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Gramercy Park Hotel

Designers, models, photographers, bloggers, DJs and the world’s most stylish celebs descend upon New York this week for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. While everyone’s looking for the next big thing to hit fashion, we’re searching for the most stylish hotels in America’s fashion capital — New York.

In honor of Fashion Week, we’ve rounded up boutiques in the Big Apple that ooze with style.

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Heading into Pasadena, CA, for the big game? Before Florida State University and Auburn University step foot inside The Rose Bowl for tonight’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship, don’t miss out on all the great restaurants, bars, hotels and attractions in and around the City of Roses.

If you’re looking for an all-American dining experience in Pasadena, look no further then Pie n’ Burger, a classic burger joint that celebrates the American traditions of burgers and pie. Not in the mood for pie? No problem! Head to Pasadena’s favorite ice cream parlor, Fair Oaks Pharmacy, famous for its simple ice cream sundaes, lime rickeys and milkshakes. And after all that eating, burn off some calories with a walk down the road to stop by The Norton Simon Museum and check out the 5 must-see pieces at the museum named for a man and his money.

When I’m traveling to Pasadena, my favorite place to stay is just 20 minutes away, in the City of Angels: Los Angeles. For a classy place to stay, check out our picks for some of the city’s most romantic hotels. Also, when staying in LA, there are so many activities and restaurants that are sure to get your heart racing and your tummy growling. Don’t miss out on some of the simple, low-budget activities in the city, as well as some of LA’s most mouthwatering meals on wheels.

And for a little more family fun after the big game, a short, 45-minute drive down the I-5 from Pasadena will land you in Anaheim, home to Disneyland, beaches, hotels, restaurants and more.

Photo by Thinkstock

Cyber Monday isn’t just a great time for snagging deals for holiday gifts for everyone on your list … it’s a great time to book your next vacation. You can score amazing deals on hotels, flights and more.

Let’s face it: After the holiday hoopla is over, you’ll be spent (and so will your funds) and in need of a vacation. So you might as well save money booking one on Cyber Monday! Without further ado …

1. This year American Express Travel is launching its first-ever Cyber Monday deal. The promotion has deals for hotels throughout the US and Canada travel from January 13 through the 31st, 2014. The promotion will begin on Monday Dec. 2, and will last 72 hours. To book, log on to amextravel.com starting December 2.

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With Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second installment in the The Hunger Games trilogy coming out this month in theatres, Hunger Games tourism is … well, catching fire again.  From tree hotels to bubble dome rooms, Booking.com shared with us the most Hunger Games-inspired hotels around the world. Whether you are a super fan or just have a taste for truly one-of-a-kind places to stay, you won’t believe these 5 spectacular hotels.

May the odds (of getting a room in these super hot hotels) be ever in your favor!

Treehotel

Treehotel – Harads, Sweden
While you might not need to hide from your fellow Hunger Games rivals, an escape to Treehotel, the world’s largest treehouse hotel, still will be a welcome reprieve.  Spending a night perched in the trees in Sweden’s Harads forest, you’ll feel on top of the world.  The tree rooms are all uniquely designed and suspended 13 to 19 feet above ground. We bet you’ll sleep better in the trees here than Katniss Everdeen ever did. After all, there are no distractions like flying arrows and tracker jackers impeding quality shut-eye.

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Barcelona

Barcelona is Spain’s coolest and most modern city. Tourists pour from every corner of the world to experience the town’s vibrant nightlife, excellent cuisine, beautiful Gothic and one-of-a-kind Modernist architecture, and cutting-edge design scene. This — and the great Mediterranean climate — means you might find crowds wherever you go, but it’ll be worth it for sites like the bizarre Sagrada Familia cathedral, world-class MACBA museum, hopping Barri Gotic neighborhood, and unusual Parc Guell. Plus, the Catalonia capital is arguably one of the top party destinations in Spain (along with Madrid and Ibiza Island).

The luxurious Majestic Hotel & Spa has a prime location, steps from designer shops and Gaudi monuments. All rooms are spacious with modern bathrooms; suites offer views over Passeig de Gracia, and some have private terraces and 24-hour personalized service. Another luxury option, which nonetheless offers a solid value, is Hotel Icaria Barcelona. It doesn’t boast the location of the Majestic Hotel, but it offers a large, sunny fitness center, a rooftop pool, and stylish rooms. Acevi Villarroel, which also often offers reasonable rates, has family-friendly features such as family-size suites, a breakfast buffet, and a quiet location in a residential neighborhood.

