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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

Situated at an enviable spot on Lake Como, Villa d'Este is a luxury hotel originally built in 1568 for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio and the residence of aristocrats for centuries. Transformed into a five-star resort in 1873, the property has welcomed princesses, sultans, tsars, and marquises. Offering guestrooms and suites within two buildings, the Cardinal Building and the Queen's Pavilion, accommodations are furnished with antiques, luxe marble bathrooms, silks, and velvets, with elegant paintings and prints. Continue reading below the photo of Villa d'Este. 

Villa d'Este exterior

Within the luxury resort there are two Presidential Suites. Providing incomparable charm, the suites have expansive views of Lake Como and the surrounding gardens. Lavishly furnished, the two Presidential Suites are located on the first floor of the Cardinal Building, with 50 square meters of space, and can be connected to adjoining suites for larger groups. Read more below the Presidential Suite photo.

Presidential Suite at Villa d'Este

In addition to the Presidential Suites, the property also offers four villas for guests seeking extra privacy. Providing all the services of the property, each of the four villas respects the regal history of the resort while providing an exclusive retreat. Including the Villa Garrovo, a three-story villa built in 1833 with six bedrooms, large living area, full kitchen, gym, veranda, and hidden garden. Read more below the Villa d'Este swimming pool photo.

Villa d'Este swimming pool

On the property there's a self-drive boat for guests to explore Lake Como. There's also a variety of dining options throughout the proeprty, including the Veranda Restaurant and Sundeck Bar. The Sporting Club has complimentary fitness equipment, and guests have access to the nearby Villa d'Este Golf Club. Plus, the Beauty Center of Villa d'Este is connected to the Sporting Club by an underground passage with a waterfall wall, Asian-inspired atmosphere, personalized treatments by physiotherapists and beauticians, and an exclusive line of products by Villa d'Este. 

Check availability at Villa d'Este


| By: Rachael Weir

Recently I had the opportunity to spend two nights at the Thompson Nashville. Located in "The Gulch" the city's trendy new neighborhood set between downtown and Music Row with upscale apartments, condominiums, shops, and restaurants, the Thompson Nashville offers a convenient location for both business and leisure travelers. 

From the moment I arrived at the Thompson Nashville, I felt like I had my own private residence in the city. Set amidst modern apartments and condominiums, the Thompson offers a warm and inviting atmosphere with a lobby that feels like a chic living room with seating areas, a large table for working remotely or a casual meeting, the Marsh House Restaurant, and Killebrew Coffee with crafted espresso drinks and fresh-baked treats. Continue reading below the lobby photo.

Thompson Nashville Lobby

The cordial staff at the reception desk offered welcoming greetings from the moment I stepped through the revolving doors, check-in was quick, and I soon found myself at ease in my suite (701) with floor-to-ceiing windows on two sides overlooking The Gulch. Read more below the photo.

Suite 701 Living Room at Thompson Nashville

In the entry there was a closet, table, and bench, providing a residential-like feel. The spacious living room had wood floors, chic velvet couch and chair, wet bar, custom honor bar with Thompson signature items and locally-curated snacks. There was also an industrial-style shelf with a Marshall Bluetooth Speaker, bistro table with two chairs, and a 55-inch flat-screen TV. An added bonus...there were plug-ins throughout the suite, including in the floor making it easy to charge an array of electronic devices. Read more below the living room and wet bar photos.

Living room at Thompson Nashville

Living Room at Thompson Nashville

Beyond the living room area was the bedroom with a plush king bed topped with SFERRA linens and a tall wood headboard with built-in individual reading lights. There was also a modern chair to sit by the window, flat-screen TV, and a large closet with a laptop-size safe and oversized Thompson signature bathrobes. Continue reading below the bedroom photo.

Bedroom at the Thompson Nashville

But perhaps my favorite part of the suite was just off the bedroom through sliding barn doors...an extra-large master bathroom with a claw foot bathtub--complete with a wooden tray for a glass of wine and bath salts! 

