Preparing for the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival

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From a very tender age, I have always loved music.  Music has played a very important role in the island of Saint Lucia’s culture and Jazz music has found its way into the hearts of locals and visitors alike.  The Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival attracts thousands from all over the world to the island.  Jazz has always been one of my favorite genres of music and I vowed that I would never miss the Festival since its inception in 1992.

About 22 years later, I still get very excited as I guess who this year’s performers will be.  For months leading up to the festival, the people on this island excitedly wait for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board to unveil the line-up for the year’s Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.  This year the event runs May 9th – 11th, 2014, and will feature some of my favorite artists including Kem, Barrington Levy, P-Square, Maxwell, The Commodores and the winner of NBC’s The Voice – Tessane Chin.

Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival

This year’s event promises to host many fun-filled festivities for all.  Everyone attending will witness performances by stilt walkers, masqueraders, Creole dancers and even fire breathers.  I just love how the people of Saint Lucia get together for this spectacular experience that leaves an everlasting memory in everyone’s mind.

If you are interested in attending any of the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival events, please be sure to contact your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant either via email Res.marigotbay@capellahotels.com or by phone:  Direct 758 458 5300 ext. 3005 or Toll Free: 1 877 384 8037.

 

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt

Easter is a month away, and I am already looking forward to the festivities!  What is your favorite Easter tradition?  As a child and even now, I have always loved the Easter Egg Hunt and of course, the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Bunny legend began long ago in Germany with an egg-laying hare named Osterhase.  German children made nests and left them outside for the hare to lay her eggs in, which the children would collect as a prize.  Actual Easter Egg Hunting began in America when German immigrants brought their Osterhase tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s.  The festivity soon spread across the nation, and baskets replaced nests.  Eventually, the game evolved into a treasure hunt, and the prizes expanded from just hard-boiled eggs to include chocolate, candy, toys and coins.

After discovering the history behind this Easter tradition, my team at Capella Washington, D.C. felt it was only appropriate to establish our very own Easter Egg Hunt.  And not your average children’s hunt, but one especially for the adults.  Picture a city wide hunt with golden eggs, sensational prizes, Washington, D.C.’s most well-known landmarks, and of course, the unique Capella experience.

I am so thrilled to announce the launch our first annual Capella DC  Easter Egg Hunt!

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt

The Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt Details:

  • One golden egg will be placed in a unique location in Washington, D.C. every weekend, the three weeks leading to Easter Sunday on April 20th, 2014.  Your mission is to keep a look out for the photo clue on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram the morning of, which will give you a hint to where the Easter egg will be.
  • Next, locate the golden Easter egg and take a photo at the location of you and the prize.  Share your photo with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and be sure to use the hashtag #CapellaEasterEggHunt and tag us @CapellaDC.
  • When you open the Golden Egg, you will find a contact phone number.  Once you call this number, one of our Capella service professionals will reveal your winning prize!  We are offering a wide variety of prizes – from Sunday Brunch at The Grill Room, to a luxury overnight stay at Capella Washington, D.C.

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt Schedule:

Saturday, April 5th
Sunday, April 7th
Saturday, April 12th
Sunday, April 13th
Thursday, April 17th
Friday, April 18th
Saturday, April 19th
Sunday, April 20th

For more information on the Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt, be sure to contact our Easter events squad at 202-617-2429!  Keep a look out for the first photo hint on Saturday, April 5th at 9:00am!

Kunst Highlights in Düsseldorf

Museum Kunst Palast

Letztes Wochenende habe ich mich dazu entschlossen, mir die Ausstellung NRW 2014 im Museum Kunstpalast anzuschauen.  Unsere Persönliche Assistentin Barbara im Breidenbacher Hof hatte mir die Ausstellung empfohlen und mich darauf aufmerksam gemacht.  Seit über 100 Jahren findet diese nun schon statt und ist die Größte ihrer Art in Deutschland.  Da die Ausstellung nur vom 15. Februar bis 9. März geöffnet ist, sagte ich mir selbst: “Jetzt aber schnell!”  Ich war von der Vielfalt an Kunst sehr beeindruckt.

Museum Kunst Palast

Dieses Jahr wurden 140 regionale Künstler von der Jury ausgewählt, die ihre Werke anderen Künstlern und Besuchern präsentieren durften.  Ein wirklich einmaliger Einblick in die Düsseldorfer Kunstszene.  Zu sehen gab es beeindruckende Skulpturen, atemberaubende Fotografien, wunderschöne Gemälde und unzählige grafische Arbeiten.  Was mir am besten an der Ausstellung gefallen hat?  Kein Werk ähnelt dem anderen, weil jeder Künstler einen anderen Blickwinkel und Stil vertritt.  Es hat die Besichtigung in ein Abenteuer verwandelt, weil man nicht einschätzen konnte, was einen als nächstes erwartet!

Als besonderes Bonbon kann man sich von den Künstlern selbst durch die Ausstellung führen lassen, um einen noch intensiveren Einblick in ihre Arbeiten zu erhalten.  Zudem werden donnerstags und sonntags Vorführungen geboten. Wenn ihr in den nächsten Tagen bei uns im Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel sein solltet, dürft ihr euch diese Ausstellung auf keinen Fall entgehen lassen.  Unsere lieben Persönlichen Assistenten unterstützen euch gerne und empfehlen euch weitere spannende Aktivitäten in Düsseldorf.  Ich bin mir sicher, das ihr diese Erlebnisse nicht vergessen werdet!

