Oyster News

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 »

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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

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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iPadAppWe 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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New on Oyster: Florida Keys

by Carolina on March 12, 2012

Beach at the Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Resort; Florida Keys

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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Not that we need and excuse to throw a party, but what are the holidays without some company bonding? Check out the photos of Oyster’s holiday bash (and the effects of a three-hour open bar).

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Oyster’s New Features

by Hilary on September 22, 2011

We’ve got some amazing features we can’t wait to introduce to you. Check them out below!

1. Slideshows

Now when you are viewing our beautiful high resolution images of hotel rooms and destinations, you can view them in a full screen slideshow. It’s breathtaking if we do say so ourselves. Every album on our site now has a “slideshow” or a “full screen” option so you can get the full effect of looking at the destination through Oyster’s eyes.

Oyster.com slideshow view

Oyster.com slideshow view

2. Bring the kids

Sometimes you want a family vacation. Sometimes you want a romantic getaway. Oyster now gives you the option to choose how many people you’re traveling with, so your reservation and room types turn out to be what you expected. This way, you will avoid arriving at your hotel with the wrong information.

Bring the kids

Bring the kids

3. 360° Panoramas

Get ready to be blown away. We use  high-tech camera equipment to give you the entire 360-degree panoramic view of what we’re looking at. Really, it’s something to check out.

Oyster.com 360 Panorama View

Oyster.com 360 Panorama View

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The Best Hotels for Sports Fanatics

by Hilary on September 21, 2011

It’s football season and the MLB playoffs are around the corner. These hotels accommodate the loudest, rowdiest, most competitive fanatics out there. Give us an outrageously over-sized flat-screen TV and dem’s fightin’ words, and we’ve got just the right atmosphere.

Ouest, The Lucerne, New York
This isn’t your typical sports bar – it’s a high-end French restaurant with a cozy, Old-School New York twist. Although the menu is a bit pricey, the food (by Tom Valenti) will not disappoint – roasted salmon, braised beef short ribs, and juicy pork chops. The interior is covered in red leather, dark wooden accents, and white linen table cloths. With an outstanding bartender and fabulous drink menu, this place gets packed regularly, and (perhaps most importantly) a large flatscreen TV perches directly above the bar – making Ouest a great alternative from the typical sweaty, messy sports bar.
The Lucerne, New York
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