Capella Washington D.C.’s Gin Cobbler Cocktail

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Nothing says “summer!” like a refreshing iced cocktail on a warm day. Here at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, our bartenders at The Rye Bar and our Rooftop Bar and Lounge are especially known for their delicious and creative creations. In my opinion, you can do no wrong when it comes to ice cold beverages during the summer, but I wanted to try something unique and different than what I typically make at home.  I knew just the person in The Rye Bar to go to for an easy and fun recipe.

Bartender Andrew always knows just what to suggest and this time he didn’t hesitate in offering a Gin Cobbler Cocktail.  As soon as I tried it, I knew I wanted to serve it at my summer cookout.  Fortunately, our bartenders love to share and I can now pass the delicious recipe along to you.

Gin Cobbler Cocktail

Ingredients:
1½ ounces Gin (The Rye Bar uses London Dry)
½ ounce Orange Curacao (The Rye Bar uses Pure Ferrand)
¼ ounces Simple Syrup
½ Wheel slice of an orange
½ Wheel slice of a lemon
Crushed Ice

Ingredients - Gin Cobbler

Directions:

1. Combine all liquors in a julep cup.

pouring cocktail

2. Lightly muddle the orange and lemon wheel slices together.

Andrew - Muddle

3. Pour mixture over the muddled fruit.

Andrew - Gin Cobbler finished cocktail

4. Fill glass with crushed ice and garnish with mint, berries, and an orange wheel slice.

GIN COBBLER

Et Voila! Now you have a refreshing Gin Cobbler Cocktail, perfect for any summertime occasion! If you want to visit Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, I’ll be sure to save you one of these while we are relaxing and soaking up the Georgetown city views from our gorgeous Rooftop Bar and Lounge! Otherwise, give our recipe a try at home and share your version with us on social media @CapellaDC so I can share them with our community! Hope you’re all enjoying your summer!

Spend a Day at the Saint Lucia Botanical Gardens

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Botanical Gardens are among my favorite places to visit. All the most interesting flora of a given region together in one space is a veritable smorgasbord of nature!

When you visit Capella Marigot Bay, I highly recommend asking your Capella Personal Assistant to set up a visit to the Saint Lucia Botanical Gardens for you. Located in Soufriére, the island’s volcanic region, the Botanical Gardens house one of St. Lucia’s most famous waterfalls, Diamond Falls.

The water is dark with mineral rich volcanic soot making the waterfall that much  more interesting to look at. And since since there is no swimming in Diamond Falls, I was able to get beautiful shots of this stunning natural landmark!

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In addition to seeing one of the most beautiful waterfalls, I was blown away by the interesting plants and flowers. No one does interesting flora quite like tropical islands!

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Torch Ginger

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Heliconia

From the torch ginger flower to the heliconia, red hot cat tails to jade vine, each breed of flower is exquisitely bright and brilliantly colorful. Fascinating trees like the Walking Tree, which starts out in one location and migrates on its own by “walking” to a new location, can be seen as well!

A Walking Tree

A Walking Tree

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Red Hot Cat Tails

The jade vine was my favorite because it’s so rare to see a naturally occurring aqua-hued flower!

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Jade Vine

Another interesting discover, was the Castor bean.  I was interested to learn that this bean, has two distinct identities.  First, it is the source of Castor Oil, which has long been recognized for its many medicinal uses.  However the bean also has a much more sinister characteristic as it is the source of Ricin (for Breaking Bad fans, this was Walter White’s favorite poison).  Our guide, Jahrod, opened a pod for us to see the bean inside. An interesting fact, while the bean itself is poisonous if ingested due to the Ricin toxin found inside, you never need worry about Castor Oil being poisonous, as Ricin is water-soluble.  I love the duality of this single bean!

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Castor Bean

 

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My visit to the Botanical Gardens was a wonderful experience. I learned so much about St. Lucian flora and being surrounded by so much nature left me feeling refreshed.

After the Botanical Gardens, we went to Sapphire Falls, located in the same volcanic region ,where we were able to bathe in the volcanic mineral rich water of the falls! You can read my previous blog post about Sapphire Falls here! Enjoy and be sure to make plans to visit during your trip to Saint Lucia!

