“This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…” Yesterday, our favorite astrological free spirits started celebrating their 2013 birthdays, and we couldn’t be happier for them. Possessing a deep social conscience, Aquarians are humanitarian, philanthropic, and dedicated to making the world a better place. And they do so with flair. Known for their wildly inventive and creative ideas, Aquarians can also be temperamental and flighty if you don’t encourage their quirk. Luckily, Oyster has stayed at some of the best off-beat, hippie-chic retreats for fostering the unpredictable and artistic notions of the Water Bearers in your life. So get your sketchpads ready, it’s time to take these rebellious visionaries on a one-of-a-kind vacation.
Korakia Pensione brings a bit of the Mediterranean to Palm Springs.
Korakia Pensione is a striking hotel in Palm Springs. Modeled after a Mediterranean pensione, it looks like something out of Greece or Morocco, and Aquarians are sure to relish in its exotic, eclectic vibe. Aquarians are also notorious flirts (what with all of that passionate, creative energy roiling around inside them), so they’ll definitely appreciate that Korakia was named one of Forbes’ sexiest hotels in America. The two Korakia Pensione pools and many outdoor spaces – including fire pits, fountains, and stone paths — are all beautiful and unexpected. And the hotel plays old movies every night outside on the terrace. The rooms are named, not numbered, and each is slightly different, but all have an old-world, whimsical feel.
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Better this than a concrete wall, huh?
No one likes to work out in a depressing basement with stuffy air and no natural light, but sometimes travelers have to take what they can get. After all, many hotel fitness centers feel like afterthoughts, with a few rusty machines crammed into a sad little rooms in forgotten corner of the hotels. But some hotels go above and beyond to provide an appealing space for travelers to work out, with large windows overlooking the city, the mountains, or the beach! Check out our 12 favorite hotel fitness centers with awesome views — and don’t forget to pack your workout clothes!
Mechanical bull in the gym? Now there's a workout we can stick to!
We just recently got back from Austin City Limits Music Festival, and we already want to go back! Not only is Austin the capital of the Lone Star State, but it’s pretty much the capital of cool. With a vibrant arts culture, “live music capital of the world” status, and an active, outdoorsy scene, Austin’s pretty darn hip. And for visitors of the Silicon Hills, there’s plenty to do both around the city and in the comfort of their hotels so it’s no wonder that Austin’s hotels boast amenities that pack a pretty cool punch. Check ‘em out!
The Lake View Room at the Four Seasons Austin looks appropriate for a little "lift," don't you think?
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Four Seasons Hotel Austin is now offering a package that includes Botox injections for just an extra $50 at the hotel’s new on-site cosmetic surgery center.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Aqua Hotel and Resorts group in Hawaii – such as Aqua Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head — are offering a ten percent discount on room rates to guests who wear flip flops when checking in.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Standard New York now has a designated employee who sells fresh eggs from hotelier Andre Balazs’s farm, located in upstate New.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? All of the Starwood properties in the Middle East will offer free packaged meals at sundown to anyone who is currently fasting for Ramadan.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The James Chicago is now offering private, in-room mixology lessons with a professional bartender.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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The U.S. is known for being ahead of the curve in a lot of things (we’re still feeling a bit patriotic after all of Wednesday’s activities), and that includes making music. Paving the way for the rest of the world – from bluegrass to hip-hop, country to surf rock – cities around the country are famous for putting new music on the map. If you’re music junkies like we are, visit our five favorite U.S. spots to hear live music in a variety of venues — and of course, we’ve included our picks for hotels to stay in once the music’s over.
The City: Los Angeles
L.A. has long been a hub for musicians and mainstay venues on the musical scene are still hot destinations for touring bands, especially those looking to be discovered. In recent years, an influx of young creatives has brought on a whole new age of music that’s less starry-eyed and more visceral.
Hollywood Bowl; Credit: Flickr by Margaret Napier
Where To Hear It:
Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, The Hollywood Bowl is an iconic music venue known for its large outdoor amphitheater and BYOB wine and food policy, which creates a one-of-a-kind atmosphere for viewing big ticket acts such as Animal Collective and The National. On the other side of the spectrum, Hotel Cafe is a dimly lit, intimate space showcasing up-and-coming talent, leaning towards promoting female singer-songwriters like Meiko.
The Pool at The Orlando
Where to Sleep: The Orlando – West Hollywood
Nobody walks in L.A. – except on the rare stretch of street where this cheap but chic hotel is located. Besides prime location, The Orlando offers free Wi-Fi (helpful in planning your nightly outings), two saunas and a pool for post-music show recharging. Plus, it’s pet-friendly for those divas who won’t leave home without their dog. A short drive from Sunset Boulevard, where many of L.A.’s famous venues reside, and well placed for offshoots to hip neighborhoods such as Silver Lake and Echo Park, this hotel is a music lover’s dream.
