Sleep like Viennese Royalty…even if just for a night!

To live or sleep like a Viennese

To live or sleep like a Viennese Hapsburg in modern times has become somewhat realistic thanks to some luxury hotel chains in Vienna, Austria.  The Hapsburg Dynasty is known for it’s opulent and luxurious architecture all over Europe. Along with the architecture came the craving for the arts and music to fill their masterpieces thus creating one of the most important royal houses of Europe…in life and in death.

As the wife of an Austrian Diplomate

As the wife of an Austrian Diplomate, I have become to love the Austrian culture and Vienna rates as my #1 must see places in the world. With cooler weather, wine harvest season and Halloween around the corner I thought I would highlight some of the “not so obvious” things to do while in Vienna, Austria during the fall!

Let’s start with your hotel stay. Whether you book the presidential suite or just take a stroll thru their grand lobbies…these hotels should certainly be on your tour schedule in between the museums, concerts and coffee shops!

Golden opulence at the Palais Coburg.
Golden opulence at the Palais Coburg.
Sleep like a queen at Hotel Sacher in one of their stately appointed rooms.
Sleep like a queen at Hotel Sacher in one of their stately appointed rooms.
The Park Hyatt was the former headquarters of the Austrian Monarchy Bank.
The Park Hyatt was the former headquarters of the Austrian Monarchy Bank.
Prince of Wales Suite - Entrance at the Hotel Bristol.
Prince of Wales Suite – Entrance at the Hotel Bristol.

September is the time of the year for wine harvesting. There are many festivals and a perfect time to head into the neighboring hills of Grinzing and Klosterneuburg where you can sip Sturm, Zweigelt and Blauburger while enjoying a beautiful view of the city and the Danube.  Wondering what Sturm is? It is a semi-fermented grape juice from the first grape harvest of the season. It’s low in alcohol and marks the official start of autumn!

Typical Austrian brettl-jause (selection of cold cuts & cheeses served on a wooden board) served with an Austrian white wine.
Typical Austrian brettl-jause (selection of cold cuts & cheeses on a wooden board) served with an Austrian white wine.

With Halloween around the corner what better way to spend October than visiting the final resting place for the members of the Habsburg Empire known as The Imperial Crypt (German: Kaisergruft). It is located beneath the Capuchin Church and monastery, which is located on Neuer Markt square (Inner Stadt), near the Hofburg Palace. The bones of 145 Habsburg royalty, plus urns containing the hearts or cremated remains of four others, are here, including 12 emperors and 18 empresses. The metal caskets or sarcophagi styles range from simple to the über exuberant rococo.

Imperial family sarcophagi
Imperial family sarcophagi
Detail on one of the many sarcophagi for the imperial family.
Detail on one of the many sarcophagi for the imperial family.

Last but not least one must take a stroll or a horse drawn ride thru the Vienna Central Cemetery (Central Freidhof). It is so large that it hardly seems possible to be able to discover all of its intricacies and renowned burial sites. Be sure allow time for this must see spot. Fall is perfect when the temps start to chill the air. Austria’s most famous artist and musicians are buried here.

Beethovan and Schubert along with artist Gustav Klimt are buried at the central cemetery in Vienna.
Beethovan and Schubert along with artist Gustav Klimt are buried at the central cemetery in Vienna.

I hope you have enjoyed just a small sampling of what awaits you in Vienna, Austria. Sleep like a royal…

Southern Charm takes St. Barths

St. Barths known for it’s jet-set travelers, celebrities, yachts, lux villas, fine dining and insane shopping was the perfect destination for a recent southern girls get away. When deciding where our group would take a much needed break, St. Barths was the obvious choice. We loaded our Louis Vuitton luggage, Hermes birkins & Celiné clutches and off we went to spread a little Southern Charm!


Packing & Shopping 101: Less is more…the shopping there is crazy chic and if you hit in May you can grab some great deals. I scored many silk #Pucci caftans and fun cover-ups. I am ready to take on any lux fashionista with a southern attitude. One of my favorite things to take home from the island is its famous oil & lotions St. Barth Ligne…yummy.



Dining 101: If your renting a villa, as we did, go ahead and give Maya’s Catering a call or your villa concierge at St. Barths Properties can assist you. This is a sampling of our dinner reservations. Don’t forget to hit Nikki Beach for a little extra fun!!

  • Bonito Friday evening 7 or 7:30
  • Ti for 9:00pm show Saturday evening
  • La Playa Sunday evening 7-7:30
  • Bagatelle for Sunday brunch
Bonita for chic dining
Bonita for chic dining
Ti for a little fun
Ti for a little fun
Maya’s To Go
Maya’s To Go

Accommodations: We rented a three bedroom villa with all king size suites from St. Barths Properties. Highly recommend their services. There are also many beautiful hotels on the island. Some of my favorites are Eden Rock and Hotel Le Toiny for an über chic stay.