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There was also separate state-of-the-art double rain shower, exclusive DS&DURGA bath amenities, and a double vanity. The brushed brass fixtures as well as the wood vanity and accent wall added a warmth to the beautifully tiled space, making it an idyllic sanctuary for relaxing after a day of exploring Music City. 

Suite 701 Bathtub at the Thompson Nashville

Another highlight at the Thompson the Marsh House Restaurant. Offering Southern cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood, breakfast at the Marsh House was an ideal start to a day in Music City, complete with buttery, flaky, biscuits! The restaurant also serves chef-prepared lunch and dinner, as well as crafted cocktails and an extensive wine list in a modern setting with bronze hardware and plush seating spaces. 

Entrance to the Marsh House at Thompson Nashville

During my stay I found myself visiting the Killebrew Coffee shop multiple times for crafted lattes (complete with foam art), and a few sweat treats. Read more below the photo of the Thompson's Killebrew Coffee.

Killebrew Coffee at the Thompson NashvilleI found the Thompson's rooftop bar, L.A. Jackson to be a stylish way to end a wonderful day in Nashville. The venue had large windows with skyline views, as well as a spacious outdoor patio. There was a grand bar in the center to see-and-be-seen, as well as cozy seating areas for crafted cocktails, small plates, and intimate conversation. Continue reading below the photo of the rooftop patio.

L.A. Jackson's Rooftop Patio

In addition to my inviting suite and multiple dining options, the luxury boutique hotel offered a second floor event space with stylish meeting venues and a fitness center. Just outside the Thompson was an array of upscale boutiques, and restaurants such as the popular Biscuit Love, and the iconic Station Inn with live Bluegrass music. The property is about a 20-minute walk to the Music City Center, Country Music Hall of Fame, and Broadway's legendary Honky Tonks. Or the Music City Circuit bus stops less than one block from the hotel with complimentary transportation throughout downtown. 

Check availability at the Thompson Nashville


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated in Argentina's lake district, Llao Llao Hotel and Resort is a luxury mountain lodge with grand stone fireplaces, exposed cyrpress walls, and views of Andean peaks. Providing travelers with a true Patagonian experience while in the midst of a full-service luxury resort, guests can partake in a variety of active excursions including extreme mountain biking, skiing, condor sightings, 4x4 driving on the Patagonian steppes, rafting, and rappelling. Continue reading more below the photo.

Llao Llao Hotel and Resort

The hotel has two wings: Ala Bustillo Wing with rooms, suites, and studios that opened in 1940, and the Lago Moreno Wing a mix of classic and modern designed deluxe studios and suites. In the Moreno Wing, the suites offer large windows, and the Deluxe Moreno Lake Suite has a unique bathroom with a double jacuzzi and expansive window providing a panoramic view. There's also a log fireplace and terraced balcony in the 678-square-foot suite. Read more below the photo of the Deluxe Moreno Lake Suite. 

Deluxe Moreno Lake Suite Bathroom

In addition to the hotel's exclusive setting and outdoor activities, the property offers a pampering spa with a variety of treatments, Kids & Teens Spa for guests 3 to 12 years of age, and a Health Club with a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, stength training, and relaxation room. There's also a kids' club with supervised activities, and a hospitality lounge for skiiers during the winter season. For dining, Los Cesares Grill & Pasta serves a variety of grilled meats, fish, and homemade pastas. While the Patagonia Coffee Shop offers a relaxed setting, and the Lobby Bar is a lodge-style destination for evening cocktails. Read more below the Lobby Bar photo.

Lobby Bar at Llao Llao Hotel and Resort

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance receive a $100 USD spa credit, welcome chocolate amenity, and subject to availability, an early check-in or late check-out. 

Check availability at Llao Llao Hotel and Resort


| By: Rachael Weir

Offering an idyllic beachfront setting, Anantara Kalutara is a family-friendly resort about one hour from Sri Lanka's capital city. The secluded waterfront property offers guest rooms, suites, and villas, including Two Bedroom Pool Villas. Ideal for families, the Two Bedroom Pool Villas have a master bedroom with a king bed and entrance directly to the pool deck, as well as a second bedroom with twin beds that opens onto the pool deck. There are two luxury en-suite bathrooms with rain showers and soaking tubs, along with a private plunge pool, sundeck with loungers and dining furniture, and an enclosed garden. Continue reading below the photo of the Two Bedroom Pool Villa pool deck.

