Tips For Planning A Destination Wedding

Capella-Ixtapa-Destination-Wedding

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]

Romantic Mexican Traditions

Mariachi-LA76-Photography (1)

Valentine’s day is around the corner, and it perfectly fits the loving and festive nature that defines Mexicans.  We use this sweet excuse to pamper our loved ones, friends and family.  Throughout history, love has always been very important to Mexicans and as a result, we have many romantic Mexican traditions.

Our ancient civilization Mexica had two gods, that personified Love: Xochipilli and Xochiquetzal.  Xochipilli was like the Apollo of the Mexica.  He was the god of Love, games, beauty, dance, flowers, corn and songs.  His name means “the prince of the flowers” and he had a twin sister, the goddess of love, Xochiquetzal, meaning “precious flower or ornate bird.”  In honor of this pair of gods and their representation of love, Mexica used to celebrate with a four day festival.  During this time the people would make offerings of bread and corn, pierce their tongues with maguey thorns and dance to the beat of drums called teponaztli.

Mariachi-LA76-Photography (1)

Today, Mexico’s Valentine’s Day celebrations are similar to celebrations around the world.  Red roses are given, romantic cards written and chocolates enjoyed.  But we do have some traditions that remain our own.

In smaller towns, young people often meet in town squares; the girls stand on one side, the boys on the other.  Then, they walk around the perimeter in opposite directions, so they can face and look at each other.  On the second round the boys offer a flower to the girl that they like.  On the third round, if the girl has retained the flower, it means that she has agreed to go out with her suitor.  If she doesn’t keep the flower, it means she has rejected him and the boy must pick another girl.

My absolute favorite way of expressing the love in Mexico are “las serenatas” (serenades).  They are just so romantic!  You have probably seen the act of playing a serenade in some movie.  Usually, the boyfriend gathers a group of mariachi, or a trio, and visits the girlfriend’s house after the sunset.  On the street, under his loved one’s window, they all start to sing the most romantic and heartfelt songs.  The intention is to wake her up with songs that will touch the heart.  When the girl appears at her window, it means that she is pleased and approves of the serenade (I can’t imagine a girl could resist such a sweet and romantic gesture from her loved one!).  However the family may be a different story- if they approve of the suitor he may be invited in to visit, but if the family does not they may toss the water on him!

At Capella Ixtapa we have prepared a special Valentine’s Day package and are organizing many romantic activities and sweet attentions during this most romantic month.  Who knows, we might even get to play a serenade for some of our lucky guests!

 

 

Photo: LA76 Photography

El Rey De Reyes Un Tesoro Submarino En Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

Si te gustan los sitios turísticos únicos, hay uno que no debes perderte cuando visites Capella Ixtapa e Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.  Pero, ve preparado –para este tour vas a necesitar tu traje de baño y equipo de snorkel!  Sí, así de singular es!

Bajo las azules aguas de la playa Las Gatas en Zihuatanejo, tendrás la posibilidad de admirar una impresionante estatua de bronce de Jesucristo, o El Rey de Reyes.  Esta estatua, la cual pesa mas de tonelada y media, y tiene más de 3.5 metros de alto, representa la expresión máxima de fe de los locales.

El Rey De Reyes

La historia de esta estatua viene del año 2006, cuando los locales fueron llamados a donar llaves, las cuales posteriormente serían utilizadas para dar forma a una estatua de Jesucristo.  Cuando se habían ya juntado suficientes llaves, un escultor de Acapulco llamado Marco Antonio Rivero Guerrero, creó la escultura.

En noviembre del 2006, el Arzobispo Felipe Aguirre Franco bendijo EL Rey de Reyes, y en enero del 2007, el Papa Benedicto XVI bendijo una réplica de la estatua.  La cual posteriormente viajó a través de varias ciudades de México incluyendo Acapulco, Ciudad de México, Pátzcuaro y Morelia, siendo recibida por más de 50,000 personas.  En cada una de las ciudades que la estatua visitó, los curas locales organizaron misas, hicieron repicar las campanas de sus iglesias y los fieles celebraban la estatua con una fiesta y fuegos artificiales.

Una vez que el Rey de Reyes volvió a Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, lo sumergieron en el océano en la playa de Las Gatas, una pequeña playa ubicada al sur de la Bahía de Zihuatanejo, sitio muy popular para nadar y snorkelear.  La estatua es un símbolo de la fe de los locales.

