A Visit To The New Singapore Sports Hub

The new 55,000-seater National Stadium

Since it opened on 30 June 2014, the Singapore Sports Hub was on my must-visit radar.  So, when I found out that The Singapore Selection was playing Juventus Football Club in a friendly match on 16 August 2014, I made it a point to buy tickets so that I could enjoy the new National Stadium, which is part of the Hub, and support our Singapore team at the same time.

I must say that when I arrived at the 35-hectare Singapore Sports Hub, I was quickly swept away by the excitement and flurry that filled the air.  There were football fans getting ready to enter the National Stadium to support the Home team, there were diners, shoppers, families and the curious – like me.  All keen and eager to visit our new national sports icon.

The Singapore Sports Hub comprises a wide range of venues, namely, a 55,000-capacity National Stadium, 6,000-capacity Aquatics Centre, 3,000-capacity Sports Arenas, a Water Sports Centre, a Library and about 41,000 sqm of retail and dining space.  Before the big game, I decided to roam the shopping and dining area named the Kallang Wave.  A huge shopping centre featuring a wide range of international fashion brands, sports wear as well as a large variety of dining choices, I easily lost track of time in the mall!

Just before the match began, I quickly made my way to the National Stadium.  The best part about the new Sports Hub is how close the National Stadium is to the shopping mall.  It took just five minutes to get from the shopping mall to my seat!  How convenient!

The new 55,000-seater National Stadium

The new 55,000-seater National Stadium

When I entered the National Stadium, I was blown away.  The 55,000-seater stadium was unlike anything else in Singapore. Featuring the world’s largest free-standing dome, the National Stadium also boasts a retractable roof and customisable, mechanised and automated retractable seating configurations on the lowest tier making it suitable to host a wide range of sports, concerts and other events.

What I found the most breathtaking was the view of the city skyline and the water.  How magnificent!  How beautiful!

The view of the Central Business District from the new National Stadium

The view of the Central Business District from the new National Stadium

While the Singapore Selection lost to Juventus Football Club, I left content.  I felt happy that I had the opportunity to visit this amazing stadium and be part of history, watching the first ever football game played in the new National Stadium.

Upcoming concerts and events held at the National Stadium include:

Mariah Carey, “Me. I am Mariah”, Friday, 24 October 2014
Jay Chou, “Opus 2 Jay 2014 World Tour”, Saturday, 8 November 2014
Asia Pacific Dragons vs Maori All Blacks XV’s Match, Saturday, 15 November 2014
One Direction, “On the Road Again”, Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Click here for more details and listings

If you are staying at Capella Singapore during any one of these periods, I strongly recommend contacting our Personal Assistants who will be able to assist with ticket bookings and transport.  They can be reached at +65 6591 5034/35 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

A Visit To The Longest Bar In The World

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.

As you surely know from our previous posts on the Capella Blog, Dusseldorf is home to what is known as the Longest Bar In The World. The Old Town was not given this name because of a single bar simply stretching several miles, but rather because of the numerous bars and restaurants, night clubs and breweries located there. That’s why our Personal Assistants here at Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel recommend spending at least one evening exploring Dusseldorf’s vibrant Old Town.

And, to help you make use of your time, here is how I would spend an evening in Dusseldorf’s Old Town and discovering the Longest Bar In The World:

First, I always make sure to start the evening with a delicious dinner. If you feel like having a traditional German dish, you should start at an Altbier brewery like Zum Schlüssel or Im Goldenen Kessel and enjoy the Rhenish pot roast. If you prefer something more Mediterranean, the Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse, which is located within walking distance of the hotel, offers multiple Spanish restaurants.

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.

As you can well imagine, an evening in Dusseldorf just wouldn’t be authentic without the region’s specialty – the dark, locally brewed Altbier.  Since every brewery has its own brewing method you should taste an Altbier at several different breweries to find your personal favorite.  Beer not your drink of choice? That’s not a problem, because there are bars like Sausalitos or Louisiana, which are known for their cocktail menus.  If you can manage to arrive before 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. you can even make use of happy hour prices.

Then you can choose to either take a nightly walk along the Rhine or dart for the nightlife in the Old Town. If you choose to experience the nightlife the traditional German way you can visit Oberbayern or Antons Bierkönig on Bolker Street – but don’t forget your Lederhosen!  Looking to dance?  There are several nightclubs and bars around that play good music later in the evening. I’m sure, no matter where you choose to go, you will have tons of fun exploring all the Longest Bar In The World has to offer.

Hopefully my vision of the perfect even in Old Town Dusseldorf experiencing the Longest Bar In The World has given you an impression of how vibrant Dusseldorf’s nightlife really is.  During your next visit to Dusseldorf, our Personal Assistants would be happy to assist you in planning your perfect evening out. Once you spend an evening in the Old Town, you will know why the Bolker Street really deserves its reputation as the Longest Bar In The World!

Ein Besuch der Längsten Theke der Welt

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.

