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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: Five Star Alliance

Limited Time Offers to Encourage Planning Your Next Adventure

In the midst of worldwide health challenges, we’re all asking if and when to travel. Ultimately, choosing to go forward with travel plans is a personal call and situations are rapidly evolving.

However, most travel companies have introduced very flexible policies covering deposits, cancellation penalties, and waivers in order to cancel for any reason. These hope to encourage travelers to look towards the future and plan an adventure for when you feel comfortable resuming travel again. With plunging airfares and flexible policies, start planning your next adventure, whether it’s for tomorrow or several months from now with a few of these risk-free choices below.

The following are accurate as of Thursday, March 12th and will updated when new information is available.

HOTELS

Jumby Bay Hotels

Luxury hotels in popular destinations are usually sold out at least 6 months to a year in advance and because of travel worries suddenly room availability has opened up. And to incentivize future travel, these hotels are modifying their usually strict high-season cancellation policies and including extra perks to those willing to make future plans. The increased flexibility can help travelers continue to make plans, while giving them options if the situation deteriorates or their destination hasn't improved prior to departure. Have questions? Get in touch with us, we're here as your partner to help!

Hilton Hotels

In regions affected by government-issued travel restrictions, Hilton will continue to waive change fees or offer full refunds. ALL exisiting reservations – even those described as non-cancellable (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are scheduled for arrival before April 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. Any NEW reservation you make – even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are booked between now and April 30, 2020 for any future arrival date, can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

IHG is enabling flexible travel by waiving cancellation fees for all existing and new bookings at ALL IHG hotels globally for stays between March 9, 2020 and April 30, 2020.

AMResorts

Exclusively for Five Star Alliance guests: until March 31, 2020 any existing reservations for all travel dates in 2020 who choose to keep their plans will have the following enhancements added to their booking: Complimentary room upgrade based upon availability at check in, additional $200 in resort coupons for a total of $400, and $50 spa credit. Another option is their "Move the Date, Keep the Rate" program which allows guests to change the date of their current booking for a future travel date between now and December 22, 2020. Additionally, guests have the option to change to another AMResorts property within the same brand, in a different destination with no additional fee or cancellation penalty. Travel to also be completed by December 22, 2020.

Doyle Collection

The Doyle Collection - with hotels in Dublin, London, and Washington, DC is offering a ‘No Charge to Change’ program which offers a flexible solution to travelers. All of their leisure offers are fully flexible and any prepaid bookings may be changed to an alternative date within 2020 without charge. Rates attached to these bookings will be honored for new dates booked within 2020.

Belmond Hotels

Has an updated cancellation and deposit policy to encourage reservations.

InterContinental Bordeaux - Le Grand Hotel

In addition to the current Five Star Alliance Offer of full breakfast for two daily, an 85 Euro hotel credit, complimentary WiFi, and VIP status - the hotel is offering a guaranteed upgrade at time of booking for any reservation made from March 11, 2020 to April 30, 2020 and for stays through April 30, 2020. 

Baglioni Hotels

Offers a Flexible Offer/Zero Penalty program. Book a springtime getaway or plan a summer vacation for with your family in Florence, London, Rome, Venice and Milan. You can cancel - for any reason without incurring any penalty by cancelling at least 1 day prior to your arrival before 1pm local time. The offer is valid from March 1st to August 31st, 2020.

explora

Receive a 50% discount in the companion rate for explora South America resorts. Valid for stays between April and October 2020 in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, and between April and June 2020 in Atacama, Easter Island, and the Chilean Patagonia. Minimum three-night bookings.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

Reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate includes continental breakfast for two daily at Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits and a $100 resort credit. Book through April 30, 2020 and travel between April 1, 2020 - October 27, 2020 and a $200 credit will be applied for all guestrooms and junior suites, and a $250 resort will be applied to bookings for ocean view one bedroom suite, residential suites and guestrooms with Club Lounge access.

Meliá Hotels

Join the MeliáRewards program and plan your vacations with no worries. Choose your ideal destination, take advantage of a discount up to 45% (an incredible discount) and a free cancellation. Make your reservation starting March 05, 2020 for stays through December 31, 2020. All Meliá Hotels are participating. (Pssst - this also applies to the Paradisus Resorts)

Nayara Resorts

These 3 Relais & Chateaux resorts in Costa Rica are encouraging new bookings by offering flexibility with the booking terms and conditions. This includes the opportunity to postpone travel to a later date without any additional charges.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort 

The resort is offering rooms at up to 30% off now through Friday, March 20, 2020 at 5 pm Hawaii Time. The sale is valid for stays from March 22 to Dec. 15 but be you'll have to be confident in your travel dates - these are non-changeable, non-cancellable rates.

 

PACKAGES

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Resort Orlando

Offering a special (and flexible) policy to encourage travelers to plan their summer getaways - all cacation package reservations made between March 4, 2020 and April 15, 2020 for travel between March 4, 2020 and August 31, 2020 may be modified with no fee as long as it is done at least 24 hours prior to arrival.

Interested in one of our Package Offers? Contact us by clicking here

CRUISES

Luxury Cruises

If you are interested in any of the opportunities below or would like to learn more about cruising in the future, please click here

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian is allowing guests who book a sailing through Sept. 30, 2020 to cancel their trip up to 48-hours beforehand and receive a 100% future cruise credit with its 'Peace of Mind' cancellation policy. Passengers may also delay final payments on June and July voyages. Norwegian is also relaxing its name change policy for up to 45 days before sailing.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

All guests sailing on or before July 31, 2020 may now choose to cancel their reservation up to 48 hours prior to departure. Should a guest wish to cancel after their final payment deadline, a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) will be administered in the full amount of each guest’s applicable cancellation fees. (FCC amounts will vary and are dependent upon the standard cancellation timeline). Guests can apply these credits to any future cruise of their choice departing on or before December 31, 2021.

Oceania Cruises

Announced a new Traveler's Assurance booking policy for all existing and new bookings made by April 30, 2020 for any voyages departing between March 10 and Sept. 30, 2020. Guests may cancel up to 48 hours prior to cruise departure and will receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid.

Princess Cruises

UPDATE: Princess Cruises announced March 12th that it will pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months. The 60-day suspension will impact voyages departing Mar. 12 to May 10. Princess is offering the opportunity to transfer 100% of the money paid for their canceled cruise to a future cruise of their choice, as well as an additional future cruise credit, which can be applied to the cruise fare or onboard expenses. In addition, Princess will honor this offer for those guests who had made final payment and canceled their bookings on or after Feb. 4, 2020. The future cruise credit can be used on any voyage departing through May 1, 2022. Guests who do not want to receive a credit will be able to complete an electronic form at Princess.com to request a cash refund. Princess Cruises plans to be back in operation beginning with cruises departing May 11, 2020.

Azamara 

In addition to our “Cruise with Confidence” cancellation policy, they've taken additional steps to help reassure you by updating the CruiseCare travel protection program to cover all booking cancellations, regardless of the specified reason for bookings made by April 30, 2020 and sailing before December 31, 2021.

Seabourn

The new "Book with Confidence" policy allows bookings made between Mar. 2 and Apr. 30, 2020, for sailings departing Apr. 1 through Oct. 15, to be canceled up to 30 days prior to departure. Guests will receive a future cruise credit that must be used within 90 days for cruises departing before Dec. 31, 2021.

Silversea

Voyages departing before July 31, 2020, including both existing and future bookings, now have the additional option of cancelling their voyage as late as 48 hours prior to sailing with a Future Cruise Credit. For all sailings departing after July 31 until December 31, 2020, a 30-day prior to sailing cash cancellation option will be in place.

Regent Seven Seas

Guests on sailings scheduled from March 10 through Sept.30, 2020, booked by April 30, 2020, may cancel up to 48-hours prior to sailing and receive a 100% future cruise credit. Regent is also deferring the final payment for all sailings where the final payment is due within the next 30 days, to 60 days before sailing.

Uniworld

Uniworld 2020 cruises may be canceled up to 14 days prior to sailing. The river cruise line also added a temporary change fee waiver for any 2020 and 2021 cruise.

Viking River Cruises

They announced earlier this month that any passenger scheduled to depart before Apr. 30 may cancel up to 24 hours in advance of their trip, without incurring a fee, and receive credit for another Viking cruise to be used within a year. UPDATE: Viking will suspend its river and ocean cruise operations until May 1, 2020. All guests will receive a 125% future cruise credit, which they’ll be able to use over the next 24 months on any of Viking’s cruise products. The credit is also fully transferable. If a guest doesn’t use the voucher, Viking will send a refund equal to the amount paid to Viking after it expires.

Windstar

Windstar will allow passengers to cancel a sailing up to 15 days prior to departure for cruises departing on or after June 1, 2020.

