Look at the water! Guests can see the crystal blue ocean from just about everywhere on the property.
The low-key, down-to-earth Grand Case Beach Club in picturesque — you guessed it! — Grand Case has an authentic island vibe with bougainvillea-draped, cottage-style buildings and two serene beaches. The pool is tiny, as are studio rooms, but it’s still a gem for travelers intent on quiet, beachside relaxation, plenty of on-site activities, and lush tropical grounds — all within walking distance of the island’s best restaurants, cafes, and bars. And the ocean alone is enough to make this hotel a great pick. So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Grand Case Beach Club in beautiful St. Martin.
Bluest sky meets bluest water at the Bleu Emeraude.
Opened in 2009 and still gleaming, the intimate 11-room Bleu Emeraude is aptly named, as it sits along a peaceful crescent-shaped white sand beach, where the water is the bluest shade of blue. Modern rooms are sleek with updated electronics, designer furnishings, and white-on-white decor that puts the focus on the stunning ocean views. Though the hotel sits on a particularly busy street and has virtually no amenities beyond the beautiful beach, it is just a short walk away from the culinary mecca of Grand Case, and its reasonable rates make it a great value pick on the island. So as we say every week: sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Bleu Emeraude.
While there are many great budget-friendly hotels in the Caribbean, the islands are also known for their luxury properties, where guests are treated to day trips aboard yachts, couples are offered massages in sumptuous spas, and rooms are twice the size of a New York apartment (although, we guess it’s not too hard to be). We’ve compiled a list of our favorite luxury hotels in the Caribbean so you can start planning what to do after your new year’s resolution of winning the lottery (that’s not a new year’s resolution, but, really, who hasn’t had that on the list for at least a decade?) comes true.
All guests have a butler on call 24/7 assigned to their room.
Bringing tranquility to otherwise-crowded Paradise Island, the 105-room Ocean Club’s personal butlers, beautiful pools (one for adults, one for families), restaurant from Jean-Georges, and access to Atlantis’s water park, casino, and other attractions make it one of the Caribbean’s best resorts.
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Winter may be firmly upon us now in the Northeast, but that doesn’t mean we have to write off warm weather entirely. The Caribbean isn’t too far away (especially for us East Coasters), and some island hotels are featuring wonderfully affordable rates this time of year. You may have to forgo a few luxuries to stay on budget, but designer toiletries are highly overrated, right? So pack your bags and get ready to hit the beach for a few days — or a few weeks! Oyster has the skinny on the Caribbean’s best value stays.
Dive right into the Caribbean Sea from your room at the Rockhouse.
The Rockhouse is a lush, laid-back Jamaican resort offering gourmet dining, morning yoga, a premium spa, and best of all, a gorgeous cliff-side location on Negril‘s coast. Sure, there’s no fitness center and rooms lack TVs and Wi-Fi, but its unplugged vibe is just why some guests come. Plus, with rates usually falling below $200, it’s a steal compared to similar resorts — such as the slightly chicer Caves — in the area. (NB: Children under 12 are not allowed on the property.)
There’s something — should we say a certain je ne sais quoi — about getting away to a spot that’s completely different. A different culture, different food, different people, a different language — all of these things can make you feel worlds away from home (in a good way, of course). And when we’re choosing a destination, we often can’t help but be drawn to French-speaking locales. After all, French is the language of love, and we feel pretty glam when we’re casually
searching through our translator conversing with locals in francais. But Paris is sooo last year. (Okay, so that’s a lie — Paris is always fabulous. But work with us here.) So why not visit a French-speaking spot that has, say, a beach as well? Or skip away to a European lakeside locale where French is the official language. If you want to immerse yourself in the French culture, France is certainly not your only option. Check out some of our favorite French-speaking destinations not in France.
Nicknamed St. Barts, St. Barthelemy in the French West Indies has been a playground to the rich and famous for several decades. Nestled among the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea, it was a French colony until 2007 when St. Barts officially became a “separate overseas collectivity.” French is spoken by many locals (although almost everyone on the island can speak some English) and much of the cuisine has a French flair. This, paired with the fact that almost all food products are imported from France, means meals can be pricey. Seafood, however, including conch — an island specialty — is caught locally. The well-heeled venture out to St. Barts not only for its gourmet restaurants, but also for its high-end designer shops, secluded beaches, and exclusive location. Celebs such as Jimmy Buffet, David Letterman, and Steve Martin own property on the island and are frequent visitors.
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It’s the first official summer Friday, and while temperatures outside are soaring above the 90s, here at Oyster HQ we’re using the power of our imaginations (and our Oyster Shots!) to transport ourselves to some cooler beach-side glamour. In particular, the exclusive La Samanna resort on the French side of St. Maarten has captured our eye with it’s fabulous beach and bohemian bar, Baie Long. Offering a sophisticated setting for cooling off on a hot day, this Moroccan-themed bar is even celeb-approved: Famed guests such as Jackie O (could you find ANYONE chicer?) have sipped cocktails in this bright, airy lounge. So what are you waiting for? Order up a strong one and start your weekend off right!
Baie Long Bar at the La Samanna
These destinations will have you ready to flaunt your bikini body in no time.
It’s getting down to crunch time (literally) — Memorial Day Weekend hovers in the near-future and soon you’ll be showing off your bikini, whether you’re ready to or not. So at least on your long-weekend holiday, you can kill two birds with one stone by finding a destination where you can work it and work out. Whether you’d prefer to take a quick jaunt to the Hamptons or escape for a longer break to St. Martin, whether you enjoy a hike in the rain forest or hanging ten, we have destinations and activities for you to get fit — check them out after the jump »
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You may have gotten over themed spots after your tenth birthday party (um, hello, Princess Tea Party Fest), but they’re actually great for some old-fashioned adult fun, too. Hotels across the world have fabulously themed bars that run the gamut from classy to trashy. So we’ve shuffled through the clutter to find the top 10 hotel bars that, despite (or because) of being themed, are super cool. Check out one of our favorites, Stables Bar in London below, and the rest of the cool, kitschy bars here.
Stables Bar at The Milestone Hotel; London, England
Sun and sand is great and all, but some (us included) would argue that a beachy setting gets better when the clothes come off. Think of a nude beach as your new and improved wingman — its mere presence allows you to skip the whole how-do-I-get-him-or-her-out-of-their-clothes predicament. So come and get the skinny on our favorite nude beaches.
The beach at ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa; Miami, FL
WHY WE LOVE THE BEACH: Though Miami is topless-friendly just about everywhere, Haulover Beach is the only true nude beach in this spring break hotspot. The waters are crystal clear, the soft sand is debris-free, plus there are tons of on-beach amenities. Haulover has lifeguards (in swimsuits, unfortunately), food and drink vendors, and plenty of organized activities like birthday-suit volleyball, although we recommend not going for the save.
WHY WE WANT TO STAY HERE: Less than a 5-minute drive from Haulover Beach, ONE Bal Harbour has a prime location for seeing some skin. Plus, this luxury resort has massive suites, a 10,000-square-foot spa, and over $4 million dollars worth of modern art.
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