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.
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 »
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.
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.
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!
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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…
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.
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 prints, stalks 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.
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 »
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 TVs, iPod 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.
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.
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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The Pacific's Edge Restaurant serves gourmet cuisine that rivals these gorgeous views.
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. Providing the ultimate in wedding photo backdrops, the stunning views can be seen throughout the property. Spacious accommodations at the resort are handsomely decorated with modern decor. Most feature working fireplaces, patios or balconies, and whirlpools with striking views of the rocky shore. The on-site restaurants serve delicious meals (and provide great reception options), and the outdoor fire pit is a nice spot for relaxing and taking in a healthy dose of sea breeze before the big day.
Weddings at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands make use of the hotel’s breathtaking views and gourmet cuisine. Couples can choose to wed on the hotel’s Gazebo Deck, in the Surf Room, or in the Yankee Point space. The Gazebo Deck is nestled above the jaw-dropping cliffs of Big Sur and can accommodate up to 115 guests on a lovely redwood deck surrounded by lush gardens. The Surf Room features a balcony space and floor-to-ceiling windows so guests can soak in the view from indoors, and the bride doesn’t have to worry about rain ruining her big day. Yankee Point is perfect for smaller weddings, and features a cozy fireplace. An on-site wedding specialist is available to assist couples in choosing a location, arranging discounted rates for guests, and constructing a menu for the reception. The bride and groom will also enjoy a a complimentary guestroom that comes with a chilled bottle of champagne to toast the special occasion. As a bonus, Hyatt will also arrange for couples to enjoy free honeymoon nights at any Hyatt location worldwide. Cheers to that! Check out more wedding-inspired photos of the Hyatt Carmel Highlands here » Read More »