Archive LWSY Mountain High > Looking back at Le Grand Bellevue Hotel, Gstaad > Switzerland

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I’ve come to understand why Gstaad is such a special place. Whether visiting in the winter or summer, the clean air, the glorious sunshine, it’s pretty hard to not fall into the relaxed environment and ‘come up and slow down’ as their motto says. The excitement builds long before you arrive at this mountain resort. The main route to Gstaad is travelling on the Goldenpass railway, the worlds first panoramic train along lake Geneva winding up the mountain to bring you to Gstaad station. A hotel transfer will collect you and whizz you to the hotel, although you are just minutes away over the road. Looking back to Spring 2015, and I’d finally made it to Le Grand Bellevue, Gstaad. An absolute contender for the best design hotel  in Gstaad, i’m pretty sad at the prospect of not getting back to Gstaad for this winter season.

So, back to my memories last Spring, and just incase you were wondering, these ladies don’t often stroll down the road. This was them being moved to pastures new wearing their ceremonial bells (the older the cow the larger the bell). We were lucky enough to witness them being moved from the top of the mountain earlier that day. (Press pic above from the previous year). Click on this link to see what we saw earlier that day. The images below of the hotel will i’m sure entice you to book a winter break anyway…

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Family-owned, managed and designed, the hotel was acquired on its Centenary by Daniel and Davia Koetser. Born in Switzerland and educated internationally, they realised global careers in hotel development and interior design respectively, before meeting and marrying in Gstaad, spending their first night in the hotel they now own. Built in 1912 the hotel holds the title as the oldest palace hotel in Gstaad. “My wife and I have a great affinity with Gstaad” says Daniel who greeted us and walked us through the hotel as we arrived. “We love it for its traditions and age-old institutions but feel there’s room for innovation and a dash of sassiness. Our dream is to create a buzzing destination in the heart of the village that captures the spirit of Gstaad. We wanted the hotel to feel understated and effortless yet imaginative and spoiling.” Spoiling it is. Le Grand Spa alone is an unfathomable size for a hotel with just 57 rooms. Indulgent is an understatement.

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As we arrive we are welcomed with a cucumber refresher as my eyes dart from one living space to the other. A riot of pattern and colour. The design is very bold for such a traditional alpine village resort, but why not. Hotels move with the times, and as the demographic of the seasonal visitor becomes younger and more responsive to hotels not just for their service, it makes me smile to see such a punchy interior. Let me tell you, the design here has not been acquired via a cost cutting procurement company. All the sofas and armchairs you see have been handmade by George Smith. Lighting by Moooi, Zebra fabrics by Neisha Crosland, passementerie by Samuel & Sons, and a giant Eternal Dreamer sofa by Ochre. These pieces are often reserved for costly private residential interiors. You can tell that quality means everything to the owners here at Le Grand Bellevue.

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A bold use of House of Hackney’s Midnight Stripe wallpaper in the living room to the left of the reception.

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A library that I could really get stuck into. The hotel carries a fabulous library for guests to borrow throughout their stay.

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The Bar, with armchairs upholstered in Neisha Crosland’s iconic Zebra flock.

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Leonard’s Restaurant, with it’s original parquet floor, serves a relaxed menu overseen by Michelin-starred chef, Urs Gschwend.

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Follow the beautiful Murano installation up the staircase to the 57 elegant rooms, of which nine are suites. The suites have some clever dividing doors and magnetic door signage allowing areas of floors to be closed off creating 1 or 2 bedroom suites.

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The rooms, most with balconies, promise panoramic views across the mountains or private parklands, plus light-flooded bathrooms stocked with Bamford bath products. Below I spotted The Sellarsbrook rug by Suzanne Sharp for The Rug Company.

LWSY The bedrooms are categorised into Chic, Deluxe Chic Rooms, and Suites. The Le Grand Bellevue Suite is the largest, their Penthouse, offering over 170sqm of living space.

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The Tower Suite

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Bamford Bath Products

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A Deluxe Chic Room above with wrap-around balcony

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The view from the Deluxe Chic room.

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Winding down the stairs to many of the hotels further offerings…

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The Cinema. Although the night we were there, we enjoyed a fabulous outdoor cinema experience. With just 15 covers, we sat on long tables, all facing the giant inflatable screen.

The film, ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’ was paired with an evening menu where each course was paired with scenes in the film, from sea urchin soup, to indian flavours and traditional French dishes. A wonderful experience at CHF 120. If you know the film you can imagine the culinary feast we enjoyed.

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The Kids Club in the basement.

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The 3,000sqm Le Grand Spa is a vast space, which considering you are in a ski resort, I think blows the socks of anywhere in the village. Using Bamford and Cellcosmet products, the spa offers a comprehensive range of treatments, remedies and retreats. With eight spacious treatment rooms, heat therapies including a Turkish hammam, Himalayan salt inhalation grotto, snow room, outdoor Finnish sauna, a gym, yoga & Pilates studio, relaxation areas with water beds overlooking the mountains and a 200sqm swimming pool opening up onto a lavender-clad terrace during summer months. The spa is an absolute sanctuary. Le Petit Chalet below, is something I noticed when I was in Gstaad during the winter season. Closed on the one night we could’ve visited, I was happy to be able to visit this time. Just a traditional little chalet in the hotel’s grounds of the hotel, seats just 18 guests with a menu of hearty Swiss dishes. Perfect for a lazy fondue night don’t you think?!

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Le Grand Bellevue closes for this Summer Season on 11th October 2015 & reopens for the Winter Season on the 18th December 2015. For reservations click here. Summer Rates from £265 per room based on double occupancy on a B&B basis. Winter Rates from £423 per room based on double occupancy on a half-board basis.

Le Grand Bellevue Hauptstrasse, 3780, Switzerland INFO@BELLEVUE-GSTAAD.CH +41 33 748 00 00

With thanks to Bird PR & Managing Director/Owner Daniel Koetser for my visit.
LWSY > Take a look at my other favourite alpine locations by clicking here.