Washington D.C.

Brunch at Atrio at the Conrad Hotel -- Miami

Brunch at Atrio at the Conrad Hotel -- Miami

Spring has sprung and that means Easter is just around the corner! When Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the lane, we get all too excited for egg hunts, chocolates galore, and — most importantly — Easter brunch. Who doesn’t love the combo of booze and food on a Sunday afternoon? And when it’s in the name of all that is holy — well, that’s just an extra perk! A chic hotel is often just the place to find a perfect Easter brunch spread, so we’ve rounded up our favorites across the states. View our mouth-watering slideshow below and prepare yourself to mug down deliciously this Sunday.

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Winter is on its way out and spring is making an entrance. But choosing where to watch the clouds part and the flowers bloom can be tricky. Washington, D.C. is one of the most popular spots to visit during the season, thanks to its gorgeous cherry blossom trees and the White House Easter Egg Roll. But over in Europe, Paris is known for its gorgeous tulips and lush green backdrop. So which pick spring city are waiting to see? Take a look at the options below and then enter your answer in the comments section.

Option 1: A Spring Stroll Though Washington, D.C.

Every spring, crowds flock to D.C. to catch a glimpse (and a whiff!) of the city’s iconic cherry blossom trees. Guests staying at the Mandarin Oriental have a  particular advantage on the crowds, with the hotel being just a short walk from the Tidal Basin’s blossoms. After a stroll through the blooming landscape, the White House is a quick drive away, as are tons of parks and landmarks, making the Mandrin the best option for spring visitors.  Read More »

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As we’ve said before, a vacation just isn’t a vacation without delicious food and delicious views. And when you can have both together, well, that’s a match made in culinary heaven. Back in August, we gave you a peak at five hotel restaurants with scrumptious food set against amazing backdrops — and now we add eight more restaurants to that list. Dig in!

Lounge at the La Reunion Golf Resort & Residences, Guatemala

Lounge at the La Reunion Golf Resort & Residences

It doesn’t have to be fancy to have great views – and delicious food. This luxury golf resort in Guatemala is surrounded by four volcanoes, two of them being active. While the Sky Bar and the upscale restaurant also have views of the volcanoes, we love the laid-back, al fresco lounge, where diners can grab a burger and sip on a smoothie (the lounge’s specialty). During the weekends, the lounge often hosts Guatemalan buffets and barbecues.

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When the White House just doesn't cut it, there's always the Waldorf.

Happy President’s Day from all of us at Oyster.com! This beloved federal holiday was established in 1879 and occurs on the third Monday of every February, perfectly in between Lincoln’s February 12th birthday and George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd. In honor of President’s Day, we’d like to recognize some of our favorite historic hotels that have been lucky enough to have a Commander in Chief or two grace their digs. Click here to take at a look at our favorite presidential hotels, where everything from scandals, to gunshots — even to haircuts, has taken place.

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Our Newest Photo Fakeouts

by Jane Reynolds on January 30, 2013

Oyster's photo of the pool at the Marigot Beach Club

Here at Oyster, we pride ourselves on intensively visiting, photographing, and reviewing every single hotel we feature on our site. Our photos are undoctored and honest, but on our travels, we’ve found that the hotel’s marketing photos can be heavily retouched or cropped mysteriously. Our Photo Fakeouts are legendary — just look at the Sexy Lady Phenomenon — and we felt it was only appropriate that as we expand our coverage, we expand our Fakeout repertoire, too. So today, check out our slideshow of our newest finds!

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In honor of President Obama’s inauguration on Monday, we’re taking a look back at his travels over his last four years in office — and on the campaign trail. The Commander-In-Chief has laid his head in some of our favorite hotels around the globe and, thanks to his refined taste and seriously swanky style (although we’d argue we really have Michelle to thank for that), we’re always eager to see where he’ll travel to next (and, more importantly, where he’ll stay!). Congratulations, Mr. President! May the next four years be full of prosperous times — and plenty of unique hotel stays!

The Hay-Adams, Washington, DC

This decadent junior suite at The Hay-Adams offers White House views.