Hotel Le Toiny
Villa Wide View available thru St. Barths Properties.
Eden Rock St. Barths

We look forward to hearing about your stay in St. Barth’s. Please leave us a comment on your favorites spots in St. Barth!

Amy’s Adventures in Austria (photo blog)

    What’s in your travel bag this summer? Tag us using#styleatoz in your travel journeys, favorite hotspots, fashion moments, food porn etc…we want to be in your loop! Some of Amy’s travel favorites #sensai #bronzer#LaRochePosay50 (no wrinkles here)!#missoniheadband #luxecityguides #chanel  


 Madame Trussauds wax museum in Vienna, Italy

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Austrian Lipizzaner Stallions


Austrian National Library – Vienna, Austria


The gardens of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria are some of the most beautiful in the world



Mount Lussari (Italian: Monte Lussari, German: Luschariberg, Slovene: Svete Višarje) a pilgrimage church, where according to legend in 1360 a shepherd discovered a statue of Virgin Mary.


Pool and Voque!


Lindau, Germany enjoying art by #Matisse & seeing the beautiful port



And I end with a double Rainbow….hope you enjoyed a peek into my Summer. 

~Amy R Zimmer

Special Thanks to Santa Barbara Magazine

Where will your summer travels take you? Read about one of my favorite hot spots in this months issue of #SantaBarbaraMagazine …..may the #jetset summer life start this week! Stay posted to all my travels, a few secrets are in my suitcase! Thank you #SantaBarbaraMagazine for the shout out!

Follow them on instagram at @santabarbaramag and twitter at @santabarbaramag and download the latest copy of their magazine on your reader! www.


Escape. Engage. Explore

Escape. Engage. Explore

It might come as a surprise to you that spring break is right around the corner.  With how hectic the fall season has been, I for one have been looking forward to spring for weeks now.  Warmer weather and a little time for relaxation are on the menu.  Though Spring Break is only a short respite from your busy schedule, a week is plenty of time to rest and re-focus yourself.  If you’re like me, I’m thinking the Caribbean is on the way out.  Palm trees and white, sandy beaches are great, but why not do a little something for yourself this year?

I’ve been thinking of something more invigorating;a place to cleanse the mind and rejuvenate the body. How about spending your mini-vacation at Hotel Domestique?Vacations are for taking care of yourself and Hotel Domestique caters to that “ultimate experience.”  Set in the peaceful atmosphere of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it has everything to offer for both the person needing blissful relaxation,and the adventure-lover in you.

Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina hasn’t yet been listed as one of the top travel destinations for 2014, but I’m thinking that staying at this gorgeous, European-style hotel will change everyone’s minds.  Enjoy long bike rides, both “leisurely and intense.”  Walk through vineyards so picturesque, you will think you’re in the French countryside.  Experience the finest dining and highest quality service at Hotel Domestique’s own Restaurant 17.  Feel the need to explore? The hotel is centrally located so that you’ll have an easy drive to take in the scenery on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or travel to Greenville or Asheville, NC to enjoy a day outing.  Don’t have time for a romantic trip for two and want to bring the family along?  Sure!  Hotel Domestique has everything even the kids could want, including an unbelievable pool (That’s all it takes to make them happy anyway!)

It’s easy to see that Hotel Domestique offers just about everything one could want in the way of comfort, style and inspiration for a truly magical vacation.  So have a getaway… in a place that’s not so far away!

A Kiss of Couture

Amy R Zimmer


This Cleanse at Mayr Clinic in Austria is a life changing experience that I have had the luxury of experiencing. My husband and I try to do it  every couple of years and it is such an healing, fabulous place.

These are my bullet points that I have taken from my cleanse:

*Mental Clarity

*Improved energy.

*Decreased craving for sugars and toxic foods.

*Overall understanding of the benefits that cleansing provides your body, giving it the break it deserves.

*Weight loss, if that is your goal.

Enjoy this amazing article found from Harpers Baazar UK, it really captures the essence of Mayr Clinic

Love ~Amy Zimmer

by Florrie Thomas


The Mayr Clinic in Austria is famous for its fasts, vitamin injections and healing powers.  Jonathan Foreman, a long time fan, takes his fourth trip to the clinic to meet its new director and answer some essential questions.

Who goes?
Anyone who is anyone in the fashion and film world knows about the Mayr, and most of them have been there. On my first trip Uma Thurman was checking out as I arrived. On my most recent one a well-known, slightly plump British cabinet minister had come hoping to drop some serious weight.

Where is it?
The F.X Mayr & More clinic is located on the Worthersee lake in Southern Carinthia, a province of Austria that borders Italy and Slovenia. The Worthersee is the Austrian Riviera, or rather MittleEuropa’s equivalent of the Hamptons. Thanks partly to the famous casino at Velden on one end of the lake, it has been a playground for Germany’s and Austria’s wealthy for decades. The families that own Porsche and BMW both have houses on the lake, and even small lakefront huts here are fabulously expensive.

