FiveStarAlliance.com Launches – Exclusive Focus on Luxury Hotels Offers an Entirely New Approach to Online Travel

Five Star Alliance Created by Travel Industry Veteran and Interactive Media Experts

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ — Five Star Alliance today announced the launch of their new luxury hotel booking Web site, offering hotels and consumers a new approach to online travel. FiveStarAlliance.com is changing the way consumers find hotels by providing exclusive insight and advice combined with a worldwide selection. For luxury hotels, Five Star Alliance breaks through the generic online marketplace by offering greater control and new ways to showcase their unique brands.

Five Star Alliance was created by the founder of a leading travel agency and two former top executives from Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. The site is available at http://www.fivestaralliance.com/

“Travelers want to be able to make informed choices and luxury hotels want greater control over their brand and business,” said Five Star Alliance CEO Eric Koefoot. “Five Star Alliance is the first site to answer both the needs of consumers and hoteliers with a unique combination of depth, insight and quality.”

Five Star Alliance offers a dramatic departure from the way hotels typically market themselves online. Most travel sites provide simple, undifferentiated listing, search and marketing capabilities — lumping luxury hotels with discounted 3-star properties.

“In a business dominated by generic mega-sites, FiveStarAlliance.com puts a spotlight on the unique personality of each hotel,” said Koefoot. “Five Star Alliance is exclusively focused on the world’s best hotels. We’ve created a site that supports their luxury brands in an exclusive, upscale environment, and gives them the ability to control their pricing and inventory.”

Luxury hotels selected by Five Star Alliance are listed for free, but can elect to become Partners and receive increased promotion, enhanced photo galleries, opportunities to promote special offers and more.

Hans Bruland, General Manager of the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington D.C., commented, “The Web has become essential for attracting savvy, independent travelers, but travel sites tend to lump everyone together. Participating as a Partner with Five Star Alliance allows us to showcase our property and convey the details that make our hotel unique.”

For travelers, FiveStarAlliance.com provides personalization and insight not available anywhere else online. Each hotel is individually interviewed to identify unique details — even such things as suite recommendations — to ensure perfect search matches. Travelers can search the more than 1,000 luxury hotels by destination or name — or conduct a custom search. By answering a few questions posed by the “Virtual Travel Agent,” travelers can find hotels matching their exact destination and interests. For example, a traveler might be interested in a Western Europe ski resort that has a spa and programs for their kids — Five Star Alliance returns specific recommendations based on those needs.

“We’ve built a Web site that is as smart and personal as your trusted travel agent and as deep and interactive as the biggest online travel sites,” Koefoot said. “FiveStarAlliance.com fills a void in luxury travel by offering great listings, along with the tools and insight that let consumers make informed decisions.”

FiveStarAlliance.com also features exclusive information and advice, and a monthly newsletter called “The Informed Traveler.” Each month, the newsletter features an interview with a luxury hotel General Manager — including most recently James McBride, GM of The Carlyle in New York City.

Five Star Alliance was founded by travel industry veteran Cal Simmons, along with two leading Web and interactive marketing experts: Eric Koefoot and Chris Schroeder. Simmons is the founder of Cal Simmons Travel, which he grew over 25 years into one of the top agencies in the country. Schroeder and Koefoot most recently worked as top executives at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (a subsidiary of the The Washington Post Company) — Schroeder serving as CEO/Publisher, and Koefoot serving as CFO and VP, Sales.

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