Attracting the international jet set with its world-class restaurants, designer shops and diverse ski domain, glamorous Gstaad lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s most exclusive resorts.
With an idyllic location in the Saanen Valley, Gstaad is a chic, up-market resort with a long history of attracting the great and the good. Renowned for its exclusive hotels and luxury chalets, Gstaad provides a refined atmosphere in which to relax and unwind.
The picturesque village was once dominated by cattle farming and agriculture. However, after the disastrous fire of 1898, much of the town was rebuilt to support the growing tourism industry. Promoting understated luxury, Gstaad has been home to many famous residents over the years including Louis Armstrong, Elizabeth Taylor and Julie Andrews. Nevertheless, it remains a traditional alpine village with an attractive traffic-free promenade and original wooden chalets.
Comprising six sectors, with over 250kms of terrain to explore, skiing in Gstaad certainly has variety. However, with a vast array of other activities to offer, the resort is just as popular with non-skiers. Scenic walking trails and mountain biking attract summer visitors too, making Gstaad the ultimate year-round destination.
“With over 100 restaurants to choose from, ‘Gastronomic Gstaad’ is sure to have something to tantalise the tastebuds.”
Built in 1962 by the Aga Khan, Chesery is an authentic Michelin starred restaurant serving classic cuisine with Mediterranean influences.
www.chesery.ch /+41 33 744 24 51
This iconic 5 star hotel houses four restaurants under one roof, including Swiss inspired Le Fromagerie and authentic Italian restaurant Gildo’s. Watch the chefs at work in Le Grill and sample international cuisine at Le Grand Restaurant where the dress is formal and the atmosphere refined.
ww.palace.ch/restaurants-bars / + 41 33 748 50 00
Rustic yet elegant, Restaurant Sonnenhof has a stunning terrace with outstanding views of Gstaad. In this beautiful setting, expect to dine on inventive dishes using fresh and seasonal ingredients.
www.restaurantsonnenhof.ch / +41 33 744 10 23
Serving regional and Swiss specialities, Wasserngrat has one of the highest locations in the Saanen valley, offering spectacular views from a sun drenched terrace.
www.wasserngrat.ch / +41 33 744 96 22
“Gstaad has an attractive mixture of cosy cafes, chic bars and nightclubs in which to while away the evening.”
Enjoy a coffee and some cake at this bustling cafe. Located next to the ice rink, Charley’s is the perfect spot to watch an ice hockey match whilst sampling a delicious pastry.
www.charlys-gstaad.ch / +41 33 744 15 44
Also a popular restaurant, Bar Rialto is a firm favourite with regular visitors. Enjoy live music and choose from a great selection of wines whilst watching the world go by from the terrace.
www.rialto-gstaad.ch / +41 33 744 34 74
Stylish bar La Cave is part of the upmarket Hotel Oden, owned by Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Live music and a well stocked wine cellar creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a lively evening.
www.hotelolden.com / +41 33 748 49 50
Central to Gstaad’s nightlife is the sophisticated nightclub GreenGo. Attached to the Gstaad Palace hotel, GreenGo has been the place to party since 1971. With a dancefloor suspended above an illuminated pool and resident DJ Jim Leblanc on the decks, a good night is guaranteed.
www.greengo.ch / + 41 33 748 50 00
“In terms of variety and volume Gstaad is the ultimate winter playground with 10 different resorts to explore.”
Whilst not unduly challenging, the slopes of Gstaad are both uncrowded and extensive. Ideal for beginners are the local slopes of Eggli and Wispile, but experienced skiers will need to head further afield to the surrounding villages to find steeper terrain. One particular highlight is the black ‘Tiger’ run on Wasserngrat but it should only be attempted with a guide. Glacier 3000 provides snow-sure slopes, steep descents and the best off-piste skiing. The view from here takes in 24 summits including the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. Boarders have four terrain parks to choose from and cross country skiing is particular popular in Gstaad with over 130kms of trails to navigate.
Gstaad Ski School
Gstaad Ski School caters for children and adults alike, offering group and private lessons. It also has a Race Academy as well as a 007 Snow Academy for more specialised training in moguls, off-piste skiing and jumps.
/www.gstaadsnowsports.ch / +41 33 744 18 65
Specialising in outdoor activities, Alpinzentrum not only offers ski and snowboard tuition, but also a number of different snowsports including ice climbing, heliskiing and curling.
www.alpinzentrum.ch / +41 33 748 41 61
“With an array of activities to enjoy off the slopes, Gstaad is one of the best resorts for non-skiers.”
Winter biking is becoming increasingly popular in Gstaad. Using ‘fat bikes’, cyclists can choose from a variety of trails or circular tours, and even participate in exciting events such as Gstaad Snow Bike Festival or the Bike Night event.
www.gstaad.ch/en/active/winter/winterbike.html / +41 33 748 81 81
A team of huskies will take guests on an unforgettable journey around Gstaad. Glühwein in hand, sit back, relax and take in the mountain air.
www.huskyman.ch/ + 41 78 856 83 62
Hot Air Ballooning
Just outside Gstaad lies the alpine capital of hot air ballooning, Château-d’Oex. The exceptional microclimate in the valley creates the perfect conditions for ballooning. Admire the impressive view from above, taking in the vast Alpine landscape. The International Festival of Ballooning that takes place in January is a sight to behold, with over 80 balloons from different countries competing.
www.ballonchateaudoex.ch/ +41 26 924 22 20,
With no fewer than six heliskiing landing sites in Gstaad, fresh powder is practically guaranteed. In the company of an experienced guide, choose from many exhilarating off-piste runs and backwater routes.
www.swisshelicopter.ch// + 41 33 755 13 21