Gstaad is one of the original glamour ski resorts of the Alps and a favourite destination of many famous Swiss residents. The charming resort centre is completely pedestrianised and the perfect place for a stroll beneath the gaze of the picturesque castle perched on a hill above the village. Stop off for a glass of chilled champagne at one of the chic and elegant lounge bars or roll the dice at the casino.
The skiing is extensive and the 220km of pistes are spread over four sectors. The varied slopes are best suited to intermediates, families and those who love to ski to lunch. Beginners will find plenty of easy slopes on which to progress whilst for the more advanced skiers, there are some good off-piste opportunities as well as the long and challenging runs from the top of Glacier 3000.
For those looking for a traditional experience – pretty villages, wooden chalets, spectacular scenery and atmospheric mountain restaurants for a steaming mug of hot chocolate or gluhwein, with a little train line linking it all – you can’t find better than Gstaad. The nursery slopes at Wispile provide enough adequate space to learn on before heading out onto the main runs that you can progress on and to start enjoying travelling around the mountains with more speed and control.
Of the four sectors that make up the Gstaad Mountain Rides ski domain, the largest is above Saanenmöser and Schönried and reached by train. The skiing for intermediates certainly matches that atmosphere of the resort and provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing and sumptuous ski holiday. Endless cruising and undulating pistes criss-cross the mountainside ready for tour exploration.
For advanced skiers, closest to the resort itself La Videmanette is the local’s favourite for steep terrain and the most demanding pistes around the limestone pillar of "le Rubli". Altogether you’ll find nearly a dozen black runs adding up to some 40km (25 miles) of tough groomed terrain, with lots of classic off piste besides. Heli-skiing is also popular and there are five separate landing spots in the surrounding mountains.
With a well-deserved reputation for its luxury shopping and excellent service among its many attractions, it is also its true Alpine atmosphere that makes Gstaad so special. A stay in a luxury ski chalet in Gtsaad is to be treated like nobility, with outstanding hospitality and privacy paramount. Chalets in Gstaad combine two worlds, full of authentic glamour and tradition but also blended with contemporary design and facilities.