Atlantic City

If the upcoming holiday season is already stressing you out, a) we’re glad we’re not the only ones and b) we’ve got just the thing to make that anxiety melt away: A spa weekend with no relatives allowed. Before you stuff the turkey or fill the stockings, book a little you-time with a Swedish massage and maybe even an herbal facial add-on. After all, your entire Christmas bonus doesn’t have to go towards the kids — you’ve been good this year, too! Check out a few of our favorite stateside spas for holiday de-stressing — and then buckle-up for your in-laws’ visit!

Spa: Viceroy Miami

Viceroy Miami The stunning design of the Viceroy Miami will make you forget all about holiday stress.

Phillipe Starck was the design mastermind behind the stunning Viceroy Miami spa, a 28,000-square-foot space featuring 10 treatment rooms, redwood saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms, and a media screening room. The spa also boasts a beautiful water lounge with white marble floors, three whirlpools, a shallow foot-deep reflecting pool, white furniture (some of it in the pool), and floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

Oyster’s Treatment Pick: The Red Island Body Ritual, inspired by the island of Madagascar (we love anything exotic and travel-related!), which promises to “treat your entire body to a holiday of relaxation and hydration.” Now that’s the kind of holiday we had in mind. Read More »

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Summer is (unofficially) here, and tons of travelers will be heading coast to coast to visit some of the most iconic city spots in the country. From the Brooklyn Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge, from the Santa Monica Pier to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, we’ll give you the dish on our favorite landmarks (and hotels!) along the way. So grab your cameras and fill up on gas, we’ve got plenty of great photo-ops ahead!

Visit: The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City

The Brooklyn Bridge turned 130 years old this month.

New York is filled with plenty of must-see attractions, but this year it’s all about the Brooklyn Bridge. The iconic structure has appeared in countless movies, TV shows, and books, and this May it celebrated its 130th birthday. Once the longest suspension bridges in the world, this National Historic Landmark stands as a modern wonder of engineering and architecture.

Stay: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

While most Manhattanites snicker at the thought of tourists staying in Brooklyn, this spacious Marriott is conveniently located a few blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as within walking distance of nine subway lines that lead right through the heart of the city. Read More »

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When you go on vacation, you’re trying to escape the everyday chores of home — and that includes cooking. But cooking can actually be fun, especially if you have a master chef offering instructions. Plus, the best part of going to a cooking class? You don’t have to do the cleanup! Check out awesome hotels across the States (and one in Berlin because, well, why not?!) that offer on-site cooking lessons.

Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah

700 Kitchen Cooking School at the Mansion on Forsyth Park

Savannah, where chefs such as Paula Deen got their starts, is arguably the food capital of the South. One of the city’s top luxury hotels, the Mansion on Forsyth also boasts one of the city’s top attractions: It’s on-site cooking classes at the 700 Kitchen Cooking School. In classes of no more than fifteen students, the hotel’s culinary director, Chef Darin Sehnert, teaches everyone from novices to (at least self-proclaimed) experts. Though different classes focus on a variety of cuisines, such as Italian and Caribbean, the most popular are the Low Country cuisine classes, where menus include delectable delights such as Low Country crab stew, angel biscuits, and green tomato cobbler. Classes are available for lunch and dinner; most last three hours and cost $100/person.

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Happy St. Patty's Day!

Image by Yuri Kuzin/iStock Photo.

Erin Go Bragh, everyone! (FYI: That means “Ireland Forever.”) With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you’re definitely in need of a watering hole to throw back a Guinness (or two, or three) this weekend — or at least an Irish pub to fill up on some Black & White pudding. We’re pretty excited about all the beef stew and Bailey’s we plan on imbibing on March 17th; if you still need a place to celebrate, try out one of these Irish pubs in a city near you. From the Emerald Isle itself all the way to the DR, we promise a good time — and at least a few Irish Car Bombs.
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When you have to take a gamble on your vacations, you better know what your odds are of hitting the jackpot. If the choice is between Las Vegas and Atlantic City, both are viable options for card sharks and those who want to play the slots. Sin City may be the epitome of a gambler’s paradise thanks to endless casinos and 24/7-nightlife, but Atlantic City rules the East Coast, with a more laid-back feel and an easy-to-get-to location. Whether you want to stroll the Strip or take to the boardwalk, these lucky locales each have a distinct approach to pleasing their clientele. So which would you choose? Take a look at the options below and then enter your answer in the comments section.

 Option 1: Getting Your Sin On in Las Vegas

Things can get a little crazy at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas

The MGM Grand is one of the Vegas’ most iconic hotels, sitting in the heart of the Strip, and offering not only dining from celeb chefs but also tons to do on-site before you head to the giant casino. The hotel even boasts one of the best pool scenes in the city at Wet Republic, and, after a recent major overhaul, the hotel got even more grand. Read More »

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Pool at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa; Atlantic City, NJ

Pool at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; Atlantic City, NJ

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has launched an in-room gambling program that allows guests to gamble through their TV sets.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Angelica Huston and Donna Karan were recently seen partying at The Surrey in New York until the wee hours.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The B Ocean Fort Lauderdale is offering several special promos for March 1st that include $13 rooms, breakfast buffets for $13 and two cocktails for $13, as the date will be palindrome (3/1/13).

