Throughout our travels we’ve seen plenty of wild things — from rowdy guests to crazy contests, you name it. Not surprisingly, most have been in Vegas. But wackiness can be found all over the world, and we’ve seen some hilarious hotel signs in multiple countries. Check out seven of our favorites below.
Well we feel safe…
The Negril Tree House is a budget-friendly boutique.
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There’s nothing quite like the sense of discovery one feels when arriving at a hidden gem hotel — a truly special spot that is intimate, remote, underrated, or all of the above. Some people like to brag to their friends about their insider find; others prefer to keep it all to themselves. Of course, we at Oyster have never been good at keeping secrets.
A Hammock for Two on the Balcony of Natura Cabana's Piedra Room.
For the laid-back, eco-friendly couple, the Dominican Republic’s Natura Cabanas is an ideal boutique resort for a destination wedding or honeymoon. Located on a gorgeous private beach (one of the best on the north coast), this intimate property consists of just ten eco-sensitive bungalows located inside a safe, gated community. Wedding guests will most likely want to come a few days early in order to enjoy the excellent, fresh food, daily yoga and Pilates classes overlooking the ocean, and fabulous spa. The hotel definitely has a bit of a rustic vibe — after all, there are no TVs or ACs in the rooms [Ed. note: So no excuse for "cold feet"!] – but that’s the point at this family-run affair. Weddings can accommodate up to 70 people and are quite affordable. Couples can opt to wed either on the beach or in the “yoga temple,” which offers great views and some relief from the Dominican sun. For food, which is always above-par at Natura Cabanas, couples can choose between an international or Dominican buffet, with various beverage options. Plus, the resort can take care of all the little details as well, from decorating the honeymoon suite with flowers and champagne to arranging hair, make-up, and mani/pedis at the spa. Check out more wedding-inspired photos of Natura Cabanas now »
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With just 30 rooms and impeccable service, Tortuga Bay feels like an upscale country club.
Designed by Oscar de la Renta, the 30-room Tortuga Bay hotel is one of the most luxe options in the Dominican Republic. Unlike the megaresorts that the D.R. is known for, Tortuga Bay has a peaceful, upscale vibe. Service is impeccable, rooms are gorgeous, and amenities are plentiful: Guests have numerous dining options, all elegant (and expensive), there is an on-site golf course, and the resort even sits on the premises of an ecological reserve, with hiking trails and swimmable lagoons. But the standout feature of this boutique hotel is its location on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is Tortuga Bay.
All-inclusive resorts are not created equally. While some offer the penultimate in luxury, others rely on quantity over quality. There are spa-centric getaways, family-friendly stays, and party-hearty atmospheres to be visited across the wide world of all-inclusives. With so many options, choosing the right resort for you and your posse can be a hassle. Luckily, Oyster has experienced all of the above and can point you toward the best of the best, no matter your style. Looking for a raucous pool scene? We’ve got it. Craving a secluded hideaway? We’ve unplugged there, too. So sit back, relax, and prepare yourself for some fun in the sun — all while using our guide to select the all-inclusive that is right for your style:
If You Want: To Travel Like a Queen
Stay: Half Moon, Jamaica
The luxurious Half Moon resort in Montego Bay has been a favorite of royals for decades.
Drawing everyone from Queen Elizabeth to 50 Cent, Half Moon strives for timeless, understated luxury in Jamaica’s Montego Bay. Stretching over 400 acres (including 2 miles of beach), the 230-room resort offers attentive service, quality cuisine, and seemingly limitless activities, such as golfing and horseback riding. A variety of all-inclusive packages can be purchased in advance which may include lodging, meals, alcohol, airport transfers, golf fees, and sports activities. With several levels to choose from, just about everyone can be happy. Read More »
It’s time to get your spring break plans in order, and if you’re looking for some fun in the sun, the Caribbean is a prime destination. But with thousands of islands (although only a few dozen are inhabited) to choose from, that doesn’t narrow things down much. That’s why we at Oyster have created an A to Z (well, actually, an A to V) guide to the Caribbean, so choosing your island and resort will be a piece of cake. First stop: Anguilla.
The boutique Anacaona has two pools.
Anguilla is a tiny British territory that covers fewer than 40 square miles and is a popular spot for couples and celebs (Sofia Vergara went on a girls’ trip to the island) due to its small size and upscale vibe. Visitors must either fly to St. Martin and take a short ferry to the island, or fly in directly (by way of a small seaplane) from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Thus, getting to the island can be pricey. So once you’re there, we’d recommend staying at the boutique Anacaona in the island’s West End. Though its not quite as luxe as the CuisinArt or Viceroy, it offers access to the same gorgeous white-sand beach as the neighboring Viceroy – through an off-property path — as well as to the nearby Greg Norman’s golf course and a few restaurants, and its prices are considerably lower. With two small pools, a great restaurant serving Caribbean fare with a twist, and a massage hut on the beach, the hotel is a good pick for value.
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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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“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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Crystal clear waters and a tranquil beach make this resort a great place to stay.
The D.R.’s only luxury resort set on its own island, the Gran Bahia Cayo Levantado offers a relaxing atmosphere for couples and families, and boasts some of the best rooms in the country (each with private whirlpool tubs). There are two gorgeous pools on-site, one by the beach and one closer to the main resort area. Both have bars nearby and plenty of lounge chairs, and both are exceptionally clean. But what really stands out are the beautiful secluded beaches, where guests can enjoy watersports, volleyball, or simply lounging and sipping a cocktail. So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Cayo Levantado.
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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