Vail

Mountain Lodge at Telluride, Colorado
Mountain Lodge at Telluride, ColoradoLocated in Mountain Village, Mountain Lodge at Telluride is a classic Colorado mountain getaway. This log-cabin style lodge offers spacious condo and cabin rentals for groups from two to 14 people. Most rooms have kitchens, gas fireplaces, and private balconies in addition to small touches like humidifiers to battle the dry Colorado air. One highlight of this hotel is the year-round outdoor pool and hot tub with sweeping mountain views. A cozy restaurant, called the View, has a huge fireplace and plenty of space to lounge over a local beer. Read More »

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If you’re planning to hit the slopes in Colorado this winter and are looking for a place to stay, you can’t do much better than these gorgeous ski resorts. They embody everything a person wants out of a ski resort — think: handsome lodge decor, cozy apres-ski bars with roaring fires, sophisticated rooms, and first-rate services. If that sounds like your idea of a ski vacation (it sure works for us), take a look at our picks; these 11 gorgeous spots may solve all your planning woes.

Four Seasons Resort Vail
Four Seasons Resort Vail

The Four Seasons Vail opened in 2011, and is one of the area’s top hotels. All the rooms have warm colors, stone fireplaces, balconies, and huge marble bathrooms with standalone soaking tubs, and almost every amenity impresses, particularly the upscale spa (one of the best in Vail Valley) and lovely outdoor pool area. But it’s not directly on the slopes — guests face a 10-minute walk, or a short hotel shuttle ride. Read More »

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Sometimes spa treatments tip over the edge of relaxing and enter the realm of downright strange. From fish pedicures to snow rooms, hotels around the globe are offering unique (and kinda weird) options for guests to indulge in. Some might swear by these alternative services, others may be skeptical — but we at Oyster will try (almost) anything once! Here, we’ve rounded up the craziest spa services we’ve come across during our travels. Take a look and prepare to get pampered in a whole new way!

The Treatment: Sparience Oxygen Bubble

The Spa Hotel: Gran Hotel La Florida, Barcelona 

The Sparience Oyxgen Bubble experience is stress-reducing.

At the Zen Zone Spa in Barcelona, guests can try out the Sparience Oyxgen Bubble. Meant to relieve stress and minimize injury recovery time, these bubbles are filled with 99.5 percent pure oxygen, which should induce intense mental and physical relaxation. The sculpted AlphaSphere bed combines color, shape, and light with sound, vibrations, and warmth to increase the effects of the treatment. It all sounds well and good, but doesn’t it remind you a bit of this John Travolta classic? Read More »

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Pool at the Relais & Chateaux Santa Teresa; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Pool at the Relais & Chateaux Santa Teresa; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Elton John requested a separate room for his collection of glasses (of which he has almost 25,000) during his recent stay at the Relais & Chateaux Santa Teresa hotel in Rio de Janeiro.

2. FACT OF FAKEOUT? The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles rolled out a menu last month that offers several meals that are 500 calories or fewer.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Benjamin hotel in New York City now allows guests to request calls to their rooms about an hour before bedtime to remind them to power off their electronic devices and prepare to go to sleep.

4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? A cup of seasonal, gourmet hot chocolate at the Four Seasons Resort Vail’s Fireside Lounge will set you back $16.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Time hotel in New York recently unveiled a life-size statue of NBA star Dennis Rodman, who has stated several times in interviews that this is his favorite hotel in Manhattan.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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Let’s face it: Traveling can bring out the inner germaphobe in even the most adventurous of us, and for good reason. There are lots of health risks encountered in your hotel room that you won’t necessarily find at home, from mold to industrial cleaning product residue. Didn’t even cross your mind ’til now? Well, fear not — more and more hotels are offering solutions, so your next hotel stay can be cleaner and safer than ever before. Read on to find out what to be wary of — and what you can do about it.

The Orchard Hotel in San Francisco uses chemical-free cleaning products.

The Orchard Hotel in San Francisco uses chemical-free cleaning products.

The Risk: Chemical Cleaning Products

The chemicals in cleaning products used in many hotel rooms can make you sick — and routine exposure (road warriors, take note) can be life-threatening. Exposure to the carcinogens in cleaning products can increase cancer risk, while endocrine disruptors found in many pesticides, detergents, and disinfectants can confuse body hormones and cause fertility problems or even miscarriages.

The Solution: Chemical-Free Cleaning Products

Eco-friendly hotel initiatives are growing increasingly popular, and these days many hotels are being recognized for their efforts by organizations such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). So don’t be afraid to ask hotel staff about the cleaning products they use, or check out our research here. One of our favorite LEED-certified hotels is The Orchard Hotel, which was at the forefront of this movement. Among the very first LEED-certified hotels in San Francisco, the Orchard uses chemical-free cleaning products — among many other impressive green practices.

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What’s better than crawling into a soft, warm bed after a long day of skiing? Well, very few things, but an après-ski spa session may just top it! It’s not only that during a treatment your muscles can finally relax after so many hours of tension, but spa treatments also allow your mind to float away into a whole other dimension in which checking your work email or stressing over what to make for dinner is not even a dot in the horizon. With a wide array of world-class treatments, gorgeous facilities, and unique, tranquil vibes, these spas are your best bet for some après-ski pampering.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

The full-service spa also offers salon services.

