Celebrity Travel & StyleInterviewsJet Set PetLuxury VoyagesSuite Dreams - The World's Best SuitesTime TravelerLuxury Travel TrendsWeekend Away
Destination WeddingsFamily Vacation PackagesSpa & Wellness PackagesRomantic & Honeymoon PackagesGirls GetawaysFall Travel PackagesWinter Getaway PackagesChristmas Travel & PackagesNew Year's Eve Packages
ArticlesThe Best Hotels, Resorts & Villas Around the World
Beach & Island Resorts5-Star City HotelsAdventure Lodges & Eco EscapesBoutique City HotelsCountry House HotelsRomantic RetreatsLuxury Guest RanchesLuxury Safari Camps & LodgesGolf Resorts & LodgesSpa Resorts & Wellness RetreatsSki Resorts & LodgesWine Country GetawaysLuxury Family Travel & ResortsNew HotelsHot Hotel Openings
Beach, Coastal & Island VillasCountry VillasGolf VillasSki VillasLuxury Villas & Vacation Rentals Around the WorldHotel Branded Residences
Luxury Cruises & YachtingLuxury Car RentalTravel Tips & AdviceAirline NewsUltimate TripsBusiness TravelFamily TravelLuxury SafarisPrivate Jet TravelRail Journeys: The World's Most Scenic Train Rides
Events
RestaurantsBars & NightclubsAfternoon TeaCoffeeCooking ClassesCulinary TravelWine Travel
Spa & Wellness RetreatsYogaGolf GetawaysTennisSki Vacations
Gift GuideBeach and ResortwearBeauty and FragranceBooksFashionHome StyleLuggage and HandbagsLuxury Autos & Driving ExperiencesMen's StyleTravel EssentialsWatches & JewelryWine and SpiritsWorld's Most Expensive
Back to:  Home > News > Interviews

Interviews

Interview with Baroness Monica von Neumann

April 22, 2010 - By Christine Gray

Luxury Travel Magazine interviews Baroness Monica von Neumann, the businesswoman, tastemaker and former Dior and Yves St. Laurent model who is known within the most elite circles of society as an authority on everything "luxury" from dining to decorating, travel to hosting, jewels to sports cars. One part Martha Stewart and another part Wendy Williams, this aristocrat-turned-lifestyle expert doles out advice with the utmost elegance and just a touch of Detroit soul.

You recently traveled to Africa. Please tell us about that trip.

My trip to Africa was a humanitarian mission, not a luxury trip. I spent time in Meru, Amboseli and Nairobi. The trip was amazing and life changing but not a vacation getaway. My only luxury item on the trip was one glass of champagne while looking at Mount Kilimanjaro at sunset--that was priceless. The sky in Kenya is something I have never seen. The people are warm and kind. Although I wasn't there for pleasure, I found the dichotomy between the poverty and the beauty of the land to be profound. Kenya has such rich land, beautiful skies, exotic animals and unique sounds, I couldn't believe it was the same country that was also home to countless HIV positive children, hungry citizens and homeless with no shelter. I was in permanent awe.

How often are you able to travel for pleasure and who comes with you?

I typically try to travel 6 times a year. My best friend usually comes with, and sometimes daughter Dorian.

We heard that you like to always take a little bit of home with you wherever you go. What would that be?

Sometimes I take a throw, family photo, incense or run to the nearest gift shop for scented candles. I always order fresh flowers for the room, and it makes me feel at home.

How do you choose a hotel when you travel and what services do you consider essential?

Having travelled all over the world for many years (and I won't say for how many years), I go according to recommendations and research. If I am going to an island then I choose based on how far the beach is to my front door. In any hotel, privacy is key. A good concierge and immaculate housekeeping are essential. If it's a hotel that you frequent it's always nice if the hotel keeps a list of your favorites.

Do you use a travel agent? Do you use any travel websites?

I do use travel websites for customer reviews and rankings of hotels. Testimonials really help in the decision making process.

Do you have a favorite hotel?

Definitely the Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy. The service is amazing, food is incredible and the location is perfect. They are mind readers – they will remember your name and exactly what you love each time you visit. There is a total sense of privacy there that will allow you to escape and truly enjoy your stay.

What activities do you enjoy on holiday?

Being an experienced traveler, in addition to the requisite swimming, shopping and dining, I enjoy going off the path. I love to find small restaurants with just a few tables, tasting wines from different regions and a savoring a decadent gelato at a café.

What are your luxury requirements when you travel on business?

Flowers and candles for my room, a comfortable seat on plane, and as few connecting flights as possible. Non-stop travel is a luxury!

What has been your favorite destination(s) to date and where haven't you been that is at the top of your "must see" list?

My favorite destination so far has been Thailand. The Maldives is at the top of my list of places to go.

What current project(s) are you working on?

I'm currently busy preparing to launch my own candle line "Baroness von Neumann" - these scents are developed strictly from my travels around the world with inspiration drawn mainly from my trips to Europe and Africa. The following are descriptions of each scent:

SAVON: Sparkly floral Aldehydic with notes of Jasmin, Jonquil, Rose and Lily of the Valley with a woody, musky, ambery background.

