Eating Well: Healthy Tips For Summer Travel

Steven Fowler - Director of Food & Beverage DC

Longer days, children buzzing about outdoors, and warmer weather can only mean one thing – summer has finally arrived!  My family summer vacations always included fun road-trips, action-packed plans, and a ton of laughter while creating memories that I continue to cherish until today.

Often a key component of our traveling was the dining.  My parents always attempted to find a balance between summer indulgence and making sure we stayed healthy and well nourished.  Today, this is still a priority for me, as I love to take part in local flavors, but not at the expense of taking care of my body.  Taking this into consideration, I thought it the perfect opportunity to sit down with the Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown culinary team to find out what they recommend for maintaining a healthy, but enjoyable, lifestyle during summer travel.

Healthy Tips For Summer Travel:

Chef Frank Ruta - DC

“Always ask the locals and those around you, even your waiters while dining out what the healthiest options are on the menu or local spots to try.  Insider tips are always helpful and they know what they’re talking about!”   ~Executive Chef, Frank Ruta

Chef Aggie - Pastry Chef DC

“Remember it’s a vacation!  It’s a time to enjoy everything that’s going on with the activities and with your family and friends surrounding you. Enjoy the food and desserts and have a great time.” ~Pastry Chef, Aggie Chin

Steven Fowler - Director of Food & Beverage DC

 “Sitting in a cramped position for long periods, whether in an airplane, car, or bus, can lead to an increased risk of potentially health related issues.  To minimize risk, drink plenty of water and stay active to allow the blood to flow.  Always carry around with you bottles of water and try to drink plenty of fluids to prevent from becoming dehydrated.” ~Food & Beverage Director, Steve Fowler

Kelly S - Catering Sales Manager DC

“The first thing I do when I travel is to search for the local markets and grocery stores to stock up on fresh veggies, fruits, and snacks.  Sourcing our breakfast meals from fresh local markets was a great way to save some extra cash and getting in touch with how the community in that particular destination lived.  You can ask for a complimentary mini-fridge to be sent to your hotel room to store these items as well.” ~Catering Sales Manager, Kelly Schneider

I hope these tips will come in handy for healthy and delicious summer of traveling!  Please tag @CapellaDC on social media and share your own healthy/delicious summer traveling tips so that I can share them with our community.  Have a great summer!

Meet Pastry Chef of The Year, Aggie Chin

Bubble, Pop, Electric

Life is short…eat dessert first!  This is probably one of my favorite mantras.  Following this mantra is especially easy when you have Aggie Chin, creating delicious one-of-a-kind desserts in Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown’s The Grill Room.  But don’t take my word for it!  Chef Aggie, was just named “Pastry Chef Of The Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Aggie RAMMY SelfieThe Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the D.C. metro area.  The RAMMY Awards Gala honors exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and the region’s restaurants.  It was truly a wonderful night witnessing Chef Aggie being honored for her dedication to the industry as well as celebrating her remarkable achievements!

Aggie Chin - RAMMY

Chef Aggie has been a mastermind behind delicious and delectable desserts for many years prior to joining our Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown family.  Aggie spared no time adding whimsical and creative dessert menu options to The Grill Room, welcoming exotic flavors and fresh seasonal mixes to everyone’s palate.  To set a True Capella experience for everyone, Chef Aggie wanted to curate a unique experience for the evolving desserts menu, “My vision for The Grill Room’s new dessert menu matches the welcoming atmosphere of Capella while adding exciting elements reflecting the bustling diverse metropolis of D.C.”

Aggie Chin Headshot

We are all very proud of Chef Aggie’s accomplishments, so I am delighted to share with you an easy spinoff cocktail that draws inspiration from Bubble, Pop, Electric, one of her most popular desserts.

Bubble, Pop, Electric

Make At Home: Bubble, Pop, Electric – The Cocktail (or Mocktail!) – Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) of strawberries. Clean and chopped
  • 5 cup of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • A bag of pop rocks candy (Optional)

Preparation:

  • Add all ingredients in a blender and puree together
  • Disperse mixture in a popsicle mold (You can use ice cube trays as well)
  • Freeze in a freezer overnight
  • Rim glass with pop rocks candy
  • Add frozen mixture into a glass and pour over either sparkling water (for a mocktail) or champagne (for a cocktail)
  • Garnish with fresh strawberry

And of course, if you just have to have the real thing, come by The Grill Room and Chef Aggie will share some of her culinary magic with you.  Always save room for dessert!  Enjoy!

