Time to Unwind at Villa Stéphanie

With email at my fingertips, nonstop traveling, and around-the-clock social media delights and business events, actually making the time to unwind and shut down at the end of the day sometimes seems to be one of my biggest challenges. Therefore I was very much looking forward to taking some time off at the VILLA STÉPHANIE in Baden Baden and hope that you all want to hear about the best detox experience I have ever had!

There are plenty of different ways that you can give your body the relief that it needs from all of the pressures and stresses of the day. Each of us has to decide what works best for him or her. I had to try different kinds to finally find this haven on earth that offered me what I was looking for in order to regain energy. Probably you are like me and wished there was an easy, quick way to cleanse your body of all those bubbly toxins. Funnily enough, I believe we are all equipped with a natural cleansing system in our bodies, called liver and kidneys. Together, these two toxin-bashing organs act as a superefficient system for filtering out the vast majority of the harmful substances we eat and drink. The only important factor that those work well is a healthy and moderate lifestyle. And this can be hard sometimes.


Personally speaking that is the main reason why I choose to «detox» from time to time but not in this heavy, depriving way of barely eating anything but dry bread rolls. This doesn’t work for me! I get cranky, have no energy to do sports then and the overall effect is frustration and unhappiness. What I need is healthy pampering. And this is what I got at VILLA STÉPHANIE in perfection.

This luxurious and exclusive destination spa, which is part of the iconic Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, is dedicated to beauty, detox & nutrition, emotional balance and medical care. Every aspect of those mentioned is at your disposal. The beautiful and spacious rooms (15 rooms and suites only at VILLA STÉPHANIE) with views overlooking the River Oos have everything you wish for. There is even a button to turn off the electricity and the Wi-Fi connection in a second so that you will sleep better the old fashioned way without any radiation or e-smog disturbing your system.

Upon my arrival, I had a meeting with Kevin, my health coach. Before deciding on my tailor-made program and menus, I had to stand on the InBody 720 machine, which is a premium, medical-grade body composition analyzer that can fully tell your physical composition and water level in a single test. My results were great and I was looking forward to indulge in the House’s vitality-detox cuisine. Deceivingly filling, absolutely satisfying and beautifully presented, I could not believe that the three meals per day weighed in at around 1200 calories only.

What was served? Typically something like a porridge with berries and nuts in the morning and this fabulous green smoothie, a three-course meal for lunch, including even a filet of beef with a baked potato followed by a light desert. In the evening, I always started with a soup, nothing raw, and an entree such as grilled scallops with vegetables.

One evening, I was spoilt by two Michelin star chef Paul Stradner to a 5-course Vital Menu (completely lactose and gluten free as well as light on the carbs) in the Brenners Park Restaurant. Decadent detoxing I would love to call it.

There are plenty of group fitness activities, such as aqua fitness, yoga, jogging and biking for example, but I preferred working out by myself in the well equipped gym or taking a yoga lesson with a private trainer.

To accompany my detox program, I was spoilt to different treatments, such as a lymphatic drainage, clarifying and detoxifying body treatments and a luxury facial, all with products by AQUA ORGANIC, especially created by Munich based dermatologist Dr. Kuhr to support the cleansing effects of the body, to honor and stimulate the multiple talents of our skin. Other brands the experienced and fantastic therapists work with are SISLEY PARIS and SKIN CEUTICALS to offer also a more anti-aging and nurturing approach to their clients.

VILLA STÉPHANIE is dedicated to the world of spa in every aspect. Stretching over five floors and covering over 5000 square metres, it comprises a 500-square-metre sauna, plunge pool, private gym, hamam and a ladies sauna. The inspiringly designed treatment rooms overlooking the gardens offer complete relaxation. I truly felt the whole time so chilled, quiet (my readers who know me in person can assure you that this can be a challenge for me:-)) and just happy. Even digital detox seemed easy.

On the way to the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, where I enjoyed lunch and dinner, you pass the entrance to the gigantic swimming pool in Roman style. In the gardens, there are multiple possibilities to relax in the sun or just walk around.

