Asmallworld To Manage North Island Resort

Breaking news for all travel lovers: ASMALLWORLD AG announced it will manage the renowned North Island Resort in the Seychelles, that will join Marriott International’s the Luxury Collection brand portfolio in December 2019. This unparalleled island paradise is the first hotel in the newly-created ASMALLWORLD Hotel Collection.

North Island is one of the world’s most iconic holiday destinations: Prince William and Kate spent their honeymoon at this hotel, as did George and Amal Clooney for obvious reason: featuring just eleven private guest villas, the luxury private island resort is offering each guest an unparalleled sense of exclusivity and outstanding service. The accommodations have all been created from local materials, balancing luxury and simplicity to form a signature architectural style they call «barefoot luxury».

Being eco-friendly plays an important role on the small island that is located amongst the inner granitic islands of Seychelles, approximately 30 kilometres northeast of the largest island, called Mahe. Since its opening in 1997, North Island has been a recognized sustainable tourism destination. North Island boasts fertile land and has been referred to as the «laboratories of evolution» due to its rich biodiversity and natural, stunning aesthetics. The tropical retreat is set in 210 hectares of lush vegetation and is home to coconut palms and takamaka trees, all surrounded by pristine beaches and the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. In 2006, the island implemented a conservation and island rehabilitation program to protect endangered and endemic species on the island and to preserve its diverse ecosystem.

Arriving at the property is both simple and tailored for guests, with the site being a 15-minute helicopter transfer or a one-hour boat trip from Mahe Island. Once you step foot on North Island, your experience is completely customised to the holiday you are seeking. The rules are the ones you make yourselves: your schedule is only as full as you wish it to be, and the dress code reflects your own personal style. Your villa will become your own private beach home with colours evoking the marine environment. The fusion of rough and smooth textures and simple and sophisticated forms combined create an entirely authentic, contextual, and sumptuous sanctuary.

North Island features ten 450 sqm private guest villas and one extra large villa of 750 sqm, offering each guest an unparalleled sense of exclusivity and luxury. The island also houses a lounge, dining room and library, health spa and gym, an infinity pool and a sunset bar and restaurant located away on the western side of the island. Rates start around $ 8,000 per night.

Seychelles have been described as the «Galapagos of the Indian Ocean».

ASMALLWORLD takes over management of North Island through its newly incorporated subsidiary ASW Hospitality AG and will oversee the day-to-day operations of the resort and its integration into Marriott International’s Luxury Collection brand portfolio later this year.

The resort will be the first hotel in the portfolio of the newly launched ASMALLWORLD Hotel Collection, that aims to further expand the collection by adding similarly extraordinary hotel properties to its management portfolio and to enlarge its service offering for its global ASW community of travel-savvy members. This announcement comes only weeks after the acquisition of LuxuryBARED, an online luxury travel agency, and will further strengthen the private social network’s position in the luxury travel space. ASMALLWORLD members can surely expect special rates and treatments on North Island.

«We are very excited to launch the ASMALLWORLD Hotel Collection with such a world-renowned hotel as North Island. This first step towards building our very own luxury hotel collection will allow us to offer our travel-savvy members a unique destination, while at the same time increasing the occupancy rate and the profitability of the property», says CEO Jan Luescher.

ASW Hospitality AG will be managing the island resort going forward. Michael Manz, renowned Swiss hotel owner and manager of the only Swiss Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Geneva, is the chairman of the new company. Through a franchise agreement, North Island will become part of Marriott International’s Luxury Collection brand portfolio in December 2019, and will operate as North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort.

«We are excited to further expand The Luxury Collection portfolio across the Middle East and Africa with the addition of our first property in one of the world’s most desirable destinations, the Seychelles», says Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Middle East & Africa for Marriott International. «North Island offers private seclusion along with a truly indigenous experience, making it the ideal destination for global explorers.»

It seems that ASMALLWORLD acquired a piece of paradise…

 LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of North Island Resort

Megève 2019 by Quintessence Retreats

Last April, I introduced you for the first time to Quintessence, the luxury boot camp concept  that invites guests to escape, challenge and pamper themselves in luxurious surroundings by experiencing a unique sports-based programme combined with exquisite healthy cuisine (free of gluten, lactose, refined sugar and alcohol). For the previous post, click here please.

