places to stay

ITB, The Wall and my Mövenpick Hotel - Berlin, Germany by JD Andrews

Messe Berlin 

Messe Berlin 

It's the world’s leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin.

I've heard about ITB for years but never had a chance to attend and in the travel community you would inevitably get the question "Are you going to ITB?"

First off, what do the letters I-T-B stand for? It's the International Tourism Bourse or a.k.a. The International Tourism Exchange. It all started back in 1966 with five countries presenting their products and services to 250 trade visitors. I'm a very curious person and this kind of info. Interests me but you might be asleep by now so if you'd like to know more about the history of ITB click HERE.

BERLIN!

In all my travels I've never had the opportunity to eXplore the city of Berlin, so that made it easier to say "yes" to this trip. Berlin has a great reputation among travelers and I even had a connection as my step brother lived in West Berlin years before the wall came down. (long story)

The physical Wall itself was primarily destroyed in 1990

The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961

It was everything I imagined and more! I love history and architecture and Berlin overflows with both! 

The Anhalter Bahnhof

It was two weeks before ITB and I finally decide I'm going...for a while I thought I'd be sleeping in the corner of Dan and Audrey's flat (uncorneredmarket) but my German friend Melvin of traveldudes came to my rescue and introduced me to Mövenpick hotels.

Mövenpick Hotel Berlin

Mövenpick Hotel Berlin

So after my eight and a half hour flight to Berlin I was more than ready to get to the hotel, freshen up and relax! As the taxi pulled up, all I could say was WOW.

I checked in and was thinking: beautiful building, cool room, and wi-fi, Wahooo! I also was very happy to find out how close the hotel was to everything I wanted to do and see including the transport links that would bring me to the conference center.

The time flew by... those five days were not enough to do everything I wanted, so a return trip to Berlin is in order and I knew it was time to go since those welcoming blue skies...

Beautiful blue skies in Berlin

turned grey and the snow began to fall.  

The snow starts to fall in Berlin

I'll see you again Berlin, Danke!

My hotel room in Berlin was compliments of Mövenpick. As always, all opinions are my own.

Amazing hotel view! dana hotel chicago by JD Andrews

I am loving the view from my corner room

I am loving the view from my corner room

Diamond for a Day in New York City! by JD Andrews

Everyone loves to feel important and while I was enjoying my New York City - Hilton HHonors Diamond for a Day getaway, I felt like a rockstar!

The morning started foggy but got a little less foggy as the day went on...

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The adventure was all up to me, so naturally I wanted to visit the most touristy place in NYC, The Empire State Building.

102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street.

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From walking through security to purchasing the tickets, I was told repeatedly "You will not be able to see anything up there" but I didn't care, I only had one day and I was going up!

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I even had a local (pigeon) look at me like "Hey buddy, didn't they tell you downstairs about the fog?" then he turned away and I think I heard him say (coo) "dumb tourist!" :)

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Even though the views were less than usual, they were still impressive. I think the fog even added an interesting atmospheric feel to the day.

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Sure, seeing the Empire State Building is a very 'tourist' thing to do but I recommend it (fog and all) to anyone who loves history, architecture, movies and isn't afraid of heights.

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This iconic building is lit up each night in different colors. See what color it will be tonight HERE.

If you don't like heights, don't look down.....wow, look at that little bitty car down there.

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The lights ,the people, the traffic...New York City, there's no place like it! 

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And if you're looking for the best view of the Empire State building, head to Rockefeller Center and go to the Top of The Rock! (yep, the fog was still hanging around when I got up there)

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I was staying at the Hilton Times Square but I passed the Hilton New York, which is conveniently situated in Midtown Manhattan and is walking distance to Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Fifth Avenue shopping, the Broadway Theatre district, Central Park and The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

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After my long day eXploring New York City, I was so happy to sleep in and take full advantage of my Diamond-Member status and ask for a late check-out. 

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The fog was gone and this incredible view accompanied me during my delicious 'room service' breakfast! That way I could use the free  AT&T Wi-Fi and post more photos on Instagram and pinterest.

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One of my favorite weekends of 2012! Thank you Hilton HHonors and AT&T for letting me be a Diamond for a Day!

As a traveler, I can appreciate that AT&T offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.

  1. Connect with Hilton Worldwide at:www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwidewww.twitter.com/hiltonworldwidewww.youtube.com/hiltonworldwidewww.flickr.com/hiltonworldwidewww.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide
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HHonors is the only guest-loyalty program to offer ‘No Blackout Dates’ and ‘Points & Miles’ for the same stay at its properties worldwide, including participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels& Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations.

Membership in HHonors is free, and travelers may enroll online - Visit www.hiltonworldwide.com for more information.

Between a Wheel and a Pike Place - Four Seasons Seattle by JD Andrews

The view from my room (taken with iPhone 4)

When you say the words "Four Seasons" it usually conjures up many different thoughts. When I hear them, I think of classy, beautiful and memorable.

The Four Seasons in Seattle are all those things and more.

The location: It couldn't be any better, as the title reads, it's right between the new Seattle Great Wheel on the water front and the world famous Pike Place Market.

There is so much to see but you can get started with these 10 Reasons to Visit Seattle.

And for you coffee lovers, don't miss visiting the very first Starbucks location which is right across the street from the market.

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle - Lobby

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle - Lobby Fireplace

Since I couldnt come up with a better description, this one is stolen from their web-site - ART Restaurant offers diners an innovative approach to local dining with an artistic flair.

I was going to write, it was yummy :)

A room with a view!

Yep, that's a TV built into the mirror!

Very comfortable and roomy!

Did I mention the pool area? Very nice! (taken with iPhone 4)

So if you're looking for a beautiful place to stay in Seattle that has the perfect location...here ya go!

For more information: Four Seasons Seattle

"Live the Adventure"

Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel - Visual Tour by JD Andrews

Marriott Key West bungalow

Marriott Key West Pool

Marriott Key West Pool Deck

Marriott Key West Pool Deck

Marriott Key West Suite

Marriott Key West Suite

Marriott Key West Suite

If you are planning a trip down to the Keys, make sure you check out the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel.