For an indelible luxury travel experience, touch down in Geneva, take a stunningly scenic two-hour drive along Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), over the mountain pass to Gstaad, check in to Le Grand Bellevue and let human nature take its course.
Upon entering the lobby of this 102-year-old original Swiss chalet, one can sense right away the comfort and warmth, with the fireplace the focus, the redecoration has a cosy feel without being ostentatious. Reopened in 2013 after a spare-no-expense refurbishment that merges a beautiful balance of décors old and new, Le Grand Bellevue is an interior decorator’s delight. Additions in the redesign include a spa, a cigar lounge, an 18-seat premium movie theatrette and a restaurant dedicated to fine dining. The town of Gstaad matches everyone’s mental image of what a Swiss village should look like: intimate and quaint with plenty of shops ranging from haut couture to the local green grocer. Oh, and of course, those views.
Leonards, the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant, is presided over by Chef Urs Gschwend. It redoubles the luxury to have a world-class culinary experience just downstairs. Casual yet elegant, Leonards uses the best local produce. For a quick and healthy option, try sashimi and Japanese noodles at the sushi bar. Punctuate the day with morning café or afternoon tea by the log fire in the sumptuous lounge.
If you are looking for an authentic Swiss experience, Le Petite Chalet is a charming little log cottage located on the property that seats just 20 diners for authentic fondue and raclette and other local specialties. In winter après ski, this is a magical way to end the day.
Breakfast offerings take in both buffet and à la carte. Choose from anything your metabolism can handle: pancakes or French toast, warm tasty porridge or the gamut of egg variations. Don’t forget to savour the smoked salmon shipped fresh from Scotland. Local cheese selections are superb, and the service is just as you would expect – impeccable.
Le Grande Spa is a major draw card at the resort, sprawling over 3,000 square metres it’s like a candy shop for the body and soul, with so many different experiences on offer such as an aromatic sauna, Turkish bath, indoor pool and Jacuzzi, plus a Himalayan salt room and ice cave. Book a massage utilising organic Bamford products or try one of the many skincare treatments including IPL, Bio Radio Frequency and LPG Endermolift. Ask about meeting a local farmer or taking a spin in the resort’s Bentley. And don’t forget to check out the dedicated hot chocolate menu in the lounge and drink it in the hotel’s hanging birdcage chairs.
With just 57 rooms including nine suites, Le Grand Bellevue is expansive but exclusive. All rooms are spacious, with tasteful décor and lavish furnishings however, take note, this hotel books out months in advance, especially in high season.
Extravagant interiors at Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad