All About Rum at Bob’s Bar

Cuban Fever at Bob's Bar - experience three different rums

I recently learned that Bob’s Bar at Capella Singapore features some of the region’s most rare and unique rums. Wanting to learn more about Bob’s Bar’s exclusive collection of rums, I sat down with Bob’s Bar’s lead bartender Brendon Khoo who shared more about rum.

Brendon Khoo at work creating a delicious cocktail

Brendon Khoo at work creating a delicious cocktail

Can you tell me how rum is produced?

Rum is a spirit that is made from molasses, the by-product of making sugar from sugarcane.

Can you share with me about one of the more exclusive rums that we offer?

One of the rarest rums we offer is the Diplomatico Single Vintage 2000. In the year 2000, the weather conditions were just perfect in Venezuela (high temperatures during the day, cool at night, high humidity and lower than average rainfall) that created the best and sweetest sugarcane harvest in the country’s history. It was during this season that Diplomatico created this single vintage rum which is a limited edition. The harvest was so good that the rum was created from fresh sugarcane “honey” and molasses together and pot-stilled in very old copper pot stills, which produce a rum with distinctive character. After which the rum was aged as a mixture of single malt and bourbon casks, before being finished in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks. There are not many bottles of this rum available in South East Asia but Bob’s Bar has it!

That’s amazing. What are some of the cocktails you serve that feature rum?

As a Cuban bar we try to serve cocktails that are predominantly rum-based such as Daiquiris and Mojitos which are created using white rum and Rum Old Fashioned made using dark rum.

I would love to learn more about rums. How can I do so?

We recently launched an exciting rum-tasting experience called Cuban Fever where you will be able to try three unique rums – a classic, a distilled and a premium reserve rum.

Taking place daily from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the team and I will share the stories and tasting notes for each rum – allowing you to fully appreciate and enjoy each rum for all its glory.

Cuban Fever at Bob's Bar - experience three different rums

Cuban Fever at Bob’s Bar – experience three different rums

If you would like to make a reservation at Bob’s Bar you can contact them at +65 6591 5047 / bobsbar.singapore@capellahotels.com or book online at here.

A Visit to Singapore’s Little India

Inside the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

I had the chance to visit Singapore’s Little India this weekend. I love how Little India is just bustling with excitement and activity. The vibrantly coloured temples, together with the unmistakeable scent of exotic spices stimulate the senses, are truly an incredible experience.

In order to make the most out of my time in Little India, I set out to accomplish two main things: firstly, to take in the sights, sounds and scents of the district by walking through the famous historical five-foot walkways and secondly, to visit and appreciate one of the local Hindu temples.

I started my journey at Serangoon Road, the main thoroughfare of Little India, taking my time to wander through the little streets.  There are so many meandering walkways and streets that one could venture off into. Along the streets there are many little stalls selling floral garlands. These garlands,  which are used as a form of offering and adornment for the Hindu deities, are truly beautiful – handmade and created with fresh brightly coloured flowers.

Colourful garland stalls can be found all over Little India

Colourful garland stalls can be found all over Little India

I also enjoyed admiring the colourful animated altars that sat prominently on street corners and outside of Hindu-owned shops.

The Hindu god Ganesha is one of the more popular gods that can be seen in little altars around Little India

The Hindu god Ganesha is one of the more popular gods that can be seen in little altars around Little India

After taking my time exploring the effervescent streets of Little India, I decided to spend the next part of my afternoon in one of Singapore’s most famous Hindu temples, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Located along Serangoon Road, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is one of the oldest temples in Singapore, built by Indian immigrants who came to work and live here in Singapore in the 1800s. The choice of deity, Sri Veeramakaliamman as the chief deity is also significant.  In the pioneer days, Indian immigrants experienced many hardships and obstacles.  Sri Veeramakaliamman is seen as a goddess who destroys evil and therefore worshiped for her power to help them overcome their struggles and challenges.

