Hotel Humor

‘Tis the season for annual awards lists, but if you think you know what’s coming, guess again. Oyster’s awards aren’t like the other guys’ — we’re not like the other guys, so why should our awards be? You can find lists of the world’s best luxury hotels in a dozen other places, but only Oyster digs deep to learn every hotel’s secret quirks. Our hotel investigators trot the globe and visit every hotel in person so we can bring you the unvarnished truth, and this year, for the first-ever annual Oyster Hotel Awards, we’d like to show you the wackiest, coolest, weirdest, and most interesting things they came across in their travels. We are thrilled to present the 2012 selection of Oyster’s Most Interesting Hotels in the World. Are you ready for this?

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Trust us, we here at Oyster get it more than most people — going on vacation is freakin’ awesome. Vacations are all about fun, relaxation, and the “what happens here stays here” vibe, and when you’re on a vacay, it feels like nothing can get ya down. But some hotel websites go a little too far and market their properties by showing “guests” in absolutely euphoric (and unrealistic) states. To the point where we’re pretty sure that that kind of happy can only be reached if you’ve been dabbling in some recreational, er, “fun.” And depending on the destination, maybe you have been. But still, when we’re deciding where to stay for our winter getaway, we usually don’t base it on how happy the “guests” on the website seem to be. Nonetheless, those photos can be pretty entertaining so we rounded up some of our favorites — check ‘em out!

1. Happiest Feet on Earth

“We’re on vacation, it’s 6:30 A.M., and the kids are up and full of energy — fabulous! Sleep is overrated.” (Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta)

Photo from the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta website.

Photo from the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta website.

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Foto Friday: Caption This Photo!

by Devon on November 16, 2012

Though we can (almost) never turn down a chance to get our adrenaline pumping, this roller coaster at Hope Lake Lodge makes us a little queasy just thinking about it. The lodge, which sits on the Finger Lakes, has so many fun things to do that we can skip the mountain coast just this once. But, hey, we’ll race you to the indoor water park!

Hope Lake Lodge, here we coooooome!

Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below! Read More »

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"Single studmuffin" wants to hang with lots of ladies -- and who can blame him!
“Single studmuffin” wants to hang with lots of ladies — and who can blame him!

With our Ask Oyster series, we highlight some of the most interesting questions we receive so that all of our fans can benefit from our expert advice. Have a burning travel question you’d like answered? Contact us and put “Ask Oyster” in the subject line.

Dear Oyster,

I’m planning trips to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and would love your suggestions for adult-friendly, all-inclusive resorts. I’m looking for high-end resorts with an abundance of single ladies.

- Single Studmuffin

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In our new series, Oyster Stats, we’re sharing surprising tidbits on a range of topics using data we’ve accumulated from our hotel coverage and site traffic. Our goal is not to provide scientific data but to provide interesting directional insights about travel trends.

The presidential debates have everyone all hot and bothered, and understandably so. As Election Day nears, voters are left questioning their parties and searching for proof that the person they plan on voting for will be the best suited for the job. Well, we here at Oyster.com can’t guarantee that, but we have collected some interesting evidence that may have you looking at the election — and particularly your fellow voters — in a new light. Check out our findings below.

Finding: Swing state residents are swingers.

 

It may come as a surprise to you that those who live in the most indecisive states are also the most likely to decide to dabble in a swing-tastic lifestyle — or it may not. After all, the more options, the better! In our research, we found that a significantly larger percentage of Oyster.com viewers residing in the swing states were checking out hotels on our site that encourage open relationships — such as Desire Resort & Spa Los Cabos, Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya, and Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun – than viewers in the red and blue states. So okay fine, we understand that this may not mean that swing state residents are actually more likely to be swingers. But it at least means that they’re more likely to have it on their minds!

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We love when hotels feature one-of-kind amenities — many of which tread the line between amazing and ridiculous (not that they can’t be both). While W hotels are known for  their Whatever/Whenever service – which promises to accommodate any (legal) guest requests at any time, and the Sound Your Stay rock star treatment at Hard Rock Hotels — complete with free Fender guitars rentals — is pretty awesome, it’s the wildly decadent, completely over-the-top amenities we love best when visiting our favorite hotels. Here’s just a taste of some of the creative ways hotels are keeping guests happy with some unnecessary [Ed. note: Or are they?] but incredible hotel indulgences.

What: Surf Butler

Why carry your surf board when the St. Regis surf butler can?

 

Where: The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Orange County

St. Regis hotels are known for their top-notch butler service, which even uses eButlers to receive requests via e-mail. With such attentive service throughout the luxury chain, it’s no wonder that oceanfront St. Regis hotels, like the Monarch Beach Resort in Orange County, offer surf butlers. Before your lesson in hanging ten, the surf butler will take your measurements for your wetsuit and bring all necessary equipment right down to the sand so you won’t have to lift a finger — your focus should be on catching some gnarly waves anyways, dude! Read More »

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Foto Friday: Caption This Photo!

by Devon on September 14, 2012

Los Angeles is a city all about mind-body balance. The SoCal hotspot has never been in short supply of spiritual- or health-conscious residents, so its no wonder the Sofitel Los Angeles combined the two for a total body (or, bohdi) experience. In the hotel’s zen-like fitness center, not only will you lose that Buddha belly, but you’ll gain a few jewels before you’re done.

Buddha is here to whip that bodhi into shape

Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below! Read More »

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Honolulu’s Outrigger Reef on the Beach has a ton of amazing features: comfy lounge chairs, a super-chill spa, and activities that get visitors in touch with Hawaiian culture, like Aloha Fridays. While the Oahu gem delivers a dose of knowledge on the state’s history, we couldn’t help but wonder if Aloha Fridays had guests to do a special song and dance. A familiar song and dance…

Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below!

Aloha Fridays at Outrigger Reef on the Beach; Honolulu, Oahu, HI

"All together now..."

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The Peabody, with locations in Orlando, Little Rock, and Memphis, hold twice-daily Duck Marches, where the hotel’s resident birds make their way to lobby fountain in the morning, and then back to their “Royal Duck Palace” in the evening.  The charming tradition, which started as drunken joke by Tennessee hunters in the 1860′s, draw guests to the lobby’s red carpet, making these pampered ducks just as synonymous with The Peabody as Elvis is Vegas.

Check out our caption after the jump, then add your own in the comments section below!

 

Duck March in The Lobby of The Peabody Orlando

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A plantation tour guide holding a "collie bud."

Though its origins may be debated, stoners across the world today will nonetheless honor the timeless tradition that is 4:20. The term is actually a slang reference to smoking weed, making April 20th something of Christmas feast for potheads. Because most countries still have pretty strict bud laws, we thought we would let you live vicariously though our trip to Ganja Heaven (sorry, Amsterdam), and take you through the lush, green fields of Jamaica.

READ ALL ABOUT JAMAICAN BUD NOW >>

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