Capella DC’s Luis Colmenares

Luis Colemenares

Mr. Colmenares, how do I even begin?  Luis Colmenares is the most whimsical, funny, friendly and caring friends I’ve ever met.  His smile, contagious laughter and personality instantly brighten your day.  As the Lead Personal Assistant and Chief Concierge at Capella Washington D.C., Luis heads the hotel’s team of personal assistants and is charged with ensuring that guests’ individual tastes and expectations are fully satisfied.

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Anytime any of our team members or guests needs a suggestion for activities, hot new places to eat/drink, or a new happening event in town, Luis never hesitates and has the best suggestions!   I remember going out to dinner together at one of his favorite restaurants in D.C. and every single server, bartender and manager knew Luis and treated him like he was family.  Having served as concierge at the Capital Hilton Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Mandarin Oriental and the Hotel Monaco, Colmenares’ knowledge of how Washington works in unparalleled.

I felt so honored to be able to sit down and interview Luis.  He is a legend in the industry and was recognized as “Concierge of the Year” in the 2012 Where Magazine Silver Plume Awards, one of the highest awards in the industry!  Working together the past seven months has been amazing and I wanted to share some insider details with you about our favorite D.C. Concierge!

Luis Colemenares

How long have you lived in D.C.?

I’ve been in D.C. for 26 years. I consider myself a native, and love the European flair of D.C. and how and easy and accessible it is to get around!

What is your favorite hobby?

I LOVE to cook everything and anything! I am not picky but when I do get homesick I like to eat black beans, rice, fried plantains, pulled beef and the lovely Arepas that my mom used to make me growing up in Venezuela.

What is one of the most unique experiences you’ve had with a guest in your career?

I will never forget when I had a guest request a live violinist playing when they walked into their room for the first time- taking “setting the mood” to the next level!

What are the top two requests you get most often from guests?

Touring the White House & The Bureau Of Printing and Engraving.

What is your favorite newspaper?

The Sunday New York Times- the arts, travel, and book review sections are fabulous! This is one of my ultimate favorite things to do, especially with a cup of tea!

A Visit To Washington D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Festival

Earlier this month Washington D.C. began the spring celebration of the 101st National Cherry Blossom Festival!  Hundreds and thousands of visitors from all over the world attended this special two week event that began on March 20th and ended April 14th.  During this period I had the chance to watch each cherry bud grow into flowering pieces of art on my way to work.  It was during the days of the peek bloom when I had the opportunity to actually walk through the Tidal Basin, taking photos; admiring the beauty of the trees and interviewing a few Cherry Blossom visitors!

Over two thousand cherry trees arrived in Washington, D.C. as a gift from Tokyo on January 6, 1910.   I could see the remarkable difference between the stunning ancient tree trunks of the original trees versus the more recently planted saplings.  After speaking with one of the ladies at the help desk, she said this season was particularly wonderful because of the great weather during peak bloom.  The cherry blossom trees bloom when the weather reaches above 70 degrees.  But it is the evening time that can’t be missed, as that is when the flowers truly start to flourish.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown is located less than 3 miles from the Cherry Blossom Festival, making it the perfect destination for springtime.  I look forward to next years events!  If you join us during the Cherry Blossom Festival be sure to let your Personal Assistant help plan the experience for you.

 

Photo Credit, Sarah Corneal

Introducing Capella Washington D.C.’s Resident Stylist

April Yvonne Resident Stylist

We are now just a few days from opening!  The past few months I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most creative people who have all been involved in the opening preparations of Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown.  More recently I had the opportunity to meet our new Resident Stylist April Yvonne.

April Yvonne Resident Stylist

April has been styling since she was a young girl in grade school, which over the years progressed into a part-time gig with her co-workers and friends.  Later, her styling passion and skills transformed into a full time career that has taken her to New York Fashion Week and throughout the world.  Traveling from Tokyo to Buenos Aires and even landing a styling job for Dior, April has developed a keen understanding of fashion and personal style.  In 2010 April brought this fashion knowledge to D.C. and established her blog MyDCStyle.

Recently I had the chance to ask her a couple questions about her role as Capella Washington, D.C.’s Resident Stylist.

What are you most looking forward to about being the Resident Stylist for Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown?

I’m truly looking forward to being a part of an amazing team – which in my opinion is comprised of the best-of-the-best.  There is absolutely nothing like the Capella Washington, D.C. and I’m eager for guests to see first-hand just how fabulous this hotel is.  As the Resident Stylist, I’m excited to work with the guests to bring them the finest fashions and introduce them to the fashion scene in DC.  I also can’t wait to partner with some of the hottest designers to deliver high-end fashion shows for the guests.  There is much more planned and I just can’t wait to get started!

What unique personal style services will you offer for guests?

I am here to fulfill all of their fashion styling needs!  I can arrange exclusive shopping excursions including private after-hours shopping at some of the area’s finest luxury stores or should they wish to remain in the comfort of their suite, I can curate a selection of amazing looks to bring to them to try on and choose from.  I also have a great relationship with many designers (even those based in New York or Paris!), making it a seamless process for me to obtain unique pieces.

The Washington Harbour Ice Rink

Washington Harbour Ice Rink

Do you recall your last ice skating adventure?  Well, as the cold winter approaches in Washington D.C., the Washington Harbour in Georgetown has unveiled its newest attraction: the Washington Harbour ice rink, D.C.’s largest ice rink measuring at 11,800 square feet!  This is something I am very excited about and already have a visit planned with friends.

The gorgeous ice rink is located just one block away from Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown and looks over the historic Potomac River.  I cannot think of a better way to embrace the icy temperatures, bundling up in your favorite winter coat and hat.  The rink, which opened in November, will be available through March and has both daytime and nighttime hours.

To ring-in the Holidays, the Washington Harbour ice rink recently celebrated “Winter on the Water,” a new celebration held this past Saturday, December 1st. The event featured strolling ice skating entertainers, skating performances, choral singers, a St. Lucia parade, and artistic lighting effects.  Guests also indulged in exceptional foods and beverages prepared and served outdoors by the top restaurants located in the Harbour waterfront.

Hopefully you will have an opportunity to visit the rink.  And, if you are staying with Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown then your Personal Assistants can help organize your excursion!

For more information, visit TheWashingtonHarbour.com

A Sneak Peek Of Capella Georgetown

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Recently I had the opportunity to sit in on a design meeting for the upcoming Capella Georgetown in Washington, DC.  This 48 room jewel will not be lacking in amenities.  I am particularly excited about the rooftop pool (complete with Cabanas) and the spa!  We are still very early in the process (with the hotel scheduled to open in January 2013), but it was extremely interesting to catch glimpses of what goes into the planning and to preview this unique property.

World class interior designer, Peter Silling of Peter Silling & Associates, presented his design to Capella Hotels Chairman & CEO Horst Schulze.  I was delighted to meet Mr. Silling who is also the mastermind behind our Capella property in Düsseldorf, Germany, Breidenbacher Hof.

 

 

Clearly, both gentlemen were excited about the development, evidenced in their bilingual, energetic exchange.  Mr. Schulze and Mr. Silling slipped between English and German (their native language), as they worked to find a balance between the aesthetic and functionality.  The discussion ran the gamut between the placement of electrical sockets (not glamorous) to the type of marble to be used in the bathrooms (very glamorous).

 

 

In addition to the above shots of Mr. Silling and Mr. Schulze brainstorming and reviewing the finished samples, I was able to get a sneak peek of some early renderings:

 

As the construction progresses I plan to introduce you to a few more behind the scenes photos from the Capella Georgetown property.  Hopefully these images have you looking forward to the project as much as I am!