The Hamptons

The Outdoor Pool at the East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

The Outdoor Pool at the East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

This elegant B&B in East Hampton, New York is exactly what its name suggests: a house full of art. Designed and decorated by the owners, Michael and Rosalind, who combine mutual talents in art and hospitality, the Art House features just four rooms with attractive touches such as hardwood floors, marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, and massive flat-screen TVs. But despite its small size, the hotel boasts all the amenities of a larger property – endless communal spaces, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center, just to name a few. With attentive and friendly owners, who serve up delicious breakfasts of waffles, omelets, and fruit, the Art House has the feel of a private Hamptons home while including all of the luxuries of staying at a high-end inn. With these luxuries, of course, comes pricey rates. And now that spring has sprung, it’s time to start making your summer plans — the Art House books up fast. If the summer rates are outside of your budget, the inn remains open year-round, and with cozy features such as gas fireplaces and a waterfall whirlpool, this B&B is a great escape no matter the time of year. Wanna know more? Check out more photos of the hotel after the jump or read our review now>>

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The heated pool at the Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize is just on surprisingly luxe green amenity

We don’t mind sacrificing a little comfort during our travels if that means reducing our carbon footprint. But then again, not all eco-conscious hotels call for lights out and cold showers. The 10 hotels that make our list of those with the best eco-friendly perks aren’t all LEED-certified, but they still know that going green makes guests and Mother Earth happy. So here’s our salute to some great stays that are doing their part to reduce, reuse, and conserve with these awesome green amenities.

 

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Sometimes our hotels just get us. They know how we like the sheets, take our coffee, and want to wake up to a newspaper at our door. But with so many hotels across the globe to choose from, it can be hard to find just the right one. Luckily we’ve got everyone covered, from financiers to fashionistas. Here are our choices for the best hotels for every (well, almost) profession.

 

For Politicians: ONE UN New York, New York City 

The view from ONE UN New York would excite any government worker.

A top choice among UN diplomats, the ONE UN New York sits right across the street from the UN headquarters in New York City. The hotel boasts an indoor Har-Tru tennis court (after all, politicians love their back and forth), tasty (and schmooze-worthy) breakfast at Ambassador Grill, and the private Skyline Club, with stunning city views, snacks, and cocktails. But really, with a location steps away from the world’s most powerful decision-makers, politicians can’t really ask for more. Read More »

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“This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…”  Yesterday, our favorite astrological free spirits started celebrating their 2013 birthdays, and we couldn’t be happier for them. Possessing a deep social conscience, Aquarians are humanitarian, philanthropic, and dedicated to making the world a better place. And they do so with flair. Known for their wildly inventive and creative ideas, Aquarians can also be temperamental and flighty if you don’t encourage their quirk. Luckily, Oyster has stayed at some of the best off-beat, hippie-chic retreats for fostering the unpredictable and artistic notions of the Water Bearers in your life. So get your sketchpads ready, it’s time to take these rebellious visionaries on a one-of-a-kind vacation.

Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs

Korakia Pensione brings a bit of the Mediterranean to Palm Springs.

Korakia Pensione is a striking hotel in Palm Springs. Modeled after a Mediterranean pensione, it looks like something out of Greece or Morocco, and Aquarians are sure to relish in its exotic, eclectic vibe. Aquarians are also notorious flirts (what with all of that passionate, creative energy roiling around inside them), so they’ll definitely appreciate that Korakia was named one of Forbes’ sexiest hotels in America. The two Korakia Pensione pools and many outdoor spaces – including fire pits, fountains, and stone paths — are all beautiful and unexpected. And the hotel plays old movies every night outside on the terrace. The rooms are named, not numbered, and each is slightly different, but all have an old-world, whimsical feel.
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You guys, it is hot outside. I’m talking seriously steaming. (Has anyone tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk yet?) And nothing cools us off quite like a dip in the pool, amirite? And even though swimming means your hair may look subpar, your cohorts will likely forget if you’re attending one of these wet and wild hotel pool parties. So before summer slips through your fingers, take an end-of-the-season vacay and get your party hats on — and perhaps your top off.

Rehab Sundays at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas

Sunday Rehab Pool Party at Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas

Sunday Rehab Pool Party at Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas

If there were only one infamous pool party, it would have to be the Sunday Rehab affair held at the Hard Rock Hotel — nine years in the making, this wet fest features oil-slathered tan bodies, a scantily-clad waitstaff and what we imagine are tons of bodily fluids floating around those waters. (TMI? But we’ve seen them exchanged.)  The grotto pool features two sandy beaches and will cost you a pretty penny for entrance alone: $100 for the boys, $50 for the girls. Staying at the Hard Rock? You’re in for free — but don’t think that doesn’t mean you won’t have to wait in the (oftentimes quite long) entrance line. But once you’re in, the party is known to bring in renowned DJs from across the globe including Tiesto (who kicked off the party’s 2012 season), Paul Oakenfold, and Bad Boy Bill.

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Lobby at C/O The Maidstone

Look at all the color!

