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.

Romantic Mexican Traditions

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

Valentine’s Day at Breidenbacher Hof

I love our Personal Assistants here at Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel.  There is nothing they can’t do!  If you need help with shopping, they can be your shopping assistants,  if you are looking for some action,  they will be your event managers and create unforgettable exciting experiences.  And if you are in Düsseldorf for romance then our PA’s will be your Cupid!  Need proof?  Then allow me to share a real romantic story of a couple that has spent the last four Valentine’s with us.

The story begins four years ago.  As is customary, our Personal Assistant team contacted the guests before arrival to check if there was anything they could arrange for them.  The husband assured the Personal Assistant that there was nothing special needed as he and his wife “were just planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”  Well, there is no “just” in our Personal Assistants vocabulary and immediately they began planning how to create a memorable Valentine’s Day at Breidenbacher Hof.

Valentine's Day At Breidenbacher Hof

The plan was perfect:  The Personal Assistants decided to create the perfect romantic retreat in the couple’s room.  Rose petals were spread throughout the room—from the floor to the bathtub.  Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and cake were set up for the couple. And romantic music played on the room’s sound system.  It was the perfect set up for a romantic Valentine’s Day.

Needless to say the couple was amazed upon arrival.  So much so that they now return every year to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Breidenbacher Hof.  And each year, the Personal Assistants look for a new way to surprise and delight them.

Valentinstag Im Breidenbacher Hof

Ich liebe unsere Persönlichen Assistenten hier im Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel.  Es gibt nichts, was sie nicht können!  Wenn ihr Hilfe beim Shoppen braucht,  können sie Eure Shopping Assistenten sein.  Wenn ihr nach Action sucht,  werden sie Eure Event Manager und für Euch unvergessliche aufregende Erlebnisse planen.  Und wenn ihr Romantik in Düsseldorf sucht,  spielen unsere Persönlichen Assistenten gerne Euren Amor!  Ihr braucht einen Beweis?  Dann last mich mit Euch eine wirklich romantische Geschichte von einem Pärchen erzählen,  das die letzten vier Valentinstage mit uns verbracht hat.

Die Geschichte beginnt vor vier Jahren.  Wie gewohnt kontaktieren unsere Persönlichen Assistenten die Gäste vor Anreise,  um zu fragen,  ob etwas für sie vorbereitet werden darf.  Der Mann erklärte,  dass sie für ihren Aufenthalt nichts Besonderes benötigen, sie seien nur da, „um den Valentinstag zu feiern“.  Naja, es gibt kein „nur“ im Vokabular unserer Persönlichen Assistenten und sofort ging die Planung los,  wie man dem Paar einen unvergesslichen Aufenthalt bescheren könnte.

Valentine's Day At Breidenbacher Hof

Der Plan war perfekt:  Die Persönlichen Assistenten entschieden sich dafür, das Zimmer des Paares in einen perfekten romantischen Rückzugsort zu verwandeln.  Sie verteilten Rosenblätter im ganzen Raum – vom Flur bis zur Badewanne.  Champagner,  Erdbeeren mit Schokoladenglasur und ein Kuchen erwartete das Paar. Für romantische Musik war natürlich auch gesorgt.  Es war wirklich das perfekte Arrangement für einen romantischen Valentinstag.

Wie zu erwarten,  war das Paar bei seiner Anreise verblüfft und zwar so sehr,  dass sie seit diesem Jahr immer wieder zurückkehren,  um den Valentinstag im Breidenbacher Hof zu feiern.  Jedes Jahr suchen die Persönlichen Assistenten nach neuen Möglichkeiten die beiden zu überraschen und zu begeistern.

Capella Ixtapa: The Most Romantic Hotel In The World

Capella Ixtapa is arguably the most romantic hotel in the world.  I love meeting the many couples who come here to celebrate an engagement, wedding, honeymoon or anniversary.  For them it is an opportunity to experience a tropical paradise in an intimate environment, where they can feel like they are the only two people in the world.

most romantic hotel in the world

What is more romantic than having a romantic dinner under the stars, while you listen to the sound of the crashing waves below you in beautiful Mexico?  What can be sweeter and more indulging than having a chocolate spa therapy for two in our open-air cabaña with an ocean view?  How about having your own luxury suite with a terrace and private pool, where you won’t even feel like getting out of your suite?

And while everyone has their own definition of romance, these are just some of the reasons why Capella Ixtapa is such a romantic and special place to me.  I love waking up with the sound of the ocean, followed by a refreshing morning swim while I wait for the room service with my breakfast and freshly prepared juice and coffee.  After lunch I love lounging at the terrace and enjoying my private pool, and at night, after dinner, I love star gazing (again from the pool) – it is so romantic!

Love in Mexico is enhanced by our food as well.  Did you know that several of Mexican foods are aphrodisiacs?  Our Sous Chef Miguel Baltazar taught me that chile, chocolate, oysters, avocado, vanilla, honey passion fruit, pineapple and other foods are believed to have aphrodisiac qualities since the Aztec times!  Our couples love to join our chef for a private cooking class and learn more about Mexican food, or join our mixologist for margarita making classes (you can create and name your own margarita!).  A special experience is also our couples spa treatment, where you can try one of the special treatments our spa team has prepared based on ancient mexican traditions and regional flowers.

If you are more adventurous, I recommend a romantic horseback ride for two – I love riding through a local coconut plantation, or along the pristine beaches of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo.  For all who love the ocean I suggest a romantic sunset sail, where you can enjoy our beautiful scenery from the sea.

Tropical climate, lush nature, beautiful location, amazing food, pristine Capella Hotels hospitality and our signature service are just some of the reasons why we like to think that at Capella Ixtapa love grows deeper, and romantic memories are made to last a lifetime.

For more information on Capella Ixtapa romantic experiences, honeymoons, weddings and vow renewals, please see our website or send us an email to reservations.ixtapa@capellahotels.com.

Romance in Singapore

In Singapore we do not celebrate Valentine’s Day Once- but twice.

While the Western Valentine’s Day is recognized in Singapore, we also celebrate the Chinese version.  It falls on the fifteenth day of the Lunar New Year, which this year happens to be Februrary 6th.  In my earlier blog post about the Chinese New Year Celebration I mentioned a little about the Chinese Valentine’s Day, but I thought I would take a closer look at it now.

As I previously described one of the central traditions involves single women throwing mandarian oranges into the water to be collected by potential suitors.

But where does the excitement and lore come from?

Historically, it was only on the fifteenth day of the Lunar New Year that unmarried women could go out into the streets (accompanied by a chaperone).  Many young men would gather in the hopes of catching glimpses of these lovely maidens. The legend holds that there would be a “matchmaker” from the moon who would be watching and would tie red strings of destiny on the legs of compatible couples. Incidentally, because of this legend, matchmakers in the past were traditionally very busy on this day in hopes of pairing couples.

So, if you are looking for love, be sure to go out in public on the 6th.  You may just meet you destined partner!