Visiting The Tomás Saraceno in orbit Exhibit

Tomás Saraceno in orbit

I am always on the lookout for fun and educational experiences and fortunately Dusseldorf offers a great deal of these!  Recently I asked one of Breidenbacher Hof’s Personal Assistants for some of her current favorite activities around town.  Her immediate suggestion?  The Tomás Saraceno in orbit exhibit at K21 Art Museum.  Intrigued, I had to check it out.

The exhibit, installed in the glass dome of the building, 25 meters above the ground, begins with a web that spans 2500 square meters broken into three levels.  From there six inflated spheres balance like bubbles atop the structure.  The structure can be viewed from below and above.  And the best part?  This is a hands-on exhibit!   My friends and I (and other visitors) were able to climb among the spheres and through the webbing!  I felt a bit like a spider and a bit like I was floating through clouds.

Tomás SaracenoAlthough there was a sense of weightlessness and airiness when exploring the sculpture, I learned that was far from the case.  The webbing of the structure actually weighs a few tons and the largest sphere is about 1000 pounds!  A lot of time also went into creating it, as Saraceno spent more than three years designing and planning the project with a team of engineers.  This piece is the perfect example of how looks can be deceiving!

I loved my visit to Tomás Saraceno in orbit and definitely suggest you visit it during your next trip to Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel.  Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant about this and other fantastic activities to experience around town, I’m sure you will be amazed by what you may discover!

 

 

Image info: 
© Studio Tomás Saraceno 2013
© Kunstsammlung NRW

Get To Know Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo

“I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams,” is one of the iconic lines from the movie The Shawshank Redemption.  This film, along with with When a Man Loves a Woman, are just two of the movies filmed in beautiful Zihuatanejo.  The Pacific here is as blue as you can imagine, and the Mexican way of life is just as you have dreamt about.  If you haven’t been to Zihuatanejo these films will surely inspire a visit.  But just in case you need more, here are some facts about the town:

History:

  • In the native Nahuatl language Zihuatanejo means a “place of women.”  We pronounce it “zee-watt-a-neh-ho.”
  • The city was founded in 1520s, with roots stretching back to the Olmec, Toltec and Tarascan tribes.  In the days of Spanish colonization, Zihuatanejo bay was a stopping point and safe haven for Spanish galleons, pirates and privateers.  Today the municipality has approximately 105,000 residents.

Weather:

  • The climate is warm, with an average yearly temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F).

ZihuatanejoBeaches & Activities:

  • In Zihuatanejo you can practice many water sports; it is famous for fishing, sailing, diving, snorkeling and surfing.
  • Some of the most amazing and swimmable beaches can be found in Zihuatanejo; Playa Principal, Larga, Blanca, La Madera, La Ropa, Las Gatas, to name just a few.  Read more about them here.

Wild life:

  • Lush nature and tropical landscape make Zihtauanejo a great destination for nature lovers: here you can see whales, turtles, crocodiles, endemic bird species, and other wildlife.  Don’t miss to visit the wildlife refuge El Refugio de Potosí.

Zihuatanejo BeachExperience:

  • Zihuatanejo is a small town, which was able to keep its historic charm and friendly atmosphere of an old fishing village.  I recommend exploring the city by foot: visit downtown “El Centro” and feel the vibe of the town and its colorful stores, cafes and restaurants, then continue the walk at the Paseo del Pescador, a beachfront promenade.  Sit at an adjacent restaurant and enjoy the view and the people watching.
  • Visit the colorful artisans market, where you can purchase ceramics, woodcarvings, weavings, sculptures, jewelry and clothing by talented local artisans.  My other favorite market is a food market – an unforgettable and delicious experience!

Food:

  • Try Zihuatanejo’s most popular and traditional dish tiritas (Thin slices of the freshest fish slightly cooked in the grill).  Our Chef Miguel Baltazar prepares it with fresh catch of the day.  I love how refreshing it is!

Twin Destination:

  •  Together with the resort town Ixtapa (home of Capella Ixtapa), Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is referred to as one destination, which offers two distinct lifestyles and experiences.  The experience in Zihuatanejo, traditional port and fishing village, is combined with the comfort of a modern infrastructure and luxury services in Ixtapa.  The towns share 24 km of golden coastline with small bays and lush green hills.

Zihuatanejo is a wonderful place for vacation, relaxation, exploring nature and pristine Mexico.  Best part?  It is just a short drive away from Capella Ixtapa!

 

 

Images:
1. Zihuatanejo Bay by hmerinomx via Flickr
2. La Madera beach by chrismar via Flickr

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

IMG_4909x

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!