Wie Ihr sicher von früheren Posts auf den Capella Blog wisst, beheimatet Düsseldorf die Längste Theke der Welt.  Der Altstadt wurde dieser Name nicht aufgrund einer einzigen zusammenhängenden Theke, die sich über mehrere Meter ausdehnt, gegeben.  Vielmehr erhielt sie ihren Namen aufgrund der vielen Bars, Restaurants, Diskotheken und Brauereien, die sich hier befinden.  Aus diesem Grund empfehlen unsere Persönlichen Assistenten hier im Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel jedem Gast mindestens einen Abend damit zu verbringen, die pulsierende Altstadt zu erkunden.

Um dafür zu sorgen, dass Eure Zeit bestmöglich genutzt wird, erzähle ich Euch nun, wie ich persönlich meinen Abend in der Düsseldorfer Altstadt gestalten würde, um die Längste Theke der Welt zu erleben:

Zuerst starte ich immer mit einem leckeren Abendessen in den Abend.  Wenn Ihr Lust auf traditionelle deutsche Gerichte habt, solltet Ihr in einer Altbierbrauerei wie Zum Schlüssel oder Im Goldenen Kessel starten und unbedingt den Rheinischen Sauerbraten probieren.  Falls Ihr etwas Mediterranes vorzieht, bietet die Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse, die nur einige Gehminuten vom Hotel entfernt ist, eine Auswahl an spanischen Restaurants.

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.

Aber wie Ihr Euch sicherlich vorstellen könnt, wäre ein Abend in Düsseldorf einfach nicht authentisch ohne die Spezialität unserer Region – das dunkle, lokal gebraute Altbier.  Und weil jede Brauerei ihr ganz eigenes Brauverfahren hat, solltet ihr auf jeden Fall ein Altbier in verschiedenen Brauereien testen, um so Euren persönlichen Favoriten zu finden.  Bier ist nicht Euer Getränk?  Das ist kein Problem, denn es gibt zahlreiche Bars wie Sausalitos oder Louisiana, die für ihre große Cocktailauswahl bekannt sind.  Falls Ihr es einrichten könnt vor 19 oder 20 Uhr dort zu sein, könnt Ihr sogar von den Happy Hour Preisen Gebrauch machen.

Danach könnt Ihr den Abend entweder entspannt bei einem nächtlichen Spaziergang am Rhein ausklingen lassen oder Euch in das Nachtleben Düsseldorfs stürzen.  Falls Ihr Schlager präferiert, könnt Ihr im Oberbayern oder Antons Bierkönig auf der Bolkerstraße zu Eurer Lieblingsmusik tanzen.  Doch es gibt auch zahlreiche Diskotheken und Bars in denen verschiedenste andere Musikrichtungen gespielt werden.  Ich bin mir sicher, egal wo Ihr Euch entschließt hinzugehen, Ihr werdet einen riesen Spaß dabei haben alles zu erkunden, was die Längste Theke der Welt zu bieten hat.

Hoffentlich hat Euch meine Darstellung des perfekten Abends in der Altstadt zum Erkunden der Längsten Theke der Welt einen Eindruck davon gegeben, wie lebhaft Düsseldorfs Nachtleben wirklich ist.  Während Eurem nächsten Aufenthalt in Düsseldorf helfen unsere Persönlichen Assistenten gerne dabei, Euren eigenen perfekten Abend zu planen.  Denn nur wenn Ihr einen Abend in Düsseldorfs Altstadt verbringt wisst Ihr, warum die Bolkerstraße ihren Ruf als Längste Theke der Welt wirklich verdient hat!

Behind the Scenes at the Rye Bar Cocktail Class

Rye Bar Limeade

This summer the Rye Bar at Capella D.C. introduced its’ signature Cocktail Series, led by head bartender Angel Cervantes.  Held monthly on Saturday’s, this social event is full of cocktail creations, experiments and tastings all while learning the tricks of the Rye Bar trade from Angel himself.  I finally had the chance to attend myself and can’t wait to share a few of my favorite moments:

Rye Bar Limeade

The class consisted of about 15 guests including Angel, spaciously seated in Capella’s luxurious Executive Boardroom.  The first cocktail Angel created to kick off the class was his signature shared “Rye Limeade,” using a fifth of Filibuster Rye and bittersweet red liqueur, Campari.  This concoction was a fan favorite and set the tone perfectly for the rest of the class (see full recipe below).

To be the best at home bartender you need a few simple tools to mix, strain, squeeze, and infuse your cocktail.  Angel supplied all these tools for us to use, which definitely made a difference in the overall flavor and consistency of the cocktail!

Rye Bar Cocktail Series

Without giving too much away, Angel shared with us the four elements of a handcrafted cocktail.  Each one adds depth and flavor that you can’t find on your average bar menu.  There are plenty of amazing places in D.C. to find a fantastic cocktail, but Angel really sets the Rye Bar apart using Rye Whiskey as the focal point, and three other signature elements to naturally balance flavors.  Simultaneously Angel is generating new awareness and likability with Rye cocktails with many cocktailians traveling to the Nation’s Capital.

