Stockholm

There are plenty of different ways to travel in Europe – from shoestring-budget trips to over-the-top getaways worthy of the British royals. Here at Oyster we’ve been lucky enough to be able to do both (seriously, the budget hotels in Europe are pretty nice!), but the holidays are for wishing and dreaming, so we’re going to help you put together your own list of top places to get pampered in 2013. Keep reading and discover our favorite luxury hotels in Europe!

Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris

These luxurious rooms have classic, elegant decor, but modern technologies.

These luxurious rooms have classic, elegant decor, but modern technologies.

The world-renowned luxury hotel Plaza Athenee — a part of the Dorchester Collection — is synonymous with Parisian elegance and good taste. Iconic red awnings and chestnut trees welcome guests to the historic setting, on the upscale Avenue Montaigne location with direct views of the Eiffel Tower. It’s all about luxury here, inside and out. The avenue is lined with high-end shops such as Christian Dior, Prada, and Chanel. And inside, the 146 rooms and 45 suites are decorated in classic Art Deco style with modern touches like flat-screen TVs and marble baths. With six distinct restaurants, a large fitness center, and a can’t-miss daily breakfast in a leafy garden, the Plaza Athenee doesn’t miss a beat.

  • Our favorite luxe amenity: Guests have access to the Dior Institute for a full range of quality beauty and spa treatments.

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In honor of LiLo’s most recent snafu, we at Oyster.com decided to take a look back at the most memorable celebrity uh-ohs in hotel history. And trust us, there have been plenty. After all, when celebs basically live in hotels, they’re bound to get a little rowdy, rude, rambunctious — you name it — while staying in a luxe spot. And though Lindz may have it down to a science these days, she’s only following the example set by numerous celebs before her who have taken their star status a little too far. Trashed suites, accosted employees, terrified hookers — plenty of celebrities have left quite a wake behind them in some of the ritziest hotels in the country. So okay, Lohan may not be the “hotel havoc” trailblazer, but since she’s been doing such a fine job with it recently, we’ll start with her.

The Celeb: Lindsay Lohan

The Hotel: Dream Downtown

LiLo is just one of many celebs who like to party at the Dream. It's nightclub is a highlight, but stars such as Mark Ruffalo have been spotted dining in the hotel's restaurant.

LiLo is just one of many celebs who like to party at the Dream. Its nightclub is a highlight, but stars such as Mark Ruffalo have also been spotted dining in the hotel's restaurant.

The Offense: Just last week, Lohan was arrested after a hit-and-run outside of the hip Dream Downtown. After the actress [Ed. note: She still acts, right?] spent the night partying it up at the hotel’s exclusive nightclub, she hopped into her Porsche to call it a night. And we guess she was really ready to get home, because despite reportedly hitting a restaurant employee (who sustained a knee injury), she continued to speed away. NYPD later arrested Lohan on charges of causing an injury and leaving the scene of an accident.

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Stockholm has up to 18 hours of daylight in the summer

Stockholm has up to 18 hours of daylight in the summer.

Being one of the northernmost capitals in Europe gets you a reputation as a cold place, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean Stockholm doesn’t offer myriad outdoor activities and attractions during the summer months — which, BTW, can be fairly warm. From intriguing medieval neighborhoods with narrow cobblestone streets to world-class museums and gorgeous parks, the Swedish capital is a fascinating destination, rain or shine. Pack your bags and hop on the first plane to Stockholm: We’ve got some amazing stuff to see.

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The Hotel J in Nacka, Stockholm

The Hotel J in Nacka, Stockholm

This nautical-themed, boutique hotel has a secluded, out-in-the-country feel, although it’s only a 10-minute drive from central Stockholm. Though the suburban area of Nacka, one of the city’s business hubs, can be relatively dead at night, Hotel J has an excellent waterfront restaurant and is near numerous corporate offices. Rooms have tiny tube TVs, but include perks like balconies and free Wi-Fi. And guests return to the hotel again and again for its beautiful setting: Reachable by boat, the hotel overlooks the water, dotted by sailboats and yachts. See more incredible photos after the jump or read our full review now»

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It may not be easy to let your kids fly the coup, but being an Empty Nester has its advantages — especially when it comes to travel. Forget breaking up sibling rivalries in the backseat or searching for one affordable restaurant that pleases everyone’s palate. Empty Nesters not only have a renewed sense of freedom, but also extra time and money that can afford them unique vacation opportunities. For mature travelers who are still young at heart and looking for adventure, we’ve found some of the best international destinations that get you back to the outdoors while offering a little something extra for your mature sensibilities.