Inside the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Inside the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Visiting the temple was really an eye-opener. Life-like deities filled the temple with dedicated devotees paying homage to them. There was a distinct smell of incense in the air as the priests lit bowls of fire and incense to honour the gods and goddesses.

Little India has since become one of my favourite places to recommend to visitors. Its distinct character so far removed from the skyscrapers that fill the Marina Bay skyline and the air-conditioned malls of Orchard Road. It is a place where time has learnt to stay still, and, hopefully, for many years to come.

Little India is an easy 25-minute drive from Capella Singapore. Our Personal Assistants will be able to assist to organise tours and transport for you. They can be reached at +65 6591 5034/35 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

 

Capella DC Staycation Tips for the Fall Season

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Summer vacations may be behind us, but weekends in September and October are one of my favorite times to experience the DC Metro area.  So much, I have decided to plan a staycation here at Capella Washington, D.C. Georgetown!  To do so, I’ve turned to my colleagues and D.C. natives for some of their most favorite activities and inspirations.

DC Staycation Tips:

Michael Katigbak, Capella D.C.’s Director of Sales & Marketing and his wife Courtney have lived in the city for many years, so I could not wait to hear their recommendations:

  • Walk to the Key Bridge Boathouse in Georgetown to rent kayaks for a smooth drift down the Potomac River and down to Roosevelt Island, the best way to see how the river shapes its physical form and influences its wildlife.
  • Head to the Georgetown’s infamous West End Cinema to watch some of the best international films with a beer or a glass of crisp wine (also, the popcorn is a must! It’s rated the best in D.C.!)
  • Check out Union Market, located about 20 minutes from Capella on New York Avenue, but totally worth the trip!  While you’re there, grab a bite to eat, like the lobster rolls and Korean empanadas
  • Relax at Meridian Hill Park on a Sunday afternoon while enjoying a picnic by the well known drum circle, where DCists bring their favorite instrument to entertain passers by

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Potomac River

Jason, one of Capella D.C.’s wonderful Sales Managers and his seven-year-old son Isaac love family activities.  Some of their favorites include:

  • Saturday afternoons at the National Building Museum, where children and adults can both learn about architecture, design and engineering.  The museum also has specific programs for children with a staff member dedicated to curating these programs.  There are also special exhibits throughout the year.  See them by clicking here
  • The Discovery Theater (part of Smithsonian), for a variety of exhibitions, collections and cultural experiences contained on the National Mall.  This museum is great for children ages 2-16
  • Following a fun day at the museums, check out Chef Geoff’s, where you will find a delicious menu for adults as well as kids just a short walk from the mall’s museums
  • Last but not least, you must stop by Pinstripes in Georgetown for an afternoon of bowling and bocce ball over lunch or dinner right next door to Capella D.C.

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National Building Museum

The opportunities and experiences are endless and I am so grateful to my team for giving me these wonderful suggestions!  With my reservation on the books, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend.  I also cannot forget to mention how excited I am to swim in the rooftop heated infinity pool and sip a cocktail from the lounge!  You can’t beat the feeling of exclusivity and outstanding views of our Nation’s Capital from the rooftop.

For more personalized recommendations and for information on planning your staycation experience be sure to contact one of our Personal Assistant’s at 202-617-2415 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

Discovering Soufriere, Saint Lucia

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In the month of August, Saint Lucia celebrates the two most beautiful flower festivals in the Caribbean region.  The Feast of La Rose originated from the seven years that Saint Lucia was fought over by the British and The Feast of La Marguerite was named after the French who also fought for this island for seven years.  Of all the things I enjoy the most about this beautiful island of Saint Lucia, I am always charmed by the indigenous flowers and plants found in gardens everywhere.  From Jade Vine to Torch Ginger, all 238 square miles are dotted with such a delightful variety of flora.

