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The Wedding Pavilion at Ladera overlooks St. Lucia's awe-inspiring landscapes.

This unique luxury resort in St. Lucia provides a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind setting for an exchanging of “I dos.” The Ladera is made up of 32 one- and two-bedroom villas, each carefully carved into the surrounding hillside overlooking the island’s iconic twin Pitons. These villas – which have missing fourth walls, and in most cases, private plunge pools — are a main draw, as are the spectacular views and lush grounds. The resort also features some fabulous amenities, such as an infinity lagoon pool, a gorgeous open-air restaurant and bar, an (albeit tiny) open-air fitness center, and a lovely spa with black water soaking baths, perfect for calming any nerves before the big day. All of this comes at a price, but the Ladera nonetheless offers significantly cheaper (by about half) rates than the ultra-glam Jade Mountain. Ladera is also within close range of several of the island’s top tourist attractions: Notable cocoa plantations are within walking distance, the pristine white sands of Jalousie beach are a short drive away, and popular spots like the volcano and Tet-Paul nature trails are nearby — so you and your guests won’t lack for things to do before and after the wedding.

The resort boasts that weddings at Ladera are “perfect in every way” — and it’s pretty hard to dispute that claim. The Wedding Pavilion, seen here, overlooks the world heritage Piton Mountains, St. Lucia’s lush rain forests, and the Caribbean Sea 1,000 feet below. Ceremonies are as memorable as the setting, and are  arranged quite easily thanks to an on-site wedding specialist. There are three wedding packages couples can choose from, the most basic of which includes the handling of legal documents, securing a wedding officiant, and reserving the pavilion. The next tier includes the floral wedding arch, champagne and canapes, and a wedding cake, while the most extravagant package also includes floral arrangements, music (steel drums or a guitarist), a Romantic Bliss Massage for two, a private candlelight dinner for two with one bottle of Ladera wine, and a sunset cruise. For intimate, extravagant weddings — or elopements (sometimes you just gotta do it your way!) — there is no place more unique or stunning. Check out more wedding-inspired photos of the Ladera Resort here »  Read More »

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Here at Oyster, we pride ourselves on intensively visiting, photographing, and reviewing every single hotel we feature on our site. Our photos are undoctored and honest, but on our travels, we’ve found that the hotel’s marketing photos can be heavily retouched or cropped mysteriously. Our Photo Fakeouts are legendary – just look at the Sexy Lady Phenomenon — and we felt it was only appropriate that as we expand our coverage, we expand our Fakeout repertoire, too. So today, check out our newest find: quite an impressive pool crop by the folks over at the Marigot Beach Club in St. Lucia. See for yourself »

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This week’s little slice of heaven comes courtesy of the twins Pitons — or at least with a killer view of ‘em. Seen from the two-bedroom villa with plunge pool, the Pitons are St. Lucia’s most spectacular natural wonder — and the Ladera Resort boasts endless beauty shots of them. But this hotel also features some fabulous amenities, such as an infinity lagoon pool, a gorgeous open-air restaurant and bar, a (tiny) open-air fitness center, and a lovely spa with black water soaking baths. Plus, prices are far more accessible than those at the nearby, ultra-glam Jade Mountain Resort. Not too shabby, right? So as we always say, take a deep breath, relax, and soak in the Monday Morning goodness that is the Ladera.

Just pretend that you woke up to this view. It's almost as good as actually being there.

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Pool and View from The Room at the Jade Mountain Resort

The pool and view from The Room at the Jade Mountain Resort; St. Lucia

If nothing else, the Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia boasts insanely gorgeous views. Braced against a mountain about 100 feet above the shore, and pointed at St. Lucia’s iconic Pitons (volcanic plugs), the boutique resort has just 29 rooms. Almost all of the enormous suites overlook the sea from chromatherapy-lit whirlpool tubs, canopied beds, and private infinity pools. And the service is pretty fabulous, too. Two “major domos” are assigned to each room –  staffers on-call from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to cater to pretty much any need, no matter how obscure. It comes at a high price, but a stay at the Jade Mountain Resort – with its its organic cuisine, doting service, peaceful ambience (no TVs, radios, or children allowed), and amazing views — is worth the cost. Check out more amazing photos of the hotel after the jump or read the full review here >>

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Believe it or not, we took this shot from inside a guest room at the Jade Mountain Resort in Saint Lucia (most rooms have a private infinity pool).

Believe it or not, we took this shot from inside a guest room at the Jade Mountain Resort in Saint Lucia. (Most rooms have a private infinity pool.)

On March 1, the series finale of ABC’s The Bachelor will take place on the Celestial Terrace of the iconic Jade Mountain Resort on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Over the past few weeks, fans of the show — as well as anyone who’s watched anything on ABC without the help of Tivo — will have heard “St. Lucia really is the most romantic place on earth” or “There is no better place to fall in love than St. Lucia” about as many times as they’ve heard the expression “Take home the gold.”

Which begs the question: What’s so great about St. Lucia? A remote, lush, mountainous beachfront terrain is stunning, no doubt, but this can be found elsewhere in the Caribbean — Frenchman’s Cove in Port Antonio, Jamaica is just one example — as well as around the globe in places like the north shore of Kauai in Hawaii or Ko Chang in Thailand. So what about this particular locale makes all the staged romance feel so spectacular? The answer is simple: Jade Mountain.

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What’s the secret to a great family vacation? Finding a location that allows everyone to explore and have fun – at their own pace. A spot where the kids (most likely bursting with energy) can have a blast while you enjoy a relaxing massage and a margarita…or several margaritas. (Go ahead – it’s vacation.) And generally a beach destination can deliver on all these fronts. So we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly, tropical vacation spots that feature safe and fun places to play, kid-friendly restaurants, and all sorts of activities, even if the sun goes into hiding for a day or two. And Mom and Dad will be just as happy at these spots as well.

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort and Spa With ten pools, a sprawling (45,000-square-foot) water park, a shopping center, a spa complex, and more restaurants than you can shake a breadstick at, the family-friendly Beaches is one of the most features-heavy resorts in Turks and Caicos. With a pirate-themed Sesame Street Treasure Caravan; 12 miles of white sand beach; pools staffed by lifeguards; Pirate’s Island Waterpark featuring two waterslides; AND Crayola Art Camps (whew!), your little ones can be entertained while you head for a rum punch. For the tweens and teens, there’s a Martha Stewart Crafts Studio, a (teen-appropriate) nightclub and lounge, an Xbox games garage, and even a DJ academy.

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This post originally appeared on Yahoo! Travel

We here at Oyster.com have done all types of travel. We’ve trekked to some pretty far-off places, we’ve slept under the stars, and we’ve pinched pennies at some budget (but nonetheless awesome) locales. But we gotta say, our favorite kind of travel is luxury travel. Of course, there’s something to be said for roughing it and that whole getting-back-in-touch-with-nature thing, but given the choice between a tent and a massive presidential suite? Um, we’ll take the suite any day — without hesitation. Suites vary from hotel to hotel, and from destination to destination, but throughout our extensive travels we have come across a handful (fourteen, to be exact) of gorgeous, over-the-top hotel suites that are so luxurious, they’re quite literally mind-blowing. From a Vegas suite with its own pool and mini-golf course to a gigantic “Sultan Suite” overlooking the Bosphorus in Istanbul, these fourteen suites take luxury to the next level.

1. The Royal Bridal Suite at The Toren, Amsterdam

The Toren

This romantic boutique hotel near the Anne Frank House has historical significance: It was once used as a safe house in WWII. The Toren family bought the property in 1968 and expanded it over time to include additional accommodations along the Keizersgracht canal. Today there are 38 rooms and suites ranging from smaller standard size, to spacious, elaborate options like the Royal Bridal Suite. This over-the-top, dual-level suite promises romance and opulence; it sits in a second building, removed from the main house, for added privacy and features rich decor (such as gorgeous antique furniture, chandeliers, and murals), a fireplace, a deep soaking tub, and a private entrance with a patio.

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One way to up the ante for your next vacation? Pick an uber-remote destination. A remote locale of course means some extra time spent traveling, but when that translates into an extra peaceful setting that not only feels, but is, miles away from home, it makes it well worth the journey. We’ve logged hundreds of hours in our efforts to find some of the world’s coolest, most secluded hotels. So here we bring you ten of the world’s most remote resorts in gorgeous, virtually untouched, and totally tranquil settings.

1. Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens, Costa Rica

 arenal

This 12-acre hilltop property not only sits on beautiful, uber-remote grounds – with unobstructed views of the Arenal Volcano – but even the rooms have an ultra-private vibe, with each being a separate bungalow tucked into the lush surroundings. Special touches include outdoor garden showers and decks with whirlpools and hammocks.

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Even during adventurous getaways, we love a chance for some R&R so we almost always book a spa service to treat ourselves. While we could probably enjoy a massage or facial just about anywhere, there’s something to be said for a hotel spa that is truly luxurious and jaw-dropping. Some of the most gorgeous we’ve seen are particularly inspiring because they boast beautiful views of their natural surroundings. So before you close your eyes and drift off to pure relaxation during your treatment, take in these 11 stunning views…from these 11 stunning hotel spas.

1. Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, Hawaii

Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay

On a beautiful stretch of beach on the tiny island of Lanai, this Four Seasons is one of the most luxe properties in Hawaii. Considering the remote location, its no surprise that the hotel attracts couples, and the upscale spa is a major draw for romance as well. The spa features red cedar dry heat saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms, and rainforest showers, but its most stunning amenity is its outdoor massage cabana with views of the Pacific Ocean.

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Owning a private vacation home sure sounds nice, but people fantasizing about their own beachside property often forget that owning also means cleaning, maintaining, fixing, the list goes on… and it can end up being less of a vacation and more of a job! That’s why we love vacation villas; gorgeous homes nestled within resort communities, hotel villas are the perfect way of getting the best of both worlds — visitors find the privacy and massive size they seek, without having to worry about dealing with any issues that may arise, as hotel staff is willing and waiting to assist! So without further adieu, check out nine drool-worthy (and hassle-free) hotel villas in the Caribbean.

Villa 25 at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Jamaica

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Round Hill is phenomenal. Sincere, intimate hospitality; private child care; breathtaking grounds; and large, beautifully designed rooms by Ralph Lauren all add up to make it is easily among the best resorts in Jamaica. The property includes numerous standalone villas of varying size; many have private pools and spacious, open verandas.

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