Disney Cruise Line

Bookings can be changed up until the day before embarkation. Guests scheduled to sail between now and May 31, 2020 can change their reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100% cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 12 months of their original sail date.

PONANT/Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin changed the final payment policy for June and July 2020 voyages which will now be due 60 days prior to the sailing date. Ponant's new "Worry Free Bookings," allows final payment 30 days closer to the sailing date for all new bookings on 2020 departures. Those 2020 departures will only require a 10% deposit. Ponant has also changed its cancellation policy for new bookings for 2020, 2021, and 2022—it will allow guests to cancel sailings up to 90 days after confirmation and receive a full refund for new bookings.

If you are interested in any of the opportunities above or would like to learn more about cruising in the future, please click here


| By: Five Star Alliance

Five-star hotels are properties that offer their guests the highest levels of luxury through personalized services, a vast range of amenities, and sophisticated accommodations. Though there is no standard rating system for hotels, properties earn five-star distinction by providing guests experiences that meet or exceed even the highest of expectations for comfort, décor, and luxury.

5 Star Hotel Criteria

Though a luxury hotel may share many five-star hotel characteristics, a true five-star hotel should satisfy all these criteria:

5-Star Service

Five-star hotel employees should be polite, attentive, discreet, and can anticipate guests’ needs. All-in-all, consistently flawless excellence is the expectation. 

  • Standalone concierge staff available at least 16 hours a day
  • A high staff-to-room ratio—ideally above 2.5
  • Multilingual staff
  • 24-hour reception, room service, valet parking, butler, doorman
  • Nightly turndown 
  • Daily housekeeping that is also available upon request at any time
  • Laundry, ironing, dry cleaning, and shoe polishing
  • Guest elevators separate from staff elevators.
  • Luggage storage in which bags are out of guest view
  • Fine dining restaurant(s) and a standalone lounge and/or bar
  • Transfers and executive or house car
  • Childcare

5-Star In-Room Amenities

  • Electric safe
  • Laundry bags
  • Full-length mirror with lighting
  • Flat-screen TV with international programming
  • Stocked mini bar
  • Selection of daily newspapers
  • Wifi
  • At least four types of spa treatments 

5-Star Comfort

  • Guest rooms must be plush and inviting—especially the bed. (Ideally, there is a memory foam bed with high thread count sheets)
  • Pillow menu
  • Blackout shades
  • Bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, and large fluffy towels
  • Poolside daybeds, umbrellas, lotions, ice water, attendants, and food and beverage service

5-star hotel meaning

As more hotels aspire to five-star quality, we expect to see the very best hotels advance the standards of luxury. Here is what will become standard to all five-star hotels soon:

  • Communication with hotel staff via text
  • Remote access to room lighting, climate, and “do not disturb” 
  • Additional outlets for personal electronics, especially for USB plugs
  • Upgraded coffee machines
  • Smart TV features with access to streaming services
  • Bluetooth-enabled door locks

Who awards hotels 5 stars? 

There is no universal standard for hotel ratings. 

Terms such as Deluxe/Luxury, First Class/Superior, Tourist Class/Standard, and Budget Class/Economy are more widely accepted as hotel types, not hotel standards.

In North America, AAA rates hotels from 1 to 5 diamonds. The Forbes (Mobil) Travel Guide only ranks 4- and 5-star hotels. 

In Europe, the Hotelstars Union has standard hotel star ratings applicable to properties for more than 15 countries. Switzerland uses hotelleriesuisse which confirms a certain level of quality service, infrastructure, and equipment. The UK uses the Automobile Association's (AA) 1-to-5 star ratings.

Many other nations have laws to define hotel rating criteria.

In New Zealand, Qualmark, part of Tourism New Zealand, grades hotels from 1 to 5 stars.

In Australia, the Auto Clubs (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT) have awarded hotels star ratings that incorporate guest feedback. The ratings are now managed by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC).

In the Philippines, the Department of Tourism maintains hotel rating standards with a system that grades properties between 1 and 5 stars.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) grades hotels based on strict criteria and conditions in six categories.

India's classifications are handled by the Ministry of Tourism's Hotel and Restaurant Association Classification Committee (HRACC). The categories are 1 to 5 Stars and 5 Star Deluxe as well as categories for heritage: Heritage Grand, Heritage Classic, and Heritage Basic.

