Holiday Travel

Brunch at Atrio at the Conrad Hotel -- Miami

Brunch at Atrio at the Conrad Hotel -- Miami

Spring has sprung and that means Easter is just around the corner! When Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the lane, we get all too excited for egg hunts, chocolates galore, and — most importantly — Easter brunch. Who doesn’t love the combo of booze and food on a Sunday afternoon? And when it’s in the name of all that is holy — well, that’s just an extra perk! A chic hotel is often just the place to find a perfect Easter brunch spread, so we’ve rounded up our favorites across the states. View our mouth-watering slideshow below and prepare yourself to mug down deliciously this Sunday.

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Happy St. Patty's Day!

Image by Yuri Kuzin/iStock Photo.

Erin Go Bragh, everyone! (FYI: That means “Ireland Forever.”) With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you’re definitely in need of a watering hole to throw back a Guinness (or two, or three) this weekend — or at least an Irish pub to fill up on some Black & White pudding. We’re pretty excited about all the beef stew and Bailey’s we plan on imbibing on March 17th; if you still need a place to celebrate, try out one of these Irish pubs in a city near you. From the Emerald Isle itself all the way to the DR, we promise a good time — and at least a few Irish Car Bombs.
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It’s time to get your spring break plans in order, and if you’re looking for some fun in the sun, the Caribbean is a prime destination. But with thousands of islands (although only a few dozen are inhabited) to choose from, that doesn’t narrow things down much. That’s why we at Oyster have created an A to Z (well, actually, an A to V) guide to the Caribbean, so choosing your island and resort will be a piece of cake. First stop: Anguilla.

Anacaona Boutique Hotel, Anguilla

The boutique Anacaona has two pools.

Anguilla is a tiny British territory that covers fewer than 40 square miles and is a popular spot for couples and celebs (Sofia Vergara went on a girls’ trip to the island) due to its small size and upscale vibe. Visitors must either fly to St. Martin and take a short ferry to the island, or fly in directly (by way of a small seaplane) from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Thus, getting to the island can be pricey. So once you’re there, we’d recommend staying at the boutique Anacaona in the island’s West End. Though its not quite as luxe as the CuisinArt or Viceroy, it offers access to the same gorgeous white-sand beach as the neighboring Viceroy – through an off-property path — as well as to the nearby Greg Norman’s golf course and a few restaurants, and its prices are considerably lower. With two small pools, a great restaurant serving Caribbean fare with a twist, and a massage hut on the beach, the hotel is a good pick for value.

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When the White House just doesn't cut it, there's always the Waldorf.

Happy President’s Day from all of us at Oyster.com! This beloved federal holiday was established in 1879 and occurs on the third Monday of every February, perfectly in between Lincoln’s February 12th birthday and George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd. In honor of President’s Day, we’d like to recognize some of our favorite historic hotels that have been lucky enough to have a Commander in Chief or two grace their digs. Click here to take at a look at our favorite presidential hotels, where everything from scandals, to gunshots — even to haircuts, has taken place.

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5 Fab Hotels for Mardi Gras 2013

by Devon on February 7, 2013

We’re super excited about next Tuesday’s boozy, beaded party known as Mardi Gras. Multiple parades make their way through the Central Business District and up until the French Quarter, with hundreds of revelers lining the streets to peek at the eye-catching costumes, floats, and borderline insanity. But before you can let your hair down — or lift your shirt up — you’ll need to find some primo digs to stay and play at. Just remember that the parades don’t go on Bourbon Street, even if the majority of the partying does. Check out our fave Fat Tuesday hotels — we promise that at least a few of them will let you catch some shut-eye.

The Hotel: Hotel Monteleone; French Quarter

The entrance to Hotel Monteleone; New Orleans, LA

The Draw: A true Southern Gem, the Monteleone is a block from Bourbon Street and has a rich in New Orleans history — with all the Creole stylings to prove it. Most notable is its Carousel Bar, which is a veritable, well, carousel, that features kitchsy decor and a chill vibe that’s all its own. Hop on one of the rotating chairs and order up a Ramos Gin Fizz, a drink that actually originated in the city itself.

