Monterey County

Even during adventurous getaways, we love a chance for some R&R so we almost always book a spa service to treat ourselves. While we could probably enjoy a massage or facial just about anywhere, there’s something to be said for a hotel spa that is truly luxurious and jaw-dropping. Some of the most gorgeous we’ve seen are particularly inspiring because they boast beautiful views of their natural surroundings. So before you close your eyes and drift off to pure relaxation during your treatment, take in these 11 stunning views…from these 11 stunning hotel spas.

1. Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, Hawaii

Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay

On a beautiful stretch of beach on the tiny island of Lanai, this Four Seasons is one of the most luxe properties in Hawaii. Considering the remote location, its no surprise that the hotel attracts couples, and the upscale spa is a major draw for romance as well. The spa features red cedar dry heat saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms, and rainforest showers, but its most stunning amenity is its outdoor massage cabana with views of the Pacific Ocean.

 

2. Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa, Costa Rica

Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa

Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa takes full advantage of its natural setting: The rooms, restaurants, pool, and spa all offer stunning views of Arenal Volcano. Spa services include customized bath rituals — using elements such as chocolate, milk, and wine — and couples’ treatments, but the standout feature is the mineral-rich thermal volcano springs.

 

3. Westward Look Resort, Tucson

Westward Look

This renovated guest ranch is Tucson’s oldest resort and one of its most popular. Outdoor activities abound at the upscale property, which offers three saline pools, horseback riding and hiking trails, volleyball, basketball, and eight tennis courts. So its fortunate that Westward Look also features a gorgeous spa, perfect for unwinding after an active day. With a focus on therapeutic herbs and cleansing muds found right outside its doors, the spa also boasts sweeping desert views, which you can take in from an al fresco patio post-treatment.

 

4. Anse Chastanet Resort, St. Lucia

Anse Chastanet Resort

Opened in 2000, the Anse Chastanet was one of the first properties in St. Lucia to focus on eco-luxury design, deliberately shunning technology such as TV, telephones, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi. The hotel’s back-to-nature vibe extends to the spa. Offering daily yoga classes and relaxing signature treatments, the spa features indoor treatment rooms as well as an outdoor massage hut where guests can take in views of the Caribbean Sea and Anse Chastanet beach while enjoying a massage or aromatherapy session.

 

5. Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, CA

Monterey Plaza Hotel

The 290-room Monterey Plaza is as close to the ocean as it gets: Built on pillars above the water, it offers an ocean experience like few other hotels in the area do. The spa facilities sit on the top floor and — along with a long list of available treatments such as massages, wraps, facials, and manicures — boast gorgeous views of Monterey Bay from the rooftop whirlpools.

 

6. Hotel Le Toiny, St. Barts

Hotel Le Toiny

Undoubtedly one of the most prestigious hotels in St. Barts, this exclusive 15-villa luxury resort  sits amid 28 lush acres of natural hills and beachfront. Hotel Le Toiny’s spa takes full advantage of its pristine location with numerous treatment rooms, and outdoor showers and patios that look out over the ocean.

 

7. GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, Jamaica

goldeneye

GoldenEye is hands down Jamaica’s hippest and most luxurious resort. It’s also one of the island’s most historic, as the former home of Ian Fleming, and the hideaway at which the author scribed all 14 of his James Bond novels. Today, the property includes a stunning tree house spa, comprised of three open-air treatment rooms overlooking the resort’s peaceful lagoon. Guests can even kayak from their cottages to the dock if so inclined.

 

8. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, SC

Inn at Palmetto Bluff

This “inn” in Carolina Lowcountry, really more akin to a sprawling estate, provides a one-of-a-kind experience that uniquely blends traditional southern charm and almost otherworldly natural beauty. Winding rivers, misty marshes, and old oaks draped with wispy Spanish moss all can be seen from the hotel’s highly-acclaimed spa. A picturesque foot bridge separates the spa from the rest of the resort to ensure peace and quiet.

 

9. Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, Los Cabos

Grand Solmar Land's End

Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa is set against the ethereal background of the Pacific Ocean and a massive natural rock formation that hugs the resort. The resort features a spa (with beachside massage cabanas) at Land’s End Terrace that overlooks the ocean. The views are truly stunning, and a long list of treatments, many of which include tropical ingredients meant to soothe and rejuvenate, means guests have plenty options for relaxing and unwinding.

