Grand Opening of Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina

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The countdown to the Grand Opening of Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina has begun!  Over the last few months, I have been very fortunate to witness the improvements to the property as it has morphed into an amazing Capella Hotel and Resort.  Every Monday, I walk around the property with my camera and capture each transformative moment.  From the laying down of the tiles at the poolside to the construction of the intimate Rum Cave, I’ve found myself in love with the detailed changes taking place.

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There is so much that is new and exciting.  What was known as the simple Dinghy Dock has been transformed into the much talked about Rum Cave.  This beautiful space near the water’s edge will house some of the most creative mixology classes on the island.  What interested me most about the Rum Cave was the idea of being able to carefully concoct my very own rum cocktail and return some time later to find that it had been stored with a personalized label.  I am sure guests will be just as blown away by this unique idea as I am!

Another transformation has taken place in the former Zen Garden, which is now the Auriga spa. This outdoor spa treatment centre will be the cornerstone of health and wellness at Capella Marigot Bay.  Already I can’t help but to close my eyes for a few minutes and imagine having an outdoor treatment under the rainforest canopy and hearing the birds chirping their sweet melody as background music.  I am so intrigued by the Auriga spa’s concept of creating treatments around the moon phases and how that perfectly ties into the rejuvenating concepts of The mind, body and spirit.  This will definitely be my secret hideaway when the hotel reopens!

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My next favorite new location is The Grill at 14*61.  Named for Saint Lucia’s global coordinates, The Grill at 14*61 will present a show kitchen where the Food and Beverage team will be putting on live cooking demonstrations and culinary classes.  I can’t wait to take one of these classes with my mom, as I know the Chef has some amazing St Lucian inspired dishes planned. Guests will be able to travel to the local market in the city of Castries and have the opportunity to purchase some of the islands most delicious fruits and vegetables then use those items for the cooking class.  It will be amazing to put on my chef’s hat and learn more about how local cuisine is prepared.  

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Another spot that is sure to attract guests is the upper pool.  This area contains the newly developed Brut Bar. Brut, as you may know, is French and means cold or raw.  Making it the perfect name as everything from ceviche to sushi will be served here.  I notice the water jets coming off the edge of the pool which I imagine would be ideal  for some water therapy.   Next to the  main pool is a beautifully cascading infinity pool where lounge chairs are rooted.  Not only is this spot wonderful for lounging, it is also very convenient for parents with toddlers.  The area even includes its own waterfall!  

There is no doubt in my mind that the Grand Opening of Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina will complement beautiful Marigot Bay and will be a must see destination!  

Nothing sweeter than Lucian Carnival!

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I always get very excited to experience the wonderful festivities that Saint Lucia has to offer in the month of July.  This time of year, there are a lot more flights landing as many visitors come to the island for one of the biggest events of the year.  Today, whilst walking near the Castries Market, this lovely lady named Nora, came up to me and asked for directions to the nearest mall.  In conversation with her, I learnt more about why she decided to  visit this lovely island.  Nora spoke of the beautiful people and the lush green forests that painted the hillsides but then she paused and I noticed this fire and excitement in her eyes as she exclaimed, “I’m here because of the Lucian Carnival!”


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The Saint Lucian Carnival or Lucian Cah-na-val as some would call it, is a festive time of year that brings together people from all around the island to showcase a colorful history with costumes and dance.  Saint Lucia won its independence in 1979 and since then, discovering new aspects of his history can be seen in the various carnival efforts of its people.  It is amazing to witness such a spectacular showcase and even more interesting to learn that every year around the month of July, people come to Saint Lucia just to see the parade.  My friends and I make it our duty to attend every single event surrounding this festival.  From the Annual Carnival Queen Show to the Parade of the Bands, we take pride in engaging in activities that are part of the island’s wide culture.   This year, I am very anxious to put on my Carnival Costumes as I join the parade with over twenty thousand participants.

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Carnival in Saint Lucia is the one event that you would not want to miss.  If there was ever a time that you wished to see the island in full color then I strongly recommend you visiting around the month of July.  With the Carnival Queen show happening very soon, I can’t wait to see more of  Saint Lucia’s lovely culture and it’s people.  

The Forgotten Casks At The Rum Distillery in Roseau

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I have always wondered how a small island like Saint Lucia could produce coveted rums the world over but, after taking a tour of the Rum Distillery in Roseau, it all became clear.  Inspired by the brand new Capella St Lucia Rum Cave, I was curious to learn more about the production process.  After spending nearly two hours inhaling the lovely sugar scent and hearing the stories of how all the rums were produced, I fell even more in love with this delicious spirit.  One of the most intriguing moments from the tour was learning about the forgotten casks.

Copy of main-rumsOn May 2nd, 2007, the Rum Distillery in Roseau was struck by a major fire, which destroyed the entire administration and blending facilities.  As they evacuated the buildings, staffers did their best to salvage some of the rum barrels.  The Cellar Master, Mr. Cyril Mangal, was forced to find space for ageing casks in the most unusual places.  After hiding as many as he could, Mangal quickly escaped the building before the fire’s flames could consume him.

Over seven years later and still in the process of cleaning up the debris of the fire, one of the mixologists stumbled upon a few rum barrels that no one had previously noticed.  It seems, with all of the madness that followed the fire, Mr Mangal had forgotten about the stash!  Upon tasting the rum in these barrels, the Master mixologist discovered a wonderfully concocted complex rum.  He immediately decided to offer this rum as a limited release because of its powerful components.  This new rum, which stemmed from the base Chairman’s Reserve Rum was now branded as The Forgotten Casks.

rsz_chairmans-reserve-the-forgotten-casks-limited-edition-rum-40vol-07l_b2 As a result of this intriguing story, many rum connoisseurs have delighted in the tastes of the Chairman’s Reserve Rum and have placed a very high value on its Forgotten Casks.