Si estás interesado en visitar El Rey de Reyes, tu Asistente Personal de Capella Ixtapa puede organizarte un tour de buceo o snorkel para que lo admires en todo su esplendor.

Bamboo Therapy: A Moment of Zen at Capella Ixtapa

Bamboo Therapy

“As the end of the year approaches, and the stress of the holidays pile up, it is important to take a moment for yourself and relax,” says Skarlette Castro, Capella Ixtapa’s El Capricho Spa Manager.  Recognizing the signs of holiday overload, she then invited me to try one of our most relaxing treatments, the Bamboo Therapy.  The experience was so amazing and I wanted to share a bit of the therapy with you.

Spa treatments with bamboo originate in Japan, where they believe that bamboo has beneficial features; it absorbs the negative energy from our body, circulates it through the interior of the plant, and returns the positive energy back to us.  This positive energy starts balancing our centers of energy (Chakras), and brings us harmony.  The Japanese believe this helps us to achieve longevity, wellbeing and relaxation of mind, body and soul.

Bamboo Therapy

For our therapy, Skarlette used three types of bamboo sticks.  The biggest one she used for my legs and lower back, the medium sized for back, neck and shoulders, and the smallest one for a facial treatment.  I loved that the pressure ranged from medium to strong, like in a deep tissue massage, which helps improve the circulation and oxygen to the blood.  Skarlette explained, “The holistic concept of the bamboo treatment is created to relax all our senses and renew the energy, with absolute relaxation and liberation of all the tensions.”

Feeling of bamboo sticks pressure on my body was new to me, and I loved how relaxing it felt.  According to Skarlette, “the movement of bamboo sticks on skin produces a sedative effect on the nervous system, and it is very effective as a muscle reliever as well.  Besides that, thanks to the technique of pressure by rub and slide, and the different lengths and sizes of bamboo sticks, which perfectly adapt to your body contours, helping to drain retained liquids, promotes tissue regeneration, eliminates toxins, reaffirms the skin, helps with the problems of orange skin and remodels the silhouette.”

The therapy was such a wonderful experience, providing both the muscle relief and a several internal benefits as well.  My favorite part of the treatment was when the bamboo was working on my lower back, I could feel each vertebra stretching and readjusting.  I also loved the facial portion of the treatment, which was completely unique.  Something tells me I may be back to El Capricho spa for another round of the Bamboo Therapy.

 

The Bamboo Therapy treatment is recommended for men and women over 18, and you can have it for 60 or 90 minutes.  For more information about El Capricho spa treatments or reservation, please visit the Capella Ixtapa website or send an email.

Las Doce Uvas Y Otras Supersticiones Mexicanas Para Año Nuevo

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

Despedir el Año Viejo en México trae muchas supersticiones, las cuales nos dan esperanza de un año nuevo mejor.  Algunas de mis supersticiones favoritas son comer las doce uvas cuando el reloj marca la media noche del 31 de Diciembre; salir con tus maletas y dar la vuelta a la manzana, y utilizar ropa interior amarilla o roja, para atraer la prosperidad o el amor.  Hablé de estas supersticiones con Saris Rosas Asistente Personal de Capella Ixtapa, y ella me contó sobre algunas otras que nunca antes había escuchado.  Si estas buscando incorporar algunas tradiciones mexicanas a tu celebración de año nuevo, aquí están algunas de las cosas que nos gusta hacer para esperar un excelente año nuevo:

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

1.  Las 12 uvas de la suerte.  La tradición consiste en comer cada uva con cada campanada al dar las 12 de la noche de Diciembre 31.  Esto, de acuerdo a la tradición, nos garantizará un año de prosperidad.

2.  Utilizar ropa interior amarilla o roja.  La ropa interior roja supuestamente atraerá mucho amor en el año nuevo, y la amarilla abundancia económica

3.  Hacer una lista de deseos.  Antes de la cena de año nuevo, escribe en un papel 3 deseos para el año nuevo y dobla el papel.  Asegúrate que el papel toque tu piel durante la cena, cuando llegue el año nuevo, quema la hoja.  Tus deseos se harán realidad!

4.  Velas.  Dependiendo de su color, las velas atraen diferente fortuna: azul te traerá calma en el nuevo año, amarillas abundancia, el rojo pasión, y las verdes salud.  Utiliza el color de lo que desees para el Año Nuevo durante las fiestas de Noche Vieja.

