May 2012

With views like this from the rooms, who needs to leave the hotel? We were lucky enough to visit one of the Cosmopolitan Suites at Noi Vitacura in Santiago, where we got to cozy up in this outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the Andes Mountains. We loved the view so much, we headed to the hotel’s rooftop pool for another relaxing dip looking out at the mountains.

The Cosmopolitan Suite at the Noi Vitacura

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Credit from left to right: Kyle Rover/startraksphoto.com; Michael Williams/startraksphoto.com; Kiera Fyles/startraksphoto.com

Celeb gossip is always buzzing — whether it be for a make-up, a break-up, a scandal, or a surprise, stars are making the headlines daily. And often their breaking news is in some ways linked to a hotel. That’s where we come in. Not only does Oyster have all the celeb news fit for print (and some that’s technically not — we’re a blog, after all!), but we have all the deets on where everything went down. Check out the latest celeb and hotel gossip after the jump.

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The Golden Gate Bridge is turning 75. Come celebrate!

The Golden Gate Bridge is turning 75. Visit SF and celebrate!

The Golden Gate Bridge, one of the world’s most recognizable structures and San Francisco’s icon par excellence, is turning 75 years old on May 27th! San Francisco is honoring its oldie with several different celebrations, including fireworks, tours, and photo exhibitions. Tens of thousands of locals and tourists are expected to flock to the city to mark this special occasion, so check out our favorite packages to jump on this weekend before they book up! »

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Sunset Viewpoint at the Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite

Sunset Viewpoint at the Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite

Evergreen Lodge is a 22-acre cabin resort surrounded by Stanislaus National Forest, about one mile from Yosemite National Park’s western border. The 90 cabins come in different sizes — some perfect for newlyweds, others great for a large family — and are rustic, cozy, and comfortable with large private decks. Techies beware: There are no phones or TVs in the cabins. It’s a great spot for nature lovers, though, who want to be disconnected from the world for a bit and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding pine trees instead. Guests looking for something active to do will find it too — there’s some equipment for rent on-site, such as mountain bikes and snowshoes, plus fly fishing, bocce ball, rafting, horseback riding, an outdoor pool, and two recreational halls filled with games, books, and arts & crafts materials. Check out more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»

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After the wedding, comes the honeymoon! A Wedding on the Beach at the Melia Caribe Tropical -- Dominican Republic

After the wedding comes the best part: the honeymoon! Here's a wedding we snapped in the D.R.

We truly believe the old saying “opposites attract.” I mean, check out all the oddball celebrity couples out there — on the surface, at least, they seem to have different opinions on everything. Travel included. Found yourself in a similar jam while planning your honeymoon?  Put the boxing gloves down — you needn’t argue anymore about where to go. Our comprehensive honeymoon guide features four hot spots with a little something for every kind of couple. Easy, right?  Now all you need to figure out on your own is where to live, how to raise your children, and with what frequency you visit the in-laws…

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Myrtle Beach sees its share of partiers each year, and these gal pals are no exception. The South Carolina hot-spot boasts 60 miles of beach, and nearly that much in bar space. Because of its long-standing (or rather, passing out), late-night partying reputation, we were surprised to see these vacationers awake during daylight hours. So this week we’re raising our glass to this spirited duo, who keeps the party going with a few mid-day cocktails at the Tiki Bar of the Sea Watch Resort. It’s five o’clock somewhere!

Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below!

The Tiki Bar at the Sea Watch Resort -- Myrtle Beach The Tiki Bar at the Sea Watch Resort — Myrtle Beach

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Image courtesy of Travel Channel

If you’ve been following our recaps on Oyster of Hotel Impossible, you know one thing for sure: We really love Anthony’s no-bullsh*t approach. But last night was a particularly touching episode for us to watch as not only did we get super emotional over the family-owned property, but Anthony did as well — he spent a whole night pouring over the hotel’s financials. And while burning the midnight oil, he discovered ways for the hotel to increase revenue dramatically while only dropping their prices slightly, with requisite beautification projects as well, natch. Check out our five favorite moments from last night’s episode after the jump!

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Dying to be under that palapa right about now.

Vitamin D does wonders for our health. Better known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because our bodies produce it from the sun’s rays, Vitamin D regulates blood pressure, reduces muscle tension, and prevents cancer and various other diseases. Luckily for us, some of our favorite spa hotels have just the the right treatments. Whether they boast ocean-side cabanas or secluded rooftop hot tubs, these outdoor spas really know how to make us feel good — all while we’re soaking up the sun, of course.

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Star Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park; New York, NY Star Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park; New York, NY

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Las Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn recently bought The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park’s Penthouse, which spans two floors and has an 800-square-foot closet, for $70 million.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Several Lower Manhattan hotels are looking to boost their weekend stays by offering free tickets for tourist cruise tours when booking a two-night stay.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Hilton San Francisco Union Square has decided to close the hotel fitness center and provide in-room equipment instead to cut costs.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas fired an employee for saying “bye bye” on the phone to a guest instead of “good bye”.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Kanye West booked an entire floor at The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel while on a romantic getaway with new girlfriend (and our fave reality starlet) Kim Kardashian.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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We’re experts on practically everything hotel-related here at Oyster, and exposing awful hotels is our forte. Recently, we went out of our way to to cover a part of the industry we hadn’t dared to explore yet: the seedy world of by-the-hour sex hotels. We went undercover at three spots: The Kew Motor Inn, busted in a police sting the week after our visit, for promoting prostitution; La Semana, known for its mentally unstable clientele; and The Liberty Inn, a cheesy love den with free porn and a vending machine full of lube. Although we’d done our research ahead of time, nothing could have prepared us for what we found. We arrived armed with a camera, tripod, and enough hand sanitizer to fill a heart-shaped whirlpool tub, and left with shocking photos, as well as the overwhelming desire to scrub clean our bodies — and memories — of all we’d experienced.

After the jump, we’ve compiled a list of the most noteworthy things we learned while out in the field.

If it has a surface, it can have a mirror! From The Kew Motor Inn, New York City

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