Capella Washington D.C.’s Mount Vernon Bike Tour

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I arrived to Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown on a gorgeous spring morning in April with my great friend as we prepared for a day’s journey to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mansion, one of the iconic homes from 18th-century America.  Naturally, I crave adventure and outdoor exercise, so the moment I discovered this unique biking and historical tour offered for Capella guests, I was all about trying it out for myself!

Bike & Roll DC Resized

We met Luis Colmenares, Lead Personal Assistant in the main lobby as he greeted us with a surprise backpack lunch with our tickets to the Mount Vernon tour.  He explained that our rental bikes were ready and waiting for us outside, courtesy of Bike & Roll DC!  The Mount Vernon Trail is the main path located just around the corner from the hotel, and winds alongside the scenic Potomac River, offering uninterrupted views of Washington, D.C.’s skyline.  We made sure to take advantage of Luis’ excellent suggestions for pit-stops along the way including Gravelly Point Park, located just north of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, where you can see planes take off and land, and also Old Town Alexandra, Virginia’s Eamonn’s Restaurant for the best afternoon fish & chips!  I’m always searching for an excuse to be outside and enjoy nature, and this was the perfect, unique experience!

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When we arrived to Mount Vernon, I was so thrilled to find out that not only was our tour guide offering a tour of the beautiful Mansion, but also a new tour called Gardens & Groves.  This tour was incredible and offered the opportunity to explore Washington’s design and see how he created the sweeping lawns, groves of trees, walled gardens, serpentine paths, and the views of Mount Vernon.  When visiting Mount Vernon you journey can go beyond the mansion to the George Washington’s Distillery, which was once the largest distillery in America and produced almost 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799, and to the George Washington’s Gristmill, established in 1771, the mill produced more than 275,000 pounds of the highest quality “superfine flour” and exported to both the West Indies and Europe.

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More details on this experience:

  • Bike from Capella Washington, D.C. to George Washington’s Mount Vernon on the Mount Vernon Trail (approximately 18 miles).
  • Capella Washington, D.C will provide a delicious backpack lunch (Although you will have a backpack lunch, you are encouraged to try other restaurants, cafes, and shops along the way to Mount Vernon).
  • Park your bicycle and arrive at Mount Vernon to greet your tour guide (Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant about the variety of tours available on the Mount Vernon property).
  • At the completion of the tour, bicycle back to Capella Washington, D.C. If you wish to have a driver pick you up or take a scenic boat ride back on the Potomac River, please provide your Personal Assistant with 48 hour advance notice to plan accordingly.

I loved the Mount Vernon Bike Tour and definitely recommend it as the quintessential spring experience in Washington, D.C.  It is the perfect way to discover the most incredible views of the cities monuments, while simultaneously getting a bit of exercise.  For more details, inquiries, and reservations, be sure to contact your Personal Assistant by calling 202-617-2416 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

Exclusivo Tour de Capella Pedregal a Todos Santos

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Hay tantos maravillosos pueblitos  alrededor de Los Cabos,  y visitarlos es algo que tanto a locales como turistas les encanta hacer. Una de las excursiones por el día más populares, es un viaje al idílico pueblo de Todos Santos. Según la leyenda, la ciudad toma su nombre de los santos colgado fuera de las casas locales. Marina, Líder de los  Asistentes Personales en Capella Pedregal, me invitó a probar Exclusivo Tour  de Capella Pedregal a Todos Santos. Acepté con gusto para poder experimentarlo en persona así contarles todo lo que se necesita saber acerca de esta experiencia única.

rsz_323Fabricio, guía y conductor certificado, me recogió a las 9:00 am desde el hotel en una hermosa Escalade (¡no es una mala manera de viajar!), e iniciamos nuestro viaje. El pueblo está situado a unos 45 kilómetros al norte de Cabo San Lucas y es un pueblo tranquilo y relajado que brilla por su comunidad artística, el surf y bellezas naturales únicas. Esta pequeña ciudad, es un oasis ubicado donde el desierto se une con el mar y la montaña de la Sierra de la Laguna. El Secretario de Turismo, nombró a Todos Santos un “Pueblo Mágico”, en reconocimiento a sus esfuerzos en mantener la riqueza cultural e histórica de México. La belleza de este pueblo tan especial ha atraído a un gran número de artistas mexicanos e internacionales que encuentran inspiración en su entorno. Todos Santos es ahora considerado un destino para artistas, músicos, poetas y surfistas.

Nuestra primera parada en nuestro camino a Todos Santos fue a una fábrica de vidrio soplado local, donde los fabricantes de vidrio me mostraron el proceso de hacer un corazón de cristal. Esto fue especialmente interesante, porque este corazón de cristal se utiliza como decoración en torno a Capella Pedregal! Pasamos unos 30 minutos en la fábrica, ya que quería tratar de soplar vidrio yo misma. Fue un proceso muy interesante y sin duda, mucho más difícil de lo que parecía. ¡En el futuro, simplemente se lo dejaré a los expertos!

