My Favourites

Ayesha Khan

Santiago My Favourites November 24, 2017

From Le Rosey to Boston and L.A, Ayesha is
an aspiring hotelier completing her Masters
at Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne.

My Upbringing

I was born in Orlando Florida, bred in Bangladesh, and am currently based between a few countries in the USA, Europe and Asia. I consider myself very lucky to have had an incredible childhood. Most of my childhood was in Chittagong Bangladesh. We lived in a compound amongst the Batali Hills. Batali housed my home and homes of my uncle’s and aunts from my paternal side. Thus, I was constantly surrounded by my cousins. I remember having massive water fights with my cousins, my aunt used to throw amazing birthday parties for us, I used to play with many of the children of the staff who I still keep in touch with today. My parents had exotic animals such a falcons, peacocks and deers roaming around the compound which turned me into an animal lover. 10 years ago my father and sister rescued a monkey who was too weak to be in the wild and I ended up taking care of our monkey, Modhu. Today Modhu has become my best friend and a big part of my life. Apart from being surrounded by family, friends and lots of animals, one of the biggest pillars in my upbringing would definitely be my late nanny, Mustafa Didi, who raised me for 21 years.

My Family, My Roots

I am the youngest granddaughter of the late Mr. Abul Kasem Khan, best known as A.K. Khan who was a Bangladeshi Lawyer, Industrialist and Politician. He is the founder of one of Bangladesh’s oldest and leading conglomerates, A.K. Khan and Company. My father, A.K. Shamsuddin Khan, along with his siblings, spearhead the company today. My father is an industrialist and businessman, he taught me to always stay connected to my roots and to always be humble. My mother, Fawzia Khan, could be best described as a superwoman. Apart from raising me and my sisters, she is very much into Interior Design, designing all of our spaces in Bangladesh, LA and London. She is an avid golfer and traveler as well. I have two older sisters Samanzar and Sherfehnaz who are currently working for A.K.Khan & company and AKS Khan Company. I wish to join my sisters within the next year to help grow our family business and increase our company’s portfolio.

Global Citizen

I left Bangladesh when I was 14. In 2007 I attended Institut Le Rosey, Switzerland’s renowned boarding school, after which I moved to the United States. I lived in Boston during my university years after which I moved to Los Angeles. Currently I am in Switzerland, doing a master’s program. As for now, I do not have a base as I move continents every 3 months. After this Christmas I will be in Hong Kong, followed by Koh Samui and Houston.
Childhood Memories That Shaped Me

There are many instances in my childhood that played a pivotal role into shaping me to be who I am today. As mentioned previously, constantly being surrounded by animals made me a big animal lover and taught me to be compassionate towards every living being. Constantly being surrounded by elders taught me to always be respectful. My parents never really made me realize how lucky I was to have everything they have given me, I always thought I was just like everyone else and everyone is equal, this taught me to always be friendly towards everyone and never feel entitled to anything. I believe this is one of the main reasons why today, I have friends from all walks of life who teach me so much and add value to my life. Thanks to my sisters, I learned not to be selfish and to always share. I used to wear all my sister’s hand me downs and I still continue to raid their closet every once in a while! I truly could not have asked for a better childhood, I take great pride to be brought up in the Hills of Chittagong and being a Bangladeshi. Because of what Bangladesh has given me in my early years, I feel I must one day go back to Bangladesh and give back to my country, to the people and do it for my Family.

