ALL POSTS IN [Hotels]

Cancun

There are 2 Cancuns: The Zona Hotelera in Isla Cancun, which is the mega-resort, mega-mall area that caters to mass tourism, and Ciudad Cancun, which is the original downtown area and where locals actually live and have their businesses. Thousands of spring breakers, honeymooners, old couples, families and young groups of friends flow into Cancun every year, making it one of the world’s top beach destinations. Its turquoise waters, beautiful stretches of sand, and night-long parties are a main draw here, but there’s a lot to do besides going to the beach. Cancun is the gateway to the breathtaking Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum (Coba is also nearby, but is less well-preserved). Even for those planning to spend most of their time in lounge chair, these centuries-old archaeological sites are well worth a visit.

If all you need is a beautiful beach and a self-contained megaresort close to the party area, you’ll probably have a great time in the Hotel Zone. Le Blanc Spa Resort is a luxurious adults-only choice directly on a heavenly white-sand beach, with amenities such as a gorgeous spa and 3 outdoor pools. The nearby Gran Caribe Real is also a nice choice, but caters more to families with suite-style rooms, a kids’ club, and a waterpark. If you’d prefer a more authentic experience and don’t mind being a 10-minute cab ride from the beach, consider Ciudad Cancun. Here, you’ll find cheaper, smaller hotels, and a wide array of traditional and international restaurants and shops. The Radisson Hotel Hacienda is a decent budget option, with clean, spacious rooms and a nice pool.

- Oyster.com Staff

By Oyster.com Staff

US Virgin Islands

The small collection of mostly arid islands that make up the US Virgin Islands has long been a seafarers stomping ground — from the pirates of yore to today’s more abundant cruise ship hordes and the occasional yachtsman. And as they have for the past 400 years, people come to the islands mainly to drink, relax on the beach, and bargain shop — often, in just that order. Traveling to the islands, considered “insular areas” or “unincorporated territories” of the United States, is in many ways analogous to traveling within the US — citizens don’t need a passport, the US dollar is the official currency, and English is the official language. But a trip to the Virgin Islands still feels like a getaway with its laid-back atmosphere and sunny weather.

The islands’ hotels are largely concentrated on the 3 main islands – St. Thomas (the only island with an airport), St. John, and, to a lesser extent, St. Croix. Since the islands are so small, anywhere you stay will be within about a 30-minute drive from anywhere else on the island. Hotels range from the low-key, no-frills, family-owned spots, to all-inclusive mega-resorts, to unplugged, natural luxury, like at Caneel Bay, a historic sugar plantation turned top-notch hotel visited by the rich and famous (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have stayed here). 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. On neighboring St. Thomas, the Ritz-Carlton is also a luxe option, located only 5 minutes from Red Hook’s fun dining and yacht scene. And those traveling with kids (and on a tighter budget) may consider the Sugar Bay Resort and Spa – a clean, modern, family-oriented resort with a full-service spa, an excellent snorkeling beach and tons of kids’ activities.

By Oyster.com Staff

The city’s wonderful restaurants, fabulous shopping, hundreds of arts and culture venues, and world-class museums prove that Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing — and most exciting — destinations in the country. Home to the world’s largest aquarium, the new World of Coca-Cola, dozens of beautiful parks and the High Museum of Art, the hometown of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is a gorgeous city that has made a name for itself in the new South. At the same time, Atlanta seamlessly exudes laid-back Southern charm and high-arts cultural appeal, both of which account for the millions of visitors that descend upon the city each year.

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By Oyster.com Staff

Maui Hotels

Hawaii’s second-largest island, Maui lives up to its slogan “Maui no ka ‘oi,” meaning “Maui is the best.” Its diverse natural landscape includes the most miles of swimmable beach of any Hawaiian island, the world’s largest dormant volcano, and plenty of activities for outdoor enthusiasts: There’s windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, road and mountain biking, and — along the state’s scenic Hana Highway — hiking trails, waterfalls, natural pools, and remote beaches. Maui is not only for the active and rugged, though; there’s plenty of opportunity for beach-, golf-, pool-, and spa-centric vacations along miles of beachfront development. READ MORE

By Oyster.com Staff

For skiers and nature enthusiasts alike, there are very few places that compare to Jackson Hole. The low-lying valley, located near Wyoming’s western border and surrounded by the Teton Mountain Range, is the gateway to some of the nation’s most spectacular national parks, including Grand Teton, Yellowstone and the National Elk Reserve. The easily available hiking, biking, river rafting, camping and skiing attracts visitors here year-round. READ MORE

Hard Rock Cancun

Hard Rock International recently opened a brand-spanking-new Hard Rock Hotel in the warm-weather getaway of Cancun. One of only 3 all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels, the Cancun addition has more than 600 rooms, 5 restaurants, 5 bars, 12 stories, Rock Star Suites and, of course, an extensive collection of authentic music memorabilia.

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By Oyster.com Staff

Barbados

At first glance, it might be easy to view the white- and pink-sand beaches and breathtaking coral reefs of Barbados as a clichéd Caribbean island experience, but there’s more to it than that. The friendly locals (known as Bajans) maintain a noticeable number of British customs from their colonial past, such as afternoon tea time and driving on the left. And even the local cuisine is a hybrid: expect to see flying fish on every menu, and spicy Caribbean stews served next to starchy English staples such as potatoes. READ MORE

By Oyster.com Staff

Geneva is a picturesque city, divided into 2 banks by Lake Geneva, and surrounded by mountains. During the winters, visitors and locals head to the mountains to ski; ski resorts such as Verbier and Crans-Montana are conveniently only about an hour away. And in the summertime, the lake — and nearby beaches — become popular spots for swimming. But all year long, tourists can enjoy the city’s cafe culture (reminiscent of Paris), beautiful gardens, specialty shops (the city is known for its gorgeous jewelry and watches), fabulous restaurants, and many sights. READ MORE

Driskill Hotel

We’ve been doing a lot of daydreaming about what it would be like to travel like a president and where all that money goes on the campaign trail, but with tonight’s presidential town-hall debate approaching so close to Halloween, we can’t help but wonder: where would the ghosts of former presidents hang out, if they felt so inclined?

Check out these hotels that have hosted a number of US presidents, and who knows – maybe you’ll encounter a long-gone commander-in-chief.

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By Oyster.com Staff

Boston Hotels

Some associate Boston largely with crooked old cobblestone streets, the American Revolution and New England clam chowder. And it’s got all that. But it’s also filled with sprawling convention centers, progressive universities and biotech research facilities. A forward-looking town with an eye on the past, Boston combines the charm of a New England harbor town with the conveniences and mindset of a bustling, modern metropolis. The fall is a particularly nice time to visit, when the leaves are changing and the weather is brisk without being brutal (and trust us, winter weather there can be brutal). READ MORE

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