Oyster.com for the real scoop on hotels

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Maybe this has happened to you: You're booking a trip and select a hotel based on its brochure or website. It looks and sounds terrific. The reality, however, falls way below your expectations. To avoid this scenario, hurry over to oyster.com, a website created to give you the real lowdown on hotels.

The site visits all hotels it rates and posts numerous accurate photos of the rooms and grounds. Its "pearl" rating system is consistent across locales, which means that although two facilities might not have identical amenities, if a hotel receives four pearls, it should be a clean, comfortable, elegant place to stay, be it in Manhattan or on the island of Jamaica.

Although you won't find every hotel in the world, the site covers 2,500 facilities in 125 domestic and international destinations. Most are in tourist and business-traveler hot spots, but you'll also discover some off the beaten path.

Search for hotels by destination or theme, including romantic getaways, kid friendly and the luxe life.

Already on the road? Consider downloading the site's free iPad app, where you can search and filter results and compare prices.

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SITE oyster.com

DESCRIPTION Everything you want to know about where you'll be staying -- before you get there.

TARGET AUDIENCE Vacationers to road warriors

BOTTOM LINE Do your research first and the world can be your oyster.

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