10 Reasons To Visit A Capella Hotel This Summer

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Welcome June and sunny weather with summer vacations just around the corner!  At Capella Ixtapa in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico, we have lovely warm weather all year long, but summer months are still among my favorites, because that’s the time when my family, friends and I have vacations and plan travels together, to which I’m always looking forward.

This summer I have decided to make a so-called “Capella Hotels tour” and visit some of our sister hotels.  I’m planning to visit our sister hotel Capella DC, in Washington DC, and Capella Marigot Bay in St. Lucia (while a visit to Breidenbacher HofA Capella Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, are high on my travel list, they may have to wait for 2016).  I am so excited to meet my colleagues from around the world, and taste and live the experiences which I have seen in photographs and read about here on our Capella Hotels blog.

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Have you made your summer travel plans yet?  If not, I invite you to visit us at Capella Ixtapa or any of Capella Hotels’ properties around the world.  If you have stayed at any of Capella Hotels before, I am sure you are intrigued to visit them all!  Here is what I love about Capella Hotels, and what excites me about my upcoming Capella Hotels summer vacations tour:

  1. Opportunity to visit five unique properties located in five different countries, all offering a unique, private and luxurious environment.  You can’t help but feel incredibly welcome-  like visiting your dearest loved ones.
  2. Exceptional quality, where only the best is good enough; from room decor, to food and beverages, to small but thoughtful details.
  3. Unobtrusive, gracious and unscripted service, where you feel part of the family, everyone calls you by name and remembers you when you return the next time.
  4. Five star gourmet experiences, which you can enjoy at resorts’ restaurants with exquisite chefs and culinary teams, or at our hotels’ own gourmet festivals, which honor the local traditions and combine them with the best in contemporary cuisine.
  5. Experiences based on local traditions, enhanced by the support of the Capella Hotels and Resorts’ Personal Assistants.  Visit the local market with Executive Chef and choose ingredients for your meal, taste local liquors with the experts, delve into the history and culture of these rich locations.
  6. World renown spas.  Don’t you just love having a spa experience when on vacation?  Wherever I travel, I simply must have a spa treatment, as I love experiencing spa treatments in different countries.  At Capella Ixtapa for example our spa treatments are based on ancient Mexican traditions and created with local flowers and herbs.  Several Capella properties are in fact home to the signature Auriga spa brand, recognized for their amazing services and treatments.
  7. The unique Personal Assistant service, which allows you to enjoy your vacations just the way you like them, worry-free!  Capella Personal Assistant can assist by organizing everything from  dinner reservation and baby-sitting service to exotic tours, personalized room touches or anything else you can imagine!
  8. Disconnect, relax and recharge.  While Capella Hotels offer free wi-fi service at the properties, we do encourage that you disconnect (for at least a little while), and let yourself enjoy the experience completely.  After your stay you will be relaxed, recharged and invigorated and your productivity will be at its best (I promise!).
  9. Creating beautiful and unforgettable memories.
  10. Getting to know new cities and countries, learning some of their traditions, culture and meeting new and interesting people.

Tell me, where will you travel this summer?  Have you visited any of Capella Hotels yet, and what was your favorite experience?  Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

Sabor y Vino Culinary Festival 2015 At Capella Ixtapa

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Book your calendars for an exquisite culinary experience!  I would like to invite you to join us at our 2nd annual gastronomic festival Sabor y Vino at Capella Ixtapahappening from May 21st to May 24th 2015.  Among the events and activities at this year’s festival you will find a tantalizing opening cocktail, cooking and chocolate demos, a tequila tasting and an exquisite six course tasting dinner with beer, wine and tequila pairings all exclusively designed by our guest chefs and Executive Chef Miguel Baltazar.

This year we’re excited to have these renowned chefs and companies join our very own Chef Miguel Baltazar: Chef Emiliano Ayala, from Restaurant Tzirio in Querétaro,  Chef Alfonso Huerta, from Restaurant Allium in Guadalajara, chocolatier Chef Mauricio Montiel, from Dolcenero in Mexico city, and Chef Felipe Meneses, from Restaurant Bar La Katrina Mezcalería right here in Zihuatanejo.  Local producers of coffee, beer, coconuts, fishermen and others will participate as well– including the producer of artisan beer from Morelia, Cerveceria Malora, and Café Zihuatanejo, just to name a few. There will be an opening event after party at La Katrina Mezcaleria, and a closing after party at the Loot gallery, and so much more.

