Get To Know Marie: Sales and Marketing Intern

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Marie, our wonderful Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown Sales and Marketing Intern.  Marie joins the Capella family from Australia and has very quickly made her lasting mark with guests and in D.C.  Coming from a family of hospitality professionals, Marie brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Marie Belean - Sales and Marketing Intern

Tell me about yourself. You are joining us for a 6-month internship from abroad, how has your transition to D.C. been?

I studied hotel management for three years in Brussels in which I gained a Bachelor degree.  During that time I did two internships.  The first internship was during my second year at Marriott Brussels, Belgium in HR and the second one was at Hyatt Regency located in Perth, Australia as an F&B attendant in Event Services.  During my time in Australia I decided to study a second degree, (International Business and Hotel Management) at the International College of Hotel Management in Adelaide.  In order to successfully finish my degree I have to do a 6 months industry placement which brought me to D.C.  So far it has been a very smooth transition although it required a lot of preparations to move to the United States.  This city and country is very different from Australia, but D.C has a lot to offer and I am looking forward to discovering more of its beauty in the next couple of months.

You have a special connection with Capella, can you tell me about this connection and why you are an admirer of the Capella brand?

My brother, Thomas Belaen, used to work for the Capella Hotel and Resorts in Cabo San Lucas together with our General Manager, Mr. Bustamante.  He always spoke with such high passion about his work and how excited he was to be a part of the Capella family.  During one of my holidays in Mexico I got the opportunity to visit and was extremely impressed with the service the staff had provided.  From that moment I knew I wanted to gain experience within Capella Hotels and Resorts.  Because of the connection with Mr. Bustamante, I was able to apply for an internship in D.C.

Sales and Marketing Intern

What do you love most about being a Sales and Marketing Intern? Are there any projects in particular that are especially appealing to you?

The Sales and Marketing department is new to me so every project is exciting and interesting.  There is always so much to learn and everyone on the team at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown is available to help me get the most out of my internship.

What are your current top recommendations in Washington, D.C.? From museums, to dining, to a night out?

I have been here for a little over two months, and I still want to discover so much more about this fascinating city, but I love Georgetown and everything it has the offer.  I love walking around the National Mall with it’s impressive monuments and museums.  During the weekends, I find myself venturing off to DuPont Circle, as it has a lot to offer in dining and nightlife options, but my absolute favorite restaurant is Barcelona on 14th Street.

What advice can you give to guests traveling to Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown from around the world?

The best advice I can give to guests is to try and get to most out of their visit.  There are so many exciting things to do and see in D.C. and its surrounding areas.  Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown offers many exciting tours and our Personal Assistants will be more than happy to give suggestions and arrange anything you may need to discover the city.

What do your future plans hold?

My main priority is to graduate in September 2016 from ICHM.  After that, I would love to continue working for Capella Hotels and Resorts and expand my knowledge and experience through this amazing hotel chain.

Thank you, Marie for sharing your D.C. experience thus far! I look forward to hearing more!

4 Top Experiences On Sentosa Island

One of the best ways to discover a country is by talking to the people who live there. This month, I speak to four personal assistants at Capella Singapore to uncover their favourite haunts and hideouts on Sentosa Island. Read on for their best Insiders’ tips!

JessicaJessica Bassig

The most romantic spot in Sentosa is… Palawan Beach. I love the fine white sand and golden sun during the day, and enjoy watching the sea come to life with a hundred dazzling lights from the ships in the evening. Stroll along the beach, have a romantic picnic or immerse yourself in a good book.

Don’t miss… the bridge leading to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia. This is also Asia’s closest point to the equator and an excellent spot for Instagram-worthy photos.

To get there… take the monorail and alight at the Beach Station – you’ll find Palawan Beach on your left. If you are staying at Capella Singapore, simply take the private path that leads directly to Palawan Beach!


Yoshie Furukawa 


One of my favourite places to unwind is… The Wine Company at the Sentosa Boardwalk. You’ll enjoy unforgettable views of Harbourfront and Resorts World Sentosa, as well as soft sea breezes.