While it might be great for marketing, there are no 7-star or 6-star hotels

In addition to meeting the criteria above, Five Star Alliance hotels must maintain a high degree of satisfaction from guests across review sites and via feedback provided directly to us.

 

Click here to explore all of our five-star hotels >>

5-star luxury hotel meaning

 

 


| By: Rachael Weir

Ready to relax on the beach? Book a stay of three or more nights at Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve by September 30, 2019 and receive a $350 Resort Credit*, per bedroom, per stay. This offer is valid on new bookings for travel through December 31, 2019. Plus, guetss of the resort booking through Five Star Alliance receive additional Perks. Learn more below the photo. 

East Beach Accommodations at Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Tucked away on the Caribbean Coast of Puerto Rico, Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a tropical retreat set amidst 50 acres of beachfront property. The resort's suites, villas, and private residences feature beach and ocean views, there is a pineapple garden, and Spa Botanico provides an oasis of serenity with an array of treatments and services. Learn about an exclusive Five Star Alliance Perk below the photo.

Oceanfront Pool at Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERKS: All reservations booked under the “5 Star Signature Package” rate will also receive an American breakfast for two daily at Signature Restaurant, and a $150 resort credit per room/per stay.

Book a stay at Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

*The one-time $350 resort credit, per bedroom offer requires a three night minimum length of stay, and must be booked by September 30, 2019. Offer applies to all available accommodations. Advanced reservations are required. Rate varies by accommodation type, date of travel and season, subject to availability. Valid on new bookings, not combinable with any other packages and promotions, not applicable to groups. Hotel and resort credits cannot be used toward room rate, tax, resort fee or gratuities. Credit cannot be reimbursed or exchanged if not used. Credit must be used during stay. Book by September 30, 2019 for travel through December 21, 2019. Blackout dates apply. 


| By: Five Star Alliance

New York, NY – Five Star Alliance, the leading site for luxury hotel reservations by affluent clients around the globe, recently debuted an all new website. Five Star Alliance is the leader in online to offline transactions, giving affluent customers the choice of booking electronically or via live expert advisors.

Focused on luxury travel, Five Star Alliance underwent a site overhaul to enhance the customer booking experience. The modern color palette and sleek fonts offer a fresh feel, while layout and formatting changes have simplified the search and booking process. In addition, as mobile transactions continue to grow, Five Star Alliance has upgraded its responsive mobile design and functionality. 

“Five Star Alliance is excited to share a new look with our clients,” said John P. McMahon, President & CEO of Five Star Alliance. “This new design and upgraded mobile experience reflects the needs and wants of today’s luxury travelers. Visitors will be able to find the luxury hotels they want within an easier search format, as well as unlock exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks to add value to their travels. This new look and feel is just the first phase of exciting things to come for Five Star Alliance in the luxury travel space.”

As the leading site for luxury hotel reservations, Five Star Alliance has a curated collection of luxury hotels around the world. In addition, the website has exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks featuring value-added offers at more than 1,200 luxury hotels, with an average value of $500 per stay. Recently, Five Star Alliance launched the Five Star Alliance Air Services Desk, Group Travel Desk, and Luxury Travel Planning Services.

Five Star Alliance, a member of the Signature Travel Network, was founded as an online tool to help discerning travelers find and book verified luxury hotels. Dedicated to being an online destination for luxury travelers, Five Star Alliance is transforming beyond hotels to provide clients with a comprehensive travel solution for luxury hotels, air, cruise, and bespoke experiences.

Example of New Five Star Alliance Hotel Listing with Exclusive Perks Offer

New Five Star Alliance Listing Page

Example of the New Five Star Alliance Listing Page

Press Contact:

John McMahon

President & CEO

Five Star Alliance
[email protected]

917-727-8901

 

 


| By: Five Star Alliance

New York, NY –  Five Star Alliance is excited to share the unveiling of the all-new www.FiveStarAlliance.com. As the leading site for luxury hotel reservations, the new website is designed to simplify the search and booking process, as well as showcase the world’s top luxury properties. In addition, the website’s mobile platform underwent a redesign, to maximize responsiveness and make it easy to book a luxury hotel from a mobile device.

“Five Star Alliance is excited to share a new look with our clients,” said John P. McMahon, President & CEO of Five Star Alliance. “This new design and upgraded mobile experience reflects the needs and wants of today’s luxury travelers. Visitors will be able to find the luxury hotels they want within an easier search format, as well as unlock exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks to add value to their travels. This new look and feel is just the first phase of exciting things to come for Five Star Alliance in the luxury travel space.”

