Halloween is just a little over a week away and the spooky holiday — filled with goblins, jack-o’-lanterns, and pranks — is not just for trick-or-treating tots. Kids can dress up as their favorite characters (expect to see a lot of Elsas this year), while adults…can do the same! Some of the best costume parties and Halloween events will be held at hotels this year; expect DJ-spun tracks, Halloween-inspired cocktails, and some elaborate costume choices. We’ve rounded up nine hotels that will be throwing epic Halloween bashes that may even bring out the kid in you; but don’t worry, they’re 21+, so you can successfully avoid the little ghosts and witches. From casual costume parties to elegant masquerades, these soirees will guarantee that you’ll have a hair-raising Halloween!

Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn

Wythe

With a hopping rooftop bar boasting jaw-dropping views of Manhattan, a wonderful restaurant, and cutting-edge industrial design, the Wythe is a destination unto itself. It’s located near the subway, as well as dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops in the heart of trendy Williamsburg. On Halloween, the hotel will be hosting a “Dia de los Terribles Halloween Party” from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. $20 will get you admittance and an hour-long open tequila bar. The Dia de los Muertos-themed event will include various DJ sets, a photo gallery of Day of the Dead rituals from around the world, and a screening of Under the Volcano.

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grounds-tortuga-bay-v26940-1025Renowned designer Oscar de la Renta died last night, and he will be forever remembered as one of women’s fashion’s top designers; he created gorgeous pieces for the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey. But the designer’s skills went beyond just haute couture. The Dominican Republic native also had an eye for interior design, and was the decor guru behind the luxurious Tortuga Bay in the D.R.’s Punta Cana.

Take a look after the jump at the gorgeous resort that he designed and decorated >>

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This post originally appeared on Yahoo! Travel.

We’ve all spent some time California dreamin’ at one point or another — and who can blame us? The state has just about everything, including gorgeous natural scenery, sunshine, and miles upon miles of beautiful coastline. We especially love the idea of cozying up in one of the state’s coastal inns. To us, a trip that involves whale-watching, walking along rugged cliffs in misty mornings, exploring quaint towns, and relaxing in a rustic-luxe cottage with a glass of wine sounds like heaven. At many of these eight spots, it’s possible to do just that.

Sea Rock Inn, Mendocino

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The cozy, cabin-like rooms at this upscale inn have paneling in knotty pine and wood-burning stoves. Binoculars are provided for whale-watching, which guests can do from Adirondack chairs in the garden or from their own private, ocean-view decks. The delicious, free breakfast with homemade baked goods, bottle of wine upon check-in, and afternoon tea with brownies complete the experience at this intimate property.

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Maxwell Ryan, founder of Apartment Therapy, knows a thing or two about turning up interior charm. He started out his career as an “apartment therapist,” transforming homes into beautiful, organized, and healthy-to-live-in spaces. You could say he’s a bit of a hybrid — part interior designer and part life coach. His style is about comfort, simplicity, and a lack of clutter. Today, his website has become the go-to site for design inspiration. Since our main decor interest here at Oyster.com is hotel-focused, we asked Maxwell to turn his creative eye towards hotel design. We couldn’t wait to hear of his favorite hotel spots around the globe. See his top picks after the jump >>

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Whether you’re traveling on business or avoiding rain-filed cloud, sometimes you’re stuck indoors while on vacation with little to do; but the best hotels have features that are ideal for those not-so-great sightseeing days. An indoor spa, welcoming bar, and game room are a few of our preferred indoor spaces, but our favorite may be a cozy library – especially once the cold weather hits (and it has). Bookshelves lined with classic authors and city history books, burning fireplaces, and plush seating make a snug, snuggle-ready setting for reading. We’ve seen many hotels that offer a small shelf of loaner books, but these 10 hotels went above and beyond in creating a literary oasis for their guests. So even if you forgot to pack a book, you’ll be covered — and may just be hooked from cover to cover.

The Jefferson, Washington DC

The Jefferson, Washington DC

After a massive renovation in 2009, this boutique reopened, and regained its place among DC’s elite hotels. It’s not as famous as the Hay-Adams, but its subtle blend of technology (TVs embedded in bathroom mirrors; electronic housekeeping buttons) and colonial charms, like a working dumbwaiter, are second to none. All that’s missing is T.J. himself. (Oh wait, no. Here he is. … ) The intimate, lovely library has an impressive collection of vintage hardcovers (Writings of Thomas PaineThe Age of VoltaireEncyclopedia Americana), a cozy fireplace, and even a magnifying glass – you know, if you’ve been reading for so long your eyes begin to strain.

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Whether it’s a sweet sixteen, wedding, or 50th anniversary, events held in a ballroom evoke luxury. Gorgeous crystal chandeliers, high ceilings, and ornate gold drapes are just a few things that come to mind when picturing a ballroom; it’s clear why these stunning spaces are popular choices when hosting a soiree. From grand rooms that fit hundreds of people, to smaller spaces designed for more intimate — yet equally impressive — gatherings, the following 12 hotels are amazing choices — as long as you’re willing to pay up, of course.