ATLAS: A scintillating display of spicy Ceylon Cinnamon and Zanzibar Cove layered over smoky peat, Sandalwood, Orange Flowers, Rosewood and red amber.

FETE: Tangy Navel Orange, hot spicy Seychelles Cinnamon, Zanzibar Clove and cool Norwegian Pine are juxtaposed with inimitable Indonesian Patchouli and exotic Amberwood.

MODENA: Stylish men's scent with crispy citrus top over a spicy middle and an herbal, highlighted by Neroli Bigarade and Italian Lemon.

I am also currently working with two amazing non-profit organizations that help HIV stricken children in Kenya--Aina and March to the Top. I am part of a team organizing fundraisers to assist these organizations in changing the lives of many children.


 

Featured Luxury Hotels

 


 

LUXURY PARTNERS

 

Springtime in Tuscany, 25% off
Relais San Sanino is a charming, unique resort in Tuscany, near Montepulciano, offering 4 Exclusive Luxury Suites in the Countryside.

 

 

Private Villa Rentals - Caribbean & Mexico
In the realm of world-class luxury private villa rentals, we know that the exceptional experiences our guests deserve are about much more than just the villa itself.

 

 

 

Carneros Resort and Spa - Napa Valley, California
The resort features 86 charming private guest cottages and suites and nightly private luxury home rentals, each furnished with casual elegance and nestled in a lush garden courtyard with private deck.

 

 

 

Calala Island - Nicaragua
A luxury resort named one of "The 10 Best Private Islands in the World" is nestled in the undiscovered part of the Caribbean, off the coast of Nicaragua. Come experience barefoot luxury in a pristine paradise!

 

 

 

WEALTH MAGAZINE
The luxury lifestyle - how to spend it on autos, jets, yachts, real estate, travel, shopping, wellness and all the best in life.

 

 

 

Anse Chastanet - St. Lucia
Set amid a lush 600-acre estate with two soft-sand beaches and breathtaking views of St. Lucia's iconic twin Pitons mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

 

 

Eden Roc at Cap Cana - Punta Cana
Offering exclusive luxury in the Dominican Republic, Eden Roc at Cap Cana, the only Relais & Chateaux hotel on the island, features 34 freestanding suites with private pools and stunning views.

 

 

 

ULTIMATE ADVENTURES
Explore the world outdoors - discover the best travel adventures, glamping, activities, gear, apparel, vehicles, and more.

 

 

 

Primland - Meadows of Dan, VA
A pristine Blue Ridge Mountain resort offering 12,000 acres of space, sky and shifting moods. Primland is the ultimate getaway for world-class golf, refined dining, and outdoor activities in an environment of rare natural beauty.

 

 

 

Rawai VIP Villas - Phuket, Thailand
A brand new family community and kids' park that epitomizes modern Thai luxury. Each of the 40 villas boasts a private pool in terraced courtyards.

 

 

Argentario Resort Golf & Spa
The Design Golf Resort - named 'Best Luxury Hotel in Italy' by Overseas Living Magazine - offers 73 design rooms, one luxurious villa for rent and a number of sophisticated homes for sale.

 

 

SUPERYACHT MAGAZINE
Living the dream - the world's best yachts for sale and charter. See the latest trends in yacht design, tech, toys, destinations and lifestyle.

 

 

Mountain Shadows
The new resort features timeless modern design, 183 guestrooms, a restaurant with an exhibition kitchen, two pools, a high-tech fitness facility, a fully revamped short golf course, a golf grill and lounge as well as 37,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

 

 

Jade Mountain - St. Lucia
Jade Mountain is an exclusive luxury 'resort within a resort' with 24 suites at St. Lucia's famed Anse Chastanet Resort, in a truly romantic and magical setting poised high overlooking St. Lucia's Piton World Heritage site and the Caribbean Sea.

 

 

Hotel Valley Ho - Scottsdale, AZ
Escape to the sun in Scottsdale! A hideaway for celebrities, this Downtown Scottsdale resort features generously sized guest rooms with all-glass walls opening onto airy patios or balconies, many with views of Camelback Mountain.

 

 

JETSETTER MAGAZINE
Luxury travel and lifestyle - discover all the best destinations, hotels, resorts, nightlife, adventure, shopping, safaris, villas, spas and much more.

 

 

A.M.A Selections
A.M.A Selections offers a portfolio of hand-picked villas on the French Riviera, Tuscany and Umbria, complemented with an exclusive range of concierge services such as private jet and yacht charter, private chef, car service, and more.

 

 

BINA - Luxury Yacht Charter 142'
Offering remarkable quantities of luxury for a yacht of her size category, nothing but unadulterated bliss awaits you on board BINA. Sleeps 10-12 in 5 cabins.

 

 

 

VOYAGES MAGAZINE
Exploring the World in Style - cruising, yachting, expeditions, family adventure, luxury, river cruising - all to the best destinations in the world.