The season 2 of Quintessence retreats will take place in the French Alps, between May 25th and June 14th and between August 31st and September 21st.
Willing to offer extraordinary and exclusive locations, Quintessence chooses for its S/S 2019 season to settle in Megève, in a unique early 20th century farmhouse, entirely restored and renovated in an outstanding residence of 650m2. The house has its own spa and indoor swimmingpool, extends over three levels and unveils an extraordinary volume underlining its verticality. Hung on the mountainside, immersed in a verdant area, this cosy cocoon whose original wooden structure has been preserved is unique. An invitation to reconnect your body and mind.

The sports and wellness signature programme DARE TO BE GOOD TO YOURSELF, under the guidance of high qualified trainers, alternates training sessions (cardio and strength), yoga and pilates, hikes, as well as time to relax (relaxation, meditation, spa and massages). Classes are designed to be accessible to everyone, regardless of fitness level.

Limited to 12 participants
Short stays from 2 nights, starting at € 685.-

The full programme 6 days/7 nights typically includes:
8x fitness sessions (cardio / strength / core&balance / flexibility / HIIT / circuit training)
6x yoga, pilates, stretching or relaxation sessions
3x hikes
2x fitness assessments (on day 1 and before departure)
2x aquasports sessions
2x free afternoons
1x cooking class
1x 30-minute coaching session

For more information, I kindly invite you to visit the Quintessence homepage here.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Quintessence Retreats and © Sandra Bauknecht

Ralph Lauren’s Hospitality Portfolio

When I lived in Chicago, one of my favorite spots to dine was the RL restaurant. You can truly indulge in the world and beautiful interior design of Ralph Lauren. The brand’s hospitality portfolio includes four restaurants and several coffee shops, located around the globe and is a great way to engage consumers with experiential and unique expressions of the House.
Enjoy more details below:


Ralph’s Coffee
Representing the timeless American spirit of the brand with a fresh and authentic atmosphere, Ralph’s Coffee shops are located within Ralph Lauren flagship stores in New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Each location serves Ralph Lauren’s USDA organic coffees and teas alongside a selection of sweet and savory treats.

RALPH LAUREN RESTAURANTS

The Polo Bar – New York City
Inspired by classic New York establishments and Ralph Lauren’s love of gathering around the table with family and friends, The Polo Bar offers a casual yet refined setting for food and drink in the heart of NYC. From the Henry Koehler polo match–inspired mural on the exterior to the saddle leather and equestrian art inside, the restaurant pays homage to the distinguished sporting lifestyle long synonymous with the Ralph Lauren brand.

Ralph’s – Paris
Ralph’s offers an extraordinary dining experience, combining an inspiring blend of distinctly American cuisine with the allure of Paris’ Left Bank. Hidden within a beautifully restored 17th-century townhouse in the heart of Saint-Germain, the restaurant is a warm and inviting space serving a timeless American menu.


RL Restaurant – Chicago
Located adjacent to the Ralph Lauren Chicago flagship on Michigan Avenue, RL Restaurant represents Ralph Lauren’s debut into the restaurant industry. Opened in 1999, the restaurant features the vision and décor of Ralph Lauren and a modern city-club cuisine.

Ralph’s Coffee & Bar – London
Ralph Lauren’s first dining destination in London, Ralph’s Coffee & Bar serves coffee, cocktails, bar snacks, and shared plates. The café décor pays homage to Ralph Lauren’s trademark equestrian sensibilities with a warm, sophisticated, clublike atmosphere.

Yummy in my tummy…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

A Perfumed Poem for Valentine’s Day

«Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own
H. Jackson Brown Jr.

On February 14, we celebrate the life of Saint Valentine of Rome, who was actually incredibly unlucky and ended up being beheaded. Today it is a celebration of all things romantic, mostly for lovers. But why not thank a dear friend for their friendship or their trust in you. Actions speak louder than words. Personally speaking, I love the written word and the act of taking a beautiful pen to actually write a heartfelt message, is a meaningful sign, something that stays. If you add a spritz of fragrance, it will evoke all senses.