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In celebration of the flower festivals, I went on a tour to the most decorated town on the island, the town of Soufriere.  Soufriere played host to the flower celebrations this year and is also one of the most spectacular areas on island.  Before the parade began, I drove to the magical Botanical gardens which is where many of the plants are exclusively found in Saint Lucia. As I ventured further into the gardens I discovered the Diamond Falls.  This amazing waterfall is part of the world renowned Sulphur Springs which are a product of the worlds’ only drive in volcano.  Tourists and locals alike, travel specifically to this region to bathe in the healing waters of the Sulphur Springs and to experience their rejuvenating effects on the body.  The Sulphur Springs from which the town of Soufriere got its name, came into formation due to weak spots in the crust of an enormous collapsed crater, the result of volcanic eruptions of gigantic proportions that took place some 410,000 years ago.

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Similar hot springs feed the mineral baths into the Diamond Falls located on the Diamond Estate built originally in 1784 for the troops of King Louis XVI of France so that they could benefit from the therapeutic waters.  I was amazed at the thought that the springs contained healing properties and was really tempted to jump in.  On my way back to watch the parade I looked up to witness the most mesmerizing view of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the twin pitons.   These two volcanic spires, Gros Piton and Petit Piton are one of the main reasons why people visit this beautiful island.

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After enjoy the view, I returned to town just in time to see the denizens of Soufriere in colorful cultural wear as they  put on an event of pomp and pageantry, celebrating the island’s mixed heritage of English and French.  As the event continued with cultural  folk dances such as the Quadrille, the Mappa and the Belair, I could not help but be once again impressed by the beauty and energy of Saint Lucia.

creole-wearIf you are in Saint Lucia during the month of August, be sure to ask your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistants about the flower festivals, Feast of La Rose and Feast of La Marguerite.  And even if it isn’t August, make sure to make time to visit Soufriere, one of the many magical towns here in Saint Lucia!

 

A Visit To The New Singapore Sports Hub

The new 55,000-seater National Stadium

Since it opened on 30 June 2014, the Singapore Sports Hub was on my must-visit radar.  So, when I found out that The Singapore Selection was playing Juventus Football Club in a friendly match on 16 August 2014, I made it a point to buy tickets so that I could enjoy the new National Stadium, which is part of the Hub, and support our Singapore team at the same time.

I must say that when I arrived at the 35-hectare Singapore Sports Hub, I was quickly swept away by the excitement and flurry that filled the air.  There were football fans getting ready to enter the National Stadium to support the Home team, there were diners, shoppers, families and the curious – like me.  All keen and eager to visit our new national sports icon.

The Singapore Sports Hub comprises a wide range of venues, namely, a 55,000-capacity National Stadium, 6,000-capacity Aquatics Centre, 3,000-capacity Sports Arenas, a Water Sports Centre, a Library and about 41,000 sqm of retail and dining space.  Before the big game, I decided to roam the shopping and dining area named the Kallang Wave.  A huge shopping centre featuring a wide range of international fashion brands, sports wear as well as a large variety of dining choices, I easily lost track of time in the mall!

Just before the match began, I quickly made my way to the National Stadium.  The best part about the new Sports Hub is how close the National Stadium is to the shopping mall.  It took just five minutes to get from the shopping mall to my seat!  How convenient!

The new 55,000-seater National Stadium

The new 55,000-seater National Stadium

When I entered the National Stadium, I was blown away.  The 55,000-seater stadium was unlike anything else in Singapore. Featuring the world’s largest free-standing dome, the National Stadium also boasts a retractable roof and customisable, mechanised and automated retractable seating configurations on the lowest tier making it suitable to host a wide range of sports, concerts and other events.

What I found the most breathtaking was the view of the city skyline and the water.  How magnificent!  How beautiful!

The view of the Central Business District from the new National Stadium

The view of the Central Business District from the new National Stadium

While the Singapore Selection lost to Juventus Football Club, I left content.  I felt happy that I had the opportunity to visit this amazing stadium and be part of history, watching the first ever football game played in the new National Stadium.

