Gstaad Palace: a classic fairytale of style and elegance

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Gstaad was once described as ‘the last paradise in a crazy world’ by award-winning actress and national treasure Julie Andrews

It was love at first sight when Andrews visited the Swiss resort back in 1968. Not only did she buy a chalet in Gstaad but also picked up the tab for the town’s Christmas lights as a token of her affection.

Such is Gstaad’s fame, it has been name-checked in Frasier and Trading Places. And the resort’s most famous hotel is, without doubt, the Gstaad Palace, which served as the backdrop for The Return of the Pink Panther back in 1975. From the outside, it looks like something conjured up from the pages of a classic fairy tale.

The moment you walk through its doors you instantly understand why this hotel became the venue of choice during the golden age of celebrity for stars such as Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

The Gstaad Palace is all about style and elegance. What also distinguishes it from other hotels in the area is that it has been under the same ownership for over 60 years.

The current boss is Andrea Scherz and his father, Ernst, once turned down an offer from Michael Jackson to buy the family business.

Even the standard rooms are beautifully appointed. However, if you want to wake up to a stunning view of the Saanenland mountains then make sure you are booked into either one of the Superior and Deluxe rooms or a suite.

And if you feel like dining at Le Grill you should travel suitably prepared, as the dress code is ‘elegant’.

Among the many beauty treatments available in the luxurious spa is Gemology, which is currently all the rage and is a facial that incorporates the use of precious stones and minerals.

Most of staff at the Gstaad Palace have been working here for many years and outnumber the guests by two to one. Quite simply, they don’t want to leave and after you spend a night here you’ll feel the same way.

Gstaad itself is not so much a ski resort as a resort where you can ski. The slopes never get too crowded and won’t pose any fears, even for a novice skier.

And, as the famous slogan for Cunard Liners proclaimed that ‘getting there is half the fun!’

After flying into Geneva you can board a train known as the GoldenPass Classic. When it was introduced in 1931 the GoldenPass became known as Switzerland’s answer to the Orient Express.

As the train winds its way through the picturesque Swiss countryside it provides the perfect introduction for the holiday that simply oozes class.

Gstaad Palace accommodation

For prices and offers call the hotel directly on +41 (0) 33 748 5000.
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@GstaadPalace

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Vivien Cotterill-Lee

Vivien Cotterill-Lee

Vivien Cotterill-Lee is publishing director of Director magazine

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