Martha’s Vineyard

Most hotels remain open throughout the year, even when off-peak season means low occupancy and less-than-ideal weather. But some hotels choose to shutter their doors and windows during this time, triumphantly reopening in the warmer months — and often boasting some upgrades, to boot! These hotels sure know how to build our anticipation; we can’t wait to get back to them! So without further adieu, here are our five favorite hotels that are reopening for the spring and summer.

Hidden Pond; Kennebunkport, ME

Reopening Date: May 2nd

Some of the cottages at Hidden Pond feature outdoor porches and screened-in patios.

Spread over 60 acres, Hidden Pond features 36 suite-like bungalows and two-bedroom cottages. While each have their own personality, they are all bright, homey, and sophisticated, characterized by pops of color and lodge-like touches (such as stone fireplaces adorned with antlers, and a lamp made from a tree branch). The spa is set up to resemble a tree house, and free yoga classes are held at the organic farm (where guests may also pick fresh flowers and veggies). Another outstanding feature is the outdoor bar and grill that sits on a “sand bar,” with chairs circled around fire pits. This upscale boutique hotel attracts couples with its tranquil environment and top-notch restaurants, as well as families with its cottages that include full kitchens and washer/dryers. The hotel also provides a free shuttle to the beach, which is just a five-minute drive away.

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The iconic Chateau Marmont has been a celeb favorite for years.

The iconic Chateau Marmont has been a celeb favorite for years.

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Lindsay Lohan owes the Chateau Marmont a whopping $46,000 “in minibar charges, cigarette purchases and restaurant bills.”

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Snoqualmie Falls — which the luxe Salish Lodge & Spa overlooks – is Washington’s second most visited attraction.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The price of spending a night in the Tiffany Suite at The St. Regis New York is the same as the price of a pair of platinum Victoria cluster earrings with marquis diamonds from Tiffany & Co.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino will be hosting the world’s largest bachelorette party — ever – at the end of the month.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The average price of a night’s stay in a double room in Newport, RI is $319, making it the most expensive city in the U.S. when it comes to hotels.

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.

Some associate Boston with crooked old cobblestone streets, the American Revolution, and clam chowder. (Yum.) And it’s got all that. But those who work and play there know that it’s also filled with sprawling convention centers, progressive universities, and biotech research facilities. A forward-looking town with an eye on the past, Boston combines the charm of a New England harbor town with the mindset of a bustling, modern metropolis. And sometimes, its non-stop vibe can seriously wear a resident out. So if you’re a Bostonian looking for a weekend escape, why not hop in the car and head to a not-too-far destination where you can find some R&R? Get your bags packed and set your GPS: We’ve got some miles to cover.

Road Trip #1: Boston to Kennebunkport, ME

  • Total Driving Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
  • Distance Covered: 85.4 miles
  • Take This Trip If: You want to bask in the sun like a quality Kennedy or Bush family member would.
Life's a beach.

Life's a beach in luxe Kennebunkport.

A Jonathan Adler-designed guestroom at the Tides Beach Club? Sign us up.

A Jonathan Adler-designed guestroom at the Tides Beach Club? Sign us up.

Enjoy the view from Adirondack chairs at The Colony Hotel.

Enjoy the view from Adirondack chairs at The Colony Hotel.

Originally settled in 1610, Kennebunkport was a small fishing village that experienced an economic boom during the shipbuilding era. But it wasn’t until after the Civil War that Kennebunkport became what it is today: a summer retreat for wealthy families. In fact, former President George W. Bush’s great-grandfather’s compound, Walker’s Point, is located in Kennebunkport, and both he and his father (also former President Bush) have hosted foreign dignitaries at the summer home. What, you may ask, attracts the elite crowds to this Northeastern haven during the summer months? The private-feeling beaches are the area’s main draw and activities such as kayaking, whale-watching, golfing, and fishing are also popular pastimes. If you’re looking for a cozy hotel that’s also spot-on chic, The Tides Beach Club is the perfect choice. Fully renovated in 2011, the hotel’s vibe is South Beach-esque and trendy while maintaining a quaint New England feel. Two suites designed by Jonathan Adler, spectacular ocean views, and a contemporary restaurant with a sophisticated menu are just some of the upgrades that came with the renovation. For a more budget-conscious option, stay at The Colony Hotel. This historic hotel has a welcoming attitude to both kids and dogs, attracting families with its heated saltwater swimming pool and private sandy beach.

  • Top Driving Tip: Don’t forget about all the neighboring areas: Kennebunkport is a great launching point for visiting nearby towns like Ogunquit — known for its long sandy beaches and as being Maine’s biggest LGBT destination — or York, to see the famous Neddick Lighthouse.

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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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Grounds at Vintners Inn in Sonoma

Grounds at Vintners Inn in Sonoma

When the weather gets warm, the daydreaming begins. Lush hideaways. Hidden cottages. Your own secret garden come to life.

These fantasies can very easily become a reality, with an outdoor space and a little elbow grease. We’ve seen a lot of beautiful gardens on our travels, and so we took what we learned to come up these 10 helpful gardening tips.

From sculptures to arbors to lighting, learn about the additions that can transform an ordinary garden into a memorable haven.

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You'd have to take a running jump to take a seat in this chair at the Clift in San Francisco.

Want to take a seat? You have to climb up it first at the Clift in SF.

There are plenty of hotels with over-the-top decor, but some take it to the next level with looks that are literally larger than life. This includes everything from chairs that Big Foot could comfortably recline in to massive chanderliers that we’re not sure how they got through the front door. But whatever their means of use or entry, these pieces are pretty cool. Check out some of out favorite hotel’s gigundo decor, and learn how you can get the look in your own home now.

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Even if you’ve just returned from a Christmas vacation (lucky you!), winter’s cold temperatures take a toll on us all — and what else would we do but recommend taking a quick, refreshing break? Right now, there are some great deals — but only if  you know where to look. We checked out our favorite summer spots for nothing short of a fabulous (if frigid) winter break.

Nantucket
Where to Stay: The Vanessa Noel Hotel

Cafe V at The Vanessa Noel Hotel; Nantucket, MA

Why Now: Unlike its other cottage-y counterparts, the Vanessa Noel has minimalist chic room decor that reminds us more of the Delano in South Beach. This spot is no-kids-allowed, so if you’re looking to tote your entire fam, you’ll have to find an alternate resort. Great for couples, though, there’s also the hip, delicious Cafe V and a killer shoe store attached to satisfy any fashionista’s shopping needs.

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