Lodging – Oyster hotel reviews

In a wired world there seems to be no end of websites one can peruse for hotel reviews. But whether gushing or caustic, you should take what you read with a grain or a bag of salt, depending on the reviewer and the site.

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There is one I’ve found that I really value and I refer to it a great deal when evaluating hotels for my clients.


Now don’t ask me exactly why they named it Oyster, except they do rate hotels on a 1-to-5 pearl standard.

What’s so great about Oyster?

Incredibly thorough reviews, written by fine writers who have paid real money to stay at these hotels, that illustrate a hotel’s best and worst features and everything in between. And photos – sometimes hundreds – taken by their secret agents that really show you what the hotel looks like, but not always what the hotel marketing people want you to see.

What’s more, the reviews sport a sassy point-of-view that makes for fun reading even if you don’t plan on leaving home anytime soon. But the fairly lighthearted tone of the reviews does not detract from the seriousness with which they tackle their task of evaluating a hotel from all angles.

In addition to reviewing each hotel on its merits, Oyster also categorizes and assigns “bests” in a given city for attributes such as luxury, business, kid-friendly, romantic, and more.

There is only one problem with Oyster. They don’t have reviews for as many cities as I’d like. Among the destinations they do cover are New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and the information is top-notch.

But Oyster, please add Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, San Diego, Chicago, New Orleans, Toronto, and Montreal in due course!

So take a look at Oyster for yourself. Click on one of the cities listed near the top of the page and explore.

And consider doing what I’ve done by adding the Oyster hotels blog and Oyster locals blog (insight from the locals) to your Google Reader account.

Oyster – don’t check in without it!

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