“Sun and surf” might be the stuff of summer, but that doesn’t mean a trip exclusively to the beach is in order. Some of our favorite summer destinations are located inland — but we don’t have to miss out on enjoying the cool off-water breeze or stunning scenery associated with beachy spots when we visit them. River locales, such as charming San Antonio or rugged Snoqualmie, possess all that and then some. Flowing past some of America’s best cities, around mountain ranges, and through desserts, these rivers are the optimal alternative summer spots for boating, fishing, hiking, and more while on vacation. So (bathing) suit up, and get ready to dive into our favorite river destinations.
1. May River in Bluffton, South Carolina
The May River is just one corner of gorgeous Carolina Lowcountry.
Carolina Lowcountry is a truly other-worldly corner of the United States. Here, salty marshes and mossy forests are connected by scenic waterways. The May, Cooper, and New Rivers wind through the region’s haunting landscapes, providing visitors with unique ways to soak in the beauty of the region. Boating and kayaking are popular, especially since bottlenose dolphins are common in this area. You can also go fishing, crabbing, or shrimping.
STAY: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff
This “inn” in Carolina Lowcountry is really more akin to a sprawling estate, offering a range of recreational facilities, including golf, bicycling, tennis, croquet, kayaking, and swimming; plus, the luxury spa is highly acclaimed. Read More »
Whether they’re on business or leisure, with the family or solo, almost all travelers consider a book (or a Kindle, whatever) a must-have while on a trip. Personally, we love curling up with a good read while we’re jaunting from city to city. But — taking it one step further — we really love enjoying a novel in the exact same place where the author once roamed There’s just something in the air — and p.s. these wordsmiths usually stayed in some pretty nice digs. So we rounded up the literary hotels where famous authors have partied, waited arrest, you name it. Hey, some even wrote while they were shacked up in their hotel rooms. Check out nine spots where famous writers have spent some time.
The Entrance to the Cadogan Hotel
Built in 1887, the Cadogan Hotel has seen its fair share of history within the walls of the stately Edwardian townhouse. In the realm of literary history, Oscar Wilde was a frequent guest, and he caused quite a scandal when he was arrested at the hotel in 1895 (though friends encouraged him to flee the country, Wilde refused). Poet laureate John Betjeman commemorated the arrest in his poem The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel, and the hotel has renamed the room where the handcuffing went down as the Oscar Wilde Room. At the time of the arrest, it was simply room no. 118.
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Many hotels have on-site bars, even if they’re merely situated in the glorified outskirts of the lobby, where guests can grab standard drinks after a day of sight-seeing. But these days, some of the best hotels across the country are making sure they step up their scene by providing not only comfy rooms and high-end services, but hotspot bars that attract locals as well as guests. We’ve traveled across the country and have found the 12 trendiest hotel bars in the U.S. So check ‘em out, and maybe offer your friends a round at one of these hip locales.
With its butterfly-covered ceiling, stuffed peacock in the corner, and plush banquettes, this 1930s Vietnam-inspired bar is one of the best places in Hollywood to share a drink with a starlet in hiding. Beyond the celebrity factor, the Chateau’s comfortable bar is a wonderful place to enjoy the fantastic food. The “damn good burger,” we can assure you, lives up to the name.
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When traveling around the world, tourists often have famed art museums on their lists of must-see attractions. But what if the hotel they’re staying in is basically a museum unto itself? The following hotels all offer top-notch amenities and services, but they all also have such stunning art collections, you won’t even need to step foot out of the lobby to get your culture on (although we’d still highly suggest it). Here are eight hotel art collections that are worth a visit.
An original lithograph by Toulouse-Lautrec hangs in the dining room.
Housed in a beautiful historic townhouse in Knightsbridge, the Egerton Hotel features numerous period pieces, such as antique chandeliers, mirrors, and grandfather clocks. The artwork is equally, if not more, impressive. The common spaces boast original artwork by Matisse, Picasso, and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as prints from the Illustrated London News. Guests staying in the blue Deluxe King Room can take in a Toulouse-Lautrec lithograph, hanging on the wall opposite of the bed, every morning right when they wake up.
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The Inn at Palmetto Bluff is a romantic spot in Carolina Lowcountry.
Romance is alive and well below the Mason-Dixon line, where Southern charm makes everything seem more bewitching. Couples looking for a romantic getaway will be satisfied no matter their taste, considering that the region boasts both gorgeous antebellum mansions and modern luxury stays. Choosing the most romantic spots, then, is quite a difficult task, but we think we’re up to the challenge. From intimate city boutiques to sprawling Lowcountry estates, here are some of our favorite hotels in the South that are just the trick in the romance department.
Spring is the season for bachelor and bachelorette parties, when engaged couples celebrate their final days of freedom before their summertime nuptials. Of course, bachelor/ette parties head everywhere around the globe to embrace their fleeting singledom, but some destinations are always at the top of everyone’s list. Here, we bring you six of the most popular destinations for bachelor and bachelorette parties. But instead of limiting you to the traditional activities, we also offer alternative options for those looking for something a little different. Either way, these spots are sure to make your party memorable.
Soon-to-be married men partying it up at Tryst at the Wynn.
This one comes as no surprise: Tons and tons and tons of bachelor and bachelorette parties head to Sin City to let loose. Chock-a-block with nightclubs, casinos, pool parties, and strip clubs, Vegas is a massive playground and even the nicest hotels offer relatively inexpensive rates. But that’s all because they know you’ll be spending your life savings on gambling, fine dining, and, often, strippers. Though it used to be just a spot where soon-to-be married men got away, now plenty of bachelorette parties choose Vegas as their destination as well; Kim Kardashian partied at Tao at the Venetian before her ill-fated marriage to Kris Humphries.
