A place where glitz and glamour encounters snow and Swiss cheese, the quaint village Gstaad offers a lot more than meets the eye! Home to Julie Andrews and Roger Moore and guests to Madonna and Margaret Thatcher to name a few, the small but highly social town marries the perfect mix of old and new – a place where timber-lined chalets and cow-grazed pastures is combined with Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabana. Whilst some may prefer to spend their time celebrity-spotting and gazing wistfully into the many luxury boutiques, Gstaad is also home to some of Switzerland’s best skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer, top-notch dining and fabulous five-star hospitality. Whether its well-being, sport, cuisine or culture you crave – young and old alike will find what they are looking for.
SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP
Home to fur and fabulous winter boots, the heart of the Gstaad village features a picturesque promenade, home to numerous shops, restaurants and art galleries. Not only do they house designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chopard, Prada, Moncler, Ralph Lauren and Cartier, Gstaad also plays host to smaller boutiques stocking a mixture of local and international designer brands. We love Anotella’s boutique and Rougemont interiors. Outside the pedestrian promenade, wander the historic centre of Saanen and Zweisimmen’s picturesque Bahnhofstrasse. Foodies take note – in these areas you’ll find a wealth of local farms selling home-made delicacies, like sausages, Alpine cheese or air-dried meat.
SKI IN STYLE
When a dusting of snow settles on the mountain peaks, Gstaad turns into a winter wonderland. The holiday region of Gstaad Saanenland is the perfect place for fun-filled skiing experiences on a range of superb slopes. The charming chalet village adorns the entrances to two main slopes, Wispile and Eggli, with a handful of mountains including Rinderberg, Lengebrand, Saanerslochgrat, Hornberg and Horneggli (and a Glacier) all nearby. The Tiger Run, the legendary steepest ski slope, is on the Wasserngrat whilst there are various fun parks and freestyle elements that will encourage you to take a leap. With a handful of fantastic cafés and restaurants set amongst the snowy peaks, Gstaad ticks all our boxes!
A DYSNASTY OF DINING
Avenue Montagne, Park Gstaad: We loved our dinner at the Avenue Montagne, a restaurant that comes under the direction of Axel Rüdlin at Park Gstaad. With a new look for winter 2017, the restaurant serves contemporary dishes using regionally-sourced produce and features an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work. The interiors showcase alpine chic at its best with potted plants, large mirrors and exquisite lamps dotted about the large eatery. The local Swiss dishes here are fantastic – our particular favourite was the signature Rosti. Breakfast is also a not-to-be-missed event with à la carte egg dishes, local cheese and meats plus a selection of healthy juices, fresh fruit and yogurt to fuel you for your skiing (or shopping) day ahead.
Sommet , The Alpina Gstaad: The Sommet restaurant is the jewel in The Alpina Gstaad’s crown, with one Michelin star and 17/20 Gault Millau points paying testament to the restaurant’s exceptional gourmet cuisine. The unique tasting menu compiled by Martin Göschel is a real treat and well worth the pretty price tag. From the cuisine to the impeccable interiors, the restaurant is the very essence of sophistication and promises an outstanding experience in every respect.
Leonard’s, Le Grand Bellevue: Awarded one Michelin star and 14/20 Gault et Millau points, Leonard’s in Le Grand Bellevue is where Chef Urs Gschwend delivers cut-above bistro-style cuisine, using the very best seasonal produce of the region. Swiss in spirit but international in scope, the talented team are as suited to satisfying gastropub tastes as they are at delighting fine-dining aficionados. We highly recommend the rack of lamb for two – the whole rack with a herb crust served with pommes boulangère, green beans and tomato Provençale is simply perfection!
THE PERFECT RESTING PLACE
Our favourite hotel in Gstaad, the Park Gstaad combines Swiss charm and sophisticated modern comforts in all of its 84 rooms and 10 suites, which are scattered across five floors. Our particular favourite room is the ‘My Gstaad Chalet,’ which at 400 square metres, is the largest penthouse suite in the Swiss Alps. Furnished with interiors inspired by the surrounding scenery by acclaimed interior designer Federica Palacios, the Chalet retains the character of the tradition-steeped region, evoking a true ‘chalet feel’ throughout. The Chalet also comes with a private gym, personal spa and four bedrooms – it takes luxury living to a whole new level. The fun doesn’t stop there, when you leave your marvellous room there is plenty to indulge in, including the hotel’s range of fabulous dining. With three imaginative dining experiences at your fingertips, dine at Avenue Montagne for a taste of Swiss cuisine, Chubut for steaks and The Bar for sushi and dim sum. They also have a fabulous spa, perfect for a touch of post-ski R&R.
Gstaad provides its visitors with a vast adventure playground of outdoor activities in summer and winter alike including hiking, biking, skiing, riding and paragliding. It also hosts a number of world famous events over the course of the year from volleyball to tennis, from polo to golf, from classical music to country folk. And if that wasn’t enough, the village has its own collection of horse & carriages, perfect for seeing the sights in an old-worldly manner, plus their own picture house (complete with popcorn!).
For more information, visit www.gstaad.ch.