Blog Posts by Oyster

  • Hotel Impossible_Host Anthony Melchiorri in front of hotel with vacancy

    Our BFFs over at the Travel Channel are launching an exciting new series on April 9 called Hotel Impossible -- and we got to come along for the ride! The one-hour program, airing on Mondays at 10 PM ET, will show Melchiorri critiquing online reviews [Ed. note: Like how awesome Oyster.com's are?!], monitoring service practices, and making decisions on a hotel's structure, ultimately renovating of a part of the hotel. But before the series starts airing -- and we anxiously await the results of the hotels' renovations -- we were able to check in with the show's host, Anthony Melchiorri, and find out what he prefers when he's on the road. Check out his favorite city to visit, feelings about airport food, and more after the jump!

    Name:
    Anthony Melchiorri

    Occupation:
    Hotel Executive

    Favorite Destination:
    Rome

    Travel Soundtrack:
    Billy Joel and Frank Sinatra [Ed. note: We heart Billy Joel, too.]

    Ideal Vacation in Three Words:
    Sun, Beach, Wife

    Favorite Hotel:
    Waldorf Astoria

    Ideal Travel

    Read More »from Pearls of Wisdom: Travel Advice from Hotel Impossible's Anthony Melchiorri
  • The Casino at Ceasars PalaceThe Casino at Ceasars Palace

    1. FACT OF FAKEOUT: The Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino has the largest hotel casino in Las Vegas.

    2. FACT OR FAKEOUT:
    Two TSA agents were arrested last week in South Beach. They were accused of breaking into a hotel room to take a nap before their shift.

    3. FACT OF FAKEOUT:
    The Beverly Hilton has decided to take the room in which Whitney Houston was found dead out of circulation.

    4. FACT OF FAKEOUT:
    You can now get "a fair and honest appraisal of your appearance" for free at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

    5. FACT OR FAKEOUT:
    The Waldorf-Astoria in New York has joined the effort to save the dwindling population of North American honey bees in the U.S. by installing six beehives in a rooftop space.

    Check out the answers!



    1. FAKEOUT!
    The hotel features the largest poker room, but the biggest casino is housed at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.

    2. FAKEOUT!
    The TSA agents were arrested after trashing their hotel room and firing gunshots out the window.

    3. FACT!
    The hotel has decided

    Read More »from Oyster's Fact or Fakeout: TSA Agents Gone Wild, North American Honey Bees, and More
  • Mad Men: Hotels for Today's High-Powered Ad Executives

    Mad Men Season 5 PortraitMad Men Season 5 PortraitPhoto credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

    The style, sexiness, and glamor of Don Draper and his lifestyle are quickly becoming a mainstay of popular culture. But even though Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce may be a fictional agency, the advertising industry of the real world still has an allure (now partly fueled by the show, of course) for its sleek tendencies and over-the-top tactics for wooing clients. We've done our research and come up with hotels that modern day Don Draper's will love, so grab a fresh drink, tell Joan to hold your calls, and take a look!


    New York City

    THEN: Manhattan is Don's primary stomping grounds, especially now that he's swapped in the house in Ossening and his West Village bachelor's pad for a swagged-out penthouse that he shares with Megan. Of course, the early days of SCDP were launched from a suite in the Pierre. But despite Don's sharp suits and sleek look, he his creative spirit has always helped him fit in with the hip downtown crowds.

    NOW
    :
    New York has Read More »from Mad Men: Hotels for Today's High-Powered Ad Executives
  • Bachelorette Party Getaway Ideas for the Stars

    Credit: Norman Scott/startraksphoto.com; Tony DiMaio/startraksphoto.com; Sara De Boer/startraksphoto.com; Norman Scott/startraksphoto.comCredit: Norman Scott/startraksphoto.com; Tony DiMaio/startraksphoto.com; Sara De Boer/startraksphoto.com; Norman Scott/startraksphoto.com

    Sure, there have been some celebrity breakups that have devastated us -- but there's not just bad news coming from Tinsel Town. In fact, some of our favorite celebs have recently gotten engaged. Declaring their undying love -- and their belief that "this time it'll work" -- stars including Drew Barrymore, Britney Spears, Halle Berry and Kristen Bell have all vowed to say "I do." And we couldn't be more thrilled -- we want to celebrate with them! So we figured if we did the legwork of finding the perfect spot to play host to each of the celebs' bachelorette parties, then they'd have to send us an invite, right? Even if we don't snag a coveted offer from one of the ladies, at least we'll have some inspiration for planning our own fetes.


    Drew Barrymore should kick back in Palm Springs...

    Spa at The Parker Palm SpringsSpa at The Parker Palm Springs
    The rumors are yet to be confirmed but ever since Drew was spotted with a sonogram in hand, we're considering it (nearly) 100% official -- she's pregnant with her first child and engaged to Read More »from Bachelorette Party Getaway Ideas for the Stars
  • Potentially Deadly Luxury Vacations

    We already shared the scoop on vacations that could maybe, kinda kill you, but we have a brand-new batch of spots that practically scream danger. And while not typical of a "relaxing vacay," these retreats are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Catch up on your thrills by visiting one of these terrifying (but beautiful!) destinations.

    Dive Off a Cliff

    CliffDivingCavesCliffDivingCaves


    • Where to Do It: The Caves, Jamaica
    • Why It's Killer: Set along Negril's western-edge, The Caves' multitude of natural rock formations are perfect for cliff diving -- at three or thirty feet. Arguably Jamaica's most romantic escape (for adults only), the Caves' 11 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs (there's no beach). So sit back, relax, and let loose!



