Spotlight on: Gstaad

Gstaad Palace Switzerland

The Best of: Gstaad

Grab your skis and make tracks for Switzerland’s glitziest resort; discover the best of Gstaad

Words by Liz Skone James

A glitzy winter wonderland of fine dining, luxury shopping, superb skiing and five-star hotels, it’s little surprise that the charming Alpine village of Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland, south west Switzerland, has a history of attracting the international jet set

Gstaad Palace


From its lofty position on the Alpine slopes above the village, this family-run five-star hotel appears like a fairytale castle. Indeed, with its romantic mix of old-world glamour, contemporary comfort and unparalleled service, it has been enchanting guests for over three generations; Gstaad Palace, part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection, is now in its 110th winter season – a true grande dame of the hospitality scene. Luxurious accommodation is offered in 90 rooms, including 30 suites and a penthouse, each with its own signature style, but all exquisitely furnished with a mix of Alpine chic and stately glamour. Foodies want for nothing here, with four restaurants on site, including Le Grande Restaurant, the hotel’s haute cuisine offering. There’s also Le Grill, Italian restaurant Gildo’s, and La Fromagerie, where all the Swiss favourites can be enjoyed. And thrilling nights on the dance floor are on offer at GreenGo, the hotel’s buzzy nightclub. Meanwhile, the wellness offering here is among the best in the Alps – a 1,800 sq m sanctuary, the spacious Palace spa offers a state-of the- art wellbeing experience comprising nine treatment rooms (including private spa suite), saunas and steam baths, relaxation areas including a restorative spa garden, indoor swimming pool and outdoor Jacuzzi.

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Ultima Gstaad


The first property in the Ultima Collection, which was founded in 2016, Ultima Gstaad combines the charm and exclusivity of a private chalet with the facilities of a five-star hotel. A ten-minute stroll outside the village, it is closer to the resort’s cableways than any other hotel here – the closest lift is just 100 metres away. The extraordinary interiors are opulent and achingly cool; bronze and marble sit alongside traditional wooden architecture, while modern art and sculptures adorn the walls and floorspace. There’s even a glass grand piano, one of only two in the world (the other belonging to Alicia Keys). There are just 11 suites and six private residences here, giving it an ultraexclusive feel. Though it may be small, the hotel offers the ultimate in facilities, including a glamorous fi ne dining restaurant, two bars and an exquisite marble-clad Swiss clinic and spa. The latter houses an indoor pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, a Finnish sauna, steam room and snow shower, and offers a menu boasting the latest in technology and techniques – everything from DNA testing and detoxes to anti-ageing treatments including cryotherapy, reiki and meditation. It comes as no surprise that this property has been honoured with multiple awards, including Best Boutique Hotel in the International Travel Awards 2023.

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Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad


Located in private parkland just off the main Promenade, this five-star property is perfectly placed to enjoy the village’s glittering boutiques, galleries and eateries. Opened in 1912, it is Gstaad’s oldest palace hotel, but there’s nothing old fashioned about the eclectic interiors, which feature bold colours and eyecatching prints – think House of Hackney wallpapers, fabrics by Neisha Crosland and a dazzling Signoretto Lampadari chandelier of intricate glass snowflakes. Family owned, managed, and designed, the hotel was relaunched ten years ago by Daniel and Davia Koetser, and comprises 57 stylish bedrooms. The culinary offering here is stand-out, too – LEONARD’s is the hotel’s signature restaurant, where chef Francesco de Bartolomeis serves refi ned international cuisine in elegant surroundings, meanwhile, hearty Swiss specialities are on the menu at the more intimate Le Petit Chalet, and for something a little different, exquisite sushi comes courtesy of the Sushi Bar. And the art deco-styled bar with its arched ceilings, 17-metre-long Chesterfield and zinc topped bar is the place to sample creative cocktails. Those seeking relaxation after a day on the slopes will find it at the gorgeous 3,000 sq m spa, which features a Thermal Oasis boasting 17 different wellness zones, from steam baths to an invigorating ice fountain.

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