Best Feature: Aside from the obviously posh accommodations, its location on Royal Street is ideal for watching the parade and reveling with the Bourbon Street partiers.

Find out more about our fave Fat Tuesday hotels after the jump!

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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 »

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Legend has it that when Dom Perignon first discovered champagne, he called out, “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” It’s hard to disagree with the Frenchman — a cool glass of bubbly can make even the most stoic person let loose a giggle or a smirk. And this is doubly true on New Year’s Eve. Tonight, 2013 will be rung in with champagne toasts around the world, and the best place to do just that? In a swanky champagne bar right in the comfort of your very own hotel, of course! On-site champagne lounges provide uniquely festive ambiances and make stumbling home post-festivities all the easier. Some of our favorite luxury hotels feature these sophisticated spots, so sit back, pop open a bottle of bubbly, and start spying for someone to kiss at midnight. It’s almost 2013 — Happy New Year!

PJ Lounge at the Dukes Hotel, London

The PJ Lounge at the Dukes is a classy spot to ring in the New Year.

While Dukes may be famous for its martinis — James Bond-creator Ian Flemming originated the famous “Shaken, not stirred” line here — its newest addition to the fold is serving up the finest champagne and champagne cocktails. The Perrier-Jouet Champagne Lounge (or, more simply, the PJ Lounge) is a stylish space, outfitted in rich greens, with bright pops of pinks and whites, to sip some bubbly. The bar is classic and playful all at once, just as any New Years Eve affair should be. Read More »

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Christmas tree at the New York Palace

Merry Christmas from all of us at Oyster.com! Check out some of our favorite holiday content to keep you in the Christmas spirit all day long:

Some of the best holiday hotels across the U.S. »

How Christmas is celebrated around the world »

Iconic Christmas decorations in NYC »

The best holiday markets around the globe »

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Are you on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list this year? We’ve seen a lot of good and bad behaviors during our travels over the last year — and maybe dabbled in both as well! So we know every dirty little secret, or shiny gold star, that you’ve been part-and-parcel to on vacation. But if you’re not sure where you stand in Santa’s twinkling eyes, we’re here to help. You can find out whether your favorite hotel amenities will get your stockings stuffed full of goodies or weighed down by coal this holiday season with our quiz. So check out which list you’re on!

The Naughty List: 

1. Have you stripped down?

Clothing optional resorts like the Desire Riviera Maya can see some X-rated action.

For some travelers, itsy bitsy bikinis or revealing Speedos just don’t cut it — a vacation isn’t a vacation without a little nudity. Luckily for them, some hotels are redefining casual dress with policies that let guests bare it all (or almost all), like the couples-only, clothing-optional Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya. A little voyeurism never hurt anyone — but don’t be surprised if your nude antics land you on the naughty list this winter.

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Tons of visitors descend upon New York City during the holidays, and for good reason. After all, few places boast such a cheery holiday spirit with beautiful window displays, Christmas lights galore, and holiday pop-up shops on every corner — and this all in a place where “get out of my way” is usually considered a friendly “hello!” So if you’re heading to the Big Apple soon — or are here now — take a look at our list of the best holiday activities that will be sure to spread plenty of cheer. And we’ve included the best places to stay as well, of course!

Holiday Activity: Ice-Skate in Central Park

It may be unseasonably warm, but that makes it the perfect weather for outdoor ice-skating at Wollman Rink.

Open for more than 25 weeks during the cooler months, Wollman Rink (officially “Trump Rink” these days) has been a New York City staple since 1949. Locals and tourists, amateurs and professionals all meet on the rink during public session hours, which are extended on holidays such as Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Where to Stay: JW Marriott Essex New York

This large, luxurious Art Deco icon, located on the southern edge of Central Park (some rooms overlook the rink), evokes the opulence of bygone times. A 2007 re-design put modern technological amenities in the rooms, and the Essex is moving comfortably into the future.

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