The Beautiful Beaches Of Ixtapa

Capella Ixtapa guests and visitors often ask for recommendations for local beaches— a very challenging question, as we are lucky to have plenty of beautiful beaches of Ixtapa – Zihuatanejo!  In fact there are so many beaches in the area that I had to split this post in two.  Here I will focus on Ixtapa’s beaches and next time on Zihuatanejo’s.  Each beach has its own character and is great for partaking in different water sports.  I am sure you will find one that is just right for you!

Ixtapa Beaches


Playa Linda (or Beautiful Beach)
Playa Linda is located just North of Ixtapa – and very close to Capella Ixtapa –  and is more than 1 km (0.65 miles) long.  It is a popular beach for water sports, our annual surfing tournament happens here, and here you can embark on a panga and visit the Ixtapa Island.  I am fond of the natural mangrove lagoon.  There is a lookout point there where you can get a great view of alligators!

Playa El Palmar (or The Palm Trees Beach)
Playa El Palmar is Ixtapa’s principal beach, located at the main hotel strip, in “Zone I”.  It is 2.5 km (1.6 miles) long, with a slew of water sports available including parasailing!  It is one of my favorite places to watch the spectacular sunsets.  This beach has been certified as “Clean Beach” by IMNC.

Playa Las Escolleras
This is one of the most popular surfing spots in the area, you can access it at Playa El Palmar, by the rocks dividing the marina from the beach.  This beach is particularly popular with Capella Ixtapa as many of us (including our sommelier!) enjoy catching these waves.

Playa Quieta (or Calm Beach)
This lovely and quiet beach is 350 m (0.21 miles) long.  Located in front of Ixtapa Island, it is the ideal spot for swimming and wind surfing.  I also really love to go kayaking here.

Ixtapa Island is a beautiful island accessible by a water-taxi from the pier at Playa Linda.  It is one of favorite beaches of our General Manager, Eliezer Quiñones.  I love to go there for snorkeling and diving.

Playa Varadero (the Docking Beach) on Ixtapa Island
Playa Varadero is the arrival point when you land on the island from Playa Linda.  There are restaurants and water sports operators available. It’s a great place to catch a bite and watch the boats come in.

Playa Cuachalalate on the Ixtapa Island
This beach also offers seafood restaurants and water sports rentals.  It is named after a tree that was very abundant in this part of the island.  The bark of this tree is used even today for medical purposes for circulatory disorders, mouth ulcers, infections, and others.

Playa Coral (or Coral Reef Beach) on the Ixtapa Island
Hands down, this is one of the best beaches for snorkeling and diving!  Because of its beautiful flora and fauna, all visitors are asked not to walk on the coral reef, pull out plants, or catch sea life there.  You will be able to notice that the sand here is completely different from other beaches in the island.

So tell me—which of the beaches of Ixtapa do you look forward to visiting?



Image of Playa Linda by digiyesica via Flickr

Singapore’s Place in the Sea

Capella Singapore’s restaurant Cassia offers not only delicious meals, but also a bit of a historical reminder of one of Singapore’s distinguishing characteristics.  Named after the fragrant cinnamon spice, Cassia is reminiscent of the ancient spice routes between India and China that passed through Singapore in the early settlement days.  It is these spice routes that have helped to define Singapore identity even today.

True to the notion that everyone has different strengths, Singapore while being small with not many natural resources has one rather unique trait; a strategic location at the tip of the Southeast Asian peninsula.  It is no surprise that during the British colonial period in the early 19th century, Singapore fast became a bustling entrepôt trading center in Asia with many commodities such as silk and spices as well as raw materials passing through its harbors.

Here on our little island of Sentosa, up on a knoll where Capella Singapore is comfortably perched, we are endowed with a truly magnificent view of the South China Sea.  On evenings, looking out over the glistening waters of our cascading pools, I often see numerous dancing lights in the horizon coming from the ships and containers passing through our port.  A beautiful sight it is indeed, especially because it makes the deep night sky come alive.  It almost looks like the very same silk that once changed hands amongst traders now lives forever amongst the stars and sea.  And the ships that sail into the horizon are like shimmering sequins delicately sewn across the silk.

Perhaps it is being up on a hill that gives me this unique perspective and opportunity for retrospection.  Perhaps it is the lush green landscape which I am surrounded by that provides the perfect setting.  Indeed, while I watch the ships in the distance, I cannot help but reflect on Singapore’s history and be deep and innately thankful.  Thankful that our bustling port is indeed the cornerstone of our prosperous and vibrant country.

Nevertheless, regardless of our rich history, it definitely is a unique sight to behold.  Many a time guests have confided about how much they adore the view and it would be in a sense incomplete without those boats in the background.  I am often told that while in the midst of soaking up the tranquility of the resort, seeing those boats in the distance still reminds them that this is Singapore and that the lively cosmopolitan experience is a mere stone’s throw away.

El Greco Comes To Düsseldorf’s Museum Kunstpalast

El Greco (or Domínikos Theotokópoulos) was a Greek painter, sculptor and architect who lived from 1541-1614.  He gained fame for working in the Spanish courts for royals and nobles.  El Greco is recognized for his unique painting of religious icons.

I am sure, by now you are already wondering, why I am telling you about El Greco. Well, The Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf is currently hosting an exciting exhibition of his pieces and I wanted to share some of the experience with you!

About 40 El Greco pieces were gathered from museums and private collectors across the world. Pieces came from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris, the Museo Nacional de Prado in Madrid and the Museo del Greco in Toledo.  Together the exhibit allows the viewer to get a true picture of the breadth of El Greco’s work.

The curators took the show a step further by also including works from artists influenced by El Greco’s vision and style.  The collection presents corresponding pieces by other famous artists including Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Elie Delaunay, Max Beckmann, Oskar Kokoschka, August Macke and Franz Marc.

For me, it is really the mix of different time periods and the variety of works that makes this exhibition worth a visit.  So, if you happen to be at Breidenbacher Hof take the time to see this exhibit!  It is the perfect afternoon escape and a great chance to learn more about Europe’s rich art history.