Sedona provides the perfect hiking grounds for your next trek.
The Southwest is one of our favorite places to get physical thanks to its crisp, high-altitude air; gorgeous terrain; and earthy, holistic vibes. And though there may be tons of incredible national parks throughout the region — including Arches, Zion, and the Grand Canyon — other lesser-known areas prove to be just as majestic. Take a look at just a few of our favorite places in the Southwest to get fit and reconnect with Mother Nature!
Having a pool in your hotel is always a great perk when traveling in the summer, but there are many other seasonal hotel amenities that can make a trip special. Part of our job here at Oyster is to experience the property in full, and we never miss a chance to make the most of our visit. We’ve done everything you can imagine, from zip-lining in a snowstorm to bird-watching binoculars in hand — all for the sake of a complete review. These are our favorite summer amenities and where to find them.
The best way to explore this private island is on a bike.
Plenty of hotels offer loaner bikes for guests to use during their stay, but few are located on a 44-acre private island where the best way to explore is on two wheels. Sea World San Diego and Pacific Beach’s shopping and dining are just a short bike ride away – so leave the car in the hotel’s parking lot and enjoy the sea breeze in your hair.
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The One-Bedroom Suite at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado; Santa Fe, NM
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe offers a couples spa package that costs $300 more than a weeknight stay in the hotel’s most basic room (which, by the way, is pretty luxurious).
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a Facebook giveaway contest for a free wedding ceremony and stay at the hotel.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has been taken over by the City of Singapore and will be turned into the largest post office in the city.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Rolling Stones will make a stop at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas during the band’s 50 and Counting tour.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? A hotel employee recently found Amanda Bynes pant-less and smoking, curled up in a corner of the W New York Times Square’s gym.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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What are YOU looking at!
Talk about bathrooms with a view! The Ten Thousand Waves spa resort in Santa Fe may seem like a relaxing getaway, but this guy watching you do your business may not exactly put you at ease. When using the restroom in this Sailor Moon Suite, just proceed with caution.
Read our caption after the jump, then enter your own in the comments section below! Read More »
It’s true that every traveler is unique, and our mission at Oyster is to find the best hotel for each one’s specific needs. But most travelers can agree on one thing: wanting the best hotel for the lowest possible price. And we can certainly help with that, too. We used some database wizardry to discover the least expensive four- and five-pearl hotels on Oyster, and layered on our editorial expertise to select which of those were also truly awesome hotels. The result? Take a look!
- Price: $110 and up
- Pearls: 4
Hotel St. Francis, Santa Fe
This 81-room upscale boutique, housed in a historic building two blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza, underwent a complete renovation in 2011 and now features simple, mission-style decor inspired by the principles of St. Francis of Assisi. The elegant, minimalist rooms have original wood floors, sturdy wood furniture made by local artisans, and a color scheme of gray and white — but, as in many historic buildings, they’re small. The hotel features a fine dining restaurant serving New Mexican cuisine, as well as a bar, with outdoor seating available, that offers appetizers and cocktails. But there’s no pool or Jacuzzi, and guests will have to pay a daily fee for parking. If a pool is a priority, consider the nearby Inn and Spa at Loretto. Read More »
Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling like royalty, sleeping in some of the world’s most expensive suites, and eating in Michelin-starred restaurants? The time and money for that kind of trip can be tricky to come by, but it’s always good to be ready just in case the opportunity arises, right? We here at Oyster have been lucky enough to have visited thousands of hotels around the globe and across the states. The U.S. is known for having high standards when it comes to hotels, and hotels stateside offer some of the most decadent services around. So we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite luxury properties in the States for those planning a luxe trip — and for those who just like to dream. Enjoy!
Rooms feature decadent decor and opulent bathrooms.
There are dozens of ultra-luxurious hotels in New York, but The St. Regis is second to none, with a refined atmosphere, extraordinary service that includes butlers on call 24-hours, Clefs d’Or concierges, a signature bath menu, gorgeous guest rooms, a great Fifth Avenue location (the better for shopping), and a stunning Beaux Arts lobby. (Phew! That was a long list.) It won’t come cheap, but the level of luxury offered here is not found in any other hotel in the city.
- Our favorite luxe amenity: The packing and unpacking services offered by the guest’s personal butler
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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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The Ocean Crystal Wedding Chapel at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort
When it comes to destination weddings, the options can seem endless (and exhausting). Couples can choose to wed beachside or poolside, in the woods or atop a mountain. But sometimes sticking to tradition can be just the ticket, even if you are in an exotic locale. That’s why many hotels around the globe offers gorgeous chapels for nuptials. We picked some of our favorites for saying “I do,” so get the wedding marches ready: It’s time to walk down the aisles of our favorite hotel chapels.
You can smell it in the air: From pumpkin spice lattes to steaming bowls of butternut squash soup, the nose knows that fall is in full swing. And as the air gets chillier and the days get shorter, cinnamon and clove cravings have crept upon us. Luckily, our favorite hotel restaurants are spicing up their menus for autumn, featuring seasonal ingredients in innovative ways that are sure to make everyone’s taste buds happy. So get your chompers ready — those apple cider doughnuts (and more complex offerings) aren’t going to eat themselves!
Ame opened with the hotel in 2005 to much critical acclaim, and its mixture of Japanese and New American cuisine is still a hit with locals and visitors. The chefs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, renowned for their Napa Valley debut restaurant Terra, refer to their cooking as “personal cuisine” — a refined blending of local ingredients and the flavors of southern France and northern Italy that are then filtered through Sone’s Japanese culinary sensibilities. The result is a seasonally changing menu with offerings such as butter poached Maine lobster and Hokkaido scallops with grilled cauliflower and pickled grapes in a curry brown butter sauce. Read More »
While there are plenty of luxurious hotels out there, some hotels take luxury to a whole other level (which means prices on a whole new level, too). But when you really need to unwind away from home, there’s no better way to indulge than heading to a luxe hotel with an equally luxe spa for some much-need pampering. Whether they’re offering oils of gold, creams of caviar, or bathtubs of wine, these hotel spas aren’t shy about offering their guests the royal treatment – and charging them royally, too.
Treatment: Evian Bath for $5,000
Spa: Spa V at Hotel Victor, South Beach
Hotel Victor pampers guests with the finest bath water in South Beach
Not many of the treatments at Hotel Victor in South Beach come cheap, but the Evian bath is particularly pricey. The bath, consisting of 1,000 bottles of the French mineral water, is only available to guests of the $10,000 per night penthouse suite, and includes champagne, dessert, and an additional treatment of choice for two.
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