Gstaad is where the glitterati come to play, and it does literally glitter in the snowscape. Do they ski? Who knows… who cares? When I saw Naomi Campbell with her entourage and Claudia Schiffer with her family, neither were suffering from the “just off the slopes” runny nosed, scarecrow-helmet head that I get blessed with after a day on the slopes. Then again it’s amazing what your own personal stylist can do for your presentation. What I can say for sure is that all that glitters in Gstaad is most definitely gold.
Follow in the footsteps of Roger Moore, Ursula Andress and Valentino. Breathe in the crisp mountain air, swish swoosh down the gentle slopes, marvel at the opulent chalets and pretty timber architecture and stroll down the enchanting main street, whats not to like about Gstaad?
My jaunt was via a rather arduous train journey after a stay at the superb Park Hyatt Zurich. The routing was a pain involving two train changes, but my arrival into Gstaad, chugging through the hills and looking out upon a vista of chocolate box Swiss houses coated in a white fluffy icing of fresh snow, was picture perfect.
The skiing here tends to be gentle. The easy meander through a forest of low hung pines drooping with fresh snow and into the village perfectly suited this luxury skier. In fact I happened upon near perfect ski conditions, which is not guaranteed due to the low altitude of Gstaad at only 1,050 meters up, and managed to ski as the fresh powder was falling. The slopes here are empty, other skiers are polite and lift queues are virtually non existent. Perhaps alot of the visitors to Gstaad prefer to stay off the slopes and instead enjoy the fine dining, spas and designer shopping?
You are utterly spoiled for choice in this super little enclave. Of course Claudia and Naiomi stay in their own private chalet. But for luxury travellers who cant quite stretch to buying a Swiss chalet, there are four main choices:
The Alpina Gstaad
Opened in 2012 and the first newly built five-star hotel in Gstaad for 100 years, the Alpina Gstaad offers everything you could want from a ski hotel with sparkly snow-dusted bells on. An impressive art collection, 56 uber chic rooms and suites many with wood fires, three restaurants under the direction of Marcus Lindner who used to run the Michelin two-star restaurant Mesa in Zurich (they have been awarded one michellin star, 18 & 16
Gault Millau points respectively), and a huge and impressive Six Senses Spa. Their chic rooms start at £630 per night.
Le Grand Bellevue
A member of Small Luxury Hotels is a sophisticated hotel with a Michelin Star à la carte restaurant, an atmospheric art-deco bar and a fabulous spa. Rooms start at £400.
Grand Hotel Park
A member of Leading Hotels describes itself as a home away from home with a modern a sleek finish. Rooms start at around £550.
Also a member of Leading Hotels showcases an iconic palatial building with a glorious history of big name guests including Liz Taylor, Louis Armstrong and Mark Chagall. We loved the elegant and traditional Lobby bar. Rooms start at £490.
I am enchanted – ski or no ski I cant wait to return to this glittering alpine village this coming Ski season.
Disclosure: Unless otherwise stated reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.