Two Bedroom Pool Villa at Anantara Kalutara

In addition to family-friendly accommodations, there's the Adventurer Kids Club with supervised activities, cultural experiences, gaming stations, sports, outdoor activities, and off-site excursions. Plus, the Main Pool has a separate children's section with play areas for young visitors. As well as off-site adventures for families like whale watching (December to April), and visits to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, tea Ppantation, local markets, and Sinharaja Rainforest. Read more below the photo of the pool.

Main Pool at Anantara Kalutara

For adults, there's an array of options ranging from relaxing to adventurous such as the Yoga Pavilion, time at the spa, Water Sports Club with jet skis, surfing, and speedboating, Cooking Classes at Spice Spoons, library for reading or using the computers, and a fitness center to keep up with workout routines while traveling.

Check rates and availability at Anantara Kalutara

Ohu Restaurant at Anantara Kalutara


| By: Five Star Alliance

Sponsored Post*

This past year, Peninsula Chicago revealed its reimagined rooms and suites, which introduced The Peninsula Hotels' signature technology to the United States. The new rooms now offer all essential functions, entertainment, and guest services in 11 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Continue reading below the photo.

In-room technology at the Peninsula Chicago

Rooms are designed so that every control is located precisely where it is required without guests having to think or search. The tablet technology allows guests to adjust lighting and temperature controls, as well as browse restaurant menus, hotel services, city information, attractions, and TV channels, while LED touch-screen wall panels offer weather details and privacy options. In addition to the recently launched 24-hour check-in for web bookings, a new Mobile Concierge provides instant guest service support by text message, directly to mobile devices. An added benefit for domestic and international travelers alike, all domestic and international calls made from the guest room phone are complimentary via VOIP, and bedside charging stations store and charge several types of mobile devices. Read more below the photo of the bedside charging station.

Bedside charging station at the Peninsula Chicago

All of this pioneering technology has been developed by The Peninsula Hotels’ Research and Technology Department. Based in Hong Kong, the group has been responsible for some of the most advanced, yet intuitive innovations in the global hotel industry since 1985. The team flew more than 250,000 miles during the installation of the new system to ensure a truly seamless experience for guests. Continue reading below the photo. 

The Water Tower Suite at the Peninsula Chicago

The Peninsula Chicago is steps from the boutiques and restaurants along the Magnificent Mile. Offering a prestigious location and a host of accolades, the property has three on-site restaurants, legendary Afternoon Tea, two-story spa facility, and elegant event spaces. All guest rooms and suites are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, as well as classical styling with Pratesi linens, 55-inch TVs with sound bars, and marble bathrooms with 19-inch inset TVs and soaking tubs.

Check rates and availability at The Peninsula Chicago

*The information in the article above was provided by the Peninsula Chicago.


| By: Rachael Weir

Towering over the heart of downtown, Taj Dubai is an opulent luxury hotel mixing authentic Indian heritage with contemporary style. Featuring panoramic views, guest rooms and suites have large windows (including many with views of the world's tallest building), textural furnishings, plush beds with pillow menus, and grand bathrooms with bath menus, bath salts, and Molton Brown amenities. Continue reading below the Maharaja Suite photo.

Maharaja Suite at Taj Dubai

Within the hotel there are multiple dining options, including the signature Bombay Brasserie serving Indian cuisine, the Treehouse with an urban rooftop setting and Mediteranean small plates, and Tesoro offering a global menu within a glass and metal conservatory. Read more below the photo. 

Dining at the Taj Dubai

Steps from the Dubai Mall with more than 1,200 shops, the luxury hotel has a large outdoor pool, fitness center, and creative activities for children. There's also the Jiva Spa with four treatment suites, and Afternoon Tea in the Byzantium Lounge. 

