Deer Valley

Who doesn’t love a good theme? We’re suckers for a little kitsch every now and then, and there’s something about the wild, wild West – cowboy hats and boots and all – that’s particularly endearing and fun. A western theme conjures up good ole days of yore, and it can make a property feel especially homey. That’s why we love these seven ranch-style hotels; from upscale estates spread across sprawling grounds to cheesy cowboy-themed properties, this list has the best of the best of the wild, wild West.

Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson

 Tanque Verde

This rustic, all-inclusive resort is a quintessential Western dude ranch surrounded by miles of gorgeous mountains and desert. The property borders Saguaro National Park East, where guests can enjoy guided horseback rides, hiking, and mountain biking. There’s also swimming, communal ranch meals, and kids’ activities, and sweeping wood-beam ceilings, stone fireplaces, and local artwork add to the ranch-like vibe.

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Mountain Lodge at Telluride, Colorado
Mountain Lodge at Telluride, ColoradoLocated in Mountain Village, Mountain Lodge at Telluride is a classic Colorado mountain getaway. This log-cabin style lodge offers spacious condo and cabin rentals for groups from two to 14 people. Most rooms have kitchens, gas fireplaces, and private balconies in addition to small touches like humidifiers to battle the dry Colorado air. One highlight of this hotel is the year-round outdoor pool and hot tub with sweeping mountain views. A cozy restaurant, called the View, has a huge fireplace and plenty of space to lounge over a local beer. Read More »

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Forget the beach—nature lovers know that the best way to experience the great outdoors in the summer is to spend some quality time in the mountains. If your idea of summer bliss involves hiking, biking, and swimming, these gorgeous resorts should be just the ticket. And if exotic scenery is a must, you’ll be happy to know that great mountain escapes can be found in tropical locales, too.

The Ahwahnee, Yosemite National Park, California

The Ahwahnee, Yosemite National Park, California

The Ahwahnee, Yosemite National Park, California

Nestled deep amongst the pine trees, cliffs, and canyons of Yosemite is the 123-room Ahwahnee Hotel. The impressive stone and wood structure, built in 1927, is considered a National Historic Landmark. Rooms with views of the Half Dome and El Captain summits are filled with wood and rich tapestries of Native American design. Highlights here include the Great Lounge with 24-foot-high ceilings and a large stone fireplace along with the light-flooded dining room. This hotel is on the expensive side — and parking is limited — but the prime location and views are worth the price tag. Read More »

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Having a pool in your hotel is always a great perk when traveling in the summer, but there are many other seasonal hotel amenities that can make a trip special. Part of our job here at Oyster is to experience the property in full, and we never miss a chance to make the most of our visit. We’ve done everything you can imagine, from zip-lining in a snowstorm to bird-watching binoculars in hand — all for the sake of a complete review. These are our favorite summer amenities and where to find them.

Loaner bikes: Paradise Point, San Diego

The best way to explore this private island is on a bike.

The best way to explore this private island is on a bike.

Plenty of hotels offer loaner bikes for guests to use during their stay, but few are located on a 44-acre private island where the best way to explore is on two wheels. Sea World San Diego and Pacific Beach’s shopping and dining are just a short bike ride away – so leave the car in the hotel’s parking lot and enjoy the sea breeze in your hair.

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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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14 of the Best Ski Hotels

by Jane Reynolds on January 18, 2013

Skiing is one of our favorite winter pastimes: There’s just something about getting out in the fresh air (and fresh powder) that does a body good. And whether you’re doing the “pizza” down the bunny slopes or have mastered the double black diamond, you’ll be sure to have a great time, especially considering all the other offerings ski destinations and hotels have: gorgeous spas, fabulous shopping, heated pools, you name it. So without further adieu, here’s a roundup of our favorite ski hotels that go above and beyond with amenities such as ski-in/ski-out locations, elegant rooms, and activity-packed itineraries.

Viceroy Snowmass

Viceroy Snowmass

Viceroy Snowmass is easily the most luxurious resort in Snowmass Village, and is packed with top-notch amenities, including a 7,000-square-foot spa with a stunning relaxation room, a solid fitness center, and a lovely pool area with heated saline pool, cabanas, and fire pit. It also offers phenomenal ski valet service (valets will take care of everything from scheduling lessons to putting your boots on for you) and a prime ski-in, ski-out location. There’s a daily resort fee, and you’ll have to pay for valet, but that’s to be expected at a resort of this caliber.

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