Get To Know D.C.’s DMV Area

With over 20 million visitors per year, Washington, D.C. is one of the most popular places to visit in the United States.  From historic monument tours, to museums, to outdoor festivals, there is always something to do and see.  But the fun doesn’t stop at the city’s borders!  With as many sights and tours as within the city, there is lots to discover in the surrounding area as well.

The nickname, DMV, which represents the District, Maryland and Virginia was created to describe the greater Washington Metropolitan area.  The best part about visiting DC is that both Maryland and Virginia are no more than a twenty-minute car ride from Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown.  And while many visitors stick to the “D” there is lots to do in the “M” and “V” as well.  Below are some of my favorite spots.

The “M” – Maryland

The National Harbor is the perfect destination for you and your whole family.  With over 150 different activities to choose from, there is truly something for every taste.  From Shopping and dining options to the thrilling Capital Wheel, to the over-sized plaza screen, carousel, and gorgeous view, it is easy to spend an entire day here.  After spending the day shopping, paddle-boarding, and exploring, this stunning viewpoint is a fantastic place to take in a sunset to punctuate the end of an eventful day.

The National Harbor

Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland, is also known as a world renowned sailing destination.  If your idea of a great getaway includes being on the waters, Annapolis is the perfect location.  Rich with maritime heritage, and with over hundreds of miles of shoreline, the Chesapeake Bay offers every visitor a sense of serenity as they watch the sailboats cruise on by.  But you aren’t limited to sailing!  Enjoy fishing, water tours, wind-surfing and kite-surfing and much more along these shores.  Another reasion to visit?  Some of the best crab cakes you will ever eat!

The “V” – Virginia

Fairview Lakes located in Reston, Virginia may only be a twenty minute drive from the city, feels like a world away.  An idyllic park, there are activities for all.  From picnic areas to a children’s waterpark to grown up water sports, it is easy to see how one could spend a day enjoying this getaway.  I definitely recommend it for those looking to escape the city for a bit!

Reston VA

 Wolf Trap National Park is currently the only national park dedicated to presenting the performing arts.  Something so special, you have to see it for yourself, Wolf Trap offers multiple amphitheaters that showcase a wide range of performances, including: musicals, dance, jazz, opera, and concerts.  Allow the park rangers to set up backstage guided tours or opt for a hike and explore the park’s natural areas as you can choose from kid-friendly hikes to a bit more advanced.  You’ll be sure to have a day filled with musical muses!

Of course, your Personal Assistant at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown is on hand to set up any of these mini day-trips for you. Allow our team to make your stay an unforgettable vacation by personalizing your own unique activities and attractions that are set up around your preferences. Don’t forget to tag your DMV explorations with @CapellaDC so I can share your photos with our community!

Discover the Capella Washington, D.C. Farmers Market In Georgetown

I am beyond thrilled to share with all of you Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown’s newest experience – our very own Farmers Market!  Being an advocate of local farmers and promoting farm-fresh, locally sourced, and seasonal produce, I am extremely proud that we are able to launch this True Capella experience for everyone in D.C.!


With The Grill Room’s renowned Executive Chef, Frank Ruta has partnered with Northern Neck Farms of Northern Virginia to create this Farmers Market in Georgetown.  Our mission is to educate the local community about fresh food, environmental issues, and provide opportunities for local farmers. The hope is to build a platform that will help promote a healthy lifestyle for all, while also providing tantalizing products.

David Blair, owner of Northern Neck Farms, shares, “We enjoy experiencing the fresh produce that we bring to all our restaurants we serve, especially The Grill Room. Being part of the Farmers Market at Capella is beyond anything we expected and we look forward to engaging with everyone in the heart of Georgetown.”


The Farmers Market at Capella will run from 9am – 1pm on the2nd and 4th Saturday of each month through the end of October.  Guests and locals can expect to see fresh blackberries, eggplant, cucumbers, seasonal tomatoes, and so much more!  You will find the Farmers Market next to the hotel, along the historic C&O Canal.  Come spend your Saturday morning with Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown and enjoy the local food movement.



 The Farmers Market at Capella D.C. will continue to be held on the following Saturdays:

  • September 19, 2015
  • October 3, 2015
  • October 17, 2015
  • October 31, 2015

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cfm 4

If you haven’t had a chance to visit, e sure to mark your calendar for the remaining dates of the season.  I am looking forward to the community coming together to share their photos and recipes with everyone.  Don’t forget to tag @CapellaDC so that I can share your Farmers Market fun with the rest of the community!