Alternative Pick: If stripper shows and packed clubs aren’t your thing, Vegas can still be a great spot for a bachelor/ette party, especially for those on the West Coast who can easily get to the area. About a 30-minute drive from the Strip, Henderson features numerous luxe hotels that are nonetheless relatively reasonably priced and feel miles and miles away. The Westin doesn’t even have a casino; instead, visitors visit the gorgeous spa, enjoy water activities at the beach, relax by the large pool, rent bicycles to explore the property, and take outdoor yoga classes.
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We’re super excited about next Tuesday’s boozy, beaded party known as Mardi Gras. Multiple parades make their way through the Central Business District and up until the French Quarter, with hundreds of revelers lining the streets to peek at the eye-catching costumes, floats, and borderline insanity. But before you can let your hair down — or lift your shirt up — you’ll need to find some primo digs to stay and play at. Just remember that the parades don’t go on Bourbon Street, even if the majority of the partying does. Check out our fave Fat Tuesday hotels — we promise that at least a few of them will let you catch some shut-eye.
The entrance to Hotel Monteleone; New Orleans, LA
The Draw: A true Southern Gem, the Monteleone is a block from Bourbon Street and has a rich in New Orleans history — with all the Creole stylings to prove it. Most notable is its Carousel Bar, which is a veritable, well, carousel, that features kitchsy decor and a chill vibe that’s all its own. Hop on one of the rotating chairs and order up a Ramos Gin Fizz, a drink that actually originated in the city itself.
Best Feature: Aside from the obviously posh accommodations, its location on Royal Street is ideal for watching the parade and reveling with the Bourbon Street partiers.
Find out more about our fave Fat Tuesday hotels after the jump!
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Awards season continues this Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as the biggest names in the music industry strut their stuff at the 55th Grammy Awards. And as we dream about jamming on stage with the likes of Elton John, The Lumineers, Jack White, and Justin Timberlake (who’s making his return to the Grammy stage after a four-year hiatus from the music scene, swoon), we can’t help but be a little jealous of those who get to do so. Thankfully, some of our favorite hotels understand our musical plight. From on-site recording studios to guitar rental services, these hotels may not promise celeb-studded jam sessions but they’re definitely rocker-approved. And we mean that literally: Everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Stevie Wonder has visited these music meccas of the hotel world. So if you want to drop a beat before the awards or just pick up the vibes left behind by some of your favorite musicians, check out these rock-ready hotels.
The Nightbird Sound Studio at the Sunset Marquis has hosted A-list recording artists for decades.
The Sunset Marquis cost guests just $8 a night when it first opened in 1963 as a motel for musicians playing at the nearby House of Blues, Roxy, and Viper Room, all located within a few minutes’ walk. Today, there are so many celebrities that continue to traipse through the hotel that the staff doesn’t get starstruck anymore. During Oyster’s two-night stay, Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Joss Stone, and Roger Daltrey of The Who were all spotted at the hotel, validating the hotel’s “paparazzi diversion tactics” that are offered for a nominal fee.
In addition to its innate rocker vibe, the hotel also offers a state-of-the-art recording studio on-site — Nightbird Sound Studios — designed by renowned acoustician George Auspurger. Accessed via a hidden entrance in the underground garage, the space features (in addition to the usual trappings) a Yamaha Mark IV Disklavier piano, one of only two in America, on which Stevie Wonder has been recorded. Every A-list musician has passed through the studio, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Justin Timberlake, and Lil Wayne and Green Day both recorded here within days of Oyster’s visit. High rollers can rent out the studio for personal use, including karaoke birthday parties.
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Have you been waiting patiently for your favorite hotel to get Oyster’d? We understand, we do. And we’re trotting the globe as fast as we possibly can to bring you more destinations and hotels every day. We investigate every single hotel in person, and that takes time, but we think the results are worth it. Take a look at our newest additions from California, Amsterdam, New Orleans, and Toronto!
Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam
The Conservatorium Hotel delivers a true five-pearl experience in Amsterdam’s residential Museum Quarter. It’s housed in a 100-year-old former bank building, and the hotel’s warm, modern design melds seamlessly with the structure; the stunning atrium lobby, for example, is industrial-chic, featuring wood, brick, and glass. The rooms are decorated in earthy neutrals and every detail was considered, from the placement of the electrical outlets to the reading lights by the bed to the high-tech controls for the lighting and blinds; some rooms have duplex layouts and exposed structural beams. Bathrooms are gorgeous, with rainfall showerheads, stone tile, LCD mirror TVs and micro cotton towels. The big, modern fitness center, stylish indoor pool, and lovely spa, all located below ground, are highlights. It’s a premier choice for luxury travelers looking to trade a central location for added space and quiet.
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It’s that time of year again, when football fans gather around the big-screen to witness the greatest day in American sports. And this year, a lucky few (thousand) fans will make the trek down to New Orleans to see the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens face off in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Because we’re big fans of the Big Easy, we found the best places to stay on game day, no matter which team you’re rooting for — And we’re not about to say which side of the dome we’ll be sitting on!
Just down the block from the Superdome, this hotel gets fans close to the action.
You can’t get much closer to the action than the InterContinental New Orleans, just a two-minute drive from the Superdome. This Central Business District hotel not only boasts a great location for Super Bowlers, but also has a heated rooftop pool and a savvy concierge who can offer all the inside tips on navigating through the sure-to-be-packed. Read More »