Gstaad’s motto ‘come up, slow down’ is the perfect way to describe this cosy Swiss village: with traditional restaurants and beautiful ski runs, Gstaad is the perfect place to unwind and relax.
HOW TO GET THERE
Once you’ve landed in Geneva, Gstaad is a two and a half hour drive away. Alternatively, you can take the train, stopping in Montreux and then arriving in Gstaad in just under three hours.
WHERE TO SKI
From Gstaad you can head up the Wispile for family friendly skiing, and long runs through the trees. For more of a challenge you can go up to the Glacier des Diablerets. The glacier, at 3000m, is home to some fantastic views and good snow even at the end of the season.
For children on skis for the first time, the Lauenen lift is a great place to start with friendly English speaking instructors and the Alpenland Restaurant at the bottom of the lift for a mid-morning hot chocolate. Lauenen also offers a cross-country skiing track through fairytale woods and around a scenic lake.
WHERE TO STAY
For a luxurious retreat, stay at the Palace Hotel which looks over Gstaad. Home to five restaurants, a spa, it’s own nightclub and much more, the Palace is the ultimate holiday retreat. The Hotel Bellevue is more central, also with a spa, offering its own sushi bar and luxury bedrooms. Alternatively, for a more private holiday, ALS offers a number of chalets around Gstaad to suit your needs.
WHERE TO EAT
For traditional mountain food and great local cheeses, take the chairlift up the Wasserngrat and enjoy the views from the Mountain Restaurant Wasserngrat’s terrace. After lunch try the Wasserngrats famous Tiger Run, but maybe let your food digest first! As night falls, for a traditional yet elegant dining experience walk through Gstaad to the Chesery where you will not be disappointed by the regional delicacies. For a traditional Swiss experience, take the road up to Lauenen and enjoy beef fondue, cheese fondue and much more, often accompanied by a live band and lots of beer at the Wildhorn.
For an apres-ski snack, pop into Charly’s tea room overlooking the ice-skating rink in town for a hot chocolate and a handmade sweet treat.
WHERE TO PARTY
At the end of a long day’s skiing, head up to the Palace Hotel and enjoy a cocktail at one of their bars before going downstairs to the Hotel’s own nightclub- the Greengo. If you want to stay in town, wander through the streets to the Hotel Olden for a pre dinner drink, or to the Chesery Piano Bar for some live music and dancing.
WHAT TO DO
For those that are not keen skiers, try ice skating in the centre of town, or enjoy husky sledge rides through Lauenen. Gstaad also offers horse drawn carriage rides through the village. The Glacier 3000 also is home to a range of winter activities including their alpine coaster.