Do try… their vast collection of old and new world wines. Or, if you’re undecided, ask the serving staff for recommendations.

The best time to go is… on weekday nights. I love how quiet and serene it is.


Nicky Koh 


For a uniquely-Singaporean dining experience… the Singapore Seafood Republic offers exceptional local Chinese food, as well as waterfront views and top-notch service.

Don’t miss… the award-winning chilli crab and black pepper crab. I also love the salted egg golden prawns, deep fried scallop wrapped in yam ring and the dragon fruit lobster salad with lumpfish caviar. Since this menu is the result of a collaboration among several popular seafood restaurants in Singapore, most of the items are bestsellers and simply delicious.

Don’t forget to… make a reservation as this restaurant is pretty popular! It operates from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11:30pm.



Sophia Kim Sophie

My favourite outdoor activity is… surfing at the Wave House Sentosa. Since Singapore is known for its calm waters, this is the only place where you can enjoy waves and surfing. Even if you’re new to surfing, you may still enjoy this.

The best time to visit is… during the day, especially if you need to cool off from the hot weather. It’s also an excellent activity in the evening, as they offer a DIY BBQ by the beach with gorgeous views of the sunset.

Don’t forget to… bring your swimsuit!

Picture via

Picture via

For more interesting ideas, speak to your Personal Assistant at Capella Singapore.


Amazing Child-Friendly Activities in Singapore

Many parents today think of travel as a natural extension of the classroom – and for good reason.  A well-planned trip will not only help you bond with your little ones, but also expand their horizons.  Fortunately, there is lots to do in Singapore that is enjoyable not only for the adults, but for the children as well.  Together with the Capella Singapore Personal Assistants, I’ve compiled some of the top child-friendly activities in Singapore to help you plan your next visit.

Embark On A Wild And Wet Adventure

Picture via

Shark Encounter at Adventure Cove Waterpark. Picture via

Home to Asia’s first hydro-magnetic coaster, as well as endless waterslides and tubes, the Adventure Cove Waterpark is sure to expend some of your little champion’s boundless energy.

Beyond adrenaline-pumping rides, this theme park also features a colourful coral reef with more than 20,000 tropical fish.  Inquisitive kids will love watching deadly marine predators such as hammerhead, silvertip and sandbar sharks from the safety of a customised acrylic enclosure underwater.  They may also feed and interact with the waterpark’s 65 gorgeous giant manta rays.

Discover The Company of Cats

The Company Of Cats

The Company Of Cats

What better way to teach your little ones love and respect for all living creatures than an afternoon in The Company of Cats?  Located in Chinatown, this lovely little café feels a bit like visiting a friends home.  A friend with several feline companions!  The cats are apt to snuggle up to guests or lounge about as you enjoy your meal.

Amazingly, these cats, who now play hosts of the café, were once strays or abandoned.  These rescued cats now occupy a place of pride at the café as ‘Meowketing Directors’ and ‘Purrblic Relations Meownagers.’  Check out their spectacular feline cast on Instagram at @thecompanyofcats.  Do note that young guests must be at least seven years of age, and supervised by an adult at all times.

Let Your Imagination Take Flight

Lory Loft At Jurong Bird Park

Lory Loft At Jurong Bird Park

Entering the Jurong Bird Park is like discovering a lost world, with more than 5,000 exotic feathered creatures free-flying in some of the largest aviaries in the world.

Observe the ostrich and cassowary in naturalistic environments during their daily feedings, or witness a lory feeding frenzy as you tread across suspended bridges with a cup of nectar mix in hand.  Lunch with parrots and dine with penguins as you re-live your childhood fantasies with your little explorer.

Groom The Next Junior Master Chef

Super Chef Camp At Camp Asia

Super Chef Camp At Camp Asia

If your little one is a natural-born foodie, why not enrol him for a Super Chef Camp?  Helmed by seasoned Head Chef Tim Ong and Celebrity Chef Emmanuel Stroobant, this camp will have your little champ out-cooking you in no time.  From desserts to pizzas and tapas, this five-day cooking camp will hone their taste buds and jumpstart their lifelong gourmet adventures.

