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The Orlando's image

The Orlando's image

Oyster's Image

Oyster's Image

Like we saw in our previous Photo Fakeout at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Beverly Hills, by showing only a small part of the pool, a hotel can lead consumers to believe that the pool is larger than it is. It’s only when you can see the entire pool that you’ll really get a true sense of its size. As Oyster’s photo shows (above right), the pool at The Orlando hotel in Los Angeles is really quite tiny.

See all of our hotel Photo Fakeouts.

See the full The Orlando, Los Angeles hotel review, or see all of our photographs of The Orlando hotel, Los Angeles.

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Rose Bar at Delano Hotel

Rose Bar at Delano Hotel

Miami is known for hot sand and sun, toned bodies, and one of Will Smith’s best 90s singles ever. It’s also one of the country’s biggest party towns. If you’re visiting Miami and looking for nightlife, these are the hotels that will surely deliver.

Delano Hotel, Miami

The Delano is one of the coolest and most popular spots on South Beach, drawing a wide range of clientele. The party begins in the the lobby’s crowded and red-lit Rose Bar, and then the crowds continue out the back and around the pool, and also underground to Lenny Kravitz’s Florida Room nightclub, where Miami club promoter Tommy Pooch hosts a weekly party every Saturday night. There are live DJs, $17 mojitos, and tight security — a well-known, see-and-be-seen party scene. 

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Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

New Year’s Eve is a night of good times all around, and it’s good for the hotel industry, too: It’s become one of the most popular hotel weekends of the year. But if you’re having trouble finding a hotel, not to fret: Oyster still has more than 300 hotels available for the holiday weekend, from all the over the country and the Caribbean. And if you’re hoping to get a good hotel deal for ringing in the new year, check out the hotels we have on sale on our New Year’s Eve Deals page.

Below we’ve highlighted three great hotels — all around among our faves — that still have availability.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas

Managed by the swank Morgans hotel group, the Hard Rock knows how to throw a party — a happening pool scene; go-go dancers in the casino; live music at The Joint; stylish cuisine at Nobu or Ago. Although it is just off the Strip, everything happening in Vegas is in very close quarters which means you are never far away. Party at the Hard Rock for New Years Eve or check out the multitude of events going on in the hotels on close by Strip.

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Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

With so much focus put on hotel service, amenities, location, and rooms (and rightly so), people often don’t take the time to marvel at how incredible and unique some hotel buildings are. Whether they’re built from scratch, like the giant pyramid in the Las Vegas dessert that holds 4,000-plus rooms and the world’s largest atrium, or salvaged from days of yore, like the D.C. luxury hotel that was once a 19th-century post office, hotels can be housed in some truly interesting structures. We decided to give some love to the architects and create a list of some of our favorite buildings featured on Oyster.com.

Luxor Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

The 4,406-room Luxor is an enormous carnival of a resort in which two-story-tall pharaoh statues look on as sweepstakes-prize Corvettes rotate at their feet. Second only to the MGM Grand in room count, this huge property boasts a 30-story, pyramid-shaped main building that shoots 315,000 watts of light out of its peak (making it visible from space), two additional towers of guest rooms, four swimming pools, a 120,000-square-foot casino, the world’s largest atrium, a giant sphinx, and a host of dining, entertainment, and nightlife options. In terms of sheer magnitude and spectacle, the Luxor stands out even among its extravagant neighbors.

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Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel

Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel

Winter is here, which to us at Oyster means it’s time for dark liquors, leather couches, and dimly-lit rooms. Here are some of our favorite hotel bars for hiding away from the cold in the winter months.

Rose Bar

Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City

The Rose Bar, a velvet-heavy lounge filled with celebs and beautiful people, is still one of the coolest scenes in town — a testament to the staying power of this super-trendy Ian Schrager-Julian Schnabel project. When our reporter stopped in for a drink, he ran into Sting. While we can’t guarantee you’ll bump into one of The Police while sipping a martini from the extensive menu, we can guarantee that with candle lighting, a laid-back atmosphere, roaring fire, and Warhols strewn about, it is the perfect setting for a long fun winter night. Read More »

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The Butterfly Bar at Petit Ermitage

The Butterfly Bar at Petit Ermitage

During the holidays, the cost of a beach vacation can soar and be quite expensive, as those who live in cold locales all want to rush to the sand and sun. The upside? If you’re interested in taking a Christmas time vacation in a city instead of the beach, you may be able to find some excellent hotel deals in big cities all over the U.S.