Rio de Janeiro

Host to the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro is continuing to grow as a tourist destination and its beaches are a major draw. Practically year-round, beaches are crowded with visitors and locals. The beaches not only provide a space for lounging, surfing, and swimming, but also hang-gliding and para-gliding — popular sports in Rio de Janeiro due to its high mountains and good wind conditions. Visitors wishing to stay near the beaches typically choose the South Zone (Zona Sul), which is home to the majority of the city’s hotels. Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel sits right across the street from the beach in Copacabana. This hotel features clean, simple rooms and great views – even from the fitness center.

The uber-luxurious Relais & Chateaux Santa Teresa is located (as the name suggests) in Santa Teresa, a beautiful, historic area with gorgeous old buildings, museums, historic sites, and art galleries, about a 20-minute drive away from Rio’s beaches. This historic-mansion-turned-boutique-hotel on a former coffee plantation features gorgeous tropical décor, a lovely spa, and a rooftop pool with amazing views.

- Oyster.com Staff

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St. Lucia Spotlight

Unlike more developed Caribbean islands, such as Aruba and the Bahamas, the sparsely populated island-nation of Saint Lucia still maintains a sense of unspoiled, exotic beauty. Its landscapes of pristine beaches and mountainous terrain are among the most stunning you’ll find anywhere in the Caribbean (and that’s especially true at Jade Mountain, an uber-luxe getaway popular among celebrities).

Though it doesn’t offer much in the way of dining, shopping or nightlife for its tourists — apart from the few jazzy rum punch joints hugging its cruise ship ports — St. Lucia has seen an increase in restaurants and shops as more and more visitors arrive, which is a blessing and a curse. Nonetheless, the island has a decidedly tranquil vibe for a beautiful, calm vacation. A romantic boutique located on a historic cocoa plantation, Fond Doux offers a solid value, as does the family-friendly Windjammer Landing, with numerous pools and water sports.

- Oyster.com Staff

Paris

Paris is the “city of light,” the most romantic city in the world, the art and fashion capital of the world — no wonder it is also the most visited city in the world. As France’s capital, Paris boasts a plethora of museums, monuments, and astounding examples of architecture, ranging from the iconic Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, to the Gothic-style Notre Dame Cathedral, dating back to the Middle Ages. Visitors often stroll along the Seine to take in the many sites, or walk down the Champs-Elysees, lined by high-end shops and crowned by the Arc de Triomphe. The city is very walkable and tourists are never at a want for things to do.

Each of Paris’s 20 arrondissements offers a range of hotels to choose from — from the tres-chic hotel to the quaint B&B. Generally speaking, the Right Bank is home to classically elegant hotels, whereas the Left Bank has artsy-er, more bohemian options that fit the area’s vibe. Hotel Apostrophe Rive Gauche, for example, is home to 16 rooms that feature distinct themes — like the “Musique” room, which has a hand-painted musical mural on the wall. It’s not a place for conformists — even the exterior is painted in a tree design, making it stand out among its more traditional neighbors. The Standard Design Hotel, on the Right Bank, is a solid upper-middle-range hotel that is a top value pick. This boutique property features creative, black and white decor in the common lounges, cozy breakfast room and bedrooms. The most iconic Parisian hotel, however, is likely the Plaza Athenee, which features gorgeous upscale rooms and views of the Eiffel Tower.

- Oyster.com Staff

Photography by Orlando World Center Marriott

Less than 2 miles from Disney World, this all-encompassing resort unfolds across 200 well-manicured acres of lush, hibiscus-covered land. More »

 

San Antonio

Without a doubt, San Antonio is best known for The Alamo — the site where numerous Texans gave their lives during the Texas War of Independence. The city capitalizes on The Alamo’s popularity and offers numerous tours of the mission, as well as tours of other 18th-century missions in the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park.

San Antonio is a cultural city as well. La Villita, the oldest neighborhood in San Antonio, boasts an old-fashioned market, complete with wool blankets and turquoise and silver jewelry. During the spring and summer, festivals are held almost every week and flamenco dancers often perform. To escape the oppressive summer heat, the young and hip cool down with maragaritas on River Walk, a winding street lined with restaurants and bars. The city has plenty for kids as well, with numerous amusement parks, bike paths, parks and gardens, and a zoo.

The downtown area is a popular place to stay, as it is close to the River Walk as well as numerous other attractions and businesses. The Mokara is undoubtedly the most luxurious option; swanky amenities include a beautiful rooftop pool, a premium spa and fine dining. The nearby Hyatt Regency, with a large pool with poolside dining, and spacious rooms with iPod docks, flat-screen TVs and “pack and play” sets upon request, is a family-friendly hotel. Budget-conscious travelers may consider the Four Points in the downtown area.

- Oyster.com

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