When you visit this lovely island, be sure to ask your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant for an exclusive Rum Tasting Experience at the Capella St Lucia Rum Cave where you too may have a chance to try some of The Forgotten Casks.

A Day On The Docks: A Visit To Capella Marina

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If you are ever in Marigot Bay, you will discover that most of the fun and excitement happens at the Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina.  Many a time have I driven to the top of the Marigot Bay hill and looked down at this beautiful bay and always wondered what fun it would be if I could one day be a part of such spectacular scenery.  The towering hills, the peaceful sea, the birds chirping in the mangroves, there was just something about this magical bay that gave me a nostalgic feeling that I just wished to experience such beauty.

Today, I decided to speak to the Marina Consultant, Pete, and we arranged for a full day experience on the docks at the Capella Marina.  My dream was finally becoming a reality but little did I know what enjoyment I would feel, engaging with the Dock Master and the marina staff whilst completing the various tasks that the gentlemen at the docks did every day.

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My first challenge was to tie a bowline.  I was stunned that this was my first task but I carefully paid attention to the process and then successfully tied my first dinghy on to the dock.  After conquering that challenge, I felt like a champion but my next task was to steer the dinghy out in the bay and maneuver back to the docks.  I really thought that this would have been difficult because I have never steered a boat before.  However, Chedy, the dock assistant, explained the process and made it sound very easy.  “It is like driving a car” he said, and so again, I watched him start the engine and was amazed at how easily he was able to steer the dinghy.  It was my turn now and I was a bit resistant to pulling the cord that started the engine.  Chedy gently encouraged me and then I heard that loud roar and leaped with joy.

Steering out in the bay was one of the best experiences that I have ever had as far back as I could remember.  The dinghy made very little noise as I was able to breathe in the beauty of the bay and feel relaxed in my moment.  I continued towards the entrance of the Capella Resort and could not believe how beautiful the hotel looked from the water’s entrance.  I instantly felt envious of the boat Captains and Crew who constantly got to enjoy this beautiful scenery.

If you would like a similar experience to mine, do contact your personal assistant at res.marigotbay@capella.com to arrange your special day on the docks.

 

 

Preparing for the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival

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From a very tender age, I have always loved music.  Music has played a very important role in the island of Saint Lucia’s culture and Jazz music has found its way into the hearts of locals and visitors alike.  The Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival attracts thousands from all over the world to the island.  Jazz has always been one of my favorite genres of music and I vowed that I would never miss the Festival since its inception in 1992.

About 22 years later, I still get very excited as I guess who this year’s performers will be.  For months leading up to the festival, the people on this island excitedly wait for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board to unveil the line-up for the year’s Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.  This year the event runs May 9th – 11th, 2014, and will feature some of my favorite artists including Kem, Barrington Levy, P-Square, Maxwell, The Commodores and the winner of NBC’s The Voice – Tessane Chin.

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This year’s event promises to host many fun-filled festivities for all.  Everyone attending will witness performances by stilt walkers, masqueraders, Creole dancers and even fire breathers.  I just love how the people of Saint Lucia get together for this spectacular experience that leaves an everlasting memory in everyone’s mind.

If you are interested in attending any of the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival events, please be sure to contact your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant either via email Res.marigotbay@capellahotels.com or by phone:  Direct 758 458 5300 ext. 3005 or Toll Free: 1 877 384 8037.

 

St. Lucia’s Castries Market

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Sometimes when I travel abroad, I long to experience and taste the local culture and cuisine of the country that I am visiting.   This beautiful island of Saint Lucia is home to many local dishes prepared from produce grown right here on the island.  The one place where you can get all that your heart desires, is the Castries market place located about 15 minutes from Capella Marigot Bay.

The best day to go to the market is Saturday, when the city of Castries is bursting with activity.  This is the day that many local farmers and arts and craftsmen assemble to sell their produce and product.  The market is divided into two segments.  One segment hosts the local produce section and the other has locally crafted work on display.

rsz_12photoThis past Saturday, I needed to get some local produce for my culinary class with Capella Marigot Bay’s Chef Garrido, so I proceeded to the produce section.  The market is filled with different colors.  It is so amazing to see so many different types of fruits and vegetables in one place.  Most of the fruits are seasonal and I was fortunate enough to pick out a few papaya fruits as I am fascinated by the health benefits of the papaya.  I picked up a few green bananas, some green seasoning peppers and a few ground provisions.  As I continued further, I could not help but notice this bright orange pumpkin.  Already in my mind I knew I would use this for the soup dish I would prepare for my class.

I love listening to the vendors carry on in local creole, momentarily stopping their conversations to greet me as I walked by their stalls.  The atmosphere is warm and inviting and it isn’t unusual to be offered a sample of locally grown orange or some other tasty seasonal treat.  Prices are reasonable and bartering is common practice.  All of this adds to the experience of visiting the lively marketplace.

rsz_2photoThe craft section is equally impressive.  There are so many beautiful items to choose from.  Handbags, jewelry, flags, key rings, t-shirts and musical instruments are just some of the items you may find.  And the same rules of bartering that applied on the produce side apply here.  There is something for everyone and you are sure to find the perfect souvenir to remember your visit to St. Lucia.

If you are interested in visiting the Castries Market here is St. Lucia, please let your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistants know!  They would be more than happy to organize a visit or even a tour for you.