Beyond Culture

Interview with Aleksandra Skwarc


Continuing our efforts to share some of the powerful themes and individuals driving the ‚Beyond Culture‘ program at the CERVO Mountain Resort, we are thrilled to welcome Aleksandra Skwarc aka Bonnie, a true soulful music maestra, an accomplished DJ, curator, agency owner, and perhaps most critically, an outspoken advocate for democracy, community, and an egalitarian future in the arts, wherever her work and influence guide her. A woman of refined taste and vision with powerful roots in the underground music scenes of Hamburg, Aleksandra brings together a multidisciplinary vision to her curations, bringing a nuanced mix of musicians, visual-artists, performers, and literary elements to build experiences for both luxury clients and the spontaneous lucky party-goers stumbling onto her dancefloor.

Aleksandra aka Bonnie will be playing at CERVO from the 4th until the 6th of March 2022. Check out our event calendar for all events and happenings.

DJane Bonnie in the sun

Throughout all of your work building events, providing music and curation for large brands and big names in fashion and culture you have always been able to bring a feeling of honesty, legitimacy, and credibility to the proceedings. A large part of this new programming at the CERVO Mountain Resort is attempting something similar: building a vibrant and inclusive culture that challenges guests and participants to leave their comfort zones, and engage in a world of art, music, cuisine, that might not be familiar in luxury travel environments. What are your tips and tricks for remaining open and absorbing and discovering the great new influences in music and arts when traveling and interacting in or with luxury hospitality?

Thank you for the compliments. I feel very honored to be invited to the CERVO Mountain Resort in Zermatt.

I introduced myself to a 4-day week a few years ago, meaning I try to get all business projects done Monday-Thursday. Friday is my muse & inspiration day: I read, research & discover new music & culture and make notes for music & books to buy and for my activities like concerts or museums to visit. This fills my calendar for the year with inspiring things that enrich my life. I try to take a trip once a month and get out of Berlin and get away from my everyday life.

When I go on a city trip, I find out in advance about all the cultural highlights I want to see, book museum tickets, look for new restaurants to have a good time with (new) friends. Nothing works without planning.

Because of my work, I’ve slept in so many hotel rooms, there are so many options and everyone has different requirements. When it comes to choosing a hotel in a city and category, I’m actually totally modest, actually I only pay attention to the following things:

1. Central location

2. Terrace or balcony (because then you can also chill out privately at a later hour (and because unfortunately I’m a smoker)

3. Queen size bed

4. Enough water in the minibar

DJane Bonnie on a bench

‚Beyond Exploring‘ and ‚Beyond Culture‘ are the key phrases that challenge us to transform what a hotel stay can be for the intrepid and curious traveler. While this can appear as a vague and somewhat theoretical and high-minded concept for our special style of hospitality … we know that you are an experienced and refined tastemaker who appreciates the simple and specific pleasures of a welcoming hotel environment, so we ask you to list your favorite cocktail or beverage for 1) Staring at the Matterhorn from the terrace 2) The best modern record to listen to as you sip a nice red wine and warm yourself up into a perfect cozy evening in the lounge here? Or perhaps the greatest record to meditate to in our Mountain Ashram Spa ritual room?

1. I am really looking forward to enjoying the view of the Matterhorn and would choose different drinks depending on the time: Coffee & freshly squeezed juice for breakfast, white wine and water for lunch, green tea in the afternoon, and I would probably order a cocktail or two in the evening.

2. My music recommendation for the lounge would be Curtis Harding’s "If Words Were Flowers", or the H.E.R. album "Back of my Mind". I really like the new modern Soul & R’n’B productions.

3. I meditate very often and enjoy listening to Aphex Twins "Selected Ambient Works Vol.II".

DJane Bonnie

Zermatt and the surrounding landscapes represent a connection to a humbling sense of majesty and a timeless all-powerful nature, and you have mentioned that you have a special connection to the mysteries and natural forces at play in these environments. What are a few rituals and special modes of thought you could briefly share that aid in your bringing this power and inspiration from the mountains back into your day-to-day living and thinking. How does one channel this mountain-power into some positive things one can take back down with them?

I really like traveling to the mountains, in 2014 I was invited by the Rooms Hotel Group to the Kazbegi Mountains in Georgia, among other things, in 2015 I was in Bad Gastein with a dear friend, in 2016 with a group for a yoga retreat in Fuerteventura, where I saw a volcano (mountain), 2017 with friends at the winter solstice in a nature hotel in Austria, 2020 for a DJ performance in Kitzbühel, 2021 with friends at Lake Wolfgang in Austria.

There are so many magical moments and I could talk about my trips to the mountains for hours. So where do I start? When I was in Georgia in the Kazbegi Mountains in 2014, the drive into the mountains was already an experience because there were some unpaved roads and we were chauffeured with an off-road vehicle. Without all-wheel drive we probably wouldn’t have made it through the landscape. One day we drove up the mountain by car to an old abandoned orthodox monastery. Inside it was only lit by candlelight and you were not allowed to speak. I bought some orthodox prayer beads and crosses from the priest and took these little souvenirs from my trip for good luck and gave them away to my friends. I firmly believe that such small keepsakes bring happiness.

On all my trips, like in 2021 to the mountains, I have always seen the great paragliders. I wish very much that I would find the courage to try it and also wish all those who dream of flying that they find the courage to at least do a tandem jump. I think that must be a very special experience.

Beyond Exploring flag