As we continue to put the final touches together, please be sure to follow me on my Facebook page, for some behind-the-scenes details!

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Everyone is looking forward to celebrating some of the finest Mexico’s cuisine at Capella Ixtapa and I am sure you will love it!

If you are interested in joining me for the event please email  fbsupervision.ixtapa@capellahotels.com to reserve your spot! But hurry, the event, which takes place over two day, has a maximum capacity of 34 guests.  Hope to see you at Sabor y Vino Culinary Festival 2015 at Capella Ixtapa!

Singapore’s Gardens By The Bay

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Gardens By The Bay, a unique garden located on 101 hectares of reclaimed land, is truly a sight to behold.  The magnificent supertrees, vertical gardens that are 25 metres tall, that now form part of the Singapore cityscape remind me of infrastructure that only Steven Spielberg could dream up.  But this is Singapore and here, we make the impossible –  possible.

A visit to Gardens By The Bay is a must for both locals and visitors alike and so, I, dressed in my comfortable walking attire, paid a visit myself.

I started my time at Gardens By The Bay at the Flower Dome.  One of two giant greenhouses, the Flower Dome replicates the cool Mediterranean climate making it conducive for the growth of plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions.  The moment I entered the Flower Dome I felt I had entered another world.  Flowers and plants with vivid, vibrant colours filled the dome.  In addition to a wide array of flowers, the dome also housed unique shaped Baobab and Bottle trees.   I appreciated the emphasis placed on design and aesthetics as there were strategically placed sculptures and statues, giving more meaning to the display. Gardens2b

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After the Flower Dome, I spent some time in Cloud Forest.   Just as I entered, I came up close with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall!  The waterfall, which forms part of a 35-metre man-made mountain covered with lush vegetation was truly a sight to behold.  My walk through the “mountain” was very interesting because each level brought a different climate and different plants.  I especially loved seeing pitcher plants and the venus fly trapDid you know that these are carnivorous plants?  Yes they trap and eat insects!

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When evening came, I decided to spend my time at the Supertree Grove.  My favourite parts of the Supertree Grove was the OCBC Skyway, a 128 metre long walkway with a height of 22 metres, that connects two Supertrees and the OCBC Garden Rhapsody.  The walkway gave me a full view of the Gardens and the Marina Bay skyline.   I waited until 7:45 pm for the OCBC Garden Rhapsody, which was a marvelous spectacle of light and sound.

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To appreciate the gardens in all its glory, I suggest visiting it in the evening at around 5:00 pm.  This way you can enjoy the gardens in daylight and then take in the magic during the OCBC Garden Rhapsody, light and music show.

Another tip — While you may be tempted to take out your camera to snap as many pictures as possible, I suggest that you put it away for a while, and enjoy the plants and flowers in their full beauty, not through the rectangular confines of a viewfinder.

Gardens By The Bay is an easy 15-minute car ride from Capella Singapore.  Our Personal Assistants will be able to help with guided tours and booking of tickets.  You can email the Personal Assistants at pa.singapore@capellahotels.com or call them at +65 6591 5034/35.

Baja International Film Festival

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This November, Los Cabos was shining in an even brighter light.  From November 14th to 17th our city was the host of the 1st Annual Baja International Film Festival at Los Cabos, co-organized by Scott Cross and Sean Cross, who founded the Colorado Film Institute and the popular Vail Film festival.  The Baja International Film Festival, is a partnership between Mexico and United States filmmakers and looks to have a global reach.  In fact, this year there were 80 films presented from 18 different countries!

I was very excited when I received the ticket for the events.  It was an opportunity to experience the glamour and excitement of Hollywood, here in Los Cabos. 

There were parties, red carpets, speaking panels and of course, films.  In attendance were filmmakers, actors and other special guests.  Everyone was swept up in the magic!  Of course this is no surprise- Baja is an enchanting place and has even served as the backdrop for major films including Troy.

One of my favorite events of the festival was the Outdoor Screening & Filmmaker Reception at Wirikuta, one of the largest cactus gardens in the world.  Watching the movie under the starlit sky and surrounded by palm trees, in the company of film lovers, was truly a special experience. 

The whole week was truly fantastic and I am already looking forward to next year!  After all Los Cabos is a favorite destination for members of the film industry, making this a festival that is sure to grow in the future.

 

Photos by John Parra/Getty Images for Baja International Film Festival.

Baja International Film Festival

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Este Noviembre, Los Cabos brilló con una luz aún más brillante. De Noviembre 14 al 17, 2012, nuestra ciudad fue la anfitriona de la 1a edición del Annual Baja International Film Festival en Los Cabos, co-creado por Scott y Sean Cross, fundadores del Instituto de Cine de Colorado y el popular Festival de Cine de Vail. El Baja International Film Festival, es una asociación entre cineastas de México y los Estados Unidos y parece tener un alcance global. De hecho, este año se presentaron 80 películas ¡representando a 18 países diferentes!

Estaba muy emocionada cuando recibí mis boletos para los eventos. Era una oportunidad para experimentar el glamour y la emoción de Hollywood, aquí en Los Cabos.

 

Hubo fiestas, alfombra roja, paneles de discusión y por supuesto, películas. Asistieron realizadores, actores y otros invitados especiales. Todos estaban asombrados con la magia! Desde luego esto no es sorpresa- Baja es un sitio encantador y ha servido incluso como telón de películas muy famosas como Troya con Brad Pitt.

Uno de mis eventos favoritos del festival fueron las proyecciones al aire libre y la recepción de realizadores en Wirikuta, unos de los jardines de cactáceas más grandes del mundo. Apreciar una película debajo de la luz de las estrellas y rodeada de palmeras, en la compañía de otros melómanos del cine, fue una verdadera experiencia única.

 

Todo el fin de semana fue fantástico y ¡estoy esperando desde ahora la edición del próximo año! Después de todo Los Cabos es un destino favorito para muchos de los miembros de la industria del cine, haciendo de este, un festival que seguro crecerá aún más en el futuro cercano.

 

Fotos: John Parra/Getty Images for Baja International Film Festival

2012 General Manager’s Meeting

The Capella General Managers and much of the Corporate Team.

One of the things that makes Capella unique is our culture.  And to make sure that our culture remains common, we have the Canon Card to remind us of our basic tenants and beliefs.  That, in conjunction with our daily lineup, helps to ensure that each Capella property is making the same commitment day in and day out.  Of course at the property level, this commitment is passed down from the General Manager to the rest of the Capella family.

The Capella General Managers and much of the Corporate Team. 

This past week the General Managers had the opportunity to come together.  I was lucky enough to be included in on these meetings and thought I would give you an idea of what takes place during them.

The General Managers Meeting is a time of alignment.  In addition to each properties GM, members from the Corporate Offices meet together to discuss company philosophies, standards, goals and much more.  It is a time to discuss the systems that are created to fulfill guests’ desires.

I love hearing stories from each of the properties and seeing how there is a real give and take between everyone present.  As Vice President of Sales, Mr. Kit Pappas observed, “Have a problem?  I guarantee that another hotel has faced and solved that same issue.  All you have to do is ask!”

Isiah Thomas surprises the General Managers with some inspiration.

Another highlight from the conference was a surprise visit from basketball legend Isiah Thomas.  We were all excited to be in the presence of basketball greatness!  For me, Mr. Thomas’ emphasis on knowing our tenants and allowing them to guide every action was particularly poignant.

At the end of the week I asked our Chairman, Mr. Horst Schulze, what he took away from the meeting.  His answer, “Based on our customer and employee satisfaction and the commitment of our leadership, it is clear that we are on the way to becoming the global leader in the hospitality industry.”  Clearly, it was a very successful meeting!