 

 

Nachtaufnahme Museum Kunstpalast, Foto: Stefan Arendt, Medienzentrum Rheinland  

Tips For Planning A Destination Wedding

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Destination weddings are a trend that is growing in popularity.  Often for couples who’s families live far apart, or those looking for a bit of adventure, a destination wedding is the ideal option.  I’ve seen many such couples be joined in marriage here at Capella Ixtapa for these very reasons.  After all, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo offers amazing beaches and surrounding islands, beautiful tropical landscapes, exquisite cuisine, friendly people, beach lifestyle, stunning sunsets and pristine Mexico ambiance—who wouldn’t want to get married here?!

For some planning a destination wedding can be a daunting task.  So, I thought I would talk to Capella Ixtapa’s wedding consultant, José Brito, and get some insider tips on what you need to consider for planning the perfect event.

Capella-Ixtapa-Destination-Wedding

1. Define the wedding budget.  This first step of your wedding planning will help you define which destination to pick, the number of guests, hotel and wedding venue.

2. Pick a destination with convenient travel connections.  Since most of your guests will be traveling to the destination, pick a location which has easy and convenient travel connections.  Ixtapa Zihuatanejo has many direct flights from Mexico, US and Canada, so it is very convenient to travel here.  When planning a destination wedding contact your airline (or travel agent) and negotiate group rates.

3. Determine number of guests. Determining the guest list is crucial to understanding where and how your finances will be allocated.

4. Pick a destination and resort and that has something for everyone.  It is important to remember that when you ask guests to travel for your wedding the location becomes a vacation destination for them as well.  So be sure to pick a location that will suit your guests’ varied interests.  In Ixtapa Zihuatanejo you can find something for everyone; for couples, small or multigenerational families, for nature and ocean lovers, for sports lovers and for those who are looking for some relaxing time.  You can find anything from small luxury hotels, to hotels and resorts of a larger scale and even private accommodations.

5.  Work with a local wedding consultant.  A local wedding consultant will be able to help you navigate not only the legalities of getting married in your destination, but also will have relationships with local wedding vendors.  A local consultant can also introduce you to romantic local customs or help you plan excursions for you and your guests.

6.   Get there early.  When planning a destination wedding, Jose recommends that the couple arrives to the location a few of days prior to the wedding, so you can  review in person all the details with your wedding consultant, make final arrangements and get ready for your big day.

7.  Enjoy your wedding.  Jose explains, “Your destination wedding should be all about enjoying your most important day in a beautiful location with your closest group of family and friends,” don’t let the stress of planning it get in the way of enjoying it.  After all, you’ve chosen to have a destination wedding for the experience, so make sure you experience it!

If you are interested in leaning more about a destination wedding at Capella Ixtapa please visit our website, or call us at: USA Toll Free: 1 (877) 296-8889, Canada Toll Free: 1 (855) 842-3399 or Mexico Toll Free: 01-800-838-6501.

[Articulo en español]

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.

La Paz Carnival

Carnaval-de-La-Paz-01

The end of February marks the beginning of traditional carnival festivities in more than 200 of Mexico’s town and cities.  While some towns celebrate in small and uniquely traditional ways, others organize large and spectacular carnival festivities, which makes them a must see event.  Three of the most popular places to see the carnival in the country are Mazatlan, Veracruz and Cabo San Lucas’ neighbor town, La Paz.  I am already making my plans to attend, and if you are in Baja between February 27 and March 4, I recommend you to visit as well!

Carnaval-de-La-Paz-01

The first La Paz Carnival (we call it Carnaval La Paz) was organized in 1898, making it one of the oldest in the country.  The carnival is a week long party on the main seaside street Malecon, where the Sea of Cortez makes a beautiful backdrop to all the festivities.  The carnival usually starts with the condemning of an effigy called mal humor (bad mood) and the electing of a Carnival Queen and a King of Happiness.  There are fun parades with floats, street parties and street vendors (you must try their churros filled with caramel), and in the evenings there are concerts by popular Mexican musicians with festivities that go on until early morning hours.  Costumes worn by participants are very creative and vary each year, and I can’t wait to see what people will come up with this year.

Carnival in Mexico ends on Mardi Gras, or Martes de Carnaval, when another effigy Juan Carnaval is burned; he represents all the wanton revelry associated with the festivities.  This marks the end of the debauchery and return to temperance.  On Ash Wednesday people go to church to receive ashes and the abstinence of Lent will begin.

One of the things that make a visit to La Paz Carnaval special for me is that all the festivities happen at the Malecon, with fantastic sea and sunset views.  During the day I love watching the dolphins playfully jump out of the sea just by walking on Malecon, visiting their beautiful beaches or taking short trips to the adjacent islands.

If you are interested in visiting La Paz or attending our traditional Carnaval, please contact your Personal Assistant at pa.pedregal@capellahotels.com or call us at (624) 163-4300.

Photo: Carnaval La Paz