Comparatively quiet, and easily accessible from Geneva compared to other winter destinations in Switzerland, Gstaad displays a different type of sophistication than places like Verbier and St. Moritz. While the promenade is lined with luxury retailers, the village retains its Swiss traditions, with events like the traditional alpine Suufsunntig festival, as well as the cows’ annual ascent and descent of the Alps to graze.
One of the prime locations to stay in Gstaad is Le Grand Bellevue, a historic hotel in the centre of the town. The owner, Daniel Koetser, had always been drawn to Gstaad, and along with his wife, Davia, he took over the hotel in 2013.
“My wife and I have a great affinity with Gstaad. We love it for its traditions and age-old institutions but feel there’s room for innovation and a dash of sassiness,” Koetser says. “Our dream is to create a buzzing destination in the heart of the village that captures the spirit of Gstaad but looks to its bright future too.” They want the hotel to feel understated and effortless yet imaginative and pampering.
The lounge is wallpapered with a statement design from House of Hackney, and flower arrangements by the in-house florist are placed throughout to complement the handcrafted furniture. George Smith Eve chairs and Jules sofas upholstered in soft velvets and herringbone fabrics invite guests to put their feet up and relax.
The Bar serves classic and signature cocktails for guests in a luxurious art deco space. Adjacent to the bar is Leonard’s, where executive chef Francesco de Bartolomeis’s exquisite duck liver terrine and succulent tomahawk steak are best finished with a Le Grand Bellevue tradition: brie de Meaux with truffles.
All 57 rooms offer panoramic views of the Swiss Alps, but the chalet-style Suite Etoile is the pièce de résistance. Before leaving, be sure to visit Gstaad’s largest wellness centre, 32,000-square-foot Le Grand Spa. A Hay sauna, detoxifying infrared sauna, Turkish hammam, Finnish sauna, and Himalayan salt inhalation grotto are all on offer. But a massage is the best way to quiet the mind and rejuvenate the body at Le Grand Bellevue.