10 Reasons To Visit A Capella Hotel This Summer

capella-ixtapa-mexico-vacations

capella-ixtapa-mexico-vacations

Welcome June and sunny weather with summer vacations just around the corner!  At Capella Ixtapa in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico, we have lovely warm weather all year long, but summer months are still among my favorites, because that’s the time when my family, friends and I have vacations and plan travels together, to which I’m always looking forward.

This summer I have decided to make a so-called “Capella Hotels tour” and visit some of our sister hotels.  I’m planning to visit our sister hotel Capella DC, in Washington DC, and Capella Marigot Bay in St. Lucia (while a visit to Breidenbacher HofA Capella Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, are high on my travel list, they may have to wait for 2016).  I am so excited to meet my colleagues from around the world, and taste and live the experiences which I have seen in photographs and read about here on our Capella Hotels blog.

barra-de-potosi

Have you made your summer travel plans yet?  If not, I invite you to visit us at Capella Ixtapa or any of Capella Hotels’ properties around the world.  If you have stayed at any of Capella Hotels before, I am sure you are intrigued to visit them all!  Here is what I love about Capella Hotels, and what excites me about my upcoming Capella Hotels summer vacations tour:

  1. Opportunity to visit five unique properties located in five different countries, all offering a unique, private and luxurious environment.  You can’t help but feel incredibly welcome-  like visiting your dearest loved ones.
  2. Exceptional quality, where only the best is good enough; from room decor, to food and beverages, to small but thoughtful details.
  3. Unobtrusive, gracious and unscripted service, where you feel part of the family, everyone calls you by name and remembers you when you return the next time.
  4. Five star gourmet experiences, which you can enjoy at resorts’ restaurants with exquisite chefs and culinary teams, or at our hotels’ own gourmet festivals, which honor the local traditions and combine them with the best in contemporary cuisine.
  5. Experiences based on local traditions, enhanced by the support of the Capella Hotels and Resorts’ Personal Assistants.  Visit the local market with Executive Chef and choose ingredients for your meal, taste local liquors with the experts, delve into the history and culture of these rich locations.
  6. World renown spas.  Don’t you just love having a spa experience when on vacation?  Wherever I travel, I simply must have a spa treatment, as I love experiencing spa treatments in different countries.  At Capella Ixtapa for example our spa treatments are based on ancient Mexican traditions and created with local flowers and herbs.  Several Capella properties are in fact home to the signature Auriga spa brand, recognized for their amazing services and treatments.
  7. The unique Personal Assistant service, which allows you to enjoy your vacations just the way you like them, worry-free!  Capella Personal Assistant can assist by organizing everything from  dinner reservation and baby-sitting service to exotic tours, personalized room touches or anything else you can imagine!
  8. Disconnect, relax and recharge.  While Capella Hotels offer free wi-fi service at the properties, we do encourage that you disconnect (for at least a little while), and let yourself enjoy the experience completely.  After your stay you will be relaxed, recharged and invigorated and your productivity will be at its best (I promise!).
  9. Creating beautiful and unforgettable memories.
  10. Getting to know new cities and countries, learning some of their traditions, culture and meeting new and interesting people.

Tell me, where will you travel this summer?  Have you visited any of Capella Hotels yet, and what was your favorite experience?  Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

10 Razones Para Visitar un Hotel Capella Este Verano

capella-ixtapa-mexico-vacations

capella-ixtapa-mexico-vacations

Seas bienvenido Junio y el clima soleado que anuncia que las vacaciones de verano ¡están a la vuelta de la esquina! En Capella Ixtapa y en Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, México, tenemos la fortuna de tener un clima agradable a lo largo de todo el año, aún así los meses de verano son mis favoritos, ya que esta es la temporada cuando yo, mis amigos y familia tenemos vacaciones y podemos planear viajes juntos, algo que siempre me emociona mucho.