Upcoming concerts and events held at the National Stadium include:

Mariah Carey, “Me. I am Mariah”, Friday, 24 October 2014
Jay Chou, “Opus 2 Jay 2014 World Tour”, Saturday, 8 November 2014
Asia Pacific Dragons vs Maori All Blacks XV’s Match, Saturday, 15 November 2014
One Direction, “On the Road Again”, Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Click here for more details and listings

If you are staying at Capella Singapore during any one of these periods, I strongly recommend contacting our Personal Assistants who will be able to assist with ticket bookings and transport.  They can be reached at +65 6591 5034/35 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

Get To Know Ethan: A Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant

Ethan Personal Assistant CWDC 2

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ethan, a fantastic Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant.  Around here, Ethan is known for being both clever and genuine.  As Ethan will be leaving the team for college shortly, I thought this was the perfect time to hear a bit about his experience as a Personal Assistant.

D.C. Personal Assistant

Tell me about yourself. What are two experiences that have made you who you are today?

I am 19 years old and come from a family that has always been involved in public service. My aunt was Ted Kennedy’s foreign policy advisor for a large number of years and my parents own a gas station in Pennsylvania. I’ve grown up seeing guest interactions firsthand and have always had a passion for business, especially the dynamic industries where no two days are alike.  Guests come and go, but you want to make a memorable impression on them and that’s what draws me to hospitality.

Can you tell me about a time where you planned and executed a memorable and unique experience for our guests here at Capella Washington, D.C.?

We had an influential author and his family who expressed interest in taking a tour of Washington, D.C.  They originally were looking at the big bus and the old town trolley, but I told them that the best way to tour the city is by foot underneath the city lights.  I put together a walking guide that started out on the Potomac River Waterfront, to the National Mall and everything in-between. I made sure to include unique destinations that they would not find on the Internet, such as the Watergate complex, giving insight on the Nixon Scandal and many more destinations sharing Washington’s history.  The guest loved how we personalized all the information, with walking directions, maps and suggestions. The next day, the author signed a copy of his book to show his appreciation. I love having guests that stay with us for more than three days for instance. This is when you really have the opportunity to learn about them and establish a connection to give them that home away from home feeling.

Ethan Personal Assistant CWDC

How do you wow a guest?

I think you wow a guest by what you do when they are not around.  Often times it is the least verbally appreciated things we do, but it’s those little things over the course of the stay that establishes that wow factor.  Getting it right on the first try and picking up on small details is crucially important.

Being so young and hungry, what motivates you about working at Capella D.C.?

I believe in the product. I think it’s really easy to work hard when you love your job. You love your job when you really believe in it. When you have a property as amazing as this and a team as great as this it comes naturally. Each one of us goes above and beyond for every single guest and that’s what inspires me to keep striving for success.

What will you take away most with you from Capella D.C. experience when you move onto hotel school at Cornell?

I will always live, breathe and sleep by the Capella Canon (A card that each employee carries everyday that aligns each of us behind the philosophy and mission of Capella Hotels & Resorts). The knowledge of hotel objectives and taking the time to understand individuals and personalize their experiences is something I will never forget.

What advice can you give to future guests of Capella?

The happiest guests who stay with us are the ones who take the time to speak with their Personal Assistant prior to their arrival. In order to be certain that we have all our guests’ preferences and details, the guest conversation is very important. When your Personal Assistant calls you, these few minutes can make the difference between having transportation arrangements, personalized newspapers in your room, refreshment center stocked with your favorite food and drinks and even a family photo to welcome you. Our service will always be exceptional, but with the support of guest preferences, we can tailor your experience in a personalized way, just how you like it.  This is what we consider luxury.

For more information about Capella Personal Assistant services and how to get in touch with them, please e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com or call 202-617-2416.