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Franz W. Faeh gives wings to the Palace cuisine

Franz W. Faeh, Executive Chef at Gstaad Palace and highly experienced international top chef, brings a breath of fresh air to the Palace cuisine. As Culinary Director, he is systematically restructuring Gstaad Palace’s food and restaurant concept. The widely travelled Gstaad local will also be cooking for three days in May at the exclusive Royal Automobile Club RAC in London where top chefs from all over the world are given guest privileges just twice a year. In addition, Franz W. Faeh is striding out in totally new, sustainable directions at the Walig Hütte, Gstaad Palace’s exclusive excursion destination at 1,700 metres above sea level: he prepares the finest treats without electricity, just on his solar cooker and open fire.



Franz W. Faeh is an institution on the scene of established Swiss chefs. Born in Gstaad, the connoisseur and expert of upscale gastronomy once completed his apprenticeship at Gstaad Palace. And three years ago he took over as Executive Chef in the Palace kitchen with a team of 55 – "a lifelong dream", as he always stresses. Before that, he had spent many years refining his skills abroad, cooking for the royal family in Bangkok, among other places. He also captured the tastes of Asian cuisine in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and integrated them into his honest kitchen philosophy, which focuses on true taste experiences. Now Franz W. Faeh is going one step further: at the request of Palace owner Andrea Scherz, he is systematically restructuring the kitchen and restaurant concept at Gstaad Palace as the new Culinary Director. As in the past, he is approaching the task with great care: to cherish and cultivate the traditional and classic, to dare and celebrate the new – that’s his motto. The first step has already taken place this winter with the remake of the cult "Fromagerie" tavern in the Palace’s former gold bunker. And the new interior design and catering concept is going down well: "The feedback is very positive. And it’s clear: The best that the Saanenland has to offer in cheese, dried meat and other delicacies, arranged wittily and chicly but served with apparent nonchalance – that's exactly what the Palace resort idea is all about." Franz W. Faeh is now planning the outdoor area by the large swimming pool and on the sun terrace for summer 2019. Snacks and barbecue become one – snacking is cultivated on the new menu and enriched with elements of street and finger food, one of Faeh’s major disciplines.

A great honour: guest chef privileges at the Royal Automobile Club in London

Franz W. Faeh is also taking his favourites to London where he has the rare honour of appearing as guest chef at the Royal Automobile Club RAC. Gstaad's "stalwart" and his team of four, accompanied by owner Andrea Scherz, will be serving the "Palace kitchen at its best" in the Pall Mall clubhouse from 9 to 11 May 2019: a light four-course meal for regular guests and business people for lunch and a sophisticated five-course meal for dinner. He will of course have the best local delicacies from the Saanenland on board in London, in keeping with the motto "From Gstaad – with love". With this, the Palace is building a bridge across the Channel to its royal and loyal regular guests from the United Kingdom who are still among the top clientèle at Gstaad's fairytale palace.

Exclusively on the Walig: cooking with solar power

Franz W. Faeh is then going to rely consistently on natural energy and elements in the summer. He will in fact personally cater for Palace guests with his solar cooker. Several times a season he gets to work at the Walig Hütte, the rustic but elegant hut on the alp above Feutersoey with the same name, with this heirloom from his predecessor Peter Wyss. He had purchased the solar cooker from the parish priest in Lauenen who used it as equipment for an aid project in Africa. He conjures up a three-course meal to be proud of, totally sustainably in the simple wooden cooking box, which converts solar energy into heat using a mirror process. Franz W. Faeh serves Mi-cuits de langoustine, a Burrata with Salade Pastorale and Sauce Agrume as starters, the legendary trout with white wine and chives (aka Filets de Truites Palace) is the main course and for dessert Franz W. Faeh creates freshly baked Meringues du Saanenland, with fresh double cream from the farm next-door of course.

A classic is experiencing a revival: Facelift for the former gold bunker

Moitié-moitié fondue in a unique ambience and a White Party for dancing the night away. The Gstaad Palace will be melting the hearts of its winter guests twice this year: While the “Fromagerie”, a former gold bunker and probably the quirkiest fondue parlour in Switzerland, now offers its rustic Swiss specialities with a new look, the restaurant “Gildo’s” and the hotel’s own night club “Green Go” are celebrating Greek zest for life.


It was a revolution – and a trendy pub, before anybody in this country had thought of themed catering. In 1975/76, Ernst Andrea Scherz, resourceful and well-travelled owner of the Gstaad Palace – now a senior partner in non-retirement – turned the bunker, which was used as a safe place for money and gold during the Second World War, into a wittily cheerful meeting place by the name of “La Fromagerie”. The fondue parlour was originally exclusively reserved for the Saanenland’s gold: for the divine alpine cheese, served with deliberate charm and nonchalance, outfitted with ornate traditional chairs, wooden tables and red and white tablecloths and equipped with wildly thrown together crockery and cutlery. With this, there was fine chasselas and other local drinks.

And right up to today, in the cold months, the “Fromagerie” has remained the epicentre and most frequented restaurant in the palace. Guests from every country and part of society appreciate the simple, tasty classics such as fondue, raclette, and rarebit. For the winter season 2018/19, the bijou restaurant is now shining in new splendour: For this epicentre of pleasure at the Oberbort in Gstaad, interior designer Marina Nickels has sought out antique furniture and lights, and alpine finds. Here’s to the “Fromagerie” keeping its cult status for the next 40 years and more...

White Party in the Fairytale Castle

On the subject of cults: At least as well thought out as the “Fromagerie” concept is the look of what is probably Switzerland’s most original disco. The “GreenGo”, proudly 47 years young and opened in 1971, becomes the venue – not only for the gilded youth that, every winter season and night after night, parties into the early hours of the morning under the disco ball and in the glamorous gleam of the original designer lamps of Teo Jakob. The “White Party” takes place for the big finale of the “Greek Weeks”, which are big from 27 February to 9 March 2019 in the white fairytale castle in Gstaad. The white flakes are dancing outside, while the night-owls are sweating inside. And in “Gildo’s” restaurant it is always “kalispera” instead of “buonasera”: Head Chef Yannis Baxevanis and his team from the 5-star-resort Elounda Beach & Villas in Crete are guests in the Palace kitchen. This master of Greek cuisine is treating the guests to the finest Cretan delicacies. The star guest – he has also been awarded a Michelin star – is conquering the hearts of gourmets from New York to Canberra, Athens to Gstaad, in a flash, with his creative Greek cuisine.

The aroma of the wide world: in the expanded humidor with a view into the distance

What the Infinity Pool is for some, the smoking lounge of the lobby bar is for the Gstaad Palace with its unlimited view into the distance. And from now on, the views in the Palace smoking lounge are even more beautiful – not only for the smokers, because from there they can enjoy probably the best view of the Saanenland. The precious cigars have also been given more space in the glazed corner room – in a newly installed humidor cabinet, where in future precious wares such as a fine Cohiba Maduro 5, an intense Hoyo de Monterrey or the aromatic Davidoff Special «R» will be stored to preserve their special qualities. And that is not all: The selection for afficionados of fine tobacco has in addition grown substantially.

A place of change: Gstaad Palace invests in new rooms

The world of hotel design is changing. And that includes age old luxury hotels like the Gstaad Palace. The Gstaad Palace has always kept pace with the times: it was once the only residence in the Saanenland region to feature hot running water in each guest room, while later the same can be said of telephone connections and spa baths. Today, the factor of space is more important than ever before for holidaymakers, with guests desiring more space for their wellbeing. From this summer season, the luxury hotel has built five new Double Superior Rooms – according to the motto of turn two into one. Both the rooms – which are furnished in a discreet Alpine Chic design - and the spacious bathrooms are in perfect keeping with the spirit of the times. One even features its own Hammam steam bath.