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Peninsula Beverly Hills has an on-site Nutrition Adviser who works upon request with the hotel’s chefs to create healthy meals for each guest.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Comfort Hotel Grand Central in Oslo is housed in the city’s original train station, built in 1854.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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The lobby has numerous corners for lounging and chatting.

The newest hotel on Atlantic City’s boardwalk, Revel is a pristine luxury property with a smoke-free policy that helps keep its casino fresh and airy. The spacious rooms are top-notch: All feature ocean views from floor-to-ceiling windows, sexy bathrooms with double vanities and large showers, and tech-friendly amenities such as massive flat-screen TVs, remote-controlled lights and shades, free Wi-Fi, and even door sensors that let staff know when room service carts have been pushed into the hallway. The resort has everything that other luxury properties in Atlantic City offer, such as numerous celebrity chef-helmed restaurants, several nightclubs, a theater, a pool, and a beautiful spa, but Revel offers a more serene vibe. Plus, it has the celeb factor: Beyonce and Kanye West (who infamously announced Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy during a performance at the hotel), and even Michelle Obama, have all stayed here. Like at other resorts, however, the restaurants are overpriced and there are long lines at the nightclubs, but fist-pumping locals and visiting bachelor and bachelorette parties would argue that it’s worth the wait. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now »

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The iconic entrance to Caesars Palace

The iconic entrance to Caesars Palace

Caesars is one of the oldest properties in Atlantic City, but extensive renovations have kept it feeling like one of the newest. It’s situated along the boardwalk, steps from the beach and luxury shopping, and has a dramatic lobby with Roman-inspired columns and painted ceilings. Though some rooms are a bit dated, they offer a solid deal or guests can opt to stay in the slightly pricier Centurion and Ocean Towers, where rooms have sophisticated decor, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and spacious bathrooms. Upscale property amenities include an impressive spa, an adults-only rooftop pool with pretty views, and a plush stadium-seat theater for live shows. Tack on gourmet restaurants, a clean casino, and several nightlife options, and what you get is a dependable, upscale choice for adults (though families are certainly welcome). See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»

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The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.

Dubbed the “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia is famous for its rich revolution-era history, its architecture (modern landmark skyscrapers and historic brick buildings sit side-by-side), and its truly fanatic sports fans (the Phillies, Flyers, 76ers, and Eagles all play here). And although plenty of tourists flock here to taste a slice of Americana, Philadelphia’s residents may be eager to escape — even if just to another metropolis. So pack your bags, crank up the A/C, and hop in the car — we’ve got some miles to cover.

Road Trip #1: Philadelphia to Atlantic City, NJ

  • Total Driving Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes
  • Distance Covered: 61.9 miles
  • Take This Trip If: You’ve got cash to spend — and not a clue where to start spending it.

Casinos are arguably AC's biggest draw. (Pun intended.)

The (aptly-named) Water Club at the Borgata offers several serene indoor havens like this.

Resorts has an Art Deco vibe -- which we find to be very chic.

Unlike other Northeastern beach destinations like the Hamptons and Cape Cod, Atlantic City (located on the Jersey Shore) is described as the Las Vegas of the East Coast, and with bright flashing lights dotting the boardwalk, big events (concerts, boxing matches), big gambling options, and boozed-up visitors, it’s clear the reputation is deserved. During the warmer months, expect to see guests soaking up the sun beachside during the day, then mingling over chic cocktails or gambling during the evening. Make sure to stroll the boardwalk and pick up some salt-water taffy, too — the city’s most celebrated treat. Stay in a resort along the oceanfront boardwalk to be closest to the action, or in the marina if you’re looking to feel a bit more secluded. A fantastic luxury option is the Water Club at the Borgata, an 800-room modern and exclusive escape from the bustle of Atlantic City. Guests have access to the casino, restaurants, and nightlife of the attached Borgata Hotel — but have their own exclusive amenities, too, including five adults-only heated pools and the serene two-story Immersion spa. For those looking to spend more green on gambling than on room rates, check out the Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City, which has its very own “Roaring Twenties” vibe — thanks in large part to the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Rooms here lack modern amenities such as duvet covers and flat-screen TVs, but there is an indoor/outdoor pool, and nightlife options — including Prohibition, the city’s first gay club — which are all pretty solid.

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Summer’s in full swing — in fact, it’s scaring us how quickly it’s flying by. (Insert sadface emoticon here.) So what better way to enjoy your summer to the fullest — and deal with the reality of the approaching fall — than to visit a happening bar on the beach? Whether you’re stateside or sunning yourself in the balmy Caribbean, there’s a hotel beach bar with your name on it. So stick your toes in the sand and order up a strong one: These seven spots will have you feeling good in seconds flat.

Beach Bar at the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos, a Wymara Resort

Beach Bar at the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos, a Wymara Resort

Beach Bar at the Gansevoort Turks and Caicos

It doesn’t get much more beautiful than this. The beach bar at the Gansevoort is a casual spot largely used as a meet-up for lunch rather than a booze-fueled night. But of course guests can order up a margarita while enjoying fresh bites such as conch fritters and grilled red snapper tacos. Diners can munch under umbrellas on the deck, or take their meal directly to the sand with beachside waiter service. Fresh seafood, cocktails, attentive service, and unparalleled views of crystal clear water? You don’t have to twist our arm.

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