Lobby at Esperanza Resort
This beautiful, luxurious 57-room resort is one of the nicest in Los Cabos, and offers more of a home-y vibe than other high-end properties in the area. Handsome, tastefully rooms start at 925 square feet, and are decorated in traditional Baja style, with authentic artwork and wood detailing. They come with high-end electronics and decadent bathrooms (some with Jacuzzi tubs), but the private terraces are arguably the highlight; all have at least partial ocean views (many have jaw-dropping ocean views), and some have Jacuzzis. The beach is secluded and gorgeous, but the large waves and rough reefs make it unfit for swimming. The resort’s pools are top-notch, though, and pool staff offers free treats (like ice pops and fresh fruit) every hour. Since it’s a smaller resort, guests get a decent amount of individual attention. Although not much is within walking distance, the resort provides plenty for guests to do on-site, including several dining/drinking options and an art gallery. Read More »
There’s nothing quite like the sense of discovery one feels when arriving at a hidden gem hotel — a truly special spot that is intimate, remote, underrated, or all of the above. Some people like to brag to their friends about their insider find; others prefer to keep it all to themselves. Of course, we at Oyster have never been good at keeping secrets.
Let’s face it: Traveling can bring out the inner germaphobe in even the most adventurous of us, and for good reason. There are lots of health risks encountered in your hotel room that you won’t necessarily find at home, from mold to industrial cleaning product residue. Didn’t even cross your mind ’til now? Well, fear not — more and more hotels are offering solutions, so your next hotel stay can be cleaner and safer than ever before. Read on to find out what to be wary of — and what you can do about it.
The Orchard Hotel in San Francisco uses chemical-free cleaning products.
The Risk: Chemical Cleaning Products
The chemicals in cleaning products used in many hotel rooms can make you sick — and routine exposure (road warriors, take note) can be life-threatening. Exposure to the carcinogens in cleaning products can increase cancer risk, while endocrine disruptors found in many pesticides, detergents, and disinfectants can confuse body hormones and cause fertility problems or even miscarriages.
The Solution: Chemical-Free Cleaning Products
Eco-friendly hotel initiatives are growing increasingly popular, and these days many hotels are being recognized for their efforts by organizations such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). So don’t be afraid to ask hotel staff about the cleaning products they use, or check out our research here. One of our favorite LEED-certified hotels is The Orchard Hotel, which was at the forefront of this movement. Among the very first LEED-certified hotels in San Francisco, the Orchard uses chemical-free cleaning products — among many other impressive green practices.
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Want to live like a Rockefeller on your next vacation? Or want a voyeuristic peek into the world of the rich and powerful? These iconic resorts across the country — from a Gilded Age Palm Beach estate to a Newport mansion to a Long Island Gold Coast castle — will make you feel like your blood runs blue.
The Breakers Palm Beach
There’s a reason The Breakers’ reputation precedes it. This 140-acre resort, first built in 1896 (and reconstructed in 1926), resembles a Renaissance palace, and it’s seen more than it’s fair share of American royalty over the years; Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, and various Astors, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts have all walked the halls at this posh spot. No other hotel in Palm Beach can come close to matching the luxury found at this iconic property.
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The whimsical design at the Crosby Street Hotel is a good fit for celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, who checked in this week.
When New York Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow (it runs through February 14th), the city will be teeming with fashionistas from around the globe. Not that it isn’t already, of course, but even more models, designers, and socialites will be packing the streets, restaurants, and front-row seats of New York City. If you’re a part of the fashionable set, or want to be, we’ve picked the perfect hotels to suit your style — whether you’re trying to book a last-minute reservation (no guarantees!) or want to rub elbows with like-minded fashionistas at the hotel bar.
Where to go if you wear…
- Eclectic boutique finds: If your closet is full of funky, colorful, one-of-a-kind finds, you’ll likely dig the Crosby Street Hotel’s whimsical English style. This U.K. import opened in October 2009, and its decor is sophisticated yet comfortable — a balance that has eluded too many of the monochrome, glass-walled design hotels that have sprouted in the vicinity. Celebrity fashion stylist Rachel Zoe has stayed at this SoHo boutique for Fashion Weeks past, and celebs such as Hugh Jackman have been spotted at the Crosby as well.
