Oyster Staff

3777798387_7c622448e0_b-001For cash-strapped tourists visiting New York, one of the most expensive cities on the planet, a hotel room in trendy Little Italy for $120/night might seem like a deal that’s too amazing to pass up. But consider what those low rates may mean you’re signing up for — particularly in the case of the Sun Bright Hotel. The New York Post did an expose on the property last year, calling out the hotel for renting abysmal single-unit occupancies to impoverished male tenants on the top floors. For $10 a night, these men live in filthy, animal-like conditions.  Shockingly, the remaining floors of the hotel are rented out to tourists – some of them unsuspecting, others willing to put up with chicken wire ceilings and dirty communal bathrooms to save money. Trip Advisor gives the hotel one-and-a-half stars, and reviewers have described it as “a cross between a jail cell and a chicken coop,” and “full of insects.” Absolutely no refunds are given.

This week we called the hotel to check rates and see for ourselves what conditions are like at the notorious hotel. After being hung up on (accidentally? we think not) once, a male employee explained that the hotel was booked for the weekend but had availability the following week for $120/night, with free Wi-Fi. After that, we headed to the property for some in-person investigating.

Read up on what we found after the jump >>

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

library--v1987999-67-1024

1. FACT or FAKEOUT? Hotel restaurants continue to be hot! The Michelin Guide 2015 was released earlier this week, and The Nomad Hotel‘s namesake restaurant was once again awarded a star, as was The Breslin at the Ace Hotel NY, just one block away.

2. FACT or FAKEOUT? Post-hurricane, the Cabo airport is slated to reopen on October 9, along with hotels such as the Esperanza Resort and Dreams Los Cabos.

3. FACT or FAKEOUT? Now that negotiations between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and hotelier Andres Balazs (who owns iconic properties such as Chateau Marmont and The Standard High Line) have fallen through, there are no plans to turn the TWA Flight Center at JFK into a hotel.

4. FACT or FAKEOUT? The Intercontinental The Barclay New York, a luxury property that has hosted the likes of Hemingway, has closed for an 18-month, $175 million renovation.

5. FACT or FAKEOUT? Based on users’ check-ins, Facebook has determined that the most popular honeymoon destinations are Hawaii, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Mexico, Las Vegas, and the Dominican Republic.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Dogs love chillin' during vacay as much as humans do!

The dog days of summer are here, and you know what that means — pictures of adorable dogs on vacation, of course! (What did you think we meant?) Even a man’s best friend has got to chill out during the hottest part of the summer. So if you’ve been working like a dog, follow the lead of these cute pups and indulge in some much-needed R&R. Just don’t forget to bring Fido on your getaway.

 

 

 

 

RELATED LINKS

{ 0 comments }

The Jefferson in D.C. plays homage to its namesake throughout the hotel.

The Jefferson in D.C. plays homage to its namesake throughout the hotel.

It’s almost Independence Day! And what better way to celebrate our nation than brushing up on some fascinating presidential trivia? Given how much time presidents spend on the road, it’s no surprise how many noteworthy events — famous and infamous both — have taken place at hotels. We’ve come up with a list of hotels that not only come with the presidential seal of approval, but also are rich with presidential history — secret entrances, assassination attempts, and the occasional scandal. After all, you can never be sure what’s going on in the room next door…

Check out our list of presidential hotels and the events that went down in them here.

{ 0 comments }

Planning a patriotic getaway this 4th of July weekend? These hotels are super convenient to the holiday action — whether you’re planning a trip to Lady Liberty or planning to catch one of the country’s many spectacular fireworks shows.

Ink 48, New York City

Ink 48, New York City

Ink 48, New York City

Ink 48 (named for its location on 48th Street in New York City) is close to the river and has a beautiful rooftop offering partial views of the 4th of July fireworks (shown from 24th to 40th streets). Tickets to its private 4th of July reception are $200 plus fees, but that includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and live DJ music. Its free wine receptions, swanky spa, and pet-friendly features make it a great place to stay as well. Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Get ready to practice your crane pose on your next vacation. Plenty of hotels are offering yoga classes these days (we shared some of our favorites previously), which means the bar for pleasing yoga-loving travelers has gotten even higher. Literally; hotels looking to top the competition have moved their yoga classes skyward. These five gorgeous hotels in cities across the U.S. offer rooftop yoga classes — and often, impressive views to go along with them.