Career Aspirations And Goals For The Future

I attended Institut Le Rosey a Swiss boarding school during my high school years. Upon graduating, I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and minored in International Affairs in Northeastern University. During my time in Northeastern University, I also worked at Harvard Medical School’s Office of Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership. I was the program coordinator for their Reflection in Action (RIA) program. RIA supported Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program that encourage inner city school children to live healthy and maintain an active lifestyle.
After graduation, I slowly began to realize that I was a people’s person with an altruistic personality. I gained happiness in making others happy. When my friends would come over, I would always make sure they were comfortable, that they had everything that they needed. It was then when I realized that hospitality was my calling. I knew I wanted to give people memorable experiences and thus Hotel Management was the right path for me. I then moved to Los Angeles where I worked at Montage Beverly Hills for two and a half years. I decided I wanted to do my masters in Hospitality. I am currently doing a Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business at Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in Switzerland. Upon graduation I wish to go back home to Bangladesh and work in the hospitality and tourism industry. Our seaside Cox’s Bazaar has the longest natural beach in the world. Cox’s Bazaar is truly beautiful and there is a lot of potential for our hospitality industry to thrive. It will be a shame if our people are not able to fully enjoy the seaside of our country. Hence I would like to cater to the mass and open economy hotels and resorts in the sea side of our country and hopefully give our people memorable experiences.

Favourite Hotels To Work For

I was very fortunate to have worked at an incredible property in Beverly Hills called The Montage Beverly Hills. I worked in various different departments, starting from Retail, Administrative assistant in the Executive Office, Food and Beverage, Human Resources, Accounting and many more. I ultimately won Montage Masters which was equivalent to being awarded as best employee. This further validated my urge to continue my career in Hospitality. Soon I will also be interning at a property in Koh Samui (unfortunately my NDA agreement does not allow me to name the hotel company). Ultimately in the future instead of working at a hotel, I would love to build/acquire my own hotel or possibly even bring a hospitality franchise to Bangladesh.

Favourite Things To Do

I love music. It is my release and escape. I love discovering new artists, going to concerts, lately I have also been into Ballet. I enjoy everything from Grand Moscow State Classical Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Natalya Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasilyov to a night out attending a Nicolas Jaar concert. When I am home I enjoy spending time with my Monkey and my dogs, trying to understand animal behavior. Singing and Skiing can be added to the list as well. I was trained in Bengali Classical singing from a very early age, followed by signing in the choir and chamber choir of our school. Skiing is my favorite sport, I love taking on the slopes and enjoying mountainous views of the world. I love to paint as well. I used to be an advance level art student during my high school years and I still continue to paint today in my leisure time. I personally love working with acrylics and mixing them with different textures such as gold leaf.

Art, the only thing that is either meant to make you feel super uncomfortable when you look at it, or makes you fall in love with it at first sight. Art to me speaks louder than words. My father is a big art collector back home and when I was a child I couldn’t understand why he kept such crazy paintings in the house, but after growing up I can truly appreciate his taste in art. We have pieces of a very famous Bengali artist called Shahabuddin Ahmed, his work mimics stark realism and I find him to be an icon in the art world. Being a 90’s child I truly love contemporary art. Some of my favorites would include Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, but Jean-Michel Basquiat holds a special place in my heart. I find his work to be very bold.

Holiday Destinations

I would be lying if I could name just one place as my favorite holiday destination. Every city has its own charm and magic. The ancient city of Bagan where Buddhist holy monuments tower over green plains will bring you a great sense of peace and make you feel like an eternal being. It will give you a different feeling from when you are boating in St. Tropez or Mykonos in the summer attending private parties and dinners. Visiting different destinations will only help you explore different parts of yourself. I truly love the world and travelling everywhere. I cannot say a few places are my favorite as all these places make me feel a certain way and bring a different kind of joy.

Fashion Style

Style is so personal and I tend to go through phases. My style changes according to my mood, however a common factor would be staying modest and elegant. Less is always more for me! I also love the Thiery Mugler dress. His designs are bold and creative allowing women to walk proudly and powerfully. I adore wearing clothes that make me feel feminine and pretty. A lot of florals, soft colors and pastels tend to win me over. However, at the same time, nothing will ever top the beauty of wearing black.

My Passion

I am very passionate about animal rights. I am currently donating and petitioning against Yulin Festival, I also donated to an Orangutan conservation foundation for an orangutan named Gito. Gito was found brunt as a baby and he lost his mother in a forest fire. I contributed towards Gito’s recovery process so that one day he will be strong enough to be released back into the wild. In the future I wish to donate my earnings and proceeds towards animal rights. I still feel not enough is being done for the divine beings that we share this planet with.


Food is the ultimate joy of life! Having tried almost all the cuisines, I am still partial towards Bangladeshi / Indian cuisine because of the sheer variety it has. Different parts of the subcontinent have different dishes and therein lies the beauty of the cuisine. In general I do love Asian food and I prefer it to European food. I love spices and herbs, they can make anything taste delicious and makes you crave more of it. In addition it has a lot of health benefits. This is not to say I do not like European cuisine. Some of my favourite dishes include, Pad Kra Pao, Chicken Vindaloo, our homemade recipe of Batali Chicken, Gratin Dauphinoise, etc. My ultimate weakness however would be Movenpick Swiss Chocolate ice-cream. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Movenpick Ice-cream. I grew up on that chocolate ice cream and I have a very strong feeling I will grow old
eating it!

Contribution To Society

In life I truly believe that you have to do what is right for you. Ultimately, life goes on and time is running out. One deserves to live life to the fullest. Sadly not all of us have the opportunity or the means to enjoy life to the fullest. Coming from Bangladesh, I see with my own eyes the unfairness of life. Some people don’t have adequate food or shelter. Therefore it is imperative that we first help those who are in need. Our purpose should be to enjoy life to the fullest only knowing that we have also done our part in making other people’s lives better and continue to do so. Love and Happiness are meant to be shared. Our family recently donated to shelter the Rohingyas who have fled Burma and are currently seeking refuge in Bangladesh. We also support the Leonardo Dicaprio foundation in saving the planet and conserving the wild. This is a cause I am truly passionate about. I want to be the voice for the animals who are being exploited by us humans in the world. I always dreamt to have my own private island where I would be able to conserve all the endangered species in the world! Although it sounds far-fetched I am constantly aspiring to work towards a better planet for the wild.

My Inspiration

There are tons of people to admire and look up to because of their achievements and bravery. All the powerful women that exist in the world, which may or may not be as famous as all the celebrities, deserve as much respect for all the work they have done. Women such as Rosa Parks, Michelle Obama, Diana Nyad are such an inspiration to look up to. However, women like my late nanny who truly loved me and took care of me as her own child, showed me what unconditional love is. As cliché as this sounds I truly do look up to my mother. Not only because of her achievements but because of her heart. She has a heart of gold and embodies the epitome of a good human being. She taught me to live life to the fullest and not be afraid to live your true self. I believe there is no greater lesson than that because she is constantly teaching me to never have any regrets. Achieving ultimate happiness would be to look back at life and realize you have done everything you wanted to and there is nothing you would do differently. My mother is a living example of that and I respect her so much for it.


Santiago My Favourites December 2, 2016




My job gives me the freedom to do what I like rather than to do what I must.

Currently the CEO and founder of Secret Spirit, a luxurious line of swimwear, resort wear and accessories, I have a Master’s degree in International and Business Law. I have held positions in the United Nations, worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as for the Ministry of Justice. I have had the opportunity to work with renowned politicians and business personalities, with whom I maintain close ties even today. Additionally, I have practiced international law extensively, in both Europe and the United States. I personally like challenges very much and I’ve always been a real perfectionist. Whenever an opportunity has presented itself, I’ve always made a point of seizing it right away. Every opportunity in my life matters to me. Another principle I live by has been building atop past experiences, and that’s helped lead to a solid and stable career in the business world. Today, my name is my personal brand and professional guarantee, whether in event management, lobbying, or in coaching and consulting on an international level. On top of that, I’ve been able to balance my working life with my longtime passion of designing clothes and accessories. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but today my brand Secret Spirit really says it all: dreams do come true, and real victories actually do happen, and I’m living proof of that.

Do you feel like you’re a French woman?

France has adopted me, I must say, and for that I am eternally grateful. So it should come as no surprise that it’s my second home. At the same time, I’ve always felt like real a cosmopolitan girl. I love to travel, and in fact I travel regularly—basically all the time, since my job requires it. Not only have I had the chance to travel around the world, but living in France has meant that I’ve been lucky enough to live in a foreign country for an extended period of time, and that is incredibly exciting. In being here and traveling so much, I’ve learned a thing or two about who I am too, including why I love to travel and explore, so that’s why I can feel pretty much at home everywhere.

That said, Slovakia will always be a part of me: my eternal childhood memories that seem to have passed me by so quickly. It truly is an indescribable feeling to go back home and find my room, and to see my old box full of mementoes and old photos.

As a business woman, what role does the family play in your life?

My family and everything related to it will always come first in my life. I couldn’t be more blessed in that regard. I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter. Thanks to them I feel I can say that I understand what real happiness is, a happiness that has nothing to do with success or a career. In fact, it’s my family specifically, as well as their support, that have made me the successful woman I am today. I was brought up to believe that family is everything, and that without it, we aren’t even half of what we could be. My husband has avowed that I am his other half, and he too completes me. Without him, and the missing armor of our love, my daughter, I could no longer go on.

You travel around the world, where do you organize your business meetings?

In the beginning it was somewhat challenging but eventually we found a nice compromise, although fairly well-known. Some of the dilemmas that travel can present are not always easy to resolve, but at present I hold client and business meetings in a centralized location, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, in Geneva. We’ve always been met by a dedicated and highly experienced conference planner who ensures that our meetings and events run smoothly. It really is a beautiful environment, I must say. The staff, as well, are very friendly and always ensure a sense of absolute privacy.


You are the founder of the luxury brand Secret Spirit. When was the
idea born?

When I was small I was mesmerized by hummingbirds, and sometimes used to watch them for hours. I remember gazing at a charm of them one day and realizing that the bird’s elegance and beauty are due in part to the fact that throughout its life it only ever rarely touches the ground. Personally, I have always loved the heat, the smell of summer and the rays of the sun, and whenever I see a hummingbird in flight, it’s hard not to notice the colors of its feathers, like some magnificient work of art. So, maybe it was that brilliant iridesence and coordination of flight that inspired the foundation of my company. A kind of symbiosis, if you will.  Travel has also played a huge role in my life, quite like the hummingbird, incidentally. Not just because I love the joy and excitement of travelling, but because when I fly, to me it means I am realizing my dreams.

We’d all like to have wings, of course, if even for just a short while. I was lucky enough to find mine when I was young, thanks to the gentle hummingbird, whose speed and agility have propelled me toward success and innovation.   

At Secret Spirit, that has meant fitting my clothes to every silhouette of the female form, itself yet another masterpiece. In turn, this has led to the integration of high-quality material and remarkable comfort, which allows each and every woman to feel chic and stylish no matter the occasion.

Secret Spirit is a synergy of innovation and creativity. My launch collection is characterized by modern colors and a chic design, and includes a large range of swimwear, beachwear, and
accompanying accessories.   

And when do you call it quits and fine time to relax?

After a heavy day’s work, the best way I have found to relax is doing exercise and fitness. When you exercise, the brain releases a kind of compound called endorphins, which help to relieve stress and reduce depression. That’s what physical activity does for me: it gets rid of mental stress. And, I’ve found that a clear mind is essential for successful business, so that’s also why I love getting in a good work out! I tend to hit a fitness center situated right in the heart of Paris in the Hotel Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris, and then I finish up in their spa, called My Blend by Clarins. They recently transformed the interior into a kind of modern Palace, infused with French spirit, specifically because of the spa, actually. Everytime I work out I always end up there, it’s just so relaxing and peaceful. It may as well be a temple of well-being and beauty!

