10 Family Friendly Activities In Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

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Welcome summer and holidays in the sun!  When planning vacations with my family, I always choose the destination based on the variety of activities in the area.  After all, the bigger one’s family the more options you have to have!

In Ixtapa Zihuatanejo we are lucky that we have direct flights and easy access from many towns in Mexico, as well as from United States and Canada.  If you are planning your summer vacations in Mexico, and are looking for family friendly activities in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, here are just some of my favorites:

1. Beach Time

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Ixtapa Zihuatanejo’s unique beachfront location gives us plenty of beaches to choose from to enjoy our beach day.  Here are some of my favorite beaches in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo area.

2. Water Activities

All of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo beaches offer unique fun at the ocean, be it swimming, snorkeling, diving, water skiing, kayaking, surfing, SUP, or anything else your heart desires.  You can find my colleagues, great surfers, at any of these beaches, and your Capella Ixtapa Personal Assistant will be happy to  any other water activity for you, along with the transportation.

3. Swimming With Dolphins

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Swimming with dolphins gives you a unique experience to get to know these beautiful sea creatures.  I loved getting to touch their soft skin and the dolphin-kisses as well!  This excursion is available for kids as well as adults, and I can guarantee you will never forget it.

4. Sailing Tour

Enjoy the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area from the best seat and with the best view possible – from the ocean!  I especially love the sunset sailing tour as the lighting really captures the beauty of the area.

5. Horseback Riding 

Horseback riding is a fun family experience, where you get to explore our beaches and nature.  All the horse back riding tours provide an experienced guide, so you can feel secure about the tour even though you might not be an experienced rider.

6. Bicycle Tour

Cycling is probably my favorite way to explore the area.  At Capella Ixtapa we have the bicycles ready for you (you can also rent them in town), so you can explore the area at your own pace.  I suggest you go to the nearby Ciclopista, and explore the flora and fauna by the road or you can enjoy the crocodile watching at a nearby park (from a safe distance of course).  I also enjoy pedaling to downtown and enjoying the market and marina.

7. Cooking Classes

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At Capella Ixtapa you can participate in cooking classes, which are both fun and educational opportunities.  Our chefs can teach you how to make some of your favorite dishes, which you will then be able to recreate at home.  It is the perfect way to relive your favorite memories from your Mexico adventure.

8. Archeological Tour

If you’d like to learn more about Mexico and the area’s history, head to Petatlán, a small town near Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, and visit Xihuacan Museum and pyramid at the Soledad de Maciel Archaeological Site.  The museum currently showcases more than 800 Pre-hispanic pieces, such as figurines, obsidian vases, works in shell, copper axes, bell necklaces and ceramics.

9.  Ecopark El Refugio de Potosí

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If you love to explore more than just beaches, then I recommend you to visit the ecological park El Refugio de Potosí, a wildlife refuge with the mission of rehabilitating wildlife and returning animals to their natural habitats. where you can see some of the wild animals found in the area.  On my visit, I saw sea turtles, crocodiles, tree porcupines, various bird species, snakes, iguanas and more.

10.  Local Shopping

Anywhere I travel, I enjoy visiting the local markets.  Mexican markets are very special as you can find a wide range of products, from fresh local produce, to artisan products and souvenirs.  When visiting Ixtapa Zihuatanejo’s market, I also recommend you head to the marina and enjoy a freshly made local coffee, or a fresh seafood lunch.

For more recommendations on activities and things to do in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, please visit the Capella Ixtapa website here, or contact your Capella Ixtapa Personal Assistants, who can help you organize a tour or activity.

Summer Skin – Ready, Set, Glow!

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One of the most beautiful ‘souvenirs’ of a beach vacation is a rich golden tan. However, having read extensively about the ageing effects of prolonged sun exposure, I have my reservations about soaking in the sun.

Fortunately, Shanti Krisna, Director of Auriga Spa here at Capella Singapore, introduced me to a safe and effortless way to get my glow on and achieve the perfect summer skin. Using top-quality organic products, Auriga Spa’s Healthy Glow Self Tan treatment replicates the resplendent glow of sun-kissed skin, minus the skin damage from ultraviolet rays!

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This fuss-free 60-minute treatment began with an uplifting citrusy body scrub. Formulated with aloe, sage and naturals oils, it gently sloughed off dead skin cell for satin smooth skin. It also subtly tightened my skin, revved up microcirculation and reduced the appearance of cellulite!

After my skin had been polished to perfection, my therapist slathered on an even layer of premium plant-based self-tan cream. Featuring a unique DHA derived from organic sugar beet, this light cream gave my skin an instant tan that lasted for a week. Its nourishing cocktail of aloe, coconut oil, sesame oil, jojoba and shea butter also left my skin feeling soft, supple and dewy – just as if I’d just stepped off a round-the-world luxury yacht!

To get me perfectly summer-prepped, Shanti also generously shared five tips for tress-to-toe skincare and rescue! Here they are:

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#1 Get Under Cover

The sun is the No. 1 culprit of premature ageing. So never leave home without a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. You should look for a sunscreen with at least SPF30 PA+++, and apply it at least 20 minutes before sun exposure to allow the product to penetrate and protect your skin optimally.

