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

grapes-fruits

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)