Ok, it’s time for some real talk. We here at Oyster adore Hawaii. And, of course, we love Paris – any day of the year. But as travel experts, not only do we look forward to returning to destinations that will forever stand the test of time, but we also strive to uncover lesser-known, and lesser-thought-of, destinations that will really knock our — and your — socks off. When it comes to honeymoons, we know couples look for something (and somewhere) romantic and charming, but how about – original. There are plenty of gorgeous spots around the globe, but we love a duo that’s not afraid of going slightly off book in the pursuit of a one-of-a-kind getaway. Here we’ve selected nine dream picks for an atypical honeymoon that’s anything but ordinary — just like your love, right?
The tiny village of Flam is located in a valley surrounded by steep mountains. It’s the final destination for the Flam Railway, which visitors take through the mountains to reach the village, and is considered one of the most scenic train stops in Europe. From Flam, you can also catch a cruise to the Sognefjord, which is arguably the most beautiful and famous fjord in Norway. Couples choosing this atypical getaway can also choose an aytpical hotel: The Fretheim Hotel dates back to the late 19th century, and its common spaces have charm to spare. The hotel makes the most of its unique, naturally beautiful location with soaring glass windows in the lobby and restaurant that frame the mountains. Read More »
The opening ceremony for Winter Olympic Games in Sochi will be broadcast on Friday, February 7th, which means that Olympics fever is nearly here. Those of us who love the Winter Olympics may be looking for a taste of our own Olympics glory – without going to Russia. Luckily, many hotels are allowing guests the chance to partake in the Olympics fun through Olympics-inspired packages. Whether you want to relive Winter Olympics past or simply show off your own winter sports prowess at some of the world’s top winter destinations, these hotels have got you covered.
The Resort at Squaw Creek is one of the largest hotels in Squaw Valley, where the 1960 Winter Olympics were held. It’s making the most of its Olympics past with the 1960 Winter Games Penthouse Package, which includes penthouse accommodations for two nights as well as two lift tickets and two adult ski rentals per day, among other offerings. The hotel has a ski-in, ski-out location with lift to Squaw Valley, making it easy for guests to ski the same slopes of long-ago Olympic greats. Read More »
Winter can start to drag once January hits, so many travelers choose to escape the seemingly inescapable cold by jetting off to the Caribbean and sunny destinations down south. We won’t pretend that a balmy beach doesn’t sound nice right about now, particularly after the all-powerful (and all-freezing) polar vortex, but there is something to be said for taking advantage of the snow and making for the slopes. And fortunately, with dozens of amazing ski destinations around the globe, there’s a mountain resort that will have everything you’re pining for, no matter your style. So whether you’re feeling inspired by the upcoming Winter Olympics, or you simply need a ski spot for MLK weekend, here are six great ski destinations to suit different types of skiers.
For the Adrenaline Junkies: Whistler, British Columbia
If you’re looking to really get your heart pumping, Whistler is a great option. Development in the late 1900s built this tiny logging town into the full-scale ski resort that it is today, complete with uber-challenging slopes and fear-inducing activities such as heli-skiing. Whistler’s Blackcomb mountain is known for having some of the steepest and most difficult runs in the world.
Stay: The Westin Resort & Spa
This upscale hotel attracts families and couples alike with its spacious rooms, gorgeous views, and prime location just steps from Whistler’s Village Stroll.
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Akin to that elusive “nineteenth hole” in golf, après-ski scenes are more about socializing than sporting. Groups gather after the last run of the day to drink, dance, and relive any hairpin turns they might have experienced on the slopes. We’ve traveled to North America’s premier ski locales and every time, after a blustery day on the mountains, nothing has warmed us up faster than a hot toddy by the fire in some of our favorite hotel bars. Featuring cozy ambiances, stunning views, and custom drinks, these hot spots are just the ticket for a solid après-ski social hour.
The Granary offers phenomenal views and cuisine in Jackson Hole.
This après-ski gem in Jackson Hole offers delicious, locally-sourced cuisine. Cocktails are tasty and the views…well, the views pretty much speak for themselves. With The Granary set in a wildlife refuge more than 700 feet above the Jackson Valley, it’s no wonder that the views are the most stunning of the Tetons in the area. Read More »
Skiing is one of our favorite winter pastimes: There’s just something about getting out in the fresh air (and fresh powder) that does a body good. And whether you’re doing the “pizza” down the bunny slopes or have mastered the double black diamond, you’ll be sure to have a great time, especially considering all the other offerings ski destinations and hotels have: gorgeous spas, fabulous shopping, heated pools, you name it. So without further adieu, here’s a roundup of our favorite ski hotels that go above and beyond with amenities such as ski-in/ski-out locations, elegant rooms, and activity-packed itineraries.
