Christmas

Are you on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list this year? We’ve seen a lot of good and bad behaviors during our travels over the last year — and maybe dabbled in both as well! So we know every dirty little secret, or shiny gold star, that you’ve been part-and-parcel to on vacation. But if you’re not sure where you stand in Santa’s twinkling eyes, we’re here to help. You can find out whether your favorite hotel amenities will get your stockings stuffed full of goodies or weighed down by coal this holiday season with our quiz. So check out which list you’re on!

The Naughty List: 

1. Have you stripped down?

Clothing optional resorts like the Desire Riviera Maya can see some X-rated action.

For some travelers, itsy bitsy bikinis or revealing Speedos just don’t cut it — a vacation isn’t a vacation without a little nudity. Luckily for them, some hotels are redefining casual dress with policies that let guests bare it all (or almost all), like the couples-only, clothing-optional Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya. A little voyeurism never hurt anyone — but don’t be surprised if your nude antics land you on the naughty list this winter.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Christmas Around the World

by Devon on December 6, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us (if you can’t tell by all the Target ads), and we’re taking a trip around the world to see how they celebrate in some of our favorite locales. Christmas is a special time all around the globe, whether it’s celebrated with bonfires, dead wrens (yes, you read that right), or just good ole family-style feasts, and we’ve found the best celebrations and places to stay this season. But wherever you go to celebrate the holidays, just remember to say “Merry Christmas,” “Feliz Navidad,” “Joyeux Noel,” or “Froehliche Weihnachten!”

Christmas in the United States

You can't go wrong with Christmas in New York, especially at the Plaza.

For some of the best displays of Christmas spirit, the Big Apple is a premium choice as the host of some of the most celebrated seasonal events in the world. During the one time of year New Yorkers actually don on smile, there is plenty to celebrate — from ice skating at Rockefeller Center to catching the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. For cozy accommodations, The Plaza has some of the most iconic decorations in the city, along with a prime Central Park location near the FAO Schwartz toy store and famed Fifth Avenue shopping. Even Kevin McCallister spent Christmas at the Plaza! Read More »

{ 2 comments }

The New York Palace gets in the holiday mood -- maybe they're inspired by the holiday shops at Bryant Park?

Christmas markets, or Christkindlmarkts as they are known in Germany, originated in the Late Middle Ages as a way to celebrate the beginning of Advent — the four-week lead-up to Christmas Day. Usually hosted in town squares, these street fairs offer all kinds of seasonal charm, including handcrafted Christmas decorations and gifts, and tasty treats like mulled wine and gingerbread. From Scotland to Chicago, German-style Christmas markets are offering a jolly dose of holiday cheer to people around the globe. Here are some of our favorite Christmas markets the world-over — and the charming hotels to call home so that visions of sugar plums are sure to dance through your head all night long.

Berlin’s Christmas Markets

With over 60 Christmas markets held each holiday season in Berlin, those seeking some magical winter charm need look no further than the German capital. The creme-de-la-Christmas-creme, however, can be found at the historic Gendarmenmart, which is bordered by the French and German Cathedral on one side and the Concert House on the other. Visitors can wander the many booths lining the streets, or visit the heated craftsmen tent where toy makers, goldsmiths, and wood carvers show off their talents. The market stays open through New Year’s Eve, when visitors can hear various bands, toast the New Year with fireworks, and dance a traditional waltz after midnight. There is a one-Euro entrance fee (which is odd for a Christmas market) and New Year’s Eve tickets cost 10 Euro. Other historic Christmas markets in Germany include Dresden’s and Nuremberg’s charming fairs.

Where to Stay: Bleibtreu Hotel

Blumen 31 Flower Shop

A boutique property that has managed to ingratiate itself with its neighborhood, the Bleibtreu Hotel offers a charming bistro/diner and a flower shop with an outdoor garden that is often frequented by locals. Rooms are stylish and functional, if small, and are decorated with natural materials; some have balconies. Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Take it from us when we say that a perfectly decorated tree and a sea of lights is all it takes to get into the holiday spirit. The Gramercy Park Hotel is not only one of the top properties in Manhattan, but also boasts a gorgeously festive lobby complete with a roaring fireplace. A very happy and safe holiday season to you and your loved ones from the entire Oyster team!

