A Truly Unique Mother’s Day Gift

img_2096

May is one of my favourite months.  This is because the second Sunday of May is Mother’s Day.  As a new mother, it has become even more meaningful — signifying to me the true beauty of life.  I have learnt to appreciate my own mother a lot more as well. As such, I decided that instead of buying my mother a generic Mother’s Day gift this year, I would do a bit of my own research so that the flowers I buy her will have significance and meaning.

What better place to learn about flowers than the Singapore Botanic Gardens — which was where I headed to last weekend.

Opened in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Garden is home to the National Orchid Garden, which features the largest display of tropical orchids in the world.  As the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid is the national flower of Singapore, I thought it fitting to give my mother a bouquet of orchids for Mother’s Day.  Covering more than 3 hectares of ground with more than 60,000 orchid plants representing 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids, I was sure to find the perfect orchid for my mother.

National Orchid Garden Singapore

When I was there, I found out that many famous people had orchids named after them, such as, Princess Diana, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!  Apparently, the National Orchid Garden has named more than 100 VIP orchids.

Orchids named after Princess DianaOrchids named after the late Princess Diana

Orchids named after Margaret ThatcherOrchids named after the late Lady Margaret Thatcher

It was at the National Orchid Garden that I realised that you did not have to be a VIP to name an orchid after someone.  An orchid can be named after your loved one for a fee of anywhere from S$5,000 to S$15,000.  The National Orchid Garden can put you in touch with a local orchid breeder who confer a unique hybrid after the name of your choice.  He will then send the details to the Royal Horticultural Society in London.  How amazing is that?  Who wouldn’t want an orchid named after them?  Don’t you think it is a truly unique Mother’s Day gift?  One that will live on forever.  I might just name one after my mother this Mother’s Day!

For those who are interested in finding out more about naming orchids, please contact your Capella Singapore Personal Assistants at pa.singapore@capellahotels.com / +65 6591 5034.  Alternatively, The Knolls is offering guests the opportunity to create a bouquet of flowers for their mothers during the Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch on 11 May 2014.  Please contact theknolls.singapore@capellahotels.com / +65 6591 5046 to find out more.

The Washington Ballet Presents Peter Pan

peter_pan_the_washington_ballet

I love Capella Washington, D.C’s partnership with The Washington Ballet and Artistic Director, Septime Webre.  When I first learned that Septime was creating a new whimsical production of the classic fairy tale, Peter Pan, I could not wait to make my reservations!  With my companion’s birthday just around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate spring with an outdoor seafood dinner and ballet at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

We parked our car at Capella Washington, D.C. for an early dinner on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in April.  Capella Personal Assistant, Donovan Trott, had already reserved our tickets and had them ready for us when we arrived.  Donovan made us reservations at Tony & Joe’s Seafood Restaurant located two blocks away at the Georgetown Washington Harbour waterfront.  We thanked Donovan and took a beautiful walk to Tony & Joe’s.  I love this restaurant not only for the tasty local seafood, but also because of the legendary location in Georgetown, looking over the Potomac River boardwalk, Kennedy Center, Key Bridge, and across the water to Virginia.

Tony_&_joes_mussels_georgetown

We started off with Steamed P.E.I Mussels simmered in a tomato, basil, and chili sauce as well as fresh Rhode Island Calamari, crispy fried and served with pickled chilies and a chipotle aioli.  I loved these dishes, and for our entrees, a simple but delicious Caesar salad with chilled jumbo shrimp, yum!

After dinner, I used my iPhone to request an Uber X car to take us to The Kennedy Center for the Peter Pan ballet, just a five-minute drive down Rock Creek Trail.  The Eisenhower Theatre is beautiful, and our seats were just seven rows back from the main stage!  The ballet told the story of Peter and the Lost Boys, based on the 1911 novel Peter and Wendy by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie.  “The story of Peter Pan is a compelling one as it reminds us to live our lives cherishing the child within,” says Artistic Director Septime Webre, “ I thought the ballet was both clever, funny and heartwarming, incorporating flying ballerinas through the air on their way to Neverland, and visually enhanced sets to create a sense of dream-like land of fantasy.

peter_pan_the_washington_ballet

The Washington Ballet is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States with choreographers and dancers from around the world. For more information regarding exclusive upcoming events this ballet season, be sure to contact your Capella Personal Assistant by calling 202-617-2400 or emailing pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

 

Exploring Dusseldorf On Wheels

exploring dusseldorf

As soon as the weather changes to summery temperatures, I feel like spending time outside.  There are so many fun activities available in Dusseldorf – sometimes I can’t decide what to do first!  My most favorite outdoor activity is inline skating.  I’ve skated at many places in Germany, but Dusseldorf honestly has the best scenery along The Rhine Promenade.

exploring dusseldorfIn my opinion, inline skating is the best form of exercise, but even if you prefer cycling, I promise you that exploring Dusseldorf on wheels is a great adventure.  Of course, this is especially true if you follow my favorite route: The prettiest round starts at the Old Town continuing to Kaiserswerth and back.  I always start in the Old Town to get myself into the right mood for my skating trip.  And if you want to start the adventure with a meal, the best place to have a delicious dish with an Altbier is the Uerige!  It’s one of Dusseldorf’s traditional Altbier breweries and you can enjoy your Altbier outside.