Artist Carlos Diaz Castro , Indigo Gallery

Artist Carlos Diaz Castro , Indigo Gallery

El viaje hasta Todos Santos se completa con hermosas vistas del Océano Pacífico por un lado y del desierto y cactus en el otro. Una vez que llegamos allí, nuestra primera parada fue en el Hotel California, fundado en 1950. Durante varios años, fue el único bar y hotel, por lo tanto el hogar para los surfistas y gente que busca un lugar especial para relajarse y descansar. El hotel es famoso por la canción de los Eagles “Hotel California”, aunque no existen registros o pruebas de que los músicos estuvieron realmente allí. Hay una foto de uno de los miembros de la banda que fue tomada durante su visita a Todos Santos. Si escuchas la canción con cuidado, encontrarás una gran cantidad de similitudes que hacen que los aficionados crean que este es EL hotel. Cada día, los turistas van allí en busca de souvenirs y para escuchar la famosa canción que suena en la tienda de regalos.

A pocos pasos, se encuentra la Misión de Todos Santos, por la cual ciudad adoptó su nombre. La misión contiene la estatua de la Virgen del Pilar, que es el centro de fiesta principal de Todos Santos  en octubre de cada año. ¡Una visita obligada!

Sculpture Benito Ortega Vargaz showing us a mold

Sculpture Benito Ortega Vargaz showing us a mold

Continuamos nuestro recorrido visitando la  Galería Indigo  y Galería Logan, donde nos  encontramos con  la artista Jill Logan pintando en vivo. También conocimos al escultor local, Benito Ortega Vargaz, y artista de cerámica, Rubén Gutiérrez. ¡Cada rincón de esta ciudad tiene algo interesante! Después de explorar y disfrutar del arte, nos detuvimos en un tradicional restaurante mexicano para comer. Fabricio me dio la opción de tener algo de tiempo libre para ir de compras o visitar la playa de Cerritos. Decidí terminar el recorrido con un poco de ambos. ¡No me quería perderme nada!

Si estás interesado en experimentar la cultura local de Todos Santos, por favor, asegúrate de hablar con tu asistente personal, los puedes contactar por correo a pa.pedregal@ capellahotels.com . Les encantará ayudarte!

Easter Bonfires in Dusseldorf

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Easter is just around the corner and with it the great traditions I love.  When I was younger, Easter was one of the most exciting holidays to me.  I couldn’t wait for my dad saying “the Easter bunny was here, let’s see if he left some chocolate eggs!”  I would run out into the garden to gather as many eggs as I possibly could.  And while I no longer look for chocolate eggs, I still look forward to Easter celebrations!

rsz_easterToday, my favorite Easter activity are the bonfires.  Maybe you have already heard about the Easter bonfires  in Germany, a tradition where huge piles of wood are burned in the countryside?  There are different stories about this tradition but I’ll tell you the story I like most.  Usually, in Dusseldorf we celebrate the Easter bonfire the Saturday before Easter Sunday.  Large bonfires are erected and music is can be heard throughout the countryside.  I’ve heard that this tradition stems from the 16th century and is meant to dispel the winter.  In the past, the resulting ash was then used as fertilizer for the crops.  It feels very cozy and peaceful to watch the fire glomming with people you love, your family or friends.  Grabbing a cool drink, sitting next to the fire laughing, talking and listening to the music – this is the perfect way to usher in Easter.

It is hard to describe the amazing atmosphere while you are sitting next to an Easter bonfire, so I think you should come to Dusseldorf for Easter one day to experience it yourself.  Just ask the Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistants to show you the best bonfire places during Easter to make sure that you will never forget these Easter holidays for the rest of your life!

Osterfeuer In Düsseldorf

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Ostern steht vor der Tür und mit dem Fest kommen auch die wunderbaren Traditionen, die ich so mag.  Als ich jünger war, war Ostern einer meiner Lieblings-Feiertage.  Ich konnte es nie abwarten, bis mein Vater sagte: „Der Osterhase war da, lasst uns mal nachsehen, ob er ein paar Schokoladeneier versteckt hat!“.  In dem Moment bin ich immer so schnell ich konnte in den Garten gerannt, um so viele Eier wie möglich zu sammeln.  Obwohl ich heute nicht mehr nach Schokoladeneiern suche, freue ich mich trotzdem jedes Jahr auf das Fest!

rsz_easterMeine liebsten Osteraktivitäten sind heute die Osterfeuer.  Kennt ihr die Geschichte, die hinter den Osterfeuern steckt, wenn auf dem Land Berge von Holz verbrannt werden?  Es gibt verschiedene Geschichten zu der Herkunft dieser Tradition, aber ich werde Euch die erzählen, die mir am besten gefällt.  In Düsseldorf werden die Osterfeuer meist am Samstag vor Ostersonntag angezündet.  Überall auf dem Lande sieht man riesige Feuer und hört die Musik bis in die Ferne.  Ich habe gehört, dass diese Tradition aus dem 16. Jahrhundert stammt. Damals glaubte man, dass man durch die Feuer den Winter vertreiben könne. Die dabei entstandene Asche wurde dann zum Düngen der Felder genutzt.  Es ist so gemütlich und friedlich, wenn man das Feuer mit seinen Liebsten, mit Familie oder Freunden zusammen betrachtet.  Ein kühles Getränk genießen und am Feuer zusammen lachen, sich unterhalten oder einfach nur der Musik lauschen – so komme ich am besten in Osterstimmung.

