There’s a lot happening across the pond this summer. London not only celebrated the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II with Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, but the UK is also gearing up to host the 2012 Olympics, with the opening ceremony kicking things off on July 27. Not everyone can fit into Olympic Park, however, and that includes us here at Oyster. So as much as we’d love to watch Michael Phelps sweep another summer games in the flesh, we've decided to show a little patriot pride by visiting our favorite Olympic-inspired stateside destinations. Whether they're spots where Olympians have once stayed, or have a British air about them that'll transport you to London, we'd argue that they're (well, almost) worth missing the games for!
Vacation like a champ at the Olympic Village Inn in Lake Tahoe
The Olympic Village Inn was home to U.S. Olympians in the 1960s when they underwent training in Squaw Valley for the Winter Games in Rome. At the foothills of a small ski town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the inn has rooms with names such as Chamonix and Kitzbuel -- both towns in Europe that have hosted Winter Olympics. The inn offers adventurous guests plenty to do with free bicycle rentals and access to a nearby hiking trail.
Get the royal treatment at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans
New Orleans is a city full of old world charm, and the luxury riverfront Windsor Court Hotel is just one shining example. With an emphasis on English culture throughout, it’s no wonder this hotel has attracted the rich and the famous from both sides of the pond, including Bill Clinton, Sir Paul McCartney, and Prince Charles himself. All guests are treated like British royalty with perks such as afternoon tea, limo service to and from the airport, and private tours of the hotel's distinguished art collection, with most works depicting life at Windsor Castle. With service so luxurious, any visitor would feel like a natural Londoner.
Celebrate like a swimmer at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles
Before Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte took to the lanes, there was swimmer Mark “the Shark” Spitz. Though Phelps upset the record when he nabbed his eighth gold medal in Beijing four years ago, Spitz held the first record for the most medals won with seven from the 1972 games in Munich. The California native celebrated his wins by marrying his longtime girlfriend at the Beverly Hills Hotel, a luxury Los Angeles spot noted for its exquisite pool. After taking his title in 2008, Phelps celebrated his historic victory in a more modern fashion by hitting up the rooftop nightclubs at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. We can only imagine where 27-year-old Lochte will unwind post-games if he's able to knock Phelps off his pedestal, er, podium.
Sip afternoon tea at the Langham Hotel Boston
As one of only two Langham hotels in the U.S. (the other in Pasadena), the Langham Hotel Boston offers regal appeal with Georgian decor and afternoon tea at the hotel's renowned BOND restaurant. The daily “Metropolitan Tea” hour includes scones, finger foods, and a choice or over a dozen teas. Set in one of New England’s oldest and most historically rich cities, afternoon tea at Langham Boston can transport any guest to London with a sip of Earl Gray and a nibble of a cucumber sandwich.