January 2011

Spa at the Bellagio Las Vegas

Spa at the Bellagio Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a lover’s paradise. What better way to romance your special someone then with a dazzling trip to Las Vegas this Valentines Day? You can pamper and primp in first-class spas and salons, dine on some of the world’s best cuisine, and relax in some of the best hotel rooms.

It’s time to take a load off, so I’ve even done the hard work for you. All that’s left is booking your trip, enjoying the sunshine, and spending quality time with the person you love most. Here are the top five best spa packages for Valentines Day:

Spa and Salon at ARIA Las Vegas Valentine’s Signature Couples Massage

Light to deep pressure, this massage is designed specifically for you.  Consult with your massage therapist to create a custom full-body massage, focusing on particular areas to provide stress relief, ease tension, or just “get the knots out.”  From February 9 to 16, this treatment will include special Valentine’s Day gifts: signature sandstone scrubs, two signature lotion bottles and a gift set of chocolates.

  • Cost: $185 or $270 (per person)
  • Length: 50 or 80 minutes Read More »

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Il Mulino at Acqualina Resort and Spa

Il Mulino at Acqualina Resort and Spa

It’s time to spark up the romance for Valentine’s Day 2011. Local Miami restaurants will make it easier by offering delectable menus all weekend long. From Sonoma duck foie gras custard to gold champagne truffles, you are sure to get excited by these fabulous offerings. 

1500 at Eden Roc at Eden Roc: A Renaissance Resort & Spa, Miami Beach, 4525 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305.674.5594 

Eden Roc is offering a 4-course prix-fixe menu for $95 per person. This menu is available on February 14 only, from 6-10 pm. Start off with your choice of Tuna Crudo or a Garden Greens Salad with oranges and asparagus; continue onto your choice of Hawaiian Mero with roasted beet agnolotti and pea tendrils or Olive Oil Poached Salmon with spinach, crispy fingerlings and smoked bacon; continue onto your meat dish as you choose between Slow Cooked Short Ribs with polenta, glazed shallots, greens and huckleberry sauce or Beef Tenderloin with carrot puree, wild mushrooms, baby artichokes and cabernet sauce; and finish off with a taster of homemade desserts and ice cream. 

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Bacon Flight at Lafitte

Bacon Flight at Lafitte

Sure, you’ve indulged at restaurants in wine flights, beer flights, and even dessert flights. But when’s the last time you’ve succumbed to a porky-licious bacon flight?

You can at Lafitte at Pier 5, just blocks from the Hilton in San Francisco’s Financial District.

As part of its “Cocktail Hour” that began in December (and which actually stretches for three and a half hours, from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.), the edgy, waterfront restaurant named for a pirate is offering specialty cocktails and beers, as well as charcuterie and an amazing bacon flight ($10).

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Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Boston

Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Boston

Boston is undoubtedly a city that honors its work hard/play hard philosophy, with a surplus of options for casual drinking, binge drinking, complete annihilation, and 2 a.m. “sidewalk sales” after stress-filled days of overachieving. Below are a few watering holes leading Boston’s Cocktail Revolution of 2011!

Back Bay Social Club867 Boylston Street, Boston, (617) 247-3200
Recreating the quintessential 1960s Manhattan social club ambiance, the late-night Back Bay Social Club revives a classy yet comfortable centralized meeting point for combining good times, good drinks, good people, and good conversation. The personality-driven resto-lounge feels like Cheers meets underground Prohibition rebellion, a place to come as you are and celebrate a love of great spirits. Kick-ass cocktails, like the “Gin Somethin” – millers gin, St. Germain, grapefruit bitters, fresh grapefruit juice, simple syrup, muddled limes, cucumbers, and soda water – are the perfect recovery for overachievers’ remorse. Back Bay Social Club is steps away from the Lenox Boston. Read More »

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Eataly, Mario Batali's Italian restaurant and grocery center

Eataly, Mario Batali's Italian restaurant and grocery center

Although we survived Snowcapolypse 2010, winter isn’t over. Nevertheless, tiny apartments or hotel rooms compel New Yorkers out into the low temps and wind tunnels created by those super-tall buildings. It’s a good thing, then, that this city is full of places that offer “two-for-one” experiences. Once you arrive at one of these eating-shopping combos, you don’t have to leave for a long, long time.

Jeffrey’s Grocery, a charming “groceraunt” in the West Village, sells basics like coffee and tp while serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pop in mid-afternoon for a refreshing selection from the raw bar and a glass of white. At Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery, you have to push past dusty shelves of Mexican staples and into the back. Here, out of a glorified supply closet, come some of the city’s best tacos. A few pollo and al pastor, a bottle of Jarrito fruit punch, and we’re set.

