Istanbul is a city of contrasts. It’s a city that’s both modern and historic, where great restaurants, hopping nightlife, and horrific traffic exist alongside some of the world’s most impressive ancient wonders. It’s both western and eastern, culturally as well as geographically: It’s the only city in the world on two continents (Europe and Asia). A visitor can listen to the Muslim call to prayer while standing in the shadow of the Blue Mosque and feel transported to another time — or go clubbing after nightfall with Istanbul’s trendy urbanites. So you can imagine how excited we were to get to visit a few weeks ago — and how excited we are now to get to share what we discovered. Take a look at the first Istanbul hotels on Oyster!
Hotel Ibrahim Pasha
Hotel Ibrahim Pasha is one of the most charming boutique hotels in Sultanahmet, with an unbeatable location just off the Hippodrome. The cozy lobby and library both have wood-burning fireplaces — a real treat in the cooler months — and the roof terrace has a jaw-dropping view of the Blue Mosque and the Bosphorus. The free breakfast is perfectly adequate if not as extensive as the offerings elsewhere, and free tea and coffee are served all day upon request. Standard Rooms are diminutive but adorable, with flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, robes, Molton Brown toiletries, and rainfall showerheads. For what you get, it’s a great value, though prices do spike up in peak season. See more photos of Hotel Ibrahim Pasha » Read More »
Think you know which city this famous park is in?
This charming, historic city has endless claims to fame. Pictured above is a section of the first public park in the United States, located in one of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods. About two hundred years later, the first American subway system debuted here around the same time that Alexander Graham Bell placed the world’s first phone call, proving that it really is a town of thinkers. But just what city are we talking about?
Think you know? Find out after jump! Read More »
Have you been waiting patiently for your favorite hotel to get Oyster’d? We understand, we do. And we’re trotting the globe as fast as we possibly can to bring you more destinations and hotels every day. We investigate every single hotel in person, and that takes time, but we think the results are worth it. Take a look at our newest additions from California, Amsterdam, New Orleans, and Toronto!
Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam
The Conservatorium Hotel delivers a true five-pearl experience in Amsterdam’s residential Museum Quarter. It’s housed in a 100-year-old former bank building, and the hotel’s warm, modern design melds seamlessly with the structure; the stunning atrium lobby, for example, is industrial-chic, featuring wood, brick, and glass. The rooms are decorated in earthy neutrals and every detail was considered, from the placement of the electrical outlets to the reading lights by the bed to the high-tech controls for the lighting and blinds; some rooms have duplex layouts and exposed structural beams. Bathrooms are gorgeous, with rainfall showerheads, stone tile, LCD mirror TVs and micro cotton towels. The big, modern fitness center, stylish indoor pool, and lovely spa, all located below ground, are highlights. It’s a premier choice for luxury travelers looking to trade a central location for added space and quiet.
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The Naerofjord and the Aurlandsfjord are picturesque.
We just got back from Norway, a country of stunning natural beauty. It’s known for its winter sports, but also for its unique architectural style, Viking history, summer midnight sun and, of course, the striking fjords and the northern lights, the country’s top attractions. We didn’t waste a second of our time there, and we’ve come back with 23 hotel reviews, nearly 10,000 photos, five knowledge-packed travel guides, numerous lists and slideshows of attractions and famous Norwegian staples, and roundups of the best hotels — whether you’re on business or a luxe getaway, with the family or with your honey. Follow the links to check it all out, or peruse some of our fabulous photos after the jump. Just be warned: They’ll make you want to start planning your Norwegian vacation right away!
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At Oyster.com, we pay close attention to when the marketing hype doesn’t match the reality. And so do our loyal fans: Our revealing Photo Fakeouts have now been viewed by millions of people.
But plenty of marketers deserve credit for running authentic, creative campaigns about their properties. Which is why we are tickled pink this year to be a a part of the HSMAI Adrian Awards, which honor creative brilliance and best practices in hospitality, travel, and tourism-related marketing. At a black-tie gala on January 28th, Oyster.com will present the inaugural “World is Your Oyster Award” to recognize the best authentic marketing program. Read More »
We at Oyster.com know more about the hotels we cover than anyone else. How? Because we’ve been there. We send investigators to every single hotel in person to take hundreds of honest photos, so that you can see the truth before you arrive. And the objective written reviews from our hotel experts give readers both the pros and the cons: We never sugarcoat the truth.
So far, we’ve taken a million photos of over 3,000 hotels in 240 cities — and we’re nowhere near finished. Keep an eye on our newest hotels here.
We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure we investigate every aspect of the hotel.
We say hello to the doormen.
An Oyster investigator in action
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‘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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We already told you guys about our incredible new iPad app — you know, the one with interactive maps, tons of destinations, and collections with vacation ideas ripe for picking. But with the launch of Apple’s latest iPad — which already sold over 3 million units in its first weekend on shelves – we had to quickly make some improvements to make our app iPad3-ready. Curious how we souped it up in time for the iPad3′s release? A lot of coffee, nail biting, and well, tons of work. Check out the improvements we made after the jump!
Update: Our latest version was so impressive that the App Store asked to feature it — which we did. The best part? Having a “featured” app can increase our site’s organic traffic by three or four times as much!
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Beach at the Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Resort; Florida Keys
We just returned from the Florida Keys, which is home to one of the largest barrier reef systems in the world. It’s as close to the Caribbean as you can get in the U.S., and most visitors come here for incredible snorkeling and scuba diving, the great weather, and the partying, of course. Though it can get rowdy (especially on Key West), the vibe is mostly laid-back. Check out some of the hotel highlights from our trip after the jump>>
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Our iPad App home screen.
We’re so stoked to introduce our brand-spanking-new iPad app, which is available for FREE right now on the Apple AppStore. It’s pretty sweet. Here’s five reasons why we heart it:
1. The Maps! Did we ever mention we’re actually kind of geographically challenged? Well, we are, and the app’s interactive maps make finding hotels — or a specific landmark — a cinch. Want a hotel that’s actually on the Northern coast of the Big Island, that’s really on the beach? Done.
The interactive maps on our app.
Check out more shots of our app after the jump!
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