Gstaad Palace in the media
GSTAAD PALACE ENTERS ITS 110TH WINTER SEASON WITH A
PROGRAMME EXUDING GLAMOUR
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 a 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.
- 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.
GSTAAD PALACE ENTERS COOPERATION WITH SWISS AND NOW FLIES EXCLUSIVELY WITH SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL
Gstaad, 10 May 2023 – Gstaad Palace is Switzerland’s first luxury hotel to commit to purchasing sustainable aviation fuel for all its business flights. This commitment was implemented in cooperation with SWISS, Switzerland’s largest airline, and represents an important step in the five-star establishment’s sustainability strategy.
Taking responsibility for nature, people and the environment has been part of the Palace DNA since the beginning, and the hotel continually evaluates and optimises the environmental impact of its processes. Through a new cooperation with Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), the five-star establishment will also be reducing the carbon footprint of its business trips in the future. For all flights with SWISS, the prestigious house will purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The fuel is non-fossil in origin and its use creates a CO2 cycle. Currently used by Switzerland’s largest airline, SAF is produced from biogenic waste and reduces carbon emissions by 80% in comparison with fossil fuel.
Sustainability in the DNA
‘The Gstaad Palace is embedded in a beautiful, intact natural setting which we nurture and maintain. It’s what makes Gstaad the internationally renowned holiday destination it is today. We want future generations to enjoy this authentic Alpine experience as well, so the issue of sustainability has always been close to our heart. As a conscientious family company, it is more or less part of our DNA,’ says Andrea Scherz, third in a successful line of hoteliers to have run the Gstaad Palace. ‘We feel strongly that we will see major technological progress that will help counter climate change. And that’s why we value SWISS’s engagement in driving these developments. To be the first luxury hotel to enter into this kind of commitment and contribute
to the development of sustainable air fuel (SAF) – for us it’s a point of honour.’
SAF for all business trips
The Gstaad Palace will now purchase SAF for all its business flights on SWISS. This makes it the first hotel in the premium category to commit to using SAF exclusively. Dieter Vranckx, CEO of SWISS: ‘The Gstaad Palace and SWISS are both premium brands, both dedicated to the highest level of customer service and sustainability. I am delighted that this cooperation brings the aspiration of making future travel more sustainable a step closer to fulfilment. With its commitment, the Gstaad Palace is taking an absolute leading role. It is our hope that other companies will follow their example.’
Investing in reduction
By committing to using SAF, the Gstaad Palace – a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ (of which Andrea Scherz is currently Chairman) and Swiss Deluxe Hotels – is not just reducing its own carbon footprint, it is also directly contributing to the promotion of sustainable air travel. Presently, SAF is only available in modest quantities. SWISS has pledged to use SAF and scale up its deployment. The airline has joined with the Lufthansa Group to promote this technological development by taking part in research and pilot projects. SWISS and the Lufthansa Group are also targeting private and business customers with SAF offers and entering into strategic partnerships to drive market development. Through voluntary use of SAF, customers are sending an important market signal to drive production and usage of sustainable fuels. At present, SAF reduces carbon emissions by 80% compared to fossil fuels. SWISS offers its customers various SAF products for reducing the carbon emissions from their flights.
Impetus for the industry and for guests
The idea for this initiative in the uppermost hotel segment of the local tourism industry was inspired by the Swisstainable movement for sustainable travel in Switzerland, which was launched by Switzerland Tourism with the support of the entire Swiss tourism sector. The Gstaad Palace comes to the programme as a dedicated five-star operation categorised as Swisstainable Level I - committed. ‘I am pleased to see the commitment of the Gstaad Palace across the whole sustainable travel space. These achievements and cooperations motivate the sector throughout the country and act as positive examples,’ says Martin Nydegger, Managing Director of Switzerland Tourism.
BIRTHDAY MADE TO MEASURE: AFROJACK ROCKS THE GSTAAD PALACE
Gstaad, 20 January 2023 - This performance had it all: for the "50+2 anniversary" of the cult club "GreenGo", probably the most legendary disco in the Swiss hotel landscape, the world-famous DJ Afrojack literally brought the Gstaad Palace to a boil in the second week of January. Other great moments are programmed for this season in this microcosm: from classical music at the "Sommets Musicaux" in February to wild sounds for kids, of course in the "GreenGo".
