The pool at Auberge Du Soleil provides a tranquil environment with plush lounge chairs and pretty grounds.
The gorgeous Auberge Du Soleil, a luxury inn snuggled into Rutherford’s rolling hills, is one of the most exclusive (and expensive) destinations in California wine country. Despite its intimate size (it has just fifty rooms), the Auberge has all the amenities of a larger resort: a 7,000-square-foot luxury spa, a lovely pool, and a Michelin-star restaurant. Views of the surrounding countryside are phenomenal, the grounds are lush and peaceful, and the cozy, upscale rooms all come with huge terraces — and, in most, fireplaces and soaking tubs. It’s a truly special, romantic retreat, and it’s location is convenient for exploring Napa Valley — but we’d have a hard time tearing ourselves away from the heated, year-round pool. So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Auberge Du Soleil.
While there are plenty of luxurious hotels out there, some hotels take luxury to a whole other level (which means prices on a whole new level, too). But when you really need to unwind away from home, there’s no better way to indulge than heading to a luxe hotel with an equally luxe spa for some much-need pampering. Whether they’re offering oils of gold, creams of caviar, or bathtubs of wine, these hotel spas aren’t shy about offering their guests the royal treatment – and charging them royally, too.
Treatment: Evian Bath for $5,000
Spa: Spa V at Hotel Victor, South Beach
Hotel Victor pampers guests with the finest bath water in South Beach
Not many of the treatments at Hotel Victor in South Beach come cheap, but the Evian bath is particularly pricey. The bath, consisting of 1,000 bottles of the French mineral water, is only available to guests of the $10,000 per night penthouse suite, and includes champagne, dessert, and an additional treatment of choice for two.
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Ski resorts know that it’s not just the active traveler who frequents lodges these days. Couples looking to rekindle some romance in an outdoorsy setting — whether rustic or luxe or both — flock to these cold-weather enclaves for some indulgent private time. So skiing spots across North America have begun to focus more and more on charming features designed to help inspire some romance. Here are some of our favorites:
The Couple-Friendly Feature: Cozy Outdoor Firepit
The Hotel: Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa
Cuddle up in front of the fire at the Rusty Parrot, or take a late night dip in the whirlpool.
This boutique hotel in Jackson Hole is decidedly upscale, featuring rustic chic decor in super spacious, bright rooms (many of which have their own fireplaces). It includes all of the requisite apres-ski offerings: an ornate reading room with heavy leather chairs, a stylish bar manned by knowledgeable mixologists, and a delicious on-site restaurant, Wild Sage. This outdoor lounge deck with a whirlpool and fire pits, however, is our favorite feature for some couple’s canoodling.
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The hotel's small pool boasts sweeping views and a tranquil vibe.
The upper-middle-range Asclepios bills itself as a wellness center rather than a hotel, though it successfully incorporates elements of both. Located in the hills near the Central Valley town of Alajuela, it’s conveniently close to the airport but worlds away from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Jose. A full spa, fitness center, outdoor pool, and organic restaurant all lie on spacious grounds amidst a lush landscape. Every one of its 12 comfortable and stylish rooms has a different theme, and all overlook hillsides planted with coffee and sugarcane. There’s not much within easy reach of the hotel, but guests looking for a spa retreat on comfortable grounds will certainly find it at the beautiful — yet laid-back — Asclepios. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»
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Planning a wedding is no easy task: Guest lists, seating arrangements, and the requisite family drama (because apparently you just have to invite your cousin Mildred) can all add up to a nerve-wracking experience for even the most clear-minded of brides. There are just so many things to consider before tying the knot, that brides-to-be can often forget about themselves – and the importance of maintaining their own sanity – amidst all the hustle and bustle. So we’re here to play fairy godmother (well, sorta) and remind all the future Mrs’s (and Mr’s!) out there that they need to take some time for themselves, too. And we can’t think of a better way to relax and recharge than a good spa session — complete with candles, soft music, plush robes, you name it! Because the last thing you need right now is more planning and researching, we’ve done the legwork and have picked our favorite spas for pre-wedding pampering. Check ‘em out and say “ahhh” before the big “I do”!
Spa at the Viceroy Miami; Miami, FL
The Viceroy’s 28,000-square-foot, Philippe Starck-designed spa is arguably the most striking — and extensive – wellness center in Miami. It features ten treatment rooms, redwood saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms, and a gorgeous water lounge complete with white marble floors, three Jacuzzis, a shallow reflecting pool, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the bay.
Oyster’s Spa Menu Pick: For those who want to leave behind the stress of planning a wedding, we’d argue that the 60-minute Milk and Honey Body Treatment ($180), which “exfoliates and moisturizes the body, harmonizes the senses, and encourages relaxation” is a must. We wouldn’t mind the 30-minute Papaya and Pineapple Foot Scrub ($65) either.
The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.
Los Angeles is awesome whichever way you look at it. Despite its reputation of having few attractions for tourists and huge distances to cover to get to any of them, L.A. has plenty to offer with top-notch restaurants, world-class museums, a vibrant nightlife scene, and wonderful beaches that attract millions of visitors every year. But it’s good to take a break from all the buzz sometimes and head somewhere new, be it a more relaxed spot for some serious R&R, or the perfect stretch of sand for surfing. So whether you’re in town visiting and want to mix it up a bit, or you’re a resident and want to get away from it all, start packing and hit the road! We’ve got the perfect nearby spots that are just a short drive away.
