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

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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.

Ein Besuch der Längsten Theke der Welt

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Wie Ihr sicher von früheren Posts auf den Capella Blog wisst, beheimatet Düsseldorf die Längste Theke der Welt.  Der Altstadt wurde dieser Name nicht aufgrund einer einzigen zusammenhängenden Theke, die sich über mehrere Meter ausdehnt, gegeben.  Vielmehr erhielt sie ihren Namen aufgrund der vielen Bars, Restaurants, Diskotheken und Brauereien, die sich hier befinden.  Aus diesem Grund empfehlen unsere Persönlichen Assistenten hier im Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel jedem Gast mindestens einen Abend damit zu verbringen, die pulsierende Altstadt zu erkunden.

Um dafür zu sorgen, dass Eure Zeit bestmöglich genutzt wird, erzähle ich Euch nun, wie ich persönlich meinen Abend in der Düsseldorfer Altstadt gestalten würde, um die Längste Theke der Welt zu erleben:

Zuerst starte ich immer mit einem leckeren Abendessen in den Abend.  Wenn Ihr Lust auf traditionelle deutsche Gerichte habt, solltet Ihr in einer Altbierbrauerei wie Zum Schlüssel oder Im Goldenen Kessel starten und unbedingt den Rheinischen Sauerbraten probieren.  Falls Ihr etwas Mediterranes vorzieht, bietet die Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse, die nur einige Gehminuten vom Hotel entfernt ist, eine Auswahl an spanischen Restaurants.

Altstadt - Bolkerstr.

Aber wie Ihr Euch sicherlich vorstellen könnt, wäre ein Abend in Düsseldorf einfach nicht authentisch ohne die Spezialität unserer Region – das dunkle, lokal gebraute Altbier.  Und weil jede Brauerei ihr ganz eigenes Brauverfahren hat, solltet ihr auf jeden Fall ein Altbier in verschiedenen Brauereien testen, um so Euren persönlichen Favoriten zu finden.  Bier ist nicht Euer Getränk?  Das ist kein Problem, denn es gibt zahlreiche Bars wie Sausalitos oder Louisiana, die für ihre große Cocktailauswahl bekannt sind.  Falls Ihr es einrichten könnt vor 19 oder 20 Uhr dort zu sein, könnt Ihr sogar von den Happy Hour Preisen Gebrauch machen.

Danach könnt Ihr den Abend entweder entspannt bei einem nächtlichen Spaziergang am Rhein ausklingen lassen oder Euch in das Nachtleben Düsseldorfs stürzen.  Falls Ihr Schlager präferiert, könnt Ihr im Oberbayern oder Antons Bierkönig auf der Bolkerstraße zu Eurer Lieblingsmusik tanzen.  Doch es gibt auch zahlreiche Diskotheken und Bars in denen verschiedenste andere Musikrichtungen gespielt werden.  Ich bin mir sicher, egal wo Ihr Euch entschließt hinzugehen, Ihr werdet einen riesen Spaß dabei haben alles zu erkunden, was die Längste Theke der Welt zu bieten hat.

Hoffentlich hat Euch meine Darstellung des perfekten Abends in der Altstadt zum Erkunden der Längsten Theke der Welt einen Eindruck davon gegeben, wie lebhaft Düsseldorfs Nachtleben wirklich ist.  Während Eurem nächsten Aufenthalt in Düsseldorf helfen unsere Persönlichen Assistenten gerne dabei, Euren eigenen perfekten Abend zu planen.  Denn nur wenn Ihr einen Abend in Düsseldorfs Altstadt verbringt wisst Ihr, warum die Bolkerstraße ihren Ruf als Längste Theke der Welt wirklich verdient hat!

Actividades familiares en Cabo

Turtle release in Los Cabos, Mexico

Es oficialmente verano en Cabo, el momento más popular del año para los niños de todas las edades, ya que están fuera de la escuela durante el verano. Las familias ya han comenzado a llegar a Cabo y la ciudad está preparada para ellos. Los Asistentes Personales de Capella Pedregal compartieron conmigo sus principales recomendaciones para las actividades para las familias en Cabo. Las opciones son infinitas y hay algo para todos.

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Por supuesto la mayoría de la gente prefiere las actividades acuáticas, cuando el calor sube qué mejor manera de refrescarse que con una de las nuevas tendencias en el deporte de aventura, Flyboard! Esta es una actividad divertida para toda la familia donde una explosión de agua te hará flotar por encima de ella hasta 40 pies en el aire.

Otra actividad divertida para la familia es el “Nado con los delfines”, donde tienes la oportunidad de nadar y aprender de los hermosos delfines nariz de botella. Para los amantes de los animales, Cabo Aventures tiene el programa de “Entrenador por un Día”, donde puedes pasar el día trabajando estrechamente con los entrenadores de delfines.