24 Hours: Shopping in Singapore

Shopping in Singapore is practically a national pastime, and one of my favourite ways to spend particularly hot weekends.  Thanks to the scorching tropical sun, our little island is dotted with air-conditioned shops and malls for every personality type – whether you’re a fashionista, eco-warrior, hipster or bookworm.  And with the right itinerary, shopping can give you a glimpse of true Singapore as well.  Here are my recommendations if you have 24 hours to spare in Singapore.

#1  Start your morning at PasarBella for artisan produce



One of my new Sunday morning rituals is shopping at PasarBella. ‘Pasar’ is derived from the Chinese word for market, and ‘Bella’ is Italian for beautiful.  And, as you can imagine, the chic open-concept market is packed with niche items and artisan produce.

Look out for shops such as The Great Beer Experiment, offering 150 craft beer and cider labels; as well as The Cheese Ark, with 40-50 tantalising cheeses.  Other interesting finds include the ‘Cloud 9′ Pie inspired by Momofuku’s ‘Crack Pie’, Belgium candy in rainbow colours and favours, authentic Russian-style cakes based on secret recipes from Baku and Moscow, and gorgeous handmade macarons fashioned after characters such as the cookie monster.

#2  Swing by Marina Bay Sands for designer wear and celebrity chef restaurants

Bread Street Kitchen

Bread Street Kitchen

If you’ve been to Orchard Road umpteen times, Marina Bay Sands is another great place to escape the afternoon head and stock up on big name labels.  Here, you’ll find spanking new Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Chopard and Van Cleef & Arpel stores.  Looking for a bit more edge?  You’ll also find Alexander McQueen or Maison Martin Margiela here.

In between shopping you can lunch on celebrity chef offerings at the various restaurants located throughout.  There is CUT by Wolfgang Puck, which offers some of the best steaks in town, Waku Ghin is just the place to get your fix of sea urchin and other Japanese delicacies, and Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay offers fuss-free and delectable British-European fare.

#3  Spend the afternoon exploring Tiong Bahru for quirky finds



One of Singapore’s favourite hipster haunts, this heritage estate is a treasure trove of books, art, vinyls, cafes and bars.  Art lovers may visit White Canvas Gallery for its Southeast Asian artwork, Degios Art offers curios for the home, and Grey Projects hosts experimental and avant garde art exhibitions.

Music or book enthusiasts will love Curated Records’ stash of indie records, as well as BooksActually’s well-edited titles, vintage wares and charming laidback vibe.  If you have a couple of hours to spare, you could even sign up for a yoga class at Yoga Movement and stretch out those tensed muscles at their Monster Hot class, before ending your afternoon with a detoxifying tea at a nearby cafe.

#4  Scour Haji Lane for unique fashion items

Maison Ikkoku

Maison Ikkoku

Had enough of mega malls? Haji Lane’s small character-filled shops such Time After Time and Maison Ikkoku offer a charming way to while away the evening.

While you won’t get couture items here, it’s an excellent place for unusual finds, vintage treasures and local design.  So make it a mandatory pit-stop if you love pairing high fashion with high street.

#5  Explore Mustafa for everything and nothing

Picture via

Picture via

This iconic mall in the middle of Little India is nothing like any of the other malls you will find in Singapore.  For one, Mustafa never sleeps – even at 2am, you’ll find a decent crowd at this 24-hour mall.  It’s also jam-packed with bric-a-brac along narrow alleys of organised chaos.

From jewellery to electronics, and Indian sweets, you’ll find everything conceivable here, and at bargain prices.  Bear in mind that this is not, by any stretch of imagination, a luxurious retail experience.  It will, however, provide the intrepid traveller with a unique shopping experience like no other.


If you’ve visited Singapore have you found your favourtie shopping haunt?  I’d love for you to share it with me- either here or on Twitter.  Looking for more recommendations?  Be sure to speak to your Capella Singapore Personal Assistant for more insider tips and recommendations for what to do around Singapore.

Celebrate 50 Years: 6 Unique Singapore Experiences

If you’re in Singapore over the next few weeks, you’ve picked the best time to visit!  On the cusp of our golden jubilee, Singapore is one of the most exciting cities to be in.

We may be just a tiny red dot on the world map, but our small size simply makes us better at packing a lot of flavour into every experience.  And to celebrate our 50th birthday, our nation has gone the extra mile to orchestrate unique Singapore experiences in the month of August.  Here’s a peek at my personal calendar this month!