Es ist schwer, die Atmosphäre am Rande eines Osterfeuers zu beschreiben.  Ich denke, ihr solltet einfach nach Düsseldorf kommen, um es selbst einmal zu erleben.  Fragt einfach die Persönlichen Assistenten bei uns im Breidenbacher Hof nach den besten Osterfeuern in der Gegend, damit ihr sicher sein könnt, unvergessliche Osterferien in Düsseldorf zu erleben!

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt

Easter is a month away, and I am already looking forward to the festivities!  What is your favorite Easter tradition?  As a child and even now, I have always loved the Easter Egg Hunt and of course, the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Bunny legend began long ago in Germany with an egg-laying hare named Osterhase.  German children made nests and left them outside for the hare to lay her eggs in, which the children would collect as a prize.  Actual Easter Egg Hunting began in America when German immigrants brought their Osterhase tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s.  The festivity soon spread across the nation, and baskets replaced nests.  Eventually, the game evolved into a treasure hunt, and the prizes expanded from just hard-boiled eggs to include chocolate, candy, toys and coins.

After discovering the history behind this Easter tradition, my team at Capella Washington, D.C. felt it was only appropriate to establish our very own Easter Egg Hunt.  And not your average children’s hunt, but one especially for the adults.  Picture a city wide hunt with golden eggs, sensational prizes, Washington, D.C.’s most well-known landmarks, and of course, the unique Capella experience.

I am so thrilled to announce the launch our first annual Capella DC  Easter Egg Hunt!

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt

The Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt Details:

  • One golden egg will be placed in a unique location in Washington, D.C. every weekend, the three weeks leading to Easter Sunday on April 20th, 2014.  Your mission is to keep a look out for the photo clue on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram the morning of, which will give you a hint to where the Easter egg will be.
  • Next, locate the golden Easter egg and take a photo at the location of you and the prize.  Share your photo with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and be sure to use the hashtag #CapellaEasterEggHunt and tag us @CapellaDC.
  • When you open the Golden Egg, you will find a contact phone number.  Once you call this number, one of our Capella service professionals will reveal your winning prize!  We are offering a wide variety of prizes – from Sunday Brunch at The Grill Room, to a luxury overnight stay at Capella Washington, D.C.

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt Schedule:

Saturday, April 5th
Sunday, April 7th
Saturday, April 12th
Sunday, April 13th
Thursday, April 17th
Friday, April 18th
Saturday, April 19th
Sunday, April 20th

For more information on the Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt, be sure to contact our Easter events squad at 202-617-2429!  Keep a look out for the first photo hint on Saturday, April 5th at 9:00am!

Sitting Down With Celebrity Hairstylist, Julien Farel

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Julien Farel, French celebrity hairstylist, opened his first international salon at Capella Pedregal back in July 2009.  During his last visit he sat down with me to talk about his new projects and share some vacation hairstyling tips for our Capella Blog readers.

Julien Farel at Capella Pedregal

Julien, I am so excited to have you back with us at Capella Pedregal!  What surprises did you prepare for us this time?
I am so happy to be back and to have escaped the NYC winter.  I came to train the team on my new product line to ensure that we are taking the Capella hair experience to the next level.  Of course, I had appointments with a few Capella clients as well.  I always love seeing my Capella Pedregal clients!

And we love having you here. Please tell me more about your line of haircare and styling products, what are its benefits, what were your intentions when creating it?
We are taking the lead in the Anti-Aging Haircare arena and by bringing the science of skincare to haircare.  Our hero product, Restore brings us a cut above the rest because it is a completely new way of treating the hair, scalp and follicle.  Restore is multifunctional, like advanced skincare, so with one product, you can cleanse, treat and condition your hair.  Our entire Anti-Aging haircare line is powered by Anti-Aging Balance ‘A2B’ Technology to deliver powerful Bioactives to the hair, scalp and follicle. This results in the optimal environment for hair growth.

It is very hard to protect your hair while on vacation, being on the ocean and under the sun can damage your hair. Do you have any tips and products you can suggest for enjoying the beach and pools without damaging one’s hair? 
YES.   JF Anti-Aging Haircare Restore is a must for after swimming in the pool or in salt water.  It replenishes and rebalances the natural oils of your hair for immediate results due to its ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid.  It cancels out a long day of bad hair behavior by deeply penetrating into the follicle, scalp, and hair.

And for a romantic night (say, at El Farallón Restaurant!), you have a trained team at the Julien Farel Salon at Capella Pedregal that can pamper  guests. Can you tell me what services would suit such an occasion?
JF Salon at Capella Pedregal can offer hair styling with our cutting-edge products, hair coloring as well as any makeup application.  A bold cut that is based on the architecture of your face and silhouette, and reveals your personality can give you the confidence to conquer the world.  And, confidence is the sexiest part of a woman.

Thank you Julien! Cannot wait to book my next appointment at the Salon!