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Me encantan las actividades de aventura, así que te recomiendo probar el ZipLine outdoor Adventure. Se lleva a cabo en la “Boca de la Sierra”, una biosfera protegida por la UNESCO, donde se puede practicar escalada, rappel, caminar sobre puentes colgantes y tirolesa sobre el desierto en la tirolesa más larga y rápida de México! Con velocidades de hasta 60 mph (100 kph) y una longitud de más de 1.200 metros (más de 4000 pies), esta es una experiencia que no quieres perderte!

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Sin embargo, mi actividad favorita es el verano la llegada de las tortugas marinas que llegan a la playa de Capella para poner sus huevos. Cuando llega el momento de salir del cascarón, los huéspedes tienen la oportunidad de ayudar a la liberación de tortugas bebé en el océano! La península de Baja California es el hogar de cinco de las siete especies de tortugas marinas del mundo. Estos son los carey (Tortuga Carey), caguama (Tortuga Caguama, Amarilla o Cabezona), laúd (Tortuga Laúd), la tortuga verde (también Tortuga Negro, Tortuga Prieta, Negra o Verde) y la más común de todas las especies de tortugas marinas, golfina (Tortuga Golfina). La liberación de tortugas es una experiencia maravillosa, única que se quedará en siempre en tu memoria!

Turtle release in Los Cabos, Mexico
Los Cabos cuenta con actividades de diversión sin fin para este verano! No te olvides pedirle a tu asistente personal ayuda para a encontrar la perfecta actividad para ti y / o tu familia durante tu estancia en el Paraíso!

The History of Sentosa Island

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I love history.  I find that knowing the history of a place adds to its unique character and personality and makes it even more endearing and charming.  With that in mind, I thought I would share a bit about the history of Sentosa Island and Capella Singapore.

Did you know that Sentosa Island, where Capella Singapore, is located, is the largest of Singapore’s southern islands and an island with a rich history and heritage?  In the past it was an island fortress and military base for the British army and today it is an island of pure entertainment and recreation.

On the western side of the island was Fort Siloso which has underground passages, bunkers and gun emplacements dating back to the 1800s.  It was built in the 1880s to protect Singapore, which was a thriving port under Great Britain’s rule.  Fort Siloso was part of Singapore’s coastal defence with Fort Serapong and Fort Connaught.  The guns at Fort Siloso were used during World War II and are part of Singapore’s rich history.

Capella Singapore is home to four colonial buildings – the two blocks where the main lobby, Capella Library and Chinese restaurant, Cassia, are located are actually two Colonial Manors.  In fact, they received conservation status in 2000.  These colonial buildings were formerly the Royal Artillery Officers’ Mess.

 The Officers’ Mess was where the officers and their families had their meals and recreational activities such as dining, dancing and tennis. There was a tennis court beside the block.

Royal Artillery Officers Christmas Party 1951

Royal Artillery Officers Christmas Party 1951

Christmas and New Year parties were celebrated at the Officers’ Mess.  Formal table settings extended out to the wide corridors of the block and band performances were held in the room at the entrance. From the Officers’ Mess, there was a good view of the Singapore harbour and it was a practice for the officers and their families to welcome in the new year with the loud horning from the ships in the harbour.

After Singapore gained independence in 1965, the government decided that it was important for the emerging nation to have a place of recreation.  Soon after, Sentosa Island was chosen for this purpose.  Sentosa Island was then given the name Sentosa Island in 1970, which means “Isle of Tranquility” in Malay and developed by the Singapore government into a recreational area in 1972.  It has now become an island of fun, filled with amusement parks, beaches, museums, restaurants, aquariums and many more attractions.  It is truly amazing how in just a few decades it has transformed from a military base into an exciting playground.

If you are interested in the history of Sentosa, you may wish to go for a tour at Fort Siloso or visit Images of Singapore where you can learn about the colourful history of Sentosa and of Singapore and how we became the thriving and successful country that we are today.  Do speak with one of our Personal Assistants to organise a tour at +65 6591 5035 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

Historical pictures of Capella Singapore’s past as the Royal Artillery Officers’ Mess are available for viewing in The Library.

Art Along the Banks of the Singapore River

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Singapore River is the lifeline of the country. It was on the very banks of Singapore River that the founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, stood in 1819. Since then it has played an integral role in our country’s development serving as one of the busiest trading ports in Asia.

One of my favourite ways to unwind after a busy day at work is to spend time strolling the banks of the river. While it is no longer the busy trading port it was in the 19th century, the Singapore river is now an idyllic destination to eat, work and play. The shophouses along Boat Quay and Clarke Quay that used to be filled with spices, sugar, salt and other items of trade, have now been converted into trendy bars and restaurants – the watering hole of Singapore’s stylish and sophisticated crowd.

Today, during my usual walk down the banks of the river, two particular bronze sculptures caught my eye: A Great Emporium by Malcolm Koh and From Chettiars to Financiers by Sculptor Chern Lian Shan.

These sculptures depict life as it was along the banks of the Singapore River in the 19th century.

