Riviera Maya

Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, Riviera Maya

Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, Riviera Maya

In Riviera Maya, travelers  can sunbathe and swim at beautiful beaches, snorkel in the world’s second largest coral reef, visit archaeological sites dating back to the 7th century A.D., go shopping, dine in great international restaurants, and party like a spring breaker — all in one day. This stretch of coastline between Cancun to the north and Tulum to the south is lined with some truly decadent resorts with some truly decadent all-inclusive packages. Check out our favorites.

 

 

 

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Hotels are offering some pretty creative butler services these days to attract guests’ attention. Many of these offerings may be gimmicks, but we couldn’t help but wonder — what do these specialty jobs actually involve? We’ve rounded up some of the craziest butler services we’ve come across, from surf butlers to soap butlers.

Hotels are offering specialized butlers to do everything from picking your perfume to tracing your ancestry.

Hotels are offering specialized butlers to do everything from picking your perfume to tracing your ancestry.

Fireplace Butler

There’s nothing worse than selecting a fragrant-but-quick-burning birch wood when you’re trying to make the night last. Luckily for suite guests at the Taj Boston, they need not worry about picking the wrong wood for a relaxing night by the fire thanks to the Fireplace Butler who can be used by guests of any room with a fireplace. The butler service even comes with a seasonal menu – wood menu, that is. Read More »

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The Mansion Pool at The Resort at Fisher Island Club; Miami, FL

The Mansion Pool at The Resort at Fisher Island Club; Miami, FL

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Oprah Winfrey recently announced plans to purchase seven villas at The Resort at Fisher Island Club.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? A guest once asked a butler at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya how to purchase an elephant for an upcoming wedding.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino has canceled the much-anticipated Michael Jackson ONE show due to delays in construction of the main stage. Instead, the hotel is showcasing a few of the late artist’s personal items.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Roosevelt New Orleans has received the prestigious Chairman’s Award for its “extraordinary contribution to the development of downtown New Orleans.”

5. FACT OF FAKEOUT? The Dream Downtown just announced it will be closing the hotel’s popular Marble Lane restaurant and replacing it with Guy Fieri’s new project, The Meatpacking Grill.

 Check out the answers after the jump!

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Mixing business with pleasure? Trying to trade your business suit for a bathing suit? As much as we love getting away from the office, it’s sometimes hard to think about all the work piling up back at our desks. (Emphasis on sometimes.) So for those instances when we need to check our emails or send out those TPS reports while getting some R&R, these gorgeous tropical retreats have us covered, and with more than just a phone jack. Whether they feature ample meeting spaces, dedicated business staff, or any number of other great work offerings, these properties are sure to please any productive vacationers, so you’ll have just the right mix of business with pleasure. Enjoy your bizcation!

Work and Play At: Porto Bay Rio Inernacional Hotel, Rio de Janiero

We'd trade in our desks for this setup any day

Rio is both a beautiful beach getaway and a mountain-lined urban hub, so it’s no wonder that many of the city’s hotels try to appeal to both business and leisure guests simultaneously. The Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel is one of these hotels. Located directly across from the Copacabana beach and offering a stocked, 24-hour business center, the property also boasts some pretty incredible ocean views from the fitness center, meeting rooms, and restaurants, so you never really have to tear yourself away from the beach to get Johnson those TPS reports.

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Superior King at St. Regis Atlanta; Atlanta, GA

Superior King Room at St. Regis Atlanta; Atlanta, GA

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT?  The St. Regis Atlanta rolled out the brand’s first signature tequila just in time for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations this weekend.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT?  The Rosewood Mayakoba in Riviera Maya is offering a $175,000 hotel package for a soon-to-be groom and his two best friends that includes private golf lessons with renowned golf instructor Jim McLean.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? TV host Bethenny Frankel and soon-to-be ex-husband Jason Hoppy spent some days at the Fontainebleau Resort Miami Beach to celebrate their divorce settlement.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is connecting its two towers via a zip line 337 feet above the ground.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Robert Pattison was kicked out of the Bowery Hotel in New York after getting into a fight when one of the bellmen mentioned the actor’s on-and-off-again girlfriend, Kristen Stewart.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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We'd love to dive into that gorgeous blue water right now!

We'd love to dive into that gorgeous blue water right now!

