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.

Christmastime in Dusseldorf

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Christmas is less than two months away!  Admittedly, I panicked a bit when I first realized this—there is always so much to do to prepare!  But, then I remembered how wonderful Dusseldorf is at Christmas time and all my stress melted away.  From the charming Christmas markets to the beautiful candlelight and delicious mulled wine, there truly is an amazing romantic mood during Christmastime in Dusseldorf.

Previously I shared a bit about our fantastic Christmas markets, but there are many other beautiful seasonal attractions around town.  The “Wheel Of Vision” is a giant Ferris wheel that provides a birds eye view of Dusseldorf.  This is a particularly romantic spot once all of the Christmas markets are open and the holiday lights are strung throughout the city.  Add in Christmas music playing in the streets and there is truly something special about sitting back and enjoying this ride.

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If you prefer more action – no problem, there is another great attraction around Christmas:  The ice rink!  Located in the middle of the Christmas market at Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, a 450 square meter ice rink is erected for the public to enjoy.  It never feels more like Christmas than when I take in a few laps while relishing in the aromas of roasted almonds, cinnamon and chocolate being sold by the holiday vendors.

I am looking forward to welcoming you the Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel this Christmas season.  Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant about what other holiday activities the city has to offer—I promise there are lots!

Weihnachtszeit In Düsseldorf

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In weniger als zwei Monaten ist Weihnachten! Zugegeben, als ich das realisierte, geriet ich ein wenig in Panik – es gibt doch noch so viel zu tun! Aber dann fiel mir ein, wie schön es in Düsseldorf zur Weihnachtszeit immer ist und mein Stress verschwand. Die reizvollen Weihnachtsmärkte, der schöne Kerzenschein und der leckere Glühwein, in Düsseldorf herrscht eine wunderbar romantische Stimmung zur Weihnachtszeit.

Letztes Jahr habe ich Euch schon mehr über unsere fantastischen Weihnachtsmärkte verraten, aber es gibt noch mehr weihnachtliche Attraktionen in der Stadt. „Das „Wheel Of Vision“ zum Beispiel ist ein Riesenrad, welches nur zur Winterzeit einen spannenden Blick aus der Vogelperspektive auf Düsseldorf verspricht. Besonders romantisch ist es, die Fahrt zu genießen, wenn die Weihnachtsmärkte bereits geöffnet sind und die Stadt in ihrer Festtagsbeleuchtung strahlt. Aus den Straßen schallt Weihnachtsmusik herauf und es ist wirklich etwas besonderes, sich oben zurückzulehnen und die Fahrt mit ihren Eindrücken zu genießen.

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Wenn ihr mehr Spannung bevorzugt – kein Problem. Es gibt eine weitere Attraktion in der Weihnachtszeit: Die Eislaufbahn! Platziert in der Mitte des Weihnachtsmarktes auf dem Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, erwartet Euch eine 450 Quadratmeter große Eislaufbahn, die frei zur Verfügung gestellt wird. Dort ein paar Runden zu drehen und dabei genüsslich die Aromen von gebrannten Mandeln, Zimt und Schokolade und was die Händler an ihren Ständen anbieten wahrzunehmen, das ist für mich Weihnachten.

Ich freue mich schon, Euch im Breidenbacher Hof zur Weihnachtszeit zu begrüßen. Fragt auf jeden Fall unsere Persönlichen Assistenten nach weiteren Weihnachtsaktivitäten in der Stadt – ich verspreche Euch, es gibt noch so einige!

Barreling The Crescent City Cocktail At The Rye Bar

The Rye Bar Photo Contest

The Rye Bar Photo Contest

November is here and there is a lot of activity going on at Capella Washington, D.C.  I had a front row seat for the much-anticipated creation of The Rye Bar’s brand new winter barrel aged cocktail, Crescent City.  This chic concoction will also be showcased for locals during DC Cocktail Week 2013 runs November 7th-17th.

Wondering how we barrel this cocktail?  Watch the process here:

The Crescent City Cocktail consists of the following:

Remy Martin VSOP

Few Rye Whiskey

Dolin Sweet Vermouth

Génépi des Alpes

House Made Apple Bitters

 

I hope you enjoyed the video!  If you like what you see, be sure to sign up for The Rye Bar photo contest where you can enter to win your very own miniature barrel aged Crescent City cocktail for your pleasure when visiting with your friends and family.