We noticed that right now we have great prices — and some rock-bottom ones –for several of our favorite hotels on Oyster for the week of December 24th through January 1st. These hotels are all fabulous options if you’re looking to take a vacation during Christmas — and finish it off with a New Year’s Eve blast!

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Many travelers may think that living it up in luxury digs isn’t that easy with the whole family in tow (many four- and five-star hotels don’t exactly cater to energetic youngsters), but we at Oyster.com are here to tell you that you don’t have to sacrifice hotel quality for convenience. (If Brangelina can manage to travel in style with their brood, so can you!) Below, take a look at the list of our favorite kid-friendly luxury hotels.

Two Bedroom Residence at the Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Square

Two Bedroom Residence at the Fairmont Heritage Place Ghirardelli Square

Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghiradelli Square, San Francisco

The best luxury option in SanFrancisco for families (and not just because it’s only a few yards from some of the world’s best ice cream and chocolate in Ghirardelli Square) the Fairmont’s huge, residential-style one-, two-, and three-bedroom units truly deliver all the comforts of home — a full kitchen with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances; an in-room washer and dryer; free DVD rentals to watch on a 40-inch flat-screen TV next to a gaslit fireplace. More importantly, foldout couches in the living rooms and bedrooms available with two twin beds make sleeping arrangements easy. Read More »

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Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills Marketing Photo

Hotel's photo

Crowne Plaza Hotel Beverly Hills Oyster Photo

Oyster's photo

As we’ve seen before with the pools at Aqua Aloha Surf and The Equus, photographers like to get and down dirty with hotel pools. By crouching low and pushing right up against a pool (like the one seen here at Crowne Plaza Hotel Beverly Hills), a photographer can get a wide-angle shot that makes the pool look larger than it is. When part of the pool is out of sight, it’s hard to tell where it truly ends and begins. By showing the pool in its entirety, Oyster gives a realistic view.

See all of our hotel Photo Fakeouts.

See the full Crowne Plaza Hotel Beverly Hills, Los Angeles hotel review, or see all of our photos of the hotel.

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During the last few weeks, the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort has been the best-selling hotel on Oyster.com, and if you take a close look at this wonderful hotel, it’s no surprise why. Like all Universal resorts, the 650-room Hard Rock has solid service, great dining, and modern, comfortable rooms. Its modest rock n’ roll theme will appeal to families traveling with teens, and the pools and facilities are phenomenal.

We thought you’d take you on a photo tour around the hotel to give you a good idea why so many travelers are booking stays at this hotel. But if you’re too eager, you can head straight to all of our 349 photos of Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort.

Hard Rock Hotel Entrance

Hard Rock Hotel Entrance

We start our photo tour of the Hard Rock Universal at the entrance. A beautiful green lawn leads visitors up the driveway to the front of the resort, and this guitar-themed fountain should get you in the right state of mind for the rest of your stay here.

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Pool at Mondrian South Beach

Pool at Mondrian South Beach

The winter holiday season is a traditional time for families to come together, put on funny looking sweaters, and huddle by the fire with eggnog in hand. It’s also a time to endure frigid temperatures and heaps of obnoxious snow. So why stay home in the cold? We firmly believe that heading south during the holidays can do a body good (get some Vitamin D and avoid the Christmas cookies), so we’ve rounded up some great beach hotels that are on sale for travel during the last week of December. Book now and spend your holidays lounging in the sun with a smile on your face — instead of bundled up shoveling snow out from under your car.

All prices shown are for December 24 through January 2, 2011, but freel free to visit any hotel on our site in order to plug in your exact travel dates.

Mondrian South Beach

  • Location: Miami
  • Price: $409/night $348/night
  • You Save: 15%

Why we love it: Debuting in 2009 and designed by Marcel Wanders, the off-the-beach Mondrian is as stylish as its party-centric South Beach siblings, the Delano and Shore Club, but lacks the hyped-up clubbers. Its impeccable service, kitchen-equipped rooms, and notable after-parties at the Sunset Lounge draw well-heeled singles but also families seeking more than the PG-13 kitsch of most family hotels.

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