Let’s face it: winters are tough. When it gets dark at 4:30 p.m. and there are sheets of freezing rain outside, it’s hard not to fantasize about getting out of dodge. But choosing where to escape to can be overwhelming; with so many options, where does one begin? Luckily for you, planning vacations is one of our favorite things. We’ve selected some of our favorite winter getaway destinations and shared what we love about them — as well as a top hotel pick for each.
Why We Love Kauai: Kauai is less developed than its more popular neighbors, Oahu and Maui — and arguably more beautiful. Its lush terrain, placid beaches, and dramatic cliffs provide the backdrop for numerous Hollywood visions of untamed, other-worldly paradises. Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Jurassic Park films, and the 2005 version of King Kong were all filmed here. The 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon, the lava-rock seawater pool at Queen’s Bath, and the remote, towering cliffs of the Na Pali Coast are among the world’s most beautiful natural attractions.
Where to Stay: St. Regis Princeville
The 251-room St. Regis Princeville is considered by many to be the premier luxury option in Hawaii, and given the stunning setting overlooking Hanalei Bay, it’s hard to disagree. Guests can expect warm, sophisticated decor, suites with personal butler service, world-class golf, and a memorable breakfast buffet on a terrace with gorgeous ocean views. Read More »
Sometimes spa treatments tip over the edge of relaxing and enter the realm of downright strange. From fish pedicures to snow rooms, hotels around the globe are offering unique (and kinda weird) options for guests to indulge in. Some might swear by these alternative services, others may be skeptical — but we at Oyster will try (almost) anything once! Here, we’ve rounded up the craziest spa services we’ve come across during our travels. Take a look and prepare to get pampered in a whole new way!
The Treatment: Sparience Oxygen Bubble
The Spa Hotel: Gran Hotel La Florida, Barcelona
The Sparience Oyxgen Bubble experience is stress-reducing.
At the Zen Zone Spa in Barcelona, guests can try out the Sparience Oyxgen Bubble. Meant to relieve stress and minimize injury recovery time, these bubbles are filled with 99.5 percent pure oxygen, which should induce intense mental and physical relaxation. The sculpted AlphaSphere bed combines color, shape, and light with sound, vibrations, and warmth to increase the effects of the treatment. It all sounds well and good, but doesn’t it remind you a bit of this John Travolta classic? Read More »
For many of us, long days at the office, stress, and errands can get in the way of a healthy lifestyle. So we often look at our vacations not as a chance for a calorie binge (well, not always), but as a chance to hit the reset button and get back to our exercise and fitness regimens. And those who do manage to stay fit year-round may not want to part with their healthy lifestyle choices when they go away for a week or two. After all, there’s a lot to be said for the mind-body connection, so we found 13 stunning holistic retreats that can help you take your relaxation and well-being to new heights on your next getaway.
Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua
Aqua Wellness Resort is a rustic-luxe, wellness-focused retreat set into a hillside overlooking Redondo Bay on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. The resort has eco-friendly design, lush vegetation (expect to spot wildlife such as howler monkeys and iguanas), healthy cuisine (almost every dish comes with a hearty side of vegetables), and an excellent ocean-view yoga platform where group classes are held. Plus, the spa uses local materials, treatments, and techniques. Rooms are adorned with lots of natural wood; some units include plunge pools and stunning ocean views. The white-sand beach is secluded and beautiful, and guests can get in an extra workout climbing up the hill from the beach to reception.
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Mixing business with pleasure? Trying to trade your business suit for a bathing suit? As much as we love getting away from the office, it’s sometimes hard to think about all the work piling up back at our desks. (Emphasis on sometimes.) So for those instances when we need to check our emails or send out those TPS reports while getting some R&R, these gorgeous tropical retreats have us covered, and with more than just a phone jack. Whether they feature ample meeting spaces, dedicated business staff, or any number of other great work offerings, these properties are sure to please any productive vacationers, so you’ll have just the right mix of business with pleasure. Enjoy your bizcation!
We'd trade in our desks for this setup any day
Rio is both a beautiful beach getaway and a mountain-lined urban hub, so it’s no wonder that many of the city’s hotels try to appeal to both business and leisure guests simultaneously. The Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel is one of these hotels. Located directly across from the Copacabana beach and offering a stocked, 24-hour business center, the property also boasts some pretty incredible ocean views from the fitness center, meeting rooms, and restaurants, so you never really have to tear yourself away from the beach to get Johnson those TPS reports.
