimono program is one of the many new classes that the hotel has created. Guests of the hotel get introduced to the Japanese culture and lifestyle by learning about the complexities of putting on the formal kimono During the program guests are professionally fitted and dressed in the traditional Japanese garment. Guests can select the kimono of their choice to try on from the available selection provided by the famous Japanese kimono designer Hatsuko Endo. Guests also have the option to don a traditional Japanese hairstyle and makeup with the opportunity to commemorate the experience with professional photographs at additional cost.

View rates, details, and more images of The Peninsula Tokyo>>

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| By: Five Star Alliance

Palace Hotel TokyoFive Star Alliance's sister publication, Luxury Travel Advisor recently had the pleasure of touring the brand new Palace Hotel Tokyo.  Travel Guru Joe Pike (you can read more from Joe here: http://www.thejoepikeblog.com/) offers the following details about his recent stay:
 

Demolishing an iconic hotel isn't always a smart decision for a tourism-entrenched city to make, but when you replace it with a new, luxurious, $1.2 billion, modern chic hotel bearing the same name, it quickly turns into one of the best business decisions a destination can make.

Luxury Travel Advisor toured Wednesday the new Palace Hotel Tokyo, which officially reopened on May 17. It replaced the previous Palace Hotel Tokyo, which opened in 1961, was located at the same site and knocked down in 2009.

Here's what you need to know to pitch one of Japan's hottest new hotels.

The Rooms

All of the rooms face one direction, meaning every VIP, no matter what category they are staying in, gets view of the city.

Luxury Travel Advisor stayed in room no. 2207, a Club Deluxe Room W/ Balcony. Note: not all of these rooms have balconies, so be sure to request a balcony. Without a balcony, the room simply lacks one of our favorite features. There is nothing like seeing the city lit up at night, while enjoying a beverage on the terrace.

The best room here is the Palace Suite, which is the hotel's version of a Presidential Suite. The room is roughly 2,200 square feet. It comes with one bedroom with double beds, but can also connect. There are a lot of powerful colors in this room, including a lot of black and gold throughout the bedroom. Note: This room is a traditional Japanese style room and it's typical for Japanese couples to sleep in separate beds. There is also a very large balcony, 60-inch televisions in both the bedroom and the living and a separate kitchen and dining area. Tip: The dining area can be used for private dinners, including wine and sake pairings.

Restaurants and Bars

All of the restaurants are open to locals, which is why it is very important for advisors to book reservations for VIPs at least two weeks in advance since there is a huge local contingent of businessmen who frequent the hotel's restaurants.

The Grand Kitchen is located on the first level and where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Nice Touch: There is a small garden area outside that seats roughly 25 guests while another outdoor terrace area can seat up to 40 guests. Tip: Both outdoor areas can be rented out for small groups. The Grand Kitchen serves a number of cuisines from pasta to pizza to paelle. We ordered the "Hirata Farm" Pork Loin with mash potatoes, mushrooms and sage.

The Palace Lounge is a great place to have a cocktail. It has a very living room type feel and feels very homey. The lounge also has a piano with live performances nighty. Afternoon tea is served here from 2 - 4p.m. with more than 45 different teas offered.

The Royal Bar, located on the first floor is a very sophisticated bar with an impressive piece of abstract art occupying an entire wall. Fun Fact: The piece of an abstract dragon is meant to be an ode to the year the hotel reopened.

Wadakura is the hotel's signature restaurant, serving such Japanese favorites as sushi and tempora. It seats up to 118 people but is so scattered that it doesn't feel so large. In fact, there is a separate Tempora bar, called Tatsumi, located within Wadakura. Nice Touch: The restaurant offers nine private rooms, serving anywhere from four to 10 people. Note: We were told these are usually the first rooms to be reserved so be sure to book this at least two weeks in advance as well. Also, located within Wasakura is a separately managed sushi bar as well as Go, an area dedicated to teppanyaki.

The Crown restaurant is the hotel's French dining option. This restaurant has a strong art deco feel with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering an incredible view of the city.

Prive is another impressive lounge. It's very similar to the Palace Lounge except its a bit sexier, a bit more modern chic. Like the Palace Lounge, it also offers tea, but with a more French inspiration. The ambience of this lounge is designed to give VIPs a forest-like feel. Its basically a really chill, relaxed environment. Nice Touch: There is also a small outdoor lounge area with black leather seats and couches.

Amber Palace is the hotel's Chinese restaurant. There are a lot of amber hues throughout the restaurants, hence the name.

The Spa

The hotel is home to the Evian Spa, which takes the name of the famous brand of bottled of water. In fact, Evian water is handed to VIPs along with a fresh towel as they workout in the fitness center, which is open 24 hours a day and offers city views from all of its treadmills. The spa is made up of just five treatment rooms and one spa suite. VIPs who pay for a treatment can use all of the spa's facilities. There is a modest fee to use the pool, however, if VIPs don't have a spa treatment. The fitness center is free for everyone. Note: Club Members, those staying on floors 18-23 and also in some select rooms on the 16th and 17th floors, have free access to the pool regardless of whether they have a spa treatment or not.

Weddings

The hotel is home to a Western-style chapel, which can have up to 12 weddings a day. There is also a Japanese shrine for more traditional weddings, but we were told roughly 80-90 percent of the guests use the Western-style chapel.

Who to Book For

Roughy 60 percent of the VIPs here are business travelers while the remaining 40 percent are leisure travelers. There are roughly 15-20 percent Americans here. We would suggest the hotel for business travelers or couples and families looking for a hotel just 20 minutes away from the famous Ginza shopping district.

 


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