Rye Bar Limeade

Filibuster Rye 1 ½ oz

Lime Juice ½ oz

Campari ½ oz

Lavender Infused Simply Syrup 1 oz

To reserve your seats at the next Rye Bar Cocktail Class, be sure to contact your Capella Events team at 202-617-2429 or e-mail elisabeth.thomas@capellahotels.com.  Get ready to experience how to create the wow factor in your cocktails and taste flavors that are exciting and unique to your palate.  Following the cocktail class is an excellent 3-course dinner with cocktail pairings in The Grill Room as well a signature Rye Bar takeaway gift!

Nothing sweeter than Lucian Carnival!

rsz_603555_428721540504868_1652340124_n

I always get very excited to experience the wonderful festivities that Saint Lucia has to offer in the month of July.  This time of year, there are a lot more flights landing as many visitors come to the island for one of the biggest events of the year.  Today, whilst walking near the Castries Market, this lovely lady named Nora, came up to me and asked for directions to the nearest mall.  In conversation with her, I learnt more about why she decided to  visit this lovely island.  Nora spoke of the beautiful people and the lush green forests that painted the hillsides but then she paused and I noticed this fire and excitement in her eyes as she exclaimed, “I’m here because of the Lucian Carnival!”


rsz_11653775_284346981721761_1823571938_n

The Saint Lucian Carnival or Lucian Cah-na-val as some would call it, is a festive time of year that brings together people from all around the island to showcase a colorful history with costumes and dance.  Saint Lucia won its independence in 1979 and since then, discovering new aspects of his history can be seen in the various carnival efforts of its people.  It is amazing to witness such a spectacular showcase and even more interesting to learn that every year around the month of July, people come to Saint Lucia just to see the parade.  My friends and I make it our duty to attend every single event surrounding this festival.  From the Annual Carnival Queen Show to the Parade of the Bands, we take pride in engaging in activities that are part of the island’s wide culture.   This year, I am very anxious to put on my Carnival Costumes as I join the parade with over twenty thousand participants.

rsz_603555_428721540504868_1652340124_n

Carnival in Saint Lucia is the one event that you would not want to miss.  If there was ever a time that you wished to see the island in full color then I strongly recommend you visiting around the month of July.  With the Carnival Queen show happening very soon, I can’t wait to see more of  Saint Lucia’s lovely culture and it’s people.  

The History of Sentosa Island

officers_mess_-_party

I love history.  I find that knowing the history of a place adds to its unique character and personality and makes it even more endearing and charming.  With that in mind, I thought I would share a bit about the history of Sentosa Island and Capella Singapore.

Did you know that Sentosa Island, where Capella Singapore, is located, is the largest of Singapore’s southern islands and an island with a rich history and heritage?  In the past it was an island fortress and military base for the British army and today it is an island of pure entertainment and recreation.

On the western side of the island was Fort Siloso which has underground passages, bunkers and gun emplacements dating back to the 1800s.  It was built in the 1880s to protect Singapore, which was a thriving port under Great Britain’s rule.  Fort Siloso was part of Singapore’s coastal defence with Fort Serapong and Fort Connaught.  The guns at Fort Siloso were used during World War II and are part of Singapore’s rich history.

Capella Singapore is home to four colonial buildings – the two blocks where the main lobby, Capella Library and Chinese restaurant, Cassia, are located are actually two Colonial Manors.  In fact, they received conservation status in 2000.  These colonial buildings were formerly the Royal Artillery Officers’ Mess.

 The Officers’ Mess was where the officers and their families had their meals and recreational activities such as dining, dancing and tennis. There was a tennis court beside the block.

Royal Artillery Officers Christmas Party 1951

Royal Artillery Officers Christmas Party 1951

Christmas and New Year parties were celebrated at the Officers’ Mess.  Formal table settings extended out to the wide corridors of the block and band performances were held in the room at the entrance. From the Officers’ Mess, there was a good view of the Singapore harbour and it was a practice for the officers and their families to welcome in the new year with the loud horning from the ships in the harbour.

After Singapore gained independence in 1965, the government decided that it was important for the emerging nation to have a place of recreation.  Soon after, Sentosa Island was chosen for this purpose.  Sentosa Island was then given the name Sentosa Island in 1970, which means “Isle of Tranquility” in Malay and developed by the Singapore government into a recreational area in 1972.  It has now become an island of fun, filled with amusement parks, beaches, museums, restaurants, aquariums and many more attractions.  It is truly amazing how in just a few decades it has transformed from a military base into an exciting playground.

If you are interested in the history of Sentosa, you may wish to go for a tour at Fort Siloso or visit Images of Singapore where you can learn about the colourful history of Sentosa and of Singapore and how we became the thriving and successful country that we are today.  Do speak with one of our Personal Assistants to organise a tour at +65 6591 5035 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

Historical pictures of Capella Singapore’s past as the Royal Artillery Officers’ Mess are available for viewing in The Library.