Ljuba Manz: Russian Soul – Viennese Heart

We all have this girlfriend that inspires us constantly and that we admire. Mine is Ljuba Manz.

A life full of stories. Her mother’s family lost their hotel and country estate during the revolution in Russia. The father, an Austrian, fled from the Nazis to Kharkov in Ukraine, where Ljuba Manz-Lurje was born in the middle of World War II. She experiences occupied Vienna and the hardships of the previous years of war – and wants only one thing: to leave this poverty behind her.

Today, Ljuba Manz-Lurje is the most famous hotel entrepreneur in Switzerland and leads in third generation othe Manz Privacy Hotels, which also include the «Hotel St. Gotthard» in Zurich.

Ljuba signing her book at the cocktail reception.

This month, her multifaceted biography hit the shelves and we celebrated it with a cocktail reception two weeks ago. It is a good and inspiring read reflecting on her life in all its details, a great gift for a dear friend for Christmas. You can order the book, published by Stämpfli Verlag, by clicking  here.

With Ljuba at the ASW Winter Weekend in 2016.

It shows a woman who first stands on her own feet as a vedette dancer, then becomes a businesswoman in a male-dominated world, marries the Zurich hotelier Caspar E. Manz and fulfills a legacy after his death: to retain and increase the family-owned hotels. Social splendor and human abysses tend to be close together. The great conductor Paul Sacher brings musicians from all over the world to the «Hotel St. Gotthard». At the same time a plot is hatched against the landlord – she is reported to the authorities as a presumably Russian spy.

Pure joie de vivre: Ljuba on stage at the book presentation with her husband since 2014 Marco Conte and presenter Silvia Affolter.

I am proud of my friend, a strong woman full of energy and joie de vivre, who always did it her way. An entrepreneur and a mother of twin brothers who knew how to combine work and private life during times when the term «work-life balance» was still a foreign word. A woman, we can all learn from. Thank you, Ljuba, for being my friend!

LoL, Sandra

So proud to be in her book! What an honour!

Fashion cannot be missing: An Emilio Pucci outfit on display that she once wore to a gala.

What an experience! I was Ljuba’s guest at the famous Vienna Opera Ball this year.

Many famous people came to celebrate Ljuba, here you see her with Alt Bundesrat Merz of the Swiss Federal Council.

With Raquel Marquard at the book premiere.

On display many memories from Ljuba’s past.

Sabine Hirsch-Avram also joined this wonderful occasion.

Proof that Ljuba counts many fashionable ladies among her friends: those Gucci, Dior and Marco de Vincenzo shoes had to be photographed.

Photos: Courtesy of Ljuba Manz, © Zuza Speckert, © David Biedert, © Sabine Hirsch-Avram and Sandra Bauknecht

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

ASW Winter Weekend in Gstaad

asw-winter-weekend-gstaad-2016

Last weekend, I was in Gstaad for the seventh edition of the famous ASMALLWORLD Winter Weekend. The three days in the snow (in this year’s case no 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 come to the chic Swiss winter getaway for great fun, parties, dancing, fondue and philanthropy.

foto_083With ASW Chairman Patrick Liotard-Vogt

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 Nuit des Tsars», Russian glamour at its best. Caviar and vodka were served and we partied late at the hotel’s night club GreenGo.

foto_111Beautiful table setting for the «La Nuit des Tsars».

foto_016Beluga noble Russian vodka…

foto_091… pairing yummy Kaviari caviar – a culinary delight.

foto-2-kopieDancing to the fabulous sounds…

foto_131 of the Phly Boyz.

Saturday was all about indulging in the mountain scenery with a lift ride to the Wasserngrat restaurant where we all enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and an après-ski inspired lunch with wine and fondue. A live performance of the Phly Boyzs who already had entertained us the night before made sure we move and would fit in our gowns for the ASW Foundation Gala Dinner at Gstaad Palace’s «Salle Baccarat».

foto_121Fondue lunch at Wasserngrat from above.

foto_056An afternoon full of laughter…

foto_160… and fun!

To raise money for the good cause, guests were eager to buy raffles tickets as the prizes were truly tempting, from limited edition diamond watches by Parmigiani to weekend getaways at some of the most luxurious spots in Switzerland. Later, we partied far into the smallest hours to the sounds of the live band Hot’n’Cold.

foto_090Amazing raffle prizes by Parmigiani for the lucky winners. 

foto_110Having fun at the after party.

The next morning, we all embraced the memories of the weekend during brunch and everyone agreed that this weekend was the best one so far of all editions. Oh my Gstaad! Cannot wait to be back next year…

In the meantime enjoy many more photos below and stay tuned for the outfit posts coming up soon!

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foto_064Gorgeous Ljuba Manz with me

foto_086Maya El Assali and Martin Tobler Parmigiani Switzerland

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foto_066Guests enjoying the Patoro cigars.

foto_073Angela Boffa, Monique and Thomas Hollinger framed by the Phly Boyz.

foto_094The Chairman’s Apéro

foto_098Derek Tanner and Alexander Manz.

foto_096Remee Jackman with Mathilde Goehler, my humble self and Patrick Liotard-Vogt.

foto_067Dr. Pablo Schneider, Patoro Cigars and Dominique Martin

foto_122CEO Asmallworld Jan Luescher

foto_099Lucy Tallo, Katja Grauwiler with Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm (editor in chief Style Magazine and Bolero) and her husband David Hanselmann.

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foto_022Designer Luca Rubinacci with his girlfriend on the way to lunch.

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foto_069Love is in the air: Remee Jackman and his gorgeous girlfriend Mathilde Goehler

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foto_032Luca Rubinacci with Patrick Liotard-Vogt

foto_138Noelle Frautschi, Maya El Assali and Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm

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asw_foundation_gala_dinner_aswwinterweekend_gstaad
foto_011Gorgeous couple: Dr. Pablo Schneider with Noelle Frautschi

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foto_042Beautiful ambiance for the ASW Foundation Gala Dinner.

foto_028With Mathilde Goehler at the cocktail.

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foto_054Princess Lilly zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

foto_072Ljuba Manz drawing a prize.

foto_019Sarah and Daniel Klein

foto_118Having fun at the after party with Lisa Lotz and Iman Grailsamer.

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What a fun weekend! Bravo ASMALLWORLD!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert