Beach Hotels

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This property is NEW on Oyster! One of the newer properties on the island, this chic 60-room boutique resort was built in 2009 and feels modern and fresh. The entire hotel has a spa-like ambience to it, with clean lines and soft lounge music — and the spa itself, with Aveda brand products, is an excellent space. The decor is contemporary, featuring light colors mixed with dark woods, and the artwork is inspired by the sugar cane plants for which the resort is named. Though not billed as adults-only, you won’t see many kids around. The guests are mainly couples of all ages, who will mingle with locals in the trendy Sugar Club bar for drinks in the evening. What makes the property truly unique are the sweeping views — it’s situated high on the side of a hill looking out over the west coast of the island. However, the hillside location means that Sugar Ridge is not on a beach, and guests will have to take a shuttle to get to the sand. The main draws here are the stylish pools, but the gym is also excellent and sophisticated rooms have four-poster beds and decks.

Click through the jump to see even more beautiful pics of this charming spot >>

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We know traveling during the holiday season can be stressful…and expensive. So as part of our bang for your buck series, we wanted to help you jet off to somewhere peaceful, relaxing, and incredibly beautiful; naturally, we thought of Hawaii. And the time to be thinking about that holiday getaway is now – because a lot of people are thinking the same thing as you are. With a budget in mind we kept the price at $150/night for Thanksgiving week, November 22nd through 29th. So don’t store away your bikinis and shorts quite yet! First up, we’re checking out our options in Maui…and then we’ll island hop to Oahu, the Big Island, and Kauai.

Maui Picks

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Outrigger Aina Nalu: $145/night

Located in touristy Lahaina, the Outrigger Aina Nalu is a refreshed condo property offering studio and apartment-style residences. One- and two-bedroom apartments have full kitchens (so you can still cook your own Thanksgiving dinner), updated bathrooms, and free (wired) internet access. The hotel has two large, uncrowded pools, but there are no swimmable beaches within walking distance and the hotel offers few on-site amenities.

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grounds-tortuga-bay-v26940-1025Renowned designer Oscar de la Renta died last night, and he will be forever remembered as one of women’s fashion’s top designers; he created gorgeous pieces for the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey. But the designer’s skills went beyond just haute couture. The Dominican Republic native also had an eye for interior design, and was the decor guru behind the luxurious Tortuga Bay in the D.R.’s Punta Cana.

Take a look after the jump at the gorgeous resort that he designed and decorated >>

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Aruba, Jamaica, Ooohh we wanna take ya…to the Caribbean for $125/night. Okay, we know those aren’t the exact lyrics, but it’s true: We did some research so we could give you the deets on the best budget picks in the Caribbean this time of year. The price: $125/night. The dates: November 1st through 8th. And we’re off!

Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, Aruba: $139/night

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Renovated in 2010, the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort is bright and modern, if a bit plain. The lush garden setting sits alongside a nine-hole golf course and is across the street from the beach. There are three distinct dining options, free nightly entertainment at neighboring hotels, a kid’s club, and two large outdoor pools. We know it doesn’t quite make the $125/night budget, but it’s still a solid deal. And if you’re not sold, check out the Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino for $116/night — and we’re positive you’ll be fine with the $23/night upgrade.

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beach--v2681489-1024 Here at Oyster, we believe summer should be a year-round celebration, so we’ve come up with an Endless Summer Series to satisfy our sand-and-sun dreamin’. It’s a simple idea based on the fact that no matter what month it is, it’s summer somewhere. And since we started off September on the hot sands of Palm Springs, we figure the next logical step should be on the sunny sands of St. Pete Beach, Florida, where flip flops and tank tops are still given a warm welcome — even in October. Click through the jump to get all the scoop on St. Pete Beach, Florida in October…and where to stay (on every budget) for your perfect SPB holiday >> Read More »

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We here at Oyster.com don’t call ourselves travel experts for nothing — it’s because our staff has traveled the world and tested out thousands of hotels, restaurants, and activities. So today we’re bringing you an inside look at exactly how we uncover what we discover; namely, by giving almost everything a shot. Oyster writer Alex Creange gives us her first-hand account of her first-time experience with paddle boarding.

