U.S. Virgin Islands

Some crave steep snowy peaks. Others bask in a bustling metropolis. And some want a labyrinth of reefs, streaked in bright blues, yellows, and reds, swarming with bizarrely beautiful undersea creatures. For those aqua-oriented souls, we’ve compiled a list of Oyster’s top scuba diving destinations (note: more to come in the near future!).

Costa Rica

Don’t let Costa Rica’s small size fool you. It’s packed with spectacular marine life and an abundance of diving spots. Its beaches boast some of the sea’s most colorful creatures, both big and small. With cooler, nutrient-rich waters, divers often see dolphins, whale sharks, and humpback whales. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, Cocos Island, an uninhabited island more than 300 miles off the coast, is one of the world’s most-treasured diving spots, with oodles of Hammerhead, ray, and dolphin sightings. It’s normal to see dozens or even hundreds of these animals on every dive. If you’re traveling between December and mid-April, make sure to pack some exposure protection, as water temps have been known to dip relatively low.

Playa Virador at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Where to stay:

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa

Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa

 

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It can be hard for high-powered, hooked-up 21st century worker bees to truly relax on their vacations. But a vacation is no time to be checking your Blackberry on the beach. Whether you have trouble letting go of your of your tech-powered world, or are itching to escape it, these unplugged getaways help you recharge your batteries — no batteries required.

Tensing Pen, Jamaica

Tensing Pen, Jamaica

Tensing Pen, Jamaica

Opened in the ’70s as a tiny hippie hangout, this modest-size property has since grown into one of Negril’s top-rated resorts. The 17 cottages, restaurant, bar, pool, and small yoga studio and spa hut are built into the cliffs of Negril’s West End. The hotel adheres to an ethos of simple, back-to-nature living — there are no TVs, phones, or radios in the rooms, so that guests can focus on the rugged natural beauty and breathtaking views. Read More »

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The Caribbean is home to spectacular beaches, many of them hidden away in secret spots most tourists will never find. But some of the best beaches are right on resort property. Take a look at our 10 favorite hotel beaches, and plan your ultra-convenient stay on some of the Caribbean’s nicest sand.

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, U.S. Virgin Islands

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort, U.S. Virgin Islands

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Built from a historic sugar plantation, this profoundly serene 166-room resort sits on 170 acres of a protected national park dotted with seven remote beaches. Even with a quaint pool and rustic rooms that lack TVs and phones, Caneel’s attentive service and unparalleled setting make it one of the Caribbean’s best resorts. Read More »

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Beach at Tortuga Bay in the Dominican Republic

Tortuga Bay in the Dominican Republic is on our holiday wish list this year.

There’s no gift like the gift of travel. If we could have anything at all this holiday season, it would be to hit the sand at one of these uber-luxe hotels (we can dream, can’t we?). So go ahead and dream away — or, if it’s in the budget, start planning your posh beach getaway now. (We’ll try to contain our jealousy.) Read More »

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Rainbow over a bay in St. Thomas

Rainbow over a bay in St. Thomas

It’s summertime — time for a well-deserved Caribbean escape — and planning your island vacation is at the top of your list. The U.S. Virgin Islands sound nice, but which island to choose? You’ve talked to friends who’ve stayed on St. John and St. Thomas, and you’ve heard rave reviews about both. Hm. Decisions, decisions. Well, this is where Oyster steps in. Both islands are great so your choice should be based on what you plan to do. Want to see colorful, tropical fish? Party late into the night? Or just get away from the everyday hustle and bustle? We’ll help you pick the island made for just what you’re looking for, and we can tell you where to stay once you get there. So relax. Picture your toes in the sand with a drink in your hand (and an umbrella in that drink), and let us take it from here. Read More »

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View of the Ocean from the Gran Bahia Principe Where the Hotel sits on its own Private Island

View of the Ocean from the Gran Bahia Principe, which sits on its own private island

Summer is a time for relaxation — getting together with family and friends to enjoy the warm weather and a cold beer. But with the numerous barbecues (from which you’re inevitably “invited” to cook up your favorite dish to share), hours spent at the crowded pool, and in-laws who descend upon you for unannounced, week-long visits, summer activities can be downright exhausting. We here at Oyster understand how you feel and, we promise, it’s normal. So to help you find some real R&R to fit into your busy summer schedule, we’ve tracked down a handful of secluded island resorts where you can discover the true meaning of relaxation. Whether you’re looking for super-lux, high-tech digs hidden in the foothills of Jamaica or prefer the rustic charm of a cottage on one of Hawaii’s best beaches, Oyster.com has found an isolated island resort to fit your needs.

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