Some of the most discerning luxury ski chalets in the world, Gstaad with its car free centre offers sophisticated, bordering on aristocratic luxury ski holidays that few other luxury resorts can rival. The town is perfectly sized, an array of boutique shops and high quality restaurants, its large enough to be interested, yet small enough to retain an intimate alpine charm. Scenery that is simply outstanding, it also provides high altitude skiing with the Glacier 3000 ski area.
The skiing in and around Gstaad is generally best suited for beginners, intermediates and mixed ability groups with the emphasis on beautifully manicured pistes and stunning scenery to match. Experts will find some reasonable off-piste, particularly below the Glacier 3000 ski area, although challenges on piste are more limited. This said, the black Oldenpiste provides over 1,400m of vertical descent from the glacier down to Reusch and will test most expert skiers, as well as the thighs being over 12km long. But don't be deterred, ski holidays in Gstaad offer so much more as this is a luxury ski resort where the emphasis is on beauty, style and magical scenery where photo opportunities are abound throughout the day, wherever you ski.
The Glacier 3000 area is situated above Reusch and here you will find some of the best snow conditions, not only in and around Gstaad, but in Switzerland with the slopes rising from 1,350m up to 3,000m providing skiing typically from October right through to May.
The ski area is a little fragmented with six distinct ski areas, however, the six areas collectively combine to provide one of the biggest ski areas in Europe with 220km of pistes. The excellent ski bus service also links each area very well and the majority of the luxury chalets we feature also include a driver service to the ski areas (check details on our chalet pages or alternatively with our Ski Consultants for applicable transfer services in resort).
Growing in popularity year on year, the skiers of Mount Rinderberg and Mount Wispily both off night skiing of those that what make the very most of the ski week.
Gstaad is without question one of the prettiest, and probably most aristocratic ski resort towns to be found in the Alps. Visited regularly by the rich and famous, as well as royalty, the traffic centre and traditionally alpine architecture make for a truly ideal ski destination. The main street is iined with fabulous restaurants and boutique shops and as a consequence there is a great deal to do, whether shopping, dining, or enjoy an acres-ski drink or two.
Horse drawn sleighs, snow lined streets, the alpine church at the end of the street, this is the place that we all imagine ski resorts will look like.
Family Ski Holidays
Whilst Gstaad is an understated, but very sophisticated resort, it is still an extremely popular family ski holiday destination. In fact around a third of its visitors are estimated to be family skiers. With many of these visitors returning guests, some two or three generations after their ancestors suggests Gstaad is clearly doing a great deal right in terms of families, and we would have to agree from our own experience.
The skiing is perfect for families, with the skiing perfectly suited for mixed abilities, particularly beginners and intermediates. Beautifully groomed each evening, they provide the perfect place for young aspiring skiers to home their carving technique. The tuition is typically Austrian, attentive and very well structured, and there is a good nursery area close to the town itself.
Off the piste, the car free streets allow children to walk and play in relative safety, and with the charm and horse drawn carriages, there is a magical side to Gstaad that others could only hope to emulate.
The off-piste skiing is not as extensive as some of its rival luxury resorts, but is nevertheless reasonable for all but the hardened expert. The Glacier 3000 area is particularly popular, both for its great snow and the descents of around 1,650m in altitude that are possible. Two words of caution here shower, the glacier terrain comes with its own challenges, and there truly are some significant drops to be avoided so we strongly recommend a ski guide to avoid that wrong turn or hidden crevasse in the high mountain ski area.
The mountain restaurants above and around Gstaad offer some excellent mid day dining opportunities for visitors, although one or two are best booked as the reputation goes rightly before them.
Gstaad boast three snow parks , the hHighlander, the Hornberg and the Glacier 3000 offering the best conditions and the biggest aerials!
The main ski school Gstaad Snowsports.
This is not St Anton or Verbier, so loud music is not the order of the day in terms of acres-ski. Here the after skiing activities behold level of class and style that is a throwback to previous generations. The Alpina Lounge embodies this spirit with its light, airy and classical decor. A happy hour at the Alpina Lounge comes from savouring the carefully prepared cocktails, gin, malt whiskeys or fine array cognacs, and certainly not by the price of a cheap beverage.
The Club Room at Le Grand Bellevue is another great place, livelier than the alpine, it starts off with a relaxing beat, the pianist playing a tune or too, before the music is taken up a tempo or two by the DJ when the party starts to swing.
Gstaad Michelin Star Restaurants
If the number of Michelin Star Restaurants is a guide to the sophistication and style of a luxury ski resort, Gstaad is clearly one of the resorts at the forefront. It has four, all having been awarded one Michelin Star (etoile). The Chesery, formerly some decades ago a fromagerie was awarded its one star in 2005 and its German head chef Robert Speth will delight you with a variety of winter specials.
Leonard's is situated at Le Grand Bellevue in Gstaad. The retro dining interior provokes memories of a bygone year, light and airy with its large windows, we think it works and dining experience doesn't disappoint either way. If you love your meat dishes, the rib of beef (if it is on the menu) is a must.
The Sommet is situated in the Alpina Gstaad hotel and also has a terrace for summer visitors and mid day dinning later on in the ski season. Here the menu is light and contemporary, the decor warm and particularly welcoming with its comfortable chairs and beautiful wood interior.
Finally and by no means least is La Table at the Hotel Le Sapin.
Gstaad has a very understated and sophisticated nightlife with a good selection of wine bars and bars. But for a great night out, try the Disco GreenGo at the Hotel Palace. A step back to the 1970's but in a rather tasteful and fun way.
This is the place to fulfil your dreams, whether it is taking the horse drawn sleigh down an old, historic alpine main street, and riding off into the distance between snow covered peaks, the husky sleigh ride across snow covered meadows.
The explorers amongst the group may like to try snowshoeing, a chance to really get into the mountain and enjoy the scenery and nature either using the marked trails or taking a qualified mountain leader to show you the best places to walk and see. It will is a wonderful way to enjoy the mountains. The adrenalin hunters amongst you will love Europe's highest luge at the top of the Glacier 3000 cable car, or alternative stick to traditional sledging and one of the many market runs on the ski piste map.
Or for the ultimate dream of dreams, why not book a hot air ballon across the mountain sky line, high above the Gstaad itself, a day you will never forget.
Situated in the Oberlese region, it situated a short drive east of Lake Geneva. One of the most scenic parts of Switzerland and the Alps, it is a picturesque drive through the rolling hills whether venturing by coach, ski transfer, or car. The nearest airport is Geneva which is two and a half hour drive our Zurich just two and three quarters. The Swiss capital Bern is one and a half hour drive from Gstaad.
Gstaad Ski Map
The resort is situated at an altitude of 1,00m and the highest lifts rise up to 3,000m. There are six ski areas with 220km of pistes in total. The skiing predominantly suits beginners and intermediates although there is some excellent off piste skiing underneath the glacier for appropriately competent skiers or with a mountain guide.
Gstaad Toboggan and Sledge Map
In and around Gstaad they have gone sledging crazy, and it makes it one fun place to be for all ages. Here you can sledge and toboggan down various routes using the lift system and young and old we think are sure to love it.
Gstaad Street Map
One of the prettiest ski resorts in the alps, the chalets are traditionally styled and situated close to the centre, bringing the fabulous restaurants and boutiques virtually to your door.