“Come Up, Slow Down” - This has been the official motto of the Swiss mountain town of Gstaad for as long as anyone can remember. The relaxed luxury it offers has captured the imaginations of serious skiers, society figures and stars alike - making this once sleepy village the social epicentre for the jet-set’s winter holidays.
At the centre of it all are two storied institutions: the Palace - a majestic hotel perched high above the town - and Le Rosey, a school so exclusive (and expensive) that it is commonly referred to as the “Eton of the jet set”. Whilst the latter has drawn in names like Casiraghi, Rothschild, Rockefeller and Casablancas to forge long-lasting affinity with Gstaad, the former has kept them coming back.
The Palace’s famously uncompromising luxury reshaped the reputation of a town once known as the “baby sister to St. Moritz”, largely taking over its older sibling as the go-to destination to ‘ski and be seen’. Luxury boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Loro Piana and Hermès followed and subsequently other incredibly high profile hotels followed, most notably the Alpina, Ultima and Le Grand Bellevue along with an endless stream of private chalets dotted across town.
Choosing where one will post up during one’s sojourn in Gstaad is of paramount social importance, with reservations often are made years in advance. The most coveted locations are the top suites at the best hotels and luxury chalets in the main drag. Parties abound throughout the festive season so securing the right location is essential to getting around town easily and in comfort (especially after a night at the GreenGo - but more on that later).