Ahhh, there’s nothing like kicking back by the pool with a tasty drink and some fruit munchies. On a recent trip to Cancun, we even got to indulge in some poolside R&R at the Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort – with a little whimsy, thanks to their playful take on tropical refreshments.
Poolside lounging has never looked so good!
Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below!
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“Caribbean” and “all-inclusive” go together well. After all, the Caribbean is synonymous with snoozing on a rope hammock between two palm trees, not lifting a finger — and all-inclusive resorts allow you to do just that. In fact, with everything pre-paid and all amenities included, you don’t even have to open your wallet! We here at Oyster have seen dozens of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, and while it’s not easy to single just one out, we do have a list of our very favorites, from a secluded spot on gorgeous Turks and Caicos to an adults-only oasis in hopping Cancun, and from small boutiques with tons of character to sprawling resorts with every amenity imaginable. If you’re ready to get pampered, check out our top picks for the most luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, and start planning your trip!
World-renowned COMO Shambhala Spa is an upscale, tranquil spot with outstanding treatments.
Accessed via a 30-minute boat ride from Providenciales, this 1,000-acre all-inclusive resort on a private island is the definition of tranquility. With an incredible infinity-edge pool, world-renowned COMO Shambhala Spa, waterfront Balinese-style villas, doting service, and more than three miles of pristine beaches, it’s easily one of the most luxurious and romantic options in the Caribbean.
- Our favorite perk: Lotus Restaurant is located by the beautiful infinity-edge pool and features light Caribbean and Asian food, and stunning ocean views.
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While there are many great budget-friendly hotels in the Caribbean, the islands are also known for their luxury properties, where guests are treated to day trips aboard yachts, couples are offered massages in sumptuous spas, and rooms are twice the size of a New York apartment (although, we guess it’s not too hard to be). We’ve compiled a list of our favorite luxury hotels in the Caribbean so you can start planning what to do after your new year’s resolution of winning the lottery (that’s not a new year’s resolution, but, really, who hasn’t had that on the list for at least a decade?) comes true.
All guests have a butler on call 24/7 assigned to their room.
Bringing tranquility to otherwise-crowded Paradise Island, the 105-room Ocean Club’s personal butlers, beautiful pools (one for adults, one for families), restaurant from Jean-Georges, and access to Atlantis’s water park, casino, and other attractions make it one of the Caribbean’s best resorts.
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Trust us, we here at Oyster get it more than most people — going on vacation is freakin’ awesome. Vacations are all about fun, relaxation, and the “what happens here stays here” vibe, and when you’re on a vacay, it feels like nothing can get ya down. But some hotel websites go a little too far and market their properties by showing “guests” in absolutely euphoric (and unrealistic) states. To the point where we’re pretty sure that that kind of happy can only be reached if you’ve been dabbling in some recreational, er, “fun.” And depending on the destination, maybe you have been. But still, when we’re deciding where to stay for our winter getaway, we usually don’t base it on how happy the “guests” on the website seem to be. Nonetheless, those photos can be pretty entertaining so we rounded up some of our favorites — check ‘em out!
1. Happiest Feet on Earth
“We’re on vacation, it’s 6:30 A.M., and the kids are up and full of energy — fabulous! Sleep is overrated.” (Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta)
Photo from the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta website.
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The Ocean Crystal Wedding Chapel at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort
When it comes to destination weddings, the options can seem endless (and exhausting). Couples can choose to wed beachside or poolside, in the woods or atop a mountain. But sometimes sticking to tradition can be just the ticket, even if you are in an exotic locale. That’s why many hotels around the globe offers gorgeous chapels for nuptials. We picked some of our favorites for saying “I do,” so get the wedding marches ready: It’s time to walk down the aisles of our favorite hotel chapels.
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!
- “Single studmuffin” wants to hang with lots of ladies — and who can blame him!
With our Ask Oyster series, we highlight some of the most interesting questions we receive so that all of our fans can benefit from our expert advice. Have a burning travel question you’d like answered? Contact us and put “Ask Oyster” in the subject line.
I’m planning trips to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and would love your suggestions for adult-friendly, all-inclusive resorts. I’m looking for high-end resorts with an abundance of single ladies.
- Single Studmuffin
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In our new series, Oyster Stats, we’re sharing surprising tidbits on a range of topics using data we’ve accumulated from our hotel coverage and site traffic. Our goal is not to provide scientific data but to provide interesting directional insights about travel trends.
The presidential debates have everyone all hot and bothered, and understandably so. As Election Day nears, voters are left questioning their parties and searching for proof that the person they plan on voting for will be the best suited for the job. Well, we here at Oyster.com can’t guarantee that, but we have collected some interesting evidence that may have you looking at the election — and particularly your fellow voters — in a new light. Check out our findings below.
Finding: Swing state residents are swingers.
It may come as a surprise to you that those who live in the most indecisive states are also the most likely to decide to dabble in a swing-tastic lifestyle — or it may not. After all, the more options, the better! In our research, we found that a significantly larger percentage of Oyster.com viewers residing in the swing states were checking out hotels on our site that encourage open relationships — such as Desire Resort & Spa Los Cabos, Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya, and Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun – than viewers in the red and blue states. So okay fine, we understand that this may not mean that swing state residents are actually more likely to be swingers. But it at least means that they’re more likely to have it on their minds!
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The Pool at the W South Beach; Miami, FL
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The W South Beach has teamed up with Magellan Jets and is offering guests who book a VIP Suite at the hotel discounted rates when chartering flights with the private jet company.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Rihanna kicked Chris Brown out of the hotel where she was staying — the trendy Gansevoort Park Avenue — after she found out he gave papparazzi a head’s up that he’d be meeting up with his former flame.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Langham Hotel London jannounced it will transform its popular Palm Court restaurant into a “Gin Palace” – like the ones Londoners enjoyed in the 1800’s — three nights a week.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? ME Cancun wants you to pamper your pooch with a new package that includes doggy mani/pedis, gourmet treats, massages, toys and a comfy blanket with a hood.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Actor Gene Kelly and author Ernest Hemingway shared cocktails and sushi at the Hotel Wellington’s Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant in 1958.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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Sometimes the honeymoon isn’t about the locale (OK, well maybe a little bit), but rather about the hotel itself. Some of the finest properties around the globe are offering up unique, sexy services to ignite their burning desires (and/or fires). And rather then spend every last minute planning your honeymoon when you have SO MUCH ELSE to do, we figured we’d finagle the deets for you in advance. So brides, sit back, relax and enjoy these ideas brought to you by hotels across the globe. You can thank them later when you’re just positively glowing.
1. Book your stay at an adults-only resort.
Try: Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados
The beach's umbrellas seat two. Coincidence? We think not.
Sprawling across 11 acres on the west coast of Barbados, the property is situated closer to the waterfront than others in the area, due to it being built before legislation forced future resorts to build further inland. The pink Colonial-style Fairmont Royal Pavilion feels quite romantic thanks to its design and offers two restaurants and bars, as well as free afternoon tea on the terrace. Because there are only 72 rooms, the beach never feels crowded. Excellent amenities include an outdoor pool , tennis courts , and free non-motorized water sports. Plus, NO ONE under the age of 18 is permitted at the resort. Did someone say bliss?
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