Get To Know Marie: Sales and Marketing Intern

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Marie, our wonderful Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown Sales and Marketing Intern.  Marie joins the Capella family from Australia and has very quickly made her lasting mark with guests and in D.C.  Coming from a family of hospitality professionals, Marie brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Marie Belean - Sales and Marketing Intern

Tell me about yourself. You are joining us for a 6-month internship from abroad, how has your transition to D.C. been?

I studied hotel management for three years in Brussels in which I gained a Bachelor degree.  During that time I did two internships.  The first internship was during my second year at Marriott Brussels, Belgium in HR and the second one was at Hyatt Regency located in Perth, Australia as an F&B attendant in Event Services.  During my time in Australia I decided to study a second degree, (International Business and Hotel Management) at the International College of Hotel Management in Adelaide.  In order to successfully finish my degree I have to do a 6 months industry placement which brought me to D.C.  So far it has been a very smooth transition although it required a lot of preparations to move to the United States.  This city and country is very different from Australia, but D.C has a lot to offer and I am looking forward to discovering more of its beauty in the next couple of months.

You have a special connection with Capella, can you tell me about this connection and why you are an admirer of the Capella brand?

My brother, Thomas Belaen, used to work for the Capella Hotel and Resorts in Cabo San Lucas together with our General Manager, Mr. Bustamante.  He always spoke with such high passion about his work and how excited he was to be a part of the Capella family.  During one of my holidays in Mexico I got the opportunity to visit and was extremely impressed with the service the staff had provided.  From that moment I knew I wanted to gain experience within Capella Hotels and Resorts.  Because of the connection with Mr. Bustamante, I was able to apply for an internship in D.C.

Sales and Marketing Intern

What do you love most about being a Sales and Marketing Intern? Are there any projects in particular that are especially appealing to you?

The Sales and Marketing department is new to me so every project is exciting and interesting.  There is always so much to learn and everyone on the team at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown is available to help me get the most out of my internship.

What are your current top recommendations in Washington, D.C.? From museums, to dining, to a night out?

I have been here for a little over two months, and I still want to discover so much more about this fascinating city, but I love Georgetown and everything it has the offer.  I love walking around the National Mall with it’s impressive monuments and museums.  During the weekends, I find myself venturing off to DuPont Circle, as it has a lot to offer in dining and nightlife options, but my absolute favorite restaurant is Barcelona on 14th Street.

What advice can you give to guests traveling to Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown from around the world?

The best advice I can give to guests is to try and get to most out of their visit.  There are so many exciting things to do and see in D.C. and its surrounding areas.  Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown offers many exciting tours and our Personal Assistants will be more than happy to give suggestions and arrange anything you may need to discover the city.

What do your future plans hold?

My main priority is to graduate in September 2016 from ICHM.  After that, I would love to continue working for Capella Hotels and Resorts and expand my knowledge and experience through this amazing hotel chain.

Thank you, Marie for sharing your D.C. experience thus far! I look forward to hearing more!

Fall Cocktail Recipe: Autumn Punch

There are some exciting changes taking place at The Rye Bar this season – beginning with a new addition to the team.  It is my pleasure to introduce Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown Mixologist, Elli Benchimol.  Elli, is a seasoned bartending veteran with over 20 years of experience.  So what does she have in store?  “I’m really excited for the fall season and the entertaining that goes with it.  I love seasonal cocktails with lots of fall spice and warmth, like our new signature Hot Toddy.  But that is just the tip of the iceberg!  We will be offering more spirits and cocktails in The Rye Bar that are sure to surprise and delight.  In fact, I hope to bring a bit of D.C. history to each cocktail as well as the flair of Georgetown.”

Elli benchimol

Fortunately, being the Capella Washington, D.C. Insider, I was able to get a further sneak peek with a look at one of the brand new fall cocktail recipes, the  Autumn Punch Cocktail.  Find the recipe below.

Autumn Punch

 Autumn Punch Cocktail


  • Rye – 1 oz.
  • Apple Jack – ¾ oz.
  • Hibiscus Cider – 2 oz.
  • Habanero Spice – 1 dash.
  • Lemon – ½ oz.
  • Pickled Apple (1 cup of each of the following: apple cider vinegar, sugar, sliced apples – refrigerated)


Combine first 5 ingredients in a shaker over ice.  Shake vigorously for approximately 15 seconds.  Strain the mixture into a punch glass.  Garnish your drink with picked apples.  Enjoy!


Thanksgiving In Washington D.C.

The weather has started to shift and autumn is clearly upon us.  But don’t let that get you down! After all, my favorite fall holiday is just around the corner!  Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate every blessing, friend and family member.  Not to mention, the delicious turkey holiday spread.  It is my favorite way to kick off the season and fortunately Washington D.C. knows just how to celebrate.


What is Thanksgiving without a themed parade?  Luckily, you have a few parades to choose from within the D.C. Metropolitan area.  The Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade and the Reston Town Center Holiday Parade are two great ways of spending the day having fun with friends and family.  Festivities are kicked off with an annual race for kids at Fountain Square in the Reston community.  After the kiddo’s cool down from their athletic endeavors,  the parade gets going.  It includes the celebrated Washington Redskins Marching band, 50-foot balloons, and amazing colorful floats.



If you are looking to enjoy a delicious feast after a long day out and about at the parades, retreat back to Georgetown and spend Thanksgiving in The Grill Room. Enjoy as Executive Chef Frank Ruta’s prepares a family style and plated dinner.  As a special token, each family will receive a signature hot cocoa mix to enjoy during the holiday season, made especially by our Pastry Chef, Aggie Chin.  Continue to get in the holiday mood with seasonal fall cocktails like a Rye Toddy and Hot Apple Cider. I’m ready to curl up by the fireplace just thinking about it!