Stay at the Ace Hotel New York City, where you can hang out and snack on your goodies in the atmospheric lobby. Read More »

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Besides being sprawling beach resorts in the Caribbean, these hotels have one very important thing in common: A spectacular swim-up bar. And while the swim-up bar is arguably the best part of being on vacation(who doesn’t love to backstroke towards their Slippery Nipple or Fuzzy Navel?), we at Oyster know that there are many factors that elevator a swim-up bar from good, to great. So below we’re taking into consideration drink quality, music, munchies – and more – to determine the absolute best Caribbean swim-up bars (apologize in advance for the not-so-hot beach bods).

Best Spring Break Swim-Up Bar

Riu Paradise Island

Riu Paradise Island

 

Riu Paradise Island-All Inclusive, Bahamas

The swim-up bar at the Riu Paradise Island is fairly tame during the majority of the year, but everything changes come spring break when the pool is overflowing with young and wild partiers. “They be crazy,” one bartender explained, “one minute they’re crawling on the bar, the next they’re throwing up in the lobby!” We love this swim-up bar not only because it’s wild in March, but also because it’s so welcoming to all types of guests during the rest of the year.

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Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

In the middle of San Francisco’s Walter S. Johnson Park, sits the Palace of Fine Arts, an easily recognizable piece of San Francisco architecture. You’ve likely seen it in many photographs, with attractive shots both by day and by night.

The Palace was designed as part of the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, an event hosted by San Francisco to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. It was also seen as an opportunity for San Francisco to rise from the ashes of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire.

The Palace of Fine Arts today features a performing theater, and has been the site of many televised events, including the 1976 Presidential Debate, as well as a variety of concerts, lectures, and corporate events.

It’s also home to the Exploratorium, a museum founded by Dr. Frank Oppenheimer of the Manhattan Project. This museum of science, art, and human perceptions hosts an array of hands-on exhibits focusing on science, nature, art, and technology. It’s a great stop for kids of all ages, engaging them in some amazing ways, and draw lots of visitors to the city as well as local kids on field trips.

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What adjective would you use to describe your perfect weekend getaway? Literary? Refreshing? How about groovy? Try out these cool historical trips for an out-of-the ordinary vacation.

San Francisco:

If you were part of the counter culture during the Summer of Love, then you undoubtedly feel the calling to visit Haight-Ashbury. Even if you weren’t a flower child, there is so much to do and see near the intersection of these famous streets.

View of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, one sight to see on your groovy vacay

Do: Embrace your inner Flower Child and tour The Haight

Take the Flower Power Walking Tour or be your own guide. Be sure to see the residences of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin. Stroll the side streets of Haight Ashbury and Cole Valley where Victorian homes are plentiful. The Haight has a wide variety of cafes and restaurants—why not end the day with Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia? Read More »

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Le Village Buffet at Paris Las Vegas

Le Village Buffet at Paris Las Vegas

It’s hard to pinpoint the “best” of anything in Las Vegas. Especially when it comes to buffets, as it is the most prominent and publicized dining option in Las Vegas. Also, there are so many determining factors when choosing the best. The best could be best value, or best price. It could also be the most popular or gets the best reviews. Don’t forget food quality, and best variety and selection. It would be almost impossible to base it on all of these factors and put out a true list of best buffets in Las Vegas.

So instead, when putting together this list I imagined you all as my close friends. Oftentimes friends and readers come to me for referrals to hotels and restaurants and I don’t want to let them down. Because it’s all about the experience and kitschy Las Vegas feel, I chose five buffets that excite me and that I truly enjoy going to, and hope you will benefit from this list and be able to stuff your face with delicious and satisfying food and not smuggle home some tomatoes and bread rolls to throw at me later.

So here are my picks for the top five best buffets in Las Vegas, in no particular order: Read More »

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H.Bloom: Fresh Flowers, Hand Delivered

H.Bloom will deliver fresh flowers to your door, however often you like

Lots of hotels sell their bed and bath products either online or in house, which means you can sleep on Westin’s Heavenly Bed, clean yourself with W’s Bliss bath products, or relax in a Fairmont waffle robe  – feeling truly pampered even at home. It’s vacation all year long! But beds and bathrobes aside, one of our favorite things about staying in a nice hotel is the fresh flowers that greet you in the lobby and make your guest room just a little bit brighter.

Now, thanks to our friends at H.BLOOM, you can pretend you live in a classy hotel by filling your home with fresh flowers on a weekly basis (or biweekly, or monthly), giving your home a special touch. With H.BLOOM, you choose how often you want to receive your flowers, select the product line that best suits your taste, and voila! Beautiful, fresh flowers are delivered right to your home or office.

Discount code after the jump.

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