Visiting Capella Ixtapa and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Capella Ixtapa, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Capella Ixtapa is located in a unique and beautiful area of Guerrero, Mexico.  Blending into the lush green backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo lies along a hilly tropical coastline and is surrounded by dozens of white sandy beaches.  I am fortunate to live in a paradise that blends two diverse destinations into one.  Ixtapa is a modern, master planned resort town with perfectly maintained landscaping, vanguard architectural design and services, a luxurious Marina with yachts from all parts of the world, exclusive residential areas, boutiques and two 18-hole, designer golf courses.  Meanwhile, Zihuatanejo is a charming traditional fishing village, rich in folklore and history and complete with its harbor, market, townsquare, beaches and main street.  Though the two towns have their differences in habitat and style, they share that same wonderful sense of Mexican hospitality.

Capella Ixtapa, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Both of the towns and the hotel offer a myriad of opportunities to explore the area and enjoy its surroundings.  In this blog post I list some of my colleagues’ and my favorite activities in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.  If you are interested in any, please send us an email, we’d be happy to organize the experience during your visit to Capella Ixtapa:

A visit to Petatlan, a town known for it’s gold market, church and typical Mexican street scene. You can learn more about Petatlan in our previous blog posts here and here.

Eco Tourism: Experience the eco-tourism in Ixtapa while biking, kayaking, snorkeling or visiting the wildlife refuge, El Refugio de Potosí.

A visit to Barra de Potosí: This small beachside village has endless fine-sand beaches and a large lagoon brimming with bird life.  You can swim, take boat trips, rent a kayak and paddle around the estuary or go horseback riding.

Golfing: Golf courses in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo are carved into some of the most stunning landscapes that you have seen, designed to seamlessly blend in with natural landscape.  Capella Ixtapa guests are granted access to the best area courses to enjoy during a golf vacation in Mexico.

Deep-Sea or Small Game Fishing Trips: Go deep-sea fishing with experienced and local captain and crew for Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado or Tuna.  While small-game fishing, you can reel in Bonita, Yellow Fin Tuna, Snapper, and many others.

Cook Your Own Catch: Bring your catch back to the hotel, and our Chef will prepare a delicious feast for you (you can even help the Chef prepare your lunch or dinner with a personalized cooking tutorial!).

Private Picnic on the Beach: Enjoy this lunch Oceanside listening to the sound of the waves crushing on the cliffs or in the privacy of your suite.

Swimming and Snorkeling at Ixtapa Island or Las Gatas beach: both beaches offer one of the best snorkeling experiences in the Pacific area.  The Ixtapa Island   (our General Manager’s favorite spot to swim and relax) has four different beaches to explore and enjoy, and Las Gatas Beach will enchant you with its white coral sand beach and crystalline water.

Sunset Cruise: Experience Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo from the Ocean, and enjoy the sunset with a grand view of the hotel zone of Ixtapa.

Shopping and City Tour: Take those postcard perfect pictures and shop for traditional Mexican artisan souvenirs.

Zihuatanejo Market (or a visit with our Chef): A small town market is a place where the sentiment of old Mexican tradition of “trade” still lives on, el Mercado is a place where farmers meet and sell their goods.  Experience the stalls full of colors, textures and smells where you’ll be able to buy some of the freshest fish, meat and produce.  You can accompany our Chef during his trip to the market and once you arrive back at the Hotel, you can join the Chef in the kitchen for cooking lessons using your purchases, and enjoy your creations in your private lunch set up overlooking the Pacific.

Swimming with Dolphins: A favorite activity with both children and adults; swim with dolphins and learn about these amazing mammals.

Horse Back Riding: Ride along the beach at Playa Larga or trot along picturesque countryside trails throughout our mountain ranch tour.

Canopy Tour: Enjoy a family adventure that provides just the right mix of fun, physical challenges and pure adrenaline rush.  There are different high ropes activities such as hanging and moving bridges, ladders, and zip lines up to 250 meters long and 30 meters high that allow you to fly through the trees.

We also have some fantastic activities on property, including:

Capella Signature Margarita Making Classes

Educational Tequila Tasting

Mexican Wine Pairing Dinner

Mexican Cooking Classes

 

For more information on any of the above mentioned activities – or any other activity you are interested in doing in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo please contact our Personal Assistant at pa.ixtapa@capellahotels.com or call them at +52 755 55 5 11 00.  Your PA looks forward to helping you experience Capella Ixtapa and our beautiful Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo!

