December 2011

Finalized your New Year’s Eve plans yet? If you’re lucky (or looking for last-minute inspiration), you’ll be spending the night partying at the Wynn Las Vegas. There’s plenty to do: sneak in one last decadent pre-New-Year’s-resolution meal at Okada, pick up the gifts you wish you had been given during the holidays with on-site high-end shopping, and finally party into 2012 at super trendy Tryst nightclub. Who wouldn’t want to brag that they rang in the New Year at one of the Strip’s most extravagant luxury hotels?

Tryst at the Wynn Las Vegas

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Santa may have thought you were nice this year, but there were probably a few things he didn’t see… So enter New Year’s resolutions — the pledges we make for the new year to atone for our sins of the year before. Maybe you told a few white lies, partied a little too hard, or claimed that Justin Bieber was your baby daddy (actually, we think that may have just been her). But that’s all in the past starting in 2012, the year that’s going to be the best ever! Not only have we started working on our own resolutions, but we’ve come up with a few for some hotels and their wild, raucous — and sometimes home-wrecking — guests. Below, check out our resolutions list that’ll set these hotels (and their notorious guests) on the straight and narrow.

AP Photo/Pool/startraksphoto.com

AP Photo/Pool/startraksphoto.com

For Lindsay Lohan at the Chateau Marmont (many, many times): Resist partying it up when you’re on probation.

Lindsay’s had some trouble with the law this year (and the year before that…and the year before that…). In November, she served a four-and-a-half-hour jail stint (better than the 30-day sentence!) for violating her probation. Yet only a couple of weeks later, this party girl was seen making an a.m. dash from the Chateau Marmont in the same outfit she wore the night before! Sources say she can often be spotted late-night at the hotel bar, where witnesses once saw her stumbling to the point of requiring assistance from hotel security. Hopefully she’ll be able to get together for 2012 — we miss the adorable Linds from The Parent Trap.

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Pool at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa

Still looking for a New Year’s Eve party for this weekend? This behemoth hotel and casino on the outskirts of Atlantic City is a hub of entertainment, and arguably the city’s premier destination. The 2000-room property (which opened in 2003) overlooks a marina at Renaissance Pointe. Floor-to-ceiling windows keep rooms bright, and suites are well-appointed with comfortable bedding, large iPod docks, large marble bathrooms with large soaking tubs, and fantastic views of the marina. Entertainment is outstanding, from celebrity chef restaurants — including Bobby Flay Steak and Wolfgang Puck American Grille — to an Italian-inspired indoor pool, plenty of shops, a performance hall that hosts musical guests and comedians, and spa treatments. While it’s not directly on the famous Atlantic City boardwalk, the on-site casino clocks in at a massive 161,000 square feet, giving guests plenty to do without needing to venture out. It easily stands out as one of the most refined properties in the area. Read the full review >>
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You know what New Year’s Eve means: cocktail dresses, wild parties, a midnight countdown, and just hours until your New Year’s resolutions kick in. It can be tough to start in on your new diet-and-exercise regimen — especially after a night of raucous debauchery — so we’ve come up with the top six last-minute active getaways to help you jump start your goals for 2012. You will have never looked or felt better! We have a destination for every kind of woman in every kind of location (with great deals to boot) so getting in shape will be fun – we promise! Whether you like to burn calories whizzing down the slopes or want to start fresh with a detox and yoga, we have a spot for you. Check out Oyster.com’s top picks for active getaways below, or on Shape.com!

The rock wall in the fitness center at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa

The rock wall in the fitness center at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa

For the party-girl: Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach in Miami

Some of you will undoubtedly be hitting up the clubs in Miami Beach for a wild New Year’s Eve. So for all you party girls out there, the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach is the perfect choice: It has a slightly more relaxed vibe than other Canyon Ranch resorts (so there will be no judgment for your escapades the night before) and it offers about 40 free fitness classes everyday (so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to burn off the calories from the New Year’s Eve champagne toast). The Canyon Ranch brand is synonymous with good health and the Miami Beach outlet is no different; guests sign waivers that they will not smoke while at the resort, the restaurant serves healthy options off of a menu with detailed nutritional information next to every item, and the massive fitness center includes dozens of cardio machines and a rock-climbing wall. Best of all, starting on January 1st, the hotel offers a four-night Your Stay, Your Way package for guests staying in room types of the Ocean Palm suite or higher, which entitles them to a $400 credit that can be used towards the spa, the shop, and the restaurant. So after a sunset yoga class or a beach conditioning workout, you can order an icy, alcoholic beverage by the pool (albeit low-cal and flavored with acai juice) – hey, you’re still a party girl at heart.

