Gansevoort Meatpacking opened in 2004, so it may be hard to believe that it’s still selling out rooms and people continue to line up at the door to be a part of the hotel’s nightlife most weekends. And yet it’s true, especially thanks to a huge 2012 renovation that has helped the hotel stay on the cutting edge with a fresh makeover (good-bye passé neon, hello sophistication). Sure, the hotel is most popular with the party set, so it may not be best for those who want a low-key, quiet getaway. But amazing rooftop views, an outdoor heated pool, an Exhale Spa offering tons of fitness classes, and delicious sushi at Toy restaurant all help solidify Gansevoort Meatpacking as one of downtown New York’s most luxurious, energetic, and vibrant hotel options. Read more about this hip spot — and see more fab photos — after the jump.
In the 1940s, Gale South Beach and Regent Hotel stood on Collins Avenue, one of South Beach’s main Art Deco drags. Two months ago, just in time for Art Basel, the two properties re-opened as one very hip, very retro hotel. From the young team that remodeled the historic Shelborne Hotel (just down the street), Gale’s brand new interiors – the restoration clocked in at $35 million — manage to maintain the vibe of a bygone era, while also reaching modern luxury standards. Black-and-white photos (many pulled from ‘40s and ‘50s archives) line hallways and adorn rooms; terrazzo lines the lobby floor; and outdoor signage replicates the hotels’ originals to a T.
Along with a flurry of other hip, boutique openings on Collins Avenue lately (SLS Hotel South Beach and The James Royal Palm, for example), it’s clear that Gale’s serious focus on cocktails, socializing, and retro style will make it a major player with the in-crowd.
Take a photo tour after the jump and keep your eyes peeled for the full review, coming to Oyster.com soon! Read More »
A few weeks back, we had the pleasure of attending a luncheon organized by the Singapore Tourism Board. And it truly was a pleasure, munching on traditional specialties like laksa and Hainanese chicken rice while listening to Anthony Bourdain – Singapore’s unofficial spokesperson — wax philosophical about the island nation’s vibrant food culture. Just listening to that man talk about Singapore’s street food and hawker centers is enough to make you book a plane ticket in order to indulge in piping hot beef rendang for a week.
The view from the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
But learning about Singapore was especially interesting for us for one reason in particular: Shortly, Singapore will be a brand new destination added to Oyster! You heard it here first: We have a hotel investigator on the ground in Singapore, hard at work photographing and evaluating hotels – probably as we are writing this.
Below we’re giving you an exclusive SNEAK PEEK at some of the beautiful and truly unbelievable hotels you will see reviewed on Oyster soon.
Check out more photos of a few of Singapore’s luxury hotels after the jump!
This past weekend, we were lucky enough to be in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for the grand opening of B Ocean hotel, which soft opened in January and is the first in a new brand of hotels.
It’s a great-looking hotel with all the signs of modern trendiness: it’s white, it’s minimalist and austere, and the lobby brightens up with colored lights come nightfall.
The hotel is right across the street from a great beach, and every single room has a beautiful ocean view — no rooms face the back of the hotel. The personable Holli Ugalde (winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 7) helms the casual B’stro restaurant (which will appear in every B hotel), and across the lobby is the dimly-lit, delicious Saia, serving inventive (if expensive) sushi and hand-crafted cocktails.
A few weeks ago, we spent the night at Mondrian SoHo. This brand new hotel from Morgans Hotel Group was generating so much buzz that we just had to check it out first-hand for ourselves (especially because we love its sister properties, Mondrian South Beach and Mondrian LA, so darn much).
And while we (okay, I) sadly don’t have a future as an iPhone videographer, we took these short videos so that you could get a sense of the trendy, purple-and-white lobby. They’re pretty much the same, except the second one focuses on the funky silver detailing on the ceiling. Enjoy!
Buena Vista Luxury Villas, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
As you may know by now, Oyster investigators recently returned from visiting hotels in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Although we’ll soon add our hotel coverage to the site, in the meantime we thought we’d hold you over with some great photos we snapped on location. Enjoy! And stay tuned for more photos in the coming days…
If you’re a morning person, you may have caught Oyster.com featured in a segment on NBC’s Today Show this morning. Last week we were on location with the Today Show in beautiful Costa Rica, where an Oyster investigator found the above Photo Fakeout.
La Mariposa Hotel only shows one photo of a Full Ocean View Room on its website (seen above, left). When we checked into that same room type, we sadly only found one of the three windows shown in the hotel’s photo.
The room shown on the hotel’s website does exist — it’s the Full Ocean View Room that’s located at the corner of the hotel. We, however, received a Full Ocean View Room in the middle of the hallway, and therefore only had one window.
To be fair, the view from our balcony was beautiful, and the hotel is known for its amazing panoramic views from its restaurant and pool — just be cautious when choosing which room type to book.
H.Bloom will deliver fresh flowers to your door, however often you like
Lots of hotels sell their bed and bath products either online or in house, which means you can sleep on Westin’s Heavenly Bed, clean yourself with W’s Bliss bath products, or relax in a Fairmont waffle robe – feeling truly pampered even at home. It’s vacation all year long! But beds and bathrobes aside, one of our favorite things about staying in a nice hotel is the fresh flowers that greet you in the lobby and make your guest room just a little bit brighter.
Now, thanks to our friends at H.BLOOM, you can pretend you live in a classy hotel by filling your home with fresh flowers on a weekly basis (or biweekly, or monthly), giving your home a special touch. With H.BLOOM, you choose how often you want to receive your flowers, select the product line that best suits your taste, and voila! Beautiful, fresh flowers are delivered right to your home or office.
By now, after finding so many Photo Fakeouts, we’re used to the basics of hotel marketing images. Take, for example, the perfect (ahem, perfectly airbrushed) blue sky seen in the above photo (the left one, that is). It cascades so nicely from midnight blue down to cornflower blue.
But when we stumbled upon this marketing image of Hotel Shangri La, Santa Monica (a lovely hotel, by the way) — first on discount sale website Ideeli and then on Orbitz.com – the things that really struck us were the two balls of light. What are those, we thought, and why were they randomly placed on the photo? As it turns out, those flashes of light are not random at all, but rather strategically placed to cover unsightly objects. One ball of light covers a lamp post right outside the hotel’s door, and the other covers a traffic light.
Neither object is something to be ashamed of, Shangri La! Traffic lights are a part of everyday life. But hotel marketers, of course, need to pretend that their beauitful hotel stands in a perfect vacuum — heaven forbid the hotel exist anywhere near streets, or cars, or lamp posts, or traffic lights.
Private Pool at the One Bedroom Cottage at the Jamaica Inn
Last week we told you about 5 unique, romantic hotel amenities, and the hotels that play host to them. With Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s time to find the perfect romantic hotel, and perhaps even one with a special feature (hammocks on the beach, anyone? Personal fireplace, perhaps?). So in the spirit of love (and the spirit of helping you impress your significant other), we’re bringing you 6 more whimsical, romantic hotel features.
Here’s what they are, and where to find them:
The Hotel: Jamaica Inn, Jamaica Book a one-bedroom or two-bedroom cottage at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and you’ll find yourself with a gorgeous private plunge pool overlooking the azure sea. It will likely look the one shown above, or this one. You probably won’t mind that your private cottage is beautiful and elegant, or that you’re staying at one of the nicest hotels in Jamaica.