My São Paulo

My avid readers know my travel insider section where fashion designers, celebrities and industry veterans share their tips for their favorite destinations with us. From now on, I decided also to post my personal recommendations for cities or areas I truly enjoyed visiting. My first one is dedicated to one of the most vibrant and populous cities in the world, SÃO PAULO. As Brazil’s financial center, it holds numerous cultural institutions and iconic buildings rich in architectural tradition.

ABOUT SÃO PAULO
SÃO PAULO reminds me a lot of my favorite place on earth, Los Angeles. Despite my expectations – I was told by some friends that the largest city in Latin America with one of the five largest populations on earth is very dangerous – I never felt unsafe and was truly amazed how clean this huge metropole is. As my tour guide said, there is a huge difference between tourists and travelers, meaning if you stick to certain rules, you will have a lot of fun exploring this lively metropole. Just keep in mind that São Paulo is, as the majority of other places in the world, divided in neighborhoods and you should stay away from certain areas or if you visit them, be extra careful, for example downtown São Paulo.

Be aware of crazy traffic jams as São Paulo has an incredible number of cars: over eight million! Best time to arrive or visit the city is over the weekend or during a holiday. Good Friday was honestly the perfect timing.

MY FAVORITE HOTEL
With no doubt PALÁCIO TANGARÁ, that is part of the Oetker Collection. With an exceptional location in the verdant surroundings of a tropical park, it is a peaceful retreat in a vibrant city. Enjoy some leisure time at the pool or train at the large gym before heading to São Paulo. If the traffic is good, it will take you around 25-30 minutes to the Jardins district. Personally speaking, I loved the hotel’s refined contemporary décor. The rooms are spacious and bathed in natural daylight. The service is outstanding and you are treated to a variety of culinary venues signed by Michelin Star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
R. Dep. Laércio Corte, 1501 – Panamby, São Paulo – SP, 05706-290
Phone: +55 11 4904-4040

MY FAVORITE SPA
Palácio Tangará’s FLORA SPA BY SISLEY, an oasis of refined beauty and serenity. Interiors bathe in the inspiration of the green surroundings, while providing a while providing a wonderfully tranquil atmosphere that will nurture and awaken your senses. I had a wonderful deep tissue massage on my arrival day which was perfect to release any tension from the long flight. Don’t miss the photo-aromatic facials and body treatments.
R. Dep. Laércio Corte, 1501 – Panamby, São Paulo – SP, 05706-290
Phone: +55 11 4904 4099, E-mail: flora.

MY FAVORITE RESTAURANTS
One of the most sophisticated and renowned ones is D.O.M. (Latin abbreviation of Deo optimo maximo), a two-star Michelin restaurant run by Brazilian chef Alex Atala who researches the ingredients used in his restaurant and supervises production in various parts of Brazil. Some of these ingredients include tucupi juice, pirarucu and piraíba fishes, jambu and the tapioca from manioc flour. R. Barão de Capanema, 549 – Jardins, São Paulo – SP, 01411-011
Phone: +55 11 3088-0761

A must-visit is Michelin-starred restaurant TANGARÁ JEAN-GEORGES, located in the ground floor of the Palácio Tangará, overlooking the verdant expanse of the Burle Marx tropical park. In this beautiful and elegant setting (the same where breakfast is served) you can enjoy signature set meals as well as daily specials created by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. His gastronomy, the first and only in South America, is inspired by lighter Asian methods that are now combined with a hint of Brazil and accompanied by a selection of locally inspired cocktails. Don’t miss the carefully curated list of over 180 different wines including some of the region’s best-kept secrets.
R. Dep. Laércio Corte, 1501 – Parque do Morumbi, São Paulo – SP, 05706-290
Phone: +55 11 4904-4072

A true insider tip, that I got from the concierge at Palácio Tangará, is another two-star Michelin restaurant, TUJU. A beautiful restaurant set in São Paulo’s Vila Madalena neighbourhood, it is well worth a visit for the urban garden and open kitchen. Chef Ivan Ralston is bringing sophisticated simplicity to Brazilian dining. Herbs are harvested in the backyard and everything is prepared fresh with local ingredients. I had the vegetarian 5-course market menu with wine pairing that I can absolutely recommend.
R. Fradique Coutinho, 1248 – Pinheiros, São Paulo – SP, 05416-001
Phone: +55 11 2691-5548

MY FAVORITE BAR
I love SKYE BAR & RESTAURANT located on the rooftop of the Unique Hotel. Boasting a crimson red pool and stunning views over Ibirapuera Park and the entire São Paulo skyline, DJs entertain the beautiful crowd with really great music, probably the best I heard in quite some time. I indulged in Brazil’s most famous cocktail, the caipirinha, which is supposed to be one of the best ones in town.
Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 4700 – Jardim Paulista, São Paulo – SP, 01402-002
Phone: +55 11 3055-4702

MY FAVORITE LOCAL FOOD
This pie-like dish originating from the Levant was introduced in Brazil by Levantine immigrants, where it is known as ESFIRRA, a street popular food. Baked and folded into a triangular pastry, it is filled with different ingredients, from cheese, curd, lamb, beef to vegetables. So yummy!

For breakfast at Palácio Tangará, I loved having an AÇAI BOWL, the perfect boost for energy. They are also very popular as a pre or post-work out meal in Brazil. This dish is made of frozen and mashed açaí palm fruit, served as a smoothie in a bowl or glass, and commonly topped with granola and banana. Açaí na tigela (açaí in the bowl) is popular all over the country but the preparation differs from region to region. The original recipe, as eaten in the North, contains shrimp or dried fish and tapioca and is usually salty. The sweet variety is common in the southernmost parts of the country.

MY FAVORITE LOCAL DRINK
Besides the famous and dangerous caipirinhas, I love FRESH COCONUT WATER. Everywhere you go in São Paulo, you’ll find Coco stalls, places where you can buy a fresh coconut, have it chopped and prepared ready for that sweet nutritious milk. It’s a great experience to watch the preparation. I adored having mine at the pool of the Palácio Tangará hotel.

MY FAVORITE MARKET
The MUNICIPAL MARKET OF SÃO PAULO (Portuguese: Mercado Municipal de São Paulo), a large public market in São Paulo designed by the architect Francisco Ramos de Azevedo and inaugurated in January 1933 as a wholesale and retail post specializing in fruits, vegetables, cereals, meats, spices and other food products. The market is located in the historic city center, a meeting point for locals and one of the most visited tourist spots in the city. The smell of fresh fruits is unbelievable. Here you can also find the best esfirra.
R. Cantareira, 306 – Centro, São Paulo – SP, 01103-200
Phone: +55 11 3313-3365

MY FAVORITE PARK
IBIRAPUERA PARK, a major urban park in São Paulo and one of South America’s largest city parks; it covers an area of about 2 square kilometers. Likened to New York City’s Central Park, it is a great cultural scene and a perfect area for leisure and exercise. My favorite photo spot was the illuminated giant Easter egg installed for the holiday in the park.
Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral – Vila Mariana, São Paulo – SP, 04094-050

MY FAVORITE MUSEUM
For those who would like to experience more of the art scene, I would suggest a visit to the MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, University of São Paulo (MAC USP) (Portuguese: Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo). Being one of the largest art museums in the country, it is located in the main campus of the university and in Ibirapuera Park. With approximately 10.000 works, the museum collections cover a period that goes from the modernist Avant-Gardes in the beginning of the 20th century to the present day, both nationally and internationally. From the rooftop, you can enjoy a 360° view over the city of São Paulo. Don’t miss this spot for your souvenir pictures.
Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, 1301 – Vila Mariana, São Paulo – SP, 04094-050
Phone: +55 11 2648-0254

MY FAVORITE STREET
AVENIDA PAULISTA, the main avenue and one of the city’s most famous postcards. Modern office blocks, high rise apartments and designer shops dominate so be prepared for a busy, hectic atmosphere. You’ll be amongst businessmen, fashionistas and shoppers – just about everyone turns up on this most important thoroughfare. Interesting to know is that near this iconic street, São Paulo has a huge coffee plantation. There are about 1,500 coffee plants rooted within the Instituto Biológico in the neighborhood of Vila Mariana.

MY FAVORITE AREA
The area known as JARDINS is one of the wealthiest districts in the Brazilian city. It takes its name from the magnificent parks in the area, such as Jardim Paulista, Jardim America, Jardim Paulistano and Jardim Europa. As this is also a chic and trendy district, you’ll find plenty of upmarket shops and some of the city’s finest restaurants here. The area also boasts over 200 bars, testimony to the bustling nightlife in Jardins. You will be amazed by the giant residences in this upper class region.

MY FAVORITE SIGHTSEEING SPOT
The NOSSA SENHORA DO BRASIL CHURCH (Portuguese: Igreja Nossa Senhora do Brasil) is a church located in the Jardim América district. Built in 1940, it is one of the most elegant places of worship I have seen with beautiful ceramic insert panels. The bible come to life with vibrant paintings on the ceiling and walls.

MY FAVORITE HISTORICAL SPOT
You shouldn’t miss the site where the city of São Paulo was founded in 1554: the PÁTIO DO COLÉGIO (in Portuguese School Yard, written in the archaic orthography Pateo do Collegio), which is the name given to the historical Jesuit church, the square in front and the school in downtown. Here you might see some homeless people. It is an area where you should be a little more careful.
Praça Pateo do Collegio, 2 – Centro, São Paulo – SP, 01016-040
Phone: +55 11 3105-6899

MY FAVORITE SHOPPING STREET
Reminiscent of Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles, RUA OSCAR FREIRE is a tree-lined shopping street in the Jardins district of São Paulo. For all shopaholics out there, this is a must-visit. It is the 2nd most luxurious street in the Americas, right behind 5th avenue in New York, and ranks 8th in the world. Aside from high-end international fashion brands, Brazilian fashion brands, such as Carlos Miele, Cavalera, Iódice, and Havaianas are present as well. If shopping isn’t your thing, there are also a handful of traditional restaurants and chic cafes, so-called «parking spots for bored hubbies.»

MY FAVORITE SOUVENIR
Definitely a limited edition pair of HAVAIANAS FLIP-FLOPS. The colourful rubber shoes have become synonymous with Brazil. A stop at the Havaianas flagship store is a must. You will find flip-flops in every imaginable design and hue – and so much cheaper (around 70% less) to what you pay in Europe.
Rua Oscar Freire, 1116 – Cerqueira César, São Paulo – SP, 01426-000
Phone: +55 11 3079-3415

MY FAVORITE SHOPPING MALL
Once you enter JK IGUATEMI, you might think, you are dead and landed in shopping heaven. Situated in the heart of Itaim, not far from the Palácio Tangará, is by far the most luxurious shopping center in São Paulo with restaurants, cinemas, three office towers as well as local and international high end designer stores.
Av. Pres. Juscelino Kubitschek, 2041 – Vila Olímpia, São Paulo – SP, 04543-011
Phone: +55 11 3152-6800

MY FAVORITE PHOTO SPOT
No matter how hectic your explorations in São Paulo may get, do not skip BECO DE BATMAN! Nicknamed after the famous comic character, which was painted on one of the walls around the 1980s, this winding alley in Vila Madalena has a very dense concentration of graffiti that is continually renovated by the local community. Only artists from the area are invited to embellish the walls, that are an instagram heaven, inviting you at every corner to start your photo diary.
R. Gonçalo Afonso – Vila Madalena, São Paulo – SP, 05435-000
Phone: +55 11 96846-7472

MY FAVORITE TOUR GUIDE
A huge thank you goes to DANILO VALISSERRA from Touring SP, who showed us around in São Paulo. Another great tip from Palácio Tangará’s concierge. He picked us up with his bulletproof car (he works for several embassies) at the hotel directly and drove us around the city to show us the most important spots. It was such a fun and entertaining tour.
Phone: +55 11 966-366-664, E-mail:

BEM VINDO A SÃO PAULO
I hope you enjoyed my travel tips for this amazing Brazilian city!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Gruner + Jahr Spa Awards in Baden-Baden

A weekend of beauty! For the 23rd time the Gruner + Jahr SPA AWARDS (formerly GALA SPA AWARDS) were awarded in the end of March in Baden-Baden at the beautiful Brenner’s Park Hotel that is part of the Oetker Collection. My avid readers might remember my time to unwind at Villa Stéphanie, their «House of Wellbeing» next door. For me, it was an absolute pleasure to be back at one of my favorite places to detox and relax. I enjoyed the warm temperatures in the garden next to the blossoming cherry blossom trees after a wonderful facial and massage before getting ready for the night.

How beautiful is Brenner’s Park Hotel’s pool when you see the cherry blossom trees blossoming outside?!

The Gruner + Jahr SPA AWARDS are among the most important international beauty and spa awards. In addition to winners in six categories, two outstanding personalities are awarded the «Beauty Idol» and the «Special Prize». Personally speaking, I have a close relationship to Gruner + Jahr as my first job after my studies was at German Marie Claire magazine that belonged 50% to the  publishing house.

Spoiled upon arrival in the room…

Over 200 invited guests from the cosmetics industry, well-known representatives of the luxury hotel industry, from culture and show business gathered at the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, among them Franziska Knuppe, Eva Padberg, Motsi Mabuse, Joachim Llambi, and Verona Pooth. Scroll through the best moments of the weekend, the bright winners and the glamorous looks of the evening that was hosted by Barbara Schöneberger, who is truly one of the most entertaining women I know.

Model Miranda Kerr is Beauty Idol 2019
The «Beauty Idol» was awarded to Miranda Kerr, the famous Australian «Victoria’s Secret» angel. Miranda is known not only as a top model, but also as an entrepreneur. Together with her mother Therese Kerr, she runs a beauty brand for sustainable natural cosmetics under the label «KORA Organics» (TO SHOP KORA ORGANICS, CLICK HERE PLEASE.icon). In addition, Miranda Kerr, a certified health coach and practicing buddhist, has dedicated herself to the topic of empowerment: In 2010, she published her first book «Treasure Yourself», followed by «Empower Yourself» in 2013. Despite her success, Miranda Kerr is very much down to earth and announced that she is pregnant with baby number three that night. For this inspirational personality, the jury honored her this year as «Beauty Idol» in 2019.

To read a previous interview I did with Miranda about her travel tips for Australia, click here please.

Special Prize for Günther Bonin
This year, the «Special Prize» went to environmental protector Günther Bonin, who set up the organization «One Earth – One Ocean». Together with his team of experts and volunteers, he developed the concept for a «maritime garbage collection». This special coastal waste collection catamaran, the so-called «SeeKuh», fishes floating plastic parts on the water surface with the help of a net. It uses solar energy and can pick up two tons of garbage per trip, which can then be recycled ashore. In addition to cleaning up the waters and seas, Günther Bonin wants to provide information in the long term, so that not so much garbage gets into the environment. The jury thanked Günther Bonin for his special commitment with the «Special Prize».

All other award winners at a glance:


Category «Luxury Concepts»: ShiseidoFuture Solution LX / Intensive Firming Contour Serum

Category «Innovation Concepts»: ForeoForeo Ufo

Category «Cult Concepts»: NiveaQ10 Series

Category «Organic Concepts»: Dr. HauschkaRegeneration Day Cream 

Category «Medical & Health Concepts»: Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & SpaSpa Nescens, Switzerland

Category «Spa Concepts»: – Corinthia Hotel LondonESPA Life at Corinthia, United Kingdom

From left to right: Award winners Thomas Kochs (ESPA Life at Corinthia), Hans-Peter Veit (Victoria Jungfrau Frau Hotel & Spa), Maren Speckmann-Munz and Nicoline Woehrle (Dr. Hauschke), Kerstin Unger (Nivea), beauty idol Miranda Kerr, Editor-in-chief Gala Anne Meyer-Minnemann, host Barbara Schoeneberger, winners Günther Bonin, Johannes Scheer (Shiseido Group Germany) and Audrey de Saint Priest (Foreo) with their awards.

Switzerland in the house: with my dear Alana Netzer.

Barbara Schöneberger and CEO Oetker Collection Frank Marrenbach on stage.

A true beauty idol: Miranda Kerr

Eva Padberg with me

Anne Meyer-Minnemann and Cathy Hummels

Franjo and Verena Pooth

GNTM juror and celebrity make-up artist Armin Morbach with me

Franziska Knuppe

Always fun times with Princess Lilly Sayn-Wittgenstein

Let’s Dance: Motsi Mabuse, Joachim Llambi and Victoria Swarovski

The night culminated in a fun after party… thank God we had lots of beauty products in our room to look fresh the next day.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of GALA, © Axel Kirchhof/Gala, the respective locations and © Sandra Bauknecht

Furniture Trunks For Connoisseurs

Two young renegades from Louis Vuitton have revived the tradition of furniture trunks with contemporary accessories, Sonos speakers for one. These trunks are the sort that a porter carries into your first class cabin on the Titanic or velvet clad Pullman couchette. T.T.TRUNKS opened in a new Paris boutique on Faubourg St. Honoré where the world’s most elegant travellers come to stay at Le Bristol Paris. EDEN BEING have curated a collection of these revivalist trunks inspired by five of the Oetker Collection hotels: Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Le Bristol Paris, Eden Roc – St Barths, Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa, and The Lanesborough London. Each trunk model below comes in 5 different color combinations which are designed for one of the designated hotels.

