We wanna be as relaxed as she is!
It’s March and our spring break countdown has officially begun! If you haven’t had time to plan that trip to the Caribbean, fear not. There are awesome spots in the states that are just as fab for a week-long or even weekend getaway. We love Fort Lauderdale, a relaxed alternative to Miami’s crazy party scene. After its $25 million makeover, the 650-room Marriott Harbor Beach Resort is great for kids — giant pool, kids’ club, big, comfortable guest rooms – but there’s still plenty for grown-ups, including yoga classes at the fitness center, an adult-only pool, and a full-service spa and salon. So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa.
Pool at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; Atlantic City, NJ
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has launched an in-room gambling program that allows guests to gamble through their TV sets.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Angelica Huston and Donna Karan were recently seen partying at The Surrey in New York until the wee hours.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The B Ocean Fort Lauderdale is offering several special promos for March 1st that include $13 rooms, breakfast buffets for $13 and two cocktails for $13, as the date will be palindrome (3/1/13).
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Peninsula Beverly Hills has an on-site Nutrition Adviser who works upon request with the hotel’s chefs to create healthy meals for each guest.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Comfort Hotel Grand Central in Oslo is housed in the city’s original train station, built in 1854.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.
With a thriving arts scene, diverse shopping districts, the NFL’s Buccaneers, and a rich local history, the Floridian city of Tampa has a lot to offer itself. The beaches along Tampa Bay are lovely spots to take a dip and — after exploring such attractions as Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium, and the historic Ybor City (once the bustling center of America’s cigar industry, and now a great shopping area and artistic haven) — a welcome respite at the end of the day. With average temperatures staying at a nice 75° to 80° Fahrenheit nearly year round, it must be hard to convince Tampanians to part from the Big Guava. But Buccaneers are known to set sail, and while the whip can’t take you off to sea, it can certainly get you to some great land locales. So pack your bags, crank the A.C., and hop in the car — we’ve got some miles to cover.
Road Trip #1: Tampa to Jacksonville, FL
- Total Driving Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes
- Distance Covered: 226 miles
- Take This Trip If: You’re looking to hit the links (and maybe the shops).
Palm tree lined streets will guide you from the shops to the links in no time.
The One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa offers a luxury stay on an expansive stretch of white, sandy beach.
The heated pool and Jacuzzi at the Holiday Inn Express Jacksonville Beach is a relaxing find in a value hotel, perfect for families on a budget.
With a lively arts scene, a great downtown district, and some of the country’s best golf courses, Jacksonville is a hidden gem located in Northern Florida. But since the weather is a bit crisper upstate (winters are too cold to play on the sand), the conditions make for ideal golf weather. And with a less-crowded beach scene, this once underrated seaside city has become a vibrant spot, with an NFL team to boot. Those seeking a luxury experience should head straight to the One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa. Situated directly on a clean, white-sand beach, this resort has a fantastic on-site spa (great for girls’ weekends or couples’ vacations), contemporary decor, and bathrooms with double shower heads. Or, save a bundle and book a space at the Holiday Inn Express Jacksonville Beach, a value hotel that offers awesome freebies like Wi-Fi, breakfast, and self-parking. Rooms are clean, the pool is relaxed, and the prices are great. And although you’re just a few minutes drive from the beach, that won’t matter — you’ve got the whip with you.
- Top Driving Tip: While taking I-75N is faster, we recommend sticking it out an extra 15 minutes or so in the car. Take I-4E to I-95; you’ll pass right through Orlando — and maybe stop for a few roller coaster rides.
Public Restroom at the Hotel Constanza Barcelona
Who hasn’t ducked into a hotel to make use of a clean public restroom while on vacation? While hotels across the board often have nicer public bathrooms than, say, the local gas station, some hotels’ bathrooms go beyond just clean. Whether employing attractive streamlined design or antique decor, hotels are upping the ante when it comes to their public bathrooms, and we at Oyster have seen the best of the best. Check out our ten favorites in this slideshow.
Oceanfront Deluxe Room #1 Post Renovation -- we <3 the yellow and gray combo!
Last night’s episode of Hotel Impossible took us to the sunny shores of Fort Lauderdale, where resort owner Frank called for host Anthony Melchiorri’s help to revive his fledgling property, the Ocean Manor. We really loved this one — it scratched our OCD cleaning bug when Melchiorri found dust pretty much everywhere — and especially dug the soft palette designer Blanche Garcia implemented in the renovated rooms. (And the fact that she saved the hotel nearly a million dollars in upcoming construction, too!) Besides these typical but awesome tune-ups, we picked apart our favorite moments from Melchiorri’s stay at the Ocean Manor.
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The adult pool at the Marriot Harbor Beach Resort and Spa; Fort Lauderdale, FL
Our friends at SELF.com like to remind us how important being active is — and how important it is to eat healthy, too — even when you’re on the road. So when they let us know about their new Jump Start Diet Plan, created by uber-trainer (and former Biggest Loser star) Jillian Michaels, we were happy to jump on board (pun intended). The plan features some kick-ass workout moves that mesh toning and cardio to save time while burning mega-calories, plus easy-to-follow diet tips that making shaping up a cinch. But what we loved the most about the plan is, that if you join SELF and sign up to Jump Start online, you’ll be entered for a grand prize trip to the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa in super-sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Not only is the total package worth over three grand, but the hotel also has a well-earned, 4-pearl rating from us here at Oyster.com.
If we won, we’d start our day with a killer yoga class — or just a great workout at the sleek 24-hour fitness center — and then lounge on the beach or poolside in the quiet adults-only area. To cap the day off, we’d stop by the spa for a luxurious treatment. We recommend the Harbor Beach Signature Tropical Tiki Bliss massage (80 minutes for $225), designed to soothe even the achiest of muscles while still Zen-ing you out. Check out more photos of the hotel after the jump, or read the full review now to see why we love this spot.
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Stunning King Corner Room at B Ocean
This past weekend, we were lucky enough to be in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for the grand opening of B Ocean hotel, which soft opened in January and is the first in a new brand of hotels.
It’s a great-looking hotel with all the signs of modern trendiness: it’s white, it’s minimalist and austere, and the lobby brightens up with colored lights come nightfall.
The hotel is right across the street from a great beach, and every single room has a beautiful ocean view — no rooms face the back of the hotel. The personable Holli Ugalde (winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 7) helms the casual B’stro restaurant (which will appear in every B hotel), and across the lobby is the dimly-lit, delicious Saia, serving inventive (if expensive) sushi and hand-crafted cocktails.
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