Z Hotel, New York City

Z Hotel, New York City

Z Hotel, New York City

The Z hotel is a hip boutique in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens, and its rooftop bar has jaw-dropping views of the New York City skyline. Yoga classes are offered on the roof during the summertime on Saturday mornings, and other rooftop fitness classes are held throughout the week (each class requires a small fee). Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Father’s Day is less than a week away, and after impressing mom last month with some delicious brunches and unique gifts, we can’t forget about dad. More often than not, it can be pretty tricky to find him the perfect gift — fortunately, we have some ideas… Of course your dad is a family man, but this Father’s Day why don’t you give him a little break from the tots and chaos by sending him on a mancation? After all, nothing says “I love you, Dad” like sending him away for a long weekend, right?! We picked out awesome mancations for every type of dad — check ‘em out!

Pamper him: The James New York

The James New York

The James New York

He hasn’t been able to get away in a while?  If you’ve got some extra dollars to spare, now’s the time to put it to good use. This SoHo boutique — with a stunning rooftop bar and pool, on-site restaurant by David Burke, and hotel art curator — embodies the hip, creative neighborhood it inhabits. Its bright, minimalist rooms are full of thoughtful details to make Dad feel at home — just without the noise. Treat him to luxury, trend, and a happening New York neighborhood for a good dose of relaxation.

Read More »

{ 1 comment }

Who doesn’t love a beach vacation? The sun, the sand, and the ocean all come together to make for a relaxing getaway that, when complete, will send you home rested and relaxed – and hopefully with a tan! Where you stay, however, can make a big difference on just how fabulous your beach trip is. That’s why we’ve found the 15 most decadent hotels on the sand to ensure that you enjoy the ultimate beachfront luxury.

Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

Eden Roc at Cap Cana

The Eden Roc, opened in 2012, is one of the most high-tech properties in the Dominican Republic, and is located in the gated Cap Cana community — which has a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, marina, and beach club. The 34 colorful suites are clustered around a small, man-made lagoon and feature elegant decor (picture four-poster beds, intricate floor tiling, and spacious bathrooms). Up-to-date amenities include iPad-controlled lights, sound systems, and TVs with numerous channels in Spanish and English. Suites also come with small pools and golf carts for getting around the property.
Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Getting fit doesn’t have to be on your to-do list after you travel. While many hotels offer state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment, we know that treadmills can get downright boring after a while. So we’ve found the hotels that have one-of-a-kind fitness amenities that will add a little spice to your workouts while you travel and below we’ll tell you where to find them.

The Fitness Feature: Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaks at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

The Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes

Plenty of beach and lakeside hotels offer kayak and canoe rentals, but few offer as many options for your paddling session. For those who prefer a trained professional to accompany them, guided tours at this Ritz include two-hour eco-tours along Shingle Creek ($60 for adults; $30 for children) and excursions on Grande Lake where paddlers can watch the sun rise and set ($20/hour for adults; $10/hour for children).

Other hotels with similar offerings: Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

The upscale Terranea Resort offers myriad activities, including two-hour ocean kayaking tours along the Catalina Channel, where paddlers can spot bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, leopard sharks, and bat rays ($89 per person). Or guests can opt for “kayorkle” — a two-hour excursion where guests snorkel and kayak, also for $89 per person.

{ 0 comments }

The Flat at the Jasmine house Inn, Charleston, SC

If you’re looking for some old-world charm, check out the Jasmine House Inn, located in a tony downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina. The hotel is actually a converted 19th century mansion, and features 12 rooms with as much vintage allure as there are modern innovations. Think 15-foot ceilings and hardwood floors juxtaposed against flat-screen televisions and fast, free Wi-Fi. Most notable is the highly stylized décor  (everything matches), including patterned rugs and floral wallpaper. Freebies include continental breakfast and evening  hors d’oeuvres – but parking is not included.

Read the full review>>

Read More »

{ 0 comments }