T.T.Trunks
Eden Rock – St Barths Millésime trunk
€ 120,000

Farewell to the drinks cabinet, introducing the drinks trunk. Closed it exudes an air of mystery, opened it is an invitation to party. A masterful example of intelligent design by French malletiers, the T.T.Trunk’s Millesime stores everything the wine and cocktail connoisseur might think of. There is an easily portable case incorporated with space for a bottle and two glasses, to disappear together at a moments notice. An Eden Being limited edition designed for Eden Rock – St Barths lined in Goya Red with a discreet logo.

T.T.Trunks
Eden Rock – St Barths Dandy trunk
€ 39,000

A trunk for today’s dandy, for the man about the world, with a zest for life’s many amusements. These cases will keep you uber organised on your travels with excellent compartmentalisation for cufflinks and sunglasses, ensuring you have the right watch at the right time. There is an inbuilt charging unit for phones and ipads, and Sonos speaker. Nickel clasps, smooth cowhide and craftsmanship exude first class luggage. This Eden Being limited edition is designed, in marine cowhide with vibrant sky blue interior and a discreet logo, for Eden Rock – St Barths, where the Dandy owner would be completely at home in the splashy surroundings, from yacht to pool party.

T.T.Trunks
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc Havana trunk
€ 9,400
Designed for the cosmopolitan traveller and cigar smoker who appreciates all the craftsmanship synonymous with this mellifluous pleasure. Paying homage to the finest Havanas, this trunk ceremoniously transforms a languid smoke with a stylish assemblage of accessories, while intelligent design makes capacity. An Eden Being limited edition for Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in blue with discreet logo.

T.T.Trunks
The Lanesborough Mademoiselle trunk
€ 7,500
Glamorous world travelers can carry a selection of their treasures with them across cities and continents in refined style. This case is a work of artisanal perfection conceived by the two Parisian malletier behind T.T.Trunks. It opens up to display your jewels and watches in colourful order, making the choice all the more enticing. An Eden Being limited edition for The Lanesborough in shades of lilac, and with discreet logo.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of T.T.Trunks and Eden Being

Hublot x Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

One of my favorite hotels in the world, the iconic Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, which is part of the Oetker Collection, has come together with HUBLOT to create a limited edition of fifty Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Eden Roc watches in a to die for blue shade.

With this unique creation, HUBLOT joins the prestigious Eden Being collection, with its exclusive and bespoke pieces. A wonderful homage to a legendary place where artists, writers, film stars, royalty and other distinguished figures have all been inspired over time.


In its black ceramic dinner jacket, polished and glossy, the Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Eden-Roc has a laid-back look. The markers, hands and hour counter are all in elegant shades of blue, inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. It is worn on the wrist with a strap in aged blue leather or perforated black calfskin with blue topstitching.

The second counter at 3 o’clock is inspired by the iconic buoy of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, the very buoy which looks out over the seawater pool hewn into the rock, with its blue tone, merging with the colour of the sea, which inspired the watch’s various shades. The HUB1155 self-winding skeleton chronograph movement has a power reserve of forty two hours.

The Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Eden-Roc watch is a limited edition. Just fifty numbered models, presented in a varnished mahogany case: an exquisite rendering of the hotel’s pier, stretching out into the infinite blue of the Mediterranean Sea, dotted with boats moored in the bay. Personally speaking, a match made in heaven!

YOU CAN PRE-ORDER THE CLASSIC FUSION AEROFUSION CHRONOGRAPH EDEN-ROC HERE FOR €19.500.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Hublot, Oetker Collection and © Sandra Bauknecht

The Lanesborough Hotel London

My avid readers know how much I love London. Personally speaking, a weekend trip to the British metropole is one of my favorite things to do, as the city offers everything you can dream of, culture, shopping, nightlife, and great restaurants.

Happy me at The Lanesborough wearing Mary Katrantzou .

One of my favorite hotels to stay is THE LANESBOROUGH that belongs to the Oetker Collection. Perfectly positioned between Knightsbridge and Mayfair, just a short walk from Harrods, Harvey Nichols and London’s exclusive Sloane Street, this grand mansion overlooking Hyde Park Corner has undergone an inspired renovation by the famed interior designer Alberto Pinto. The hotel is home to 93 luxurious suites and bedrooms, Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant, the vibrant Library Bar and Garden Room and the magnificent Lanesborough Club & Spa.

About the latter I would like to tell you a lot more as this is one of the many reasons to stay at this hotel! It is a true sanctuary of health and relaxation in the city and was crowned the World’s Best New Hotel Spa 2017 at the World Spa Awards™. This private 1600 m² members’ fitness and health clubs and spa with its divine interior, is offering members and hotel guests access to internationally recognised experts in the fields of fitness, beauty and wellness.

The spa’s hydro pool area

A must for all spa lovers: the steam room and sauna.

Beautifully designed: the ladies’ changing room

A sanctuary of relaxation in the city: the private area for spa members

The so-called «Painting Room» serves for manicures and pedicures.

You can enjoy some of the finest spa therapy treatments with products from much-loved spa and beauty brands ila and La Prairie, as well as the expertise of facial and beauty expert Anastasia Achilleos. Good to know is that for non-members, day passes can also be combined with treatment bookings for access to the exceptional facilities.

The restaurant and bar of the Lanesborough Club & Spa

Moreover, The Lanesborough Club & Spa has its own restaurant, offering all-day healthy dining, developed by Michelin-starred Chefs Eric Frechon and Executive Chef Florian Favario in collaboration with Clean & Lean nutritional guidance from Bodyism founder James Duigan. High-protein snacks, smoothies and juices are available throughout the day, and all personal training sessions will finish with a bespoke blended drink to complement each members’ workout.

The hotel’s exquisite rooms and suites, are all uniquely refurbished with stylish, luxurious interiors and responsive technology seamlessly interwoven, including in-room tablets and powerful WiFi. Each room, not only suites, has a round-the-clock, dedicated butler service so that you can be assured that your needs are well served.

The seven-bedroom Royal Suite is a residence fit for a king, queen or head of state.

If you love food, you will enjoy the hotel’s Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant (see photo below) with its richly decorated dining room in light blue and yellow hues, naturally illuminated during the day by a domed glass roof.

Beautiful ambiance at the Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant

Moreover, I recommend the award-winning afternoon tea service, the seductive Library Bar and for the cigar aficionados among you one of London’s best cigar and Cognac loungesThe Garden Room. You see that THE LANESBOROUGH caters to all tastes…

I love having breakfast in the room… the first thing that makes my day…

One of my favorites in London is tea time which is served at the hotel’s «Withdrawing Room».

I am a big fan and hope that you will enjoy your stay at THE LANESBOROUGH as much as I do!

And if you become a fan, I recommend getting this beautiful Globe Trotter The Lanesborough Suitcase, that is only available at Eden Being.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of The Lanesborough Hotel and © Sandra Bauknecht

Time to Unwind at Villa Stéphanie

With email at my fingertips, nonstop traveling, and around-the-clock social media delights and business events, actually making the time to unwind and shut down at the end of the day sometimes seems to be one of my biggest challenges. Therefore I was very much looking forward to taking some time off at the VILLA STÉPHANIE in Baden Baden and hope that you all want to hear about the best detox experience I have ever had!

There are plenty of different ways that you can give your body the relief that it needs from all of the pressures and stresses of the day. Each of us has to decide what works best for him or her. I had to try different kinds to finally find this haven on earth that offered me what I was looking for in order to regain energy. Probably you are like me and wished there was an easy, quick way to cleanse your body of all those bubbly toxins. Funnily enough, I believe we are all equipped with a natural cleansing system in our bodies, called liver and kidneys. Together, these two toxin-bashing organs act as a superefficient system for filtering out the vast majority of the harmful substances we eat and drink. The only important factor that those work well is a healthy and moderate lifestyle. And this can be hard sometimes.


