Discovering Soufriere, Saint Lucia

In the month of August, Saint Lucia celebrates the two most beautiful flower festivals in the Caribbean region.  The Feast of La Rose originated from the seven years that Saint Lucia was fought over by the British and The Feast of La Marguerite was named after the French who also fought for this island for seven years.  Of all the things I enjoy the most about this beautiful island of Saint Lucia, I am always charmed by the indigenous flowers and plants found in gardens everywhere.  From Jade Vine to Torch Ginger, all 238 square miles are dotted with such a delightful variety of flora.


In celebration of the flower festivals, I went on a tour to the most decorated town on the island, the town of Soufriere.  Soufriere played host to the flower celebrations this year and is also one of the most spectacular areas on island.  Before the parade began, I drove to the magical Botanical gardens which is where many of the plants are exclusively found in Saint Lucia. As I ventured further into the gardens I discovered the Diamond Falls.  This amazing waterfall is part of the world renowned Sulphur Springs which are a product of the worlds’ only drive in volcano.  Tourists and locals alike, travel specifically to this region to bathe in the healing waters of the Sulphur Springs and to experience their rejuvenating effects on the body.  The Sulphur Springs from which the town of Soufriere got its name, came into formation due to weak spots in the crust of an enormous collapsed crater, the result of volcanic eruptions of gigantic proportions that took place some 410,000 years ago.


Similar hot springs feed the mineral baths into the Diamond Falls located on the Diamond Estate built originally in 1784 for the troops of King Louis XVI of France so that they could benefit from the therapeutic waters.  I was amazed at the thought that the springs contained healing properties and was really tempted to jump in.  On my way back to watch the parade I looked up to witness the most mesmerizing view of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the twin pitons.   These two volcanic spires, Gros Piton and Petit Piton are one of the main reasons why people visit this beautiful island.


After enjoy the view, I returned to town just in time to see the denizens of Soufriere in colorful cultural wear as they  put on an event of pomp and pageantry, celebrating the island’s mixed heritage of English and French.  As the event continued with cultural  folk dances such as the Quadrille, the Mappa and the Belair, I could not help but be once again impressed by the beauty and energy of Saint Lucia.

creole-wearIf you are in Saint Lucia during the month of August, be sure to ask your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistants about the flower festivals, Feast of La Rose and Feast of La Marguerite.  And even if it isn’t August, make sure to make time to visit Soufriere, one of the many magical towns here in Saint Lucia!


Exploring Dusseldorf On Wheels

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!

Visiting The Tomás Saraceno in orbit Exhibit

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

“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:


  • 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.


  • 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!


  • 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!



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

Visiting Capella Ixtapa and 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 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

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.