Watch Blockbusters Come To Life

Universal Studio Singapore - picture via

Universal Studio Singapore – picture via

As a self-professed movie buff, Universal Studios Singapore has a special place on my weekend hit list.  It transforms movie magic into thrilling rides and themed attractions.  Beloved cartoon characters such as the Minions and Woody The Woodpecker spring to life. And crowd-pleasers such as Shrek get an update as a short 4D-film, complete with air blasts, water sprays and other special effects.

Enjoy Gravity-Defying Acrobatic Acts

Cirque Du Soleil TOTEM

Cirque Du Soleil TOTEM

Circus meets theatre as acclaimed Canadian theatre artist Robert Lapage is roped in as writer and director of the latest Cirque du Soleil production, TOTEM.  Following the evolution of man from his amphibian state to his ultimate desire to soar, these stunning acrobatic acts, elaborate costumes and breathtaking digital effects are equally fascinating to both the young and the young-at-heart.

For more ideas, speak to your personal assistant at Capella Singapore.  

Discover Iceland’s Reyka Vodka in Singapore

Having visited some 25 countries, Iceland is one of my all-time favourites.  The minute I touched down, Iceland’s stark beauty stole my heart.  Its immaculate snow-scapes, glaciers, volcanoes and geysers are lit with a soft ethereal light.

Glacials in Iceland

Glacials in Iceland

With a population of approximately 338,800 spread over a vast area of 103,000km2 (that’s more than 140 times larger than Singapore), this magical island is pristine, unspoilt and unfathomable.  It is a land where up to 80% of people reportedly still believe in elves and trolls!

Iceland at dusk

Iceland at dusk

So imagine how thrilled I was to be invited for The Herbal Tales experience, a bespoke Icelandic vodka cocktail tasting at Capella Singapore’s Bob’s Bar.  Created with fresh herbs and Reyka Vodka made from pure Icelandic spring water filtered through lava rocks, it conjures up the breathtaking beauty of Iceland.

As part of this exclusive experience, the bartender invited me to pick my own bouquet of herbs and spices.  I sniffed my way through Bob’s Bar’s very own herb garden, and finally decided on fresh rosemary and lemon verbena.  My bartender then expertly crafted my bespoke cocktail, and I was instantly teleported to the Arctic Circle again.

Bespoke Icelandic Vodka Cocktail at Bob's Bar

Bespoke Icelandic Vodka Cocktail at Bob’s Bar

Deeply intrigued, I caught up with Charlene Low, regional brand manager of William Grant & Sons (which includes Reyka Vodka under its portfolio of premium spirits).  She shares some rare insights and insider tips with me.

What is most interesting about Reyka Vodka?

Charlene: Reyka is an old Icelandic word for ‘smoke’ or ‘steam’.  We use geothermal energy to power our Reyka Vodka distillery, making it one of the greenest distillation processes in the world.  We also use lava rock in place of charcoal for filtration, contributing to its clean taste.

Share with us your tasting notes for this vodka.

Charlene: It is superbly clean, and slightly sweet with subtle aniseed and fennel, faint cream-of-soda vanilla and light peppery spice.

What herbs go best with vodka?

Charlene: Being such a versatile spirit, you can use your favourite herbs to create almost any cocktail.  The best way to do this is to use a Reyka Tonic as your base, add a slice of grapefruit and your choice of herbs.  I like mine with thyme and tarragon.

What are your best vodka mixology tips?

Charlene: Try a vodka martini – this puts the spirit at the forefront so you can fully experience and appreciate its subtle flavours.

What’s a popular Icelandic vodka cocktail?

Charlene: Foragers Ramble is popular in Iceland.  It’s a delicious blend of Reyka Vodka, homemade thyme syrup, cinzano bianco, Reyka bitters, dandelion and burdock bitters. I’d highly recommend it if you’re visiting Iceland.