Personally speaking that is the main reason why I choose to «detox» from time to time but not in this heavy, depriving way of barely eating anything but dry bread rolls. This doesn’t work for me! I get cranky, have no energy to do sports then and the overall effect is frustration and unhappiness. What I need is healthy pampering. And this is what I got at VILLA STÉPHANIE in perfection.

This luxurious and exclusive destination spa, which is part of the iconic Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, is dedicated to beauty, detox & nutrition, emotional balance and medical care. Every aspect of those mentioned is at your disposal. The beautiful and spacious rooms (15 rooms and suites only at VILLA STÉPHANIE) with views overlooking the River Oos have everything you wish for. There is even a button to turn off the electricity and the Wi-Fi connection in a second so that you will sleep better the old fashioned way without any radiation or e-smog disturbing your system.

Upon my arrival, I had a meeting with Kevin, my health coach. Before deciding on my tailor-made program and menus, I had to stand on the InBody 720 machine, which is a premium, medical-grade body composition analyzer that can fully tell your physical composition and water level in a single test. My results were great and I was looking forward to indulge in the House’s vitality-detox cuisine. Deceivingly filling, absolutely satisfying and beautifully presented, I could not believe that the three meals per day weighed in at around 1200 calories only.

What was served? Typically something like a porridge with berries and nuts in the morning and this fabulous green smoothie, a three-course meal for lunch, including even a filet of beef with a baked potato followed by a light desert. In the evening, I always started with a soup, nothing raw, and an entree such as grilled scallops with vegetables.

One evening, I was spoilt by two Michelin star chef Paul Stradner to a 5-course Vital Menu (completely lactose and gluten free as well as light on the carbs) in the Brenners Park Restaurant. Decadent detoxing I would love to call it.

There are plenty of group fitness activities, such as aqua fitness, yoga, jogging and biking for example, but I preferred working out by myself in the well equipped gym or taking a yoga lesson with a private trainer.

To accompany my detox program, I was spoilt to different treatments, such as a lymphatic drainage, clarifying and detoxifying body treatments and a luxury facial, all with products by AQUA ORGANIC, especially created by Munich based dermatologist Dr. Kuhr to support the cleansing effects of the body, to honor and stimulate the multiple talents of our skin. Other brands the experienced and fantastic therapists work with are SISLEY PARIS and SKIN CEUTICALS to offer also a more anti-aging and nurturing approach to their clients.

VILLA STÉPHANIE is dedicated to the world of spa in every aspect. Stretching over five floors and covering over 5000 square metres, it comprises a 500-square-metre sauna, plunge pool, private gym, hamam and a ladies sauna. The inspiringly designed treatment rooms overlooking the gardens offer complete relaxation. I truly felt the whole time so chilled, quiet (my readers who know me in person can assure you that this can be a challenge for me:-)) and just happy. Even digital detox seemed easy.

On the way to the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, where I enjoyed lunch and dinner, you pass the entrance to the gigantic swimming pool in Roman style. In the gardens, there are multiple possibilities to relax in the sun or just walk around.

VILLA STÉPHANIE is also connected to Haus Julius, a clinic with personalized state-of-the-art medical care from some of Germany’s top experts in fields like aesthetics, gynaecology, holistic medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology and preventive medicine. The medical teams will even visit you in the privacy of your room or suite if you wish.

I also recommend a visit to the Eden Being boutique located in the main building that offers a lot of one of a kind things. Moreover do not miss a stroll around Baden Baden. You will be amazed how many high end designer shops this little German town has to offer. The only challenging part was to pass the perceived millions of ice cream parlors.

In the evenings, I loved to sit in the lounge with its extensive library, enjoy one more green smoothie and play a round of backgammon or two before going to bed. After one week, I did not want to leave, something that I have never experienced before when being at a detox retreat as I was always looking forward to retoxing again:-).

On my last day, I got a final body analysis with my nutrition expert who gave me individual workout tips and a tailor-made menu plan, including recipes, for me to take home.

