Get To Know D.C.’s DMV Area

With over 20 million visitors per year, Washington, D.C. is one of the most popular places to visit in the United States.  From historic monument tours, to museums, to outdoor festivals, there is always something to do and see.  But the fun doesn’t stop at the city’s borders!  With as many sights and tours as within the city, there is lots to discover in the surrounding area as well.

The nickname, DMV, which represents the District, Maryland and Virginia was created to describe the greater Washington Metropolitan area.  The best part about visiting DC is that both Maryland and Virginia are no more than a twenty-minute car ride from Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown.  And while many visitors stick to the “D” there is lots to do in the “M” and “V” as well.  Below are some of my favorite spots.

The “M” – Maryland

The National Harbor is the perfect destination for you and your whole family.  With over 150 different activities to choose from, there is truly something for every taste.  From Shopping and dining options to the thrilling Capital Wheel, to the over-sized plaza screen, carousel, and gorgeous view, it is easy to spend an entire day here.  After spending the day shopping, paddle-boarding, and exploring, this stunning viewpoint is a fantastic place to take in a sunset to punctuate the end of an eventful day.

The National Harbor

Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland, is also known as a world renowned sailing destination.  If your idea of a great getaway includes being on the waters, Annapolis is the perfect location.  Rich with maritime heritage, and with over hundreds of miles of shoreline, the Chesapeake Bay offers every visitor a sense of serenity as they watch the sailboats cruise on by.  But you aren’t limited to sailing!  Enjoy fishing, water tours, wind-surfing and kite-surfing and much more along these shores.  Another reasion to visit?  Some of the best crab cakes you will ever eat!

The “V” – Virginia

Fairview Lakes located in Reston, Virginia may only be a twenty minute drive from the city, feels like a world away.  An idyllic park, there are activities for all.  From picnic areas to a children’s waterpark to grown up water sports, it is easy to see how one could spend a day enjoying this getaway.  I definitely recommend it for those looking to escape the city for a bit!

Reston VA

 Wolf Trap National Park is currently the only national park dedicated to presenting the performing arts.  Something so special, you have to see it for yourself, Wolf Trap offers multiple amphitheaters that showcase a wide range of performances, including: musicals, dance, jazz, opera, and concerts.  Allow the park rangers to set up backstage guided tours or opt for a hike and explore the park’s natural areas as you can choose from kid-friendly hikes to a bit more advanced.  You’ll be sure to have a day filled with musical muses!

Of course, your Personal Assistant at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown is on hand to set up any of these mini day-trips for you. Allow our team to make your stay an unforgettable vacation by personalizing your own unique activities and attractions that are set up around your preferences. Don’t forget to tag your DMV explorations with @CapellaDC so I can share your photos with our community!

24 Hours: What To Eat In Singapore

As Singapore turns 50 this month, our nation is in a grand party mood.  And one of our favourite ways to party is to indulge our palates.  We are in love with our food, and fussy to a fault when it comes to eating.  And you can hardly blame us.  Most of our dishes are born of our multi-racial culture, and the best dishes are Singaporean-ised over the years to perfectly suit our taste buds.

So if you are in Singapore for a short visit, join me on a food trail that is sure to impress.  This is 24 Hours: What To Eat In Singapore:

Prata for Breakfast

Roti Prata picture from Your Singapore (

Roti Prata picture from Your Singapore (

When I’m up bright and early, I usually make a beeline for roti pratas.  When done right, this South Indian flat bread is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the perfect morning nosh.

My personal favourite is what we call prata ‘kosong’.  ‘Kosong’ means ‘zero’ in the Malay language and refers to plain prata, which tastes best when dipped with fish curry.

However, if you are craving something a little more sweet or savoury, many prata stalls also offer modern variants such as cheese, onion, chocolate and bomb pratas – a flakier dough with margarine, sugar and condensed milk.  Enjoy these with strong local coffee for the perfect early morning pick-me-up.

Chicken Rice for Lunch

Chicken Rice picture from Your Singapore (

Chicken Rice picture from Your Singapore (

Though chicken rice has its roots in the Hainan province in China, it is widely hailed as our national dish.  In fact, it’s rare to walk more than five kilometres anywhere in Singapore without passing a chicken rice stall with a row of cooked chicken hanging from the stall front.

While this may seem a little shocking to tourists at first, it adds to the distinct flavour of the cuisine.  In fact, Singaporeans tend to like to see our meat in its entirety, and associate this with freshness and wholeness.

Quirks aside, Singaporean-Hainanese Chicken Rice is very different from the original version from China, which tends to feature a bonier fowl with green chilli dip.  In Singapore, we prefer tender spring chicken served with fragrant rice steamed with chicken stock and ginger.  This is accompanied by a tangy red chilli dip, minced ginger paste and thick sweet soy sauce.

Widely available at humble hawker centres and renowned restaurants, this national dish has inspired our nation so much that we have named movies such as Chicken Rice War after it!

Kaya Toast for Tea

Kaya Toast picture from - a national favourite

Kaya Toast picture from Ya Kun ( – a national favourite

As far as Singapore’s tea culture goes, the Kaya Toast probably sums it up.  Kaya is a local jam made from coconut milk, eggs, sugar and pandan leaves, which lends it a unique fragrance and distinctive green hue.  Served with toasted bread and generous slivers of butter, it the perfect mid-day energy booster.

Singaporeans love enjoying a Kaya Toast even when we’re not hungry.  It is most commonly savoured with local milk tea, or what we call ‘teh’ during a casual catch-up with friends, especially on a lazy weekend.

Chilli Crabs for Dinner


Whenever I host overseas friends for dinner, I love to take them for some authentic Singaporean chilli crabs.  Usually served with the shell intact and drenched with a savoury chilli-tomato gravy, this is a messy eat.  Be ready to get your hands dirty, and expect a lot of splatter.  However, if you ask any Singaporean, this simply adds to the flavour of the crabs, and makes it a unique bonding experience for diners.

My three tips for enjoying the iconic chilli crab: 1) Never wear white or pricey clothes for this unless you are prepared to go home with stains.  2) Request for a female crab if you enjoy roe.  3) Always order mantou (fried buns) to soak up the chilli gravy after you’ve polished off the main!

Satay for Supper


Think of this as the Southeast Asian version of the ubiquitous kebab, marinated in a piquant bouquet of local spices.  Satays tend to be sweeter than your regular kebabs, and served with a distinct sweet and spicy peanut dip.  Usually available as bite-sized chicken, beef and mutton sticks with a side of raw cucumbers, onions and ketupat (rice cakes), they are my favourite after-dinner snacks!

Since the best satays are freshly grilled over an open charcoal fire, they are usually only available from evening till late night.  Bear in mind that you can’t order one or two sticks of satay – nor should you.  Stall owners offer satay beginning from 8-10 sticks. And believe me, once you’ve tried it, you’ll wish you had ordered more.


Capella Singapore serves many of these delightful local cuisines.  Alternatively, if you are spending time around town, ask your Personal Assistant for recommendations.


Eating Well: Healthy Tips For Summer Travel

Longer days, children buzzing about outdoors, and warmer weather can only mean one thing – summer has finally arrived!  My family summer vacations always included fun road-trips, action-packed plans, and a ton of laughter while creating memories that I continue to cherish until today.

Often a key component of our traveling was the dining.  My parents always attempted to find a balance between summer indulgence and making sure we stayed healthy and well nourished.  Today, this is still a priority for me, as I love to take part in local flavors, but not at the expense of taking care of my body.  Taking this into consideration, I thought it the perfect opportunity to sit down with the Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown culinary team to find out what they recommend for maintaining a healthy, but enjoyable, lifestyle during summer travel.