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Who doesn’t like to get their drink on while taking a dip? It’s both the ultimate cool down and the possibly best way to spice up a relaxing vacation. We’re craving some refreshing fun in the sun, so we’ve picked our favorite places to liquor up — all from the cool comforts of hotels’ pools. So get your blender and piña colada mix ready — you’ll be thirsting for a fruity cocktail after browsing these awesome hotel pool bars.
Pool Bar at the Catalonia Bavaro Beach
You can almost imagine you’re on the set of the movie ”Cocktail” at Catalonia Bavaro Beach‘s swim-up bar, where the bartenders are quite entertaining. This laid back property comes with lots of awesome amenities, including a gorgeous beach, a golf course, and room balconies that feature private hammocks.
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During our travels around the globe, we have stayed in some pretty gorgeous rooms. But a beautiful room means nothing if it looks out at a brick wall. On the other hand, a drab room can be seriously lightened up by an amazing view. So we rounded the 10 best hotel room views we’ve ever seen.
Hotel Duquesne Eiffel
Hotel Duquesne is a comfortable 34-room hotel in the 7th Arrondissement within walking distance to Left Bank tourist sites, such as the Musee d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. Some rooms even boast exceptional views of the iconic structure, built in 1889 by on the occasion of the World’s Fair in Paris.
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Lobby at Esperanza Resort
This beautiful, luxurious 57-room resort is one of the nicest in Los Cabos, and offers more of a home-y vibe than other high-end properties in the area. Handsome, tastefully rooms start at 925 square feet, and are decorated in traditional Baja style, with authentic artwork and wood detailing. They come with high-end electronics and decadent bathrooms (some with Jacuzzi tubs), but the private terraces are arguably the highlight; all have at least partial ocean views (many have jaw-dropping ocean views), and some have Jacuzzis. The beach is secluded and gorgeous, but the large waves and rough reefs make it unfit for swimming. The resort’s pools are top-notch, though, and pool staff offers free treats (like ice pops and fresh fruit) every hour. Since it’s a smaller resort, guests get a decent amount of individual attention. Although not much is within walking distance, the resort provides plenty for guests to do on-site, including several dining/drinking options and an art gallery. Read More »
One Bal Harbour Resort bathrooms have some of the best views in the Miami.
Some people prefer to read a magazine in the restroom, but we’d much rather gaze out over a stunning view. There’s nothing we love more than exotic sights, no matter where we’re taking in the view — the shower, tub, or elsewhere. From Hong Kong to Miami, Boston to Barcelona, here are our favorite hotel views from the best seat in the house.
We’re all about a funky hotel or two, but some of the coziest spots are those with shabby-chic decor — just homey enough to be comforting, while still packing in a lot of style. Shabby-chic hotel design is a study in the art of textural contrasts: vintage leather, velvet furniture, deliberately faded rugs, woods, and rich prints all add to the look. And when shabby-chic is done well, the end result is impressively style-conscious, yet more livable than some, shall we say more modern, spots we’ve visited. So today we’re giving a photo tour of our favorite hotels that have the shabby-chic vibe down pat. Get inspired — and get the look!
Butterfly Bar at the Petit Ermitage
We love the cozy, laid-back look of the Petit Ermitage, a quaint boutique in West Hollywood. The hotel’s bohemianism — think stained glass, distressed fixtures, and plenty of interesting artwork – gives the common areas and rooms a whimsical vibe and clearly attracts a fair share of hipsters, who can be found by the rooftop pool or in the lobby. It may not look like much from the outside, but the Petit Ermitage not only boasts an attention-to-detail in the design, but also in the amenities it provides (rooftop garden, tasty restaurant, pool), especially for a hotel of its size.
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The Premier Room at the Capella Singapore
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Capella Singapore’s $14,000 “Eternally Yours” package includes a Rolls-Royce transfer from the airport, a 5-course gourmet dinner with wine, a “jewelry gift for her,” and a caviar-and-champagne, in-room breakfast.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Taylor Swift and Harry Styles were spotted last weekend singing karaoke at The Greenwich Hotel in New York.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The InterContinental Montreal is offering several packages that include a free night at the Ice Hotel (made entirely of ice!) in the Montreal Snow Village.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Algonquin Hotel has just launched a package that includes meeting Katie Couric, the host of ABC’s “Katie” show.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Former President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, spent a few days at Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort, where he booked a $6,000 villa with a private pool and ocean views.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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