Cinco de Mayo may be over, but it’s all the more reason to head to Mexico for a little R&R after the hard-partying of this weekend. Located on the snorkeling-lover’s island of Cozumel off the Caribbean coast of Mexico, the Cozumel Palace is an upscale all-inclusive resort. It offers an impressive array of kid-friendly features, but is largely popular among couples seeking some relaxation. Rooms feature liquor dispensers, flat-screen TVs, minibars and balconies, and all but the standard rooms have a big whirlpool. Dining options are varied and solid, and the pool area offers daily activities as well as a swim-up bar and loungers. And the views — well, they speak for themselves. So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Cozumel Palace.

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Staying fit on the road is never easy, particularly when it comes to eating well. Many of us let our diets go out the window when we travel, partly because there simply aren’t any healthy options to be had. After all, if the only edible-looking option on the room service menu is the burger, what is one to do?! Luckily, hotels are starting to recognize the demand for more healthful food options, and a handful of chains are taking action. Hyatt, Fairmont, and Westin are among the brands paving the way, working with health experts and organizations to come up with some tasty, guilt-free menu options. Here’s hoping other hotel chains get on board with this trend!

Hyatt

Hyatt, which has 492 hotels worldwide, is one of the largest chains to introduce healthy food options at its properties. The “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.” initiative launched in 2012 has brought cage-free eggs, hormone-free beef, and sustainable seafood options to all of its hotels, among other health-conscious food options. Hyatt also teamed up with Partnership for a Healthier America (Michelle Obama is a Chair!) to make its kids’ menus healthier in support of the effort to combat childhood obesity. In addition, all Hyatt hotels have on-site fitness centers, so no excuse not to hit the gym either!

Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle

Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle

Oyster.com’s Pick for a Standout Hyatt Hotel: Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle

You almost can’t go wrong with the Hyatt at Olive 8, which is known for its exceptionally high customer ratings, environmentally conscious design, and easy, walk-to-everything location. If you’re looking for a romantic lobby in which to have cocktails, you might want to head across the street to the dark and elegant Grand Hyatt; otherwise, be prepared to stay happily put.
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Talk about a room with a view!

Rosewood Mayakoba is a gorgeous, peaceful retreat within the resort community of Playa Del Carmen, set on a mile-long stretch of beach. Though it features an extensive children’s program, the resort largely attracts couples with its serene atmosphere, upscale restaurants, and spa. The 128 suites feature attractive contemporary decor — picture clean lines, white walls, and rich woods — as well as high-tech amenities and private outdoor plunge pools. They have an open-air vibe, with many floor-to-ceiling windows, and the overwater lagoon suites have swim-up access. Plus, suites include freebies such as Wi-Fi, fresh fruit, and bottled water. So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak in the goodness that is the Rosewood Mayakoba.

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For many, the dream beach vacation involves snoozing on a quiet stretch of sand in some exotic (read:expensive) locale — and we don’t blame you. But the truth is, there’s no need to break the piggy bank to have a fabulous oceanfront getaway. Picking a budget-friendly hotel that’s not overrun with twentysomethings looking for a crashpad can be tricky, and more serene destinations tend to be more expensive. But we searched high and low, and these six affordable properties are great for those who want to spend some quiet, relaxing days on the beach — without spending all their savings.

Steal #1: Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa, Cancun

The gorgeous infinity pool overlooks a beautiful white-sand beach.

The gorgeous infinity pool overlooks a beautiful white-sand beach.

Overlooking a stunning beach on the southern tip of the Hotel Zone, this adults-only property oozes tranquility. Its serene white and red decor — accented by billowy curtains everywhere — and its somewhat secluded location far from the booming Cancun nightlife, sets this boutique apart from the mega-resorts located just north of it. The Bel Air Collection has 155 chic, minimalist (if low-frills) rooms, trendy common areas, a wonderful spa, and a gorgeous infinity pool with ocean views. It’s a great pick for a relaxed, romantic getaway.

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Ackee and saltfish, Jamaica

Ackee and saltfish in Jamaica

If you’re a foodie, cuisine plays an important role in your vacation. We can relate. Luckily, we’ve gotten to sample a lot of great food while off investigating hotels across the globe, and we’ve particularly enjoyed discovering various destination’s specialties, from smoked salmon in Norway to macarons in France. There’s a lot of food out there, to be sure, but these seven local dishes ranked among our favorites.

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