Montblanc x Pirelli

Last week, on the eve of the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, MONTBLANC introduced its brand new Montblanc x Pirelli collection of new lightweight trolleys created in partnership with the Italian motorsport pioneer.

«Mobility, performance and design are essential when it comes to business travel,» says Nicolas Baretzki, Montblanc CEO. «With this partnership, two European icons come together, striving for utmost innovation driven by the pioneering spirit of our founders. We would like our customers to experience our expertly designed travel companions in every step they take to stay connected with the world.»

Built for today’s most discerning and demanding globetrotters who expect efficiency and reliability, the trolleys feature high-performance ball-bearing wheels, a precision handle bar and a functional interior. The sleek aesthetics are enhanced with elegant details inspired by iconic Pirelli design cues including its distinctive tyre mark and an eye-catching yellow colour on the tag.

The Montblanc & Pirelli is limited to 5000 pieces each. Personally speaking, I love the color combination and design of these pieces. Both, the cabin with pocket trolley (CHF 890.00) and the cabin trolley (CHF 750.00) are in stores now.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Montblanc

A New Luxury Hotel for Lake Zurich

«Grüezi» from Lake Zurich – meet the brand-new hotel Alex Lake Zürich, opening summer 2019! Gordon Campbell Gray, founder of the privately held luxury hotel group, is currently running five unique hotels located in international top destinations. And for the first time in his long career within the hospitality industry, he has launched an extraordinary hotel in the German-speaking market.

Its stunning waterfront location makes this member of «Small Luxury Hotels of the World» a special place to stay: All of the 44 studios and penthouses have spacious balconies and terraces overlooking the lake. Guests can also enjoy the perfect view from the hotel’s Boat House Restaurant and its lakeside terrace, which might become a new hot spot in summer, the world-class wine cellar and from the elegant bar, while the exclusive spa area with own lake access raises the bar in discreet luxury. Stone and glass are the materials that make up the distinct design of Alex Lake Zürich, naturally nestled within the beautiful surroundings.

Located in Thalwil where the former Hotel Alexander am See was, it is only 8 kilometers to the city of Zurich. The private hotel boat offers an extraordinary way of traveling there! Sportive activities range from stand-up-paddling and water-skiing to bike rides along the lake shore to be started directly from the hotel site. A special highlight is the private access to the lake, which hotel guests can use for a swim in the refreshing Zürisee.

Personally speaking, it is a great addition to Zurich’s hospitality offer and I am very much looking forward to the official opening.

Alex Lake Zürich
Seestrasse 182, 8800 Thalwil, Lake Zurich, Switzerland

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Alex Lake Zürich

The Most Expensive Hotel Suite

Welcome to the ​Empathy Suite, a Sky Villa designed by and featuring the works of world-renowned artist Damien Hirst. The artist has collaborated with Bentel & Bentel Architects to design the world’s most expensive hotel room. If you are looking for some for Instagram-worthy moment and you have a spare $100.000 per night, it’s your place to stay at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Sin City has a reputation for excess, and the nearly $690 million renovation of the hotel has also filled it with a huge amount of impressive artwork, including works by Takashi Murakami, KAWS, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and, of course, Hirst.

Once you pass through the gilded doors, you’re met with a 13-foot-long tiger shark that has been trisected into three tanks of formaldehyde, lofted above bottles of top-shelf spirits – Hirst’s first bar project in the United States, featuring the fierce sculpture titled The Unknown (Explored, Explained, Exploded).

The 836-square-meters two-story sky villa sits on top of the Palms and is the first and only of «its kind featuring a collection of contemporary art at this scale.» It’s an eclectic mix of blue-chip and street art that rarely mingles under one roof. With many original pieces from some of Hirst’s most notable series, a custom butterfly-motif mosaic tiled cantilevered pool overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and Venus gray marble featured throughout the villa, it will surely attract lots of celebrities – especially after the announcement that they’ll be holding a three-night festival for the anticipated opening of the KAOS nightclub, featuring the likes of Cardi B, Skrillex, and Travis Scott, with additional performances by Alicia Keys and Hozier at their Pearl Theater.

And if you were wondering where the name Empathy Suite derives from…. , because Hirst wants you «to feel empathy when you’re in it; empathy with all your friends wherever they are and whether you’re with them or not and to feel empathy when you’re spending the night with them in the suite and empathy with the whole world the morning after

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Palms Casino Resort

New Louis Vuitton Travel Books: L.A. & Seoul

The LOUIS VUITTON TRAVEL BOOK series is an invitation to real and virtual voyages, enriched by intellectual stimulation and poignant moments. In its pages, the illustrations of renowned artists and promising young talents tell the stories of the cities and countries they have visited.
The creative worlds on show are highly diverse: during their travels, these artists from various corners of the world were free to choose their mode of expression and communicated their views of other places through drawing, painting, collage, illustration, cartoons or manga.

This spring, I am very happy that two of my favorite cities will finally be featured:
LOS ANGELES and SEOUL.

LOUIS VUITTON TRAVEL BOOK LOS ANGELES by JAVIER MARISCAL

Javier Mariscal, a graphic designer, illustrator, designer, filmmaker, painter, sculptor
and ceramist, is an artist who loves to challenge and who is fond of California. His love affair with Los Angeles began when he and his friend, film director Fernando Trueba, was nominated for the 2012 Oscars for «Chico and Rita», an animated feature film which won numerous international awards.

This is his fifth trip to Los Angeles. Unaffected and curious about everything, he makes friends, immediately getting their portraits down. He sketches figures and faithfully reproduces shapes and attitudes in seconds. Objects and landscapes get the same treatment, either with a sketch on his notebook, or a painting on the iPad.

