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

My Look: Balmain 44 François Premier

This year Olivier Rousteing launched a new BALMAIN eveningwear collection, called 44 François Premier, named after the Paris address of Pierre Balmain’s original atelier. It pays homage to couture and the house itself. The label is white and bigger than the usual Balmain tag. The gowns are delivered in a beautiful white box. Here you see me wearing one with a beautiful train from the F/W 2018 capsule collection for the ASW Winter Weekend charity gala dinner in Gstaad Mid December. The report will follow shortly.

My look: Off-the-shoulder button-embellished grain de poudre wool gown by Balmainleather platform pumps by Gucci, vintage eagle clutch and matching earrings, both by Chanel. Rose diamond ring by Piaget.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography

Parisian Chic – Je Ne Regrette Rien

The famous ASW Winter Weekend in Gstaad is approaching fast and Friday’s dress code «Je ne regrette rien» might leave some with questions. Therefore I put together a little guide with lots of inspiration for you to get ahead of the fashion game. For those not coming, take this post as an idea for your next holiday festivities. You might outshine even the Christmas tree…

As many designers are looking into their archives for inspiration, time-traveling on our part is absolutely trending. From sixties retro to nineties nostalgia, the only mission is to stand out of the crowd. And there is truth in the fact that French women seem to always get it right! It is the widely adored allure of «je ne sais quoi» attitude. Their ability to assemble an outfit in the most put together way without looking too made up.

When it comes to partying, the capital of France has enthralled party planners and party goers for centuries. This December, ASW will bring the opulent glamour and intrigue of Paris nights to their members. Think of red plush, sparkling lights, think of the time when Edith Piaf first sang her iconic song «Je ne regrette rien» in 1960 or seek inspiration from the late 1970s through the 1990s, when «Les Bains Douches» was the nightclub to go in Paris. Imagine Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, and Brigitte Bardot, dancing at «Chez Régine» or transform yourself into a burlesque dancer that could have popped out of the famous «Moulin Rouge» or «Crazy Horse» with feathers, sequins and showing off lots of skin. For the gentlemen the motto is to become the most handsome dandy or French lover. It is the allure that counts. Don’t forget a touch of sleaziness is always welcome during Parisian nights… here you can can…. here life is a cabaret.

Below are some outfit inspirations, to shop just click on the highlighted text:

LIFE IS A CABARET
Crystal-embellished feather and felt haticon by Gucci, feather-trim velvet bustier dress and tasseled sequined chiffon pouch, both by Atticoicon, Salsa feather-embellished suede sandals by Charlotte Olympialong feather scarficon by Yves Salomon and smoking silver-tone, enamel and crystal clip earringsicon by Saint Laurent.

BURLESQUE EXTRAVAGANZA
Cold-shoulder lace-up stretch-tulle midi dress
icon by Dolce & Gabbana, sequined long dress by Temperley Londonicon, lace ribbon gartericon by Folies by Renard, Talitha feather-trimmed glossed-leather sandals by Saint Laurent, and ruffle-trimmed woven clutchicon by The Vampire’s Wife.

YES WE CAN CAN
Bow-detailed glittered stretch-velvet mini dressicon by Balmain, Pandor ruched printed silk-blend lamé mini dress by Isabel Marant, Vivienne glittered velvet clutchicon by Jimmy Choo, Marguerite 100 velvet and leather-trimmed mesh mulesicon and Daisy 100 leather-trimmed velvet ankle bootsicon, both by Malone Souliers by Roy Luwolt.

BELLE DE NUIT 
Fringed embellished tulle jacketicon and crystal-embellished tulle jumpsuiticon, both by Naeem Khan, leopard-print turban headband by Gucci, Cleo crystal-embellished satin platform sandals by René Caovilla, Disco Pandora embellished glittered perspex clutchicon by Charlotte Olympia and gold-tone earringicon by Balenciaga.

FRENCH LOVER
Gold-fit satin-striped wool-blend suitmetallic jacquard suit
, and lace-up leather derby shoes, bothicon by Dolce & Gabbana, embroidered collar shirticon, feather print scarf iconand dancing skeleton loafersicon, all by Alexander McQueen, and sequin blazer by Saint Laurent.
icon

FOREVER CRAZY
Taking the theme to the next level and wearing the motto on your skin… those temporary transfer tattoo stickers are available here.

Looking forward to a great party ahead! Stay tuned for more…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands – Collages: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: St. Tropez

Back from the amazing ASW Summer Weekend in St. Tropez, I am filled with many lovely memories that I will soon share with you. For the first evening, I wore this beautiful gown by my friend, Ukrainian-born, London-based designer Natasha Zinko who is one of the most talented designers I know. Her creations are beautiful, architecturally crafted pieces that play with proportions and cuts. Unexpected and different, exactly what I love!