I also like to ski, and to play tennis and golf. I’ve even tried car racing. In fact I have to tell you that I am a pretty big fan of extreme sports. Aside from all that, another way I like to relax is spending time with my daughter. We love to go to the theater, cinema, opera, to see look at architecture and to visit museums, which I’m also very passionate about and delighted to share with her.

What is your favorite holiday destination?

In the summertime my favorite place to go to is Saint-Tropez. I spend the whole time there with my family and in our house near the beautiful beaches. I love to be with my family, surrounded by my best friends there. It’s amazing atmosphere, the  people, the unending parties, and the all-around good vibrations make it so much fun. I don’t think there is a place where I feel better, and freer. In the wintertime, Thailand is an absolute must for us. Phuket may as well be my very own private piece of paradise.

For our next holiday we’d really like to visit El Oued. A friend of ours is an owner of a new Hotel there, called La Gazelle D’or and since he’s invited us, it’s pretty much a given that we’re going to go. Apparently the absolutely breathtaking decor and Arabian Nights ambience make it a real retreat! He’s said that for some time to come I’ll be able to survive all the adventurous tales that queen Scheherazade narrated so well, so, that will be our next holiday.

Why is charity important for you?

All sorts of people work for charities and for all sorts of reasons, but the one thing that unites us all is that we find it challenging, rewarding, and exciting. For most people, it’s a chance to try out something different from everyday life and work. As well, it gives you the power to change somebody’s life. Millions of children around the entire world are born into really harsh realities that a lot of us never even know about. There are so, so many kids who don’t get even the basics, like a quality education where they can learn and develop. All children around the globe, no matter where they come from, should have the right to an education, and a right to health! And so that’s why I try to help through charities. Children are our future!

Outside of charity work, I try to help my husband with his Arthritis Foundation. It’s a nonprofit organization supported by Clarins and funded by donors who are trying to make a differece for people inflicted with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs). I can’t tell you how proud my family makes me, and what it means to be a part of them.

You work in fashion and are a businesswoman. What does your wardrobe look like?

I would be lying if I said I do not like luxury. My favorite fashion brand has got to be Mugler. His Couture is both an art and a science. Mugler’s cut and perfected silhouettes are distinct, ultra-feminine, and instantly recognizable. He could literally change your attitude from a businesswoman to an extravagant diva or a glamourous, fairy-like star in just minutes. I wear his line both for business meetings and for my VIP evenings.

In the summertime I’m more or less always in my very own Secret Spirit. And, to go with it, I generally choose an absolutely stunning brand, called Hedera, which is a line of watches and jewelry by the very talented Pierre Koukijan. If you know his work, you know he is basically the free electron of everything that is excellent watchmaking. I don’t know a woman whose beauty wouldn’t be accentuated by his work. As well, since he’s an entrepreneur, his attire really has a different story to it. I simply love it!

What about yours goals for the future?

My long-term goals involve growing with and expanding my own company, wherein I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much value as I can to all the avenues of my life. I see myself as a top performer in a well-established organization. I plan on enhancing my skills and continuing my involvement in similar professional associations. My future projects will therefore most likely be in emerging countries. In 2017 I would like to have my own charity project specialized in rescuing women subjected to domestic violence in the UK. In all though, my future is my family and primarily my loving daughter. I will spend the rest of my life protecting her, teaching her, caring for her, worrying about her and doing all those annoying things my mom does for me.

Next, more than anything, I would like that she follows her dreams as well; whatever they may be and no matter how far-fetched they may seem. I am confident that she will accomplish so many things that will make me proud…


Santiago My Favourites March 11, 2015


I had a very active and structured childhood. My parents always pushed my sister and I to take part in extracurricular activities, and I very much appreciate that today. I was a competitive swimmer, ballet dancer, violinist and horseback rider. My involvement in sports and other challenging activities shaped me to be not only competitive in everything I do, but also very confident. To this day, I am always looking for all sorts of new challenges to take me to the next level both personally and professionally.