The tour I take is about 20 kilometers long and I am sure you will enjoy every meter of it just as I always do.  Why? Because during the tour you see several sights!  The Tonhalle for example: The Tonhalle is a place where a lot of concerts, usually classical concerts, take place and it is very close to the Promenade.  Secondly, the entire path is located next to the Rhine, which is very idyllic – it makes me feel so free as the wind blows through my hair and I watch the boats move down the river.

In Kaiserswerth, I take a break at the beer garden Galerie Burghof as I am a big fan of their freshly made waffles.  And have you ever heard of the drink Radler?  It is beer mixed with lemonade.  I know it sounds weird, but it is very refreshing and gives you the necessary push for the trek back to the Old Town.
If you are looking for different routes for your personal Dusseldorf skating or biking tour our Personal Assitant’s can provide you with all information and tips during your next stay at the Breidenbacher Hof.  I am sure that they will arrange for exceptional activities for you to explore!

Düsseldorf Entdecken

exploring dusseldorf

Sobald das Wetter sommerliche Temperaturen verspricht, möchte ich immer so viel Zeit wie möglich im Freien verbringen.  Es gibt so viele unterhaltsame Aktivitäten in Düsseldorf – manchmal kann ich mich selbst überhaupt nicht entscheiden, was ich zuerst unternehmen möchte.  Meine allerliebste Beschäftigung im Freien ist das Inline skaten!  Ich war schon an vielen Orten in Deutschland Inline skaten, aber ehrlich gesagt bietet Düsseldorf die schönste Kulisse:  die Rheinufer Promenade!

exploring dusseldorfMeiner Meinung nach, ist das Inline skaten die beste Möglichkeit, sich selbst in Bewegung zu bringen Egal ob Ihr Düsseldorf lieber auf Inlineskates oder auf dem Rad erkundet:  Ich verspreche euch, dass euer Ausflug ein Erlebnis sein wird!  Und natürlich kann ich euch meine Lieblingsstrecke nicht vorenthalten:  Die schönste Tour startet in der Altstadt in Richtung Kaiserswerth und wieder zurück. Ich beginne meinen Ausflug immer in der Altstadt, um mich in die richtige Stimmung zu bringen.  Die beste Möglichkeit dafür hat man bei einem leckeren Essen mit einem Glas Altbier im Uerige!  In dieser traditionellen Düsseldorfer Brauerei könnt Ihr euer Altbier auch im Freien genießen!

Die Tour, die ich bevorzuge ist ungefähr 20 Kilometer lang und ich bin mir sicher, dass Ihr jeden Meter davon genauso genießen werdet wie ich es immer tue!  Warum?  Weil man auf dieser Strecke zahlreiche Sehenswürdigkeiten bewundern kann!  Die Tonhalle zum Beispiel:  Die Tonhalle ist ein Veranstaltungsort, in dem viele Konzerte – üblicherweise klassische Konzerte – stattfinden und sie liegt direkt neben der Rheinufer Promenade.  Der zweite Grund ist, dass die gesamte Route direkt entlang des Rheins verläuft, was sehr idyllisch ist – ich fühle mich immer so frei, wenn ich die vorbeifahrenden Boote beobachte und spüre, wie der Wind durch mein Haar weht.

In Kaiserswerth genehmige ich mir dann eine kleine Pause im Biergarten „Galerie Burghof“, da ich ein großer Fan der frisch gebackenen Waffeln bin.  Dazu genieße ich ein erfrischendes Radler, das mir die nötige Power für den Rückweg gibt.

Wenn Ihr während Eurem nächsten Aufenthalt im Breidenbacher Hof nach verschiedenen Routen für eure eigene Düsseldorfer Inline skating- oder Radtour sucht, können unsere Personal Assistant’s euch mit allen benötigten Informationen und Tipps versorgen.  Ich bin mir sicher, dass sie die außergewöhnlichsten Unternehmungen für Euch vorbereiten werden…

Sylvia Sepielli, Diseñadora de Auriga Spa visita Capella Pedregal

rsz_img_4330-2 (2)

rsz_sylvia_sepielly

La semana pasada el equipo de Capella Pedregal tuvo el honor de dar la bienvenida a la renombrada diseñadora y planificadora de Spa , Sylvia Sepielli. Esta fue su primera visita desde que abrió Auriga Spa y yo estaba emocionada de ponerme al día con ella.

Sylvia, estamos muy contentos de tenerte de vuelta con nosotros! ¿Qué te trae a Capella Pedregal?

Estoy muy emocionada de estar de vuelta! Durante estos últimos años, Auriga Spa ha evolucionado y crecido, por lo que  vine a agregar un poco nuevo entrenamiento y re-energizar al equipo. Quería ver con mis propios ojos cómo el concepto ha cambiado.

¿Qué piensas acerca de la evolución del  Auriga Spa en Cabo?

Estoy realmente asombrada por lo mucho que el equipo realmente entiende el concepto y personalmente lo transmite a los huéspedes.  Auriga Spa lleva el nombre de la constelación, de la cual “Capella” es la estrella más brillante. Cuando el Sr. Schulze y yo estábamos desarrollando el concepto, la luna vino a nuestras mentes inmediatamente. Es tan poderosa y puede ayudar a nuestros huéspedes  a re-conectarse con sus orígenes. El equipo de Auriga Spa  de Capella Pedregal entiende completamente el propósito de cada elemento. Ellos han creado el equilibrio perfecto entre la luna, el mar y “La Baja pura” mediante la incorporación de las tradiciones locales. Se ha convertido en un lugar muy especial y estoy muy orgullosa de ellos.

rsz_img_4330-2 (2)

¿Puedes ayudarnos a entender más acerca de la conexión de la luna y la vida?

Siempre me gusta compararla con las estaciones del año:

  • Luna Nueva = Invierno o el principio

Al igual que los osos que hibernan, es el momento para ahorrar energía y aumentar la fuerza. Siembras las semillas de las ambiciones de tu vida, reflexiona y pide un deseo.

  • Luna creciente = Primavera; planta una nueva vida.

Es hora de volver a enfocar tu energía y nutrirte a ti mismo para que puedas alcanzar tus objetivos y en su mayor potencial.

  • •Luna Llena = Verano o la altura

La mayoría de las culturas tradicionalmente celebran la luna llena como un momento en que la mente y el cuerpo están más fértiles. Abraza tus impulsos creativos y di sí a lo que pueda aparecer en tu camino.

  • •Luna Menguante = Otoño o limpieza

Al igual que los árboles pierden sus hojas, este es el momento de liberar tensiones y toxinas.

Si tuvieras que recomendar un tratamiento que cada huésped debería experimentar, ¿cuál sería?

Yo diría que un tratamiento de Luna para iniciar sus vacaciones con equilibrio y también el Masaje Antiguo Tradicional, es fantástico!

 

El Sr. Horst Schulze, presidente y CEO de de Capella Hotel Group, y Sylvia visualizaron Auriga spa como un refugio para relajarse durante unas vacaciones y una forma de trascender en la vida de nuestros huéspedes. Asegúrate de pedir a tu Asistente Personal, en pa.pedregal@capellahotels.com, ayuda agendar tu propia experiencia Auriga .

The Dusseldorf Altbier Brewery Tour

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.

Altbier, or “old beer” as it translates to, is one of Dusseldorf’s greatest traditions.  Altbier has been around since the 17th Century and has its roots in the region of Westphalia.  Its top fermentation brewing process is what makes it unique.  In fact, I’ve written about this special beer once before here on the Capella Blog.

Well, I am excited to announce the new Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel, Dusseldorf Altbier Brewery Tour!  Exclusive to hotel guests, this experience introduces the participant to five of Dusseldorf’s oldest breweries with special behind-the-scenes tours and tastings, perfect for both the beer aficionado and the novice alike.

According to Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistant, Malte, this activity is an absolute favorite among guests.  Intrigued, I decided to schedule my own Dusseldorf Altbier Brewery Tour, after all, this is a tradition I already love and wanted to learn more about.

The tour began before we even left the hotel, with a tasting of the hotel’s signature Breidenbach meatballs served with ABB mustard (the Dusseldorf mustard!) and, of course, an Altbier.  Delicious – and the perfect way to start things off!

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.Our first stop was Schumacher brewery, which opened its doors in 1838, making it the oldest Dusseldorf brewery still in operation.  From there we made our way to four other quintessential Altbier breweries, Schlüssel, Kürzer, Füchschen and Uerige breweries.  At each brewery I was able to meet the Brewmaster, who shared secrets of their individual brewing processes.  Of course the highlights were the delicious tastings of each location’s signature brew.

Things weren’t all technical!  I also got a taste for the history and culture of Altbier.  At Füchschen brewery I learned an Altbier Song (definitely best sung after a day of beer tasting!), which of course was the source of much laughter.  And at Uerige I learned the funny history of the brewery’s name.  It seems the original owner, Wilhelm Cürten, was known for his unhappy disposition.  As a result locals began referring to the brewery as uerig, which means grumpy.  Ironically, these days people flock to Uerige in the afternoon for the good beer and great cheer.

Uerige-600The tour was truly a fun experience and by the end I felt like a true Altbier expert.  Be sure to schedule your own Dusseldorf Altbier Brewery Tour experience with your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistant during your next visit and discover one of the city’s greatest institutions.