Este verano he decidido hacer un “Tour de Hoteles Capella” y visitar algunos de nuestros hoteles hermanos.  Planeo visitar nuestro hotel hermano Capella DC en Washington DC, y Capella Marigot Bay en St. Lucia (mientras que la visita a nuestros hoteles hermanos Breidenbacher Hof, nuestro hotel Capella en Dusseldorf, Alemania y Capella Singapore en la Isla Sentosa, aunque están como prioridades en mi lista, tendrán que esperar a 2016).  Estoy muy emocionada de conocer a mis colegas de otras partes del mundo, y probar y vivir tantas experiencias maravillosas de las cuales he leído y visto fotos aquí en nuestro Blog de Hoteles Capella.

barra-de-potosi

Y Tu, ¿Ya tienes planes para viajar este verano?  Si no lo has hecho, te invito a que nos visites en Capella Ixtapa o cualquiera de las propiedades de Hoteles Capella alrededor del mundo.  Si ya te has quedado anteriormente en alguno de los Hoteles Capella, seguramente te intriga ¡visitarlos todos!  He aquí lo que me encanta de los Hoteles Capella y lo que me emociona acerca de mi próximo tour de verano por los Hoteles Capella:

1. La oportunidad de visitar cinco propiedades únicas en su tipo ubicadas en diferentes países, todas ofreciendo un ambiente único, privado y lujoso, donde uno no puede evitar más que sentirse increíblemente bienvenido -como visitar a seres queridos.

2. Calidad excepcional, donde solo lo mejor es nuestro estándar; desde la decoración de las habitaciones, a los alimentos y bebidas sin olvidar los pequeños pero cuidadosamente pensados detalles.

3. Un servicio agradable pero discreto y sin un guión preestablecido, donde te hacen sentir parte de la familia, todos conocen tu nombre y te recuerdan cada vez que nos visitas de vuelta.

4. Experiencias gourmet de cinco estrellas, las cuales las puedes disfrutar en los restaurantes de nuestros resorts con equipos culinarios y Chefs exquisitos, como también en nuestros propios festivales gourmet, los cuales honran las tradiciones locales y las combinan con lo mejor de la cocina contemporánea.

5. Experiencias basadas en las tradiciones y cultura local, mejorada por el apoyo de los Personal Assistants de Resorts y Hoteles Capella.  Visita mercados locales con el Chef Ejecutivo y elige personalmente los ingredientes de tus alimentos, prueba licores locales con expertos y sumérgete en la historia y cultura de nuestras maravillosas ubicaciones.

6. Spas de renombre mundial.  ¿No te encanta experimentar un spa cuando estás de vacaciones?  A donde sea que viaje, necesito tener un tratamiento de spa, ya que me encanta vivir la experiencia de tratamientos de spa en diferentes países.  En Capella Ixtapa por ejemplo, nuestros tratamientos de spa están basados en tradiciones mexicanas ancestrales y creadas con flores y hierbas locals.  Muchas de las propiedades Capella son poseedoras de un Auriga Spa, reconocidos mundialmente por sus increíbles tratamientos y servicio.

7. El inigualable servicio de los Personal Assistant, el cual te permite disfrutar tus vacaciones como a ti te gusta, ¡sin preocupaciones!  Los Personal Assistant de Hoteles Capella te pueden ayudar a organizar lo que desees, desde reservas para cenar y servicio de niñera, hasta tours exóticos, toques personales en tu habitación o ¡todo lo que tu imagines y desees!

8. Desconecta, relájate y recarga.  Mientras que los Hoteles Capella ofrecen servicio de wi-fi gratuito en sus propiedades te recomendamos siempre desconectarte (por lo menos por un rato), y dejarte sumergir y disfrutar completamente la experiencia Capella.  Después de tu estancia con nosotros te sentirás relajado, recargado, y motivado por lo cual tu productividad estará lista al máximo (¡lo prometemos!).

9. Crear hermosas e inolvidables memorias.

10. Conocer nuevos países y ciudades, aprender algunas de sus tradiciones, cultura y conocer gente nueva e interesante.

Dime, ¿a dónde viajarás este verano?  ¿Nos has visitado ya en alguno de los Hoteles Capella, y cuál fue tu experiencia favorita?  Por favor comparte con nosotros tus ideas en el espacio para comentarios bajo este post.

Race For The Cure, D.C.

