March 2011

The Bellagio

The Bellagio

Some people may not realize that Las Vegas is a great destination for family vacations. I remember visiting Las Vegas as a kid and being excited by all the lights, glitz, and glamor.  Of course, my parents did all they could to shield us from the half-naked showgirls in the lobbies, but being young and naive we barely even noticed. Think about all the fantastic swimming pools, roller coasters, arcades, and shops strewn about the strip- it’s a kid’s paradise disguised as an adult’s playhouse!

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St. Regis Monarch Beach

St. Regis Monarch Beach

Oyster recently got back from such a beautiful trip that we just couldn’t wait to share with you! Here are some breathtaking (if we may say so ourselves) photo highlights of our recent trip to Orange County, California.

We’ll be sharing our full O.C. hotel reviews with you soon!

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Disney's Polynesian Resort, Orlando

Disney's Polynesian Resort, Orlando

The Disney resorts are famous for their flora and fauna. From the gardens around Disney’s Polynesian Resort in Orlando, to the topiary that welcomes you to one of the parks, Disney gardeners are some of the best in the world. Every spring, when the world comes back to life, Disney welcomes the International Flower and Garden Festival  to Epcot.

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Cleavlander Hotel bar

Cleavlander Hotel bar

February may be frosty all across the country, but Miami sports fans are feeling the Heat at these popular local pubs where the beer flows and fans in flip flops cheer for their favorite teams. Our All-Star review will have you perfectly situated for the NBA finals and the upcoming March Madness!

NBA All-Star Weekend  kicked off Friday, February 18, and the SuperFriends LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh began lending their talents to the Eastern Conference roster. Fans who can not make the trip to Los Angeles can watch the dunk contests, skills challenges, and Sunday’s big game at these South Beach sports bars:

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Fenestra Winery

Fenestra Winery

There’s nothing new about the wines of Livermore Valley. The region has a fascinating, wine-producing history since the 1760s, when Spanish missionaries planted the first grapes. Then, in 1889 at the Paris Exposition, Livermore Valley put California on the world wine map when it won America’s first international gold medal for wine.

Today, the wine region is set apart from freeway traffic and commerce. For San Francisco locals and visitors alike, it’s an easy and welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Development dissipates as the scenic hills gradually give way to the Livermore Valley vines and, of course, tasting rooms.

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Splashing is allowed at the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

With Spring Break fast approaching and MTV touching down in Las Vegas beginning March 6th, Oyster wanted to put together the ultimate partier’s guide for where to stay in Sin City.  Most hotels, both on and off the strip, are notorious for something.  Read on for the best hotels and what makes them so well known.

Off the Strip

The Palms Casino Resort:

Notorious For:  Playboy bunnies, the Real World, and now MTV’s Spring Break
The Palms is known as THE Vegas party hotel, so it’s no wonder MTV couldn’t stay away. First, the Real World Las Vegas was filmed there in 2002, now they’ll be filming Spring Break. In the Palms Tower, Rain is the quintessential nightclub, complete with go-go dancers. The Playboy Club, a gambling area with another dance floor, is staffed by card-dealing Bunnies. Above the Playboy Club is Moon, another nightclub with live DJs, multiple bars, and a retractable roof. With four pools and three poolside bars, you can relax at the Palms even with the inescapable party atmosphere.  Read More »

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Buena Vista Luxury Villas, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Buena Vista Luxury Villas, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

As you may know by now, Oyster investigators recently returned from visiting hotels in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Although we’ll soon add our hotel coverage to the site, in the meantime we thought we’d hold you over with some great photos we snapped on location. Enjoy! And stay tuned for more photos in the coming days…

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