Oyster Hotel Reviews Launches Unbiased, Expert Hotel Reviews and Hundreds of Undoctored Photos of 61 Top Washington, D.C. Hotels

Oyster Names Best Washington, D.C., Hotels in Five Categories, including Best Value, Best Luxury, Most Romantic, and Best Kid-Friendly

Site’s Photo Fakeouts Demonstrate that Hotels Don’t Always Deliver On Promises Made On Their Websites; Two Fakeouts Found in D.C.

NEW YORK, December 23, 2009 - Oyster Hotel Reviews (www.oyster.com), the new travel site that provides unbiased, professional reviews and undoctored photos of the world’s hotels, today launched its coverage of 61 Washington, D.C., hotels just in time for spring break vacation planning. The site now includes reviews for Las Vegas hotels, New York hotels, Los Angeles hotels, San Francisco hotels, Boston, Miami hotels, Hawaii hotels, Jamaica hotels, Aruba hotels, Dominican Republic hotels, U.S. Virgin Island hotels, and Bahamas hotels with more than 200,000 photos taken by Oyster reporters.

Oyster’s reviewers stay in hotels anonymously, systematically evaluate the properties on more than 70 different dimensions, and take hundreds of photos. They sleep in the beds, swim in the pools, eat the food, and interview other guests at the hotel to ensure an objective, comprehensive analysis according to the comprehensive hotel review guidelines that Oyster created. Every review looks at service, design, dining, cleanliness, nearby nightlife, and even the thread count of the bed sheets. In addition, the site considers the specific needs of different types of travelers, including families with children, honeymooners, weddings, business travelers, pet owners, and those looking for exceptional value.

“Whether searching for a kid-friendly hotel for a spring break vacation, a conveniently located business hotel with free Wi-Fi, or a wallet-friendly boutique hotel with a hip bar, travelers can use Oyster to find the perfect hotel in Washington, D.C.,“ says Oyster CEO and Co-Founder Elie Seidman. “Hotel stays usually account for the biggest portion of vacation expenses. But you can’t return a hotel room if you’re unsatisfied with it -- and before Oyster, you couldn’t even see most hotel rooms before you checked-in. Now, with more than a hundred photos of each hotel available on Oyster, travelers won’t be surprised. We back up our opinion with honest, undoctored photos.”

Oyster provides the Web’s most comprehensive reviews, but they can be conveniently scanned using the list of pros and cons and the brief “bottom line” that accompanies each review. Oyster.com also offers rich filtering capabilities so consumers can quickly and easily sort through dozens of hotels to find the perfect one. In addition to filters for location, price, and the site’s own pearl ratings, users can sort hotels based on which features and amenities they offer by choosing from a list that includes free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, pool, free breakfast, gyms with free weights, and spa services.

The Best of D.C.

After careful deliberation, Oyster editors awarded top Washington, D.C., hotels with an “Editor’s Choice” award in several categories, including luxury, value, kid-friendly, and romance. Additionally, the editorial team compiled “best of” lists and slideshows for niche travelers planning a Washington, D.C., vacation including those looking for gay-friendly hotels, great hotel bars, a spectacular room, and hotels rich in political or scandalous history. Editor’s Choice Awards for Washington, D.C., include:

To insure that Oyster readers find the best value for their chosen hotel, Oyster provides rates and availability from several online travel agencies. Further, flexible travelers looking for the best bargain can use the site’s rate calendar to choose the most affordable dates of travel. The rate calendar displays the average price per day found across several travel sites and can uncover deep discounts. When users decide on a hotel, they can click on the rates provided by their preferred travel sites and, within seconds, be sent deep into that site’s booking path for a seamless purchase.

Two Photo Fakeouts Found in D.C. In addition to reviews, the Oyster Blog provides pearls of wisdom and fun travel gems. The site’s popular Photo Fakeouts spotlights misleading images found on hotel websites -- from disappearing views to tiny pools made to seem far bigger. Oyster reporters found two fakeouts in Washington, D.C., including a hotel that is much further from the Capitol than advertised and a “cozy lobby” used for complimentary happy hour that is standing-room-only. Oyster editors answer travel questions via Ask Oyster, evaluate the value of package “deals” in the Bundle Breakdowns, and provide entertainment in Hotel Humor and Marketing Mishaps. Stay Here, Not There helps travelers hone in on the perfect hotel.

Oyster will be adding to existing coverage of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City in the upcoming months. The site will launch coverage of Orlando hotels in January. Additional U.S. cities and popular European destinations will be added during 2010.

About Oyster Hotel Reviews

Oyster Hotel Reviews (www.oyster.com) is the first and only travel site dedicated to publishing objective, in-depth reviews, written by trained journalists, of the world's hotels. Oyster reviewers stay in hotels anonymously while systematically evaluating the properties and taking hundreds of photos of every hotel. 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. The site aggregates hotel prices from leading travel sites and provides several booking options for each hotel. Oyster is financed by Bain Capital Ventures and is led by an accomplished and experienced management team including Oyster co-founder Elie Seidman and executive editor Scott Medintz.

For more information about Oyster Hotel Reviews, please contact pr@oyster.com.

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