Hilary

Dreaming of the perfect wedding getaway? These hotels aren’t over the top, gaudy, or flashy. They’re breathtaking, inviting, and just right. Aruba, Jamaica (Oh I wanna take ya)…

First up:

1. Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Drawing everyone from Queen Elizabeth to 50 Cent, Half Moon strives for timeless, understated luxury (even at the swim-up bar). Stretching over 400 acres (including 2 miles of beach), the 400-room resort offers attentive service, quality cuisine, and seemingly limitless activities like golfing and horseback riding.

Half Moon, Jamaica

Half Moon, Jamaica

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Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern is a chef, food writer, the host and producer of Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods. Andrew, a recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award, has traveled the world, and understands the importance of a hotel and its amenities. Check out Andrew’s favorite hotel picks on Oyster.

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11 Things We Hate About Hotels

by Hilary on November 8, 2011

As the Hotel-Tell All, Oyster is very well-traveled when it comes to hotels. We’ve seen it all — whether good or bad. Let it be known: after visiting thousands of hotels, the tiny fees, poor service, and mediocre food starts to get irritating.

11. Valet Charges

No parking? Don’t charge through the roof for valet parking. You know it’s our only choice and makes us bitter.

Valet at The Angler's Boutique Resort

Valet at The Angler's Boutique Resort


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The 6 Sexiest Hotel Spas

by Hilary on November 7, 2011

No matter where you are, there’s nothing sexier than an incense-induced deep tissue massage. Combine that with the top class, top service, and your most peaceful day — or night — dreams, and you may as well call yourself the Marilyn Monroe of spas. Check out our best picks for sexiest hotel spas (disclaimer: drooling may occur).

1. Terranea Resort  Beaches, Santa Monica and Venice, Los Angeles

No other Los Angeles spa can compete with the Terranea’s size or features, precisely because, well, it’s not really in L.A. — it’s in Ranchos Palos Verdes, a ruggedly beautiful coastal enclave at L.A. County’s southwestern tip. The three serene private treatment rooms, called VIP suites, are themed after the elements; the earth suite has a redwood sauna and shower, the fire suite has a fireplace, and the water suite has a copper tub and views of the Pacific. The facility encompasses a whopping 50,000 square feet and has 25 treatment rooms as well as its own pool and outdoor hot tubs. Get the full list of the 10 sexiest hotel spas >>

Terranea Resort Los Angeles
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Foto Friday: Name This Coastline

by Hilary on November 4, 2011

Can you guess where this beautiful beach is located? A gift from Oyster to you for a Friday full of daydreaming.

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Oyster’s Spooky Halloween Bash

by Hilary on November 3, 2011

We had Where’s Waldo, Holly Golightly, Marilyn Monroe, and even a couple of Angry Birds. It doesn’t end there.

Check out our great shots from the spookiest Halloween party we’ve had yet. Can you guess who died in the Murder Mystery game?


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If you’re citified but like to hike, a foodie but ride your bike more than your car, or use your Patagonia Solar Wind Jacket for a city blizzard, you can consider yourself Urban Rugged by Oyster’s standards.

These destinations and hotels are rustic-chic with lots to do, whether it’s hiking, cycling, shopping, going to art galleries or eating in top notch restaurants. At these eight hotels, you can always tap into your natural — and metropolitan — side.

The Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

The Travaasa Hana hotel overlooking Hana Bay delivers rustic luxury in the middle of Maui’s lush, secluded east coast. It has incredible service, a long list of stuff to do and only 70 rooms on acres of uncrowded property. The rooms are large, clean, sleekly furnished — and stripped of TVs, clocks and radios. Though it’s hard to reach, it’s worth the trip. The gorgeous, secluded location near hikes, waterfalls and beaches, excellent cuisine using local products, one of the most beautiful spa facilities on the island and unmatched personalized touches make this hotel one of your best choices in Hawaii.

Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

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Foto Friday: Halloween Parties

by Hilary on October 28, 2011

How will you be celebrating Halloween, and more importantly, what are you dressing up as?

Tryst at the Wynn Las Vegas

Tryst at the Wynn Las Vegas

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We’re visiting the best, trendiest hotel bars to find you the tastiest cocktails in NYC. Not only have we got the photos, we’ve got the recipes — directly from the bartenders — so you can make them at home. Grab your martini glass, you’re having a cocktail party.

This week, we’ve got Z NYC Hotel. It’s not live on Oyster yet, but we got a sneak peek at this hot new hotel with a stunning rooftop and breathtaking views of Manhattan’s skyline. Check back soon to see our review of Z NYC Hotel! Previously, we’ve bar hopped at: 60 Thompson, The Grand Hyatt, New York, XVI at Hilton Garden Inn Times Square, The Maritime, The James Hotel, Hilton New York Fashion District, and The Standard Hotel.

Drink #1: 7

7 at Z Hotel, New York

7 at Z NYC Hotel, New York

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Ron Zacapa 23
  • 1 oz fresh lime
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • Goya Ginger beer
  • Lime wheel

To make
Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour 2 oz Ron Zacapa 23, 1 oz of fresh lime and 1 oz simple. Top with Goya Ginger beer and garnished with a lime wheel.
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Gilded moldings and rococo-esque ceiling paintings are just a start. These hotels are so Europe-esque you may forget you’re still in America.

The Pierre

Completed in 1930, The Pierre was built with a Neo-Georgian exterior (an American and English architecture inspired by the 17th century Georgian style of the first four British monarchs of Hanover). The upmost floors’ exterior, however, was modeled after the Royal Chapel at Versailles with Corinthian pilasters, arch-headed windows, and a copper roof.

The Pierre - A Taj Hotel

The Pierre - A Taj Hotel

During the hotel’s 2009 renovations, decor was updated with Asian accents but many French aesthetics remain, like the Rococo-inspired wall murals and the trompe l’oeil ceiling painting of the sky.

The Pierre - A Taj Hotel

The Pierre - A Taj Hotel

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