HOLIDAYS WITH HYATT #PLACESYOUCANEXPLORE

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This holiday season I have teamed up with Hyatt to share with you #placesyoucanexplore all from your Hyatt hotel. This year we want to explore a world of unfamiliar places only to find a familiar sense of belonging. My favorite part about living in Berlin is that the city offers never ending excitement. From fascinating museums, a booming culinary scene, the worlds best artists collaborating and creating brilliance, along with innovative start ups, films, music, and galleries. People from all over the world visit Berlin because it's pulsing with vibrance, a mixture of new and old architecture, a melting pot of cultures, celebrating openness and uniqueness- a city that not too long ago was reunited as one. There is one thing though, that Germany does better than any other country in the world and that is celebrating the holidays.

GENDARMENMARKT CHRISTMAS MARKET 

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Gendarmentmarkt is the most beautiful square in all of Berlin, and when it's magically lit up for the Christmas Market, it's nothing short of enchanting. Berlin has 80 something Christmas Market's but this one is one of my favorites. A collection of a concert hall and two churches, the brilliant architecture towers over the historical square. The square was built by Friedrich I at the end of the 17th century and still stands today. During the month of December the square is filled with quaint wooden booths where locals sell fine art, traditional culinary treats, beautiful craftsmanship, and the most festive holiday trinkets.  I would consider this market one of the fancier ones, incredibly charming and romantic (and it only costs 1EUR to get in!) Angels walk on stilts, magicians perform tricks, and music echoes through the aisles. When it's too cold outside to bare, there are heated tents where you can order food and drinks, staying warm but still enjoying the scene. Various dance and music performances entertain guests from other over the world.  

GRAND HYATT BERLIN- POTSDAMER PLATZ

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Grand Hyatt Berlin is a dream location for the holidays. Right in the middle of idyllic Potsdamer Platz, the hotel during the holiday season is surrounded by charming Christmas Markets, an ice skating rink, tube sledding, and everything else your inner child could dream of. It's also a prime location for shopping with the Mall of Berlin around the corner. Fancy theaters, fine dining, and beautiful strolls are all at the doorstep of the hotel. Although, one would be fine never actually leaving. Inside the hotel there are several different bars and restaurants. Vox Restaurant, flooded with light, serves seasonal dishes with international influence as well as authentic sushi along with an open show kitchen and a stunning whiskey bar. Jamboree Bar allows you to travel back to the 80's with its funky and vibrant decor. The Tizian Lounge, an Italian restaurant, offers a relaxed and warm environment with a flickering fireplace to cozy up next to. After checking into the hotel, I made my way up to the rooftop to enjoy a beautiful colorful sunset over Berlin. I then took advantage of their modern gym with epic skyline views followed by a sauna session. I finished off my spa visit with an amazing massage treatment by one of their fantastic in house masseuses. In the evening we wandered around the Christmas Markets and marveled in the fascinating architecture that makes up the neighborhood. To top it all off we ended our stay with a colorful and delicious room service breakfast filled with fresh fruit, berry topped waffles, Eggs Benedict, loads of pastries, cheeses, and juices. 

SHOPPING AT KaDeWe 

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An empire of fine shopping. The giant historical building that is KaDeWe stretches a whopping 60,000 square meters filled with luxurious brands, fine dining, and stunning views over the city. It's been referred to as the "Harrod's of Berlin." It attracts somewhere from 40,000-50,000 visitors every day. Near the center of former West Berlin, the mall is at the footsteps of Wittenbergplatz in the dazzling district of Schöneberg. The building is over 100 years old and was built by the famous architect Emil Schadt. During the holiday's elaborate Christmas decorations fill the mall putting shoppers in the holiday spirit. The window displays viewed from the outside are ornate and imaginative- brilliantly done. The top floors have gourmet food halls with all sorts of decadent treats, gifts, and stands to enjoy a glass of bubbly and fresh fish- not to mention the sprawling views of West Berlin. 

ICE SKATING AT BERLINER WEIHNACHTSZEIT

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The nostalgic Christmas Market is surrounded by iconic landmarks such as the historic Neptunbrunnen, Rotes Rathaus, and Marienkirche. The ice skating rink is the main attraction right in the middle of the market. A ferris wheel towers over the festive market and can be seen from all around Mitte. It has panoramic and stunning views of the city from the top of it's gondolas- you can even see the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, and the Funkturm. The 600m2 ice skating rink has free admission and costs only 4 euros to rent some skates! The market has an open bonfire where you can warm your hands and sip on mulled wine. The smells of chestnuts roasting on open fires along with fresh baked pretzels and bread linger through the market. The market is perfect for a family gathering, after work happy hour, and suitable for a romantic date night. 

BERLIN CHRISTMAS GARDEN

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Imagine a world filled with brilliant colors and lights, Christmas music, hot Glühwein, bonfires, and endless paths to wander around- Berlin's Botanischer Garten has been miraculously transformed to a magical place for the holiday season. The days in Berlin are dark and cold but this place will surely cheer you up. You're able to stock up on warm drinks to warm your hands, and venture off into a colorful and illuminated forest. As you explore the enchanting path, you'll come across several ponds all dazzling in a vibrant spirit. While some of the Christmas Markets can get super packed and stressful, this is a perfect relaxing alternative with plenty of space to wander alone. You can enjoy warm traditional soups, grilled specialties, crêpes (my favorite with cinnamon sugar) roasted chestnuts and of course mulled wine. Fun fact: the 1,500,000 lights illuminating the the Christmas Garden are 100% sourced from renewable energies!

To book this holiday season and save up to 25% on more than 160 Hyatt hotels from London to Mumbai- Click here *booking period: Nov. 15- Jan. 15, stay period: Dec. 15- Feb. 28*