The story of the Capella Hotel group actually begins with London’s famous hotel manager César Ritz and renowned chef, Auguste Escoffier, who opened the Ritz-Carlton restaurants on board the Hamburg-Amerika ocean liners at the turn of the 20th century. With the success of the restaurants, the two men took the business to the next level, and the first Ritz-Carlton Hotel opened its doors in 1911. From there, the Ritz-Carlton became synonymous with the word “luxury” and by 1983, in stepped a 40-something, German hotelier who had started in the business cleaning ashtrays as a busboy in a German resort town. Horst Schulze became of the founding members of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company in 1983. After retiring 20 years later, he declared he wasn’t yet finished and started the Capella Hotel Group based on his idea of the customer “determining the type of experience they will enjoy.”
Schulze named his company after the Capella star – the sixth brightest star in the night sky. True to his European roots, Schulze chose two castles and two beaches as the sites for his first boutique hotels and resorts — each with no more than 100 rooms — ensuring an immaculately tailored stay from start to finish. The setting itself was always at one with the destination — from stunning green rocky coasts in Ireland to extraordinary sandy beaches in Mexico.
When Singapore’s Kwee family took over the operation of the Capella Hotel Group in 2017, the company shed most of its Western properties and looked Eastward. It now runs seven hotels and resorts from Sydney to Shanghai with seven more to come by 2027. All adhere to the same standards and code of hospitality set out as the company’s celebrated founder, who once said that his simple mantra for the best customer service results was “to be nice to clients.” Here are four of the best Capella Resorts for winter tennis destinations.
For generations, Sydney’s heritage-listed Department of Education building stood quietly, its golden sandstone facade setting an unassuming backdrop to the rhythm of the city’s business district. Reawakened as Capella Sydney, the brand’s first Australian outpost has raised the bar for luxury accommodation, cuisine and cultural immersion. The Daily Rituals of the Capella Sydney allow its “culturalists” to craft unique moments for every guest. From the Sydney Architecture Walk (which covers the famed Opera House, of course) to the Illi Langi Aboriginal Dreaming Tour, visitors take part in all the flavours and textures of the city. The last local touch? Every room in the hotel features original artworks by Australians.
Situated within the gracious Chao Phraya Estate, Capella Bangkok offers 101 guestrooms, suites and villas, each with a panoramic view of the majestic Chao Phraya River — a gateway to the urban oasis of the city. In addition to the river, the location was selected due to its access to Charoenkrung Road — Bangkok’s oldest paved road — where guests can discover the soul of the city, as a dedicated team of Capella Culturists lead the way. If choosing more of a staycation, patrons can engage in such traditional Thai art projects, such as making Khon Masks or Lanna Umbrellas, the parasols of Thailand.
Capella Ubud is nestled in the heart of lush green forests — a unique tented camp in harmony with the surrounding nature. The only luxury hotel in the Keliki Valley — a patchwork of stone-built homes, moss-covered shrines and lush rice paddies — architect Bill Bensley designed Capella Ubud as a tribute to the early European settlers’ spirit of adventure. If not stopping by neighbouring Keliki Village, known for its unique style of miniature paintings, visitors can hike up an active volcano, make traditional Borah for a “body revival” or learn Balinese calligraphy.
Nestled in one of the Xuhui District’s last remaining cluster of shikumen townhouses, Capella Shanghai, embodies the spirit of Jian Ye Li — an all-villa urban resort in the city — through its French and Chinese architectural elements, a nod to the city’s 1930s golden era. These shikumen villas housed middle-upper class traders and expatriates working in Shanghai, and by 1945, the area a hive of activity around the narrow lanes, with leafy avenues, hosting creative restaurants, boutiques and cocktail lounges. Explore on foot or by the city’s fleet of app-sharing bicycles.
Nearby Tennis Clubs: Shanghai Racquet Club and Kangdong Tennis Club