Have an Underwater Adventure With Snuba in St. Lucia

snuba st. lucia

 

snuba pigeon island

Most people see the word “snuba” and think it’s probably just a typo, but don’t worry, I didn’t accidentally misspell the word “scuba.” Snuba is actually a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving, combining the best aspects of both activities. And St. Lucia happens to be one of the best places to participate in this fun and easygoing yet adventurous experience!

snuba st. lucia

Snuba lets you explore the world that exists under the sea with all the freedom of diving, but without any of the concerns associated with a deep dive. It’s the perfect way to have your ocean adventure while on your romantic getaway or family vacation without having to worry about lengthy training and bulky equipment. Under the supervision of certified snuba guides,  divers are able to choose the depth they are most comfortable with up to 20 feet, making snuba an exciting yet safe experience.

snuba and seal

From coral reefs exhibiting their very own ecosystems to unusual marine life, these clear, calm waters are renowned for their diverse scenery. St. Lucia is considered one of the Caribbean’s top diving destinations! Needless to say, the island offers plenty of deep sea scuba diving and snorkeling to suit all tastes. Deep or shallow waters, St. Lucia’s abundance of divergent sea life is a sight to behold!

snuba and turtle

Whether you’re with your sweetheart or with a whole group of friends, snuba will give you the chance to create cherished memories. Not sure how to go about setting up your snuba excursion? Fear not! Your very own Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant will be more than happy to set you up with the snuba experience that best fits your desires and comfort level. Just promise me you’ll bring an underwater camera and share the photos with me on your favorite social media platform, ok? I can’t resist gorgeous underwater photography!

snuba st. lucia

Discover Indoor Skiing With The Breidenbacher Hof Insider

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Do you love skiing and snowboarding as much as I do? For me, the ski holidays always bring back family memories, as we spent almost every Christmas or Easter vacation in the mountains. Even the first glimpse of snow makes me want to grab my skiing equipment and get on the slope. Therefore, I was really sad when I missed out on my much loved routine this year.

Thankfully Malte, one of the Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistants, helped me out and suggested the Jever Ski hall in Neuss for an indoor skiing experience. At first, I was very skeptical – skiing inside a hall, 365 days a year with many others at the same time? To take away your skepticism, here’s a description of my experience in Neuss:

The ski hall is about 20 minutes from Dusseldorf, and as soon as I entered I felt like I was a world away. The entrance, set up with equipment rentals and ski attire,  has a cozy, yet busy atmosphere with many people walking around, trying to find their perfect winter outfit. I immediately felt as if I was in my usual ski resort. Believe it or not, the person helping me out even spoke with an Austrian accent!

Contrary to my expectations, I must admit that the ski slope is great! Not only due to the powdery snow, crunching underneath my ski, but also due to the varying degrees of difficulty offered – the ski hall is a weekend get-away for both beginners and experts. I mean, isn’t that amazing that I can experience snow whenever I like – even in summer!  It is a real highlight to be able to cool off for a few hours and even join in on the after-snow party.

My absolute favorite part though was the quaint and cozy atmosphere of the adjacent restaurant “Salzburger Hochalm”. I tried a yeast dumpling filled with jam called “Germknödel”, a traditional speciality from the Alps, which is part of my yearly holiday routine as well. It tasted just as good as in the mountains! It was wonderful to fall into my bed exhaustedly after such an exciting day.

If you are visiting Dusseldorf, but want to try this indoor skiing getaway for yourself, please contact your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistants via email at pa.bbh@capellahotels.com or via telephone +49 – 211 – 160 900.

Entdecke Die Indoor Skihalle Mit Dem Breidenbacher Hof Insider

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Mögt ihr Ski fahren und Snowboarden genauso gerne wie ich? Ich verbinde so viele Kindheitserinnerungen mit dem Skiurlaub, da wir fast jede Weihnachts- und Osterferien in den Bergen verbracht haben. Schon wenn sich die ersten Schneeflocken zeigen, möchte ich am liebsten meine Skier schnappen und auf die Piste gehen. Aus dem Grund war ich sehr traurig, dass ich meiner Tradition des Skiurlaubes in diesem Jahr nicht nachgehen konnte.

