Susanne Kaufmann $70
Susanne Kaufmann, creator of the style set’s favorite luxe organic beauty line, shares her favorite locales around the latest It vacation spot.
Written By TARA LAMONT-DJITE
Austrian hotelier and spa owner Susanne Kaufmann is beloved for her line of minimal-chic organic beauty products, which she began creating in 2003 from locally sourced plants and herbs for her family’s incredible resort high in the Austrian Alps. From her renowned Nutrient Concentrate Skin Smoothing Serum (packed with active botanicals to soothe and plump fatigued complexions) to her apricot kernel-infused Detox Oil Body Scrub, Kaufmann’s collection is the beauty guru’s go-to for understated luxury.
Kaufmann’s products are on the shelves of VIOLET GREY, but until recently spa treatments with the line were available only at Kaufmann’s eponymous Alpine spa. Fortunately for globe-trotting fans, a new location in trendy Portugal has them at the ready. This year, Kaufmann partnered with newly opened Hotel São Lourenço do Barrocal, a resort that shares her devotion to tradition, excellence, and low-key elegance, to open her first-ever stand-alone spa. Featuring four intimate treatment rooms, a dry sauna, and a hydrotherapy room with a wooden cedar bathtub, treatments range from Kaufmann’s signature Anti-Aging Facial (which incorporates her new anti-aging collection) to medicinal detox massages and a specialized postnatal body treatment that includes a skin-nourishing poultice for postbaby belly.
While Barrocal is located deep within the rugged Portuguese countryside and features its own vineyard, cattle, and olive groves, the rest of the country is brimming with must-visit restaurants, vineyards, and shopping spots. Here, Kaufmann shares her favorites.
STAY & SPA
In the Hotel Barrocal you’ll find furniture, dishes, and fabrics made from Portuguese manufacturers, which is really impressive. I didn’t realize what great craftspeople they have! Treatments in the spa are a must. I really enjoy the huge spa rooms; they’re incredibly special and stunning. The treatments are as effective as the ones we do in our Hotel Post in Bezau—I chose one of the anti-aging facial treatments because I love them. Barrocal also offers excellent local high-end cuisine. They use only products from the region and pursue sustainable development. My favorite dish is the fish from the Alqueva lake with cauliflower hot salad and coriander.
I also recommend horseback riding with Philipp (please say hello to him), especially the riding tour to and through the nearby town of Monsaraz. It was kind of an adventure; you feel like you’re in a Western movie! And of course you wear a cowboy hat.
SIP & SAVOR
Esporao is in the region of Monsaraz, and it’s a great vineyard with brilliant cuisine. I recommend having the wine pairing with the menu. My favorite is the Verdelho white and their very own 4 Castas red.
The restaurant Sabores de Monsaraz is an insider’s tip because of the lovely host Doña Isabel, who prepares wonderful traditional dishes. It’s a must if you like typical Portuguese food, and it’s only ten minutes by car from the Hotel Barrocal.
NEXT STOP: COMPORTA
The village of Comporta in the municipality of Alcácer [about two hours from Barrocal] is always worth a visit—it has a wonderful sandy beach, and the Museu de Arroz is a good reason to visit. But my favorite place in Comporta is the very old supermarket, called Cavalarica Gomes.
The restaurant Sal in Comporta’s Praia do Pego is famous for its wonderful fish dishes. Call Jorge, the manager, to reserve the table.
Lavanda offers very nice bohemian chic clothes—I love the style.
This is the best place in Comporta to shop for interiors. The store is really beautiful and has lots of colorful decorations. Av. 18 de Dezembro, Carvalhal.
If you have time while in the capital, this is another great place to eat—one of my favorites.
This is the the biggest museum in Lisbon and also the most beautiful. It presents a unique art collection that the Armenian oil magnate Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian left to the City of Lisbon.
SHOP SUSANNE KAUFMANN
Susanne Kaufmann $70
Susanne Kaufmann $251
Susanne Kaufmann $222
Susanne Kaufmann $173
Susanne Kaufmann $156
Susanne Kaufmann $67
When Oprah shares her bath time preferences (she enjoys a lot of bubbles), we listen. Read on for more rules of bathing from our favorite bath devotees.