This year, I am thankful for my supportive team at Capella D.C.  To which I share a million laughs with, share my difficulties with, but above all, gain my support and strength from.  I learn something great and new every single day from this dynamic group.

I would love to see photos of what you are all thankful for as well.  Just tag @CapellaDC on Instagram and Twitter so that I can share it with our community.

Sending warm wishes to everyone this holiday season from the Nation’s Capital!

Discover the Capella Washington, D.C. Farmers Market In Georgetown

I am beyond thrilled to share with all of you Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown’s newest experience – our very own Farmers Market!  Being an advocate of local farmers and promoting farm-fresh, locally sourced, and seasonal produce, I am extremely proud that we are able to launch this True Capella experience for everyone in D.C.!


With The Grill Room’s renowned Executive Chef, Frank Ruta has partnered with Northern Neck Farms of Northern Virginia to create this Farmers Market in Georgetown.  Our mission is to educate the local community about fresh food, environmental issues, and provide opportunities for local farmers. The hope is to build a platform that will help promote a healthy lifestyle for all, while also providing tantalizing products.

David Blair, owner of Northern Neck Farms, shares, “We enjoy experiencing the fresh produce that we bring to all our restaurants we serve, especially The Grill Room. Being part of the Farmers Market at Capella is beyond anything we expected and we look forward to engaging with everyone in the heart of Georgetown.”


The Farmers Market at Capella will run from 9am – 1pm on the2nd and 4th Saturday of each month through the end of October.  Guests and locals can expect to see fresh blackberries, eggplant, cucumbers, seasonal tomatoes, and so much more!  You will find the Farmers Market next to the hotel, along the historic C&O Canal.  Come spend your Saturday morning with Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown and enjoy the local food movement.



 The Farmers Market at Capella D.C. will continue to be held on the following Saturdays:

  • September 19, 2015
  • October 3, 2015
  • October 17, 2015
  • October 31, 2015

cfm 5

cfm 4

If you haven’t had a chance to visit, e sure to mark your calendar for the remaining dates of the season.  I am looking forward to the community coming together to share their photos and recipes with everyone.  Don’t forget to tag @CapellaDC so that I can share your Farmers Market fun with the rest of the community!

Meet Capella Washington D.C.’s General Manager, Marco Bustamante

I would like to introduce you to the Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown General Manager, Marco Bustamante.  Marco, a 10 year veteran of the Capella family,  took D.C. by storm, bringing with him a wealth of experience and charisma.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Marco to get a better idea of why he loves being part of the Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown team.

Marco Bustamante HeadshotWhat do you love most about Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown?

The people.  We have an amazing team with people from all different backgrounds and experiences.  We have a lot of local Washingtonians as part of our staff and I think it brings great soul to the property.

What makes our property unique in D.C.?

The design of our hotel gives guests an intimate, sophisticated, modern, and high tech feel. From relaxing in the Living Room to enjoying a cocktail in The Rye Bar, our guests have the option of feeling like they are in an urban oasis.

You’ve been part of the Capella team for over 10 years, what is your favorite memory?

When I was working in Los Cabos, we had a couple buy-out the entire hotel for their wedding.  We really wanted to make their experience special and unique, so we built a 120-foot long table to host 150 of their wedding guests in an underground tunnel.  The tunnel started from the entrance of the resort and opened up to the front of property.  We strung chandeliers from the ceiling accompanied with drapery all around; it was really beautiful and different.

What new and exciting events can guests expect this summer at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown?

We recently held Negroni Week, where $1 of each Negroni cocktail sold will be donated to helping aid the victims in Nepal.  We have an employee who is Nepalese and she started a charity fund to help out her homeland, so proceeds will be sent to support relief efforts.  Summer in D.C. is a great time, we are looking forward to our Father’s Day special package, our annual 4th of July Rooftop party, cocktail specials in The Rye Bar, and Chef Ruta has some amazing new brunch items to be enjoyed on our terrace.

What is your favorite thing to do in D.C.?

I love spending time with my two sons and taking them kayaking on the Potomac River.

We are so happy to have you leading the team here at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown, Marco!  Here’s to another year of creating more True Capella memories!

Images via MoMo Photography

Mother’s Day At The United States Botanic Garden

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”  I could not have said it better than our Nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.  I hope to shower my children with as much love, kindness, and laughter as she does for my siblings and me.

When planning what to surprise my mom this Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted something different and unique.  Fortunately there is so much to do in Washington, D.C.!   This year’s plan: taking my mother to the United States Botanic Garden where we’ll be able to design and plant her very own garden.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America.  The three-acre National Garden draws its inspiration from the regional environments from the Mid-Atlantic.  Within the National Garden, the major features include the Butterfly Garden, the First Ladies Water Garden, and the Lawn Terrace.


You too can bring your mother to the USBG and help her choose from different plants to grow in her own vegetable garden!  From the ingredients you choose to be planted in your new garden, you can help her make two recipes and taste the fruits your garden will flourish into.  Get creative with your recipes and bond over family heritage traditions!  This program is designed for all ages; to learn more, visit here.

USBG Mother's Day Children's Program

Don’t forget to also take the opportunity to participate in the Mother’s Day Tour of the Rose Garden.  It is sure to be beautiful and a memorable experience for everyone!

USBG Rose Garden Tour

If you are staying at Capella Washington, D.C. Georgetown, your Personal Assistants are available to help plan your own Mother’s Day adventures either at theUnited States Botanic Garden or somewhere else. And if you are looking for a perfect brunch, join me at The Grill Room this Mother’s Day for a feast fit for a queen. It’s time to celebrate the most important women in our lives, our Moms!


Images via United States Botanic Garden