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It’s true that every traveler is unique, and our mission at Oyster is to find the best hotel for each one’s specific needs. But most travelers can agree on one thing: wanting the best hotel for the lowest possible price. And we can certainly help with that, too. We used some database wizardry to discover the least expensive four- and five-pearl hotels on Oyster, and layered on our editorial expertise to select which of those were also truly awesome hotels. The result? Take a look!
- Price: $110 and up
- Pearls: 4
Hotel St. Francis, Santa Fe
This 81-room upscale boutique, housed in a historic building two blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza, underwent a complete renovation in 2011 and now features simple, mission-style decor inspired by the principles of St. Francis of Assisi. The elegant, minimalist rooms have original wood floors, sturdy wood furniture made by local artisans, and a color scheme of gray and white — but, as in many historic buildings, they’re small. The hotel features a fine dining restaurant serving New Mexican cuisine, as well as a bar, with outdoor seating available, that offers appetizers and cocktails. But there’s no pool or Jacuzzi, and guests will have to pay a daily fee for parking. If a pool is a priority, consider the nearby Inn and Spa at Loretto. Read More »
Have you been waiting patiently for your favorite hotel to get Oyster’d? We understand, we do. And we’re trotting the globe as fast as we possibly can to bring you more destinations and hotels every day. We investigate every single hotel in person, and that takes time, but we think the results are worth it. Take a look at our newest additions from California, Amsterdam, New Orleans, and Toronto!
Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam
The Conservatorium Hotel delivers a true five-pearl experience in Amsterdam’s residential Museum Quarter. It’s housed in a 100-year-old former bank building, and the hotel’s warm, modern design melds seamlessly with the structure; the stunning atrium lobby, for example, is industrial-chic, featuring wood, brick, and glass. The rooms are decorated in earthy neutrals and every detail was considered, from the placement of the electrical outlets to the reading lights by the bed to the high-tech controls for the lighting and blinds; some rooms have duplex layouts and exposed structural beams. Bathrooms are gorgeous, with rainfall showerheads, stone tile, LCD mirror TVs and micro cotton towels. The big, modern fitness center, stylish indoor pool, and lovely spa, all located below ground, are highlights. It’s a premier choice for luxury travelers looking to trade a central location for added space and quiet.
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Bryggen is home to quaint -- and colorful -- 17th-century buildings.
We just got back from Norway and we didn’t waste a second of our time there. From taste-testing the local food to checking out the best hotels, we explored every nook and cranny of this gorgeous country. And of course we didn’t miss the major attractions: Though Norway may be known for its beautiful fjords, it has a lot more the offer than just that. Check out our slideshow of the top 10 attractions in Norway — and convenient places to stay nearby!
Sex hotels, it turns out, don’t have to be seedy. Some high-class establishments are offering day rates of late, and there’s even a website — dayuse-hotels.com — that keeps track of day rate hotels of every stripe. Which is perfectly innocent in and of itself, because businesspeople (or anyone, for that matter) may just want a quiet spot to get some work done or take a nap. And if another category of guest – the well-heeled man or woman looking for a little afternoon delight – might take advantage…well, that’s not really our business, is it? Roadside motels aren’t for everyone, after all, and not every person looking for some daytime nooky is conducting a sleazy affair. So go ahead — take a look at our five favorite places in the international business capitals of New York City, Paris, and London for your next, er, power nap.
[Ed. note: If sleazy is more your style, dig in to our undercover reviews of the Kew Motor Inn, La Semana Inn, and the Liberty Inn. No judgement here!]
Day Rate: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., from $129
Hotel Indigo Chelsea New York
Opened in October 2009, this 122-room boutique in midtown Manhattan is a full-service hotel in miniature, with plush rooms, excellent views of midtown, a gym, a business center, an elegant restaurant and lounge, and a 19th-floor rooftop bar. Comfortable and well-equipped rooms are hard to beat, for the price — only those at the nearby Fashion 26 can compare.
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At Oyster.com, we pay close attention to when the marketing hype doesn’t match the reality. And so do our loyal fans: Our revealing Photo Fakeouts have now been viewed by millions of people.
But plenty of marketers deserve credit for running authentic, creative campaigns about their properties. Which is why we are tickled pink this year to be a a part of the HSMAI Adrian Awards, which honor creative brilliance and best practices in hospitality, travel, and tourism-related marketing. At a black-tie gala on January 28th, Oyster.com will present the inaugural “World is Your Oyster Award” to recognize the best authentic marketing program. Read More »