I left my stay calmer, balanced and more upbeat, regenerated by the surroundings of this picturesque resort in the Black Forest. During my whole stay at this former royal residence with its classic architectural heritage, I have never felt like being on a diet or deprived of anything. Old-school service reigned supreme. The friendly staff and professional executive team added a high touch to my experience. I will be back – that is for sure!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Expensive Taste: Linda Farrow Sunglasses

Today I would like to invite you to discover the world’s most exclusive eyewear. Established in 1970, the Linda Farrow brand rose quickly to acclaim. Originally a fashion designer herself, Linda Farrow was one of the first to treat sunglasses as fashion, her finger always on the pulse of the times. A tireless experimenter, Farrow pioneered many of the shapes and styles that remain au courant today. Her pioneering use of shape helped move eyewear into high-fashion territory, with avant-garde styles favoured by stars like Yoko Ono and working with brands such as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Sonia Rykiel.

Creative direction: Tracy Sedino and Simon Jablon.

After a twenty year hiatus, the brand was revived in 2003 by Farrow’s son Simon Jablon and his wife Tracy Sedino, following the discovery of a vast archive of vintage sunglasses in the family’s London warehouse. Today, the brand is renowned for collaborating with some of the world’s most acclaimed designers and continues to be the luxury leader in eyewear design. Timeless in design and uncompromising in quality!

A great selection is available at EDEN BEING – click here to visit the online shop.

The packaging itself is sensational.

I went for this beautiful classic aviator style. A modern design, crafted in a warm and luxurious rose gold-plated titanium with monochromatic lenses, I love to wear them for a glamorous escapade.

Enjoying a healthy breakfast this morning on my balcony at the beautiful Villa Stéphanie with my new sunnies by Linda Farrow.

Right now I am at the Villa Stéphanie in Baden-Baden, Germany that is also part of the Oetker Collection for a week of detox that I will tell you more about soon in detail. At the moment, I am super busy with my program that includes different treatments, healthy eating and lots of sport. For instant updates follow me on Instagram @sandrascloset.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Linda Farrow and © Sandra Bauknecht

Eden Being’s Pop-Up Boutique at Le Bristol

As you already know I am very happy to be an Eden Being ambassadrice, the online shopping destination of the Oetker Collection. Embodying the finest of traditional hospitality, these elite luxury hotels are all very individual yet unified by a desire to deliver their guests the best of life. Eden Being stands for this sophisticated philosophy as well. Throughout the website you can discover a passion for living, an appreciation for culture, gastronomy and the pleasures of nature. The idea behind this website is to bring you memories of your travels to your doorstep, to find exclusive treasures and to get one of a kind pieces.

When I was in Paris last week with Sisley, I stayed at the beautiful Le Bristol, the iconic five star hotel located at 112, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. A beautiful place to spend time in the French capital that I can only recommend.

This historic palace hotel, where the elegant 18th century interiors are maintained to the highest levels of contemporary luxury, offers you this unique Parisian style, that «je ne sais quoi» attitude that we all admire in French ladies, surrounded by haute couture.

If you are there, have a Bellini at the Le Bar du Bristol. It is absolutely fabulous and enjoy some delicious gold-encrusted crêpes for the most stylish breakfast you have ever imagined.

While I was there, Eden Being had opened its doors to the Barefoot Playground Pop-up Boutique in the hotel’s lobby dedicated to the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and the relaxed glamour of the Côte d’Azur. Thinking of palm-fringes pools, sun-dappled lunches and insouciant glamour, I got inspired for everything I need for this perfect Riviera style.

From now, the motto has changed and Eden Being welcomes the Cabana Pop-up Boutique to Le Bristol which will be there until July 13th.

Different and desirable rare objets make up this cabinet of curiosities by Milanese collector Martina Mondadori. The designer and Cabana Magazine publisher defines her personal collection as extravagant bohemian chic, crazy elegance and eclectic charm.

Everything is timeless and yet beautifully in tune with the times. So browse away through glassworks from Venice, hand painted ceramics, gold-plated pendants, Afghani cuffs and abstract sculptures. A boutique of beautiful rarities.

I couldn’t resist this stunning embroidered book clutch below that Olympia Le Tan (for a previous post on her upcoming collection with Lancôme, click here please) created in collaboration with Cabana Magazine for Eden Being.

It is constructed from cotton-canvas with a gold-tone brass frame and features a beautiful hand embroidered cover. It is a limited and numbered edition (I own number 4 of 16). This week, I wore it in Ibiza and will soon show you the outfit post.

Needless to say, I brought home some amazing memories. So please stay tuned and in the meantime happy shopping!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Eden Being and © Sandra Bauknecht