 

10. Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verde, CA

Terranea Resort

One of just a few true mega-resorts in Southern California, the 100-acre, 582-room Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes offers a range of features that’s unrivaled among Los-Angeles-area properties, including a top-tier spa. With over 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, the spa boasts sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from numerous treatment rooms, which come complete with balconies.

 

11. Parrot Cay and COMO Shambhala Retreat, Turks and Caicos

Parrot Cay and COMO Shambhala Retreat

Accessed via a 30-minute boat ride from Providenciales, this 1,000-acre all-inclusive resort on a private island is the definition of tranquility. Offering tons of wellness-focused services, the spa boasts a yoga room, a garden with whirlpools, a Pilates studio, and nine treatment rooms that look out over the North Caicos Channel and surrounding wetlands. One of the spa’s most popular treatments is its signature COMO Shambhala Bath which includes a salt scrub, a soak, and a massage.

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California’s sandy beaches, towering redwoods, rolling hills, world-renowned wineries and rugged coastal cliffs make it one of the most scenic –and romantic — destinations anywhere. And many of its hotels and resorts were designed with couples in mind, capitalizing on lovely views and tranquil atmospheres. Our top picks are truly special, intimate retreats with one-of-a-kind settings.

Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley

Vineyard Romance Spa Treatment at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley Vineyard Romance Spa Treatment at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley

This 57-room rustic-luxe retreat in Carmel Valley sits in a lovely setting among rolling hills and vineyards. Details such as vaulted beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, and country-inspired decor help create an atmosphere that is homey and cozy. Rooms are large and comfortable with stone fireplaces, feather beds, and plush white bedding, and big bathrooms feature walk-in showers and two-person soaking tubs. Appealing amenities include an outdoor pool, pool bar, and inviting spa where wine-based treatments are available. It’s a sophisticated, romantic spot in Carmel Valley. Read More »

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Sunset in Antigua

Gorgeous sunsets can be found all year-round, but summertime is a particularly nice season to take in a beautiful dusk view with a mai tai in hand. We’ve shown you some incredible sunsets before, but we’ve created a second edition of amazing views we’ve seen more recently. From Caribbean beach destinations to bustling metropolitan cities, we found 10 more incredible sunsets from our travels around the world.

 

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The views from the hotel are breathtaking.

The 144-room cliff-side Hyatt Carmel Highlands offers awe-inspiring views unrivaled anywhere else around Monterey and Carmel — some could even argue the entire West Coast. Accommodations are seemingly as roomy as the stunning ocean views they offer, most complete with working fireplaces and stocked with simple yet modern amenities. The on-site restaurants serve meals that rival the scenery, and the outdoor fire pit is good for relaxing and taking in healthy doses of sea breeze after a day of kayaking (you can rent kayaks through the concierge). So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Hyatt Carmel Highlands.

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Foto Friday: Name Your Price!

by Devon on April 26, 2013

We’re dreaming of heading out to Monterey County for a little R&R, and what better way to enjoy the Golden State than in a room with a view! We checked out our options, and found that plenty of stays along the coast offer phenomenal ocean views. Some hotels charge an arm and a leg for a peak at the Pacific waters, while others offer pretty reasonable rates for a breathtaking view. But sometimes it can be hard to tell which is which…

The Inn at Spanish Bay is a luxurious resort on Pebble Beach, with top-notch amenities including a sprawling golf course, five on-site restaurants, a spa, and spacious guest rooms. But visitors pay for this level of luxury, with standard Ocean View Rooms setting you back about $930 per night.

Not too far from the Inn at Spanish Bay is the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, which comes with much less sticker shock. While still a gorgeous, luxurious stay, a standard Ocean View Room at the Monterey Plaza Hotel will cost about a third (roughly $350 per night) of what Spanish Bay asks for. And Monterey Plaza doesn’t skimp on the extras, either: The hotel boasts a rooftop spa, a beautiful outdoor restaurant, and large, elegant guest rooms.

Can you tell which view is which? Check out the rooms each hotel offers by clicking on the links above, take a guess in the comments section below, and then find the answer after the jump!