#1  Watch Fireworks Light An Iconic Skyline

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There’s something magical about watching firework light up the night – the dancing lights juxtaposed against a spectacular urban skyline is truly unforgettable.  Although catching the National Day Parade fireworks is a yearly ritual for me, I am particularly excited this year.  To celebrate 50 years of independence, the fireworks next month will be at an unprecedented scale, and specially designed to reflect the theme of ‘Majulah Singapura, or ‘Onwards Singapore’ in Malay.

This year, in additional to fireworks on National Day (9 August) and at the National Day Preview (1 August), you can also catch fireworks on 7 and 8 August at the Marina Basin.  The best part is, you won’t even need a ticket to the parade to witness these spectacular light displays.  Simply find a good spot along the Marina Bay Sands Waterfront, Esplanade, Marina Barrage or Helix Bridge for an unblocked view.

#2  Soak In Local Culture At Singapore’s First UNESCO Site

Singapore Symphony Orchestra  Palm Valley

I’m extremely proud to share that our garden city finally got its own UNESCO heritage site!  And fittingly, it is one of my favourite gardens in the world – the Singapore Botanic Gardens.  The minute you step into this green sanctuary, you will pick up a whiff of exotic herbs, flowers and lush foliage.  From the exquisite National Orchid Garden to the finely sculpted Bonsai Garden, our trees reflect our nation’s unique history, culture and personality.  I also love exploring the century-old heritage trees, which always inspire me to appreciate the fleeting beauty and transience of life.

After an afternoon of exploration, I particularly enjoy kicking back and enjoying an evening concert or outdoor movie screening accompanied by a cool evening breeze.  To celebrate Singapore’s birthday month, the Singapore Botanic Garden’s August line-up include local films such as It’s A Great Great World and Singapore Dreaming.  If you’re visiting Singapore for the first time, this will offer you an instant immersion in local culture and common expressions.

#3  Try The 50-Finger Massage At Capella Singapore’s Auriga Spa

7. Couple's Spa at Auriga

I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for spa treatments. Carving up me-time is my secret to staying young, and beating everyday stress.  Auriga Spa is one of my favourite places because it instantly transports me from the mundane demands of life and the ceaseless bustle of the city.

For the month of August, Auriga’s Spa director Shanti has designed the ultimate indulgence – the 50-Finger Massage.  As you can imagine, this 50-Finger Massage was inspired by SG50 and Singapore’s 50th birthday, so no expense is spared to ensure your utmost comfort and relaxation.  Performed by five therapists in synchronised motions, this massage soothes the legs, body, hands, neck and scalp, kneading away every tensed muscle in the body at once.  It takes one through Auriga’s four signature moon phase therapies – the New Moon to awaken the senses, Waxing Moon to loosen tight joints, Full Moon for balance and Waning Moon for detoxification and cleansing.  I felt utterly renewed after this treatment.

#4  Go Museum-Hopping Around Singapore


Museums are the best place to soak in culture, and Singapore offers some of the best museums in Southeast Asia.  From art to culture, history and science, museum-hopping is one of the best ways to indulge my inner geek.

One of my favourite museums is The National Museum – also the oldest museum in Singapore, and a haven of intricate artefacts.  Singapura: 700 Years is currently on display at this museum, and chronicles our nation’s transformation from a fishing village to modern Singapore.  Also worth a visit are the Asian Civilisation Museum, the Singapore Art Museum, and The ArtScience Museum.

#5   Shop For Quirky Souvenirs


Whenever international friends visit Singapore, I love presenting them with Singapore-inspired souvenirs.  However, one thing I do not love, is ‘Singapore Is A Fine City’ T-shirts.  If you’re looking for more design-driven and less clichéd options, two of my current raves are Naiise and Mandy T.

Naiise is a Singapore-based shopping portal that stocks curated designs by more than 250 brands from Singapore and around the world.  This includes homeware, art, T-shirts and fashion accessories that allude to local humour and expressions.  Many of these designs are modern, clean and intelligent.

Beautyphiles will also adore Mandy T, an artisan natural skincare atelier that will give many large brands a run for their money with tasteful and personal creations.  Mandy, founder of the eponymous label, is a former marketer and publicist who cooks up beauty remedies free from synthetic dyes, artificial fragrances, parabens and petrochemicals.  Many of her products feature fresh herbs from her very own garden.

#6  Toast To 50 Years Of Singapore At Bob’s Bar


If like me, you’ve had one too many Singapore Slings, it’s time to discover a new Singapore-inspired cocktail.  Exclusively for the month of August, Bob’s Bar unveils a new national cocktail crafted by bartender Vincent Zheng.

