San Francisco's Chinatown stands ready to celebrate the Spring Festival.
In just a week, Chinese New Year kicks off! And we want to give you plenty of notice so you can start planning how — and where — you’ll celebrate. Also known as the Spring Festival, this holiday consists of two weeks of feasting, lion dances, lantern lighting, and much more. After all, it is the most important holiday in the Chinese lunar calendar, so festivities necessitate indulgence. Millions of people around the world will celebrate with gorgeous decorations, rich foods, and stunning firework displays — and we here at Oyster can’t wait to get in on the action at some of our favorite Chinatowns around the globe. We’ve got you covered on where to ring in the Year of the Snake, but no matter where you choose to kick things off, Oyster wishes you a prosperous new year or, as they say in Mandarin, Gong Xi Fa Cai! Read More »
Awards season continues this Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as the biggest names in the music industry strut their stuff at the 55th Grammy Awards. And as we dream about jamming on stage with the likes of Elton John, The Lumineers, Jack White, and Justin Timberlake (who’s making his return to the Grammy stage after a four-year hiatus from the music scene, swoon), we can’t help but be a little jealous of those who get to do so. Thankfully, some of our favorite hotels understand our musical plight. From on-site recording studios to guitar rental services, these hotels may not promise celeb-studded jam sessions but they’re definitely rocker-approved. And we mean that literally: Everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Stevie Wonder has visited these music meccas of the hotel world. So if you want to drop a beat before the awards or just pick up the vibes left behind by some of your favorite musicians, check out these rock-ready hotels.
The Nightbird Sound Studio at the Sunset Marquis has hosted A-list recording artists for decades.
The Sunset Marquis cost guests just $8 a night when it first opened in 1963 as a motel for musicians playing at the nearby House of Blues, Roxy, and Viper Room, all located within a few minutes’ walk. Today, there are so many celebrities that continue to traipse through the hotel that the staff doesn’t get starstruck anymore. During Oyster’s two-night stay, Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Joss Stone, and Roger Daltrey of The Who were all spotted at the hotel, validating the hotel’s “paparazzi diversion tactics” that are offered for a nominal fee.
In addition to its innate rocker vibe, the hotel also offers a state-of-the-art recording studio on-site — Nightbird Sound Studios — designed by renowned acoustician George Auspurger. Accessed via a hidden entrance in the underground garage, the space features (in addition to the usual trappings) a Yamaha Mark IV Disklavier piano, one of only two in America, on which Stevie Wonder has been recorded. Every A-list musician has passed through the studio, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Justin Timberlake, and Lil Wayne and Green Day both recorded here within days of Oyster’s visit. High rollers can rent out the studio for personal use, including karaoke birthday parties.
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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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In honor of President Obama’s inauguration on Monday, we’re taking a look back at his travels over his last four years in office — and on the campaign trail. The Commander-In-Chief has laid his head in some of our favorite hotels around the globe and, thanks to his refined taste and seriously swanky style (although we’d argue we really have Michelle to thank for that), we’re always eager to see where he’ll travel to next (and, more importantly, where he’ll stay!). Congratulations, Mr. President! May the next four years be full of prosperous times — and plenty of unique hotel stays!
This decadent junior suite at The Hay-Adams offers White House views.
Four years ago, President Obama moved his family into the Presidential Suite at this historic hotel with White House views after former President George W. Bush rejected his request to stay in Blair House, the White House’s guest residence. President Obama wanted to move to Washington three weeks before his inauguration so that his daughters could start at Sidwell Friends School without missing the beginning of the term, but he was informed that Blair House was already booked (for former prime minister of Australia John Howard and several receptions, as it later turned out). Lucky for him, The Hay-Adams is one of DC’s most luxurious stays. Read More »
Fantasizing about luxurious hotels and faraway resorts is one thing, but fantasizing about owning them is an entirely different concept altogether. Real estate is a high-stakes game that costs big, but, when done right, earns even bigger. And because we are constantly investigating the latest hotels around the globe, we couldn’t help but wonder who plays the proverbial Oz behind the curtain at some of our favorite spots. Check out ten men and women who are serious players on the hotel scene right now — and just how fat their wallets are.
1. Sheldon Adelson
Net worth: $9 billion
The Venetian in Las Vegas is one of Adelson's crowning achivements
He famously lost $150 million of his fortune this year by betting on losing political candidates, but that barely makes a dent in Sheldon Adelson’s billions. Currently the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Adelson began his business career as a mortgage broker and financial consultant before developing the world’s largest trade show, the computer expo COMDEX. In 1989, he purchased the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and developed the Sands Corporation. As of 2012, the Sands portfolio includes properties across the US and Asia, as well as plans to develop “EuroVegas” in Madrid. His most noted resorts are the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas, as well as Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
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Lights, camera, action: The Golden Globes take place Sunday in The Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom.
