January 2013

It’s that time of year again, when football fans gather around the big-screen to witness the greatest day in American sports. And this year, a lucky few (thousand) fans will make the trek down to New Orleans to see the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens face off in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Because we’re big fans of the Big Easy, we found the best places to stay on game day, no matter which team you’re rooting for — And we’re not about to say which side of the dome we’ll be sitting on!

Stay: The InterContinental New Orleans

Just down the block from the Superdome, this hotel gets fans close to the action.

You can’t get much closer to the action than the InterContinental New Orleans, just a two-minute drive from the Superdome. This Central Business District hotel not only boasts a great location for Super Bowlers, but also has a heated rooftop pool and a savvy concierge who can offer all the inside tips on navigating through the sure-to-be-packed. Read More »

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We're ready to dive in!

The 201-room Montage, located in the heart of upscale Beverly Hills, is elegant in every way, from the Spanish Colonial-inspired architecture to the spacious, sumptuous rooms to the perfectly manicured courtyard. But the highlight is the heated rooftop pool. Open 24 hours a day, it boasts comfy loungers, upscale cabanas, and nice views of Los Angeles. Plus, the adjacent Conservatory Grill offers sunbathers tasty bites such as quiche and fish tacos, as well as refreshing cocktails. So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Montage Beverly Hills.

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Las Vegas hotels are known for being over-the-top, and that includes everything from the casinos to the restaurants, from the pools to the ensuite bathrooms. Whether they’re larger than the average New York City apartment, or have gilded accents everywhere, Las Vegas bathrooms do not disappoint. Check out the most luxe bathrooms we’ve seen during our travels in Sin City.

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Most aquatic creatures have their preferences when it comes to taking to the waters. When we venture into to the great outdoors for an active vacation, we always have a tough time deciding whether to kick it  lakeside, or trek to the ocean. Yes, the salty ocean air is be refreshing, but it’s also pretty darn calming by the lake shore. So which would you choose? Take a look at the waterfront options below and then enter your answer in the comments section.

Option 1: Lake Placid Getaway

Many travelers prefer the calming waters of a lakeside retreat.

The secluded High Peaks Resort on Lake Mirror in Lake Placid is the perfect lakeside vacation, with the lush natural surroundings of the Adirondacks and great recreational activities offered on-site such as kayaking and paddle boating.  Read More »

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All the best (and weirdest!) photos on Oyster

Here at Oyster, we love the weird, the wacky, and the wonderful. Some of our favorite experiences on the road have been the unexpected sights we encounter, like exotic creatures, unfamiliar customs, and some pretty interesting fellow guests. Luckily for us (and you!), we get to share all of our craziest moments every week in a series we call Foto Friday: Caption This Photo! Here are some of our best (and weirdest!) moments, captioned for your entertainment. Enjoy!

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Sex hotels, it turns out, don’t have to be seedy. Some high-class establishments are offering day rates of late, and there’s even a website — dayuse-hotels.com — that keeps track of day rate hotels of every stripe. Which is perfectly innocent in and of itself, because businesspeople (or anyone, for that matter) may just want a quiet spot to get some work done or take a nap. And if another category of guest  – the well-heeled man or woman looking for a little afternoon delight – might take advantage…well, that’s not really our business, is it? Roadside motels aren’t for everyone, after all, and not every person looking for some daytime nooky is conducting a sleazy affair. So go ahead — take a look at our five favorite places in the international business capitals of New York City, Paris, and London for your next, er, power nap.

[Ed. note: If sleazy is more your style, dig in to our undercover reviews of the Kew Motor Inn, La Semana Inn, and the Liberty Inn. No judgement here!]

Hotel Indigo Chelsea New York, New York City

Day Rate: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., from $129

Hotel Indigo Chelsea New York

Hotel Indigo Chelsea New York

Opened in October 2009, this 122-room boutique in midtown Manhattan is a full-service hotel in miniature, with plush rooms, excellent views of midtown, a gym, a business center, an elegant restaurant and lounge, and a 19th-floor rooftop bar. Comfortable and well-equipped rooms are hard to beat, for the price — only those at the nearby Fashion 26 can compare.

 

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Wow. The grounds at La Tranquila are pristine and, well, tranquil.