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It’s that time of the year. You’ve been so busy wondering how it’s possible that it is already late December that you still haven’t planned where and how you will spend the last night of 2011. No need to fret — Oyster has compiled a list of the best hotel parties in our most popular cities to help you ring in 2012.

LAS VEGAS

Bellagio

Bellagio

WHERE: Bellagio
WHAT: A jam session by Bruno Mars, champagne, and other surprises await at The Bank, one of Las Vegas’ most exclusive nightclubs. Hyde, slated to open on New Year’s Eve, will put the cap to the celebrations with a grand opening party on the 31st and a New Year’s Day session by Paul Oakenfold. Tickets are $175 per person.
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Take it from us when we say that a perfectly decorated tree and a sea of lights is all it takes to get into the holiday spirit. The Gramercy Park Hotel is not only one of the top properties in Manhattan, but also boasts a gorgeously festive lobby complete with a roaring fireplace. A very happy and safe holiday season to you and your loved ones from the entire Oyster team!

Lobby decorations at the Gramercy Park Hotel

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Common Area at the &Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

Common Area at the &Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

This ultra-remote, luxurious safari lodge on an island in Botswana’s Okavango Delta isn’t a hotel, it’s an experience, where everything — including the excellent food and the guided excursions (game drives, bush walks, river cruises) — is included in the price of the stay. The &Beyond chain specializes in “glamping,” nicknamed as such for it’s blend of glamorous accommodations within rustic, natural settings, and the Delta Camp lodge is one of its best offerings. Guests can get up close to exotic wildlife (think: lions and hippos) on both land and water, and even arriving to the property is an adventure, requiring transport by small plane, safari vehicle, and a boat. After a day’s excursion, the small group of guests returns to a tasty Pan-African meal before turning in to the nine safari tents, which are fully screened in and thoroughly high-end, with huge soaking tubs, four-poster beds, lots of wood, and private pools. See the full review >>

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Hangin’ ’round the mistletoe may have been a fine pastime in holiday seasons of yore, but these days, a dark bar with dark corners or a trendy nightspot makes a much more exciting locale for a stolen kiss. Celebrities have been spotted canoodling at hot hotel establishments all over the country, so those looking for a hip, modern locale to engage in a little good old-fashioned necking, take note.

Cameron and Diddy were spotted making out at the trendy PH-D nightclub this December. PHOTO by: Erik Jordan/startraksphoto.com (left). PHOTO by: KYLE ROVER/startraksphoto.com (right).

Cameron and Diddy were spotted making out at the trendy PH-D nightclub this December. PHOTO by: Erik Jordan/startraksphoto.com (left). PHOTO by: KYLE ROVER/startraksphoto.com (right).

PH-D at the Dream Downtown, New York City

Cameron Diaz and Diddy were spotted making out this December at Dream Downtown’s rooftop lounge PH-D. It’s not the first time these two have been spotted locking lips, but it’s the first time they’ve been spotted here. The amazing city views and rockin’ sound system must have helped set the mood. Read More »

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It’s chilly out there, and sometimes there’s nothing better than curling up with a cup of hot cocoa and a book — or even just the cocoa. But when you’re staying in a hotel, it can be tricky to find the perfect corner for dozing off reading. That’s where we come in — Oyster.com investigators have stayed at hundreds of hotels with libraries that run the gamut: everything from one-book “lending libraries” to luxurious library-themed bars to entire hotels devoted to the Dewey Decimal System. So pick a book (or turn on your Kindle) and check out our favorite hotel libraries below!

The Book Room at The Jefferson, Washington DC

The Book Room at The Jefferson, Washington DC

For the dignified historian: The Jefferson, Washington DC

After a massive renovation in 2009, this boutique hotel reopened, and regained its place among DC’s elite hotels. The staff went to great lengths to incorporate aspects of Thomas Jefferson’s life that are less known than his accomplishments as a statesman and an author. Jefferson the architect? The custom-made toile draperies in the rooms depict scenes from Monticello and other buildings he designed. Jefferson the book lover? Enter the lovely library, and peruse its impressive collection of vintage hardcovers (Writings of Thomas Paine, The Age of Voltaire, Encyclopaedia Americana). With the blazing fire, the velvet chairs, and the resulting romantic ambiance, any historian would feel right at home in this intimate, luxurious space.

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Foto Friday: Sea Breeze

by Zach on December 16, 2011

As Texas’ largest coastal city, it’s no wonder that activity in Corpus Christi revolves around the ocean. Blistering hot summers give way to exceptionally mild winters, bringing in travelers year-round to hit the beach or take advantage of incredible ocean views. This destination has plenty of kid-friendly hotel options, making it a great family getaway spot any time of year.

Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

Views abound at the Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay

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