Roll out the red carpet: The 70th annual Golden Globes is kicking off this years’ awards season with a bang this Sunday, January 13th, at one of Oyster’s favorite hotels. The Beverly Hilton has played host to Hollywood’s favorite awards night since 1961 — and with good reason. This 569-room bastion of Hollywood glamour oozes luxury, but at prices that won’t bust the budgets of fans looking to sneak a peak at their favorite nominees (if they can snag a room, of course). And this year’s crop of acclaimed actors and actresses is seriously stalker-worthy. Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, Meryl Streep (obviously — the woman is still the leader in number of Golden Globes ever won), Steve Buscemi, and Zoey Deshanel are just a handful of the lucky few to garner praise from the Hollywood Foreign Press this time around. And the show’s new hosts, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, seem ready to lead all of them through a night of celeb-studded hilarity — something tells us even the Dowager Countess won’t be able to suppress a smile at their antics.
And, thanks to Oyster, you might be able to get in on the laughs as well. Whether you’re looking to crash a pre-party awards campaign à la Weinstein & Co. or are dreaming about after-party shenanigans, we’ve got the low down on the best Beverly Hills hotels to rub shoulders with the stars. Check out the details here »
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Alas, 2012 has come and gone, and we can’t help but get a little nostalgic. After all, it was a great year — especially in the hotel industry. Tons of gorgeous new resorts, such as the St. Regis Bal Harbour, opened their doors, Kanye West declared Kim Kardashian his baby momma at Revel (coming soon to Oyster.com!) in Atlantic City, and hotel chains such as Marriott continued to work towards setting the bar for green initiatives. But what really rocked our world this year were the numerous (and we mean numerous) celebrity scandals that went down behind
closed hotel doors. Of course LiLo makes the list (and could several times), but even the likes of cherubic Justin Bieber was kicked out of his hotel (although reportedly by no fault of his own) in 2012. So here’s a look back at the biggest celebrity hotel scandals of 2012 — and here’s to many more in 2013!
Pool at the Dream Downtown
Oh LiLo, when will she ever learn? The former child star had several run-ins with hotels this year (including partying too hard at The Standard and attempting to run out on her bill at the Chateau Marmont), but most notably may be the one in which she was arrested for a hit-and-run which took place just outside of the Dream Downtown back in September. After the actress [Ed. note: If you count her performance in Liz & Dick as acting] spent the night partying it up at the hotel’s exclusive nightclub, she hopped into her Porsche to call it a night. And we guess she was really ready to get home, because despite reportedly hitting a restaurant employee (who sustained a knee injury), she continued to speed away. NYPD later arrested Lohan on charges of causing an injury and leaving the scene of an accident.
The beach is peaceful and has tons of on-site watersports.
The 21-room GoldenEye is hands down Jamaica’s hippest and most luxurious resort. It’s also one of the island’s most historic, as the former home of Ian Fleming, and the hideaway at which the author scribed all 14 of his James Bond novels. Today, the property, which reopened in 2010 after an extensive $50 million renovation, includes stunning cottages and villas overlooking a private beach and lagoon, as well as two happening restaurants, two pools, a tree house spa, and an extensive roster of on-site activities. The rates might cause some to flinch, but those who can afford it will find little cause for complaint. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now »
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Whether our favorite tweeters are giving us drunken live updates from their planes, or just making us super jealous from their private island vacations in the Caribbean, we can’t get enough of their 140 character e-postcards. And 2012 saw its share of great travel tweets from all types of tweeters. Check out some of our favorites below!
1. Jenny Johnson on every flyers worst nightmare
Comedy writer Jenny Johnson always knows how to make us laugh with her sharp observational humor and sarcastic wit, so we love when she takes a crack at her fellow passengers. In this case, it’s that guy we all know who just doesn’t know when to check his over-sized carry-on (although we can’t blame him for trying). Read More »
The way we travel is always changing, and 2012 provided ample proof of that. To help you prep for your 2013 vacay, Oyster honed in on the top trends currently rocking the travel world, from the royal travel craze to the rise of the pod hotel. Here’s what’s hot — and what’s not!
The Trend: Celeb Hotel Designers
Lenny Kravitz, who designed two penthouses at the new SLS South Beach, was only one of many of this year's celeb hotel designers.
Celebrities and fashion icons — Kelly Wearstler, Oscar de La Renta, and Ralph Lauren, to name a few — have been designing hotel interiors for a while, but 2012 proved this trend certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. This year we’ve seen tennis star Venus Williams design two presidential suites for the Intercontinental Miami, Diane Von Furstenburg design a two-bedroom penthouse for the Australian Hayman Island Resort, and Lenny Kravitz contribute to yet another Miami hotel design project — the SLS Hotel South Beach, coming soon to Oyster.com!
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