Afrojack is a fixed star in the international DJ scene. And because he also likes to reside privately at the Gstaad Palace - he didn't miss the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary for the legendary club "GreenGo". Afrojack actually comes from Holland and is called Nick van de Wall. He once started out in the underground scene and gained worldwide fame at the latest with his single "Take Over Control" in 2010. He is an icon of electro-house and electronic music and plays in big clubs all over the world - from the Marquee in New York to the Omnia in Las Vegas and the GreenGo in Saanenland.
The weekend before last, he rocked the Gstaad Palace. And for a hip reason: because after two postponements due to the pandemic, the Palace celebrated its legendary nightclub "GreenGo", which turned 50 years young in 2020. The disco club, which still captivates with its original design by Teo Jakob, is the hottest place in Gstaad for the young and the young at heart. In recent years, the Palace has invested a lot in the acoustics and in the upstyling of its "disco queen" - without making any significant changes to the basic substance. "At the Palace, we have always known how to celebrate as they fall. The fact that we had to wait over two years for the GreenGo anniversary was rather hard on our nerves. All the more reason for me to be delighted about this grandiose performance by Afrojack, who is guaranteed to return to us at the GreenGo - that much is already promised," explains Andrea Scherz, owner of the family-run 5-star hotel in the third generation. "The Gstaad Palace looks back on a highly successful festive period. And the advance bookings up to the end of the season in the first week of March also promise very good prospects. With the fresh snow that has now also arrived, we are definitely well equipped for the second half of the season," says Andrea Scherz.
Calm and turbulent times
The fine tones of classical music are also back in fashion: the "Sommets Musicaux" - once co-founded by the much too early deceased Thierry Scherz - are making their 23rd guest appearance under the artistic direction of the world-famous violinist Renaud Capuçon in Gstaad and the subsequent soirées in the Salle Baccarat at the Palace. The nine-day programme from 27 January to 4 February 2023 brings together big names and rising stars in the churches of the Saanenland.
If you are looking for peace and quiet, dive in: at the Gstaad Palace, which has always known how to stand out thanks to its location above the village. The fact that the Gstaad Palace with its over 1800 square metre Palace Spa is also one of the leading wellness hotels is confirmed by the recently published winter rating of the Handelszeitung. The Palace is now ranked 4th. The completely new indoor pool and the considerably expanded outdoor Jacuzzi, where the winter sky can be marvelled at without much light, are particularly attractive.
Meanwhile, the youngsters let off steam in the "Kid's Club" of the Gstaad Palace with mascot Sammy, another trademark of the hotel. For us, "We are family" is not primarily a song title, but a commitment to multi-generational holidays. Since time immemorial, families have been staying with us in a colourful and casual way. Because if there's one thing the Palace is not, it's old-fashioned or even stiff," remarks Andrea Scherz. And so it goes without saying that the "GreenGo" is exclusively reserved for kids on 22 February 2023. In the style of "I like to move it, move it" from "Madagascar".
FAMILY TIME AND LA DOLCE VITA:
WINTER SEASON AT THE GSTAAD PALACE
On 20th December 2022, the Gstaad Palace will open its doors for its 110th winter season. The team around General Manager and owner Andrea Scherz has put together a packed programme of events running through to 12th March 2023. Substantial investments have been made in the hotel’s wellness area, while staff accommodation and other behind-the-scenes facilities have also undergone extensive refurbishment. The 'Salle Bridge' has been converted into a sophisticated location for meetings and events, while several guest rooms have also been restyled.
Snow-covered mountains, homely chalets, wintry forests, and towering in the midst of it all, the Gstaad Palace in matching white – it's a sight that has lost none of its charm throughout the past 110 years. Inside, the scent of Christmas biscuits and seasonal music float in the air, as children's eyes light up at the sight of the elaborately decorated Christmas tree and generations gather around the open fireplace. It may sound like a fairy tale, but it is as real as ever. The Gstaad Palace has been opening its doors to guests since 1913 and, once again, is rolling out a wintry wonderland for young and old alike.
The Gstaad Palace is in family hands. The region’s leading establishment engages in a continuous process of innovation, most recently with a substantial investment in the wellness area. Newly opened for this winter season, the outdoor jacuzzi of the Palace Spa has now doubled in size, measuring 13 x 5 metres. Extensive changes have also been made to the 'Salle Bridge'. Formerly the setting for card games, horse race betting and similar pastimes, the room has now been adapted to host small conferences and celebrations.
At accommodation level, one Deluxe and two Superior rooms have been fully renovated. "The Gstaad Palace isn't idle during the low season," explains Andrea Scherz, General Manager and third generation owner of the Gstaad Palace. "On the contrary, we are continuously redesigning our facilities in accordance with the requirements of our international guests. Following the coronavirus pandemic, which can hopefully be consigned to history, visitors are now returning from all corners of the world. Booking levels are high for this winter and we're looking forward to a joyous and peaceful festive period and a winter season that looks to be as lively as ever," Andrea Scherz enthuses.
High staff welfare
In the Gstaad Palace staff building, the new 'Marmite Lounge' is now open. It is a welcoming and homely place where employees can meet and engage with each other during break time and after work. "It's important to us that our crew is happy and feels appreciated in their role within this establishment," adds Andrea Scherz. For this reason, investments in guest accommodation have gone hand in hand with refurbishing staff bedrooms, which now offer substantially higher comfort levels. New hardware and IT systems have also been put in place, to streamline and facilitate routine tasks.
La Dolce Vita in all its variations
The culinary programme for the winter season is dedicated to delicate flavours and delightful indulgence. To set the tone, Culinary Director Franz W. Faeh and his 55-strong crew will be going all out with a five-course festive menu at Christmas. In line with the motto 'La Dolce Vita', the seasonal celebrations will culminate in the grand New Year's Eve party held in the 'Salle Baccarat' and throughout the hotel. A floor below, hearty classic Swiss dishes in the form of fondue and raclette are served in the intentionally low-key 'La Fromagerie', housed in rooms that once served as a Second World War gold bunker for a Swiss bank. Guest chef Ravi Bajaj will also be present this season. A star chef in England and an esteemed friend of the house, he will be delighting guests with his Indian cuisine.
GreenGo celebrates the big 50 (+2)
Last but not least, 'GreenGo', the original Gstaad nightclub opened in 1971, will finally be celebrating its 50th anniversary – and it will be doing it in style. An entire series of parties are planned, and on 7 January 2023 the club will play host to a big international act, to be announced on Instagram over the coming weeks. All we will say for now is: Don't forget your dancing shoes. And there's more news from the club. Jasmine Wheatcroft, artist and Gstaad resident, is revamping the graffiti wall with a hyper-realistic collage. Street art is giving way to portraits of the stars and starlets that party at the GreenGo.
Modern art amid breathtaking scenery
In collaboration with long-standing partner Hauser & Wirth, the Gstaad Palace is pleased to present an installation in the Palace garden. Two large bronze sculptures by William Kentridge, 'Her' (2021) and 'Cape Silver' (2018) will be set against the imposing mountain backdrop. Further works by the leading contemporary artist from South Africa will also be on show at 'Tarmak22' at Gstaad-Saanen Airport from 17 December 2022.
Next generation gathers at Sammy’s Winter Kids Club
Sammy, once the Palace family's much-loved pet, lives on as the mascot of the children's entertainment programme at the Gstaad Palace. From film nights and story time through to Christmas baking sessions, there's plenty in store for the kids. Further opportunities to be among themselves and enjoy a magical time include the kids-only Christmas, pyjama and New Year parties. Outside, the Palace garden awaits with animal encounter events such as pony riding and a meeting with the St. Bernard dogs, as they visit from their high-altitude home on the eponymous mountain pass. "The Palace is all about family traditions. 'We are family' isn't just an advertising slogan for us, but a way of life. So it's a joy and a pleasure to open our doors to the next generation of Palace guests," says Andrea Scherz.