Somebody I have always had an admiration for is my sister Patricia Scarlet. Perhaps as the eldest in the family, I have been the more cautious child when making decisions. I have always respected Patty for her fearlessness and decisiveness. At the tender age of twelve, she told my parents she was ready to expand her wings, and took the initiative to leave San Diego and attend boarding school in Switzerland. One year later, I followed her lead and joined her at Le Rosey, which, to this day, has been my favorite life-changing experience! My experience in Le Rosey was a fast track to my human development, as it allowed me to grow in many disciplines: arts, music, sports and culture. Part of the school’s mission, is to develop its students’ understanding and commitment to social issues and services. Most significant, while in Le Rosey, I developed great friendships with people of virtually all nationalities that I maintain to this day.



I admire women who have the capacity to thrive professionally while at the same time maintaining the energy to look after a family. Also I think it important that they take time to pursue personal hobbies and keep fit. The modern woman has so much to contribute to society. Thankfully, our roles in society have changed significantly since the last generation.

I admire women who maintain a balanced life, who make things happen but never lose their style, elegance and those characteristics that make them (us) uniquely feminine. Women who are not submissive and brave enough to stand up for what they believe in are also my role models. Rosa Parks did the contrary, and by not standing up on a bus one day, was able to demonstrate to the world that even small acts of defiance can have a huge impact. I also respect and admire men who don’t shy away from a strong woman.


I feel very blessed to have been raised in a unique geographical region that straddles two countries and two cultures. Having been raised in the United States in a Mexican household, I consider myself bi-cultural, bi-national and, of course, bilingual. Having been part of the Mexico for a very long time, San Diego has a rich cultural history and possesses breathtaking natural beauty. Mexico is uniquely rich in its customs, culture and traditions, and those traditions vary from region to region and state to state. These variations include artisanal crafts, food, music, geographical diversity and even the typical dresses that the women in each region wear!

Aspects that are Aztec, colonial and even modern. I think any visitor to Mexico can say that the country has a culture of welcoming everyone despite his or her origin. For me, the USA is a place of order and tranquility. It has a culture of respect, punctuality and equality, which I appreciate. But I have a soft spot in my heart for Mexico; also for Europe, where I lived for nearly a decade.


I lived in Europe for nearly a decade, including my boarding school years in Switzerland and periods in London and Paris. In London, I completed my undergraduate and masters degrees at the European Business School, where as part of the program you must study not only aspects of international business but also a foreign language.

To reinforce my French speaking skills, I chose Paris as my destination during my study abroad year. During my Parisian year, I initially lived in Place Vendome, in a hotel currently undergoing a transformation. During the second half of my stay in Paris, I moved into a very Parisian apartment in the very youthful Saint-Germain des Pres, just a stroll down to one of my favorite coffee time spots, Les Deux Magots. This is of course when I came across some of the famous French brands in situ: brands like Hermes, YSL, Chanel, Dior and Cartier. I loved window shopping at the time and now I find myself returning to these classic brands again and again. I’m wearing Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels in one of my pictures.



I am lucky to have grown up in a city that has two professional sports teams. More specifically, I can say I grew up in a baseball stadium. My father has a lifetime of experience being at the head of baseball teams: Los Ostioneros de Guaymas, and (twice in different professional baseball leagues) Tijuana Toros.

He has passed on his passion for the sport to not only me but also the whole family. Strangers to the sport, don’t necessarily realize this but, out of all professional team sports, baseball is much more strategic and intellectual than it appears to be on the surface. And I love the fact that baseball has such a supportive, family-friendly atmosphere.

However, I am a fan of all sports because they are a positive influence for the community and the economy. Passion for sports provides members of the community something that brings them together.


I fell in love with art during the time I lived in Europe. Having so many majestic buildings all around and wonderful museums at my fingertips, deepened my appreciation for the beauty in art.

I think art history is a fascinating way of understanding world history. Through art you can comprehend in a very vivid sense the zeitgeist of different eras. I just love that! I also took an art history course at Sotheby’s, which changed my outlook and was very enriching.


