Capella Pedregal 5th Anniversary

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“Time flies when you are having fun!” It certainly does! I can’t believe it’s been five years since the opening of Capella Pedregal back in July of 2009. So many wonderful things have happened. In only five years the team has achieved some of the greatest honors in the industry. Travel & Leisure Readers’ Choice World’s Best Awards named Auriga spa #1 Spa in the World in 2012 and in 2014 voted Capella Pedregal #1 Hotel in Mexico and #15 in the World! Let’s not forget the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award for the last three years.

But for the Capella Team, the most important thing is the relationship with the guests.  Our guests have become friends and now think of Capella Pedregal as their Mexican home. The pre-opening team was a group of only 54 people and now the Capella Family has grown to 450 people! 450 people working with the only goal of creating memorial experiences for their guests.

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As I shared with you in previous blogs, from July 9-13 Capella Pedregal hosted the 3rd Annual A Taste of Capella, Food and Wine Festival. The culinary festivities gather a group of some of the best chefs and recognized mixologists along with great Tequila and wine makers that flew from different parts of the world to share their talent and knowledge.  During the festival, the chefs shared time with the guests, both at the dinner events and in cooking demonstrations and even a private sunset cruise that took them to see the beautiful Land’s End Arch of Cabo San Lucas. Every day was a celebration and a wonderful display of the best wines, food and cocktails but the final night, the Gala Dinner, was something I will never forget.  It wasn’t only the closing night of the festival, but was the celebration of Capella Pedregal’s 5th anniversary.

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The celebration took place at Don Manuel´s restaurant and started with a reception where we toasted with Taittinger’s finest champagne, Blanc de Blanc 2012, Comptes de champagne, a special reserve specially opened in honor of the big anniversary!  Later, the guest chefs and Chef Yvan Mucharraz prepared a spectacular five course dinner perfectly paired with delicious wine.  At the end of the evening Capella Pedregal’s General Manager, John Volponi, thanked the team and the guests for being part of this milestone.  The big surprise was that right after his speech, a beautiful display of fireworks illuminated the sky and as the Mariachi music started, each guest was received a sparkler.  Then the real party started and everyone was dancing.  It was a wonderfully memorable evening!

Happy Birthday Capella Pedregal!

Capella Pedregal en su 5to Aniversario

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“El tiempo vuela cuando te diviertes!” Ciertamente lo hace! No puedo creer que hayan pasado cinco años desde la apertura de Capella Pedregal en julio de 2009. Tantas cosas maravillosas han sucedido. En sólo cinco años, el equipo ha logrado algunos de los mayores honores de la industria. Best Awards de Travel & Leisure Readers ‘Choice del mundo nombrados Auriga spa # 1 Spa en el Mundo en 2012 y en 2014 votaron Capella Pedregal Hotel # 1 en México y # 15 en el mundo! No olvidemos el codiciado premio AAA Cinco-Diamantes en los últimos tres años.

Pero para el equipo de Capella, lo más importante es la relación con los huéspedes. Nuestros huéspedes se han convertido en amigos y ahora piensa en Capella Pedregal como su segundo hogar . El equipo de pre-apertura fue un grupo de sólo 54 personas y ahora la familia Capella ha crecido hasta 450 personas! 450 personas que trabajan con el único objetivo de crear experiencias memorabkes para sus huéspedes.

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Cuando compartí con ustedes en blogs anteriores, del 9 a 13 julio, Capella Pedregal fue sede de la 3ra Edición de Sabor a Capella, Festival de Vinos y Comida. Estas fiestas culinarias reúnen un grupo de algunos de los mejores cocineros y mixólogos reconocidos, junto con grandes Tequileros y Bodegueros , que volaron desde diferentes partes del mundo para compartir su talento y conocimiento. Durante el festival, los chefs compartieron tiempo con los huéspedes, tanto en los eventos de las cenas como en demostraciones de cocina e incluso un crucero privado al atardecer que los llevaró a ver el hermoso Arco de Cabo San Lucas. Cada día era una celebración y una maravillosa exhibición de los mejores vinos, comida y cócteles, pero la última noche, la cena de gala, fue algo que nunca olvidaré. No fue sólo la noche de clausura del festival, sino que fue la celebración del quinto aniversario de Capella Pedregal.
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La celebración tuvo lugar en el restaurante Don Manuel’s y comenzó con una recepción donde brindamos con el champagne más fino de Taittinger, Blanc de Blanc 2012, Comptes de chanpagne, una reserva especial especialmente abierto en honor al gran aniversario! Más tarde, los chefs invitados y Chef Yvan Mucharraz prepararon una cena de cinco tiempos espectacularmente perfectamente marinado con deliciosos vinos. Al final de la velada el Gerente General de Capella Pedregal, John Volponi, agradeció al equipo y a los huéspedes por ser parte de este logro. La gran sorpresa fue que justo después de su discurso, una hermosa exhibición de fuegos artificiales iluminó el cielo y en cuanto la música de mariachi comenzó, los huéspedes recibieron luces de bengala. . Entonces la verdadera fiesta comenzó y todo el mundo bailó. Fue una noche maravillosa e inolvidable!

 

Feliz cumpleaños Capella Pedregal!

One Year Anniversary Of Capella Washington, D.C.

Bruce Bradley, Horst Schulze, Alex Obertop

March 22nd marks the One Year Anniversary of Capella Washington, D.C. and I can’t help but think back nostalgically to all the incredible successes we’ve experienced thus far!  Each day leading to opening was a dense mix of excitement, fear, and amazement as we prepared to open the first Capella branded property in the United States.  I invite you to take a look at a few of my favorite memories from this last year that attribute to all of our achievements thus far!

Bruce Bradley, Horst Schulze, Alex Obertop

Prior to opening, the entire Capella Hotels And Resorts corporate office came to Washington, D.C. for employee orientation.  Over a ten day period known as “Countdown” we participated in a variety of activities, not only meant for team building, but also to help us better understand Capella culture, which truly sets us apart from all other hotel companies.  What fascinated me about orientation was that each employee had the opportunity to learn from Mr. Horst Schulze.  It’s not every day when you have the chance to have one-on-one conversations with your CEO!  It became clear that working at Capella Washington, D.C. meant that I was part of a great company that truly believed in creating excellence.

Steak Dinner The Grill Room

I’ll also never forget the days and weeks we all spent tasting and sampling dishes in the kitchen with Executive Chef of The Grill Room, Jakob Esko!  I was sitting in my office when I received a call from Chef saying, “come to the kitchen at noon, we are voting on the best steaks to select for the restaurant.”  It was amazing to be included in this fun and delicious process, selecting the beef with the best flavor, prime grade, aging, and tenderness.  Now, when I see how much guests love The Grill Room’s variety of unique, seasonally inspired dishes and steaks, I think back to those moments in pre-opening and I feel special knowing I was part of the conceptualizing and creation of the menu that our guests know and love today.

I’ve also loved the relationships we’ve built over the past year.  Establishing partnerships with The Washington Ballet, Resident Stylist, April Yvonne, Fuse Pilates, Luigi Parasmo Salon, and most recently, The University of Maryland for the Capella Constellation Series has been an incredible journey of creating unique and personalized guest experiences.  I am thrilled to be a part of a hotel that offers a wide span of activities in the world of theater, fashion, style, food & wine, astronomy, and much more!

I am so excited to welcome guests on Wednesday, March 26th as we celebrate our One Year Anniversary at the Rye Bar at Capella Washington, D.C. from 5:00-7:00pm.  As a sign of our gratitude, each guest will receive one Rye Bar spring themed cocktail upon arrival as well as passed canapés! Thank you for making the past year a fantastic one, and I look forward to seeing you at our celebration!

Day Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Lady of Guadalupe by Jill Logan

December is filled with some of the most religious and culturally rich Mexican holidays.  Among them is Day of Our Lady Guadalupe, which is celebrated on December 12.  The holiday celebrates the apparition of the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Guadalupe) to a Mexican boy named Juan Diego in 1531.

Speaking in Nahuatl, the boy’s native language, the Virgin told Juan Diego to go to the bishop and ask him to build a church on the hill so she could be close to her people.  The bishop, at first skeptic, asked Juan Diego for a proof of this apparition.  Juan Diego returned to Tepayac Hill and found roses growing where there had only been barren land.  He wrapped the roses in his cloak, and when he arrived to the bishop and showed him the roses, they discovered that the picture of Mary was imprinted in the cloak.  The bishop was convinced and the chapel was built.  The cloak with the image is now displayed within the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Tepeyac hill in Mexico City.

To honor the day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, each year on December 12th people from all around the country travel to the basílica dressed up in their native wear to pray.  The celebration begins at midnight, when faithful believers gather around her image to sing her the traditional mañanitas (happy birthday song).  Many of them pin small tin objects, known as milgaritos, near the statue of the Lady of Guadalupe, as symbols of the giver’s thanks.

Although Basílica de Guadalupe is the central place where the rituals and celebrations take place, there are fiestas all over the country in honor of Our Lady de Guadalupe.  All these different manifestations are just a humble way for the people to show their love and respect to the one they consider their mother, Virgen de Guadalupe.

At Capella Pedregal we love to honor and celebrate Mexican holidays and traditions.  From organizing visits to the churches or hosting events on property, we are always looking to immerse ourselves in the Mexican cultural experience.  And, for those looking to partake in the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe events, AlmArte Boutique offers a lovely selection of items, including milagritos, used in the celebrations and traditions.

 

Photo credit: Jill Logan

New Year Celebrations in Mexico

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New Year’s is upon us! The New Year celebrations in Mexico vary depending on the region, but in general, dinner with the family is the most common New Year’s Eve event.

This year we will celebrate at my home. We will start the evening by a late-night dinner. I am preparing traditional Mexican dishes including Bacalao (dried salted codfish), and Romeritos (patties of dried shrimp, sprigs of a wild plant known as ‘Romerito’ that resembles rosemary and potatoes served in a mole sauce).  We normally toast with apple cider (not Champagne as elsewhere), and my mother-in-law will prepare the fruit punch for the occasion.

At midnight we all shout “Feliz año nuevo!”  Followed by the grape tradition.  What is the “grape tradition?” During the tolling of the 12 bells announcing the hour, a grape is eaten at each of the 12 bell tolls.  The grapes represent a wish for the abundance for each month of the coming year. After this we embrace each other and say wishes for the upcoming year.

But that is just a sampling of our New Year’s traditions!  Two popular ones include:

  • If you want to have luck in love in the coming year, you need to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve.
  • If you are looking for luck with money, make sure your underwear is yellow.

Not all of the traditions require you to wear special undergarments.  One of my favorite says, that if you want to travel during the new-year then you must take your luggage for a walk around the block!

After New Year’s Eve, we usually relax on January 1st and have lunch with other friends and relatives.

I would love to hear how you celebrate New Year’s Eve?

 

(En Español)