Oyster Hotel Reviews Launches Independent, Expert Hotel Reviews for New York City Market

Leading Online Resource for Unbiased Reviews Will Add Editorial Coverage and Undoctored Photos of More than 100 New York City Hotels

NEW YORK, NY July 14, 2009 - Oyster Hotel Reviews (www.oyster.com) launched the New York City portion of its website today, bringing clarity and authority to the difficult task of choosing the right hotel in the Big Apple. The site now includes more than 100 reviews, and more than 30,000 original photos, of New York City hotels.

An increase in New York City hotel room supply, and a recession-induced reduction in demand, has resulted in some of the lowest room rates in years, making it an ideal time to visit the city. Oyster gives out-of-towners all the information, images, and advice they need to select the ideal hotel for a long-deferred visit. And the site's exhaustive hotel coverage makes it an invaluable tool even for locals trying to plan the perfect "staycation."

Users will be able to search hotels by category, price, special amenities, or unusual features. Oyster's meticulously compiled round-ups range from practical lists like "most family-friendly," "most pet-friendly," and "best value" hotels to more irreverent features like "best hotels for celebrity sightings" and "best hotels for a love affair."

The New York City content has been added to the hundreds of reviews and tens of thousands of photos of Miami hotels, Aruba hotels, Jamaica hotels, and the Dominican Republic hotels. Reviews of hotels in many more locations will be added in the months ahead, including Las Vegas later this summer.

In stealth mode from its founding in March 2008 until its launch in June 2009, Oyster Hotel Reviews has spent the past 16 months dispatching its staff of experienced journalists (whose credentials include time at the New York Times, Men's Journal, Money magazine, The Village Voice, and Conde Nast Traveler, among other publications) to stay in hotels anonymously while systematically evaluating the properties and taking hundreds of photos.

Hundreds of New York City hotels market themselves on the web. Too often their own websites are filled with exaggeration and even outright misrepresentation. The leading travel booking sites, meanwhile, simply recycle photos and property descriptions they get from the hotels themselves. Oyster is dedicated to guiding consumers through this confusing terrain.

"Quite simply, until Oyster came along, there was no reliable source for travelers looking for honest and unbiased reviews of New York City hotels. The difference between what our reporters bring back and the marketing distortions of the hotel industry are often shocking," said Elie Seidman, founder and CEO of Oyster Hotel Reviews. "The vast majority of hotel descriptions and photos circulating on the Internet originates in the hotel's own marketing departments and gets reproduced over and over as legitimate truth -- but too often it's highly misleading. By pulling back the sheets and revealing what you're really going to get, Oyster Hotel Reviews will fundamentally change the way people make hotel decisions. This is a great way for customers to eliminate their risk before spending their hard earned dollars.

"We understand that hotel stays are one of the few purchases you can't return -- and that they usually account for the biggest portion of your travel expenses. New York City was already one of the priciest cities to travel to, and with dollars and time ever more precious these days, nobody wants to get duped. Because of this, Oyster Hotel Reviews is determined to act as an unbiased consumer advocate and to create the most detailed, accurate, and comprehensive hotel reviews anywhere -- online or off," added Seidman.

Oyster Hotel Reviews Hotel investigators experience first hand every hotel they review. They stay in the hotels anonymously. They sleep in the beds, swim in the pools, eat the food, interview the guests, and shoot hundreds of photos. Every review looks at service, design, dining, cleanliness, nearby nightlife, and even the thread count of the sheets on the beds. In addition, the site considers the specific needs of various types of travelers, including families with children, honeymooners, business travelers, pet owners, and those on limited budgets. To assure that consumers get apples-to-apples comparisons, Oyster Hotel Reviews reporters evaluate hotels on 70 different quantitative and qualitative dimensions.

About Oyster Hotel Reviews

Financed by Bain Capital Ventures and led by an accomplished and experienced management team, Oyster Hotel Reviews is the first and only company dedicated to publishing objective, in-depth reviews, written by trained journalists, of the world's hotels. Oyster Hotel Reviews adheres to the highest editorial standards; it does not accept compensation or incentives from hotels, and pays for all travel expenses. Hotels cannot pay to be reviewed nor can they influence the reviews in any way. Scott Medintz, a former Senior Editor of Money magazine, is Oyster's Executive Editor. Management includes Microsoft alum Eytan Seidman, formerly of Live Search (now Bing.com); and two highly accomplished serial entrepreneurs, Ariel Charytan and Elie Seidman.


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