Beverly Hills

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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kimpton

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Grand Hotel Francais is one of five hotels in Paris that have initiated a “pay what you want” policy for guests.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Los Angeles District Attorney has dropped all charges against singer Ray J following his rampage at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel back in May.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Tweet that! Hotels — like Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Portland — — are beginning to reward guests who promote them on social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Earn points or in-room spa treatments simply by following your favorite hotel brands.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Hotel travelers are at their lowest-ever satisfaction rates, according to a study published Wednesday.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Following the sale of the W Fort Lauderdale to Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross, the hotel will feature a “Football Fanatics Package,” in which guests can have team jerseys, tickets, and memorabilia delivered to their rooms.

Check out answers after the jump!

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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. [FoxNews.com]

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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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The Viceroy Room at the Viceroy Santa Monica; Los Angeles, CA

The Viceroy Room at the Viceroy Santa Monica; Los Angeles, CA

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Viceroy Santa Monica has partnered with designer Marchesa to offer a $500,000 destination wedding package that includes a Marchesa bridal gown, a 12-setting Lenox china set, and 60 rooms for three nights. That will make for some happy wedding guests!

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Peninsula Beverly Hills is now offering those traveling with kids its own version of a modern Cinderella experience: rides on sleek motorcycle-drawn carriages.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas recently announced it will be closing its wedding chapel due to the shortage of couples willing to tie the knot in Sin City. The space will be turned into a sports bar.

4. FACT OF FAKEOUT? Jon Bon Jovi surprised JW Marriott Essex House New York guests with an unannounced appearance during the hotel’s formal reopening under the JW Marriott name.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York has rolled out a $14,999 Great Gatsby-themed package for couples that includes a custom-tailored shirt and suit from Bergdorf Goodman, a shagreen and onyx cuff from Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, and dinner at Jean-Georges.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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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 Junior Suite at the Pavillon de la Reine; Paris, France

The Junior Suite at the Pavillon de la Reine; Paris, France

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Pavillon de la Reine’s special Valentine’s Day package includes a padlock inscribed with the couples’ names that they can lock to Le Pont des Arts bridge.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac now offers free BMW rides to all its guests staying three or more nights.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski was seen dancing shirtless at the Wynn Las Vegas the night of the Super Bowl.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The most expensive spa treatment at The Beverly Hills Hotel’s spa is a 90-minute White Caviar Illuminating Facial that includes a cellular three-minute peel.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta has just started offering a guaranteed 24-hour stay, meaning guests don’t have to check out at 11 a.m. anymore and can enjoy the room for a full 24 hours.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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Lobby at The St. Regis Deer Valley; Park City, UT

Lobby at The St. Regis Deer Valley; Park City, UT

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Designer Jason Wu has created an exclusive handbag for The St. Regis Deer Valley, which can be purchased online along with dozens of other gifts given the property’s stamp of approval.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong offers its guests free use of USB modems during their trip, so that they can get on-the-go Internet access even outside the hotel.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Lindsay Lohan and her mom were turned down by several L.A. hotels before being allowed to book a room at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Sweet Surrender candy store at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas is now selling a $750 cupcake.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Affinia Manhattan will host the 3,200 dogs taking part in the 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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Executive Park View Junior Suite at the Baglioni Hotel London; London, UK

Executive Park View Junior Suite at the Baglioni Hotel London; London, UK

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT?  British Airways recently announced the “Big British Invite” promotion, which offers a free two-night stay at the ultra-luxe Baglioni Hotel London with the purchase of a round-trip ticket between the US and the UK.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Oprah Winfrey has bought a four-room, six-and-a-half-bath condo at the Montage Beverly Hills for $14 million. This will be her ninth residence, and her second home in California.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas will have to pay a $1 million fine as the result of employees accepting payments to supply prostitutes, cocaine and pain killers to undercover agents.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Faktum Hotels is a non-profit website that allows people to book a hotel room for the homeless living in Gothenburg, Sweden.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The W New York’s Detox for Retox package helps guests follow a juice cleanse program with a selection of juices and raw-food items delivered to their room.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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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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