This amazing fragrance by SHALINI «Amorem Rose» is guaranteed to add a serious dose of sex appeal to your Valentine’s Day. Inspired by love, it is the most opulent rose perfume, although different by adding an element of smoke. Besides, it centers around Bulgarian Damask rose, Saffron flowers, Baltic amber and Mahogany wood.

Created by Maurice Roucel, who designed one of my favorite scents Musk Ravageur, SHALINI says in her own words, «it’s a perfumed poem dedicated to the greatest love stories. The Rose has the highest love energy of all the flowers, often referred to as the Queen of Flowers, the symbol of the divine feminine love. The smoke brings a sense of mystery and intrigue reminiscent of a great love… the love that touches your soul deeply and alters your very being

Amorem Rose by SHALINI is available at Spitzenhaus in Zurich.

My personal note to SHALINI KUMAR, a former Indian actress, was written with CARAN D’ACHE‘s Ecridor Doré Rose ballpoint pen that is adorned with a new brilliant rose-gilded finish.

Happy Galentine’s Day – to all my girlfriends around the world!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Chinese New Year 2019

Chinese New Year officially begins today on February 5th, 2019, and ends on February 19th. Also known as the «Spring Festival» in modern Mainland China, it is the country’s most important traditional festival and beginning of a new Chinese animal zodiac cycle: the year of the Pig.

Those born during the Chinese zodiac year of the pig are pleasant, polite and have good taste. They are perfectionists that appreciate the most beautiful things, they help others and are great companions as long as you don’t cross them, so be careful! They are smart, always on the search for knowledge and exclusivity. Unfortunately, pig years are also believed to be the most unlucky for people born in previous years of the Pig.

Prada presents Prada Wonderland, a new and exclusive pop-up installation at the prestigious Galaxy Macau, open until 10 March 2019 on the occasion of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

 Luxury brands are all on board for Lunar New Year. The festivities rank high in China – a market where consumers still pay full price for expensive wares. According to a report by Bain & Company, China represents «32% of the global luxury consumption

Here are the best limited edition collections by the big names of the luxury industry to celebrate Chinese New Year:


DODO
This new limited edition piglet charm is just too cute. For a limited time only, you can shop the pig-shaped pendant in 18kt yellow gold and red enamel with black cord included.

DIESEL
To celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, Diesel introduces a 9-piece premium limited edition capsule collection that is sold globally.

MOSCHINO
Porky Pig and Petunia Pig are the stars of a fun and glamorous limited edition, created especially for one of the most important traditional Chinese festivities.

LANVIN
For the S/S 2019 Pre-Collection, Lanvin is paying tribute to the Lunar New Year with an exclusive capsule collection. Lanvin is celebrating the year of the pig, a cute and curvaceous mascot, with a selection of lucky charm accessories adorned with «pig» embroidery studded with dazzling jewels, perfect for gifting and collecting alike.

GUCCI
The Italian fashion house celebrates the Year of the Pig with a special collection of ready-to-wear and accessories featuring three playful designs including a print of Walt Disney’s cartoon characters, the ‘Three Little Pigs’. Shot by Frank Lebon, a special editorial shoot features tiny piglets with their human friends captured inside richly decorated apartments and walking the streets of New York City.

LOUIS VUITTON
Inspired by the Chinese zodiac, the Superstition square features these twelve symbols playfully illustrated with iconic House motifs. The center is decorated with a large LV Circle, layered over Monogram Flowers and surrounded by the creatures.

MARNI
The small piglet, symbol of the new Marni Capsule Collection, comes from an imaginary universe dedicated to the Chinese New Year: a range of accessories for her and a new original version of Big Foot sneakers pay homage to the twelfth protagonist of the Chinese horoscope, as well as the sign’s cheerful and dreamy character.

PANERAI
For the Chinese Year of the Pig, Panerai presents an 88-piece limited edition Luminor Sealand. The cover is hand-decorated by master engravers using the sparsello technique.

VACHERON CONSTANTIN
For its Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac – Year of the Pig Watch in 18K Pink Gold, the Swiss watchmaker uses enameling, gems-setting and other artistic aspects of watchmaking.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

Louis Vuitton Horizon Earphones

Louis Vuitton has entered the audio market with a collection of unique wireless earphones,
featuring cutting-edge technology.

The Louis Vuitton Horizon earphones are inspired by the House’s visual universe and come
in four colourway: black, white and red Monogram or yellow and blue LV stripes.

The architecture of the charging case harmoniously mirrors the shape of the Tambour Horizon watch with its contemporary, concave lines. Available in white for the Louis Vuitton Horizon White Monogram earphones and black for the other three finishes, the charging case provides the earphones with a total of 10 hours of battery life.

A single charge will give 3.5 hours of listening time. The volume is adjusted directly on one of the earphones, giving you the freedom to communicate and listen to playlists on the go, making them ideal for both everyday commutes and longer journeys.

The Louis Vuitton Horizon earphones have one of the best audio qualities ever achieved in the field, using a system developed by specialist Master & Dynamic.
This new Louis Vuitton-designed lifestyle accessory works with all Bluetooth© devices, as well as with the Tambour Horizon smart watch.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

Beat the Afternoon Slump

During the winter months, I often feel super-tired once the afternoon rolls around. After powering through the morning with productivity, the wall hits me in the afternoon. Putting my head on my desk and taking a quick nap is suddenly very appealing. Nope, no such luck!

It doesn’t mean that you are sick, feeling kind of sleepy during the second part of the day is human nature. People naturally experience dips in energy levels because of circadian rhythms.

As I don’t want to drink too much caffeine (I have already lots in the morning…), I have been looking for an alternative to give me a boost of energy during an afternoon slump. The Nue Co.’s ‘Power Up’ supplementicon is a natural caffeine hit that’s blended with Brazilian Guarana Seeds – «an espresso minus the jitters,» says the brand. It’s formulated with Goji Berry to aid digestion and organic Maca for high endurance. I can truly recommend it.

TO SHOP THE NUE CO.’S ‘POWER UP’ SUPPLEMENT, CLICK HERE PLEASE.


iconABOUT THE NUE CO.

Focused on the Danish principles of simplicity and creativity, Jules Miller started wellness brand The Nue Co. after years of trying vitamins to support her lifestyle. Based in London and LA, it’s committed to creating responsibly sourced supplements using organic foods. Simply add a teaspoon to hot or cold drinks to boost your skin, energy and digestive system.

To try the brand’s other supplements, I recommend ordering the Reboot Travel Set. Different products in small sizes.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
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The Tree of Love – Merry Christmas 2018

My dear readers, with all my heart I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas 2018 with the iconic Claridge’s Christmas Tree, that is designed this year by fashion icon and long-time friend of the hotel, Diane von Furstenberg.

«Claridge’s is my favourite hotel in the world and my home in London. I was so excited to be invited to create its legendary annual Christmas Tree. My tree is «The Tree of Love», celebrating all aspects of love and life.»
Diane von Furstenberg

This is the ninth time that Claridge’s has invited a distinguished guest to reinterpret the tree in their own distinctive style. For the previous collaborations, click here please.

«The Tree of Love» is inspired by Diane’s passion and strong belief in the power of love, symbolising life and nature, and drawing particularly from the creative influences of the astrological world. This six-metre sculptural tree is coloured with a blue iridescent lustre and shimmer, and is decorated with over 8,000 hand painted silver-leafed leaves, glass spheres and 150 hand-blown glass hearts.

It plays host to six different silver-leafed abstract designed animals – an owl represents knowledge and wisdom, a dove symbolises peace, a horse conveys strength and endurance. Highlighting the importance of nature within «The Tree of Love», a sculptural deer representing gentleness sits at the base, a peacock representing beauty, and nestled gently sleeping, is a silver-leafed mouse to symbolise curiosity.

The idea of the tree is that all is derived from the universe and the tree winds its way upwards towards the heavens from its roots. Diane has also included important, symbolic words that have long been her mantra including Peace, Harmony, Knowledge, Truth, Freedom, Enlightenment and Wisdom. In order to make this a fully immersive experience, the iconic London hotel’s lobby has been reimagined under her creative vision with a magical midnight blue skylight covered in dazzling stars and astrological star signs from the constellation.

To a magical Christmas time filled with love and laughter!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Claridge’s London

Don’t Turn into a Pudding this Festive Season

Stay slim at Christmas: here is an idea to stop you turning into a pudding this festive season.
X-mas may traditionally be seen as a time for overindulgence but my simple advice can help you prevent gaining pounds. Exercise is the single best way to keep your weight stable over this tempting period and here is what I like to suggest. Get a great new look for training, one that makes you feel good and that you like to look at in the mirror. Further down you can find two options that I got from CASALL. You will see that it can motivate you a lot and this easy little trick might help you to start the New Year in great shape without missing out on the cookie treats.