Zum Glück hat mir Malte, einer unserer Persönlichen Assistenten im Breidenbacher Hof , Mut gemacht und mir die Jever Skihalle in Neuss für eine Indoor Ski Erfahrung empfohlen. Zunächst war ich etwas skeptisch – Ski fahren in einer Halle, 365 Tage im Jahr mit vielen anderen zur gleichen Zeit? Um auch Euch die letzten Zweifel zu nehmen, werde ich Euch von meiner Erfahrung in Neuss berichten:

Die Indoor Skihalle ist etwa 20 Minuten von Düsseldorf entfernt, doch als ich eintrat, fühlte ich mich sofort wie in einer anderen Welt. Der Eingang ist mit Ski Equipment und Kleidung zum Ausleihen dekoriert und schon hier herrscht eine gemütliche und lebendige Atmosphäre mit aufgeregten Menschen, die noch schnell das perfekte Winteroutfit suchen. Ich fühlte mich sofort so, als wäre ich in meinem üblichen Ski Resort. Glaubt es mir oder nicht, die Person, die mich beraten hat, hatte sogar einen östereichischen Akzent!

Ganz im Gegensatz zu meinen Erwartungen, muss ich zugeben, dass die Ski Piste der Wahnsinn ist! Nicht nur wegen des Pulverschnees, der unter meinen Schuhen knarzte sondern auch wegen der vielen Schwierigkeitsstufen, die dort angeboten werden – die Skihalle bietet einen Wochenendurlaub für Anfänger und Profis. Ist das nicht unglaublich, dass ich ein Schneeerlebnis haben kann, wann immer ich möchte – sogar im Sommer. Es ist ein absolutes Highlight, die Möglichkeit zu haben, sich für ein paar Stunden abzukühlen und danach Teil der Aprés-Ski Party zu sein.

Am besten hat mir die malerische und gemütliche Atmosphäre in dem Restaurant „Salzburger Hochalm” gefallen. Ich habe mir dort einen “Germknödel” gegönnt, der auch immer Teil meines jährlichen Ferienprogramms ist. Er schmeckte genauso gut wie in den Bergen! Es war wunderbar, nach diesem aufregenden Tag erschöpft in mein eigenes Bett zu fallen – noch ein Vorteil.

Wenn ihr das nächste Mal in Düsseldorf seid und die Skihalle selber einmal erkunden möchtet, könnt ihr Kontakt zu Euren Persönlichen Assistenten im Breidenbacher Hof aufnehmen via Email unter pa.bbh@capellahotels.com oder via Telefon +49 – 211 – 160 900.

A Visit To Pigeon Island National Landmark

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With the rainy season almost over, I find myself eager to explore the beaches of Saint Lucia.  The Pigeon Island National Landmark located in Gros Islet, is one of the island’s most important attractions and is as beautiful as it is historically significant.  On my recent visit I had a chance to get to know the park a bit better.

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The Pigeon Island National Landmark or National Park as it is sometimes called, portrays vivid representations of historical and cultural monuments, depicting the battle for control of the island between the English and the French.  This breathtaking, 44 acre park was originally an island in its own right, but was joined to the mainland in 1972 by a man-made causeway.

I did not know that this landmark held so much history and was even more amazed as I walked through this living museum.  I discovered some of the ruins from the war and immediately thought that this would be an excellent location for colonial-style weddings.

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There is an Interpretation Centre that tells you all about the war and how The French in 1778 declared war on the British but then lost.  The battle for The Helen of the West which is sometimes used interchangeably for Saint Lucia continued for fourteen years.  The British built a Naval Base at Gros-Islet Bay, which protected Pigeon Island from being captured.   At that lookout point, they were able to observe the French fleet in Martinique which lead to the defeat of the French at the Battle of the Saints in 1782.  Further into the park, you will find a secluded restaurant at the water’s edge serving locally caught seafood, a hidden pub amongst the ruins and a look out point called The Fort with the best views of the northern part of the island.

I love the white sands of the beaches nearby and the way the grounds are so well maintained.  Many major cultural festivals are held in the opening space including the well known Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.  I was so happy to have discovered that this relaxing location is only a twenty minute drive from Marigot Bay as I knew I wanted to come back here very soon.

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Would you like to visit the Pigeon Island National Landmark?  Be sure to ask your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant to arrange your special tour to the live museum.   And be sure to stay tuned as I continue to share insider experiences with you about the lovely island of Saint Lucia.  

A Visit to Singapore’s Little India

Inside the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

I had the chance to visit Singapore’s Little India this weekend. I love how Little India is just bustling with excitement and activity. The vibrantly coloured temples, together with the unmistakeable scent of exotic spices stimulate the senses, are truly an incredible experience.

