Oyster.com is constantly expanding. Every day, we add tons of fresh content -- from new travel stories to expert hotel reviews, complete with hundreds of photos. And these aren't marketing photos; our hotel investigators visit every property in person, thereby giving you an honest view of what the hotel really looks like. So when we see stunning photos of a resort, we know that's what it's actually like -- which gets us really excited about the property. Here are seven hotels, new to Oyster.com this week, that are turning heads for all the right reasons.
The 50-room Oberoi, Lombok is a luxury property set on 24 acres with a private beach and serene atmosphere. The hotel’s large lagoon pool is a relaxing space and the spa has outdoor treatment rooms and a gym, plus there’s a tennis court. Two open-air pavilion restaurants provide serene views and sometimes have live entertainment. Rooms are housed in spacious thatched-roof pavilions and have flat-screen TVs, terraces overlooking the gardens or sea, and soaking tubs in open-air bathrooms. Villas offer additional luxury with private gardens or pools. Snorkeling is also available at the water-sports shack and the hotel can arrange boat trips to the Gili Islands. The beach here is small, though, so travelers may want to check out the Hotel Tugu Lombok, which has a larger stretch of sand.
The 134-room Radisson Blu Hotel Gdansk is a luxury property on the pedestrian-only Long Market street in Old Town, just a one-minute walk from the river. Rooms are spacious, sophisticated, and contemporary, with a neutral color palette and modern amenities such as heated floors in the bathrooms. It has a chic restaurant and bar with lounge spaces and outdoor seating, plus a fitness area with a sauna and steam room, but no pool or proper spa. The riverfront Hilton Gdansk has an indoor lap pool, full-service spa, and rooftop bar, but it’s farther from the heart of Old Town and the decor isn’t as sophisticated.
The upper-middle-range Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel stands in the shadows of the iconic Eiffel Tower, only a 10-minute walk away. The landmark is featured prominently in the hotel, including views of it from its fitness center and some of its 405 rooms. Rooms are clean and contemporary but on the small side, with coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and room service. There’s a full-service restaurant and bar, meeting space for 150 people, and private parking. As an alternative, the mid-range Europe Hotel Paris is nearby and has cheaper rates, but it lacks a restaurant or room service.
The Breakwater Inn is a 23-room value property overlooking Pamlico Sound. This low-key motel is geared toward families and fishermen, offering boat slips, boat trailer parking, and a location near the Hatteras Ferry. Rooms in the older Fisherman’s Quarters are quite rustic, though all rooms have water-view decks and come with microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. Suites with kitchenettes and hot tubs are available. A free continental breakfast is served in the lobby and there’s a seafood restaurant associated with the inn next door. However, the only facilities at the property are the outdoor pool and kiddy pool, and the hotel in general has some dated and worn decor. Travelers may prefer The Inn on Pamlico Sound, which is a similarly priced property with more upscale rooms.
The W Taipei is a five-pearl high-rise hotel in an upscale part of town, with a rooftop pool that stays open all night. Its 405 glossy-white rooms come with booze-filled minibars and white noise machines, making it a good choice for both the party set and the business crowd. There are a full spa, a fitness center, and a pair of restaurants, along with a cocktail lounge that turns into a nightclub. The nearby Grand Hyatt Taipei is closer to the exhibition centers around the Taipei 101 skyscraper, and the more conservative Okura Prestige Taipei across town has better dining at considerably cheaper rates.
In many ways the 405-room Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is the epitome of the lavish hotels for which Dubai is famed. Sumptuous interiors combine with an exclusive Palm Jumeirah setting and one of the largest — and most impressive — spas in the Middle East. Set away from the attractions of Dubai, it’s not in the best location for sightseers, though with its numerous on-site dining options, a private beach with volleyball courts, and kid-friendly facilities, there’s little reason to leave. The extraordinary outdoor pool surrounded by tropical gardens is another property highlight. Opulent rooms have furnished terraces plus bathrooms with big marble tubs. While there are several similarly swanky hotels on The Palm — including the Fairmont and Sofitel — this qualifies as one of the finest.
The 320-room Hotel Grand Bretagne, A Luxury Collection Hotel is a luxury property centrally located right across the street from the Parliament and within walking distance of many top sights like the Acropolis. There are a number of dining options on-site, including a chic cigar lounge and a rooftop restaurant with lovely Acropolis views, as well as two pools, a spa, and a fitness center. Elegant rooms feature chic, classic decor, marble bathrooms, and modern amenities like flat-screen TVs — but they lack coffee- and tea-making facilities and minibars. As an alternative, travelers could check rates at Electra Palace Hotel Athens, which has a rooftop pool and rooms with minibars.