VILLA STÉPHANIE is also connected to Haus Julius, a clinic with personalized state-of-the-art medical care from some of Germany’s top experts in fields like aesthetics, gynaecology, holistic medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology and preventive medicine. The medical teams will even visit you in the privacy of your room or suite if you wish.

I also recommend a visit to the Eden Being boutique located in the main building that offers a lot of one of a kind things. Moreover do not miss a stroll around Baden Baden. You will be amazed how many high end designer shops this little German town has to offer. The only challenging part was to pass the perceived millions of ice cream parlors.

In the evenings, I loved to sit in the lounge with its extensive library, enjoy one more green smoothie and play a round of backgammon or two before going to bed. After one week, I did not want to leave, something that I have never experienced before when being at a detox retreat as I was always looking forward to retoxing again:-).

On my last day, I got a final body analysis with my nutrition expert who gave me individual workout tips and a tailor-made menu plan, including recipes, for me to take home.

I left my stay calmer, balanced and more upbeat, regenerated by the surroundings of this picturesque resort in the Black Forest. During my whole stay at this former royal residence with its classic architectural heritage, I have never felt like being on a diet or deprived of anything. Old-school service reigned supreme. The friendly staff and professional executive team added a high touch to my experience. I will be back – that is for sure!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Casual Friday

Just a casual Friday chilling and relaxing at the beautiful Villa Stéphanie in Baden-Baden.

My look: Printed cotton tunic and matching printed reversible triangle bikini, both by Emilio Pucciicon (also available at Eden Being), leopard printed Beatrice shopper by Dolce & Gabbanametallic fabric sandals by Guccifloral sunglasses by Chanel, and beaded necklace by Etro.

The perfect way to relax for me is to indulge in a book. My favorite author at the moment is Berlin based Sebastian Fitzek. His thrillers are so captivating, you won’t be able to put them down.

Here I am standing in the garden of the Villa Stéphanie next to the statue «Gold Candy» by Laurence Jekell that is available for purchase through the Eden Being boutique located on the ground floor of the Brenner’s Park Hotel for around € 40.000.

I am wishing all of you a happy and relaxing weekend!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Expensive Taste: Linda Farrow Sunglasses

Today I would like to invite you to discover the world’s most exclusive eyewear. Established in 1970, the Linda Farrow brand rose quickly to acclaim. Originally a fashion designer herself, Linda Farrow was one of the first to treat sunglasses as fashion, her finger always on the pulse of the times. A tireless experimenter, Farrow pioneered many of the shapes and styles that remain au courant today. Her pioneering use of shape helped move eyewear into high-fashion territory, with avant-garde styles favoured by stars like Yoko Ono and working with brands such as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Sonia Rykiel.

Creative direction: Tracy Sedino and Simon Jablon.

After a twenty year hiatus, the brand was revived in 2003 by Farrow’s son Simon Jablon and his wife Tracy Sedino, following the discovery of a vast archive of vintage sunglasses in the family’s London warehouse. Today, the brand is renowned for collaborating with some of the world’s most acclaimed designers and continues to be the luxury leader in eyewear design. Timeless in design and uncompromising in quality!

A great selection is available at EDEN BEING – click here to visit the online shop.

The packaging itself is sensational.

I went for this beautiful classic aviator style. A modern design, crafted in a warm and luxurious rose gold-plated titanium with monochromatic lenses, I love to wear them for a glamorous escapade.

Enjoying a healthy breakfast this morning on my balcony at the beautiful Villa Stéphanie with my new sunnies by Linda Farrow.

Right now I am at the Villa Stéphanie in Baden-Baden, Germany that is also part of the Oetker Collection for a week of detox that I will tell you more about soon in detail. At the moment, I am super busy with my program that includes different treatments, healthy eating and lots of sport. For instant updates follow me on Instagram @sandrascloset.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Linda Farrow and © Sandra Bauknecht

My Pool and Beach Essentials

Each year, I receive many products to test for the summer. After testing them all, I always like to show you a summary of my favorites. Those ones you see here have fully convinced me and I can only recommend them. If you are wondering why there are no facial products included, bare with me, they will be coming up shortly in a different post.

