Amsterdam

Ballnahinch Castle, one of Ireland's most beautiful historic stays, has played host to Pirate Queens, members of Parliament, and an Indian Maharaja.

Europe’s rich history is alive and well at these amazing hotels. Seeming to appear straight out of the history books, these castles, palaces, and monasteries have been the host to some of our world’s most interesting — and sometimes notorious — affairs. Pirate Queens, famous authors, scheming politicians, and celebrities of days past and present have walked through these corridors — and now you can, too, just by clicking through our slideshow.

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The exterior of the Lloyd Hotel; Amsterdam

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Amsterdam’s Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy once operated as a Nazi-run jail during the German occupation.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? American travelers admit that the hotel items they are most likely to steal are pieces of furniture like lamps and artwork.  (Ed. note: Not including toiletries because, come on.)

3.  FACT OR FAKEOUT?  Treasure Island and New York New York in Las Vegas are testing a digital lost and found database where guests can search for misplaced items online.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Playboy hotelier Vikram Chatwal had his rehab-bound friend Lindsey Lohan escorted out of the Dream Downtown after the two were seen fighting at Cherry restaurant.

5.  FACT OR FAKEOUT? Kimpton hotels — including properties like Hotel Manoco and Hotel Rogue — are getting physical with their new fitness-inspired room service, where guests can have their in-room yoga mats rolled out for them at no additional charge.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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April 20th is a special day for many. More popularly known as “4/20,” this Saturday marks an annual hash bash dating back more than 40 years,  during which stoners the world over will gather to light up their green like it’s Christmas in springtime. And Oyster wants to know which cannabis epicenter you’d rather chill out in: Amsterdam or Jamaica. One is a laid back tropical locale miles from the noise and stress of the big city, while the other is an herb-loving historical capital in one of Europe’s most alluring settings. So which would you rather toke in — or just plain visit? Take a look at the options below and then enter your answer in the comments section.

Option 1: Jammin’ in Jamaica

Catcha A Falling Star AND some chill vibes in Jamaica

While marijuana may not technically be legal in Jamaica, possession laws are as notoriously lax as the island itself. And one of the best places to chill out (with or without your stash!) is at Catcha Falling Star Resort, a gorgeous cliffside boutique with a laid back attitude and private bungalow huts. The resort has a minimum age requirement, keeping with the calming vibes, and amazing ocean views abound throughout the property. It’s a perfect high-times oasis.

Option 2: Getting Weird in Amsterdam

Hotel Pulitzer is a great place to get your smoke on in Amsterdam

Amsterdam makes a great toking ground for the more metropolitan smoker. The city has tons of historical landmarks, and is one of Europe’s most popular spring destinations thanks to some other plants — its lovely tulips. For 4/20 visitors, Hotel Pulitzer is one of the swankiest hotels in the centrally located Canal Ring neighborhood. The hotel has a gorgeous garden for finding your Zen, and a great on-site restaurant or 24-hour room service for all of your munching needs.

 

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The St. James's Hotel and Club is a top choice for business travelers in London.

Europe’s bustling capital cities always attract the suit-and-tie set, and the continent’s best business hotels cater to these travelers with great service, special features, and around-the-clock amenities. Whether you’re ironing out the details of a high stakes merger or need to be connected to all four corners of the globe at once, these impressive properties are equipped to help with your every need. Sealing the deal in Europe‘s capital cities has never been easier than at these top business hotels:

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Ah, springtime! While we celebrate the warmer months all around the globe, they are particularly welcome when they come to chillier (read: freezing) spots such as Amsterdam. Visitors may shy away from this Eastern European beauty during the winter, but the tourists return in droves come April, when the sun, colorful flowers, and outdoor markets reappear. Just strolling along the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam is a wonderful way to spend a day, but we’ve got five activities you can’t miss during your springtime trip this year. And of course, where to stay nearby.

Walk through beautiful gardens

Amsterdam's colorful tulips are a main attraction during the warmer months.

Come April, Amsterdam’s streets are lined with flower stands selling colorful tulips, the official country flower of Holland. Tulips can be seen sprouting up just about everywhere throughout the city, but the Keukenhof Gardens and Tulips Fields is the most popular place to enjoy them. The largest flower gardens in the world, it is home to over seven million flowers, and not just tulips — daffodils, hyacinths, amaryllis, and crocus are also there to be admired.

Where to Stay: A bit east of the city center, the Keukenhof Gardens are about a 30-minute drive from the majority of Amsterdam’s hotels. For those visiting the gardens, and other major attractions along the way, the Conscious Hotel Vondelpark is a solid mid-range option that will particularly appeal to tree-huggers: The hotel features a vibrant plant wall as well as furniture made from recycled and sustainable materials.
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We’ve all fantasized about a month-long trip to Europe — but the time to fulfill this dream is not always easy to come by. Fortunately, a ton of time isn’t necessarily required if you want to explore the other side of the pond. With just a few days, you can visit numerous areas of the continent and hit up top destinations, and there are a few attractions you just can’t miss. We’ve picked one in each of Europe’s most popular cities, and paired it with a nearby hotel so you can get the most out of your flash trip. These nine sights are all must-sees — don’t miss out!