Road Trip #1: Los Angeles to Orange County, CA
- Total Driving Time:1 hour
- Distance Covered:51 miles
- Take This Trip If: You’re ready for some pampering
It'a all about fun in the sun and easy living here in the O.C.
Don't you just want to take a dip in the Coliseum Pool at the Pelican Hill?
Have lunch with a view at the Montage Laguna Beach
Orange County is known for its well-heeled residents and high prices, but if you want to get some serious R&R, it’s the place to be. This string of uncrowded beaches is a good pick for families, but the area is popular among couples as well for its bucolic landscape and unparalleled sunsets. The beaches (and the waves) are definitely the main draw. If you’re planning a trip with the family, the ultra-luxe Pelican Hill is a wonderful choice. The property boasts two great golf courses, along with a plethora of other amenities, such as two gorgeous pools, a world-class spa, a fitness center, and a top-notch kids’ club. If it’s just you and your significant other, the Montage Laguna Beach is great for spending some quality time together. It offers an excellent spa, impeccable grounds, and beautiful rooms with breathtaking views.
- Top Driving Tip: The fastest and shortest way to get there is the Santa Ana Freeway, but if you’ve got some time to spare, Cabrillo Highway (SR 1) is the most scenic. Along the way you’ll see gorgeous beaches and rolling hills.
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Few people know how to take it easy better than South Carolinians. After all, some of the most popular activities in the Palmetto State are iced tea sippin’ and front porch sittin’ — and who can blame them? Especially with the intense heat that Southern summers bring, locals and visitors need plenty of spots to just be lazy. And fortunately for them, we found five incredible ones. So put your feet up and check out these prime spots for lounging; it’s time to sloooow doooown.
Porch in the Chrysanthemum Room at The Jasmine House Inn -- Charleston
Housed in a beautifully renovated mansion built in 1843, the Jasmine House Inn has all the charm of a B&B and the comfort of an upscale hotel with an ideal location in downtown Charleston. The 12 large rooms emulate that good ‘ole Southern vibe, particularly ones like the Chrysanthemum Room, which features a large second-story porch overlooking a tree-lined street. Escape the heat on one of its shaded wicker sofas.
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Dying to be under that palapa right about now.
Vitamin D does wonders for our health. Better known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because our bodies produce it from the sun’s rays, Vitamin D regulates blood pressure, reduces muscle tension, and prevents cancer and various other diseases. Luckily for us, some of our favorite spa hotels have just the the right treatments. Whether they boast ocean-side cabanas or secluded rooftop hot tubs, these outdoor spas really know how to make us feel good — all while we’re soaking up the sun, of course.
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Preparing for the birth of a child is one of the most exciting things that can happen to a couple. Even if it’s just testing paint swatches in the nursery, lots of time and energy is spent getting everything ready for the big day. And while the preparations themselves may seem hectic, they pale in comparison to the duties that come along with caring for a newborn infant.
This is why the trend of “babymooning” began to catch on in the mid-2000s. A quick, romantic trip is a great way for couples spend an intimate weekend together before the arrival of their child. Mothers and fathers-to-be treat themselves to pampering spa treatments, cozy rooms, and relaxation in a last hurrah before parenthood begins. Being the hotel experts, we rounded up some of our favorite hotels for the perfect babymoons. Because take it from us when we say that happy, relaxed parents make the entire process easier.
Mount View Hotel & Spa (Calistoga, CA)
Winery Artist Cottage at the Mount View Hotel & Spa; Calistoga, CA
Heading to a small B&B is a win/win for expectant couples: the vibe is more relaxed, the atmosphere more romantic and the service personalized. The Mount View Hotel & Spa takes it a step further with the “Oh Baby!” welcome package: for $270, each parent is treated to a 50 minute massage (including a pre-natal option), a box of chocolate truffles, sparkling cider, two souvenir champagne flutes and a special shirt that helps expectant mothers massage their baby. Need more? The package also includes a $10 “craving card,” where hotel staff will fetch mothers-to-be anything from olives to Oreos from local stores. While we can’t suggest that couples partake in the wine tasting tours that dominate the area, we’re fairly confident that you’ll appreciate the calm surroundings of northern Napa Valley.
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We know how bloated/badly/gross you felt on New Year’s Day — and how you vowed to kick the nasty habit causing your “pain.” (Or weight gain, whatever.) Well, folks, it’s January 16 — can you say that you’ve started your resolution yet? Because around here at Oyster.com, many of us have (whoops) let our resolutions fall to the wayside — because we’re so dedicated to our jobs, of course. But for the rest of you, well, you don’t have an excuse. No matter what you’ve planned on resolving, we’ve got the perfect hotel to remedy it.
YOU RESOLVED TO: HIT THE GYM
VISIT: The Affinia Dumont, New York City
The fitness center at the Affinia Dumont; New York, NY
WHY: This fitness-themed hotel (Like, literally, there’s sports-themed artwork in the lobby) provides a complimentary “StayFit Kit” in each room, which includes a yoga mat, stretching blocks, 3 DVDs, workout bands, wrist/ankle weights, and a city map for a DIY jog. Basically, the Affinia Dumont is giving you all the tools to get ripped — in your PJs. And since the hotel is suites-only, you’ll have the space in your room to do so. Should you want to actually throw on some clothes, there’s an amazing gym and a special fitness concierge to help whip you into shape, too.
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