Option 2

Option 1

 

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With Spring officially upon us, our taste buds are craving some tasty seasonal treats. No longer satisfied with spiced-lattes or hearty soups, our appetites are demanding fresh vegetables and delicate flavors. Fortunately, some of our favorite hotel restaurants are answering this epicurean call. Featuring rotating menus designed to bring the best of the seasons to their diners, these establishments pack a powerful punch in the taste department. Dig into our favorites around the globe…

The Restaurant at The Caves, Jamaica 

A spring feast in the Caribbean.

Food at this lush escape — tucked into the seaside cliffs of Negril — is delicious, with the chef incorporating local, seasonal ingredients into meals as often as possible. This is wholesome home-cooking at its best, ranging from traditional jerk chicken to extravagant five-course meals. For Spring, diners should look forward to rock shrimp simmered in a savory coconut sauce, served with seasoned Basmati rice, sautéed calalloo greens and roasted ripe plantains.

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We kind of hate to be sharing our best-kept secrets, but it’s our job, after all. So today we’re opening the vault of our favorite hidden gem hotels in California. From quaint, oft-overlooked boutiques in Los Angeles to tucked-away spots just minutes from the beaches of Carmel, we have nine picks for our favorite unknown (until today) hotels in the Golden State. Just please use some precaution when passing on the details — we don’t want to have to share these spots with just anyone.

1. Tradewinds Carmel

Surrounded by lush foilage, Tradewinds is a quiet sanctuary just a short drive from the beach.

The 28-room Tradewinds Carmel has a Zen vibe throughout the hotel — from the courtyard, complete with Buddha statues, a small waterfall, and a tranquil fire pit, to the rooms, decorated with Asian printsstalks of bamboo, and orchids. The rooms are large and feature well-decorated bathrooms with nice soaking or Jacuzzi tubs, but like many small hotels in Carmel, the Tradewinds lacks a fitness center and a spa (though in-room spa treatments are available). Still, it’s a quaint, cozy pick and is just a short drive from the beach.

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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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Upper Pool at the Ventana Inn & Spa

Situated on more than 200 acres of picturesque land, the Ventana Inn & Spa looks like a rustic cabin nestled in the woods — yet it features 62 luxurious, streamlined rooms with wooden accents, refreshing pops of color, and modern amenities such as flat-screen TVsiPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. Many rooms have fireplaces, creating a cozy vibe to fit with its surroundings — though glass doors and large windows keep the rooms feeling bright and airy. Not a place for families, the overall goal of the hotel is to create a zen, holistic retreat with such offerings as yoga classes, discovery walks, afternoon wine and cheese, and Japanese baths. But what we really love here are the gorgeous, pristine pools — one of which is clothing-optional. We’d remind you to pack your bathing suit, but you don’t have to! So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Ventana Inn & Spa.

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If you’re one of the many shoppers out there struggling with gift buying this holiday season, don’t fret. Whether you’re a road warrior with no time to shop or just looking for a ‘lil inspiration, we’ve found a surprising source for great gift ideas: hotels. From gourmet goodies to decadent bath products to home decor, hotels have plenty of items that can make the perfect present — so swipe something on your next hotel stay (and pay up, of course!) or simply swipe the suggestion!

Gift Idea: Signature Pantry Goodies

Guests can buy signature pantry items from The Merrion kitchen, such as red onion marmalade.

Guests can buy signature pantry items from The Merrion kitchen, such as red onion marmalade.

Little-known fact about hotels: Some of the really, really nice ones have their own signature gourmet goodies. At The Merrion, for example, the hotel chef sells kitchen creations such as red onion marmalade (4 euros, or about $5) and hotel-brand chocolate bars crafted under the guidance of chocolatiers in France, both for sale in the in-room minibars. In addition, entire holiday hampers of treats can be purchased. One of our favorites? The Merrion Hamper, with items such as cranberry sauce, brandy butter, mulled wine and grape chutney, macaroons, mince pies, chocolate truffles, Christmas pudding, and lemon oil, all for 55 euro (about $72). At The Shelbourne Dublin, more tasty seasonal signature treats are for sale, such as various relishes (4.95 euros, about $6.50), preserves (4.95 euros, about $6.50), and even Christmas pudding (10 euros, about $13).

Oyster’s Picks for Where to Swipe ‘Em: The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, The Shelbourne Dublin, A Renaissance Hotel

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