Osterfeuer In Düsseldorf

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Ostern steht vor der Tür und mit dem Fest kommen auch die wunderbaren Traditionen, die ich so mag.  Als ich jünger war, war Ostern einer meiner Lieblings-Feiertage.  Ich konnte es nie abwarten, bis mein Vater sagte: „Der Osterhase war da, lasst uns mal nachsehen, ob er ein paar Schokoladeneier versteckt hat!“.  In dem Moment bin ich immer so schnell ich konnte in den Garten gerannt, um so viele Eier wie möglich zu sammeln.  Obwohl ich heute nicht mehr nach Schokoladeneiern suche, freue ich mich trotzdem jedes Jahr auf das Fest!

rsz_easterMeine liebsten Osteraktivitäten sind heute die Osterfeuer.  Kennt ihr die Geschichte, die hinter den Osterfeuern steckt, wenn auf dem Land Berge von Holz verbrannt werden?  Es gibt verschiedene Geschichten zu der Herkunft dieser Tradition, aber ich werde Euch die erzählen, die mir am besten gefällt.  In Düsseldorf werden die Osterfeuer meist am Samstag vor Ostersonntag angezündet.  Überall auf dem Lande sieht man riesige Feuer und hört die Musik bis in die Ferne.  Ich habe gehört, dass diese Tradition aus dem 16. Jahrhundert stammt. Damals glaubte man, dass man durch die Feuer den Winter vertreiben könne. Die dabei entstandene Asche wurde dann zum Düngen der Felder genutzt.  Es ist so gemütlich und friedlich, wenn man das Feuer mit seinen Liebsten, mit Familie oder Freunden zusammen betrachtet.  Ein kühles Getränk genießen und am Feuer zusammen lachen, sich unterhalten oder einfach nur der Musik lauschen – so komme ich am besten in Osterstimmung.

Es ist schwer, die Atmosphäre am Rande eines Osterfeuers zu beschreiben.  Ich denke, ihr solltet einfach nach Düsseldorf kommen, um es selbst einmal zu erleben.  Fragt einfach die Persönlichen Assistenten bei uns im Breidenbacher Hof nach den besten Osterfeuern in der Gegend, damit ihr sicher sein könnt, unvergessliche Osterferien in Düsseldorf zu erleben!

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]

The Dusseldorf Fish Market

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March is just around the corner and I am so excited!  You see, March marks the start of the fish market season here in Dusseldorf.  It is also a beautiful time of year in the city.  Usually, it is still cold but you can feel springtime coming.  On Sunday mornings, I usually put on my inline skates and speed to the Rhine promenade.  As Dusseldorf is very accessible, it takes me only 15 minutes to get to the embankment promenade at the Tonhalle.

Even before I enter the fish market, I can already smell it! There is nothing better than starting the day with some exercise and a roll with fresh fish.  This is the 15th year Dusseldorf has hosted the market.  One Sunday a month through November, people from all over come to shop and try the delicious dishes from 90 merchants at the market.  In addition to fish and seafood, there are several other booths offering everything from fresh flowers to beautiful crafts.  It is not just a market; we are talking about an event!

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Dusseldorf is expecting more than 30,000 visitors to the fish market this year- and I am not surprised.  The atmosphere is really impressive. The closer you get to the venue, you can hear people laughing, live music on stage and merchants screaming their offers into the crowd.  It sometimes makes me feel like being at a bazaar, there is just so much going on!  From patrons and fish mongers haggling over prices to merchants performing like stand up comedians, there is entertainment everywhere you turn.  This year there will be 9 opportunities to attend the market, and something tells me I will be at every one of them.

Let your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistants know you would like to visit the fish market during your stay, when they will give you a pre-arrival call.  They can give you even more information and also arrange a transfer, bikes or whatever you prefer mode of transportion to the market.  Don’t miss out!