The full-service spa also offers salon services.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is a five-pearl, full-service resort in the mountains above Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort. Along with luxe rooms, fine dining, and ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes, the Ritz-Carlton offers many other recreational activities — including multiple outdoor pools and whirlpools that are open year-round. However, one of the best features of the hotel is its huge spa, complete with a wonderful fitness center with mountain views, and an outstanding treatment menu that ranges from organic mani-pedis to stone massages.

  • Our favorite spa treatment: The hotel’s Signature Package includes a 50-minute organic massage, a 50-minute organic facial, and a 50-minute organic manicure and pedicure.

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Akin to that elusive “nineteenth hole” in golf, après-ski scenes are more about socializing than sporting. Groups gather after the last run of the day to drink, dance, and relive any hairpin turns they might have experienced on the slopes. We’ve traveled to North America’s premier ski locales and every time, after a blustery day on the mountains, nothing has warmed us up faster than a hot toddy by the fire in some of our favorite hotel bars. Featuring cozy ambiances, stunning views, and custom drinks, these hot spots are just the ticket for a solid après-ski social hour.

The Granary at Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole 

The Granary offers phenomenal views and cuisine in Jackson Hole.

This après-ski gem in Jackson Hole offers delicious, locally-sourced cuisine. Cocktails are tasty and the views…well, the views pretty much speak for themselves. With The Granary set in a wildlife refuge more than 700 feet above the Jackson Valley, it’s no wonder that the views are the most stunning of the Tetons in the area. Read More »

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For many of us, family ski trips are some of the fondest memories from our childhoods; they often involved fire pits, heated pools, hearty meals, and, well, maybe a few kamikaze-style downhill runs as well. We know from experience that kids always have a great time in the snow, and they’re usually so tired after an entire day of skiing that parents can even snatch some time alone after the little ones are in bed. But there are so many hotels that cater to families and groups that picking the right one can be tricky. No need to fret — we’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of our favorite family-friendly hotels in the top ski destinations, so that all you need to do is have some fun!

Top of the Village, Aspen

The resort offers multi-room suites with kitchens and sitting areas.

The resort offers multi-room suites with kitchens and sitting areas.

Located at the top of Carriage Way, a winding road in Snowmass Village, the mid-range Top of the Village offers great ski-in/ski-out access, an outdoor year-round pool, two whirlpools, and a small fitness center. Because the 88 units range from two to five bedrooms, Top of the Village tends to draw large parties and families.  The fact that it’s the only hotel in Snowmass where you can ski or walk down to the Village Mall, and then take the free shuttle back up, is an added bonus.

  • Our favorite family-friendly feature: Some units offer sleeper sofas that can accommodate up to two other guests, so families on a tighter budget can book a one-bedroom suite instead of a more expensive two-bedroom condo, and still have separate rooms for the parents and the kids.

 

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14 of the Best Ski Hotels

by Jane Reynolds on January 18, 2013

Skiing is one of our favorite winter pastimes: There’s just something about getting out in the fresh air (and fresh powder) that does a body good. And whether you’re doing the “pizza” down the bunny slopes or have mastered the double black diamond, you’ll be sure to have a great time, especially considering all the other offerings ski destinations and hotels have: gorgeous spas, fabulous shopping, heated pools, you name it. So without further adieu, here’s a roundup of our favorite ski hotels that go above and beyond with amenities such as ski-in/ski-out locations, elegant rooms, and activity-packed itineraries.

Viceroy Snowmass

Viceroy Snowmass

Viceroy Snowmass is easily the most luxurious resort in Snowmass Village, and is packed with top-notch amenities, including a 7,000-square-foot spa with a stunning relaxation room, a solid fitness center, and a lovely pool area with heated saline pool, cabanas, and fire pit. It also offers phenomenal ski valet service (valets will take care of everything from scheduling lessons to putting your boots on for you) and a prime ski-in, ski-out location. There’s a daily resort fee, and you’ll have to pay for valet, but that’s to be expected at a resort of this caliber.

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The IHG Priority Club Rewards is the world’s largest loyalty program and, luckily, one of the easiest to decipher: There are no tiers, no categories, no blackout dates for redeeming points, and points never expire. The rewards program covers all of the brand’s nearly 4,500 hotels worldwide, which include InterContinental Hotels, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Hotel Indigos, Crowne Plazas, Holiday Inns, Holiday Inn Expresses, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites.

But benefits don’t end there — points can also be used for stays at more than 70,000 properties outside the brand, as well as to buy gift cards and to enroll in a myriad of leisure activities, such as hot air balloon rides and golf lessons with a pro. And just like with most other major loyalty programs, members can also earn miles that can be redeemed on over 400 airlines, including most major U.S. carriers (such as Delta and American Airlines), British Airways, Air China, Air France and Aeromexico. Check out some of our favorite hotels in each IHG brand (both luxury and value) and start planning your next trip with all those points you’ve earned!

InterContinental Hong Kong

Luxurious rooms feature 24-hour butler service, and most have harbor views.

Luxurious rooms feature 24-hour butler service, and most have harbor views.

The 590-room InterContinental is one of the most luxurious hotels in Hong Kong, conveniently situated in Kowloon within walking distance of numerous sights. Its claim to fame is that over two-thirds of the rooms have harbor views, but the hotel has plenty else to brag about, including seven dining options (including NOBU and an Alain Ducasse restaurant), a rooftop pool, a top-notch spa, and gorgeous rooms featuring 24-hour butler service. Rooms are decorated with Asian accents — such as tasseled gold and brown bed throws with calligraphy print — and also feature large flat-screen TVs with DVD players, iPod docks, and marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs.

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