Luxury Yacht Tour Of Singapore

Luxury yacht tour of Singapore

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to take a luxury yacht tour of Singapore.  The tour, which was organized by one of Capella Singapore’s fantastic Personal Assistants, began at the Marina at Keppel Bay, home to some of the most exclusive yachts and boats in Singapore.

Luxury yacht tour of Singapore

It was a rather cloudy day with a slight threat of rain, however when we got to the marina the skies cleared.  As we made our way through the docks, we were greeted by scores of beautiful boats, some for commercial and others for private use.   We were on our way to board the SG Yacht, a luxurious 13-seater.

The SG Yacht was beautiful.  As we climbed up the deck, we were greeted by a luxuriously cozy “living room” complete with a small coffee table, sofas and a mini television set.  The boat also had two bedrooms with beds set nice and high you could literally climb into them.  On the deck, we were able to make our way to the helm of the boat and enjoy the glorious sea breeze as the yacht cut deftly through the waters.

The yacht trip would take us all the way to one of the small southern Singapore islands named Lazarus Island before heading back to the marina.  Needless to say, the sights were glorious.  Just as we were pulling out into the open sea, we passed a familiar sight – the beachfront view of Capella Singapore!

Soon after, we reached Lazarus Island – an uninhabited tropical paradise with a beach so pristine, calm and picturesque.  We took some time to explore the island, enjoying all its flora and fauna.

Lazarus Island is just one of the many southern islands of Singapore which are frequent destinations for hired yachts. For the more adventurous, a chartered yacht can even visit exotic locations of Bali, Tioman Island, Phuket and more.

With Singapore being a small island, taking a trip out to sea on a luxury Yacht is definitely something I would recommend to everyone. In fact, the Personal Assistants at Capella Singapore are more than able to help facilitate all the necessary arrangements for chartering a luxury yacht.

Diving Morros de Potosí

Diving Morros de Potosí

Living by the Ocean makes me appreciate its amazing nature and beauty even more.  I love to spend my free days exploring the nearby beaches and underwater world.  Capella IxtapasPersonal Assistant Christian told me about his diving experience at a very unique place, Morros de Potosí, and I just had to go and try it myself.

We embarked from Zihuatanejo and cruised out of Zihuatanejo Bay.  Appreciating the continental mass of the Mexican Pacific Coast while we sailed the “Cocos Tectonic Plate” was just the beginning of the journey.  After 40 minutes we arrived at our destination.  Morros de Potosí is made up of large white granite rocks that emerge from the ocean, also known as the Frailes Blancos (White Friars).  The captain explained how the perfect equilibrium of marine flora and fauna and a great variety of birds including pelicans and seagulls, makes these rocks one of the most spectacular diving zones of the Mexican Pacific!

Morros de Potosi is full of fascinating surprises like caves, cliffs, vertical walls, canals and tunnels.  Because of the strong currents this site is only for experienced divers, so we headed to some protected areas where we could snorkel.  One of these spots was the Caleta Norte (North Cove).  This was an ideal spot for me, because I had the chance to admire some of the arches, glens and vertical walls underwater, as well the superabundance of different aquatic life found here.  At the south of the Morros there are plenty of submarine caves; one of them is called the Cave of Gertrudis, and the story says it was once inhabited by a cat shark by the same name.

Dolphins, Loggerhead turtles and Manta rays kept me entertained while cruising on the way back to Zihuatanejo.  Amazed by the beauty of nature and the ocean I was very pleased with Christian’s recommendation.

Capella Ixtapas Personal Assistants can organize for you an unforgettable diving or snorkeling trip, sailing adventure or a romantic cruise along the ocean that will make your vacation unforgettable.

 

Image via Diversion En Montana.

 

Spending The Day In Petatlan

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Exploring the surroundings is one of the pleasures I like to indulge in while on vacations. If you feel adventurous and want to explore Ixtapa Zihuatanejo surroundings for a day, one of my recommendations would be to visit adjacent town Petatlan. Roughly speaking, Petatlan is known for three things: Typical Mexican street scene, the church, and its gold market. The city was founded in 1550 and was previously inhabited by Cuitlatecos, Chumbias, Pantecas & Mexica tribes. “Petatlán” comes from the nahuatl ‘Petatl’ (Petate: The woven from the fibers of the Palm) and ‘Tlán’ (next to) meaning then: “Next to Petate”.