The Red Island is made with ingredients that represent the four main ethnicities of Singapore – Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian.  It is as complex and unforgettable as it sounds.  An ode to Singapore’s cultural diversity, this Shiraz wine concoction is an ideal way to round up my Singapore adventures.  Cheers to more amazing travels!

For more activities in Singapore, please visit the Capella Singapore’s website here, or contact your personal assistant for recommendations.



Christmas Shopping In Georgetown

Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year!  Washington D.C. does holidays right and I love to explore and shop the streets of Georgetown- just outside Capella Washington D.C.’s door!  To make your gift shopping a bit easier, I have some ideas and style tips just for you from a few of my favorite shops in Georgetown!



This boutique carries some of the best local designer fashions.  From gold blazers to sequenced skirts and vintage necklaces, there are so many great gift options for the holidays.   Owner, Paige Speyer shared with me her tip for this season: “Spice it up in the city with a wintery hat and bright scarf.  Don’t be afraid to step outside the box just because you think you’re being over the top.”  Paige was wearing a gorgeous teal and lapis blouse, two colors that she says are in this season!

Karen Millen- England

This luxury women’s designer store is one of my favorites, especially after taking a look at their new collection of holiday dresses.  After speaking with the store stylist, she shared with me that Karen Millen’s holiday styling inspiration comes from their autumn and winter fantasy story, focusing on the maximalism trend.  “It is full bodied romance of a dark and tough nature with a penchant for extravagant decoration and embellishment, intricate baroque patterns, and laces that are heavily beaded in deep colors.” Their new fashion line is perfect for all holiday dressing and embodies the maximalist trend for your holiday wardrobe.

Jack Spade

Each year for the holidays, Jack Spade features a table in their store with unique gift ideas for men.  This year, they are featuring a vintage throwback game: a miniature ping pong table!   Jack Spade also carries a variety of great outerwear pieces that can be spiced up a notch with a Santa hat for Christmas.  When speaking with the store manager, he told me that they try to focus on classic sensibility with a quirky twist.  What also impressed me was the lifetime quality of their wax cotton jackets… great gift for the men this season!

April Yvonne

Don’t forget to ask your Personal Assistant about Capella D.C.’s resident stylist, April Yvonne.  April has exclusive relationships with some of the most upscale fashion labels like Burberry, Christian Dior, Elie Tahari and upscale retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.  Particularly for the holidays, April can provide you and your guests with personal fashion and shopping advice and services, including private after-hour shopping excursions and bringing fashion selections based on your individual preferences right to the hotel!

Where do you like to go Christmas shopping in Georgetown?

Shopping In Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf has a lot to offer: It is famous for its beer and breweries, for being the traditional stronghold of Japan in Germany, for its beautiful Rhine promenade, some great traditional meals – and of course, shopping!  I am always impressed with how many different kinds of shops and boutiques can be found in Dusseldorf.  I am always excited to find a new haunt for my shopping adventures.

What I like most about shopping in Dusseldorf, is the variety of different shopping places and possibilities: You find shopping malls like the Schadow Arcades, the Sevens and the Kö-Gallery.  There is also the Old Town (a great source for trendy stores), the Wehrhahn (a long street with shops and department stores) and of course the famous Königsallee, which I would like to present to you in a bit more detail.

Shopping In Dusseldorf

The Königsallee is not just the most luxurious but also the most beautiful street in Dusseldorf. Imagine not rushing from shop to shop but rather doing a wonderful idyllic walk between the nicest shops and cafés.  It is not just shopping, it is more, it is a must have experience you will never forget. The boutiques of the world’s most famous brands can be found here and offer both individualized and private service.  Although most people walk the Königsallee to go shopping, it is not just about shopping.  This street is the place to see and be seen in Düsseldorf.  Honestly, I really like having a coffee in one of the pretty cafés at the Königsallee, relaxing and watching the bustling activity.  It is great for people watching—especially if you are fond of fashion!

Because the shops are very exclusive and selective, the Personal Assistant at Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel, have developed special relationships with the Königsallee community.  They can organize special shopping experiences for you with the stores.  Private late night shopping? An in-room fashion show or a tour with your personal shopping consultant? Whatever your heart desires, our Personal Assistants and their cooperative neighbors at the Königsalle would love to fulfill your shopping dreams.

So the next time you are in Dusseldorf be sure to do some window-shopping along Königsallee.  And if you are ready for the real thing, allow our Personal Assistants to create a memorable experience for you!