1. Stockholm, Sweden

The nautical-themed Hotel J offers 1-,2-, or 3-day excursions on their private sailboat.

As one of the most lush (and underrated) places in the world, Sweden’s capital city boasts its eco-friendly atmosphere throughout its 14 interconnected waterways. And because of its far north locale in Scandinavia, daytime can last more than 19 hours during the summer season. With a strong focus on the outdoors, Stockholm makes for a great active getaway. The nautical-themed waterfront J Hotel is a secluded boutique property, perfect for couples looking for tranquility and activity. Guests of the J can rent bikes, hop aboard the hotel’s private sailboat, or get a tai-chi lesson. The hotel also offers wine tastings and culinary classes for travelers to indulge in when (and if) the sun goes down. Read More »

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View from the Bitter End Yacht Club -- Virgin Gorda

Sure, the BVI is a nice, island-y spot. But we have some atypical island vacations after the jump that are hard to beat.

It’s getting warmer, summer is soon approaching, and we’ve got a full-blown case of spring fever at Oyster HQ. So it’s easy to catch ourselves dreaming of an island escape where we can enjoy some sun, fun, and relaxation. But going to the Caribbean is sooo typical (not that we’d turn down the chance to be someone’s travel buddy if they’re heading that way…hint, hint). Instead, we’re picturing a different kind of island vacation. A vacation where you’re on an island, but not one that most would normally think of; instead, we’re picturing the atypical island vacation – but with all the perks of an island getaway. Check ‘em out now!

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Best Western Tomo San Francisco CA

This San Fran hotel is part of a budget chain -- but has high style.

Although we have covered hundreds of hotels and seen many, many guest rooms, there have been a few that have really, well, stood out to us. One would even call them “zany.” Really. We’ve seen stone hand sculptures, faces on chairs, and even private infinity pools waiting for us to dip our toes in. But these eight suites were something else — they take “quirky” to a whole new level. Check ‘em out now — you may find your next design inspiration inside the gallery!

8 Crazy Hotel Rooms and Suites

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We’ve been counting down the seconds to the 84th Academy Awards since the nominees were announced last month. And now that the big day is less than a week away, we’re beside ourselves with excitement. We can list off all the nominees — and even make a few well-educated predictions. But if you haven’t been as attentive to the details, no worries — we’ll give you the low-down. Not only will we tell you some of our favorite nominees, but more importantly, we’ll show you how to live like the characters or real-life actors in these Oscar-nominated films. Who wouldn’t want to live like George Clooney, right? Unless, of course, it’s George Clooney in The Descendants, with a wife in a coma and an unruly teenage daughter. Silver lining? He lived in Hawaii, so things must not have been all bad…

THE FILM: The Descendants

THE NOMINATIONS: Best Picture, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Directing (Alexander Payne), Best Film Editing

Dolphin Quest at The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

Dolphin Quest at The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

THE HOTEL: The Kahala Hotel and Resort; Oahu, HI

The heart-warming and heart-wrenching film tells the story of Matt King, a successful Honolulu-based lawyer dealing with difficult family truths after his wife has fallen into a coma. So while you may not want to trade places with his character, the real-life Clooney leads an envy-worthy, glam life — he and the rest of the crew stayed at the luxurious Kahala Resort during filming. A celebrity retreat since 1964, the Kahala is one of the only quiet luxury options on Oahu, and offers amenities such as the renowned Dolphin Quest, a quiet, beautiful beach, and large rooms with enormous bathrooms.

Check out more Hollywood-approved hotels after the jump!

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