Monterey County

Photo Credit: Humberto Carreno/startraksphoto.com

Photo Credit: Humberto Carreno/startraksphoto.com

Last Saturday, the notoriously private Natalie Portman and her baby daddy Benjamin Millepied tied the knot in front of family and friends in Big Sur. While the ceremony took place at a private home overlooking the ocean, the party moved to the luxurious Ventana Inn & Spa for the reception, where the newlyweds and guests noshed on a vegan menu and danced the night away. No photos of the wedding have yet been released (except for a few grainy shots of the bride in her stunning Rodate gown) but we here at Oyster have gorgeous insider shots of the Ventana Inn. Check out where this celeb couple said “I do” and get inspired!

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River Ranch Cafe at the Carmel Valley Ranch

River Ranch Cafe at the Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch is a 500-acre property offering modern luxury in a rustic, bucolic setting, with tall oak trees, organic gardens, and rolling vineyards. Rooms are decorated in soft tones and feature flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and Keurig coffeemakers. Enormous, immaculate bathrooms with soaking tubs and separate walk-in showers provide space to relax, along with small private decks and travertine fireplaces. The ranch’s many features include two outdoor pools — the River Ranch Pool, featuring a splash zone for kids, and the Lodge Pool — as well as an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye. There are seven fire pits perfect for nightly fireside s’mores, and endless activities — tai chi or beekeeping, anyone? — that can keep both couples and families entertained. And everywhere, amazing views abound. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»

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Tucked into the picturesque redwood forests and sloping cliffs of Big Sur, the Ventana Inn & Spa‘s goal is to provide its guests with a holistic retreat free of stress — and it does just that. Guests can take on-site yoga classes, go on discovery walks, or simply snooze away in one of hotel’s many hammocks.  If in need of more, shall we say, hands-on relaxation, the Ventana’s extensive spa, which features numerous treatment rooms, two Japanese baths, a sauna, and two pools (one of which is clothing optional), will surely do the trick. And so as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak in the goodness that is the Ventana Inn & Spa.

Ventanas Inn & Spa

Talk about a view: The food isn't the only thing worth salivating over at the Ventana Inn & Spa's on-site restaurant.

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For travelers with a bit of acrophobia, some of the world’s most gorgeous spots are also the most terrifying. These nine hotels, from a cliff-side sanctuary to an uber-luxe mountaintop retreat, will test travelers who are even a little scared of heights. The views may be endless, but for some, so is the vertigo.

Think you’re ready to live on the edge? If so, proceed — with caution.

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Foto Friday: Point of View

by Zach on December 9, 2011

Travelers know the difference between rooms with a view and rooms with a view: Just ask anyone who’s been to Carmel Highlands, California. Monterey County’s natural beauty has attracted visitors since the turn of the century, and nothing has changed, least of all the scenic beauty. Not to mention, you’ll get the healthy dose of sea breeze you’ve been needing for a while.

The Sunset Suite at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands

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