With Karolina Schmid in her studio where we shot these photos.

I love to do yoga and pilates. After years of ballet, I love these workouts to lengthen and strengthen the body. If you are living in the Zurich area, I recommend KAROLINA SCHMID‘s studio that offers high end pilates and yoga classes in private lessons or trainings in small groups.
Pilates Karolina Schmid – Seefeldstrasse 225, 8008 Zurich / Switzerland – Phone: +41 78 891 03 17

Get the look of training session 1: Mint green sports bra, side slit pants, and berry glam strap tank, all by CASALL.

Get the look of training session 2: Black spiral long sleeve top and matching tights, both by CASALL.

Working out and fashion belong together, don’t you think?! So no excuses, put on the right workout gear, feel great and enjoy this beautiful Christmas season!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Hublot Debuts Bitcoin Watch

HUBLOT has always pushed the boundaries of traditional watchmaking industry. This year, the watchmaker is celebrating ten years since the creation of Bitcoin by launching the brand-new Big Bang Meca-10 P2P limited edition watch, available for purchase exclusively online with Bitcoins and also featuring the transaction number engraved on the edge of the bezel, rendering each piece unique.

«This is the kind of dynamism and innovation that our partners in Asia delight in. It is a visionary approach that fully corresponds to Hublot’s vision. Through its partnership with OSL, this first P2P watch allows us to continue to explore future avenues
Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot.

Bitcoin was created only just ten years ago in November 2008. This famous cryptocurrency, a virtual asset stored in digital form, was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, a name used by the mysterious person – or persons – whose identity remains a mystery to this day. In any case, the peer to peer – P2P – payment system has attracted a large following of users and investors accepting payment for their transactions.

Ricardo Guadalupe and Wayne Trench launch the Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 P2P

A trailblazer in new technological and societal trends, Hublot has decided to mark the ten year anniversary of Bitcoin by launching the first watch that can only be purchased using Bitcoin. It will be sold exclusively via e-commerce and can only be ordered and paid for online. Such innovation was made possible through a collaboration with OS Limited (OSL), Asia’s leading digital asset brokerage. This makes Hublot the first big watchmaking brand to enter this sector.

«OSL is excited to collaborate with Hublot and LVMH, an industry leader in the luxury world, to enable a digital asset industry first. As investors are increasingly looking to diversify their investment portfolio by adding digital assets with generally low correlations to traditional asset classes, we are committed to providing our clients with industry leading trading solutions to support their investment journey.»
Dave Chapman, Chairman and Co-founder of OSL

The Big Bang Meca-10 P2P is a limited edition of 210 timepieces, a reference to the global limit of Bitcoins, which is fixed at 21 million.

True to the innovative design expected from the Big Bang collection, the “P2P” watch has a 45 mm case made from microblasted black ceramic. When we talk about ceramics in a Hublot watch, this does not mean clay-based pottery, but rather a high-tech material of zirconium dioxide pressed at a very high temperature. The Art of Fusion that is so dear to watchmakers and engineers at the Nyon manufacture.

It houses a HUB1201 manufacture calibre, a skeleton movement offering an exceptional 10-day power reserve. A number that was not chosen at random: Ten to mark the number of years the Bitcoin has existed. Each of the 210 pieces is unique: Manufactured for its wearer bearing the identification number of the transaction made via Bitcoin. Another reference to cryptocurrency can be found in the Blockchain inspired design – the interconnection network of computers on which virtual money works – on the blue calfskin leather strap which is lined with black rubber.

The Big Bang Meca-10 P2P was presented a few days ago in Hong Kong, where OSL headquarters is located. Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, greeted special guests at an event of technological splendour. Visitors entered through a captivating tunnel with an interactive display showing the world of cryptocurrency, and the unique payment system that enables Hublot to accept payment in Bitcoin.

A revolutionary milestone in the watchmaking world!
YOU CAN ORDER THE HUBLOT BIG BANG MECA-10 P2P HERE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Hublot