From this summer onwards, the Gstaad Palace has been on the market with 90 rooms. That’s five rooms fewer than before. The reduction has clearly added value, however: ten former rooms have been combined to create five Superior Double Rooms, with the styling having been overseen by the English interior designer, Marina Nickels. In this way, the Gstaad Palace has strengthened its resort feeling. After all, the guest surveys are clear: staying in the hotel is one thing, while residing, relaxing and meeting friends in one's room is another. In the Palace in particular, guests tend to book their rooms for longer stays and travel with their whole family, often including adult children. «The new rooms are a direct response to Airbnb and co.,» explains Andrea Scherz, the third generation owner and General Manager of the Gstaad Palace. «A consistent focus was placed on comfort and wellbeing when designing the rooms. The guests ultimately want to be able to use the room in all of its dimensions. That is the new form of luxury.» Quality of life rather than straightforward functionality was the approach for both the summer and the winter in the rooms, which are an average of 48 square metres in size.

Country house style for high quality comfort

The results are plain to see: the elegant oak cladding in the bedrooms and bathrooms as well as the use of gentle shades of red and brown radiate a sense of English elegance which is further supported by the time-proven elements of a classic and modern Alpine chic. All of the rooms feature a king size bed, a large dressing area as well as a spacious bathroom with a bath and shower – and in addition to the classic bathing facilities with a view of the tower, the room on the sixth floor has its own Hammam spa. The comfortable sofa bed or the reclining chair is the ideal place in which to relax after an action-packed day of sightseeing in the Gstaad summer wonderland. Were it not for the stunning views of the Wildhorn or Eggli mountains or the permanent ice of Les Diablerets, one might almost be at home.


«We have already achieved our goal: our newest category of room, of which the hotel now has 15, has become the most popular. We are therefore in perfect keeping with the spirit of the times,» says Andrea Scherz with contentment, who invested some 1.5 million Swiss Francs in converting the new rooms. All of the work has been completed by local specialists, further demonstrating a commitment to the quality of the resident builders. And the efforts to reposition the best hotel at its location are paying dividends: in the ranking of hotels published last week by Swiss publication BILANZ, the Gstaad Palace climbed two places to take 2nd place in the best holiday hotels in Switzerland. The classic Swiss holiday hotel continues to enthuse today –just as it did more than 100 years ago – with «contemporary perfection», as the reviewers call it.

Out of the Palace and into the great outdoors: with the new guide «Nature»

As attractive as the new rooms may be, the summertime scenery around the Gstaad is equally as stunning. And the ideal way of exploring it is on foot. To prevent the guests from setting out into the blue and green of the scenery without any sense of orientation however, the Gstaad Palace has created the perfect companion in the shape of its hiking guide «Nature». This handy companion fits into every rucksack and contains insider tips as well as excellent recommendations for hikes and walks in the local region. The new routes have been specifically oriented to the varying requirements and expectations of the hotel guests: whether it is a challenging high-altitude walk on the Rinderberg, a hiking trip with an overnight stay at the Walig mountain inn, a glacier adventure on Glacier 3000 or a stroll in the local area suitable for children and a pushchair, the guide includes something for every taste and fitness level. The brochure also provides insights into the local specialities, activities and tourist sights. In this way, guests are provided with the possibility to discover their favourite places around the Gstaad Palace.

A first-rate summer in the mountains: culture and sports at the Palace in all of its varieties

Whoever said the summer was too quiet could not have been more wrong: In addition to excellent days of hiking, this year’s guests at the Gstaad Palace can once again look forward to enjoying a variety of cultural and sporting highlights. In addition to classics such as the «Country Night Gstaad» (7 until 9 September 2018) or the traditional brunch which takes place every Sunday in July and August, this year, particular enjoyment beckons for fans of sports cars and golden oldies. And there’s a particular treat in store for those who like traditional German «Schlager» pop music: on 9 September 2018, Beatrice Egli as well as Hansi Hinterseer & Tiroler Echo are performing at the festival tent in Gstaad.

The «Gstaad Palace Challenge» weekend rally promises breathtaking views and fast cars (31 August until 2 September 2018), while at the second «BERGKÖNIG» Swiss Vintage Cycling Festival (25 and 26 August 2018), friends of the bicycle can enjoy themselves and admire old bicycles.

Another stand-out event is the Chill out Pool Party on 11 August 2018 at the Gstaad Palace Olympic swimming pool, which is celebrating its 90th birthday this year. Built in 1928 by the then architect and pioneer of sports constructions Beda Hefti, the pool remains a piece of architectural beauty to this day.

For details of all the events, visit:


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