Foragers Ramble cocktail

Foragers Ramble cocktail

For a bespoke Icelandic cocktail experience in Singapore, swing by Bob’s Bar at Capella Singapore any Saturday or Sunday of October between 5-9pm.  More details on The Herbal Tales experience here.

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!

24 Hours: Best-Kept Secrets in Singapore

As you disembark from your plane at Changi Airport, you’ll probably hear plenty about Singapore’s Mandai Zoo, Bird Park, ArtScience Museum and S.E.A. Aquarium.  And indeed, these famous attractions are certainly worth a visit.

That said, Singapore’s not just a nation of pretty theme parks; it is also full of hidden gems for the free-spirited and unconventional traveller.  So if you’re craving a different kind of adventure, allow me to take you off the beaten path to discover some of the best-kept secrets in Singapore.

Morning – Decompress At The Reservoir

Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir -

Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir –

Singapore’s reservoirs are a picture of serenity at sunrise.  Even before the city stirs, the birds begin their morning song amidst emerald foliage.  The magical light of dawn illuminates the lake with soft colours, and the air is clear and cool.  A few moments at these lush sanctuaries will restore you with a quiet sense of calm.

This scenic spots also offer adventure for solo travellers, adrenaline junkies and families with young children.  Bedok Reservoir Park for instance is a popular spot for dragon boating and kayaking.  It also features a 2.5-hour Forest Adventure with bridges, trapezes, wobbly logs, a Tarzan swing and zip lines across the reservoir.  There is also a Kids Course and Mini Course, if 2.5 hours seems a tad long.  Do keep your eyes out for swallows, herons and kingfishers amidst the 14,000 diverse wetland plants.

Noon – Discover Art Havens

Kondo Akino at Mizuma Gallery

Kondo Akino at Mizuma Gallery

Take refuge from Singapore’s unforgiving mid-day sun at our latest contemporary art cluster. Gillman Barracks is so named because it used to be a military camp.  The charming colonial barracks now houses 11 international art galleries, the NTU Centre of Contemporary Art Singapore and three restaurants.

These galleries feature art from the region and around the world.  I’m currently fascinated by the fantastical, subversive and dystopian worlds depicted by some of the artists at Mizuma Gallery, as well as the well-curated exhibitions at Arndt, Fost Gallery and Sundaram Tagore Gallery.

Late Afternoon – Explore Secret Beaches

Sisters' Island - picture by NParks

Sisters’ Island – picture by NParks

Singapore and Sentosa island are too small to harbour any secret beaches – so rent a yacht, head out to sea and go island hopping.  Pack a picnic, pop some champers and soak in the golden sun rays.  Companies such as Lloyd Marine and White Label Charters offer private yachts of various sizes for rental.

Besides pristine beaches, Kusu Island has a lovely tortoise sanctuary, Sisters’ Island is perfect for snorkelling or hiking, and Pulau Ubin is home to Singapore’s last kampung (a traditional Malay village), as well as a diverse ecosystem of mangroves and corals.

Night – Rendezvous At A Hidden Bar

Operation Dagger

Operation Dagger

There’s something irresistibly sexy about secret bars or speakeasies – perhaps owing to a sense of covert romance.  So if you’ve had enough of rooftop bars, swing by these ‘underground’ establishments instead.

Try Operation Dagger along the hip Ang Siang stretch.  Its name sounds like a Hong Kong spy flick, and you won’t find any signage here – merely a gothic symbol near the door, as well as apothecary-like bottles with indecipherable labels.  Another fun find is Bincho @ Hua Bee (more information via City Nomads here), a nuclear bunker serving Japanese whiskies and cocktails.  Pick a tipple you’ve never tried before, an have an unforgettable evening!

I love discover the many secrets in Singapore!  For more interesting and unusual experiences, speak to your Personal Assistant at Capella Singapore, then share your favourites with me!