La Tranquila wows at first sight: The lobby is huge and airy, with high ceilings and oversized furniture, and the pool complex is arguably one of the most stunning in the region. High-end rooms are all suites of one, two and three bedrooms, and feature sleek, sexy bathrooms with separate showers and deep soaking tubs, as well as large terraces with plunge pools and striking ocean views. The beach is long, sandy, and surrounded by nature, so guests have it to themselves. In terms of features, there’s little more than a Greg Norman golf course, a tiny fitness center with a few machines and a plunge pool, and a spa in the works, so this is a better pick for those who are looking to relax in the sun than for those who want to stay active. But for all the loungers out there, this is the spot to be in Riviera Nayarit. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now »

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April Yvonne; Photo Courtesy of Laurie Bracewell

The luxury Capella hotel brand, with properties in Los Cabos and Singapore, has landed in the nation’s capital. Capella DC‘s doors officially open in April, and the hotel is sure to exude the same elegance and glamour that the brand is known for. But this Capella will have something that the others do not — it’s own resident stylist. Yep, you read that correctly. Like some of our other favorite hotels with over-the-top (but truly awesome) services, the Capella hotel caters to it’s guests every need — even their fashion needs. Stylist April Yvonne, creator of MyDCStyle.com, will serve as the hotel’s resident stylist, assisting guests with shopping and styling during their visits. In the past, we’ve sat down with a nightlife concierge, a genealogy butler — even a pet psychic. So we couldn’t wait to have our very first chat with a resident stylist — not to mention the only one that we know of — and get all the scoop on what’s hot and what’s not. From packing tips to what puts D.C. on the fashion map, April answers all of our questions. Check out the interview after the jump!

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We’re all about a funky hotel or two, but there’s something to be said for the grand dames. They celebrate their storied histories and iconic statuses with classic, timeless decor — that’s almost always tres chic and just a bit over the top, dahhhling. And whenever you step into one of these hotels, you feel like you’re in the presence of greatness — at least, great decor and design.  So today we’re giving a photo tour of our favorite hotels that have that classically elegant (and dare we say, old money?) look down pat. From gilded pillars to floral patterns, from dainty tea sets to regal portraits, these hotels keep their spaces feeling timeless. Get inspired — and get the look!

The Fairmont San Francisco

Lobby at The Fairmont San Francisco

The Fairmont combines the amenitiestechnology, and corporate-dominated clientele of a large, modern property with the history, cachet, and decor of a turn-of-the-20th-century grand old dame. Upon entering the lobby, guests are wowed by the sweeping ceilings, gilded accents, intricate wrought ironing, and massive marble columns, under which guests can recline on plush velvet sofas in rich golds and browns. The overall effect is stunning, and exudes a glamorous 1920s vibe. Rooms, many with stunning views, are equally elegant with warm gold and green accents, antique mahogany furniture, and cozy beds.

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The Amee Farm, tucked into Vermont's Green Mountains, is a rustically elegant spot to say "I do."

With its warm, urban-chic vibe, Amee Farm isn’t a typical B&B. This 40-acre property nestled in the Green Mountains has just 15 rooms, its own organic garden, and interiors that look straight out of a design magazine. With a near-perfect combination of rustic, quaint, and stylish touches, rooms feature wide-planked hardwood floors, comfortable beds with white, and soft linens, and interesting antiques can be found throughout the hotel. Another perk here is the inviting wrap-around porch with Adirondack chairs for admiring the scenery. And if there’s one word that describes Vermont, it’s ‘scenic.’ Winding roads along rolling hills allow for wonderful vistas of tumbling streams, lovely villages and superb trails amid thick woods and state forests. All in all, the farm is truly one of the most luxurious and special hotels in Vermont.

Weddings at Amee Farm are elegant and unique, held in either the barn or throughout the property’s stunning grounds. The farm’s owners are extremely hands-on, working with couples to create a rustically-chic celebration, many of which last three days. The estate can host a tented event on the grounds or an indoor affair in one of six refurbished barns, renovated with modern conveniences while still maintaining the rustic ambiance. Weddings are fully customizable, with a dedicated on-site staff, including a wedding coordinator, ensuring that every detail runs seamlessly. Check out more wedding-inspired photos of the Amee Farm here »

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