Four years ago, President Obama moved his family into the Presidential Suite at this historic hotel with White House views after former President George W. Bush rejected his request to stay in Blair House, the White House’s guest residence. President Obama wanted to move to Washington three weeks before his inauguration so that his daughters could start at Sidwell Friends School without missing the beginning of the term, but he was informed that Blair House was already booked (for former prime minister of Australia John Howard and several receptions, as it later turned out). Lucky for him, The Hay-Adams is one of DC’s most luxurious stays. Read More »

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A meal that has been adopted by countries the world over, Sunday brunch was (supposedly) dreamed up in the late 1800s by a British writer who thought that the noonday feast would be a welcome treat — and much-needed hangover cure — for “Saturday-night carousers.” But no matter the origin, brunch has come to be a weekly staple — and the silver lining to a day often overshadowed by the start of a new work week looming in the future. So whether it’s buffet-style, booze-focused (bottomless Bloody Marys, anyone?), or family-oriented, brunch can put a smile on just about anyone’s face. We’ve chowed down at plenty of happiness-inducing brunches across the U.S. and have come up with a list of our favorite spots to grub on Sunday. Check ‘em out!

The Garden Court at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco

The Garden Court at the Palace Hotel, San Francisco

Sunday brunch at the Palace is legendary. Not only is the setting beautiful — we’re talking 40- to 50-foot vaulted ceilings, neoclassical marble columns, and six-foot-wide crystal chandeliers, topped by a sunlit translucent windowed ceiling — but a jazz trio plays beautiful music as hotel guests, locals, and visitors pile tasty treats on their plates. Sushi (with sushi chef), omelets (with omelet chef), crepes (with crepe chef), fresh fruit, sandwiches, salads, oysters on the half shell… you name it, it’s part of the buffet. Plus unlimited coffee, orange juice, and champagne.

Oyster’s Pick: Cinnamon-raisin French toast with flame-heated maple syrup

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Foto Friday: Name Your Price!

by Devon on January 4, 2013

Inauguration day is approaching, and we’re ready to hit Washington, D.C. in style! When searching rooms in the area, we looked for comfort, convenience, and any special extras that might entice us. Luckily we found two great hotels — one luxury and one value — with all our of must-haves. The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown is located in the charming historic neighborhood, close to transportatio, as well as great shopping and dining. The “ritzy” King Room accommodations include up-to-date technologies and refined decor, all for about $830 per night during Inauguration weekend. But nearby, the Embassy Row Hotel offers similar classic elegance (if not quite as upscale), a great historic location near Dupont Circle, and a lively lobby bar. The value option even offers its own spacious King Room with modern amenities, at only $340 per night. Which is which? Check out the rooms each hotel offers, take a guess in the comments section below, and then find the answer after the jump!

Option 1

 

Option 2

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Legend has it that when Dom Perignon first discovered champagne, he called out, “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” It’s hard to disagree with the Frenchman — a cool glass of bubbly can make even the most stoic person let loose a giggle or a smirk. And this is doubly true on New Year’s Eve. Tonight, 2013 will be rung in with champagne toasts around the world, and the best place to do just that? In a swanky champagne bar right in the comfort of your very own hotel, of course! On-site champagne lounges provide uniquely festive ambiances and make stumbling home post-festivities all the easier. Some of our favorite luxury hotels feature these sophisticated spots, so sit back, pop open a bottle of bubbly, and start spying for someone to kiss at midnight. It’s almost 2013 — Happy New Year!

PJ Lounge at the Dukes Hotel, London

The PJ Lounge at the Dukes is a classy spot to ring in the New Year.

While Dukes may be famous for its martinis — James Bond-creator Ian Flemming originated the famous “Shaken, not stirred” line here — its newest addition to the fold is serving up the finest champagne and champagne cocktails. The Perrier-Jouet Champagne Lounge (or, more simply, the PJ Lounge) is a stylish space, outfitted in rich greens, with bright pops of pinks and whites, to sip some bubbly. The bar is classic and playful all at once, just as any New Years Eve affair should be. Read More »

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Are you on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list this year? We’ve seen a lot of good and bad behaviors during our travels over the last year — and maybe dabbled in both as well! So we know every dirty little secret, or shiny gold star, that you’ve been part-and-parcel to on vacation. But if you’re not sure where you stand in Santa’s twinkling eyes, we’re here to help. You can find out whether your favorite hotel amenities will get your stockings stuffed full of goodies or weighed down by coal this holiday season with our quiz. So check out which list you’re on!

The Naughty List: 

1. Have you stripped down?

Clothing optional resorts like the Desire Riviera Maya can see some X-rated action.

For some travelers, itsy bitsy bikinis or revealing Speedos just don’t cut it — a vacation isn’t a vacation without a little nudity. Luckily for them, some hotels are redefining casual dress with policies that let guests bare it all (or almost all), like the couples-only, clothing-optional Desire Resort & Spa Riviera Maya. A little voyeurism never hurt anyone — but don’t be surprised if your nude antics land you on the naughty list this winter.

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