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Gstaad: quintessentially Switzerland

Oliver Emch – Bramble Ski’s former Resort Manager in Gstaad, now Group Operations Manager in Zermatt – provides some insight into glamorous Gstaad. Here, he highlights some of the best places to visit in this famous, world-class ski resort and explains why this charming village is instrumental to Bramble Ski and Haute Montagne’s reputation as a luxury chalet provider.

 Zweisimmen village at night
Dorf Zweisimmen bei Nacht
Photo by Christof Sonderegger

To begin, could you tell me a little about Gstaad?

Gstaad is quintessentially Switzerland. It combines old-world charm with pristine scenery. It has long been frequented by royalty and celebrities, which has elevated the name Gstaad to an almost hallowed status. As the destination has boomed, so has the development of some incredible luxury chalets.

Why is this resort so important to Bramble Ski’s vision of providing luxury chalets across Europe?

At Bramble Ski and Haute Montagne, we have established a small but noteworthy collection of world-class properties, complemented by our multi-national service and hospitality teams. As one of Switzerland’s most exclusive destinations, Gstaad seemed a logical fit for our high-level brand of service.

Gstaad is steeped in an image of glamour and exclusivity. What makes it so?

With its alpine authenticity, 5* hotels, polo and tennis tournaments, private jet landing facilities in Saanen, private schools – such as Le Rosey – and world-class music, film and fashion, those who spend their holidays or reside in Gstaad, do so in the epicentre of culture and affluence.

Where are the most exclusive chalets located, and what makes them so reputable?

Oberbort is the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Gstaad, with beautiful overviews of the village and the Palace and Alpina Hotels. Magnates such as Graff (Diamonds) and Ecclestone (F1) have their chalets here. The chalets are huge, filled with house staff, bodyguards, art, expensive cars, etc. They are inaccessible. Many private parties take place here.

Luxury accommodation in Gstaad
Gstaad, Switzerland

Could you highlight some of your favourite eating and drinking establishments?

For fine dining

Set in a traditional village house, and run by two local brothers, Art16 offers guests seasonal delicacies and small plates. This restaurant is incredibly intimate and reservations are obligatory.

Located on the promenade, Chersey is a Michelin Star restaurant service the finest ingredients and transforming them into gourmet dishes. It has a very private feel and charming chalet-style environment.

For a dining experience on the slopes, Wasserngrat provides excellent food, with panoramic views over the valley and village. It’s accessible for non-skiers too, and run by the same brothers as Art16.

For nightlife

GreenGo Club at the Palace is a 70s-inspired nightclub is “THE place to be” and a hotspot for illustrious clientele. It has a resident DJ playing popular tunes throughout the night.

An establishment with flair, the Alpina Lounge is the king of comfort and luxury. The place is warm and vibrant and the outdoor terrace allows guests to soak up the beautiful mountain backdrop.

Charly’s is a quaint cafe situated next door to the ice-skating rink on the promenade, and is perfect for a hot cup of coffee or some afternoon tea with dulces.

Which of Bramble Ski and Haute Montagne’s luxury chalets would you recommend to potential guests coming to Gstaad?

Haute Montagne is the pinnacle of prestige when it comes to renting a luxury ski chalet. If you are after luxury mega accommodation, the team at Haute can guarantee your stay will be unrivalled.

Chalet Etesian is all about luxury and comfort, and is located in close proximity to the village centre. A fusion of contemporary interior design and rustic features makes this chalet first-class. The property has a spa and gym, cinema room and large garden.

Luxury chalet with outdoor hot tub

Chalet Lottie is set in a discreet location with incredible views. The original farmhouse dates back to 1867, and still features traces of its authentic roots – the property combines traditional Swiss architecture and luxury decor for a truly unique chalet experience.

Living room in a luxury ski chalet from Bramble Ski

And at Bramble Ski:

Situated in the pedestrianised centre of Gstaad, Apartment Polo is high-class and contemporary. It sleeps 8 people and is perfect for those looking to be close to all the action of the town.

Chalet Riedsunne is discrete, private and expansive, yet only a short distance from the town. This 10-person converted barn has been transformed by a leading interior designer, boasting opulent flair and fantastic views of Gstaad Palace.

Grand piano in living room in a luxury ski chalet

What do the staff at Bramble Ski offer to ensure guests’ experiences are truly unique/ high-quality?

Attention to every detail is key, and the staff run the household as a private manor – they are always impeccably turned out and have a wealth of experience in delivering every manner of request. They live and breath hospitality, combining experience from Michelin Star kitchens and private mega-yachts, and they know Gstaad incredibly well in order to handle any request outside of the chalet too.

Gstaad village and a view over the lake

Are there any significant events taking place in Gstaad this Summer/Winter that you would like to highlight or that Bramble is part of?

Spread over nine days, Sommets Musicaux (January 27-February 4) is a festival celebrating the very best in classical music. The event promises to be an intimate and magical affair with an impressive programme and inspiring compositions.

Elevation 1049 (February 3-March 19) is a curation of international musicians, performances and sounds representing the power and dynamics of the avalanche.

Ride on Music (March 9-12) is a four-day music festival located at various slopes around Gstaad. Take in the breath-taking mountain scenery whilst enjoying some great music and atmosphere.

7th November 2016



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