    Sleep Next to an Active Volcano

    ArenalVolcanoArenalVolcano

    • Where to Do it: Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa
    • Why It's Killer: Although explosions from Arenal have been minimal since 2010, this active volcano once
    Read More »from Potentially Deadly Luxury Vacations
  • The Penthouse Roof at The Maritime Hotel; New York, NYThe Penthouse Roof at The Maritime Hotel; New York, NY

    1. FACT OR FAKEOUT: The Maritime Hotel in New York used to be a rehab shelter and educational facility for runaways.

    2. FACT OR FAKEOUT:
    Element Hotels give us one more reason to shed that extra pound: You can now use energy created while working out to charge your laptop's battery.

    3. FACT OR FAKEOUT:
    Kim Kardashian had a bag of flour tossed on her by Kris Humphries' sister during an event for her latest fragrance's launch at The London West Hollywood.

    4. FACT OR FAKEOUT:
    Chef Daniel Boulud made a three-foot ham sandwich for Jerry Lewis on his 86th birthday and delivered to the Hotel Plaza Athenee New York.

    5. FACT OR FAKEOUT:
    The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas boasts the world's tallest chocolate fountain.

    Check out the answers!



    1. FACT!
    Though it was built in 1966 for the National Maritime Union of America (hence the portholes), the building was turned into a rehab center in 1987. After the building was purchased for renovations in 2001, it opened as its current self in 2003.

    2.

    Read More »from Oyster’s Fact or Fakeout: Kim Kardashian’s Flour Bombing, Hotels that Have Past Lives, and More
  • Ditch Your Kitchen: Spend Passover Away from Home

    Matzoh for PassoverMatzoh for PassoverPassover means the Jewish population is ditching bread -- or anything leavened with yeast -- for eight days starting next week. And for many, this requires completely cleaning out one's kitchen, or, spending a week away from their non-Kosher-for-Passover home in favor of a holiday-friendly hotel. Luckily, some seriously luxurious spots are offering Parve fare along with a week's worth of R&R. Check out our choices for Passover vacations!




    Turnberry Isle Miami Resort -- Aventura, FL

    Turberry Isle MiamiTurberry Isle Miami

    An award-winning golf course, beautiful pools, elegant rooms and an amazing spa make the Turnberry Isle Miami a true luxury retreat. This year, the hotel is offering several different types of Seders -- ranging from private to communal -- and Glatt Kosher food, with the menu changing daily. There's even a health-conscious option for those watching their weight, and a variety of wines, cordials and liquors that get a Passover seal of approval. And if you have any problems, just check in with the resort'sRead More »from Ditch Your Kitchen: Spend Passover Away from Home
  • The Best Cities to Visit During the Springtime

    Most people associate springtime travel with crazy parties like spring break, but these five cities are perfect for visiting this season -- and will leave you without the boozy side effects. These our some of our top cities to poke around in while the weather warms up.


    NEW ORLEANS



    Bienville House in New Orleans, LABienville House in New Orleans, LA

    Mark Twain once said "In America, there is New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland." In what's arguably one of the most culturally unique cities in the country, it's easy to see what he meant. Of course, it's the birthplace of Jazz and home of epic Mardi Gras celebrations, but the city itself has much more depth than that, including legendary cuisine, historic architecture, and a buzzing nightlife. Spring is one of the best times to make your way to NoLa, not only so you can avoid the sweltering summer temperatures, but also so you can take advantage of the New Orleans Jazz Festival, French Quarter Festival, and Bayou Boogaloo.

    Editor's Pick: Bienville House


    AUSTIN

    JosCoffeHouseAustinJosCoffeHouseAustin

    TheRead More »from The Best Cities to Visit During the Springtime
  • In the Spotlight: East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

    The Outdoor Pool at the East Hampton Art House Bed & BreakfastThe Outdoor Pool at the East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

    This elegant B&B in East Hampton, New York is exactly what its name suggests: a house full of art. Designed and decorated by the owners, Michael and Rosalind, who combine mutual talents in art and hospitality, the Art House features just four rooms with attractive touches such as hardwood floors, marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, and massive flat-screen TVs. But despite its small size, the hotel boasts all the amenities of a larger property -- endless communal spaces, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center, just to name a few. With attentive and friendly owners, who serve up delicious breakfasts of waffles, omelets, and fruit, the Art House has the feel of a private Hamptons home while including all of the luxuries of staying at a high-end inn. With these luxuries, of course, comes pricey rates. And now that spring has sprung, it's time to start making your summer plans -- the Art House books up fast. If the summer rates are outside of your budget, the inn remains open

    Read More »from In the Spotlight: East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast
  • Hotels Perfect for Spotting D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms

    Photo by Sandra Lee SchubertPhoto by Sandra Lee Schubert
    Every March, Washington D.C.'s historical Tidal Basin area is filled with blooming cherry trees
    -- and hoards of tourists coming to take pictures of the breathtaking flowers. Today, in fact, marks the kick-off of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs only through April 27 -- so you only have a small window to catch the flowers in all their glory. According to the Festival, the average bloom's peak date is April 4 -- a week and a half away, so get on booking one of these super-luxe spots or their cost-friendly alternatives ASAP.


    SPLURGE #1: Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C.

    Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C.Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C.
    You can't get much closer to the Tidal Basin and the surrounding greenery than by posting up at DC's Mandarin Oriental -- nor can you get much nicer, either. The hotel easily offers the nicest spa and fitness center in the Capital City, and has a peaceful vibe thanks to its relatively remote location.
    • Time to Takes to Walk to the Tidal Basin: 31 minutes (1.5 miles)
    • Time it Takes to Drive to the
    Read More »from Hotels Perfect for Spotting D.C.’s Cherry Blossoms

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