Tuesday, October 26, 2010



Gstaad Palace is one of our favourite alpine ski resorts. We checked out the hotel in October when all rooms were empty and waiting like Sleeping Beauties for the winter season.

Looking up from the fashionable shopping street you can see the towers, like an enchanted fairytale palace. And indeed, you imagine the princess living “happily ever after” in the Penthouse suite…

The Penthouse suite is high magic. Surrounded on all sides by private terrace and fairytale views, pampered Penthouse guests have the bewitching towers all to themselves. Perhaps relaxing in the terrace Jacuzzi while a feast is being delivered...

Feasting all senses in the lavishly romantic master bedroom…

The three Penthouse bedrooms have the flounce and finesse of a Princess boudoir. Each one is different, with a mix of luxury and alpine tradition.

Penthouse bedroom 2 (above).

Penthouse bedroom 3

The third bedroom is for the kids or a nanny, explained the Director of Sales, Michael Lehnort. Still, not lacking in luxury …

The Penthouse parlour is designed for togetherness around a blazing fire, creating a cosy mountain chalet feel with exquisite traditional furniture and stag horns above the hearth. But maybe something a little smaller?

Tower suites with two bedrooms on the 6th or 7th floor make use of the space inside the towers, with a round bathroom sporting a Jacuzzi, and a private smoking nook leading off one of the bedrooms. Plus generous balconies and large living room.
Tower suite with a smoking nook in the round tower (above).

We found the deluxe one-bedroom suites inviting and very romantic in “alpine Princess” style, with great views from the balcony.

Deluxe Suite (above & below)

Refurbishments were in process. The newly done rooms we were shown had a more earthy or alpine chalet feel – for example the Junior Suite Deluxe and the Deluxe room. It seems the delicate rosy period might be over…

Junior Suite Deluxe (above)

View from a Deluxe Room (above).

Gstaad Palace was built in 1913 and is family owned. Hence the appealing sense of individuality in its 104 rooms and suites.

Apart from the buffet restaurant currently under total renovation, the hotel offers Swiss restaurant, Italian restaurant under the chef of Il Pellicano, gourmet restaurant, 2 bars and nightclub. The hotel is famous for its warm apr├Ęs ski ambiance.

But this year there was high occupancy in summer too. The image (below) shows the Olympic pool and four red clay tennis courts where training is given during the Roy Emerson tennis weeks. The spa windows gaze out at fantastic views, and its heated outdoor pool is a treat in winter too. The absolute must is a Hammam experience with 7 rituals in 7 rooms.
Activities nearby include golf, heli-skiing, hot-air-ballooning, white water rafting – and designer shopping. Lifts go up to nearby mountains even in summer. We took a cable car up to Wispile top station and dined on the deck of the chalet restaurant in warm sunshine – ringed by mountains with the first autumn snows. Very child-friendly – with playparks and miniature goats.

Seat at the Top of Wispile (1991 m). Gstaad way below in the valley.
From lift up to Mt Wispile (1991m), Gstaad Palace visible in the valley

How to get to Gstaad? Car from Geneva or train straight out of Geneva airport to Montreux, and then a divine mountain train ride to Gstaad – 2 comfortable scenic hours from Geneva.

For winter images see our web page on Gstaad Palace.

· Note: image of the feast in the master bedroom provided by Gstaad Palace, rest “Select” snaps

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