Beverly Hills

Kids may not fret about mortgages and car payments but they’ve still got plenty of reason to de-stress. There’s dating blues, red-marked math exams, bad selfies, embarrassing parents, Justin Bieber drama — and that’s just the short list! So why not treat them to a little time at the spa — just like Mom and Dad! Yes, there are plenty of hotels out there that cater not only to adults but also to tots who need a decompressing massage or a pick-me-up pedicure. Here are our six top picks for hotel spas where kiddies can come along.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Orlando

Nickelodeon Suites After your kid has been walking for hours around a hot Orlando theme park, those little feet could use a nice soak! But the Nick Suites‘ kid spa offers way more than just pedicures and polish. Young guests can do everything from getting ‘inked’ with airbrush tattoos to requesting funky hair braids and feather extensions. Aside from having a super cool spa, this property is also one of Orlando’s best options for families. The property’s 777 suites, all with kitchens or kitchenettes, are spacious and well-designed to sleep families. Bonus: the on-site water park is the perfect spot to show off those freshly-painted toes!


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During the summer, it’s almost impossible to stay indoors come happy hour. While the cooler months — spent with friends crowding in cozy bars and huddling by the fire — are fast approaching, there’s still time for some rooftop boozin’ — and fortunately, enjoying the sun and stars with a drink in hand is made easy at some of our favorite hotels. Offering stunning vistas and delicious cocktails, these rooftop bars are destinations unto to themselves in cities far and wide.

1. Refinery Rooftop at The Refinery Hotel, New York City 


The Refinery Hotel is a stylish urban boutique in New York‘s Garment District, located in a historic building that was once a tea salon and hat factory. The property’s past inspired its present industrial-chic design, and small details such as decorative milliner’s tools pay homage to the building’s former function. The property’s cool rooftop bar — aptly named Refinery Rooftop — offers gorgeous views of the Empire State Building and a rotating menu of seasonal cocktails designed by Alex Ott. Reservations are recommended at this swanky spot where DJs are known to perform on Thursday and Friday nights — but guests of the hotel may have a leg up on getting through the door.  Read More »


An old fable tells the tale of the city mouse and the country mouse (or the city oyster and the country oyster in our case — we know, it’s a bit of a stretch). The story ends with a precautionary warning: cities are crowded, dangerous, and unsavory. But, here at Oyster, we’ve never met a city we didn’t like! Though they may be a bit busier than the countryside, cities are hubs of history, culture, and entertainment. So we suggest you leave the quiet country behind and give the city a whirl. Here are eight megacities (cities with populations of over 10 million people) we can’t get enough of.

New York

new york

Some call it the Big Apple, others the “City That Never Sleeps,” but no matter its name, New York is truly one of the greatest cities in the world. With a population of nearly 24 million people, New York’s magnitude may at first seem daunting, but this city’s crowds are part of its splendor. The large population is incredibly diverse, which means visitors have access to every type of restaurant, bar, and entertainment venue imaginable. Amongst innumerable, unique neighborhoods, visitors will discover iconic skyscrapers, world class museums, fantastic shopping, and all around vibrancy.

Where to Stay: Mandarin Oriental, New York

The Mandarin Oriental is located just across the street from the lively Columbus Circle. With decadent, yet sleek ,decor and sweeping views of Central Park, the Mandarin Oriental is a wise choice for guests seeking a more modern twist on classic upscale choices like The Plaza or The Pierre.


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Beverly Hills Hotel-001The Beverly Hills Hotel — L.A.’s famed “pink palace” — has long been a celebrity hot spot, but those days are a changin.’ Celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres are boycotting the once beloved property, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, thanks to the severe sharia laws Brunei introduced last week which call for death by stoning for gay sex and adultery. Now Fox News reports that the Beverly Hills City Council is getting in on the action by pressuring Brunei to sever financial ties. Ultimately, though, neither the government nor L.A.’s movie stars can force the multibillionaire sultan to cooperate. We’ll be keeping an eye on how this progresses — looks like it’s already spelling very bad news for business at this 12-acre luxury property. []


Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton are ready to pop (both have June due dates), and the world has been mesmerized by their growing bellies and beautiful (and, um, innnnteresting) maternity fashion choices. And we know that once those bundles of joy arrive, they’ll be getting tons of attention — not only from the paps and fans, but also from their doting parents. So we did a little research to figure out just how Kim and Kate will spoil their spawn. We made a list of the five most over-the-top, kid-friendly hotel amenities out there that these celebrity (and royal) moms will definitely approve of — and will probably take advantage of during their many travels. If Kimbryo will love these kid-friendly amenities, so will you!

Tea Parties at The Carlyle, New York City

Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

It would be wise for newbie celebrity tots to take notes from Suri Cruise — after all, she is the most watched, and adored, celebrity offspring of all time. And back in 2007, when she was just 18 months old, Suri hosted an over-the-top Madeline-themed tea party in the iconic Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, complete with live musical accompaniments, tasty treats such as mac ‘n cheese and mini burgers, and about 25 guests. The event reportedly cost Katie and Tom a whopping $100,000. We’re sure the Kardashians and the royal family could also afford to throw such a lavish affair, but us mere mortals can enjoy tea in Bemelmans (where the walls are covered with Madeline illustrations) with our tots as well. The afternoon tea starts up again in October, and includes tea, hot chocolate, pastries, finger sandwiches, a pianist for sing-alongs, and Madeline books on-hand for reading, all for a reasonable prix-fixe price.

