Gstaad Ski Resort Guide
Gstaad is known for celebrity guests and high-end shopping. The area has all the visual appeal of a quaint alpine village, interwoven with excellent shops, restaurants, and a wide range of off-slope activities to augment your skiing holiday.
The resort is an hour and a half (82km) from the international airport at Bern, and two and a half hours (150km) from Geneva.
The resort has been popular with the rich and famous for many years, and the shopping on offer includes the best in brand names, such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Moncler, and more. It’s not just the shopping that brings people there though, the charm of the village is difficult to rival. Quaint alpine architecture in the centre is set against mountainous panoramas in the distance, and all of it under the fairy tale form of Gstaad Palace.
Accommodation options include the Gstaad Palace in fact, now a grand, 100-year-old hotel that has entertained guests the likes of Madonna, Roger Moore, Liz Taylor and Julie Andrews over the years.
The village is much improved since the central area was pedestrianised, and it is an excellent place to slow down, immerse oneself into the alpine spirit, and get in some excellent skiing.
On the slopes
Snow conditions are very reliable on the upper slopes, including the glacier, and the resort is known for well-groomed runs. The lower runs do struggle with snow conditions in warmer weather.
Difficulty of runs leans heavily toward confident beginners and intermediate skiers, but there are a few excellent expert runs, and more ski areas in the vicinity if you are with a group that wants to explore and check out other local options, while setting hoe base in the luxury of Gstaad.
The two terrain parks, one of them set at nearly 3000m above sea level, offer both boarders and skiers some skill-building challenges.
Nightlife is not a big draw to Gstaad. Posh evening meals and sophisticated entertainment is on offer, if your budget is ample, but this is not a wild spot for the young and wild.
Clubs do exist there though, and visitors looking for something high-energy should check out the GreenGo club in the Palace, especially on weekends. The Stall-Bar and the Rialto Bar are good choices for a quality drink or two, and La Cave in Hotel Olden has food, drink and dancing.
As you would expect, Gstaad has a solid offering of fine dining establishments – check out Chesery, Leonardo’s, Chubut, Gildo’s, La Cave, and more – but restaurants also include more affordable options such as Restaurant Muli, Ristorante Bar Rialto, Spitzhorn, and many more. You will never go hungry for choice in Gstaad.
Other activities include an excellent spa in the Grand Palace Hotel, an indoor sports centre with mini-golf, swimming, volleyball, sauna and fitness facilitates. You can try the world’s highest bobsleigh track, the Alpine Coaster, hike, cross-country ski, or take a quiet hour or two in a high-quality coffee shop.