10 Reasons To Visit A Capella Hotel This Summer

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

6 Reasons You Should Visit Capella Ixtapa and Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

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At Capella Ixtapa we recently celebrated our 6th anniversary.  I still remember the day when we opened the resort, and can’t believe the time has passed by so quickly.  In these 6 years we have met many wonderful people from all over the world, and created many beautiful memories and friendships.  If you haven’t visited us yet at Capella Ixtapa and Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, here are 6 reasons why you should plan your visit soon:

1. Relax & Recharge

Our guests like to say that their stay at Capella Ixtapa was the most relaxing they have ever experienced.  And they are right.  Capella Ixtapa is perched upon a cliff facing a beautiful small bay.  The secluded location ensures you have all the privacy and tranquility, and our spa and culinary team will help you relax and recharge.

2. Romance

Capella Ixtapa has been named one of the most romantic resorts in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico and world-wide.  Many couples who decide to visit Capella Ixtapa for their wedding celebration, honeymoon, or just a romantic escape, discover that those titles are well earned.

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3. All You Need is in Your Suite

And why we claim to be so romantic?  Because each of 59 suites at Capella Ixtapa has it’s own private pool and a cozy terrace, and from both you can enjoy blue Pacific Ocean views and marvellous sunrises and sunsets.  Indeed, all you need is in your suite and our room service is delicious, so if you want to spend you vacation sequestered in your room you can!

4. World’s Best Cuisine

Mexico has without a doubt some of the world’s best and most diverse cuisines.  Our Chef Miguel Baltazar has been named among the Top Chefs in Mexico, and he loves creating dishes that are based on Mexican tradition, while giving them a contemporary twist.  We are not forgetting about the classics, of course: every day at 5 pm, your complimentary treat of freshly made guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips and beers is waiting for you in your suite.

5. Nature

We are truly fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas of Mexico.  Lush nature, stunning landscapes, amazing flora and fauna, sunsets in all shades of hues from yellow to dark purple, and many gorgeous beaches are just another reason visiting Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is truly a must.

6. People

Mexicans are famous for their friendly nature, big warm smiles and open hearts.  Our staff and people of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo are looking forward to welcoming you to our small piece of paradise.

For more information on Capella Ixtapa, our accommodations and amenities, and reservations, please visit our website www.capellaixtapa.com

The Perfect Profiteroles Recipe

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I have a confession to make.  I have a sweet tooth and easily succumb to delicious treats made with milk, butter and most importantly sugar.  Given that, you can only imagine my sheer delight when Capella Singapore’s Pastry Chef Sam called me into his kitchen to share the new profiteroles recipe he is working on for The Knolls.

I was very grateful that Chef Sam took time out of his busy schedule to teach me.  According to Chef Sam, “I always believe to teach is to learn twice. By teaching I get to learn a second time, and also it gives me insights on ideas other people may have, which could eventually become part of my next idea for a new creation.”

Chef Sam’s profiteroles were indeed heavenly and they were surprisingly easy to make.  They were light with a slight bite and with a rich golden brown colour.  The profiteroles were sweet at first bite, but with a mild salty aftertaste perfectly complementing the chocolate sauce we made.

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Profiteroles
Serves six

Ingredients:
50g Milk
50g Water
¼tsp Salt
1Tbsp Sugar
50g Butter
60g All Purpose Flour
2.5g Baking Powder
2 Eggs

Method:
1. Mix the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter into a saucepan.  Bring to boil allowing the butter to melt.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
3. Remove from heat and pour the flour into the boiling liquid and cook until a smooth dough forms and it pulls away easily from the sides of the pot.
4. Put the hot dough into a mixing bowl. Continue mixing while adding in 1 of the eggs to cool it down immediately.
5. Add in the second egg and continue mixing until the dough forms a smooth shiny consistency.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
7. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto a tray lined with baking paper.
8. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until dark golden in colour.
9. Remove from oven and once cooled on a baking rake, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days.
10. Once chilled, poke a hole into each profiterole and pipe in ice-cream and serve with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce
Makes 1 ½ cups sauce

Ingredients:
½C Water
⅓C Sugar
2Tbsp Corn Syrup
¼C Cocoa Powder
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

Method:
1. Bring water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder to a boil in a small saucepan.
2. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in dark chocolate pieces.
3. Stir until smooth.
4. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
5. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
6. Pour generously over profiteroles.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!!