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Stand-up paddle boarding is kind of like the kale of water sports — one day no one’s ever heard of it, the next it’s the leafy green (hrrmm, aquatic activity) de rigueur. Just flip through any magazine these days and you’re bound to see a toned and tanned celebrity paddling through the waters of some exotic locale. Though the origin of stand-up paddle is not completely known, it is thought to most likely have Hawaiian or Polynesian roots. Which is why, on my recent trip to Oahu, I felt compelled to give it a try. I just had to see what this new craze was all about! Plus, looking like a celeb while commandeering the waters of the Pacific didn’t sound half bad either.

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room view

This property is NEW on Oyster! With 25 freestanding cottages along a 20-acre bird sanctuary, this hilly resort is one of just a handful of hotels on Harbour Island. Understated sophistication is the vibe here; the grounds are peaceful (except for the roaming roosters), and the occasional celeb, such as Paul McCartney and his family, can be found bunkering down in the Banyan Tree Estate Home (shown above). Most guests seem happy to spend their days simply soaking up the sun at Pink Sands Beach — a beautiful and unspoiled three-mile stretch of sand from which the resort takes its name. Ocean view cottages offer outstanding panoramas from the patios and private walking paths to the beach, but cost almost twice as much as garden view cottages. Room decor mixes modern and tradition, with sleek wooden bed frames, romantic open-style showers, and screened-in windows that allow breezes to float in from all sides, for a truly tranquil stay in the Bahamas

Click through the jump to see even more beautiful pics of what makes this spot a celebrity favorite >>

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Whether it’s overlooking a beach, set in the middle of a desert, across the water from a lit-up metropolis, or tucked away on a remote and picturesque hillside somewhere, there’s nothing quite like a hotel with amazing views. This is why we’ve trekked from coast to coast seeking out the best views this country has to offer (tough work, but someone’s got to do it). Here are 13 of our favorite spots with breathtaking vistas.

St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

The St. Regis Princeville is rumored to be Hawaii’s most impressive beach resort…and after our stay here, we wholeheartedly concur; the rumor is true. Situated on Kauai’s northern coast, the St. Regis overlooks stunning Hanalei Bay. Not only is it — and its view – simply gorgeous, but this hotel also has several restaurants, an incredible pool, and a lovely beach with calm waters and excellent snorkeling.

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Wow! When we asked our fans on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to submit their best beach photos this summer with the hashtag #OysterPics, we had no idea how envious we’d get of everyone’s beach getaways! But we loved looking through the hundreds of submissions: Beach shots taken from Cape Cod to Jamaica at beautiful resorts and hotels gave us some intense wanderlust. And now we’re passing that wanderlust on to you. (Sorry, it’s highly contagious.) Here are our favorite submissions. See your pic? Congrats! Stayed tuned for our next #OysterPics series, which might have a little something to do with the soon-to-be changing leaves…

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Okay, okay, we’re a little biased…but we had to get in on the action too! And we love this pic from our visit to the Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa.

See our users’ best beach pics after the jump >>

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There’s something so cozy about watching a movie, both solo and with a crew. If you don’t want to hole up in your room with pay-per-view while on vacation, there are many hotels where you can still catch a flick without leaving the property. Some hotels offer movie nights for their guests – whether it’s curled up on a comfy couch indoors or outside lounging by the pool — giving vacationers a chance to unwind in front of a big screen. Many are geared toward little ones so that parents can enjoy some alone time, while others are a chance for travelers to meet and participate in activities together. No matter if you’re away on business or having a family vacation, grab some popcorn, sit back, relax, and watch the show. We definitely give the following 10 hotels two thumbs up!

Bitter End Yacht Club, British Virgin Islands

Bitter End Yacht Club

The Bitter End Yacht Club, snuggled into a steep hill on the scenic North Sound, is a relaxed, family-friendly resort. The tech-free rooms (no TVs or Wi-Fi here) feature stunning views from the balconies, and the sliding doors allows breezes to sweep through; some rooms do not have air-conditioning but most guests find they don’t miss it. While some rooms could use renovations, guests are here for the white-sand beaches that offer plenty of water sports and relatively calm waters. Although popular among couples, the hotel also caters toward families; each night two movies are screened at The Sand Palace, next to the lobby. The movies are all rated G, PG, or PG-13 and popcorn is provided. Adults may want to send their kids to watch the movie while they enjoy a meal at the Clubhouse Grille next door.

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