Must-See #1: Tower Bridge, London

The Tower Bridge was designed by Sir Horace Jones in 1884.

The Tower Bridge was designed by Sir Horace Jones in 1884.

Some of you might say, “What about Big Ben (excuse us, the “Elizabeth Tower”)? And the British Museum?” Well, yes, those are top spots of course, but if there is one place that makes London recognizable, it is the Tower Bridge. Built in the late 19th century and painted blue in 1977 for Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee, the bridge is crossed on foot, bike, car and double-decker bus by thousands of Londoners and visitors daily, making it one of the most visited places in all of London. On a rainy day, you can get great views of the bridge from the glass-enclosed City Hall, and on a sunny day, head to the Tower of London for the best vistas.

Stay: Apex City of London Hotel

Spacious rooms have warm lighting and free Wi-Fi.

Spacious rooms have warm lighting and free Wi-Fi.

The Apex City of London Hotel is a contemporary, mid-size chain property located just a 3-minute walk to the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, and the tube. All 179 rooms have warm lighting, big flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and bathrooms with separate soaking tubs and walk-in showers. The sleek interior design continues in the lobby and in Addendum Restaurant, which serves seasonal fare and has outdoor seating. Small touches (such as a rubber ducky for the tub) make this property feel like more than a typical chain hotel.

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During our travels around the globe, we have stayed in some pretty gorgeous rooms. But a beautiful room means nothing if it looks out at a brick wall. On the other hand, a drab room can be seriously lightened up by an amazing view. So we rounded the 10 best hotel room views we’ve ever seen.

 

Hotel Duquesne Eiffel, Paris

Hotel Duquesne Eiffel

Hotel Duquesne is a comfortable 34-room hotel in the 7th Arrondissement within walking distance to Left Bank tourist sites, such as the Musee d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. Some rooms even boast exceptional views of the iconic structure, built in 1889 by on the occasion of the World’s Fair in Paris.

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Sometimes our hotels just get us. They know how we like the sheets, take our coffee, and want to wake up to a newspaper at our door. But with so many hotels across the globe to choose from, it can be hard to find just the right one. Luckily we’ve got everyone covered, from financiers to fashionistas. Here are our choices for the best hotels for every (well, almost) profession.

 

For Politicians: ONE UN New York, New York City 

The view from ONE UN New York would excite any government worker.

A top choice among UN diplomats, the ONE UN New York sits right across the street from the UN headquarters in New York City. The hotel boasts an indoor Har-Tru tennis court (after all, politicians love their back and forth), tasty (and schmooze-worthy) breakfast at Ambassador Grill, and the private Skyline Club, with stunning city views, snacks, and cocktails. But really, with a location steps away from the world’s most powerful decision-makers, politicians can’t really ask for more. Read More »

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Have you been waiting patiently for your favorite hotel to get Oyster’d? We understand, we do. And we’re trotting the globe as fast as we possibly can to bring you more destinations and hotels every day. We investigate every single hotel in person, and that takes time, but we think the results are worth it. Take a look at our newest additions from California, Amsterdam, New Orleans, and Toronto!

Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam

Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam

Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam

The Conservatorium Hotel delivers a true five-pearl experience in Amsterdam’s residential Museum Quarter. It’s housed in a 100-year-old former bank building, and the hotel’s warm, modern design melds seamlessly with the structure; the stunning atrium lobby, for example, is industrial-chic, featuring wood, brick, and glass. The rooms are decorated in earthy neutrals and every detail was considered, from the placement of the electrical outlets to the reading lights by the bed to the high-tech controls for the lighting and blinds; some rooms have duplex layouts and exposed structural beams. Bathrooms are gorgeous, with rainfall showerheads, stone tile, LCD mirror TVs and micro cotton towels. The big, modern fitness center, stylish indoor pool, and lovely spa, all located below ground, are highlights. It’s a premier choice for luxury travelers looking to trade a central location for added space and quiet.

 

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Are you on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list this year? We’ve seen a lot of good and bad behaviors during our travels over the last year — and maybe dabbled in both as well! So we know every dirty little secret, or shiny gold star, that you’ve been part-and-parcel to on vacation. But if you’re not sure where you stand in Santa’s twinkling eyes, we’re here to help. You can find out whether your favorite hotel amenities will get your stockings stuffed full of goodies or weighed down by coal this holiday season with our quiz. So check out which list you’re on!

The Naughty List: 

1. Have you stripped down?

Clothing optional resorts like the Desire Riviera Maya can see some X-rated action.

For some travelers, itsy bitsy bikinis or revealing Speedos just don’t cut it — a vacation isn’t a vacation without a little nudity. Luckily for them, some hotels are redefining casual dress with policies that let guests bare it all (or almost all), like the couples-only, clothing-optional Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya. A little voyeurism never hurt anyone — but don’t be surprised if your nude antics land you on the naughty list this winter.

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