110 years ago, Robert Steffen, a visionary secondary school teacher from Gstaad, fulfilled his dream: in December 1913, the Gstaad Palace embarked on its first season – with hot water in the rooms, a phone booth and a petrol station at the front of the hotel. The luxury hotel is still state of the art today. An all-new sun terrace featuring a contemporary design will be ready to welcome sun-seekers from 15 December. In addition, the gym has been outfitted with the latest equipment from market leader Technogym. Worldwide Kids, the leading provider of childcare services to the luxury hospitality sector, is also on board. The future is now at the Gstaad Palace.
Once upon a time – or rather 110 years ago, in 1913 – there was a visionary secondary school teacher. Robert Steffen’s vision was the catalyst for the Gstaad Palace’s success. Land purchases and the strong support of his father-in-law enabled Steffen to significantly expand his land holdings in the Oberbort area of Gstaad, where he intended to build a grand hotel. The Royal- Hôtel & Winter Palace Gstaad opened on 8 December 1913, in time for the start of the winter season. At the same time, he set up the first ice rink, organised the first tennis tournament on the palace grounds, staged the first ski race in Gstaad and was heavily involved in the development of the tourist association. These days, 110 years later, the Palace is run by the third generation of the Scherz family. The leading hotel continues to shape the world-renowned holiday destination and the tourist industry to this day.
A fresh new look for the sun terrace
The Saanenland region is known for being blessed by the sun. The Palace’s Grande Terrasse is a magnet for sun-seekers in winter and summer alike. The hotel’s terrace refurbishment represents the logical next step of what began in 1973 with its huge fully automatically controlled awning, which was the first of its kind in Switzerland. Guests can look forward to a fully renovated terrace in a timeless design indebted to the creativity and innovativeness of Swiss interior design company Fischbach & Aberegg. The architects have given the terrace a young, fresh feel, which forms an elegant extension of the idea underpinning the grand hotel style. Culinary delights served here range from the Palace’s sought-after fondue to an exquisite cup of tea and a slice of cake. The incredible panoramic views and natural vitamin D boost are an extra bonus.
Looking to the future – a cutting-edge training environment
Moving with the times keeps us fit: the Gstaad Palace and market leader Technogym have embarked on a common path centred on the training trends of the future. The Italian company has equipped the hotel’s gym with state-of-the-art equipment. The new flagship hotel gym in Gstaad boasts Excite cardio machines, free weights and a practical cable station featuring veritable game-changer with regard to digitalisation: Biostrength technology. This technology leverages the Technogym ecosystem to allow you to access your workout data from anywhere, track workouts, keep tabs on your progress live and train anywhere you want, as though from the comfort of your own home.
Glitz and glamour: SIXTIES – a tribute to Vegas
New Year’s Eve is celebrated in style at the Gstaad Palace every year, and this year, a healthy dose of glitz and glamour has been added. ‘SIXTIES – a tribute to Vegas’ is the theme of this year’s legendary New Year’s party. For 24 hours, the era of Frank Sinatra & co. will be back with a bang. Sin City is coming to the Saanenland. The hotel and its illustrious guests will be elegantly dressed for the occasion, which is set to feature an electric atmosphere and lots of opportunities to do the twist.
The first Swiss hotel to join forces with Worldwide Kids
The celebrations are not just reserved for the adults: this winter, Sammy’s Kids’ Club will once again offer a carefully put-together programme of physical, creative and engaging activities. This winter, Gstaad Palace partnered with Worldwide Kids, making it the only hotel to do so in Switzerland. The world’s leading provider of family and childcare services to the luxury hospitality sector awards the Young Guest Excellence seal to luxury hotels that meet strict health and safety standards for childcare services and are able to demonstrate their commitment to providing a family-friendly, creative environment. At the Gstaad Palace, that commitment is on show day in, day out – here, kids are VIK (Very Important Kids). Youngsters who would like to help decorate Sammy’s Christmas tree will have the chance to create their own unique Christmas decorations from 15 to 24 December. Movie nights are held in cold weather. The Palace also organises a children’s New Year’s party and a petting zoo with llamas, alpacas, sheep and goats. The Palace Spa team have come up with a new innovation: the hotel now also offers sessions for little ones. These include kids ’yoga with Estelle Gomez, Spa Manager of the Year 2023, and gentle facials and massages using suitable products from the French cosmetics brand Nougatine.
Delicacies on offer in the 2023/24 winter season
Arrive in the two-horsepower style of 100 years ago
This winter season, Gstaad Palace guests can go on a unique journey back in time to the pre- car era. Guests travelling to Gstaad by train have the option to take a nostalgic horse-drawn carriage ride to the Palace. Guests can book by phone or email up to 24 hours prior to arrival.
Now available at Globus: Palace Fondue by Franz W. Faeh
In addition to the Gstaad Palace, the one-of-a-kind Palace Fondue is now exclusively available in all Globus department stores and selected restaurants in Zurich, including Hafenkneipe, Fischer’s Fritz, Milchbar, and Münsterhöfli. Gstaad Palace Fondue is made by Molkerei Gstaad and consists of a ‘secret’ blend created by Franz W. Faeh, the Culinary Director of the Gstaad Palace, who grew up in the Saanenland. His fondue contains the world-famous hard cheese ‘Le Gruyère AOP’ and two semi-hard cheese varieties: Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP and, of course, Gstaader Bergkäse (Gstaad mountain cheese).
Gstaad’s magic formula: Augustinus Bader at the Palace Spa
Professor Augustinus Bader, multi-award-winning professor of biomedicine at the University of Leipzig, is causing a stir in the spa scene with his acclaimed TFC8® formula, which he developed based on more than 30 years of cell research. The treatments and products of the same name boost skin health using a natural approach combining LED therapy with oxygenation where appropriate.
‘GreenGo’: world-class special acts
Gstaad’s legendary nightclub is ready to bring the party to the Saanenland once again this winter season. Alongside top-notch resident DJ Jim Leblanc, the ‘GreenGo’ stage will play host to a range of top acts between 15 December and 8 March. Which DJ will play on which party weekend remains a big surprise. Those in the know will keep an eye on GreenGo’s social media accounts.
Instagram: @greengoclubofficial Facebook: @greengoclub
The epitome of elegance: Valentine’s Day by Chopard
The most elegant couple will be selected on the day of love in the Gstaad Palace. Following on from a romantic gala dinner, one lucky couple will receive two pieces of jewellery from Chopard: one for him and one for her. The pieces in question are a bracelet from the ‘My Happy Hearts’ collection, adorned with a carnelian heart set in gold, and a pair of cufflinks shaped like steering wheels. Inspired by speed, freedom and precision, these creations are the ultimate in contemporary jewellery. Dinner is included for hotel guests.