Attention hipsters-at-heart: You too are running out of time to plan your vacation. Okay, so the summer just officially started, but hotels are booking up fast, festival ticket booths are hanging the “Sold Out” banners, and flights are getting more expensive. So if all you’re looking forward to is to
having an excuse for growing a mustache, getting a tattoo, spending a few days eating organic, locally grown food, drinking coffee and biking around, check out our 5 top picks for a real hipster vacation and start packing. Tip: skinny jeans for him, cut-outs jeans for her, sunglasses, and an instrument required.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY
Hipsters started flocking to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in the early 2000’s, and in just a few years the area has become the ultimate boho-chic spot. As housing prices soared in the area due to its popularity, hipsters started moving to more affordable yet equally cool neighborhoods in Brooklyn, such as Greenpoint and Bushwick, and spreading the lifestyle. There’s now a bunch of farmer’s markets, hundreds of cool bars, and dozens of organic restaurants all around the borough. However, Williamsburg is still the place to catch a show at one of its hundreds of venues (ranging from small holes in the wall –check out Pete’s Candy Store–, to larger spaces like Brooklyn Bowl), get a drink, or even get a haircut (an expensive one, that is) in an old garage that doubles as a trendy tattoo parlor. Round up the experience with a trip to beautiful Carroll Gardens, family-friendly Park Slope, and even up-and-coming Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods.
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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.
Houston has just about everything Texans could want right at their fingertips. The Lonestar State’s biggest city also has some of the biggest attractions including the famed Museum and Theater districts as well as NASA’s Johnson Space Center (as in, “Houston, we have a problem”). But one of Space City’s greatest assets is its mere proximity to some of the other most unique and cultured cities. So saddle up for a true taste of Texas goodness, from beaches and rock ‘n roll; from water parks to oil rigs. Let’s hit the road!
Road Trip #1: Houston to Corpus Christi, TX
Corpus Christi is the best beachside locale in Texas.
- Total Driving Time: 3 hours, 51 minutes
- Distance Covered: 222 miles
- Take This Trip If: You need a much-needed day at the beach.
The rooftop restaurant at the Omni Corpus Christi lets us enjoy miles of the Gulf.
The fishing dock at the Lighthouse Inn is perfect for enjoy the Gulf of Mexico.
Sitting pretty on the Gulf of Mexico’s crystal blue coast, Corpus Christi really does live up to its “sparkling city by the sea” nickname. With more than 131 miles of beaches, the city’s main shores of Corpus Christi and McGee beaches draw large summer crowds. The city’s sand helped earn Corpus Christi a “Best Restored Beach “award from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association last year, one of only seven cities in the nation to receive the honor. For some of the best views of the beach, the waterfront Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay can’t be beat, especially when looking out from on-site fishing dock and private balconies with rocking chairs. And a slightly more affordable option is the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel Bayfront Tower. The hotel also has incredible views from the rooftop lounge, and is within walking distance of many other downtown attractions.
- Top Driving Tip: Weedhaven was once a tiny bustling village settled by wealthy businessman J.F. Weed, about halfway between the two cities. His store, cafe, and inn may have closed, but the Wild West remains of Weedhaven make it a popular roadside stop along the route.
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Credit: Duncan Walker/iStockPhoto.com
Come on, you know it: We all have a secret soft spot for those kitschy red, white and blue decorations folks tend to resurface during the summer — especially around July 4th. But while we give a wink to plastic flags, what we truly love is some rustic, genuine American décor; from pieces that look straight out of Betsy Ross’s Philadelphia home to more desert-inspired styles reminiscent of the Westward Expansion. And hotels across the country are happy to oblige to these decor styles year round. Since Independence day is on the horizon, enjoy our favorite spots for all the plaid, wood and warmth that typical American décor is so famous for.
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Only in Texas could you walk into a hotel fitness center and see a genuine cowhide mechanical bull casually placed between the elliptical machines and the free weights. Along with our new friend Brutus the Bull, the Travaasa Austin also offers two-step dance classes and a Road-Rules-style challenge course in an effort to give guests the Lone Star experience. If only the hotel came with a saloon full of cowboys, we’d be all set for summer.
Brutus at the Fitness Center at the Travaasa Austin
Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below!
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Texas may be the second largest state in the Union, but all of its residents seem to agree on at least one thing — there’s nothing better than kicking off your boots and enjoying some downtime in the Lonestar State. So we’ve traveled all over the state — and found some spots perfect for rest and relaxation. After all, when in
Rome Texas! From Dallas to Corpus Christi, there’s a chill place calling your name. But we couldn’t help but start with Austin in honor of the (dreamy) Matthew McConaughey’s nuptials. After all, he is the *king* of chilling out.
Grounds at the Lake Austin Spa Resort
Why we love it: Though it looks like McConaughey had no trouble chilling in a hammock pre-ceremony, we’re thinking his guests could have preferred a stay at the romantic Lake Austin Spa Resort — rather than the tents the film star set up for them in his backyard. This waterside retreat, along the shores of Lake Austin, is more than a spa resort — with kayaking, canyon hikes, yoga and “discovery programs,” Lake Austin Spa Resort is a true wellness destination. But if you’re looking to kick back, there’s no better spot than the lush, lakeside grounds. Pick a grassy spot in the shade or head down to the water’s edge for some peace and quiet.
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