In order to make the most out of my time in Little India, I set out to accomplish two main things: firstly, to take in the sights, sounds and scents of the district by walking through the famous historical five-foot walkways and secondly, to visit and appreciate one of the local Hindu temples.

I started my journey at Serangoon Road, the main thoroughfare of Little India, taking my time to wander through the little streets.  There are so many meandering walkways and streets that one could venture off into. Along the streets there are many little stalls selling floral garlands. These garlands,  which are used as a form of offering and adornment for the Hindu deities, are truly beautiful – handmade and created with fresh brightly coloured flowers.

Colourful garland stalls can be found all over Little India

Colourful garland stalls can be found all over Little India

I also enjoyed admiring the colourful animated altars that sat prominently on street corners and outside of Hindu-owned shops.

The Hindu god Ganesha is one of the more popular gods that can be seen in little altars around Little India

The Hindu god Ganesha is one of the more popular gods that can be seen in little altars around Little India

After taking my time exploring the effervescent streets of Little India, I decided to spend the next part of my afternoon in one of Singapore’s most famous Hindu temples, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Located along Serangoon Road, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is one of the oldest temples in Singapore, built by Indian immigrants who came to work and live here in Singapore in the 1800s. The choice of deity, Sri Veeramakaliamman as the chief deity is also significant.  In the pioneer days, Indian immigrants experienced many hardships and obstacles.  Sri Veeramakaliamman is seen as a goddess who destroys evil and therefore worshiped for her power to help them overcome their struggles and challenges.

Inside the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Inside the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Visiting the temple was really an eye-opener. Life-like deities filled the temple with dedicated devotees paying homage to them. There was a distinct smell of incense in the air as the priests lit bowls of fire and incense to honour the gods and goddesses.

Little India has since become one of my favourite places to recommend to visitors. Its distinct character so far removed from the skyscrapers that fill the Marina Bay skyline and the air-conditioned malls of Orchard Road. It is a place where time has learnt to stay still, and, hopefully, for many years to come.

Little India is an easy 25-minute drive from Capella Singapore. Our Personal Assistants will be able to assist to organise tours and transport for you. They can be reached at +65 6591 5034/35 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

 

Baked and Wired – A Georgetown Must!

Baked & Wired Cakecups Resized

There is certainly no shortage of coffee and cupcake shops in Washington, but one of my absolute favorites is a local gem in Georgetown known as Baked and Wired.  Sometimes you need that extra boost and on those days, my colleagues and I know exactly where to go.  Most visitors never notice the shop; located on an off the beaten path on Thomas Jefferson St, just south of the canal in Georgetown.  But locals know, the variety of homemade baked goods, breakfast items, ice cream sandwiches, coffee and tea will have you hooked in no time!

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All of the baked goods are made in small batches with the finest ingredients so you can truly taste the quality.  They even offer gluten free and vegan friendly items for those following strict diets!  I love their signature Cakecups.  Described as “whimsical, rustic and delicious,” I highly suggest the Carrot Cake, Unicorns & Rainbows, Red Velvet and Texas Sheetcake.

Similar to The Grill Room at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, Baked and Wired uses locally sourced ingredients, like their fresh milk and cream from Kreider Farms of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  The fresh dairy products are seriously the secret behind the most delicious lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos.

Baked & Wired Cakecups Resized

The breakfast quiche are dangerously good and another favorite of mine.  In fact, I’ve made it a tradition to treat myself to a “Manly” every other Friday.  This quiche has bacon, sausage and Gruyere cheese in a creamy egg custard and homemade crust.  There’s also a caramelized onion & goat cheese and mixed veggie quiches, which are both scrumptious.  You must taste one the next time you’re staying at Capella D.C.

Quiche Menu Baked & Wired Resized

With the fall season just around the corner, my friends at the shop gave me a sneak peek of what’s in store.  First, we can look forward to homemade “Chider,” a mix of chai and apple cider.  Next up, pumpkin doughnut muffins and pumpkin swirl brownies, I cannot wait!

Baked and Wired has become so popular at our hotel that we have even offered specialty cakecups as a sweet treat and welcome amenity for Capella guests.  Be sure to let your Personal Assistant know your preference so they can make sure you have it to enjoy each time you come back.  For more mouth watering updates, be sure to follow Baked and Wired on Instagram.

Like what you see? Stay tuned each month as I share insider experiences and recommendations.  As always, you can follow me, your Capella DC Insider, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.