Healthy Tips For Summer Travel:

Chef Frank Ruta - DC

“Always ask the locals and those around you, even your waiters while dining out what the healthiest options are on the menu or local spots to try.  Insider tips are always helpful and they know what they’re talking about!”   ~Executive Chef, Frank Ruta

Chef Aggie - Pastry Chef DC

“Remember it’s a vacation!  It’s a time to enjoy everything that’s going on with the activities and with your family and friends surrounding you. Enjoy the food and desserts and have a great time.” ~Pastry Chef, Aggie Chin

Steven Fowler - Director of Food & Beverage DC

 “Sitting in a cramped position for long periods, whether in an airplane, car, or bus, can lead to an increased risk of potentially health related issues.  To minimize risk, drink plenty of water and stay active to allow the blood to flow.  Always carry around with you bottles of water and try to drink plenty of fluids to prevent from becoming dehydrated.” ~Food & Beverage Director, Steve Fowler

Kelly S - Catering Sales Manager DC

“The first thing I do when I travel is to search for the local markets and grocery stores to stock up on fresh veggies, fruits, and snacks.  Sourcing our breakfast meals from fresh local markets was a great way to save some extra cash and getting in touch with how the community in that particular destination lived.  You can ask for a complimentary mini-fridge to be sent to your hotel room to store these items as well.” ~Catering Sales Manager, Kelly Schneider

I hope these tips will come in handy for healthy and delicious summer of traveling!  Please tag @CapellaDC on social media and share your own healthy/delicious summer traveling tips so that I can share them with our community.  Have a great summer!

Discover Indo-Chinese Fusion Dining in Saint Lucia

masalabaySitting at the edge of Capella Marigot Bay’s Marina Village, lofted on the second floor with a stunning view of Marigot is one of my new favorite restaurants, Masala Bay!


I visited the restaurant before it was open to the public and learned the cuisine would be Indian Chinese fusion. Having never before tried a fusion of my two favorite cuisines, I was understandably excited and to become Masala Bay’s first official customer when they opened their doors to the public!

final-IMG_8641I loved the look of Masala Bay right away. Bright and colorful with gorgeous Indian details create the perfect atmosphere. The owner, Chef Adil Sherwani, said he wanted the restaurant to “be a story, an experience.” And he has definitely succeeded!

final_MG_1398Dinner began how most great dinners should always begin, with excellent wine.  I ordered both Indian and Chinese dishes, wanting to fully experience the combination of these two cuisines.

final_MG_2881It was love at first bite. Each dish was exquisitely seasoned and full of flavor. The combination of these two cuisines couldn’t possibly be more harmonious. I was elated!

final_MG_1389In addition to the delicious food, the setting was beautiful. At our little corner table on the balcony, we watched the sun set over Marigot Bay. Some moments in life become exquisite memories.final_MG_2877Chef Adil Sherwani has created something truly special with Masala Bay. His other restaurant, Spice of India, is renowned as St. Lucia’s best Indian Cuisine restaurant. Masala Bay shares the attention to detail and high quality standards of Spice of India, but with a cuisine and flavor all its own!final_MG_1395The team Chef Adil has put together is as skilled as they are friendly and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the lovely experience! final_MG_1409Head Chef Gorvind Joshi is not only great at running the back of house operations, he is also friendly, fun and outgoing. I thought it was so lovely to receive a visit from him at our table. We chatted a bit and his outgoing nature is evident right away, as is his sincere love and passion for the culinary arts! final_MG_1403I cannot possibly recommend the food and the experience at Masala Bay more highly! When you next find yourself in St. Lucia,  you must give it a try.  And be sure to visit Marina Village located within Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina for even more unforgettable experiences.

In the meantime, find the closest Indo-Chinese fusion restaurant to your neighborhood and treat yourself to a culinary journey! Living the good life means eating great food. That is the True Capella way.