The online luxury boutique travel agency Five Star Alliance provides luxury travelers with a curated collection of luxury hotels around the world, with the option to book online or to work with one of our expert travel planners (or a combination of the two). In addition, the website has exclusive Five Star Alliance Perks featuring value-added offers at more than 1,200 luxury hotels, with an average value of $500 per stay. Recently, Five Star Alliance launched the Five Star Alliance Air Services Desk, Group Travel Desk, and Luxury Travel Planning Services. Read more below the photo.

Example of New Five Star Alliance Hotel Listing Page with Exclusive Perks

New Five Star Alliance Hotel Listing Page Example

Five Star Alliance, a member of the Signature Travel Network, was founded as an online tool to help discerning travelers find and book verified luxury hotels. Dedicated to being an online destination for luxury travelers, Five Star Alliance is transforming beyond hotels to provide clients with a comprehensive travel solution for luxury hotels, air, cruise, and bespoke experiences.

Example of New Five Star Alliance Mobile Listing Page

Mobile Listing Page Example


| By: Rachael Weir

On July 20, 1969, Apollo Astronauts landed on the moon. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Missions, including the moon landing, the Smithsonian's National Air and Spa Museum is having a special celebration. The "Discover the Moon" Day will be held at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. on Friday, July 19.* In complement with the museum's extensive collection and expertise, guests will be able to interact one-on-one with museum scientists to learn about lunar exploration, research, and missions, view the moon in 3-D, and see high-resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. This special event is designed to spark interest and a national conversation about the past, present, and future of exploration and innovation. 

Details:

Discover the Moon - 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Missions at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.*

- 1 Day Celebration for All Ages, complimentary admission

-  Friday, July 19, 2019

-  10 AM to 3 PM

The "Discover the Moon Day" at the National Air and Space Museum is part of a five-day celebration happening to celebrate the Apollo Missions including the moon landing. In addition to the event at the museum, there will be an "Apollo 50 Festival" on the National Mall July 18-20, 2019. Plus, Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit will go on display for the first time in 13 years on Tuesday, July 16, there will be a special screening of the children's PBS Program, "Ready Jet Go!" at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater on Wednesday, July 17, and on Saturday, July 20 "The Eagle Has Landed" free, late-night celebration will happen from 8 PM to 2 AM. 

Click here for a schedule of events and additional details from National Air and Space Museum

Visiting DC from out of town? For an ideal location with easy access to the National Mall and the National Air and Space Museum, we recommend staying at the InterContinental Washington DC - The Wharf with a riverfront location, rooftop pool, and this exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will receive full breakfast for each guest daily in Kith and Kin (also available through room service), and a $50 food and beverage credit, per room/per stay. Continue reading below the photo. 

Rooftop Pool at the InterContinental Washington DC - The Wharf

Check availability at InterContinental Washington DC - The Wharf

Another option with a convenient location for the Apollo Celebration events is the Mandarin Oriental Washington. Providing grand elegance within walking distance of Capitol Hill and the National Mall, this property offers an exclusive FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Rack Rate" will also receive American Breakfast for two daily in Muze or continental breakfast via room service, complimentary WiFi, and a $100 food and beverage credit once during stay (excluding taxes and gratuities). Additionally, reservations booked under the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Rack Rate" for 3 or more nights in the Jefferson and Presidential Suite also include round-trip airport transfers. 

Mandarin Oriental Washington

Check availability at Mandarin Oriental Washington

*Please note: events listed above are subject to change. 


| By: Rachael Weir

In June 2018, the Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas unveiled a new two bedroom villa.

Nestled amidst the Bill Bensley gardens, the Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson at Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas is an ultra-luxe villa steps from Mai Khao's white-sand beaches with a private pool, traditional Thai sala over the lagoon, and a sundeck. Inspired by the villa's natural surroundings and fashion connoisseur Jim Thompson's silk designs from the 1950s and 60s, the exclusive sanctuary highlights multiple Thai silks throughout. Natural Thai Makha hardwood flooring provides a unique patina throughout the villa, there's Thai artwork and carvings, as well as classic Thai Pikul flower designs. In the living room, Thompson's fabrics mingle with woods and sandy hues to create a nautical feel. Read more below the living room photo.

Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson Living Room

In the master bedroom, Thompson's Heliconia Dreamin' provides a vibrant and whimsical style that extends to the swimming pool and sala. The design was inspired by the Heliconia flower that continues to flourish today at Jim Thompson's former home. Overlooking the pool and gardens, the twin bedroom showcases the Floriential print, highlighting whimsical birds and butterflies frolicking amidst peonies. Continue reading below the photo of the twin bedroom. 

Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson Twin Bedroom

“We have a passion for enhancing our pool villas so that guests can enjoy the full beauty of Anantara Mai Khao, inside and out,” explains Nikolaus Priesnitz General Manager of Anantara Mai Khao. “The Two-Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson offers a secluded retreat with luxury amenities and is ideal for families, while highlighting the gorgeous designs of a truly beloved Thai treasure.” Read more below the photo of the exterior of the villa. 

Exterior of the Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson

Guests of the Two Bedroom Royal Villa by Jim Thompson are welcomed with fresh flowers and fruit juices upon arrival, as well as personalized Villa Host service, Anantara Spa products, and a complimentary set of the Bvlgari Guest Collection. The Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas is located on the island's secluded northwest coast. Along the Andaman Sea, the property offers locally-inspired architecture, indigenous gardens, and excursions to Sirinath National Park's tropical mangroves, dives to coral reefs, and strolls through local villages. 

Check availability at Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated in the heart of the historic district, Belmond Charleston Place evokes the feel of a 17th century villa with an enchanting Georgian staircase that welcomes guests to the lobby, Italian marble floors, and a glistening chandelier. Providing an urban setting with a chic and serene environment inside its walls, the luxury hotel recently unveiled the Elysian Salon and completed renovations at The Spa at Belmond Place. Learn more about what's new at the hotel below the photo of the Elysian Salon. 

Elysium Salon at Belmond Charleston Place

Focused on creating a unique style for every client, the Elysium Salon is located in the East Gallery of The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. Featuring a luxurious setting for haircuts, coloring, specialty treatments, wedding and special occasion hair, as well as makeup applications and lessons, the salon adds to Belmond Charleston Place's exclusive amenities. Since launching her career in the hair and makeup industry in 2001, Salon Director of Elysium at Charleston Place, Charlotte Belk--a South Carolina native, has been focusing on traditional cuts, natural & dimensional hair color, as well as specialty services. Read more below the Elysium Salon photo. 

Elysium Salon at Belmond Charleston Place

In addition to the Elysium Salon, The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place recently completed renovations. The newly transformed environment offers a tranquil setting with a clean and crisp color palette, and a more seamless connection to the mineral swimming pool. The men's and women's locker rooms were refreshed to provide a more relaxing mood, and there's a variety of new products and treatments available for guests including TaTa Harper's 100% natural line of beauty products from Vermont, anti-aging hand and feet products by Margaret Dabbs, Lafco Reed diffusers and candles, and FarmHouseFresh goods. Read more below The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place photo. 

The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place

Belmond Charleston Place mixes Southern charm with timeless elegance, steps from the city's historic sites, shopping, and restaurants. There's award-winning cuisine at the Charleston Grill, modern gastronomy at Palmetto Cafe, and gourmet pub fare in Meeting at Market. Plus, there's upscale shopping boutiques within the hotel and a rooftop pool. 

Check availability at Belmond Charleston Place


| By: Five Star Alliance

Sponsored Post*

Celebrate the holidays as America's beachfront legend becomes a playful wonderland with pops of bright colors at every turn against a backdrop of twinkling white lights. With the return of Skating by the Sea, Hotel del Coronado is truly a sight to behold with carolers singing joyful tunes, whimsical polar bears striking a pose, lavish feasts and festive parties. Continue reading below the photo of Skating by the Sea.

Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado

Gather your friends and family for holiday favorites like housemade gingerbread and cookies, mulled cider and spiked coffee drinks or roast s'mores on the beach under the stars. Step back in time with an elegant Victorian Tea or explore the magnificent holiday lights around Coronado on a decked out surrey. Read more below the photo Victorian Tea photo.

Victorian Tea at the Hotel del Coronado

Whimsical trees are trimmed and glisten with pretty packages underneath. Saint Nick appears at Sunday Brunch and friendly elves read holiday tales to children. The holiday season at our seaside retreat is filled with both nostalgia and new traditions. Read more below the photo. 

Holiday Lights at the Hotel del Coronado

It's a time for magical adventures and creating memories with the ones you love, surrounded by the warm glow of The Del. Celebrate a winter of whimsy, wonder and wishes. Only at The Del.