Summer Fridays here in New York City mean one thing and one thing only: everyone is headed to the Hamptons. Many city slickers rent houses and the lucky ones know someone who did. But we’d argue that the even luckier ones stay at the C/O The Maidstone, a quirky, cool spot that is personable enough to be a home away from home, but much more chic than your average weekend renter. With cowhide rugs offering a mellow contrast to the rainbow-bright pillow collection in the lobby, and lots of floral printed chairs and cozy fabrics, you’ll feel inspired to put on your summer best just to measure up to your surroundings. If you feel like exploring, the center of town it is just a short walk away – or you can opt to hop on one of the hotel’s free bikes. Free yoga in the Buddha garden ensures you’ll look toned when you hit the beach, and the fine dining restaurant and lounge means you won’t have to worry about venturing out to find a gourmet meal. Now that’s what we call a chic Hamptons weekend.

 

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Marina at the Bitter End Yacht Club

Marina at the Bitter End Yacht Club

Some people plan summer road trips. For others, a summer adventure involves sailing or yachting on the high seas. But long boating trips are no fun without stopping to see the sights on land and stretching out your sea legs.

Luckily, these nine hotels, in beautiful locales ranging from the Caribbean to the Northeastern U.S., are situated right on marinas — so yachties can park and fuel up both their bodies and their boats. Some resorts, such as Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys, let boaters sleep on board and still access all of the pools, restaurants, and activities on-site — all for no more than the docking fee.

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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.

Home to about 8 million folks — and tons of our readers, the Big Apple is a behemoth destination to explore itself. But should you be longing to escape the crowded streets, know you’re in similar company; New York’s residents seemingly flock town every Friday. Plus, there are so many great vacation spots just a few hours away by car (and what seems like a million ZipCar locations should you not have your own ride). So get your bags packed, slather on some sunscreen and hop in the whip — we’ve got some miles to cover.

Road Trip #1: New York City to Montauk, NY

Life's a beach in the tony Hamptons.

  • Total Driving Time: 2 hours, 48 minutes
  • Distance Covered: 119 miles
  • Take This Trip If: You love a good scene — the otherwise-sleepy town is crawling with celebs during the summer.

The grounds at the Montauk Yacht Club.

One of the Panoramic View's amazing pool views.

Originally famous for both its surfing and fishing, Montauk, Long Island’s easternmost tip, is considered part of The Hamptons and has plenty to offer a variety of tourists, including six national state parks. Always in the background is the ubitiquous Montauk Lighthouse, New York’s oldest and the fourth in the national overall. Aside from its rich history and scenic landscape, Montauk also offers visitors sleek shopping at vintage stores like Screaming Mimi’s and incredible local eats like lunch at Dureyea’s Lobster Deck, where the lobster rolls, naturally, are second to none. Splurge on a stay at the Panoramic View, a sprawling resort tucked away off Old Mountak Highway in which every single guest room boasts gorgeous Atlantic Ocean vistas. And should you get too much sun (or sand) on the beach, check out the pool’s cabana for some shaded R&R. Savvy folks should opt for the Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marinas; even though it’s off the ocean, it has lovely little villas that are perfect for a couple’s getaway. A free shuttle into town makes the inflated prices a bit more worthwhile.

  • Top Driving Tip: Most directions will tell you to take the Long Island Expressway, but skip the always-clogged I-495 and take the Grand Central Parkway/Northern State Parkway instead; it’ll save you precious minutes you’ll need when Montauk Highway becomes one lane in South Hampton.

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We don’t know about you, but we here at Oyster are ready for summer. We’ve done all of the prepping — we went to the gym once (hey, its more than we did in the winter!), got a couple of spray tans, and most importantly, we found our stowed bikinis, flip-flops, and wide-brimmed hats. And we’re not the only ones who have come out of hibernation and are in back in business for a little fun in the sun: Some of our favorite U.S. hotels on the East Coast have re-opened their doors for the summer season. We’ve been longing for a stay at these quaint inns and hotels all winter long and now they’re ready to welcome us (and you) back.

The Hotel: The Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant — Martha’s Vineyard

Grounds at The Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant -- Martha's Vineyard

Grounds at The Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant -- Martha's Vineyard

The Beach Plum reopened for the season this week in order to accomodate the many vacationers heading to Martha’s Vineyard for Memorial Day weekend. The beautiful property — where alpacas and ponies roam –is an up-island spot overlooking Menemsha Harbor, the fishing village, and a lighthouse. And though its not as historic as the centuries-old town it overlooks, the inn dates back to the late 1800s when it was built from wood salvaged from shipwrecks. While there are few on-site activities, guests can go next door to the Menemsha Inn to play tennis or hit the gym. Don’t expect cell phone service here; part of the charm of sinking into a hammock on a private patio is not having any reception. Wi-Fi is available throughout the property for those who need to stay in touch, and the on-site restaurant that the inn is known for – while pricey — is excellent. See more photos and read our full review of The Beach Plum Inn »

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Wet Republic at MGM Grand

These destinations will have you ready to flaunt your bikini body in no time.

It’s getting down to crunch time (literally) — Memorial Day Weekend hovers in the near-future and soon you’ll be showing off your bikini, whether you’re ready to or not. So at least on your long-weekend holiday, you can kill two birds with one stone by finding a destination where you can work it and work out. Whether you’d prefer to take a quick jaunt to the Hamptons or escape for a longer break to St. Martin, whether you enjoy a hike in the rain forest or hanging ten, we have destinations and activities for you to get fit — check them out after the jump »

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