5.  Lleva tus maletas a caminar.  Si quieres que tu nuevo año esté lleno de viajes entonces debes hacer las maletas y salir a darle la vuelta a la manzana.  Cuando regreses asegúrate de entrar a tu casa con el pie derecho para tener buena suerte en tus viajes.

Estas son tan solo algunas de las múltiples tradiciones y supersticiones con las cuales damos la bienvenida al año nuevo en México.  El programa de fiestas decembrinas de Capella Ixtapa festeja varias de las divertidas tradiciones – tanto para Navidad como para Año Nuevo.  Cuáles son tus tradiciones de Año Nuevo?  Me encantaría leer sobre ellas en los comentarios a este post.

 

Meet Capella Ixtapa’s Culinary Team

Capella Ixtapa's Culinary Team

It is my pleasure to present to you two new members of Capella Ixtapa’s culinary team: Executive Chef Rurik Salazar, and Sous Chef Miguel Baltazar.  Both are amazing chefs and I am excited to announce they are also both finalists for Mexico’s Chef of the Year contest!  I had to sit down and get to know a bit more about their culinary passions and of course, share them with you.

Capella Ixtapa's Culinary Team

Chefs, you clearly both have a love of food.  How would you describe your cuisine, your culinary style?

RS: I enjoy experimenting with unknown products in a search for the highest quality and the most adequate technique to bring out the best of every ingredient.  I am in a constant search of the perfect dish.  My culinary style is Mexican, whether traditional or contemporary, it is what moves me.  I also appreciate foreign gastronomies such as Thai.  Regardless of their origins, I love Fine Dining Cuisine.

MB: I have great respect for traditional Mexican ingredients and techniques.  I truly enjoy cooking with what I know best and taking it to the contemporary scene.  My cuisine is bold, colorful and very Mexican.

I am so excited that you both are the finalists for the Chef of the Year contest, which will be held in June 2014!  Will you be practicing together for the finals?

RS: I won the first national semifinal in the Bajío region last June.  I am thrilled to be representing Capella Ixtapa  along with Miguel.  This is the most important culinary contest in Mexico, so it is amazing that we have both made it so far!  Together we will put Capella Ixtapa on Mexico’s culinary map!

MB: I won the second national semifinal that included the states of Michoacán, Morelos and Guerrero.  I loved the experience of being tested in every possible way.  From my perspective what gives you edge is controlling your nerves.  I am so happy to represent Capella Ixtapa and it is an honor to be head-to-head with my Executive Chef!  I am sure we will practice together because at the end our goal is to finish first and second.

What innovations are you bringing to Capella Ixtapa’s dining experience?

RS: Our main goal is to create unique culinary experiences for our guests.  This will come from having the best local ingredients in an attempt to showcase regional gastronomy.  We will have seasonal menu changes through the year while keeping our signature dishes.  My biggest professional challenge is to take Capella Ixtapa’s cuisine to a national and international spotlight.

MB: Chef Rurik and I have a very similar conception of food and I think great things are about to take place.  I am bringing a fresh twist on traditional Mexican Cuisine.  We are both bringing our own personal experience and vision to the food.  We want guests to visit Capella Ixtapa because of our cuisine.

Fall has come to Ixtapa, and with it the new seasonal menu at Capella Ixtapa.  What can the guests expect at our restaurants?

RS & MB: Be prepared to taste real Mexican flavors, from smoked cow’s tongue to black berry tamales.  We are cooking a very interesting menu for A Mares, where we are combining gastronomy of the Guerrero’s coast with ingredients and techniques from central Mexico.  Also not to be missed is our special set menu for the Tequila tasting, it is as Mexican as it gets!

For my final question, what is your favorite Mexican dish?

RS: There is nothing that takes me back to my hometown as much as a Mole de Caderas.  Every year I wished for Día de Muertos to come because I knew I was getting a nice hot bowl of this flavorful soup made with goat’s hip and spine.  It’s unique flavor comes from goats who have dieted on salt throughout their lives.

MB: I am a simple man and I love eating, but there is nothing that I enjoy as much as a big plate of Morisqueta made by my grandma.  Steamed rice, slowly cooked beans, spicy tomato salsa, aged Cotija cheese and sour cream; every spoonful is a childhood memory.

 

To make a reservation at any of our restaurants, please send us an email to: pa.ixtapa@capellahotels.com, or call us at 01.755.555.11.00