September 2010

Boston’s dining scene just keeps getting hotter, and the abundance of new restaurants opened by seasoned and respected chefs is a true testament to the growing foodie culture in the city. Just a couple of weeks ago, former dbar executive chef and past “Chopped” contest Chris Coombs opened the stylish Deuxave, in Back Bay at the intersection of Commonwealth and Massachusetts Avenues.

You can quickly escape the hustle and bustle of the city by stepping into Deuxave’s sleek yet comfortable bar area.

Deuxave

When the hostess saw me taking photos, she took me around the restaurant and showed me their wine collection.

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Natura Cabanas

Natura Cabanas

One of our all-time favorite hotels is on sale right now, for dates through December. Natura Cabanas in the Dominican Republic is a romantic, eco-friendly hotel – think individual bungalows, no TVs, fresh food, and softly lapping waves. Rooms normally go for $240 per night, but right now they are on sale for just $180 per night, a savings of 25 percent.

So if you were planning on taking a romantic vacation between now and the end of the year, book now to take advantage of this sale. And as a bonus, taxes for staying at this hotel are incredibly low, so booking at Natura Cabanas is an absolute steal.

Below we’ll give you a photo tour in hopes that you’ll fall in love with this hotel as much as we have! Or you can read the full Natura Cabanas hotel review, or view all of our Natura Cabana photographs.

Check rates at Natura Cabanas for your travel dates. Read More »

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Parents know: Family trips are often far from relaxing. But picking the right hotel can go a long way toward tantrum-proofing your vacation. To help ensure your trip goes smoothly, use Oyster.com’s easy filtering function to search for hotels with any of the following kid-friendly features — or filter by any of our dozens of other amenities that are important to you, from air conditioning to free Wi-Fi to balconies. To help you get started on your search, we’ve linked to hotels with each of the following amenities in various destinations.

1. Kids clubs or babysitting: A stressed parent equals unhappy kids, so make sure to pick a hotel where you can schedule a little alone time for yourself. Find hotels in Jamaica with kids clubs.

2. Full kitchens: Save money and satisfy your picky eaters by booking a hotel with a full kitchen. Find hotels in Hawaii with full kitchens.

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Epcot Center is home to numerous international restaurants at Epcot World Showcase.

Eating your way around the World (Disney World, that is) is not a spectator sport. Even the most nonathletic of us can really enjoy this great activity. Especially because you don’t even have to go to different parks to accomplish it — just head to Epcot’s World Showcase, where you’ll find some of Disney World’s best restaurants serving cuisine from around the world. Sure, you’ll also find good food at some of the hotels, like at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, but you can find ample options at Epcot without having to leave the park.

Epcot’s World Showcase

To start your culinary adventure, head through the International Gate into the World Showcase. (If you’re staying right next to it at Disney Boardwalk Villas, you won’t have to walk far.) The Showcase highlights 11 different countries (Mexico, Norway, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, the U.S., France, Morocco, Canada, and the U.K.) through movies, boat rides, shows, and — of course — food. Each country, except the U.S., has at least one sit-down and one-fast food restaurant dedicated to it. The food at these restaurants ranges from simple to exotic. Here’s a sample: Read More »

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Private Dining Room at Benu

Expectations are up in the stratosphere for San Francisco’s new Benu restaurant, which opened on August 10 to great fanfare.

Foodies salivated over every detail that emerged over the summer about this new restaurant from Chef Corey Lee, the esteemed former chef de cuisine at the French Laundry in Yountville.

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The White House at night

Washington, D.C. may be the nation’s capital, where noteworthy decisions are made by serious politicians. But as we’ve discovered, presidents and diplomats can break some rules and party with the best of them too. So the D.C. nightlife scene is not one to disappoint. Dancing at nightclubs and jamming to live music are both popular after-dark D.C. pastimes, and for the more refined bunch, D.C. has plenty of activities to satisfy your cultured side. After the jump, check out our list of our favorite out-on-the-town D.C. activities, and the hotels that are convenient to each.

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Rooms at The Terranea Resort are 40% off for Columbus Day Weekend

Don’t sit at home this Columbus Day weekend and watch re-runs of Top Chef on Bravo. With hotel deals this good, you can’t justify not taking a trip. Why shouldn’t you head to the ultra-luxurious Terranea Resort in Los Angeles when you can get 40% off?

Below, we’ve listed amazing deals for the upcoming holiday weekend from six top U.S. cities. But they won’t last forever, so be adventurous and take a well earned-vacation.

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Roger Waters performing live in 2006

Are you a music fan heading to Boston? There’s a once-in-a-lifetime event this weekend that you just can’t miss.

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd is re-staging the grandest production he’s ever created –“The Wall” – on a massive tour that stops at TD Banknorth Garden Thursday September 30, Friday October 1, and Sunday October 3. The conceptual double album came out in 1979 and it was one of the darkest extravaganzas, of then or now. It’s all about alienation, smothering mothers, a bankrupt educational system, jingoism, war’s destructive power on all, rock star delusions, drug abuse, egotism and isolation. Fun stuff? You bet! Pink Floyd tried to stage this monster in 1980-81 and it sputtered. It was very expensive to mount, and people didn’t exactly like the idea that as the show went on this gigantic wall appeared that separated the crowd from the band. It was symbolic, yes, but people didn’t like being separated from the band, even though that was part of the point.

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Marketing Photo

Oyster's Photo

Ahh, the Dominican Republic. The sun shines, the breeze lightly blows, and the palm trees sway. And, at least at the Don Juan Beach Resort, buildings disappear. While the marketing photo on the left would have you think that the pool has an unobstructed view of the beach, our photo on the right reveals the reality. Although the pool is very close to the sand, if you stand just a little to the left and turn your camera just a bit to the right, as we did when we visited, you’ll see that part of the hotel looms over the pool. The building, cleverly omitted in the marketing photo, spoils the view and disturbs the serenity, even if the pool is just steps from the sand.

See the rest of our hotel Photo Fakeouts.

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Fun stops for kids on Oahu

by Kris Bordessa on September 24, 2010

The Dole Plantation

Sure, the beaches in Hawaii are like a great big sandbox. But the sun and surf day after day can wear a kid out. When you need a break from the sun, these family-friendly stops are surefire kid pleasers.

Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center – Catering specifically to young children, the center captivates kids with hands-on exhibits and experiences. Learn about the human body, explore different cultures, discover the plantation history of Hawaii, or imagine what it would be like to be a firefighter. Fair warning: you may need to drag your kids out of there. Maybe shave ice is a good incentive?

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