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance at the Best Available Rate Plan receive daily breakfast for two guests at Tesoro, $100 food and beverage credit, and complimentary WiFi. Also, subject to availability at check-in/departure: a room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out until 4 p.m.

Check rates and availability at Taj Dubai


| By: Rachael Weir

Completely transformed, the Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel reopened on July 5 after a four-year restoration project. Situated on the Place de la Concorde, the historic property mixes vintage glamour and architectural elements with modern amenities and technology. Read more below the photo. 

Hotel de Crillon Lobby

Opulent objects like amethyst chandelier and Baccarat decanters have been given prominent placement, Karl Lagerfeld designed two of the property's prestigious suites, and there's a new swimming pool featuring a mural by ceramist Peter Lane. Continue below the pool photo. 

Hotel de Crillon Pool

The hotel's guest rooms and suites combine the property's 18th-century heritage with bespoke furnishings, elegant antiques, and carefully selected accents for a sophisticated Parisian residential style. Read more below the photo of the Bernstein Suite. 

Bernstein Suite Bedroom at Hotel de Crillon

There's also revitalized dining options, including L'Ecrin serving a contemporary gastronomic menu by Chef Christopher Hache. Along with Brasserie D'Aumont with timeless French cuisine prepared with seasonal ingredients and regional products. For Afternoon Tea and sweets, Jardin d'Hiver is a glamorous residential lounge, and Les Ambassadeurs provides an iconic setting for cocktails and live entertainment. Continue below the Jardin d'Hiver. 

Jardin d'Hiver at Hotel de Crillon

Within the reimagined palace there's the new Sense, A Rosewood Spa along with the Hair Salon by David Lucas and the Barber by La Barbiere de Paris. Need shoes buffed? Shoecare by Devoirdecourt can assist. 

Check rates at Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel


| By: Rachael Weir

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

Entrance of the Hotel Continental Oslo

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

Standard Room at the Hotel Continental Oslo

Standard Room at the Hotel Continental Oslo

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

Standard Room Bathroom Amenities at Hotel Continental Oslo

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

Caroline breakfast at Hotel Continental Oslo

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

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

Exterior view of the Hotel Continental Oslo

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

Theatercafeen at Hotel Continental Oslo

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

Steamen at Hotel Continental Oslo

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

Check rates and availability at Hotel Continental Oslo


| By: Rachael Weir

Overlooking the Nybroviken in a historic Art Nouveau building, the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm offers a chic, family-owned retreat in the heart of the city. Upon arrival, guests enter the hotel via glass doors that open to reveal a vintage elevator and grand staircase. To the left is the reception desk, which is also the entrance to the restaurant, bar, and sitting area. Continue reading below the entry photos.

Entering the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

I recently had the opportunity to stay in a Deluxe Sea View Room on the fourth floor of the hotel. A short stroll from Djurgarden's museums, the property was an ideal base for exploring the city and offered exceptional views of the Nybroviken to enjoy while relaxing within the room's plush velvet chairs. Read more below the photo.

Deluxe Sea View Room 402 at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Originally built as a private residence in 1911, the Hotel Diplomat features a stylish mix of Scandinavian design, vintage, and plush modern amenities such as large flat-screen TVs, and marble bathrooms with high end bath products. While the interiors of the building are stunning, including a vintage elevator and grand staircase with intricate wood carvings and stained glass windows that evoked the feel of a castle. Read more below the photos.

Interiors of the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Upon entering my room, I was stunned by the lovely view of the harbor! The sun was shining in beautifully, and two velvet chairs were set with a marble table, providing an inviting spot to relax after a long day of traveling. The entire room felt like a private apartment within the city with wood floors, large windows, and an entry that stepped down into the space, giving it a residential feel. Continue reading below the photo.

View of Room 402 at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

The spacious desk offered plenty of space for getting some work done and reviewing maps to plan sightseeing excursions, while the adjacent minibar provided a delightful selection of Swedish snacks. Read more below the photo.

