The heated pool at the Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize is just on surprisingly luxe green amenity
We don’t mind sacrificing a little comfort during our travels if that means reducing our carbon footprint. But then again, not all eco-conscious hotels call for lights out and cold showers. The 10 hotels that make our list of those with the best eco-friendly perks aren’t all LEED-certified, but they still know that going green makes guests and Mother Earth happy. So here’s our salute to some great stays that are doing their part to reduce, reuse, and conserve with these awesome green amenities.
The Marriott Wailea Resort is a romantic honeymoon locale on Maui.
Honeymoons must be two things: romantic and memorable. Any old trip to the beach is just not going to suffice for a couple’s post-nuptial getaway. But thankfully, there are plenty of unique and luxurious properties out there for newlyweds. Remote jungle hideaways, cozy mountain lodges, luxe European grand dames, and gorgeous beachfront properties are waiting with a bottle of champagne at the ready to toast your “I dos.” These romantic hotels around the world are perfect honeymoon locales; go ahead and swoon over them in this slideshow.
Everyone knows that we here at Oyster.com love freebies. After all, we talk about them a lot — and we mean a lot. But when you’re shelling out hard-earned cash for your hotel room, it’s nice when the hotel recognizes that and throws in some perks “just because.” We’ve already gone through the freebies we love, and honestly kind of expect, but we’ve yet to go through all the freebies that really took us by surprise — and sometimes even made us laugh! Some you can bring home with you, some are just on loan, but all of these amenities are funky, looney, and downright fabulous.
Have fond memories of your childhood at Hotel Avante.
Get your mind out of the gutter. Those are not the kind of toys we are talking about — and we would definitely not be okay with them if they were on loan! Instead, Hotel Avante offers adult guests good old-fashioned toys in each room. Called “executive toy boxes,” they include toys such as Slinkys, yo-yos, Etch-a-Sketchs, and Rubik’s cubes, and are meant to be used as inspiration — or even just distractions — for business travelers burning the midnight oil. But if you’re a leisure traveler, we won’t tell — go ahead and have some fun!
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Easily one of the most beautiful hotels in the United States — if not the entire world — the Post Ranch Inn offers a romantic, intimate stay amid the gorgeous natural surrounding of Big Sur. An eco-sensitivity is palpable throughout the property, particularly in the rooms and at the award-winning spa. The treatment menu is exhaustive (in a good way, of course), aiming to help guests relax and get in touch with both the surrounding nature and, more importantly, themselves.
Shaman Jon Rasmussen at the Post Ranch Inn. Photo Credit: Gabriel Skvor.
To aid this rediscovery, the hotel offers a variety of shamanistic services — including illumination, soul retrieval, divination, and fire and drum ceremonies — from Jon Rasmussen. A full-time shaman, adviser, and author, Rasmussen has had very active dreams and out-of-body experiences, as well as several near-death experiences at an early age, which catalyzed his interests in spiritual teachings. He spoke with us recently about his life’s work and how the Post Ranch Inn plays into his practice. Check out our full interview with him after the jump » Read More »
As we’ve said before, a vacation just isn’t a vacation without delicious food and delicious views. And when you can have both together, well, that’s a match made in culinary heaven. Back in August, we gave you a peak at five hotel restaurants with scrumptious food set against amazing backdrops — and now we add eight more restaurants to that list. Dig in!
Lounge at the La Reunion Golf Resort & Residences
It doesn’t have to be fancy to have great views – and delicious food. This luxury golf resort in Guatemala is surrounded by four volcanoes, two of them being active. While the Sky Bar and the upscale restaurant also have views of the volcanoes, we love the laid-back, al fresco lounge, where diners can grab a burger and sip on a smoothie (the lounge’s specialty). During the weekends, the lounge often hosts Guatemalan buffets and barbecues.
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Love is in the air. After all, February is the month of love and Valentine’s Day is the day of love, so we can’t help but daydream about romantic getaways: Over-the-top luxury in Paris, quaint beachfront boutiques in Jamaica, sexy spots in New York City – they all mean romance to us. It may be a little late to be booking a romantic stay for this Valentine’s Day, but it’s never the wrong time to start planning your next romantic vacation à deux (especially if you’re in the doghouse for forgetting about today — this should help you out). Get inspired by our picks for the 10 most romantic hotels in the world, below or at USA Today.
This Eiffel Tower view is the perfect backdrop to a romantic night in.
You can’t think of romantic getaways and not consider Paris. The City of Love is full of romantic hotels, big and small, but Hotel Plaza Athenee outshines the others in setting the mood for couples. Nothing says romance like a view of the Eiffel Tower from your luxurious suite, and that’s just what you get at this iconic hotel. The 146 rooms and 45 suites are decorated in classic Art Deco style — picture draped curtains, gilded wall panels, and crystal chandeliers — with modern touches like flat-screen TVs and marble baths. And the top-notch Dior Institute spa features tons of couples’ treatments. Finish the day with a romantic meal at one of the six distinct restaurants.
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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
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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Ever dreamed of sleeping in a castle? Check out all 15 of Oyster's bucket list stays.
If you’re like most of us, you probably have a dream trip tucked in the back of your mind — the improbable fantasy hotel stay that will happen one day down the road when you have the time/money/etc. Maybe. But now that we’ve all survived the Mayan apocalypse and are busy working on New Year’s resolutions, Oyster has a resolution challenge for you that you probably won’t mind keeping. In 2013, don’t put off that trip you’re planning to do before you die any longer. Because if the Mayans taught us anything, it’s that we could be dead tomorrow, right? To help you take the plunge, we’ve compiled 15 incredible and utterly unique hotel stays that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Photo Credit: Humberto Carreno/startraksphoto.com
Last Saturday, the notoriously private Natalie Portman and her baby daddy Benjamin Millepied tied the knot in front of family and friends in Big Sur. While the ceremony took place at a private home overlooking the ocean, the party moved to the luxurious Ventana Inn & Spa for the reception, where the newlyweds and guests noshed on a vegan menu and danced the night away. No photos of the wedding have yet been released (except for a few grainy shots of the bride in her stunning Rodate gown) but we here at Oyster have gorgeous insider shots of the Ventana Inn. Check out where this celeb couple said “I do” and get inspired!
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Tucked into the picturesque redwood forests and sloping cliffs of Big Sur, the Ventana Inn & Spa‘s goal is to provide its guests with a holistic retreat free of stress — and it does just that. Guests can take on-site yoga classes, go on discovery walks, or simply snooze away in one of hotel’s many hammocks. If in need of more, shall we say, hands-on relaxation, the Ventana’s extensive spa, which features numerous treatment rooms, two Japanese baths, a sauna, and two pools (one of which is clothing optional), will surely do the trick. And so as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak in the goodness that is the Ventana Inn & Spa.
Talk about a view: The food isn't the only thing worth salivating over at the Ventana Inn & Spa's on-site restaurant.