I have a diversified taste for art: I have an appreciation for the beauty and sophistication in the art of Renaissance masters, like Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. But I also love Edgar Degas’s delicacy, Fragonard’s playfulness and the symbolism in Hans Holbein and Frida Kahlo’s art. But the one painting that has had its biggest effect on me, perhaps due to its imposing dimensions and the historical content behind the piece, is Jacques-Louis David’s: The Coronation of Napoleon… just spectacular!


Today I am honoured to be serving on the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Museum of Art. I’m passionate about the mediating influence of art in society. Like sports, art has a very positive effect within a community. Young people can learn so much from it and are excited by it. Like dancing, every child loves to paint and draw.  Only later do we become inhibited and self-conscious.


New trend I love is the showing of opera in the cinemas. Opera is an art form that had been slowly losing its audience and has traditionally had little appeal amongst younger people.  Showing opera in the cinema seems to be reversing this trend.

I general I listen to all kinds of music, from opera to jazz as well as my all time favorite, Mariachi.


I am always looking for up and coming artists, especially in Mexico. I feel like we have so much talent, with so much to offer, but not enough exposure. In particular I love the work of Vladimir Cora. The first art piece I ever purchased was a self-portrait. I love his expressionism and the colors he uses, which truly capture Mexican heritage.



Architecture in general is something I appreciate. My love for Paris is in large part for the loveliness of its buildings. Mexico city is also a very special place as you find Aztec remains, the colonial buildings influenced by the Europeans, and of course modern blocks, all coming together harmoniously.

One restaurant I particularly love for its picturesque interior decoration is Bel Cielo in Mexico City.


I love wearing bright colors and diverse fabrics. One of my favorite designers is Oscar de la Renta.


I am always looking for local jewellers in countries I visit. One that I am a fan of is the Mexican silver designer, Delia Gonzalez. She is from the beautiful city of Taxco known for all varieties of artwork and jewelry in silver.


My favourite travel experience by far was a cruise I took with my family through Antarctica. The peacefulness and glory of a place so untouched and so fragile amplified its magnificence. The beauty of nature humbles me enormously.


My preference is for fusion cooking, also known as REAL Mexican food!

Two restaurants I love for their picturesque interior decoration are Bel Cielo and La Hacienda de San Angel Inn, both in Mexico City. Another of my favourite restaurants is Las Mercedes, located in the unique city of Guanajuato. The restaurant is well known for its artisanal Mexican recipes. It is a family-run establishment, located in a private home and is simply delicious! The food is a blend of European ingredients that arrived in Mexico with the arrival of the Spaniards and French, together with the native ingredients Aztecs and Mayans used in their own cuisine: flavours such as chocolate and spice fused together.

There is nothing else like it! When accompanied by tequila, everything tastes even better. I am also a huge fan of all Mediterranean food! Especially Italian cuisine! Mimosas at Cipriani are definitely a weakness!


Life experiences have changed my way of looking at what some call luxury. To some, luxury is made and understood in physical or tangible ways. To others, it can have cultural significance. However, to me, luxury is comfort and ease in our daily lives and in everything we do. For example, access to health care can be considered a luxury item in many parts of the world.

Unfortunately, in the USA and Mexico, access to quality health care is a luxury, reserved for the few. Our societies have not yet found a method to bring this fundamental element that we all need to all of those who need it. I hope that we can, one day, see such an essential not as a luxury but as something accessible to everyone.


There are two non-profit hospitals I am involved with in Mexico: Hospital Infantil de las Californias providing medical care, nutrition and education services to children and their families of the region (San Diego / Tijuana); and Fundación Castro Limón, whose funds go to providing integral attention to children with cancer and their families at the pediatric oncology center.

What I appreciate the most is that that although these organizations are situated on the Mexican side of the border, both provide high-quality medical care to those who need it most – the children of San Diego and Tijuana.