Petatlan is located a short half hour drive from Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. You can’t miss the the Church “Father Jesus of Petatlan”, strategically placed in the heart of town, in a lush setting surrounded by trees, the gold market and the street market. Though the church design does not boast a historical or colonial style, I admire its beautiful stained glass, arches and vaults. I learned that the use of circles and squares in architecture descends from classic Aztec culture, where these elements represent heaven and earth.

Across the street from the main entrance to the church, you will find the gold market, where you can buy beautiful gold jewelry for the best price (it can be cheaper to 10-15% than regular stores, but I advise you to be prepared for some bargaining – it can be lots of fun as well!).  The tradition of selling gold outside the church has more than 50 years as one of the local artisans commented me. When you’ve had enough of gold, get ‘lost’ in the nearby Petatlan street market, with stalls piled high with fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing, general housewares, car parts, traditional handcrafts, utilities and items you never even imagined existed (or that you needed). The street market will give you a taste of old Mexico markets, which are still often the center points of smaller towns and villages all over the country. Not to be missed are also Petatlan’s famous fruit waters at ‘heladería’ (ice cream shop), in the corner of the ‘zocalo’ (city main plaza).

On the way back to Capella Ixtapa, you can stop at Barra de Potosí and enjoy this beautiful lagoon sanctuary at sunset.

Your Personal Assistant will be more than happy to give you more information, directions and organize a tour for you. Enjoy your day trip!

Pasando El Día En Petatlán

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Explorar por los alrededores es uno de mis pequeños placeres que trato de satisfacer cuando estoy de vacaciones. Si eres de espíritu aventurero y quieres explorar los alrededores de Ixtapa Zihuatanejo por un día, podría recomendarte que visites el pueblo de Petatlán. A grandes rasgos, Petatlán es conocido por 3 cosas principalmente: Su típico sabor de pueblo mexicano, su iglesia, y su mercado de oro. La ciudad fue fundada alrededor de 1550 y previamente había sido habitada por Cuitlatecos, Chumbias, Pantecas y Mexicas. “Petatlán” viene de los vocablos náhuatl ‘Petatl’ (Petate) y ‘Tlán’ (junto a) significando entonces: “Junto al petate”.

Petatlán está a solo media hora en coche de Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. No puedes perderte la Iglesia del Padre Jesús de Petatlán, estratégicamente ubicada en el corazón del pueblo, en un sitio de rodeado de abundante vegetación, del mercado, y del tianguis de oro. Aunque el estilo arquitectónico de la Iglesia no es histórico o colonial, me encanta admirar sus vitrales, arcos y cúpulas modernas. Aprendí que el uso que se les da a los círculos y los cuadrados en la composición de la arquitectura de la iglesia viene de la cultura azteca, donde estos elementos representan la conexión entre cielo y tierra.

Cruzando la calle desde la entrada principal al atrio de la iglesia, te encontrarás con el mercado del oro, donde podrás comprar bellas piezas de joyería en oro a un muy buen precio (normalmente 10 a 15% más barato que en una tienda normal, pero te aconsejo que vayas preparado a regatear, ¡se puede volver muy divertido también!). La tradición de vender oro en este sitio afuera de la iglesia tiene más de 50 años como me lo indicó uno de los artesanos locales. Cuando hayas tenido suficiente con el oro, ‘piérdete’ en el mercado de Petatlán, con montañas de frutas y vegetales frescos, ropa, utensilios tradicionales de cocina, artesanías, incluso refacciones para autos y un sinfín de artículos que nunca te hubieras imaginado que existen (o que necesitas). El mercado te dará una probada de lo que es un típico mercado mexicano, los cuales son aún hoy centro y núcleo de pequeñas poblaciones a lo largo del país. No te puedes perder tampoco las famosas aguas de fruta en la heladería en la esquina del zócalo.

En tu camino de vuelta a Capella Ixtapa, puedes detenerte en Barra de Potosí y disfrutar de este hermoso santuario de la laguna y el atardecer.

Tu Personal Assistant estará más que contento en darte más información, indicaciones y organizar un tour para ti. Que disfrutes tu día!