My look: Point d’esprit strapless maxi dressicon by Natasha Zinko, Dioressence heels in dark blue cracked leather by Dior, bracelet by Anselm Reyle for DiorMy Own Code clutch by Valentino, Minimal Baroque sunglassesicon by Prada, silver-plated, Swarovski crystal and faux pearl clip earrings by Miu Miuiconand laser-cut leather waist belt by Alaïa.
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LoL, Sandra

With ASW Chairman Patrick Liotard-Vogt.
Photos: © David Biedert Photography

The Ultimate Travel Memberships

I am a passionate traveller and quite frankly of course I love to fly Business or First Class and stay in amazing hotels. But needless to say, I also like not to spend too much. Recently, ASMALLWORLD created the ultimate travel memberships for the discerning traveller of which two have caught my attention.

First the PRESTIGE membership that helps you to travel the world in style. Here is a summary of what is included in this package for €5200:
• 250000 Miles & More or Etihad Guest Miles
• Etihad Guest ‘Gold’ status (with Etihad only)
• World’s Finest Clubs ‘Premium Private’ membership
• DragonPass airport lounge access ‘Prestige’
• Global Hotel Alliance ‘Discovery Black’ status
• Mr & Mrs Smith ‘SilverSmith’ status
• SIXT ‘Platinum’ status
• ASMALLWORLD membership
• Limited-offer: SPG Gold for sign-ups until July 2nd

Travelling in style in First Class

Personally speaking, as I am living in Zurich, the Miles & More offer included in the PRESTIGE membership seems extremely attractive as they buy you up to 2 return Business Class Tickets from Zurich to Los Angeles which would normally cost around €13000 which means you have already redeemed the fee you paid for the whole package.

Always worth a trip: California

The additional perks are also amazing such as the SPG Gold status which gives you upgrades and late check-outs in a wide range of hotels from the cool W hotels to the distinguished St. Regis resorts of the world.

Second the SIGNATURE membership which is the ultimate by invitation only travel membership and provides you with the following features for €19950 + €2000 induction fee:
• 1 Million Etihad Guest Miles
• Etihad Guest ‘Gold’ status for yourself and your
nominee (two in total)
• World’s Finest Clubs ‘Premium Private’ membership
• DragonPass airport lounge access ‘Prestige’
• Global Hotel Alliance ‘Discovery Black’ status
• Mr & Mrs Smith ‘GoldSmith’ status
• SIXT ‘Diamond’ status
• ASMALLWORLD membership
• Limited-offer: SPG Platinum for sign-ups until July 2nd

Enjoying a drink on board while flying to the Middle East

The SIGNATURE membership is definitely the right choice for members travelling to the Middle East as it comes with 1m Etihad Guest Miles which buy you up to 5 First Class return flights from Zurich to Abu Dhabi. On top, you enjoy the SPG Platinum status which is the royal status of all hotel programs.

ASW Members enjoy the good life! This is why ASMALLWORLD offers their members many exclusive privileges from great partners. If you are interested in an invitation to ASMALLWORLD or the travel memberships, apply online or send me an e-mail to as I am happy to provide Sandra’s Closet readers this amazing opportunity (Disclosure: I know the Chairman of ASMALLWORLD very well :-)).

Stay tuned as I will be in St. Tropez for the ASW Summer Weekend end of May… life is so much better when you can travel and share the good moments and memories!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of ASMALLWORLD, © David Biedert Photography
© David Shama and © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Glow Up

On Tuesday evening, ASMALLWORLD threw a party at Gallery Club, an intimate and stylish club in the heart of Zurich, to celebrate their «going public» event. It was time to glow up and enjoy this fabulous moment among dear friends and ASW members!

My look: One-shoulder stretch-knit jumpsuit by Stella McCartney, Betty chain red leather shoulder bag and pointed leather Mary-Jane pumps, both by Saint Laurentsingle earring and cuff, both by Chanel. Diamond ring by Vainard Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography – THANK YOU, DAVID!

My Look: Going Public

Yesterday, I had another front row experience than usual by attending the «going public» event of ASMALLWORLD at the SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich as the first listed social media company there. At 9.01 am, the «ring the bell» celebration took place in Swiss style with a cow bell and it was very exciting watching the first trading day happening in full swing.

My business look:My look: Embroidered wool capesilk wool jacket with ruffled hem, and matching pants, floral printed silk blouse, feline earrings with crystalsred silk scarf and embellished leather pumpsicon, all by Gucci and Kelly So Black by Hermès. Pearl necklace by ChanelMitza ring and daisy necklace, both by Dior Haute Joaillerie.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography – THANK YOU, DAVID!

My Look: Rooftop Bar

It’s all over town. I have enough of winter and cannot wait for the warm season to come… just a few more month to go during which I have to indulge in memories of days spent in the South of France. Here you see me on the rooftop bar of the Hotel de Paris in St. Tropez during the Asmallworld weekend … heaven on earth.

My look: Rinnaa pointelle trim bandage dress by Hervé LégericonKan I Mini studded leather chain shoulder bag by Fendileather platform pumps by Gucci, long pearl earrings and sunglasses by Chanel.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography

My Look: Live for the Moments

For the S/S 2018 season, the sheer clothing is here to stay, runways all over the world have been caving in to the alluring aesthetic, proving that the sexiest of fashion trends is still going strong. I embraced this look for the black tie ASW Foundation Gala Dinner, that was followed by an extravagant after-party with a live band in the lobby of the Gstaad Palace. One must celebrate when one has the opportunity! Live for the moments you can’t put into words…

My look: Ruffled tiered lace gownicon and floral-print velour and stretch-tulle lingerie seticon, both by Alessandra Rich, Bianca leather sandals and velvet waist belt, both by Saint Laurenticon, 2.55 quilted bag with attached hanger by Chanel (Front Row Only F/W 2016 collection), «Diorette» ring and earrings, both by Dior Haute Joaillerie.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography

ASW Winter Weekend in Gstaad 2017

Last weekend, I was in Gstaad for the 8th edition of the famous ASMALLWORLD Winter Weekend. The three days in the snow (in this year’s case a lot of snow) of the private international travel and social club has become known as one of the most fun events of the year.

Guests from all over the world came to the chic Swiss winter getaway for great fun, parties, dancing, fondue and philanthropy. This year’s surprise guest was no other than Wyclef Jean. The Haitian rapper, musician and actor, who first achieved fame as a member of the New Jersey hip hop group The Fugees, entertained ASW members spontaneously with special performances during dinner or at the after parties. His catchy slogan of the weekend? « There is always an after party after the after party!» And the three-time Grammy Awards winner was right as we danced the night away…

The famous Gstaad Palace opens its doors one week before the season officially starts just for the ASW Winter Weekend.

Bugatti love!

Shopping suite with La Martina.

The weekend kicked off with the Chairman’s Apéro in the Gstaad Palace lobby, which is personally speaking the best one in the world. The night continued with a special theme: «La Vie en Or», glamorous with a touch of gold. Caviar and vodka were served and we partied late at the hotel’s night club GreenGo. For my look, click here for the previous post please.

Stunning Beluga ice bar outside.

On display: the raffle prizes, two beautiful watches by Parmigiani Fleurier.

The stunning golden decor in the «Salle Baccarat».

Dancing and hotel queen: Ljuba Manz 

The Chairman’s Apéro

Golden girls and fashionistas by heart: Irina Cerutti and Nataly Parafieva

The gorgeous ASW team!

Surprise performance by Wycleaf Jean and the Phly Boyz

Saturday was all about indulging in the mountain scenery with a lift ride to the Wasserngrat restaurant. The snowy weather and the freezing cold temperatures didn’t stop anyone. To the sounds of the Phly Boyz we all warmed up and enjoyed the après-ski inspired lunch with wine and fondue.

Swiss cosiness

Framed by Patrick Liotard-Vogt and Ferrari racing driver Josh Cartu

Ljuba Manz with her husband Marco Conte

Former Swedish ice hockey star Peter Forsberg with his lovely wife Nicole Nordin.

With Wycleaf Jean and Patrick Liotard-Vogt

Best Friends: Patrick Liotard-Vogt, Derek TannerMicaela Savides, Noelle Frautschi and Dr. Pablo Richard.

Swiss cheese fondue at its best!

Let the music play!

The culmination of the weekend was the ASW Foundation Gala Dinner at Gstaad Palace’s «Salle Baccarat», followed by the after party in the lobby that was transformed into the hottest club of the town for that night. Wyclef Jean surprised us once more, such a talented musician.

Gian Testa and Katja Grauwiler of Grauwiler Testa PR surrounded by friends

Swedish friends: Karl-Hendrik Nilsson, Justine Petrén, Peter Forsberg and Nicole Nordin.

CEO Asmallworld Jan Luescher with his lovely girlfriend Emily Maynind

Armand Arton, Raquel Marquard and my humble self to the left.

Alain and Violet Lentz with ASW CEO Jan Luescher and Emily Maynind

Martin Tobler Parmigiani Fleurier with his girlfriend Maja El Assali

Congrats and thank you to Martin and Jessica Tönnesson for their generosity. They auctioned of a lunch with Robert de Niro on the set of «The Irishman» and a song with Wycleaf Jean.

Brothers: Patrick and Olivier Liotard-Vogt 

Former Brosis singer Indira Weis had a lot of fun.

My beautiful friend Raquel Marquard with me.

Thank you, ASMALLWORLD, for another fantastic weekend!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography