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!

 

A Visit To The Glass Factory

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Living in Cabo means I don’t just get the benefit of the beaches, but of our town as well.  I love exploring the different artists and artisans that make up our community.  One of my favorite places is The Glass Factory, which sells beautiful hand blown glassware.

The Glass Factory opened in 1990 and was for many years the only hand blown glass factory on the peninsula.  Visiting it over the years has piqued my curiosity about the art form.  I confronted owner Sebastian Romo, who explained a bit about the history and process of making the glassware.

Glass was first discovered around 2500 B.C., but it wasn’t until about 50 B.C. that people began to blow glass.  The first examples of glass blowing in North America were in Puebla, Mexico in 1535 by artisans who came from Europe during the Spanish reign.  The art form caught on and glass blowing is now considered one of the traditional Mexican arts and crafts forms.

 

Authentic hand blown glassware has a pontil or a small scar at the bottom.  This mark indicates that the piece is free-blown.  A pontil occurs when a glass blower, finished with shaping a particular piece, cuts the hot glass from the blowpipe.

The Glass Factory employs 30 artisans who can blow up to 500 unique pieces daily!  It is truly a sight to see!  Of course if you have the opportunity to stay with us, your Personal Assistant will be glad to organize a tour for you.

Una Vista A La Fábrica De Vidrio

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Vivir en Cabo significa tener no solo el beneficio de disfrutar las playas, sino también de disfrutar la ciudad. Me encanta explorar y conocer a los diferentes artistas y artesanos que conforman nuestra comunidad. Uno de mis sitios favoritos es la Fábrica de Vidrio, la cual vende hermosos objetos de vidrio soplado.

La fábrica de vidrio abrió sus puertas en 1990 y fué por muchos años la única fábrica de vidrio soplado de la península. Visitarla a lo largo de estos años ha despertado mi curiosidad acerca de esta forma de arte. Me entrevisté con el dueño Sebastián Romo, quien me explicó un poco acerca de la historia y proceso de soplar el vidrio.

El vidrio fue descubierto alrededor del año 2500 A.C., pero no fue sino 200 años después que la gente comenzó a soplar el vidrio. Los primeros ejemplos de vidrio soplado que hay en Norte América vienen de Puebla, México en 1535 por artesanos que llegaron de Europa durante la colonia Española. La expresión artística se desarrolló y el vidrio soplado es ahora considerado una de la artesanías típicas Mexicanas.

 

El vidrio soplado auténtico tiene una especie de pqueña marca o ‘cicatriz’ en la parte baja del objeto. Esta marca indica que la pieza fue soplada libremente. Esta marca se produce cuando el soplador termina de moldear una pieza en particular, y corta el vidrio caliente del tubo que sirve para soplar el vidrio.

La fábrica de vidrio emplea 30 artesanos los cuales producen diario cerca de ¡500 piezas únicas! ¡Es verdaderamente algo que prescenciar! Por supuesto si tienes la oportunidad de hospedarte con nosotros, tu Asistente Personal con mucho gusto organizará un tour para tí.