Visit the Hotel del Coronado Website 
*The content of this sponsored article was provided by Hotel del Coronado. Offers and packages are subject to change.


| By: Rachael Weir

Exploring a city during Christmas and New Years provides visitors with a new perspective on traditions, flavors, and holiday celebrations. At the Hotel Brunelleschi Florence, guests can experience traditional Italian holiday flavors at the property's on-site restaurants. From Friday, December 8, 2017 to Saturday, January 6, 2018, the hotel's Osteria della Pagliazza in addition to its regular menu, will offer traditional Christmas dishes like Stuffed Pig's Trotter with Lentils, Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi, Meat-filled Pasta Parcels in Capon Broth, Traditional Panforte Vin Santo Sauce, Beef Wellington with Sauteed Vegetables, and Beef Cheek Braised in Chianti with Black Cabbage Sauce. Continue reading below the photo of Osteria della Pagliazza. 

Osteria della Pagliazza

The hotel's Christmas Eve Dinner will be prepared by chef Rocco de Santis and served the evening of Sunday, December 24 in the Byzantine Pagliazza Tower. The dinner will feature a welcome toast with the chef, Crisp Octopus with Guacamole, Garlic, and Almond Mousse, traditional Sardinian Fregola Pasta, Roast Salmon with Parsnip and Capers, as well as a slice of Panettone with Orange Sauce, and Cinnamon-flavored Meringue with Coffee Sauce, plus wine and coffee pairings.

On Christmas Day, the hotel will offer a Florentine Christmas Lunch. Set in the Salone delle Feste, the chef-created lunch by Rocco de Santis will feature a traditional menu with Rolled Roast Rabbit and a Parmesan Mousse with a hint of Truffle Gravy with Wild Herbs, Homemade Pasta Stuffed with Lampredotto, Capon Broth, and Orange Zest, plus the Slow-cooked Saddle of Suckling Pig, Cream of Chickpeas and Carmelized Apples, as well as Mille-feuille with Ricotta and Candied Fruite Mousse, Pears with Moscato and Red Berry Sauce, and traditional Panettone and Pandoro with sauces. Complimented by paired wines and coffee options.

In addition to special Christmas dining options, the Hotel Brunelleschi Florence is offering a variety of New Years options, including special packages with accommodations and gourmet meals. As well as two New Year's Eve Dinner choices, one dinner will be held in the Saloni delle Feste with Salted Beef Roll, Red Cow Parmesan Risotto, Handmade Pasta, Beef Tenderloin, and Panettone Semifreddo. While the New Year's Dinner Luxury Edition will feature wine pairings by the maitre and a menu with Blinis with Asetra Iranian Caviar, White Prawns with Parsley, Baby Squid filled with Provola Cheese and Lime Bechamel, Breaded Scampi, Burrata and Green Olive Sauce, Lobster Marinated in Citrus Fruit, San Miniato White Truffle, Porcini Mushrooms and Almonds, Ravioli Stuffed with Turnip Tops and Red Shrimp, Baked Wild Sea Bass with Chestnuts, Venus Clams, and Lemon Sauce, and completed with Nougat Semifreddo, Clementine Sauce, Cinnamon Crumble, Panettone by Master Baker Alfonso Pepe with traditional Pandoro with Vanilla Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce, as well as dried fruit, Petits Fours, mineral water, and espresso. Read more below the photo of Saloni delle Feste. 

Saloni delle Feste

On New Years Day, the hotel will host a brunch in the Saloni delle Feste, featuring dishes like Marinated Salmon, Quiches, Tuscan Cold Cuts and Cheeses, Recco-style Focaccia, Warm Seafood Salad with Vegetables and Saffron Potatoes, Marinated Meat Rolls, and traditional Pandoro and Panettone with Vanilla Sauce. Continue reading below the photo of the Bargello Suite. 

Bargello Suite at Hotel Brunelleschi Hotel Florence

The Hotel Brunelleschi Florence is situated in the heart of the city, in the shadows of Il Duomo. Steps from Signoria Square, major attractions, shops, and restaurants, the boutique hotel occupies two historic buildings, with an upscale Italian restaurant and traditional trattoria. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a $50 food and beverage credit per room, per stay, a bottle of Prosecco, welcome amenity, and VIP Status.

Learn more about the Hotel Brunelleschi Florence


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