Viceroy Snowmass is easily the most luxurious resort in Snowmass Village, and is packed with top-notch amenities, including a 7,000-square-foot spa with a stunning relaxation room, a solid fitness center, and a lovely pool area with heated saline pool, cabanas, and fire pit. It also offers phenomenal ski valet service (valets will take care of everything from scheduling lessons to putting your boots on for you) and a prime ski-in, ski-out location. There’s a daily resort fee, and you’ll have to pay for valet, but that’s to be expected at a resort of this caliber.
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As the Hotel-Tell All, Oyster is very well-traveled when it comes to hotels. We’ve seen it all — the good, the bad, and the ugly. So around this time last year, we came up with a list of 11 things we hate about hotels. And trust us, we really hate them (don’t even get us started on daily resort fees…). But tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we realized that, sure, hotels can do some annoying things, but hotels give us plenty to be thankful for, too. So this time, we decided to come up with a list of 11 things we love about hotels.
11. 24-hour room service
Breakfast in bed at The Surrey in New York City
Even Mom won’t whip up an omelet for us when we just gotta have one at 4 a.m. But at hotels with 24-hour room service, guests can have their pick of tasty treats no matter the time of day or night. And even better than 24-hour room service is 24-hour room service with a menu dreamed up by a celebrity chef. Hotels such as The Surrey and Mercer Hotel, both in New York City, are known for their celebrity chef restaurants and room service menus.
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In our Oyster Stats series, we’re sharing surprising tidbits on a range of topics using data we’ve accumulated from our hotel coverage and site traffic. Our goal is not to provide scientific data but to provide interesting directional insights about travel trends.
If you think you’re a smart shopper, you may have to think again. Because according to our research, some states are getting a lot more bang for their buck when it comes to hotels — and the results are pretty surprising.
Essentially, people from certain states are doing a better job of finding the lowest price possible for the highest pearl rating possible, guaranteeing a more luxurious stay at a smaller cost. Others, however, are not so savvy. Shelling out more money for a hotel with a lower pearl rating, these shoppers get a lot less pearl per dollar than their compatriots across state lines. Just check out how the numbers break down:
Here we show how the price per pearl differs among our best and worst shoppers. Our best shoppers in Nevada can, theoretically, book a five-pearl hotel for $290 per night, whereas New Yorkers, our worst shoppers, would pay $445 per night for a five-pearl property.
Built in picturesque Deer Valley, the hotel never lacks for stunning mountain views.
The Montage Deer Valley in Park City is a large, luxurious resort with a ski-in/ski-out location that slope-loving couples and guests will enjoy. The rooms feel like upscale apartments, with warm wooden accents, chandeliers, fireplaces, and marble bathrooms complete with heated floors, soaking tubs, and separate showers. The hotel has a massive spa (all guests have free access to its pool, steam rooms, and saunas — perfect for some pre-wedding jitters-calming) and several restaurants (one with a bowling alley). But pricey hotels have pricey extras, and everything from spa treatments to kids’ club activities to Wi-Fi is expensive. Couples should definitely discuss their budget — and that of their guests — when considering this luxe property.
But after seeing what a wedding in Park City entails, the bride and groom will have a difficult time passing up on the experience. On-site wedding coordinators will walk brides (and grooms)-to-be through the entire planning process and are dedicated to ensuring a personalized experience. Ceremony and reception location options include two ballrooms, a sprawling lawn (open seasonally), and an apres ski terrace overlooking the forested valley. Your event planners can also assist with rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, and wedding brunches, as well as with selecting spa treatments, florists, photographers, and stylists. Your guests will also be well taken care of, with coordinators arranging room blocks, mountain itineraries, and Park City excursions for every age group. They’ll also throw in a ring bearer — of the four legged variety — for those couples in need of one. Check out more wedding-inspired photos of the Montage Deer Valley here »
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Some rooms, such as the one-bedroom luxury suite, feature full kitchens and dining rooms.
The luxurious Stein Erikson Lodge is a favorite among skiers, families, and couples who visit Park City. Located directly on Deer Valley Resort, the hotel offers skier-friendly amenities such as ski-in/ski-out access, a full-service ski locker room, ski valets, and a design style that could be described as “wilderness chic” with plenty of roaring fireplaces and cozy leather couches. The 170 rooms are spacious and feature comfortable bedding, sleek bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, large flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Besides the highly reputed spa, the two restaurants (make sure to try the Stein burger — it’s to die for) and the year-round outdoor pool all add to the lodge’s popularity. The nearby St. Regis features slightly more luxe decor, but return visitors to the lodge prefer it’s more laid-back vibe and freebies, such as a shuttle to shops and restaurants. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»
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