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Lights, camera, action: The Golden Globes take place Sunday in The Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom.

Roll out the red carpet: The 70th annual Golden Globes is kicking off this years’ awards season with a bang this Sunday, January 13th, at one of Oyster’s favorite hotels. The Beverly Hilton has played host to Hollywood’s favorite awards night since 1961 — and with good reason. This 569-room bastion of Hollywood glamour oozes luxury, but at prices that won’t bust the budgets of fans looking to sneak a peak at their favorite nominees (if they can snag a room, of course). And this year’s crop of acclaimed actors and actresses is seriously stalker-worthy. Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, Meryl Streep (obviously — the woman is still the leader in number of Golden Globes ever won), Steve Buscemi, and Zoey Deshanel are just a handful of the lucky few to garner praise from the Hollywood Foreign Press this time around.  And the show’s new hosts, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, seem ready to lead all of them through a night of celeb-studded hilarity — something tells us even the Dowager Countess won’t be able to suppress a smile at their antics.

And, thanks to Oyster, you might be able to get in on the laughs as well. Whether you’re looking to crash a pre-party awards campaign à la Weinstein & Co. or are dreaming about after-party shenanigans, we’ve got the low down on the best Beverly Hills hotels to rub shoulders with the stars. Check out the details here » 

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Hotel minibars have a bit of a naughty reputation. After all, they tempt and tease world-weary travelers with salty-sweet goodness at all hours of the day, and then come with a double-digit price tag to boot! But sometimes, the items up for grabs can at least provide guests with a moment of amusement. Some hotels feature rather surprising minibar offerings — we’re talking walking sticks and 24-karat gold vibrators. It’s enough to make guests pause in their perusal of the candy selection and say, “Wait, what?” We’ve come across some of the wackiest minibar items during our travels; here are some of our favorites:

Alexander Wang-Designed Condoms at the Thompson Beverly Hills 

Get your groove on at the Thompson Beverly Hills.

At the flashy Thompson Beverly Hills, spending the night with that special someone just got more fashionable. Designer Alexander Wang created special packaging for PROPER ATTIRE condoms, which are for sale at all Thomspon properties, as well as on the brand’s website. Couples pay $5.99 for a pack of three assorted (which include extra large, ultra-thin, and studded — oh my!) and proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood.  Read More »


This year, the Festival of Lights takes place from this Saturday (December 8th) through the 16th. Celebrations vary from the traditional — lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and giving gelt — to the more unique gatherings (skiing with the “Adventure Rabbi”, anyone?), but all are heartfelt, fun affairs that involve the whole family. Jews around the globe will be coming together over the next eight nights, and there are plenty of events for them to explore the world over. We’ve collected some of our favorites here, but no matter where you end up, here’s wishing you and yours a very Happy Hanukkah!

This holiday season, The Plaza is playing host to the world's largest menorah, in addition to other celebrated guests.

Visit the World’s Largest Menorah in New York City

Standing 32 feet tall and weighing two tons, New York City‘s menorah is the largest in the world. It stands on a piece of prime real estate, right in front of the iconic Plaza hotel on 5th Avenue, across the street from Central Park. Admission is free, and guests can stay to enjoy sufganiyot — holiday jelly donuts — and folk dancing after the lighting, which starts at 5:30 nightly (excluding the Sabbath). On December 8th, there will also be live music, singing, and dancing to kick off the holiday, as well as Hanukkah gelt for the children and hot latkes for everyone to enjoy.

Where to Stay: The Plaza

As NYC’s menorah is so conveniently located in front of The Plaza, why not stay at the iconic New York hotel? The century-old landmark has huge rooms, gold-plated bathroom fixtures, an exceptional spa, and 24-hour butler service. It’s definitely worth the splurge this holiday season.

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Hotels are notorious for placing ridiculous price hikes on minibar offerings. That bag of chips that looks so good after a long plane ride becomes a lot less appealing when it comes with a $9 price tag. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. From sex toy collections to custom chocolates, hotel minibars are becoming more and more exorbitant every day. Here’s a list of some of the priciest minibar offerings in hotel history. Prepare yourself for some serious sticker-shock!

$400 Pleasure Pack at The Drake Hotel, Toronto

And with peek-a-boo showers, do you really need that $400 pleasure pack?

This funky boutique hotel in Toronto’s newly gentrified Art and Design District is full of unique, modern elements that attract a hip crowd — as does the hot nightclub on-site. But even these riotous visitors might balk at the $400 price tag on one of the hotel’s in-room pleasure packages. The Lap of Luxury set includes a black silk scarf and a 24-karat-gold waterproof vibrator for some serious (and seriously luxurious) sexy time. Batteries are included, so that’s something.

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While there are plenty of luxurious hotels out there, some hotels take luxury to a whole other level (which means prices on a whole new level, too). But when you really need to unwind away from home, there’s no better way to indulge than heading to a luxe hotel with an equally luxe spa for some much-need pampering. Whether they’re offering oils of gold, creams of caviar, or bathtubs of wine, these hotel spas aren’t shy about offering their guests the royal treatment – and charging them royally, too.

Treatment: Evian Bath for $5,000

Spa: Spa V at Hotel Victor, South Beach

Hotel Victor pampers guests with the finest bath water in South Beach

Not many of the treatments at Hotel Victor in South Beach come cheap, but the Evian bath is particularly pricey. The bath, consisting of 1,000 bottles of the French mineral water, is only available to guests of the $10,000 per night penthouse suite, and includes champagne, dessert, and an additional treatment of choice for two.

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