But first of all, it all starts with the right beach tote, doesn’t it?!

BEACH TOTE

«Making Memories» beach tote by Sensi Studio for Eden Being
Holidays are all about making memories. Therefore I have fallen in love with this exclusive beach tote the minute I spotted it at the Eden Being Pop-up Boutique at Le Bristol in Paris. It hits it on the head with its woven maxim. The perfect companion for the beach, the bag will carry everything you need, even a laptop fits in perfectly. Handmade in Ecuador to designs from the Milan based creative studio, it is crafted from toquilla straw with woven lettering – a unique and absolutely stylish piece.

IN THE SUN

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Wet Skin Body Milk SPF50+ 250ml for CHF 27.00
This very high sun protection can be applied on damp or on dry skins. Its wet skin technology forms a gel that repels water on the skin and maintains its protection. It doesn’t leave any oily or sticky finish on the skin, not even white marks which is very unusual for a sun protection that high.

Biotherm Waterlover Sun Milk SPF30 200 ml for CHF 47.00
This is Biotherm’s first eco-designed sun care with no compromise on sensoriality, with eco-tested SPF filters and a 95% biodegradable base formula for a lower impact on the water environment. Now you can better protect what you love: your skin, your family and the ocean.

AFTER THE SUN

Clarins After Sun Moisturizer Ultra-Hydrating 200ml for CHF 41.50
This moisture-rich cream with soothing extracts of watermelon, sunflower and mimosa promotes a radiant, even, long-lasting tan. It helps reduce peeling and flaking, while taking the sting out of hot, sun-baked skin.

SUN GOODIES

La Mer The Glowing Body Oil 95ml for CHF 120.00
My favorite! With its rich blend of vitamin E and nourishing oils, this luxurious body oil softens and conditions skin to create a natural, sun-kissed glow. It gives your skin a touch of shimmer and youthful luminosity.

Bio-Beauté by Nuxe Cologne Fraîche Méditerranéenne Cédrat & Néroli 100ml for CHF 35.00
This floral and fruity cologne takes you to the heart of the Mediterranean and can be worn in the sun. Its olfactory combination of Cedrat and Neroli subtly perfumes the skin and envelops it with a breath of freshness.

SWIMWEAR

Bikini by Wikini
Let me introduce you to Wikini, an Italian swimwear brand, that creates beautiful bikinis at affordable prices. And they even do modest Brazilian-style buttoms which can be rarely found. The models are packed in a jar topped with the fabric of your chosen bikini. So cute!
In Zurich available from July 20-22, 2017 at a pop-up shop at Residence K.

And now happy sunbathing…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Ibiza

Greetings from Ibiza! I was so happy to sport my new book clutch I got at the Eden Being Cabana Pop-up Boutique for the first time on the Spanish island. Wearing new pieces always feels great, doesn’t it? Time to shop, ladies!

My look: Polka-dot cotton dress by Dolce & Gabbana, Betty bow-embellished suede platform sandals by Saint Laurent, embroidered book clutch by Olympia Le Tan for Cabana x Eden Being, pearl embellished sunglasses and earrings, both by Chanel and golden cuff by Stella McCartney.

The straw hat «Be Bagatelle» is a gift from Bistro Bagatelle, one of my favorite places around the world when it comes to partying, great food and fun with family and friends. They have just opened their spot in Ibiza and it is absolutely worth going there!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Eden Being’s Pop-Up Boutique at Le Bristol

As you already know I am very happy to be an Eden Being ambassadrice, the online shopping destination of the Oetker Collection. Embodying the finest of traditional hospitality, these elite luxury hotels are all very individual yet unified by a desire to deliver their guests the best of life. Eden Being stands for this sophisticated philosophy as well. Throughout the website you can discover a passion for living, an appreciation for culture, gastronomy and the pleasures of nature. The idea behind this website is to bring you memories of your travels to your doorstep, to find exclusive treasures and to get one of a kind pieces.

When I was in Paris last week with Sisley, I stayed at the beautiful Le Bristol, the iconic five star hotel located at 112, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. A beautiful place to spend time in the French capital that I can only recommend.

This historic palace hotel, where the elegant 18th century interiors are maintained to the highest levels of contemporary luxury, offers you this unique Parisian style, that «je ne sais quoi» attitude that we all admire in French ladies, surrounded by haute couture.

If you are there, have a Bellini at the Le Bar du Bristol. It is absolutely fabulous and enjoy some delicious gold-encrusted crêpes for the most stylish breakfast you have ever imagined.

While I was there, Eden Being had opened its doors to the Barefoot Playground Pop-up Boutique in the hotel’s lobby dedicated to the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and the relaxed glamour of the Côte d’Azur. Thinking of palm-fringes pools, sun-dappled lunches and insouciant glamour, I got inspired for everything I need for this perfect Riviera style.

From now, the motto has changed and Eden Being welcomes the Cabana Pop-up Boutique to Le Bristol which will be there until July 13th.

Different and desirable rare objets make up this cabinet of curiosities by Milanese collector Martina Mondadori. The designer and Cabana Magazine publisher defines her personal collection as extravagant bohemian chic, crazy elegance and eclectic charm.

Everything is timeless and yet beautifully in tune with the times. So browse away through glassworks from Venice, hand painted ceramics, gold-plated pendants, Afghani cuffs and abstract sculptures. A boutique of beautiful rarities.

I couldn’t resist this stunning embroidered book clutch below that Olympia Le Tan (for a previous post on her upcoming collection with Lancôme, click here please) created in collaboration with Cabana Magazine for Eden Being.

It is constructed from cotton-canvas with a gold-tone brass frame and features a beautiful hand embroidered cover. It is a limited and numbered edition (I own number 4 of 16). This week, I wore it in Ibiza and will soon show you the outfit post.

Needless to say, I brought home some amazing memories. So please stay tuned and in the meantime happy shopping!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Eden Being and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Most Beautiful Backgammon Boards

It is Sunday, time to play with your loved ones. Personally speaking, I love card and board games and this is one of my favorite things to do with my family on a lazy weekend. A feast for the eyes are the backgammon boards and custom-made games tables designed by Alexandra Llewellyn which I found over the EDEN BEING website.

The London based British designer stocks a collection of in-house designs, all made in the UK, that can be available immediately or personalised with engraved or painted messages, initials, and dates. They can also be commissioned with exquisite semi-precious stone and brass playing pieces.

Alexandra also takes one-off commissions for games tables and games boards, creating a truly original way to commemorate memories and life achievements. Every detail is created in close conversation with the client. What a lovely gift for a loved one!

Alexandra Llewellyn

Since her childhood, which she spent in Cairo, Alexandra has played backgammon. The rattle of dice on large wooden crate-boards signaled the game in play, as she strolled through the streets with her Egyptian step-grandfather. As she travelled more her interest in backgammon evolved, over countless games. She became enthralled by the idea that board games operate as an independent vocabulary requiring neither common language nor culture, and the idea that games bring people together.

Alexandra collaborated with legendary photographer Terry O’Neill, whose images defined the Swinging Sixties and the Seventies.

Launched in December 2010, Alexandra Llewellyn Designs embody an exquisitely unique vision of the oldest recorded board game in the world. Alexandra’s designs are owned by client’s such as Sir Richard Branson, Elle Macpherson, Jacquetta Wheeler, Sony Music, Eden Rock, Mark Ronson and Paloma Faith. I love!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Alexandra Llewellyn Design Ltd. 2016, some taken at Chilham Castle, Kent

Eden Rock St Barths – Eden Being

My avid readers know how much I am in love with St. Barths. It is truly my favorite place for beach holidays as it combines both, the beauty of the Caribbean with the allure of the South of France – but without being so pretentious as St. Tropez can be from time to time.

My view of the EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS when landing on the island last month.

When I am going, I like to rent a house with my friends. But undoubtably besides that, there is not a better place to stay on the island than the EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS, which is ‘beyond perfect’.

Impeccable attention to detail, the hallmark of Oetker Collection hotels, creativity and sheer art de vivre, make it one of the most desirable resorts in the world for the travelling elite. And the location is stunning, perched on a rocky promontory that sheers the white sands of St Jean Bay in two; there is nowhere to match EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS for luxurious relaxation and play.

Impressions of the beach-side VILLA ROCKSTAR – a huge, ultraluxe, multi-faceted house which is being described as resembling ‘a hundred million dollar yacht on land.’

Rooms, suites and villas are steps away from the ocean and all are individually decorated in the unique style of owners David and Jane Matthews.
Live the island dream: relax in the sun or participate in water sports on the fully serviced beach; make music in VILLA ROCKSTAR’s recording studio or be a fashion icon in the ROCKSHOP boutique… and if you are staying somewhere else, please at least enjoy a drink at the Rock Bar or a delicious dinner at the On the Rocks restaurant with its exceptional setting on the top of the Eden Rock, with unforgettable views over St Jean Bay.

Dining at the On the Rocks restaurant with a spectacular view.

Both spots are places of choice to meet and mingle with adventurous and discerning connoisseurs and of course to run into many celebrities.

David Matthews with me

At star of its own is the owner David Matthews, whom I met for drinks at the famous Rock Bar to discuss a very special collaboration which I proudly announce today in this post further down. But before that, I would like to tell you a little bit more about this adventurer and true visionary who arrived on the island of St. Barths with his wife Jane and their four children in September 1995.

Hotel on the rocks

The family had purchased Eden Rock from legendary island aviator and local adventurer Rémy de Haenen, moving the family from London to the Caribbean to start a new more adventurous life. Wishes were granted two days after moving into the rundown buildings of Eden Rock when the powerful category four Hurricane Luis struck the island. While the storm raged the family was occasionally driven to seek shelter under the concrete sinks in the old kitchen, whilst reinforcing the old doors and windows using anything from bed frames to their recently arrived suitcases.

EDEN ROC – ST BARTHS beach facilities

Twenty years later, and transformed over that time by the Matthews family, EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS continues to flourish and is regularly voted amongst the Top 100 hotels worldwide. The family puts this down to passion, hard work by a dedicated, loyal team and a good dose of luck too.

Family values remain at the heart of EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS and this spirit is further strengthened by the recent partnership made with Oetker Collection who offers the greatest guest experiences at iconic masterpiece hotels around the world. David Matthews says: «It was pure luck that I met Frank Marrenbach, CEO Oetker Collection, three years ago. Now we are partners and work with the same passion to keep the very essence of this beautiful space.»

The ROCKSHOP boutique

David Matthews is very charismatic man and could have listened to him for hours but I wanted to quickly pass by the hotel’s ROCKSHOP boutique which is part of EDEN BEING, the new lifestyle and luxury retail brand from the Oetker Collection with physical boutiques in most of the resorts as well as now an online store. The idea behind this new venture is about capturing memories of your travels with a range of bespoke items and exquisite products, all carefully curated and inspired by the famous hotels.

Match made in heaven: a curated selection of CHLOÉ is also available at EDEN BEING.

Hand-painted backgammon board exclusively made for EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS by Alexandra Llewellyn.

A commited custodian of the artisan, EDEN BEING supports craftsmen local to the Oetker Collection hotels. From watchmakers to sculptors the talented artisans produce pieces of singular beauty to capture memories gathered on your travels. And I am very proud to be a new ambassador for this beautiful lifestyle brand.

My beautiful new cuff by ADELINE GERMAIN for EDEN ROCK – ST BARTHS.

Before David took off with his Harley like a rock star himself, he gifted me with this special edition seven seas cuff by ADELINE GERMAIN that also can be found at Rockshop boutique. It is crafted with 7 rows of silver plated brass with eel and salmon leather representing the 7 world’s oceans. Lucky me to be taking a piece of paradise home!

The legendary Matthews family

His next venture? His son’s wedding in May. And guess who is going to be his daughter-in-law? No other than beautiful Pippa Middleton. A legend hotel and a legendary family!

And I am very proud to be now an EDEN girl as well…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of EDEN ROC – ST BARTHS 
© Sandra Bauknecht