We all know The Rye Bar is superbly stylish, but the guests and signature cocktails are really what make it beautiful!  Your challenge:  Style an outfit that you would be proud to rock to The Rye Bar at Capella Washington DC.  Once you’ve put on your ultimate ensemble and ordered your Crescent City Cocktail, take a photo and submit it by clicking here.  You can submit as many photos as you like by the submission end date.  Then you and everyone else can vote for your favorite entries, and from those we’ll pick one winner!

I can’t wait to see your photos!  Be sure to use the hashtag #TheRyeBar and #DCCocktailWeek when you arrive!

Follow me, your Capella DC Insider,  for more details: Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

K20: The K Stands For Art

Kultur - K20 Picasso

Among the shopping facilities, theaters, the Rhine and other highlights, Dusseldorf also offers a lot of exciting spots for people who are interested in art.  Of course, there are a lot of galleries and let’s not forget about the Art Academy… but this is not what I would like to talk about today.  I am excited to introduce the K20 to you.  The K20 is one of my favorite museums here in Dusseldorf.

So why the name K20?  Once called the Art Collection North Rhine-Westphalia the name was changed in 2002 to better reflect its global collection of 20th Century art.  The K stands for the German word Kunst, which means art.  And of course the 20 is representative of the 20th Century.

Kultur - K20 Picasso

The collection is impressive and includes works from Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.  And of course Joseph Beuys, who taught at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf between 1961 and 1972 is proudly displayed.

My favorite part of K20?  It is just a 5-minute walk from Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel, making it ideal for guests looking for quick inspiration.  In fact, I’ve been known to stop by on my lunch break to marvel in its greatness!  Be sure to get details on current exhibitions from your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistant during your next visit.  I am sure you will love the museum as much as I do!

Celebrate 4th of July With Capella Washington DC

4th of July at Capella Washington DC

As a new resident of Washington, D.C. there is one holiday that I cannot wait to celebrate, and that is the 4th of July.   The history and excitement surrounding this day is unbelievable and unlike any other city in the country.  As the 4th approaches, I cannot wait to see the city’s culture come alive to honor the past and continue to strive for tomorrow.  For those who live in the city, I’m sure you know the contagious aura of excitement leading up to and during the celebration of Independence Day.  This has only increased with the addition of Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown as one of the city’s premiere destinations.

Ever since I first discovered that the hotel would feature an exclusive rooftop bar, lounge and infinity pool, my first thought was “I can’t wait for fireworks on 4th of July”!  The hotel local in the heart of Georgetown is exceptional and it’s no surprise to me that Mr. Horst Schulze, CEO of Capella Hotels & Resorts, chose Washington D.C. as the flagship American home for the next chapter of our brand.  The rooftop perfectly captures the spirit of the city, and will be the place to watch the firework show with the company of great friends, family and loved ones.

The rooftop, unlike The Grill Room and The Rye Bar (which have already become favorite local hangouts) is exclusive to hotel guests.  Consequently it has remained a bit of a mystery.  So I thought I would take this opportunity to paint a picture of what it is like.

4th of July at Capella Washington DCFrom the moment I step off the elevator it is almost as though I am on top of the world!  All around are unobstructed views of some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.  From the Washington Monument to the Kennedy Center to the Potomac, nothing else quite captures the breadth of the city like this view.  The rooftop offers an array of unique accommodations.  For those craving a bit of liveliness, the bar and lounge area are a great place for spending time in a group.  Meanwhile there are more intimate seating options as well if you are looking for a more private moment.  For me, there is nothing like the infinity pool.  I love to relax in the water while taking in the city below.  The rooftop is truly a versatile space!

4th of July Capella Washington DC 2 In order to give locals and visitors alike a chance to experience this unique venue, Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown is offering a one-night package for the 4th of July that includes dinner, entertainment and of course the perfect setting for celebrating our nation’s Independence.  Hopefully I will see you there!  You can contact the Capella Washington, D.C. reservation team at (202)617-2410 for additional information or you can book online HERE.