Chloe was born in Southern California but calls NYC home. She is a self-professed francophile who loves scented candles and counting stamps in her passport!
Accorhotels recently ran a blogger competition where they asked bloggers to share their ideal itinerary if they had 24 hours to spend in a city of their choice. Bloggers from Hong Kong to Lithuania entered and we received hundreds of entries. Then we released a shortlist of the top posts to put to a public vote.
Chloé – our winner - took us around New York and showed everyone why the Big Apple is one of the greatest cities in the world. As the winner, she got to stay for three nights in three wonderful European capitals: Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam. Here’s what she had to say about her trip.
Three Nights in Paris
You know what is even better than visiting a city for the first time? Visiting a city WITH someone who is experiencing it for the first time. I’ve loved Paris since I was a mere 11 years old, but my love for Paris grew even fonder after watching my husband come to know the city I’ve held so dear all these years.
The romance of the city captivated me from the moment we hopped into our cab, as we headed to the Sofitel Arc de Triomphe Hotel. When in Paris, you quickly learn that every cliché about the city is true - in all of the best ways. From charming cafés to iconic landmarks: everything is picture perfect.
As our cab pulled up, the hotel doormen promptly helped us out of our car and brought our bags to our room. We were led up to our room, which was adorned with Hermès bath products, a Nespresso machine, the most comfortable bed and, of course, the picturesque Parisian wrought-iron windows overlooking a quintessential limestone-building lined street. And being located near the Arc de Triomphe meant we had easy access to a plethora of metro lines and were walking distance to everything we needed.
We spent our days walking the cobblestoned streets, picnicking under the Eiffel Tower, visiting old cathedrals, and exploring museums and landmarks. We spent our evenings sipping delicious French wines, eating various cheeses and cruising along the Seine. It was the perfect trip!
Three Nights in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of the most vibrant cities I have ever visited. From the minute we arrived, we found ourselves surrounded by canals, tulips and colourful homes. It was everything we could have hoped it would be and more.
We stayed at the INK Hotel in Central Amsterdam and while the location was incredible, what I enjoyed most about the hotel was the attention to detail - from the staff to the décor. The hotel is built in what used to be an old newspaper factory and every detail in the hotel pays tribute to the building’s history. After noticing how skinny and tall most of the buildings in Amsterdam are, I was shocked at the sheer size of our room. We walked in to find a full sitting area, a king size bed and a wall of windows. It was the perfect home-from-home base for our trip.
The majority of our days were spent exploring the various neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, trying local foods, drinking local beers, exploring the street markets and hopping in and out of museums. Two of our favourite museums were the Tulip Museum and the Canal Museum. They are both extremely small and are located in small homes built along the canal banks. And of course, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without a guided canal boat tour!
Three Nights in Berlin
Berlin really does have something for everyone. Between Museum Island for art lovers, the Berlin Wall and a plethora of historical museums for history buffs, plus the multitude of squares filled with restaurants and bars for foodies - everyone can enjoy this city.
Prior to arriving in Berlin, I really didn’t know what to expect. We had heard a few good things about the city, but we also knew how much tragedy the city had seen over the years. I was so glad we had read a little bit of the history prior to arriving, because it made our cab ride from the airport to the hotel so much more enjoyable. It was incredible to drive from the West side of Berlin to the East side. Not only were we able to see remains of old buildings that had been attacked, but we also noticed how many more new buildings were built on the West side in comparison to the East.
We stayed in the East side of Berlin at the Sofitel Hotel Gendarmenmark, which is located near some of the oldest districts in the city. The location was perfect for us, as we really wanted to visit Museum Island and my husband loves history. We also loved exploring the old square the hotel is located on and the views from the room were stunning.
Our days in Berlin were spent visiting art and history museums, exploring the parks, walking the streets, and trying various local beers and foods. Looking back, I think the hop-on-hop-off bus tour was one of the highlights of our time in Berlin. I loved learning more about the history of the city and the buildings as we drove around. The boat cruises were closed during our time there, but I guess that just gives us an excuse to return in the future!