Crowd at Race For The Cure

Over 200,000 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2014, of which almost 40,000 lost their battle. That’s why when the Susan G. Komen, Race For The Cure 5k, came to D.C., I knew I wanted to participate and race for an impact. Luckily, many of my colleagues had the same sentiment and we formed a Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown team and completed the 5K together!

I thought it would be interesting to share a bit of our experience with you in case you are thinking of taking on the race in your own hometown. Crowd at Race For The Cure

More than 15,000 people gathered in the heart of our nation’s capital at the Washington Monument, to take part in the race. The event began with a lively opening ceremony with more than 1,500 inspiring survivors in attendance. We paid tribute to those who were present, and honored the loved ones we have lost to breast cancer. We listened to moving stories of breast cancer survivors whose lives have been touched by Komen grants, and just before the race began, we were pumped up by Race Grand Marshal, Hulk Hogan! We then took to the course more committed and empowered than ever to keep fighting for an end to breast cancer.

I asked Houda Mintz, Accounting Assistant, at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown what participating in the race meant to her, “Participating in the Susan G. Komen Race made me feel very happy and proud to be a part of the fight to end breast cancer.” Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Race for the Cure D.C., the organization made nearly $1 million dollars in donations!

Capella Employees at Race For The Cure

Five simple steps that we can take to lower the risk of breast cancer include having a balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, maintaining an active lifestyle, sustaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and not smoking.

Participating in the race meant so much to me; nothing makes me happier than empowering and supporting fellow women. I’d especially like to thank my fellow colleagues for being so supportive of this cause, and I’d like to extend a special thank you to the outstanding group of all-star volunteers, generous sponsors, and the thousands of supporters that came to the National Mall to cheer everyone on!

Race For The Cure DC

Hopefully my experience has inspired you to get involved as well.  If you would like to learn more about different Susan G. Komen events held across the country please visit HERE.

Capella Constellation Series At Capella Washington, D.C.

Capella Constellation & Dinner Series Rooftop

Earlier this month I had the incredible honor to present the Capella Constellation Series to our CEO & Chairman of Capella Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Horst Schulze & our Board of Directors!  It was a bitter cold evening in February, but the night sky was gorgeous and clear.  The gentlemen met me in the Capella Living Room, where Mr. Schulze asked our guide, University of Maryland Astronomer, Alex McCormick, to give us a brief introduction of “what we [were] about to see.”  Alex explained that the Capella Constellation Series is a brand new experience for hotel guests and the public that includes an interactive three-course meal and wine pairing in The Grill Room, followed by an extraordinary stargazing experience on the rooftop lounge during dessert and beverages, all along learning about the universe from the guides themselves.

Capella Constellation & Dinner Series Rooftop

The stargazing experience begins with Alex identifying and discussing familiar objects in the night sky, first with the naked eye and then using astronomical binoculars.  Then, using Capella Washington, D.C.’s  magnificent research grade telescope, we observe the stars, planets, and moons in greater (and informed!) detail.

We arrived to the rooftop and Alex explained to each of us that there are specific stars in the sky that we can use to help us locate different constellations.  I won’t to give too much away, but let’s just say this activity left the entire group very impressed!  We were all excited to discover that once we located the North Star in the Northern Hemisphere, we were able to find the Capella Star, directly above the hotel!

Capella Constellation & Dinner Series Lamb

Capella is the brightest star in the constellation Auriga and the sixth brightest star in the night sky.  Capella also occupies one vertex of the Winter Hexagon, a pattern of bright stars connecting six different constellations.

To our unaided eye, it looks like one bright star, but Capella is actually a system of four stars.  The two brightest stars are similar in color to our Sun, but each of them is about 10 times the diameter of the Sun, and approximately 2.5-2.7 times the mass of the Sun.  At approximately 42 light years from Earth, we have a hard time separating these two bright stars even with a very large telescope.  In order to get their separation, astronomers used a technique called interferometry, which employs two points of view separated by some distance in order to provide better resolution.  Capella was the first astronomical object outside of our Solar System successfully observed with interferometry!

Mr. Schulze and our Board of Directors had a wonderful evening and were fascinated by the stars and planets that we were able to see through the telescope from Capella’s rooftop.

For questions regarding upcoming Capella Constellation Series experience as well as to make reservations, please contact Elisabeth Thomas at (202) 617-2429 or e-mail elisabeth.thomas@capellahotels.com.