What is the Mayr Cure?
The Mayr is not about being “pampered”, although cosmetic treatments are available. It’s about health, in particular digestive health.  Dr Mayr, like many of his early 20th century contemporaries, was convinced that overeating and bad diet was at the root of many modern afflictions. He believed that if you give your digestive system a rest by fasting, then the body’s ability to heal itself gets a boost.

The modern version of Dr Mayr’s method is less spartan than the original: you don’t have to live on herbal tea for three weeks. You do eat much less than you would at home or if you were doing any kind of work, and you avoid anything and everything that is hard to digest, including fruit and raw vegetables.

You are encouraged to rest, to avoid TV and to eat very lightly at night, usually only a bowl of soup, taken by teaspoon. At the same time you detox by drinking lots of water, taking a dose of salts every morning to clear out your intestines and doing without things like alcohol, coffee and sugar.

Is it safe?
The Mayr cure is without question the most effective way to lose real weight quickly and safely. It’s less extreme and much healthier than the Spartan regimes you encounter at places like the Ashram in the USA, and it does not involve the kind of deprivation that puts your body into starvation mode and prompts weight gain immediately when you stop. Your weight loss is the by-product of a healthy process of fasting and relaxation. There are several places in the region where the Mayr cure is on offer, but Mayr and More is its original home.

Is the Mayr for me?
At least a third of the people I met at the Mayr were not there to lose weight, though most were happy to have that as a side effect. They were there to boost immune systems depleted by chemotherapy or steroid treatment, to cure irritable or spastic bowels, to deal with other persistent afflictions like candida or to recover from various types of exhaustion.

Should I go alone?
Having to run to the loo frequently, as many people do in their first few days as the salts take effect, is something of an icebreaker. On the other hand, the Mayr is no place to take a lover. The headaches, tiredness and other detox symptoms – and the requirement to monitor the qualities of your stools – don’t make a Mayr visit conducive to romance, despite the extraordinary beauty of the turquoise lake.

Is the Mayr regime physically challenging?
The doctors here are adamant that you should only do moderate exercise while on the cure. You can swim, try acquacycling in the indoor pool, do pilates and yoga and go for good walks in the hills but they discourage anything much more strenuous than that.

What is the regime?
Each person get’s their own diet plan based on a doctor’s examination and blood tests. You are given alkaline powder to take at night and in the morning. This is to make up for the excessively acidic diet of most Mayr clients. It is also because when fat melts as part of weight loss ketonic acids are produced.

You are given infusions of vitamins and minerals to make up for the effect of the salts and the diet. It’s advised that you don’t watch TV – though there are TVs in the rooms – during the cure because it undermines the whole relaxation aspect and keeps people up too late. The Mayr doctors believe that sleep before midnight is especially valuable, and that rest is vital for losing weight. For most people the Mayr fast includes a decent sized, central European style breakfast.

The Mayr has a new director. What changes has he made?
The new director, Dr Stefan Domenig, who was formerly at the competing Viva Mayr clinic just up the Lake at Maria Worth, has to some degree taken the institution back to its roots with a slightly more simplified menu. Monotony, he believes, is extremely helpful both for the cure – “it calms the flora” he told me – and for fat loss. The food served at the Mayr is now exclusively organic.

Domenig also plans some changes to the physical environment that will make it more competitive with its glitzier rival, the Viva Mayr. Soon guests will be able to sip their evening soup outside. He also says plans to boost the exercise component of the cure, which is currently one of Mayr and More’s relative weaknesses. Although the Mayr currently has two first class physical trainers, both women are part-timers, and when they are not around there are no qualified instructors present. Younger clients in particular would appreciate kayaks or stand-up-paddleboards if they were made available on the beach during the summer, and ought to be able to go cross-country skiing in the winter.

Getting there:
The nearest airport is at Klagenfurt at the top of the Worthersee. Klagenfurt is served by Ryanair though given the misery of flying on that carrier many Mayr people instead choose to come via Lubljana which is an hour away by car but reachable on Easy Jet and BA.


Best West by Gina Tolleson

It doesn’t matter if you are a Right or Left Coast stylista, the LOOK of the season points WEST. Denim goes glam with metallics and leather, turquoise jewels rock a white shirt, while boots and bags are fitted with fringe, exotic skins and studs. Living in California, Santa Barbara to be exact, we can live year around with this laidback and layered look that makes us feel right at home nestle between the mountains and the sea. Casual meets cowboy meets luxe meets comfort…

Sexy Western Looks I LOVE Right Now: (Images from Vogue Magazine)


Check out my current Fall issue of Santa Barbara Magazine, “Haute West” and take a peek into the best of Cali living and translate it into your own Sparkle City style.


Gina Tolleson is Editor of Santa Barbara Magazine, native of Spartanburg, SC and my best friend!

Thank you Gina for being Style A to Z guest blogger today! Amy R Zimmer, owner of Couture Closets.