The peak of pleasure

From 22 December 2017 to 11 March 2018, the Palace is once again inviting you to a “Lunch by Helicopter” – a heavenly treat that consists of a sightseeing flight to Zermatt, including a great lap around the Matterhorn and lunch at 3,000 metres above sea level. Thomas Kohler from the Air Glaciers team, who accompanies the helicopter flights, reveals his highlights. 


What can guests expect with the “Lunch by Helicopter”?

As a pilot and base leader at Air-Glaciers Gstaad-Saanenland, I spend a great deal of time in the air above the mountains. For Gstaad Palace, I fly guests to Zermatt on a 60-minute sightseeing flight. They get to see the best that the Swiss Alps has to offer in the process. A real treat for me time and time again too. I land the helicopter on the glacier next to the Alphubeljoch for the Champagne aperitif served by Gstaad Palace, in front of a fantastic panorama. Then guests are indulged with culinary treats during lunch at 3,000 metres above sea level at the “Refuge l’Espace”, before returning to the airport field in Saanen.

You fly over the Saanenland’s five valleys, the Wildhorn, the Diableret’s glacier and Valais’ four thousand metre peaks with the guests. What’s your favourite subject from this bird’s eye perspective?

The view over our Switzerland is generally incredibly beautiful in the clear autumn weather. One highlight for me is also the Matterhorn, which we fly around. The world-famous mountain is surrounded by a magic that fascinates me time and time again. Everyone is familiar with the ultimate Swiss landmark, but who can claim that they’ve circumnavigated it?

You’re an experienced helicopter pilot. What do you have to pay particular attention to when flying in the mountains?

I do a whole variety of jobs for Air-Glaciers: sightseeing flights, taxi flights, heliskiing, training flights, avalanche blasting flights, film and photography flights, rescue flights and often transport flights to building sites in the mountains that are difficult to access too. Serious preparation down to the tiniest detail is definitely the be all and end all. The weather conditions are always different in the mountains – wet and cold weather, wind or new snow can make jobs more difficult or impossible. The flights for Gstaad Palace only take place in good weather. At the end of the day, we want the Palace guests to enjoy the best views. I also enjoy flying most when the visibility is good. 

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First Impressions

Lifestyle editor Emmanuel Coissy and photographer Mike Wolf tested out the package in advance. 

To the Video

Gstaad Palace and Air-Glaciers captured the impressive mood between the sky and earth in the Bernese Oberland on film.


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