February 2012

King Deluxe Room at Hotel Helix; Washington, D.C.

King Deluxe Room at Hotel Helix; Washington, D.C.

The Hotel Helix is an eccentric, unfussy boutique hotel (part of the Kimpton brand) in Washington, D.C. Neon lights and patent-leather furniture in the hotel’s restaurant channel the Jetsons while the spacious rooms feature vibrant colors, eclectic furniture, faux pop art, and large flat-screen TVs. Travelers tend to flock here for its reasonable price and freebies like in-room Wi-Fi and a nightly happy hour. Plus, the Helix has a serious affinity for animals: Staff members welcome pets by writing their names on a chalkboard in the lobby and leaving out bowls of food and water near the entrance. Families can reap the hotel’s benefits too, thanks to the kiddie, pint-size robes and in-room child safety kits. Although Hotel Helix is not particularly luxurious — the fitness center is tiny and there’s no pool –  its fun, funky style makes it a quality choice for those looking for some bang for their buck. Check out more amazing photos of the hotel after the jump or read the full review here>>

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You may have gotten over themed spots after your tenth birthday party (um, hello, Princess Tea Party Fest), but they’re actually great for some old-fashioned adult fun, too. Hotels across the world have fabulously themed bars that run the gamut from classy to trashy. So we’ve shuffled through the clutter to find the top 10 hotel bars that, despite (or because) of being themed, are super cool. Check out one of our favorites, Stables Bar in London below, and the rest of the cool, kitschy bars here.

Stables Bar at The Milestone Hotel; London, England

Stables Bar at The Milestone Hotel; London, England

Stables Bar at The Milestone Hotel; London, England

 

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WTF Wednesday: Caption This Photo

by Zach on February 22, 2012

The Oyster team appreciates modern design as much as the next guy. But when we saw some of the dining room decor in the Peninsula, one of our favorite hotels in Hong Kong, we have to admit we chuckled a little bit. Well, maybe a lot. Check out our caption after the jump, then add your own in the comments section below!

Felix at The Peninsula Hong Kong; Hong Kong, PRC

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The fashion set loves to travel, in case you didn’t know. Twice a year, editors, buyers and influencers traverse the globe (starting in New York and capping it off in Paris) eye-balling the latest looks from each city’s top designers for Fashion Week. But sometimes hotels can fall short in terms of their chicness. Thankfully, a handful of our favorite ready-to-wear designers (and a couturier, too) stepped up to the proverbial challenge and took their dressing skills to the next level by dressing entire hotel rooms (and in some cases, the entire darn thing). Check out our favorite fashion designers-turned-hotel decorators, and then tell us: Which is your fave fashionable hotel?

THE HOTEL: Tortuga Bay; Dominican Republic
THE DESIGNER: Oscar de la Renta

Two-Bedroom Suite at Tortuga Bay; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Two-Bedroom Suite at Tortuga Bay; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

What de la Renta is Known For: This Dominican-born designer has an affinity for ladylike looks — he dressed Jackie O back in the 1960s — and manifests it through the use of sumptuous textures, intricate detailing, and luxe fabrics. Today, his designs are spotted from the runway, on the red carpet, and on royalty.

What Tortuga Bay is Known For: The immaculate, 15-room hotel offers amazing service (including preferential treatment at Punta Cana Airport), an on-site nature reserve, several superb restaurants, and a world-class golf course. Need anything? Snap your fingers — a personal “Villa Manager” is available between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. But the designer’s touch really resonates most in the villas themselves: Spacious and airy, each one of them features a hardwood, four-poster bed that exudes glamour. A final nod to his Caribbean heritage — coral bathroom floors — add an extra splash of color and island vibe.

Check out more fashionable spots after the jump!

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We’ve been counting down the seconds to the 84th Academy Awards since the nominees were announced last month. And now that the big day is less than a week away, we’re beside ourselves with excitement. We can list off all the nominees — and even make a few well-educated predictions. But if you haven’t been as attentive to the details, no worries — we’ll give you the low-down. Not only will we tell you some of our favorite nominees, but more importantly, we’ll show you how to live like the characters or real-life actors in these Oscar-nominated films. Who wouldn’t want to live like George Clooney, right? Unless, of course, it’s George Clooney in The Descendants, with a wife in a coma and an unruly teenage daughter. Silver lining? He lived in Hawaii, so things must not have been all bad…

THE FILM: The Descendants

THE NOMINATIONS: Best Picture, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Directing (Alexander Payne), Best Film Editing

Dolphin Quest at The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

Dolphin Quest at The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

THE HOTEL: The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

The heart-warming and heart-wrenching film tells the story of Matt King, a successful Honolulu-based lawyer dealing with difficult family truths after his wife has fallen into a coma. So while you may not want to trade places with his character, the real-life Clooney leads an envy-worthy, glam life — he and the rest of the crew stayed at the luxurious Kahala Resort during filming. A celebrity retreat since 1964, the Kahala is one of the only quiet luxury options on Oahu, and offers amenities such as the renowned Dolphin Quest, a quiet, beautiful beach, and large rooms with enormous bathrooms.

Check out more Hollywood-approved hotels after the jump!

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Credit: Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

  • Linsanity has been taken to the tourism level: Two Taiwanese travel agents are offering Knicks tickets as part of group tours to the U.S. less than a month after Lin became New York’s (and basketball’s) favorite new wiz kid. Several groups are already sold out. [CNN.com]
  • A 28-year-old hotel clerk was arrested after surreptitiously videotaping a couple of honeymooners having sex in their hotel room in St. Paul, Minnesota. The employee was a registered sex offender, but we can’t explain why the couple decided St. Paul was the best choice for their post-nuptial vacation. [TwinCities.com]
  • China will get its first One & Only resort in 2014. The 180-room hotel in Senya, Hainan, will be the eighth property for the luxury chain that already has outposts in the Bahamas and Los Cabos. [Gadling.com]
  • The last 30% of the cabins on the second of the two Titanic Memorial Cruises are being sold at half price. The cruise leaves from New York on April 10 and will visit the site where the legendary ship sunk. [USAToday.com]
  • Justin Bieber surprised girlfriend Selena Gomez on Valentine’s Day with a night at The London NYC. The singer booked the 2,500-square-feet, $2,000/night London Penthouse. Jealous! [HotelChatter.com]

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Hipster culture is something that has been mocked since mainstream culture became aware of its rise during the 2000s. In fact, making fun of someone’s flannel shirt, skinny jeans, or preference of PBR has become so commonplace, it’s practically passé. But all of this attention hasn’t deterred the culture from working its way into hotels around the world. So put down your second-hand paperback, throw on your favorite vinyl record, and take a look at some of our favorite “hipster-style” hotel amenities.

The Ace Hotel and Swim ClubPalm Springs, CA

 

The Swim Club Pool at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club; Palm Springs, CA

The Ace Hotel and Swim Club has a way of wooing the residents of Silver Lake and Echo Park away from their Intelligentsia coffees for weekends in the desert. There’s an undeniable party vibe at the hotel: like its sister properties, weekends are host to music events (especially well known DJs), where the two pools become lined with chest tattoos and vintage sunglasses. Rooms have retro touches like radios, record players and vinyl. And even though the nearby Coachella music festival is way too mainstream to be considered a hipster party anymore, the bands that play it are just as likely to end up on a Gorilla vs. Bear post as anyone. Just make sure you don’t forget to hit up the photo booth in the lobby before you head back to LA.

Read about more so-cool-they’re-not-cool-but-still-ironic amenities after the jump. Read More »

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Monday Morning Ahhhh…

by Rachel on February 20, 2012

This week’s mini-vacation comes courtesy of Fowl Cay Resort in the Bahamas. This incredibly luxe hotel has sandy strips of private beach ripe for chilling. And just look at that sweetie’s face — who wouldn’t wanna lay a towel down and snuggle up with him? So, as we say on Mondays, sit down, take a deep breath, and Zen out with this amazing Oyster Shot.

The Beach at Fowl Cay Resort; Bahamas

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Foto Friday: The Royal Tenenbaums

by Zach on February 17, 2012

Our favorite Oyster Shot this week comes from the super-luxe Saint James Paris — the only chateau-style hotel in all of La Ville-Lumière, complete with manicured lawns and seriously elaborate decor. The garden (not to mention the entire home) kinda reminds us of one of our favorite Wes Anderson flicks, “The Royal Tenenbaums,” don’t you think? [Ed. note: If you haven't seen the movie, you're missing out. If you have and you didn't love it, watch it again.] Just like the loveable characters in the film, the over-the-top modern-regal vibes, combined with the characters’ melancholy, the scene is at once intellectual and relaxing. It’s perfect for curling up with a copy of Wildcat.

The Garden at the Saint James Paris; Paris, France

 

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Lobby at the Plaza Athenee; Paris, France

Lobby at the Hotel Plaza Athenee; Paris, France

The renowned luxury hotel, Plaza Atheneea part of the Dorchester Collection — is synonymous with Parisian elegance and good taste. Iconic red awnings and chestnut trees welcome guests to the historic setting, on the upscale Avenue Montaigne with direct views of the Eiffel Tower. It’s all about luxury — inside and out. The avenue is lined with high-end shops such as Christian Dior (guests have access to the Dior Institute for a full range of beauty and spa treatments), Prada, and Chanel. And inside, the 146 rooms and 45 suites feature modern touches like flat-screen TVs and marble baths. Plus, the Art Deco Suites were recently updated with state-of-the art bedside lamps designed to cure jet lag symptoms through soothing lights and sounds, and other suites are now hooked up with high-def music systems. With six distinct restaurants, a large fitness center, and a can’t-miss daily breakfast in a leafy garden, the Plaza Athenee doesn’t miss a beat. But it comes at a high price — and Wi-Fi isn’t even included in that cost. Check out more amazing photos of the hotel after the jump or read the full review here >>

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