Everyone knows that we here at Oyster.com love freebies. After all, we talk about them a lot — and we mean a lot. But when you’re shelling out hard-earned cash for your hotel room, it’s nice when the hotel recognizes that and throws in some perks “just because.” We’ve already gone through the freebies we love, and honestly kind of expect, but we’ve yet to go through all the freebies that really took us by surprise — and sometimes even made us laugh! Some you can bring home with you, some are just on loan, but all of these amenities are funky, looney, and downright fabulous.
Have fond memories of your childhood at Hotel Avante.
Get your mind out of the gutter. Those are not the kind of toys we are talking about — and we would definitely not be okay with them if they were on loan! Instead, Hotel Avante offers adult guests good old-fashioned toys in each room. Called “executive toy boxes,” they include toys such as Slinkys, yo-yos, Etch-a-Sketchs, and Rubik’s cubes, and are meant to be used as inspiration — or even just distractions — for business travelers burning the midnight oil. But if you’re a leisure traveler, we won’t tell — go ahead and have some fun!
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Some destinations always come to mind when people think of beach getaways: Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, Miami’s South Beach, and the crowded sands in Cancun. Some spots, however, are often overlooked and it makes them that much better. Fewer people, untouched nature, you name it; underrated beach destinations are hidden gems that can be just what you’re looking for. Check out our list of nine underrated beach destinations — and make a trip before the secret is out!
Vieques Island is surrounded by gorgeous, clear waters.
This unique little island offers travelers pure, undeveloped land, mainly thanks to the US Navy’s former use of a good portion of the island. The Navy left in 2003, however, and the land it once occupied is now a national wildlife refuge. Tourists to Puerto Rico often don’t leave the mainland as it takes an extra puddle-jumper to get to Vieques and there are few tourist attractions. Instead, attractions are nature-oriented: The island’s stunning, untouched white-sand beaches and famous bioluminescent bay are the highlights, but it also features walking trails, 300-year-old trees, and some of the top snorkeling spots in the country.
Where to Stay: The quaint Inn on the Blue Horizon is a smaller, more affordable option compared to the nearby W Vieques. The inn features phenomenal ocean views, pretty Mediterranean-style architecture, and wild horses roaming the grounds.
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Lobby at the Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele; Lanai, HI
1. FACT OF FAKEOUT? Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has agreed to buy 98% (including the much-lauded Four Seasons, natch) of the Hawaiian island of Lanai from billionaire David Murdock.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas won’t be celebrating the 4th of July this year with its signature fireworks show due to its falling on a Wednesday.
3. FACT OF FAKEOUT? Etihad Airways has purchased 200 hens and three beehives as part of a project to boost sales by appealing to customers’ palates.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Bermuda’s Rosewood Tucker’s Point Hotel & Spa is now offering a package that includes exploring a seventeenth-century shipwreck.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Hotel Solamar San Diego has temporarily stopped serving beer after a guest complained about it not being locally brewed.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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Dying to be under that palapa right about now.
Vitamin D does wonders for our health. Better known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because our bodies produce it from the sun’s rays, Vitamin D regulates blood pressure, reduces muscle tension, and prevents cancer and various other diseases. Luckily for us, some of our favorite spa hotels have just the the right treatments. Whether they boast ocean-side cabanas or secluded rooftop hot tubs, these outdoor spas really know how to make us feel good — all while we’re soaking up the sun, of course.
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Even though Hawaii is known for its breathtaking beaches, the 50th state actually offers much more than just a swim in crystalline waters and great waves to surf. Discover the archipelago’s wonders — away from its sandy stretches — with this selection of activities we’ve come up with for you. From the soaring cliffs of the Waimea Canyon in Kauai to the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Oahu, Hawaii will win the hearts even of those who are allergic to relaxing on lounge chairs under the sun. Check out the best sun-safe activities to do while visiting any of the islands — just make sure to slather on some SPF first.
Road to Hana, Maui; Maui, HI
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