Japanese Day & How To Wear A Yukata

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Do you remember my story about the Japanese-German history in Dusseldorf which I shared on the Capella Blog a couple of months ago?  Then you might remember that Dusseldorf is the city with the largest Japanese population in Europe.  Actually, one fourth of Germany’s Japanese population is living in Dusseldorf!

Every year we have celebrate Japanese Day, where visitors and locals alike can learn more about the Japanese culture.  The event will take place for the 13th time this year and will be celebrate on May 17th.   The event takes place throughout the city, even along the Rhine Promenade.  I love to wander along the promenade, tasting different Japanese food specialties, listening to music and watching dance performances, combat demonstrations and even Manga costume contests.  At night the event is topped off with a beautiful firework display that lights up the entire city.

This year, the Breidenbacher Hof is getting in on the activities, with a fantastic Japanese amenity.  This amenity includes a lot of special Japanese things, prepared by our resident Japanese expert Keiko.  The most important part of the amenity is a traditional sleeping kimono, known as the Yukata.  Keiko showed me the correct way to wrap it, something I asked her to show you as well:

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First of all, you have to slip into the Yukata, of course.  Grasp it along the hem with one side in each hand. Fold the right hand side under the left hand side, holding it in place as you fold the right hand side over the left.

Use the obi (belt) to secure everything in place. This is done by placing the belt over your waist (if you are a woman) or relatively low on your hip (if you are a man) and then crossing the obi on the back and tying it in the front over your right hip.

I know, it takes some time to become a pro, but I am sure Keiko will help you practice and get ready for Japanese Day.  Just ask her during your stay at the Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel in Düsseldorf as soon as possible and don’t forget to tell our Personal Assistants about your plans to visit the Japanese Day festivities so that they can prepare everything for you!

Der Japan Tag in Düsseldorf

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Erinnert Ihr euch an meinen Beitrag über die Japanisch-Deutsche Vergangenheit in Düsseldorf, den ich vor einigen Monaten auf dem Capella Blog veröffentlicht habe?  Dann erinnert Ihr euch bestimmt auch daran, dass Düsseldorf die Stadt mit der größten japanischen Bevölkerung in ganz Europa ist.  Genau genommen lebt ein Viertel der japanischen Bevölkerung Deutschlands in Düsseldorf!

Jedes Jahr feiern wir den Japan Tag, an dem sowohl Besucher als auch Einwohner mehr über die japanische Kultur kennenlernen können.  Die Veranstaltung wird dieses Jahr am 17. Mai zum dreizehnten Mal stattfinden.  Der Japan Tag findet in ganz Düsseldorf statt, sogar entlang des Rheinufers.  Ich liebe es entlang der Promenade zu flanieren, verschiedene japanische Spezialitäten zu probieren, Musik zu hören und mir die zahlreichen Tanzgruppen, Kampfvorstellungen und sogar Manga Kostümwettbewerbe anzusehen.  Am späten Abend wird die Veranstaltung dann mit einem farbenfrohen Feuerwerk gekrönt, welches die gesamte Stadt erhellt.

Dieses Jahr beteiligt sich der Breidenbacher Hof mit einem fantastischen japanischen Amenity an der Veranstaltung.  Dieses Amenity beinhaltet eine Vielzahl typisch japanischer Dinge, die von unserer Japan-Expertin Keiko vorbereitet werden.  Der wichtigste Bestandteil des Amenitys ist ein traditioneller Schlaf-Kimono, der auch als Yukata bekannt ist.  Keiko hat mir gezeigt, wie man diesen richtig anlegt und ich hab sie gebeten, es Euch auch zu zeigen:

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Zuerst muss man natürlich in den Yukata hineinschlüpfen.  Erfasst ihn entlang des Kleidersaums mit je einer Seite in jeder Hand.  Dann faltet Ihr die rechte Seite unter die linke Seite des Yukata und haltet die rechte Seite dabei gut fest.

Benutzt den „obi“ (Gürtel), um das Ganze zu fixieren.  Dies tut Ihr, indem Ihr den Gürtel über eure Hüfte legt (bei Frauen) oder relativ tief  im unteren Teil eurer Hüfte (bei Männern), und den obi einmal um euren Körper wickelt und ihn anschließend vorne auf der rechten Seite eurer Hüfte zusammenbindet.

Ich weiß, man benötigt etwas Übung, um ein Profi darin zu werden, aber ich bin mir sicher, dass Keiko euch beim Üben helfen wird und euch so für den Japan Tag vorbereitet.  Fragt sie einfach so früh wie möglich während eures nächsten Aufenthalts im Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel in Düsseldorf und vergesst nicht unsere Persönlichen Assistenten über eure Pläne, den Japan Tag zu besuchen, in Kenntnis zu setzten, sodass sie alles für Euch vorbereiten können!

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

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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.

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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]