#2 Scalp Help

Ultraviolet rays can also harm your scalp and hair. This causes sunburned scalp, dehydrated tresses, as well as hair loss. So invest in a sunscreen formulated for your hair and scalp, or wear a sunhat.

#3 Sunburn SOS

If you are suffering from sunburn, an aloe vera gel can help to calm and rehydrate your skin for accelerated recovery. In the meantime, keep your skincare and makeup regime simple. Avoid exfoliating products that will injure sunburned skin, as well as products with synthetic fragrances that may cause irritation.

#4 Hair Tip

Seawater and chlorinated swimming pool water strips hair of its moisture. So before diving in, wet your hair and apply a leave-in conditioner or olive oil to protect it from damage.

#5 Balancing Act

We all love summer. However, hot and humid weather can increase sebum protection while dehydrating your skin. Switch from a heavy moisturising cream to a lightweight gel-based moisturiser to prevent T-zone shine, clogged pores and acne. A facial blotter and hydrating mist can also help to keep skin matte and dewy during the day!

For more summer-perfect spa indulgences, refer to the Capella Singapore Auriga Spa’s treatment menu here.

Zip Line Adventures In The St. Lucian Rain Forest

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St. Lucia has a myriad of fun, adventurous activities and as the Capella Marigot Bay Insider, I am thrilled to share one of my favorites: the zip line!

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It all began at Rainforest Adventures St. Lucia where I was outfitted in a harness and helmet (safety first!). My group and I were assigned to two guides who took us through out rainforest adventure and back again.

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The aerial tram brought us through the five layers of the rainforest up to the rainforest canopy. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and told us all about the various trees and plants that thrive in each layer of the rainforest.

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After the aerial tram, we had the chance to hike through the rainforest which let us experience its splendor up close and personal. I was awe-struck by the grandeur of these pristine natural surroundings.

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The hike brought us to the first platform where we began our zip line adventure. Each platform is a bit like a treehouse and the only way to get back to the ground is by zip lining from one treetop platform to the next! But don’t worry, while it’s definitely a thrill, the guides are great at putting you at ease. They’re fun-loving attitude coupled with the fact that they’ve done this hundreds of times helped me conquer my fear of heights and I felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment. For seasoned zip-liners and adventure-seekers, there are always ways to make the experience even more thrilling. Just ask the guides who are well-versed in going upside down, backwards, hands-free and even offer zip line experiences at night!

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I loved how I felt part of the rainforest canopy. Unencumbered by a structure I felt completely free, like one of the rainforest birds flitting from treetop to treetop.

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The last zip line is the longest because it’s the one that brings you back to the ground. This was my favorite part of the course because it gets a bit bouncy, adding another element to the experience.

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Just because the zip lining is finished, doesn’t mean the fun had to end!  The hike back to the aerial tram is another opportunity to experience the beauty of the rainforest. St. Lucia has done a great job of making sure the rainforest stays as untouched as possible. And when we took the aerial tram back to the foothills, we were treated to the most magnificent view!

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I can’t thank the team at Rainforest Adventures St. Lucia enough for their fun and professional attitude and spirit. They’ve truly created something special.

If zip lining is something you would like to do while visiting St. Lucia, don’t forget to tell your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant who will be able to set everything up for you!

And in the mean time, try to experience a little daily adventure. It will help you appreciate life and your loved ones every single day!

Take A Catamaran Sunset Cruise To The Pitons

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Saint Lucia is a gorgeous island and one of the best ways to take in and enjoy all the stunning sights it has to offer, is by sea! Thankfully, Capella Marigot Bay is also a Marina, making it extra easy to find the perfect boating experience to suit your desires.

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One of my personal favorites is the Catamaran Sunset Cruise to the Pitons! The catamaran is a special type of boat whose wide base allows for faster sailing while providing ultimate comfort for passengers. This makes for an enjoyable experience where you can whisk along the water’s surface without excessive dipping and bobbing, something that lends itself really well to ideal snap shots and minimal drink spillage. And that will come in handy since it’s the sunset cruise is open bar with delicious rum punch, sparkling wine and even some of St. Lucia’s own lager, Piton Beer.

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The Pitons tower majestically above seemingly springing out of the sea itself and the Catamaran Sunset Cruise takes you right in between Petit Piton and Gros Piton. This also happens to be the location of a National Marine Reserve and so the catamaran stops for 45 minutes allowing passengers to snorkel and see some underwater Saint Lucian wonders!

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While the catamaran is stopped, the bar opens. Passengers can lounge and take in the sights while enjoying a cocktail and chatting with each other. As the sun begins to dip towards the horizon and the sunset lighting starts to set in, the crew plays some Caribbean dance music and the party begins.

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Some people dance while others lounge, sip on drinks and watch the merriment! The entire experience easily becomes an unforgettable memory shared with newfound friends who wave goodbye as the catamaran drops you back off at Capella Marinasunsetcruise8

Be sure to let your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant know if you would like to take a Catamaran Sunset Cruise and everything will be set up for you! Get ready for a gorgeous and fun-filled experience that will yield amazing photos and lifelong memories.