Fischmarktsaison In Düsseldorf

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Der März steht vor der Tür und ich bin schon richtig aufgeregt!  Warum?  Im März beginnt die Fischmarktsaison in Düsseldorf.  Zudem ist es eine angenehme Jahreszeit.  Normalerweise sind die Temperaturen moderat und man kann den Frühling bereits spüren.  Sonntagmorgens ziehe ich mir für gewöhnlich meine Rollschuhe an und mache mich auf den Weg zur Rheinpromenade.  Da Düsseldorf eine sehr gute Infrastruktur hat, benötige ich für die Strecke meist nicht mehr als 15 Minuten bis zur Tonhalle.

Schon bevor man den Fischmarkt erreicht hat, kann man den Geruch bereits wahrnehmen!  Es gibt nichts besseres, als den Tag mit ein wenig Sport und einem frischen Fischbrötchen zu beginnen.  In diesem Jahr findet der Fischmarkt zum 15. Mal in Düsseldorf statt.  Jeden Monat bis November ist ein Sonntag festgelegt und die Besucher kommen aus den unterschiedlichsten Regionen, um auf dem Markt einzukaufen und die unterschiedlichsten Leckereien der 90 Stände zu probieren.  Es werden nicht nur Fisch und Meeresfrüchte angeboten, man findet dort auch Floristen und Handwerksarbeiten.  Es ist mehr als nur ein Markt, es ist ein Spektakel!

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Mich überrascht es daher nicht, dass Düsseldorf dieses Jahr 30.000 Besucher erwartet, denn die Atmosphäre ist sehr beeindruckend.  Umso näher man dem Markt kommt, desto deutlicher hört man die Leute lachen und auch die gespielte Musik und die Marktschreier tragen zur Gesamtstimmung bei.  Manchmal fühle ich mich wie auf einem Bazar: Wilde Preisverhandlungen kombiniert mit Witz und Charme, steigern den Unterhaltungsfaktor umso mehr.  In diesem Jahr habt ihr ganz neun Mal die Chance dabei zu sein und mein Innerstes sagt mir bereits, dass ich alle Veranstaltungen besuchen werde.

Gebt unseren Persönlichen Assistenten im Breidenbacher Hof Bescheid, wenn ihr euch den Fischmarkt während eures nächsten Aufenthalts anschauen möchtet.  Gerne organisieren sie euch auch den Transfer oder jegliche andere Transportmittel wie Fahrräder für euren weg zum Markt.  Ihr solltet vorbeischauen!

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.

Romance In Singapore

Romance in Singapore

This February, love is in the air, especially in Singapore where the Chinese Valentine’s Day, which is the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, coincides with the Western Valentine’s Day.

To commemorate this occasion, I sought to uncover some of the most romantic spots and activities where you can savour the best of Singapore while enjoying the company of your loved one.  These are my top 3 recommendations:

The Jewel Box Cable Car Dining
I particularly love this because you get to enjoy a private dinner with your loved one high up in the sky with a panoramic view of the vibrant Singapore city and Sentosa Island below you.  It is certainly a remarkably memorable experience to watch the glistening lights below.  You will truly feel the romance of spending quality time in a space which you can call yours exclusively for the evening.

Romance in Singapore

Be My Valentine: A Spa Villa at Capella Singapore
Last week, I had the pleasure of having a preview of the Be My Valentine package here at Capella Singapore.  Now this is romance!  Enjoy one of Capella Singapore’s romantic villas for the weekend, which has been completely transformed with romance in mind.  This weekend getaway includes in-Villa Auriga spa treatments, a special Valentine’s dinner at The Knolls and even a one-hour photo-shoot to memoralize the weekend.  Of course there is plenty of champagne and chocolate as well.  Frankly, I can’t imagine a more romantic way to spend the holiday!

Take A Trishaw Ride Though Singapore
In my book, nothing says romance more than a whimsical tour though Singapore’s rich colonial heritage.  Trishaws are bicycle drawn carts, an evolution of the rickshaws, which were used as transportation for the wealthy in old Singapore.  Today you can cosy up to your loved one as you take a ride though some of Singapore’s most culturally rich places like Chinatown – just you and your partner, and of course your friendly trishaw guide who’ll be eagerly share fascinating historical tales.

If you would like to know more about any of these couple’s activities in, please approach your Capella Singapore Personal Assistants who would be pleased to share their favourite romantic haunts in Singapore.