A Great Emporium by Malcolm Koh

A Great Emporium by Malcolm Koh

In A Great Emporium, there are four distinct characters represented in the sculpture, a British Trader, a Chinese Merchant, a Chinese Coolie and an Indian Coolie all engaged in trade. Coolie refers to manual labourer, the origins of the word has both Chinese and Indian derivations.

It really brought me back 200 years ago. When life was tough. Many of these coolies, liked the coolies in the sculpture, worked without a thread on their backs. They carried gunny sacks of rice, flour and spices from ship to shore for pittance.  These coolies were indeed the backbone of our society. They built up Singapore. Without them, we could not have developed as fast and as furious as we did.  The sculpture reminded me of how fast Singapore has developed and how grateful I am!

The sculpture to its left, From Chettiars to Financiers, is also a depiction of life along the banks of the river in the 19th century.  This sculpture shows the dramatic change of Singapore’s finance industry.  From simple Indian Chettiars who were most commonly moneylenders with the pig-tailed clerk to a female financier.  How times have changed.

From Chettiars to Financiers by Chern Lian Shan

From Chettiars to Financiers by Chern Lian Shan

The Indian Chettiars originated from Chettinad in Tamil Nadu.  Interestingly, the term “Chettiar” is actually a caste label, not another name for moneylender.  These moneylenders were private financiers who lent money to entrepreneurs and businessman.

I spent quite a while admiring these two sculptures. Indeed, life has changed for us here in Singapore. We have evolved from a small trading port to one of the most stable and secure economies in the world.  As we reap what our forefathers have sowed, we should never forget where we came from.  These bronze sculptures along the Singapore River serve as fitting reminders of our past.

Capella Singapore’s Personal Assistants will be able to share more information about Clarke Quay and Boat Quay and recommend restaurants and bars along the river. If you would like to organise a private tour or book a restaurant, please contact our Personal Assistants at +65 6591 5035 / pa.singapore@capellahotels.com.

 

Los Secretos De Cócteles De Osvaldo Vazquez De Capella Pedregal

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Hace poco estuve con el Mixólogo de Capella Pedregal, Osvaldo Vázquez, para poder descubrir los secretos de coctel detrás de sus bebidas deliciosamente elaboradas y para conseguir una primicia sobre, Sabor a Capella, Festival de Comida y Vino en Capella Pedregal que se llevará a cabo el mes que entra.
Osvaldo ha ganado reconocimiento nacional e internacional como un mixólogo premier y es conocido como un pionero en Cabo San Lucas por sus “vanguardistas” cócteles con ingredientes caseros y de temporada. Sus cócteles envejecidos en barricas y su ” amargos hechos en casa” no se puede perder.
CP – ¡Hola Osvaldo! ¡Me estoy convirtiendo en tu fan # 1! ¡¡No hay un solo cóctel que hayas hecho que no me ha gustado!! Por favor, dinos el secreto detrás de tus cócteles.
O – ¡Gracias! Para todos nuestros cócteles, utilizamos ingredientes locales y orgánicos, y bebidas de primera clase, pero lo que hace la diferencia es que los cócteles son elaborados verdaderamente a mano. El equipo y yo pasamos muchas horas creando amargos,infusionando el tequila, el mezcal y el bourbon con ingredientes únicos que posteriormente serán envejecido en nuestras barricas.

 

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CP – WOW! Cuéntame más sobre que el los amargo de Capella!
O-Bueno, primero hay que entender lo que es un amargo.. Un de un amargo es como el vinagre que el chef utiliza para agregar un poco de sabor a su comida. El sabor de un amargo hecho en casa es único y le da un toque especial a nuestros cócteles. Durante el último año y medio, hemos creado más de 15 sabores de amargos diferentes , como chocolate, lavanda, limón y naranja.
Para hacer los amargos, trabajamos con una destilería en Todos Santos que nos proporciona licores de maíz . Seleccionamos los “ingredientes” para infucionar con los licores, como la madera de cerezo, naranja, corteza de árbol, etc. Luego empezamos con nuestros procesos de filtrado y los resultados son fenomenales.
CP – Dinos, ¿qué podemos esperar en cuanto a cócteles en el próximo Sabor a Capella, Festival de Comida y Vino?
O – Este año, vamos a centrarnos mucho más en cócteles y gracias a la participación de Ulliyses Vidal de Employees Only en la ciudad de Nueva York, vamos a tener una nueva clase llamada Cócteles Artesanales. En su demostración se creara licores artesanales influenciados por los años 1920 y 1930. Durante el festival, los huéspedes podrán disfrutar de cervezas hechos a mano, tequila de nuestras barricas y, por supuesto, algunos cócteles especiales creados especialmente para el festival.

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CP – Osvalso, muchas gracias por tomarte el tiempo para compartir los secretos de tus creaciones con nosotros! Estoy seguro de que nuestros lectores están tan ansiosos como yo de ver lo que está por suceder!