Harbour Grand Hong Kong

Harbour Grand Hong Kong

The Harbour Grand impresses guests upon entry. The massive marble lobby with huge chandeliers is imposing, and the stately, yet modern, look continues throughout the hotel. Rooms here are sexy and up-to-date, with none of the stuffy grandeur of some other luxury hotels in Hong Kong. Simple, sexy decor with peek-a-boo bathrooms, large sepia-toned wall photos behind the headboards, and views of the harbor give the rooms a sophisticated vibe. Overall this 828-room mega-hotel is a gorgeous option, complete with with four full restaurants, a fitness center, and a spa. The Grand Ballroom shown above is often used for weddings and can fit 500 people banquet-style. The high ceilings, stunning chandeliers, and high-tech features — like audio/video projectors and special light effects — make it a truly gorgeous event space.

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It seems like everyone we know is lacing on sneakers and hitting the ground running these days. With marathons picking up speed and popularity across the globe, we’re happy to call the host of one of the most popular –  The New York City Marathon — home. Runners will put their best (and fastest) feet forward this year on November 2nd, when just over 26 miles of ups and downs will route them through all five boroughs. Couldn’t summon the will power to train over the last six months? No worries; you can still participate by cheering on those who dragged themselves out of bed, trained tirelessly, and maybe even lost a few toenails in the process. We’ve got a list of the best places to stay along the NYC Marathon’s 2014 route, so you can peep, pep, and cheer on the runners. But walk, sprint, or jog quickly — because these prime spots are bound to fill up fast!

Hotel Le Bleu: Mile 7, Brooklyn

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This 48-room boutique hotel in the middle of the Brooklyn‘s Park Slope neighborhood makes up for its slim offering of amenities with delightfully modern rooms, balconies, free breakfasts — and a convenient location right by the Mile 7 marker. Rooms have contemporary decor in shades of white, blue, and brown, modern technology, and Egyptian cotton linens; glass-walled bathrooms are sleek but small, and lack privacy (they’re not separated from the rest of the room). The affordable rates may be the biggest draw; rooms at this outer-borough gem are around half the price as similarly stylish options in Manhattan.

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Reported cases of Ebola have now been documented not only in West Africa, but also Dallas and Madrid — and now potentially Belize. A Texas healthcare worker, who may have been in contact with clinical specimens of patient Thomas Duncan’s (who succumbed to the disease last week), has been placed in isolation aboard a cruise ship in Belize. A passenger evacuation has been refused by authorities.

We’ll continue to update you on travel precautions and restrictions in regards to the Ebola crisis.

Read more at The New York Times >>

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This post comes from our partners at Travel + Leisure

A self-proclaimed taphophile – someone fascinated by death and cemeteries – Loren Rhoads has documented more than 150 sites for her blog CemeteryTravel.com.

“Visiting cemeteries on vacation helps me understand what the surrounding community values; it makes me feel more connected to people, to the past, and to life itself,” says Rhoads, also the author of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel.

In fact, Rhoads has plenty of company. Search Facebook, and hundreds of cemetery-centric groups or pages pop up. The nonprofit Association for Gravestone Studies has 11 chapters in the U.S., and gravers, who record and photograph headstones, are a growing subculture.

USA Georgia GA Savannah Bonaventure Cemetery historic old burial area

The most haunting cemeteries, however, have an appeal that extends well into the mainstream. (Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery, for instance, attracts more than 1.5 million annually.) They lure visitors with a combination of natural beauty, ornate tombstones and crypts, notable residents, vivid history, and even wildlife.

Naturalist John Muir captured the many splendors of Savannah, GA’s Bonaventure Cemetery—long before it was featured in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil—in his book A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf. “The rippling of living waters, the song of birds, the joyous confidence of flowers, the calm, undisturbable grandeur of the oaks, mark this place of graves as one of the Lord’s most favored abodes of life and light,” he writes.

You may be similarly moved by a visit to Mount Koya cemetery in Japan, where 10,000 lanterns illuminate the forest setting, or by witnessing Day of the Dead graveside fiestas in Oaxaca, Mexico. And a coastal walk in Sydney will bring you to Waverley Cemetery, whose cliff-side Victorian and Edwardian monuments face out to the ocean, sparkling in Australia’s near-constant sunshine.

Such beautiful burial sites may be the final destination for the deceased, but for those of us still traveling, they can be decidedly uplifting.

See tons of photos of hauntingly beautiful cemeteries after the jump >>

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st-lucia-view-from-the-island-v1681702-1024Following in Colombia’s footsteps, St. Lucia has officially barred entry to visitors from West African countries affected by Ebola, including Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Those traveling from Nigeria will only be granted entry after presenting a recent medical certificate. The tiny island nation’s prime minister cited the country’s inability “to manage any crisis that lands on our doorstep, any crisis of that kind” as the reasoning behind the ban.

Read more at AP >>

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