Los Angeles reminds him of Valencia. The glaring white light that floods the clear blue sky is just the same as the sky above his native city. But what most excites him in L.A. are the neon lights, slogans, shop signs, billboards and logos that swamp the city. What Mariscal takes away from this is a wealth of astonishing typography. His visual universe is brought to life in the streets of Los Angeles — right before his eyes.

LOUIS VUITTON TRAVEL BOOK SEOUL by ICINORI

Icinori is a studio of designers, visual artists, screen printers and publishers dealing in art books, prints, animated books and concertina books. But first and foremost, Icinori is a truly astonishing pair, one soul with two heads, four hands and twenty fingers, belonging to the French-Spanish-Japanese Mayumi Otero and French Raphaël Urwiller, two graduates from the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg, which is where they met. They founded Icinori in 2007 when they were still students.

During their many trips to Seoul — they notched up no less than four long stays between 2014 and 2017 — the Icinori pair had the chance to observe the impressive alertness and brisk energy of its people, simple and determined, disciplined and hard-working, epicurean and creative. The two have cleverly succeeded in capturing the beating heart of the capital, immersing themselves in its customs and performing arts, its layers of history and chinks in everyday life. Icinori draws the many details that make up the life of the city: residents’ rhythms, the movement of the street, traders, shopping as religion in Myeong-dong, cosmetic surgery salons, street food — such as the enticing odeng, mandu, «tornado potatogimbap and hotteok cakes. Here we have people dancing to K-pop. In the early morning metro, the air is already heavy with the sour scent of kimchi.

«Seoul is an organic city, with astonishing creative energy and visually very elegant, as seen in the powerful design, the signage, the sophisticated signs and typologies of the shapes — circles, triangles and other geometric figures. Good taste is everywhere, sometimes a bit crazy, but universal. It’s a mix of the baroque and the modern. A miracle of the ephemeral and the elegant.»

In book stores from May 2, 2019 for €45.00 each.
160 pages / hardcover
ISBN: 978-2-36983-179-2 (Los Angeles)
ISBN: 978-2-36983-180-8 (Seoul)

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

My Look: She’s in Fashion

There are two things I love most, fashion and travelling. When they are combined, it is heaven. Here you see me at the Bayerischer Hof in Munich inside the Gottschalk Suite 672 that gives a glimpse into the mind of German entertainer Thomas Gottschalk. Reserved for him at all times, the suite can also be booked by other hotel guests on request, enabling them to plunge into a design world like no other. With a stylish mix of private pieces, elegant materials and designer furnishings, you indulge into a truly unique urban rock ’n’ roll loft atmosphere.

My look: White printed sweater by Christopher Kane, leather zipper-pocket shortsicon and fur stole, both by Fendi, black suede knee bootsicon by Prada, and orange Birkin bag by Hermès.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

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

The Guccification of Globe-Trotter

Last season, in a project looking back to the untold story of Gucci’s ‘British roots’, Globe-Trotter has produced a collection of distinctive luggage for the Italian fashion house.

In the Gucci Garden museum in Florence, there is a gallery called Cosmorama. Here visitors will find displays of luggage and travel paraphernalia going back to the founding of the House in Florence in 1921. Part of this exhibition is an exploration of a distinctive emblem that Gucci has used over time of a bellboy wearing a pillbox hat and carrying luggage.

The origins of this peculiar motif lie in the history of the House itself, when founder Guccio Gucci worked as a porter at London’s prestigious Savoy hotel. The story goes that he was so inspired by the beautiful luggage of the hotel’s distinguished guests that he moved back to his hometown to start making leather travel bags and accessories under the Gucci name.

Globe-Trotter GG carry-on
icon

Now, almost a century later, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele revisited the brand’s British connection. The designer has for many years travelled the world with his trusty Globe-Trotter which inspired him to create a collection of luggage in several different styles and sizes that incorporates signature Gucci motifs such as the double-G supreme pattern and the famous green-red-green web stripe as well as bold new prints in collaboration with the English luggage brand.

This must-have carry-on suitcase is expertly handcrafted from fiberboard and leather in the heritage brand’s Hertfordshire, England atelier, it’s printed with painterly blooms, dainty stars and the Italian house’s signature red and green stripes.

It has a canvas-lined interior that’s perfectly sized to stow weekend essentials. Boarding your flight will be a breeze, thanks to the 360-degree wheels.

YOU CAN SHOP THE CARRY-ON SUITCASE FROM TOMORROW HERE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Gucci

Valentine’s Day 2019 at The Mark Hotel

If you are in NYC or planning a spontaneous trip, I absolutely recommend to surprise your loved one with a stay at The Mark Hotel and indulge at their special Valentine’s Day Menu.

The boutique hotel located in New York’s Upper East Side at the corner of Madison Avenue and 77th Street spreads «Love» with a Sensuous Special Room Service Menu not only for Valentine’s Day but the whole upcoming weekend! Romance is in the air…. and in your suite.

The offering includes  love potion cocktails paired with natural aphrodisiac bites prepared by Michelin-star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Optional add-ons include a Sexual Satisfaction Grade Card, a pair of Agent Provocateur Panties, and The Mark Eye Mask.

Moreover, you can enjoy 24/7 shopping at Bergdorf Goodman and have access to The Mark Sailboat, a 70-foot vessel available to guests to sail around the New York Harbor. I also recommend getting a special treatment by hairstylist Frederic Fekkai and perfumer Frederic Malle.

Warning: This menu may cause too much passion and lust.
Pure luxury, pure satisfaction, this is what #LifeAtTheMark is all about!
There is a reason it is New York’s most boldly lavish hotel…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of The Mark Hotel

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