A Moroccan Palace


The colours are breathtaking, the air is beguiling, and the hubbub in the streets is as exhilarating as it is inviting. Arabian nights, Mediterranean scents, spices and flavors, oasis, couscous, beautiful mosques, men in gabar, sandy dunes – Marrakesh continues to rank among the world’s top travel favourites for good reason. The beautiful fourth largest city in the country is an impressive combination of imperial history with palaces dating back to the 16th century and a contemporary urban lifestyle that offers stylish restaurants, trendy concept stores, and modern hotel resorts.

Me visiting the Schlatters in Marrakesh (for the outfit post, click here please).

In this oasis between the ocean and the Atlas Mountains, Swiss couple Rabia and Daniel Schlatter made a dream come true and built an enchanting palace in one of the most prestigious areas of the metropole along with a gigantic guest house. Last November, my friends spoilt me at their beautiful home and I am so happy to share this interior design heaven with you.

Daniel and Rabia Schlatter in the garden of their Marrakesh home.

The palace itself, that was finished in 2012, measures 3800 m2, set in 30.000 mof land with stunning gardens and a 5-star-hotel-worthy pool surrounding it. Two years ago, the construction of the guest mansion started – another paradise, peacefully situated next to the main house, that offers 2800 mliving space on a 15.000 m2 lot, and that is now finished and also available for rent.

Amazing fabrics – every guest room looks different.

Rabia, who was born and raised in Casablanca, oversaw the creative process herself together with her husband Daniel, who as a young man did an apprenticeship as an architectural draftsman. In Marrakech, where opulence and luxury reign, there is no shortage of beautiful ateliers and home interior stores. But you have to be a local like her to know where to shop.

Love is in the detail –  every corner is beautifully decorated.

Over the years, she had collected magazines and created mood boards for the ateliers she worked with to come up with the most beautiful results possible. Her interior design studies helped her as well. Everything was produced in Morocco, only the fabrics for the curtains are from France and the UK. The brocade is from Syriah. The bedsheets and towels are from local suppliers. For the bathrooms, Rabia used Italian marble.

The seating area in the living room

Her distinguished taste can also be seen in the huge living room with its breathtaking vaulted ceiling and the fireplace as the focal point. An open layout lets you see right into the spacious dining room and seating area.

The stunning pool

Arched doorways allowing the afternoon light to pass beautifully and a gorgeous long pool mirroring the surrounding date palm trees makes entering the garden a «1,001 Nights» experience. But step inside the guest bedrooms to be amazed – king-sized beds, romantic fireplaces, gigantic bathtubs and private gardens are all standard features! A well-equipped gym and a hammam are also there for your pleasure.

The hammam

Built like a sultan’s palace, it’s understandable if guests don’t want to leave the Schlatters. For the wellbeing around 16 people are permanently employed only for the main house, from gardeners to housekeepers, a cook and Bouchra, the gouvernante who is handling everything to 2 guys at the gate and a driver.

Playground for boys

Speaking about cars, the best is yet to come. Daniel Schlatter has an outstanding passion for cars and built his own «Healey» museum on 800m2 in the basement with a bar, a seating area and a gazillion of details that make you feel as if Healey just had left his garage.

Enjoy more photos below… – I will be back soon and cannot wait!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Reto Gundli

My Look: Marrakesh

Last week, I got back from Marrakesh where I spent some amazing days among dear friends. The so-called «Jewel of the South» is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco and absolutely worth the visit with its beautiful colors, the vibrant streets and bazaars that spill over with artistry, whether it be in architecture, cuisine, crafts or fine art.

If you are interested, have a look at those great travel tips for the city that I have gotten from Aerin Lauder and Tory Burch, who designed the dress I am wearing in this post.

My look: Rosemary printed silk crepe de chine and jacquard dressicon by Tory Burch, leather platform pumps by Gucci, Monogram fringed shoulder bag by Saint Laurent, earrings by Chanelgold-plated multi-strand necklace and cocktail ring, both by Etro.
My scent: Tangier Vanille by Aerin, that is inspired by Marrakesh.

LoL, Sandraicon

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Aerin Lauder: Morocco

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For AERIN LAUDER, Founder & Creative Director of the beauty and lifestyle brand AERIN, MOROCCO is a magical destination that inspires her in many ways – a melting pot of cultures and colors, with café-lined streets of Art Nouveau and Deco architecture, and a labyrinthine Moorish medina, its long mesmerized artists, writers, and bohemians. Today she tells us a little bit more about her favorite spots.

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Your favourite city?
MARRAKECH
 – from the palaces and gardens to the legendary bazaars, there’s always something new to explore – it’s full of mystery and splendor. This became the inspiration for my most recent AERIN fragrance, Tangier Vanille.

03_aerin_woa_tangier-vanille_qa_960x500The beautiful Tangier Vanille collection.

Scent is always tied to a memory and all of the ingredients we have chosen for Tangier Vanille, remind me of my travels to Morocco. The scents of spices from everywhere – like vanilla, cinnamon and saffron – fill the air.

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Your favourite hotel?
We stayed at the incredibly beautiful FOUR SEASONS RESORT MARRAKECH. It is the perfect balance of familiar and exotic. If you are looking for a little taste of home, you can order American comfort food like fried eggs and bacon, but if you want a traditional Moroccan meal, they offer delicious local dishes. I loved the artfully arranged plates of dates, figs, and nuts.
Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, Avenue de la Ménara, Marrakech
Phone: +212 5243-59200

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I’d also love to stay at the PEACOCK PAVILIONS on the outskirts of Marrakech and the chic riad hotel EL FENN.
Peacock Pavilions, km 18 route N9 Marrakech, Marrakech, Douar Ladaam
Phone: +212 5244-84617

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El Fenn Hotel, Derb Moulay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, 2, Marrakesh 40000
Phone: +212 5244-41210

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Your favourite restaurant?
LE MAROCAIN
 restaurant in the La Mamounia. One of the most stunning hotels in the world is La Mamounia, designed by the very talented Jacques Garcia. The hotel is a dazzling example of Moroccan style. To get to their wonderful restaurant Le Marocain, you have to walk through their gardens. The setting is magical, lots of rich colors, low lights, and red velvet. They have the most amazing lamb couscous. The night we were there, local musicians came in and played. My father requested an Arabic lullaby that my grandfather used to love called “Moustafa.
La Mamounia, Avenue Prince Moulay Rachid, Marrakech
Phone: +212 5243-88600

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Your perfect escape?
My dream is to stay next at THE ROYAL MANSOUR. King Mohammed VI built it an exquisite example of Moroccan style. The spaces are very decadent, gold leaf ceilings, intricate carved floral motifs, beautiful tiles. The level of detail is extraordinary. Last time I was there, I had lunch there with my father in their garden restaurant La Table. It was lovely, the air smelled like jasmine and orange blossom.
The Royal Mansour, Rue Abou Abbas el sebti،, Marrakesh 40000
Telefon: +212 52980-8080

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Your favourite sightseeing spot?
FREDERICK VREELAND
, the son of Diana Vreeland and the former American Ambassador to Morocco, has a fantastic house in Marrakech. The riad boasts 5 acres of gardens and features a wonderful mix of Morroccan, European, and Asian design. The house was the backdrop for a photo shoot I did – it was a very memorable trip.

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The cover shoot was shot by Jonathan Becker for Town & Country Magazine. I love those photographs, they really capture a sense of place—I wore an amazing brown and blue Rochas dress that echoed the backdrop of the Moroccan desert and sky.

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Your favourite park?
I was blown away and inspired by JARDIN MAJORELLE. I love places with so much history and creativity. The color combinations in this must-see twelve-acre botanical garden are absolutely magical.
Jardin Majorelle, Rue Yves Saint Laurent، Marrakesh 40090
Phone: +212 5243-13047

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Your favourite shop?
The SOUKS in Marrakech. They are famous for the incredible array of Moroccan treasures like embroidered tunics, colored glass, jewelry, spices, and ceramics. I found a striking terracotta tagine serving platter that I still wish I had taken home with me. It is on my wishlist for when I return (hopefully soon!).

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Your must-have accessory?
The AERIN Brown Rose Weekendericon – I don’t travel anywhere without it. It fits all of my essentials, while still feeling feminine and stylish. Some of my travel essentials include my iPhone which goes everywhere with me, my travel size gold AERIN brush and iconcomb andicon my pink AERIN batik makeup bag.

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Your go-to style?
I pack white pants, great tunics, a great pair of flat sandals for all of the walking and a big tote bag.

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Beauty essential?
The new AERIN Tangier Vanille body creamicon and rollerball, the AERIN Rose Lip Conditioner
icon always helps my lips stay hydrated and the AERIN bronzer helps me look fresh and sun kissed.

The best book to read while being on vacation there?
Local magazines – I like to pick up local magazines upon arrival and read through for inspiration.

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Your best travel tips?
Visit the market, go for a hike in the dessert, go on a camel ride and have an authentic dinner in a tented room drinking mint tea after a day of shopping.

Thank you, Aerin, for sharing your insider scoop on Morocco with us!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Locations, © Aerin Lauder, via Town & Country and Vogue, © Frederic Ducout

My Look: Party Time in Marrakesh

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Personally speaking, I am crazy for Hedi Slimane‘s designs for Saint Laurent. His cult rock-chic aesthetic creates strong silhouettes that are sexy and cool in one, perfect for a night out in Marrakesh. During my recent 40hours in the Moroccan city, I partied at Palais Jad Mahal, a place I can highly recommend. This colorful location combines a restaurant, a bar and a night club with great live music.

My look: Asymmetric sequined crepe mini dressJanis leather platform pumps with chains and Betty chain red leather shoulder bag, all by Saint Laurent, earrings by Chanel, Limelight Gala watch and rose diamond ring, both by Piaget.

LoL, Sandra

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Sandra Bauknecht in Marrkesh in sequined Saint laurent dress

Betty Bag in red by Saint laurent

Sandals with chains in red by Saint Laurent

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: One Thousand and One Nights

Sandra Bauknecht in Marrakesh Cover

One week ago in Marrakesh, my friend Mel’s big birthday celebration took place on Saturday evening accompanied by the renewal of her wedding vows with her husband Dan. It was a very romantic evening and she look stunning in her Zuhair Murad dress. It truly felt like One Thousand and One Nights and I am so grateful for all these different highlights that we experienced, among them a live performance by Paul Potts, the British tenor, who had won the first series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2007. With all my heart, thank you, Mel and Dan, for your friendship and this magical trip!

My look: Leather-trimmed jersey gown with cutoutsicon by Givenchy, set of 5 gold-tone cuffs iconby Alexander McQueen, earrings by Chanel, ring by Etro, animal print clutch, tribal sandals and necklace, both by Louis Vuitton, small Amulette necklace by Cartier.

LoL, Sandra

Marrakesh Party Saturday

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Sandra Bauknecht Dancing in Givenchy in Marrakesh

40 Hours Show Nightclub

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

At the Pascal Millet S/S 2013 Show

Rock the Cabah

I have been following Pascal Millet from his very first collection in his own name. When I met him in 2010 to discover his creations for S/S 2011 in the showroom, I was overwhelmed by his love for detail, his couture-like cuts and the very Parisian chic.

Yesterday, he turned over a new leaf with his first show during Paris Fashion Week. This season, he drew his inspiration in the narrow alleys of Tangier, its colours and textures. The fabrics were beautiful from stretch leather to fishnet cotton, from sequined Chantilly lace to linen whipcord. The colour palette showed all hues that you can find in Morocco, sand, spice, white, deep black and Tadelakt green.

Rock the Casbah!

PM2-Sandra BauknechtMe front row

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Above you can see my two favourite looks, perfect for all fashionable city nomads. Modern, sleek and sexy.

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His eveningwear was just so beautiful:

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After the show, I went backstage to congratulate Pascal on his collection.

IMG_6824Spotted at the show: French actress Ana Girardot.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht