April 2011

Oyster and Travel Channel

This morning, The New York Times broke the news that The Travel Channel (owned by Scripps Networks) has invested $7.5 million in Oyster.com! We’re thrilled to join forces with such a major player, and know that our new partnership will allow us to serve an ever bigger role in the travel industry. We know that both sides have lots to gain from each other; Scripps Networks president Laureen Ong even boasted that this will be a “transformational event for the Travel Channel.”

So what does this mean for Oyster, and for Oyster fans like yourselves?

Read More »

{ 1 comment }

House ricotta and crab cavatelli

House ricotta and crab cavatelli

I like food. A lot.

I like food that is fresh, exciting and innovative. I like food that surprises me with it’s complexity of flavors in the same bite. Food that goes well with wine. And beer. Food that is bright and colorful. And fun. Food that is slow, and moseys to my plate without having to ride cross country with an Amtrak ticket in it’s back pocket.

So when I’m able to experience all of this, I jump at both the opportunity and the chance to tell others. Napa is a new restaurant located in The Peabody Orlando and describes itself as “drawing on inspiration from Wine Country” while having a menu that is”comprised of organic, sustainable farm-to-fork selections”. Intrigued, my friends and I enjoyed a fantastic lunch over at Napa a few weeks ago.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Beach at the Delano Hotel, Miami

Beach at the Delano Hotel, Miami

Living in South Florida definitely has its advantages, and mid-70 degree temperatures all winter long definitely tops the list. While our summer months can be extremely hot and muggy, most families enjoy sleeping with the windows wide open and spending every available moment from Thanksgiving through Mother’s Day outdoors. If you’re visiting Miami Beach this season and want to join the locals at some truly unique outdoor activities, here are a few you’ll find fun, free and fabulous!

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Bun Mee's "Sloppy Bun"

Bun Mee's "Sloppy Bun"

While her friends were scarfing down burgers, Vietnam-born Denise Tran was enjoying banh mi, the bargain-priced sandwich of her homeland made with roast pork, tangy pickled veggies,  and paté stuffed inside a fresh-baked baguette. Now, she’s reincarnating that favorite sandwich with modern twists at her new Bun Mee cafe on upper Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, a short stroll from the Best Western Tomo in San Francisco.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Rancho Valencia Resort, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego

Rancho Valencia Resort, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego

With summer fast approaching, we know you’ve got one thing on your mind: vacation (and if you don’t, we sure do). Earlier this month we announced that we had added hotel reviews  for Costa Rica, and now we’re happy to tell you that we’re bringing you yet two more new destinations to explore on Oyster — Chicago and San Diego!

Check out the new hotels we’ve visited in both places and start planning your next getaway:

Chicago:
• The Sutton Place Hotel Chicago, Gold Coast, Chicago
• Best Western Hawthorne Terrace, Lakeview, Chicago
• Dana Hotel and Spa, River North, Chicago
• InterContinental Chicago, Magnificent Mile, Chicago
• Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, The Loop, Chicago
• Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile, Streeterville, Chicago
• Omni Chicago Hotel, Magnificent Mile, Chicago

San Diego:
• Rancho Valencia Resort, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego
• Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego
• La Valencia, La Jolla, San Diego
• Holiday Inn Downtown, San Diego
• L’Auberge Del Mar, Del Mar, San Diego
• Paradise Point Resort and Spa, Mission Bay, San Diego
• The Sofia Hotel Downtown, San Diego
• San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego
• The Grand Del Mar, Del Mar, San Diego
• Britt Scripps Inn, Balboa Park, San Diego

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more hotels in both cities.

Plus, we’ve just added some new hotel reviews in Los Angeles, too:

• JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live, Downtown, Los Angeles
• Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles, Downtown, Los Angeles
• The Redbury at Hollywood and Vine, Hollywood/West Hollywood, Los Angeles
• InterContinental Los Angeles, West LA, Los Angeles
• Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, West LA, Los Angeles
• Montage Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills/Bel Air, Los Angeles

{ 0 comments }

The Restaurant at The Setai Miami

The Restaurant at The Setai Miami

It’s time for another holiday! Local chefs are getting creative in the kitchen and whipping up some fantastic menus for Easter 2011. Whether you enjoy brunch or dinner, a la carte or buffet, you’re sure to find something to your liking. Here are some options for the Miami area.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

The rising temperatures have all of us dreaming about our summer holidays. And what could better than to share them with a special someone?  We’ve already done your homework for you and selected some of our most romantic hotels on the sand, where your dreams of laying under a palm tree on the beach, or relaxing  in a private Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean, can become a reality. So stop dreaming and start packing.
**
Jamaica Inn, Jamaica

Jamaica Inn, Jamaica

Popular among mature couples, this is the place to embrace your golden years. Located on a private stretch of beach between low cliffs, the Inn’s suites are the perfect place to spend time with your significant other: They have deep soaking tubs and some come with romantic, four-post canopied bed frames. The cottages are especially romantic — they have a spa-like bathroom with a Jacuzzi, and a private outdoor pool and sun deck overlooking the ocean.
**

Read More »

{ 1 comment }

At Top Golf DC, each ball has a unique microchip that calculates the accuracy and distance of your shot

At Top Golf DC, each ball has a unique microchip that calculates the accuracy and distance of your shot

Days off school mean no homework. No bus pickups. No lunches to pack. In our household we bask in the glow of school holidays. We eat, play, shoot baskets, watch movies, and hang out. What’s not to love about this type of day? But five people in one house all vying for control of the remote or the game controller or a laptop makes for a crazy, noisy day. As a work-at-home-mom, my work day can become challenging with the kids and husband home from school. While it is tempting for us to stay home, every so often planning a trip on a day off school is a must. Some months ago we ventured out to a new type of high-tech driving range just outside Washington, D.C. While the kids finished up any lingering homework or played games with dad, I did my daily work tasks. Once I logged off, we set off for Top Golf.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Stunning King Corner Room at B Ocean

Stunning King Corner Room at B Ocean

This past weekend, we were lucky enough to be in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for the grand opening of B Ocean hotel, which soft opened in January and is the first in a new brand of hotels.

It’s a great-looking hotel with all the signs of modern trendiness: it’s white, it’s minimalist and austere, and the lobby brightens up with colored lights come nightfall.

The hotel is right across the street from a great beach, and every single room has a beautiful ocean view — no rooms face the back of the hotel. The personable Holli Ugalde (winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 7) helms the casual B’stro restaurant (which will appear in every B hotel), and across the lobby is the dimly-lit, delicious Saia, serving inventive (if expensive) sushi and hand-crafted cocktails.

Read More »

{ 1 comment }

Chef jW Foster

Chef jW Foster

What’s the buzz on Nob Hill? It’s probably honey bees! Restaurants and hotels with kitchen gardens are nothing new, but a hotel with beehives is something quite out of the ordinary, especially in the middle of a city like San Francisco. Executive Chef jW Foster arrived a year ago from Dallas at The Fairmont San Francisco, where he established a 3,000 square foot herb and vegetable garden. His desire to save the bee colonies and promote awareness about colony collapse and the importance of bees inspired him to collaborate with Marshall’s Farm to bring bee hives to the rarefied air of Nob Hill, in particular the roof garden.

Read More »

{ 1 comment }