Pop Culture and Travel

It's a pink explosion in the Barbie Suite at the Palms!

Hotels often incorporate themes into their rooms, but these so-called themes are usually “classic elegance,” “boho chic,” or “understated luxury.” In the case of the rooms in this slideshow, however, the themes are a bit more specific — and over-the-top. From a suite that Barbie would approve of, to a room dedicated to David Beckham (and, in particular, his abs), we’ve found some amazing themed rooms and suites that are worth a visit (or at least a look).

{ 0 comments }

When traveling around the world, tourists often have famed art museums on their lists of must-see attractions. But what if the hotel they’re staying in is basically a museum unto itself? The following hotels all offer top-notch amenities and services, but they all also have such stunning art collections, you won’t even need to step foot out of the lobby to get your culture on (although we’d still highly suggest it). Here are eight hotel art collections that are worth a visit.

Egerton House Hotel, London

An original lithograph by Toulouse-Lautrec hangs in the dining room.

Housed in a beautiful historic townhouse in Knightsbridge, the Egerton Hotel features numerous period pieces, such as antique chandeliers, mirrors, and grandfather clocks. The artwork is equally, if not more, impressive. The common spaces boast original artwork by Matisse, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as prints from the Illustrated London News. Guests staying in the blue Deluxe King Room can take in a Toulouse-Lautrec lithograph, hanging on the wall opposite of the bed, every morning right when they wake up.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Want to live like a Rockefeller on your next vacation? Or want a voyeuristic peek into the world of the rich and powerful? These iconic resorts across the country — from a Gilded Age Palm Beach estate to a Newport mansion to a Long Island Gold Coast castle — will make you feel like your blood runs blue.

The Breakers Palm Beach

The Breakers Palm Beach

The Breakers Palm Beach

There’s a reason The Breakers’ reputation precedes it. This 140-acre resort, first built in 1896 (and reconstructed in 1926), resembles a Renaissance palace, and it’s seen more than its fair share of American royalty over the years; Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, and various Astors, Rockefellers, and Vanderbilts have all walked the halls at this posh spot. No other hotel in Palm Beach can come close to matching the luxury found at this iconic property.

Read More »

{ 2 comments }

The notorious Chateau Marmont has seen its share of celebrity scandals -- especially during awards season!

The 85th annual Academy Awards is taking place this Sunday at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. And despite some serious snubs and surprises, we are all too excited for the Oscars this year. Rubbing shoulders with the stars is relatively common in Tinsel Town, and particularly with those golden statuettes up for grabs, you can be sure to stumble across some of your favorite celebs this weekend. But if you want to make your stalking stumbling more of a sure thing, then there are a few celebrity hideaways you should definitely visit — and Oyster has the scoop on every one of them. So get your cameras and autograph books ready, it’s time to nab your own award. Meet the nominees at these celeb hot spots in LA »

{ 0 comments }

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!

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

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.

Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas, Los Angeles 

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.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

The whimsical English design at the Crosby Street Hotel is a good fit for celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, who checked in this week.

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.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

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 » 

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Well, the time has finally come! We’re in the last stretch of humanity as we know it (according to the ancient Mayan calendar, at least), and we’re searching the globe for the best places on earth to spend our final days — or day as the case may be. We’ve visited every (habitable) continent and through our travels, we’ve found that whether you’re preparing for a traditional Biblical Apocalypse of fire and brimstone, or something a bit more on the sci-fi spectrum, there is a Doomsday destination for you somewhere on this fated planet. Take a look at our list and pick the spot where you’ll spend your last blissful moments.

 

Hit the beach before making your last offerings in Riviera Maya.

North American Destination: Riviera Maya, for an ancient Mayan offering

The small Caribbean district along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula is undoubtedly the best place in North America to spend your last day on Earth. Riviera Maya not only boasts stunning white-sand beaches and some of the most majestic natural beauty in the world, but it is also home to the ruins of 7th century A.D. Mayans. The Mayans, of course, were the ones who predicted the 2012 end of the world (or maybe they just ran out of rock), and the area is having its share of “End of the World” celebrations to honor the culture with  ancient ceremonies.

Stay: Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa

The Tulum area of Rivieria Maya, where the Dreams is located, is the site of the walled cities of the Mayan culture, and the gateway to the ruins. The beachfront Dreams is only a five-minute drive from major ruins, where visitors can offer sacrifices or just say their prayers.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

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 the new SLS South Beach, was only one of this year's 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!

Read More »

{ 0 comments }