Lobby decorations at the Gramercy Park Hotel

{ 0 comments }

Not that we need and excuse to throw a party, but what are the holidays without some company bonding? Check out the photos of Oyster’s holiday bash (and the effects of a three-hour open bar).

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

The New York Palace

The New York Palace

The winter holiday season in New York City brings not only ice rinks, tourists, and hordes to the stores, but also myriad Christmas lights and ornaments that change every year. Every hotel in the city dresses up at least a little for the holidays, in red, green and gold garlands, or shiny tinsel, or simple lights. Below, check out some of the best decorations we’ve seen this year!

Read More »

{ 2 comments }

Traveling during the holiday season is as old as the holidays themselves – literally, if you ask anyone who owns a manger in Bethlehem. But just because people hit the road doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to feel the spirit of the season wherever they go. To help get you feeling festive, here are some killer seasonal perks that hotels have provided to their guests.

Santa Paws at the Eventi

Santa and his helper meet with the Eventi's four-legged guests

The holidays are for everyone: not just adults and children, but for pets as well. This past weekend, the second annual Santa Paws event at the Eventi Hotel in Manhattan treated four-legged guests to a visit from St. Nick. There was no shortage of festive dog biscuits or fresh water bowls as pets took their turns explaining to Santa why they can’t seem to stop digging up the front yard.

Ripken meets Santa at the Eventi

Kimpton properties such as the Eventi are already well-known for being super pet-friendly, so arranging a pet photo opp with Santa and his helper is simply par for the course. Of course, everyone was on their best behavior – including owners, who were treated to candy canes and delicious hot chocolate. If this was any indication of who made the “nice” list, Santa is going to be delivering a ton of bones this year. Read More »

{ 0 comments }

‘Tis the season! Are you the type to head to New York City for the Rockefeller Center tree and lavish window displays? Or are you Caribbean-bound this time of year for some R&R? Either way, Oyster.com has found a destination and a hotel to suit your needs. So whether you’re planning on packing a parka or a bikini, check out our list below of the best places to stay this holiday season.

Christmastime in the Courtyard of The New York Palace

Christmastime in the Courtyard of The New York Palace

New York City

From Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to the tree at Rockefeller Center, New York City knows how to celebrate the holidays and so do New York City hotels, with over-the-top decorations like the tree at The New York Palace.

Lights at the Entrance of The Pierre

Lights at the Entrance of The Pierre

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Seito Sushi

Seito Sushi

Yes, there is actually a town, just outside of Disney World, called Celebration (perhaps not surprisingly, though,  it was originally developed by Disney). Taking a stroll around the Town Center in Celebration is one of my favorite things to do in Orlando.  It’s even better during the holidays and is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.  While you’re there, make sure you check out three fun things to do in Celebration:

1.  Enjoy “the snowfall.”  That’s right folks, it snows nightly in Celebration.  Through Friday December 31st, you can enjoy and experience the holiday season in a unique way in Orlando.  Snow falls in the Celebration Town Center at the top of the hour between 6pm and 9pm.  You can also enjoy other seasonal festivities such as ice skating, horse and carriage rides, photos with santa, and train rides for the kiddies.

  • Ice Skating:  $10 for a minimum of 1/2 hour (skates included) 4pm -10pm daily
  • Horse and Carriage Rides:  $25 for the first two passengers, $10 per additional
  • Horse and Carriage Holiday Home Tour  $25 per person
  • Train Rides: $5
  • Singing along with the Charles Dickens Carolers:  Free

Read More »

{ 0 comments }

Santa waving a shaka

Santa waving a shaka

The thought of Christmas may evoke jingle bells and sleigh rides for many folks, but those of us who call Hawaii home have a slightly different version of holiday cheer. If you’re lucky enough to be spending the holiday on Oahu, you’ll find palm trees lit with Christmas lights, see Santa waving a shaka, and hear Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) wherever you go. You might even be lucky enough to catch Santa’s arrival on a surfboard. The following events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Ride the Pearlridge Express -  Children under 48″ can climb aboard the Pearlridge Express for only $3. The train chugs around the Uptown Center Court from November 19-January 2.

Santa’s German Gingerbread Village – The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Hawaii features an edible winter wonderland made of gingerbread and other sweet treats created by Executive Chef Ralf Bauer and his team of culinary artists. November 24 to January 3, 2011 in the resort’s lobby.

Read More »

{ 0 comments }