December 2009

Lobby at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, a great place to stay before the Rose Bowl

Lobby at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, a great place to stay before the Rose Bowl

It’s almost the new year, which can only mean one thing for sports fans: The college football championship in Los Angeles is just around the corner! The Texas Longhorns take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship Game on January 7, though not before Oregon takes on Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Both games will be played in the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, and fans are sure to flock to SoCal for the festivities. If you’re traveling all the way to Los Angeles to cheer on your team, you may as well make a weekend out of it. Pasadena has it’s own hotels, but to really explore and get the full West Coast vibe, we recommend booking at the following L.A. hotels that told us they still have space.

Vacant rooms are few, so don’t delay!

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POV at the W Washington DC

POV at the W Washington DC

No matter which side of the political fence they stand on, our Senators and their staffers are likely to pour into the city’s barrooms today, either to celebrate or lament the results of the Senate vote on a historic health care bill.

If you’d like to know where they’ll be drinking, we just posted our Washington, D.C. hotel reviews along with our list of the Best Hotel Bars in the City. Below are the watering hotels that made our list — and the reasons why.

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The Hotel on Rivington

The Hotel on Rivington

Just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be any more bar openings on the Lower East Side, a fresh new crop surprised us. Here’s a trio of drinking hideaways, all opened in the last couple of months, from which you can easily stroll to your East Village hotel or the neighborhood’s own Hotel on Rivington. Read More »

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Brasserie 8 1/2

Brasserie 8 1/2

[Flickr / jwilly]

Ah, New Year’s Eve dinner at a fancy Manhattan restaurant. Always sounds like such a perfect, romantic idea. That is, until you start calling around and discover that every eatery this side of Applebee’s is offering a “special” NYE menu at a not-so-special price of something like $250 a plate.

Free Champagne toast or not, we don’t think eating out on New Year’s should be more expensive than an entire vacation, so we’ve found four classy New York restaurants that are offering New Year’s dinner at relatively reasonable prices. Read More »

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The Phoenix Hotel

The Phoenix Hotel

We’ll say it: Parking in San Francisco sucks. If you’re planning to stay inside the city limits for your visit, it’s better to skip the car and stick with ample (if slow) public transit. But if you’re visiting and you want to leave the city — say for a jaunt up to Napa? — it’s hard to avoid the need for an automobile. So where to put your wheels away?

Don’t count on street parking. It’s rare, it’s restricted, and it can require superhuman steep-hill parallel parking skills. The “parking packages” that many hotels boast will keep you from getting towed, but at $30 or more per night, they’re hardly a deal.

Fortunately, these five hotels offer that rarest of amenities—free parking: Read More »

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Biltmore LA TK

Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles

Last week we showed you Christmas decorations at hotels around New York, but Oyster’s reporters have been on the road and have found holiday cheer at hotels all over the place. Here’s a glimpse at the decorations they’ve seen in cities around the country. Happy holidays!

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Lobby of the Hotel Madera, one of our picks for the capital's gay-friendliest hotels

Lobby of the Hotel Madera, one of our picks for the capital's gay-friendliest hotels

Washington, D.C. could soon become THE hot new wedding destination if a same-sex marriage bill recently passed by the city council gets past the U.S. Congress, which must approve new laws in the nation’s capital. That could happen as early as March, so the city’s hotels have already begun to ramp up their marketing campaigns in an effort to attract spouses-to-be. We did our homework before the bill passed, however. Here’s our list of D.C.’s best gay-friendly hotels, all of which have been approved by the Travel Alternatives Group and/or the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association:

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The pool deck at Hotel Shangri La Santa Monica

The pool deck at Hotel Shangri La Santa Monica, which hosts part of the hotel's New Year's Party

Los Angeles is bound to be hopping on New Year’s Eve, and we can’t think of a better place to party than in the city’s hotels: no need to find a designated driver, room service is available all night, and your bed is just steps away. Below we’ll tell you what each of our Best Party Hotels in L.A. has planned for ringing in 2010.

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Washington Monument, as seen from the Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument, as seen from the Lincoln Memorial

Oyster just launched its newest destination today: Washington, D.C.!

In addition to our reviews of 61 top D.C. hotels, below you’ll find our picks for the best luxury hotel, the best value hotel, and the most family-friendly hotel in the nation’s capital. Read More »

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Kara's Cupcakes

Kara's Cupcakes

[Flickr/martin_kalfatovic]

A good dessert and a cup of coffee is the perfect ending to any day. Or the perfect breakfast. Or even the perfect afternoon tea — minus the actual tea. Luckily San Francisco’s patisseries don’t disappoint at any hour, so when your sweet tooth starts tingling, head to one of these shops. Read More »

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