Spring break is right around the corner and, those on a budget shouldn’t rule out a trip to the sun-soaked beaches of the Caribbean. Budget-friendly all-inclusives dot the shores of some of our favorite destinations, including the Dominican Republic, Cancun, and Jamaica, among others. It’s time to pack your bags and hitch a flight to warmer weather.
With competitive pricing, lovely rooms, and great on-site amenities, this 70-room boutique hotel will attract people who never thought they’d choose an all-inclusive package. With three restaurants and cabanas on the terrace, Waves has a contemporary appeal especially for couples. The quiet beach along Prospect Bay feels private, and the calm waves are perfect for swimming and kayaking. A spa and adults-only pool, located across the street, are extra perks.
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As temperatures across the United States continue to drop and snow continues to fall, we here at Oyster can’t help but ask ourselves if we’ve entered the next Ice Age. While we’re sure our Olympians across the pond wouldn’t mind Sochi suffering from a similar deep freeze, we personally would rather do without the slippery sidewalks and freezing rains Mother Nature has seen fit to drop on our doorsteps. The lure of sun and sand has never been stronger. If you just can’t stand it one second more, here are eight destinations where temperatures are soaring over 80 degrees right now.
1. Hot spot: Puerto Rico
Current Temperature: 87 Degrees
For a warm-weather escape close to the States, Puerto Rico is an excellent choice in the Caribbean. With temperatures in the high 80s, you’ll be able to enjoy the pristine white-sand beaches and outdoor amenities like horseback riding and golfing available at the top-notch El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria property. Read More »
If an all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink beach getaway with your honey sounds like your idea of a vacation, then we’ve got some great resort picks for you. These all-inclusive resorts are not only among the best in the Caribbean and Mexico, they’re also adults-only — so you can enjoy some R&R without getting interrupted by squealing tots. (And families, not to fear — we’ve got recommendations for you, too!)
Arguably Jamaica’s most romantic escape (for adults only), the Caves’ 12 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs (there’s no beach). High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica’s best all-inclusive. Read More »
Marketing image from Hotel Las Palmas by the Sea, Puerto Vallarta
Chances are you’ve heard of our popular Photo Fakeout series, where we show our honest hotel photos contrasted against the sleek, staged, and misleading images put out by hotel marketers. The results can be shocking, and sometimes humorous (unless you’re the one who got tricked and booked into that misrepresented resort, of course). Our investigator Jennifer Garfinkel headed to Puerto Vallarta with ABC’s The Lookout to get the scoop on some Mexican photo fakeouts, and boy, did she find plenty. Check ‘em out.
Nothing says summer like a long, lazy day by a cool blue pool. And if that pool happens to be completely gorgeous and over-the-top, all the better; it can help turn a typical day by the pool into a summer memory to last a lifetime. Whether you’re looking to swim at the base of an active volcano, snorkel among Caribbean grottoes, or water slide through a shark tank, these pools can deliver all of that — and more.
Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Most of us love a good water slide, but those looking for some serious thrills should hit up the a pool complex at Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which boasts a three-story waterslide that runs through a 200,000-gallon shark aquarium. Read More »
Getting physical on Spring Break at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Bathing suit season is just around the corner, and we’re getting ready to strut out stuff on the beach once again! Lucky for us, we met some very bendy friends while staying at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta who showed us a few great yoga moves.
Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below!
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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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The infinity pool at Garza Blanca offers stunning views of Puerto Vallarta's rugged coastline.
From the polished stone finishes of the daylight-saturated atrium lobby to the gorgeous infinity pool with its rock formations and fountains, this 73-unit resort is a posh spot for contemporary oceanfront luxury. Standing on a secluded stretch of beach on Bahia Banderas’ south shore, which offers stunning views of the ocean and jungle-covered hills that surround it, the Garza Blanca features spacious guest rooms, an exquisite pool, a private beach, and a gourmet restaurant with an extensive wine cellar and tequila tasting room. Couples will also enjoy the Buddhist-inspired Hamara Spa — a great place to wind down before the big day. And if that isn’t quite enough, adventurous duos can explore the preserve, a large swath of land on the jungle-draped mountain behind the hotel. Plus, Garza Blanca’s history as a playground for Hollywood stars in the 1960s is sure to put newlyweds in a glamorous mindset.
Weddings at Garza Blanca are stunning, with couples having ample ceremony locations to choose from, including beachfront, poolside, or patio services. The resort has a variety of packages for couples to consider, and an on-site wedding coordinator is on-call to help make the day more memorable. Couples will generally receive a free suite upgrade, as well as a romantic turndown service and a bottle of sparkling wine on their wedding night. We’ll say “I do” to that! Check out more wedding-inspired photos of the Garaza Blanca Preserve here »
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The Penthouse at the Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Eva Longoria was recently spotted at Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa with an unidentified new beau, with whom she reportedly canoodled by the pool.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Ritz-Carlton Washington’s $100,000 Access Package for Inauguration 2013 includes two first-class, round-trip, domestic-flight tickets, a four-night stay in a suite, and special access to the Capitol and Library of Congress.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Taj Boston’s Fireplace Butler builds and starts a fire for guests — who get their choice of wood from a Wood Menu [Ed. note: We know, we know, insert "that's what she said" pun here.] — in guests’ suites at no extra charge.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The InterContinental Miami has hired tennis player Anna Kournikova to redesign its two-story presidential suites, which feature striking views of Miami and Biscayne Bay.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo has introduced a program allowing guests to experience a tech-free vacation. Participating guests may leave their iPhones safely with the hotel and are given a free custom iPhone cover and a guide to 24 things they can do without technology at the resort.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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- “Single studmuffin” wants to hang with lots of ladies — and who can blame him!
With our Ask Oyster series, we highlight some of the most interesting questions we receive so that all of our fans can benefit from our expert advice. Have a burning travel question you’d like answered? Contact us and put “Ask Oyster” in the subject line.
I’m planning trips to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and would love your suggestions for adult-friendly, all-inclusive resorts. I’m looking for high-end resorts with an abundance of single ladies.
- Single Studmuffin
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