Desk Area at the Hotel Diplomat

Within the marble bathroom there were Diplomat embossed bath mats, and all the bath amenities travelers need including Argan shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel. 

Bathroom at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

The room also offered a spacious closet area in the entry with additional amenities including a lint brush, shoe shining, and sewing supplies, as well as a blow dryer and adapter for use during one's visit. There's also a charming Hotel Diplomat canvas tote within the closet that is available for purchase--ideal for carrying souvenirs or a picnic lunch. 

Closet amenities at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

Breakfast at the Hotel Diplomat was a wonderful way to start the day. There was a beautiful breakfast buffet within the restaurant offering fresh breads, yogurts, smoothies, sliced meats, sausages, bacon, and make-your-own-waffle station. Along with coffee, tea, and fresh juices. Continue reading below the photo.

Breakfast at the Hotel Diplomat

Since the 1960s, the Hotel Diplomat has been a destination for Afternoon Tea. Set within the restaurant, the tea features the hotel’s exclusive tea blend as well as classic scones, homemade marmalades, and finger sandwiches. In addition to the classic Afternoon Tea, guests can also order “The Afternoon Tea-Tox” with rawbars, nuts, berries, and a “super fruit” salad, and there's an Afternoon Tea Wedding options for wedding guests created by the hotel’s dedicated pastry chef. 

The Hotel Diplomat Restaurant is a Scandinavian Brasserie providing an elegant setting with large windows overlooking the Nybroviken, with an outdoor patio for dining on summer days. There's brunch on weekends, and on Sundays the restaurant serves a traditional Swedish Sunday Roast dinner. Within the restaurant area there's also a chic bar with velvet couches and candles, ideal for enjoying a crafted cocktail with classic Swedish ingredients to toast the end of the day. Read more below the photo of the bar area.

Hotel Diplomat Stockholm Bar

For those seeking a workout, the property's recently revitalized fitness center offers cardio machines and strength training equipment. There's also a sauna that guests can reserve for one hour at a time. Plus, the hotel is steps away from the Strandvagen offering a boardwalk-style setting ideal for strolling to the Djurgården, the city's museum island with the popular Vasa Museum and the recently opened Vikingaliv museum. 

Check rates and availability at the Hotel Diplomat Stockholm

The Hotel Diplomat Stockholm exterior at dusk


| By: Rachael Weir

Situated in the town of Aguas Calientes, Sumaq Machu Picchu offers a luxurious setting for exploring the flavors of southern Peru, Incan culture, and the sacred site. For an in-depth visit, the hotel's Mystical Tour in Machu Picchu offers a unique experience for guests visiting the historical sanctuary. Guided by an authentic shaman from the Sacred Valley of the Incas, participants will gain an insider's perspective of the energy sources, mystery, and magical connections within the site, Pachamama, Mother Earth, and sacred temples. 

The 8 hour tour includes entrance tickets to the citadel, round trip bus transfers, a boxed lunch, private tour guide, cleansing session, and Pachamama Mystical Kit. Read more below.

Exterior of Sumaq Machu Picchu

In addition to the Mystical Tour, the property offers an array of activities for guests including Andean marriage ceremonies, payment to earth rituals, and Mandor hikes. For culinary enthusiasts, guests can partake in cooking classes, traditional Pachamanca Sumaq experiences, and romantic Peruvian dinners. Read more below the photo.

Dining at Sumaq Machu Picchu

Recently renovated, Sumaq Machu Picchu is surrounded by the majestic bio-diversity of Machu Picchu Archaeologcal Park with valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and ancient ruins. Committed to sustainability, the hotel's mission is to protect the local environment and indigenouse culture. Focused on service with a warm and friendly atmosphere, the property offers a luxuriou setting for exploring the historic region. Continue reading below for a special Five Star Alliance Perk.

Guest Suite at Sumaq Machu Picchu

Five Star Alliance Perk: Guests booking through Five Star Alliance get a complimentary 50-minute massage for up to two people, per room, once during the stay. Plus, based on availability, a room upgrade, early check-in, or late check-out.

Check rates and availability at Sumaq Machu Picchu


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