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An Unforgettable Lunar New Year

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Every Lunar New Year’s Eve, if I’m not abroad, you can expect me to be having dinner with my family.  By family, I mean all 23 of them from my 93-year-old grandmother to my 2-year-old niece.  It is something my grandmother insists on—she believes a person who forgets tradition, forgets family.

Like any cosmopolitan city, it’s nothing short of a miracle to get so many people to sit down to dinner together in Singapore.  It requires the expert management of multiple clashing schedules, packed with the million little demands modern life makes.

As you can imagine, arranging an unforgettable dinner for 24 is no simple affair.  So this year, I’ve decided to take a leaf from Executive Chinese Chef Lee Hui Ngai of Cassia, Capella Singapore.

During the 40 years of his culinary career, Chef Lee has charmed diners at top hotels in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore, and made Lunar New Year memorable for so many families.  He generously shares his ‘recipe’ for happiness this Lunar New Year.

Executive Chinese Chef Lee Hui Ngai from Cassia

Executive Chinese Chef Lee Hui Ngai from Cassia

What is the most unforgettable Lunar New Year meal you’d recommend?

Chef Lee: One of the top five fish I’ve tried over the past four decades of my culinary career is the Unforgettable Fish.  In Mandarin, it’s called 忘不了鱼, which actually translates to ‘unforgettable fish’.  Once you’ve tried it, you’ll see why.  The first time I savoured this fish was when a guest from China specially requested it.  I took my first bite, and was instantly enraptured.

The Unforgettable Fish

The Unforgettable Fish

Why is this fish so exceptional?

Chef Lee: I could tell you how sweet, succulent, silky and tender it is, but that barely begins to describe it.  The Unforgettable Fish swims against the current, and its scales are unusually crisp when steamed.  Unlike other fish, we tend to steam this fish with its scales intact.

At Capella Singapore, we import the Unforgettable Fish ‘live’ from Sabah, Malaysia when it’s fully-grown and at least 2kg in weight—any smaller, and it loses some of its unique flavour.  As with the best ingredients, there’s no need to do too much with it.  It is best enjoyed lightly steamed, with a glass of white wine or champagne.

Any other dining tips for an unforgettable Lunar New Year?

Chef Lee: Lunar New Year has special significance for Chinese around the world.  We believe it is auspicious to enjoy a beautiful and unforgettable meal to herald an amazing New Year.

Fortune and good luck aside, what really warms my heart is being with my family, and watching their sheer delight in enjoying a meal together.  As a chef, this naturally fills me with a deep sense of pride.  But as a father, husband and son, this gives me a glimpse of true happiness, in all its richness and simplicity.

Cassia's signature Lou Hei

Cassia‘s Signature Lou Hei

If you are planning your own Lunar New Year’s celebrations, be sure to check out Cassia’s Lunar New Year specials here.

6 Reasons You Should Visit Capella Ixtapa and Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

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At Capella Ixtapa we recently celebrated our 6th anniversary.  I still remember the day when we opened the resort, and can’t believe the time has passed by so quickly.  In these 6 years we have met many wonderful people from all over the world, and created many beautiful memories and friendships.  If you haven’t visited us yet at Capella Ixtapa and Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, here are 6 reasons why you should plan your visit soon:

1. Relax & Recharge

Our guests like to say that their stay at Capella Ixtapa was the most relaxing they have ever experienced.  And they are right.  Capella Ixtapa is perched upon a cliff facing a beautiful small bay.  The secluded location ensures you have all the privacy and tranquility, and our spa and culinary team will help you relax and recharge.

2. Romance

Capella Ixtapa has been named one of the most romantic resorts in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico and world-wide.  Many couples who decide to visit Capella Ixtapa for their wedding celebration, honeymoon, or just a romantic escape, discover that those titles are well earned.

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3. All You Need is in Your Suite

And why we claim to be so romantic?  Because each of 59 suites at Capella Ixtapa has it’s own private pool and a cozy terrace, and from both you can enjoy blue Pacific Ocean views and marvellous sunrises and sunsets.  Indeed, all you need is in your suite and our room service is delicious, so if you want to spend you vacation sequestered in your room you can!

4. World’s Best Cuisine

Mexico has without a doubt some of the world’s best and most diverse cuisines.  Our Chef Miguel Baltazar has been named among the Top Chefs in Mexico, and he loves creating dishes that are based on Mexican tradition, while giving them a contemporary twist.  We are not forgetting about the classics, of course: every day at 5 pm, your complimentary treat of freshly made guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips and beers is waiting for you in your suite.

5. Nature

We are truly fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas of Mexico.  Lush nature, stunning landscapes, amazing flora and fauna, sunsets in all shades of hues from yellow to dark purple, and many gorgeous beaches are just another reason visiting Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is truly a must.

6. People

Mexicans are famous for their friendly nature, big warm smiles and open hearts.  Our staff and people of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo are looking forward to welcoming you to our small piece of paradise.

For more information on Capella Ixtapa, our accommodations and amenities, and reservations, please visit our website www.capellaixtapa.com