We’re very fond(ue) of luxury hotel Le Grand Bellevue in picturesque Gstaad; it has a classic pale-goldenrod-hued palace exterior, and a modern chalet interior. Rooms have views of the surrounding Alps, which you can zip down at will, if you’d like, or the cobblestoned city centre. Indulge in a hot chocolate (the specialty menu has flavoured and spiked numbers) and raclette, or refresh your body and mind in the sprawling subterranean spa. We'll take this Swiss stay over a box of chocolates any time.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £590.63 (CHF750), including tax at 3.8 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of CHF4.20 per person per night on check-out.
Rates generally include à la carte and buffet breakfasts (otherwise CHF35 a person), a welcome drink, unlimited spa access, roundtrip transfers from Gstaad Train Station. Winter rates also include a daily three-course dinner at Leonard’s restaurant.
Daily afternoon tea is held in the sitting room; don’t miss out on the selection of mini madeleines and cakes.
The hotel is closed from mid-October to mid-December and from the start of April to mid-June every year.
At the hotel
Spa with sauna, hydrotherapy pool, outdoor spa pool, expansive thermal suite, steam room and hammam; fitness centre with personal training and Pilates, yoga and fitness classes; tennis courts; on-site ski hire; kids’ club, playroom and cinema; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: minibar with free bottled water and non-alcoholic drinks, tea-making kit, Nespresso coffee machine, and Bamford bath products.
Our favourite rooms
We especially love top-floor Suite Etoile, which is set in the eaves; a portion of its massive ensuite bathroom has a glass roof, so you can take après-ski soaks under a canopy of twinkling stars – when it snows it’s even more romantic.
The serene and subterranean indoor pool is part of the spa, and has an adjoining hot tub that’s particularly inviting après-ski. Well-behaved little Smiths are welcome in this massive pool until late afternoon, and child-friendly splash hours are from 2pm to 4pm. From 5pm, it’s adults only in the pool. There's also an outdoor relaxation pool in the Thermal Oasis.
Subterranean Le Grand Spa is one of Switzerland’s largest. This sprawling (3,000sq m) spa has 10 treatment rooms (two kitted out for pampering à deux). All treatments (massages, facials, wraps, scrubs, aromatherapy, and more) use Bamford and Cellcosmet products. The spa also has a Thermal Oasis – 17 interconnecting hot-and-cold zones that include a herbal sauna, Finnish sauna, salt inhalation grotto, Turkish steam bath, ice fountain, and outdoor spa pool. Beauty treatments and hairstyling can be arranged in the on-site hair salon, and hot-and-cold hydrating and detoxifying drinks can be ordered anywhere within the spa. There’s also a spa garden where you can practice yoga and a fitness centre offering personal training, reformer Pilates, and yoga sessions.
In the winter, bring your most stylish ski jacket and snow boots to pop on for strolls around Gstaad; in the hotel, make yourself at home in cosy Fair Isle knits and tailored plaids.
Ski kit hire can be arranged with the hotel, so you can focus on hitting the slopes.
All ages are warmly welcomed – with treats. There are several playrooms, the Polar Bear Kids’ Club (December - March), and even escorted skiing. Each restaurant has a children’s menu and highchairs on loan; babysitting is available for CHF35 an hour.
Grab a booth by the windows to watch the snow fall with your meal at Leonard’s; and book any cosy table you’d like in advance at Le Petit Chalet and the Sushi Bar.
Dress in après-ski casuals: elegantly understated cashmeres and stylish knit scarves.
You’ll be spoilt for choice by Le Grand Bellevue’s trio of restaurants. Michelin-starred Leonard’s is a mod-European bistro decorated in tones of pale mint and cream; enjoy laidback sharing plates or dinners of black-lobster taglierini, tender beef fillet, risotto, schnitzel, and burgers topped gruyère. Buffet breakfasts of seasonal fruits, granola and muesli, and cooked-to-order à la carte options – porridge, waffles, eggs many ways, and fluffy pancakes – are served too. Cosy up for raclette and fondue evenings in charming log-cabin restaurant Le Petit Chalet; keep things merry and bright with cockle-warming hot drinks too. Refresh your palate with a lighter meal at the tucked-away Sushi Bar, where the master will deftly whip up maki rolls, sake-spiced shrimp and sashimi plates.
Order expertly crafted cocktails in the Thirties-style art deco bar, then lounge away on the huge chesterfield sofa. Watch out for the mobile whisky trays too. In the lobby, there’s a library area and laidback lounge bar; while there, try anything (or everything) from the specialty hot-chocolate menu. Gstaad’s social scene is particularly fond of the fashion-forward bouquet cocktail lounge; order basil-infused whisky cocktails or home-made jasmine vodka and nibble on popcorn, olives and other moreish snacks. It’s only open in winter, from Wednesday to Saturday (9.30pm to 2am), and hosts karaoke nights, themed evenings and mixology classes.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 10am, lunch from 11.30am (noon in the chalet and sushi bar) to 3pm, and dinner from 6.30pm (6pm in the chalet and sushi bar) to 10.45pm (10pm in the sushi bar).
A pared-down version of the bar and Leonard’s menu is available 24 hours a day, so go ahead and order that on-a-whim burger at 3am. Non-alcoholic drinks from your in-room minibar are included in your room rates.
Le Grand Bellevue is surrounded by parkland in the centre of Gstaad, just a minute’s stroll from the boutique-lined and pedestrianised Promenade.
Direct flights from hubs across Europe land frequently at the international airports at Geneva and Zurich; transfers by private Mercedes E-Class are around CHF550 each way. Call our Smith24 team and they can arrange your transportation faster than an Olympic speed-skier flies downhill.
Transfers to and from the Gstaad train station are included in your room rate. The scenic train journey from Geneva takes two-and-half hours, with two changes; a frequent service runs from Zurich to Gstaad in just under three hours, also with two changes.
You won’t need a car for strolling around the pretty city centre, but if you’d like to venture further afield in your own set of wheels, there’s on-site valet parking available for CHF25 a day. Bern is a 90-minute drive from Gstaad.
If you’re flying in on your private bird – because why wouldn’t you? – our Smith24 team can arrange transfers from the private airport or helipad, just five minutes outside of Gstaad.
Worth getting out of bed for
At the hotel, spend silly amounts of time in the spa, indulging in herbal-scented massages and meandering through the numerous steam rooms, saunas and pools. Pick up some slicing-and-dicing skills with a lesson from the hotel’s sushi chef, or arrange a private screening in the cinema room.
Part of Le Grand Bellevue’s pull is its proximity to the seemingly endless acres of Alpine ski slopes – the area has over 130 miles of ski routes – so pull on your most stylish thermals and get to zipping down those mountains. Thrill-seekers can also head up to Glacier 3000 (the faint of heart or the vertigo-prone should avoid) and cross the suspension bridge that hangs between two mountain peaks; the daring will be rewarded with jaw-dropping panoramic views. You can also explore the slopes via snowcat or dog sled. Take a carriage ride for two in town, or test your balance at the outdoor ice-skating rink; a fortifying hot chocolate (with rum) awaits when you’re done.
In warmer months, hike the Alpine slopes, stroll along the designer boutique-lined Promenade unencumbered by a puffy coat, or have our Smith24 team arrange hot-air-ballooning flights, for a bird’s-eye view of the lush, green, chalet-dotted landscape.
Set in the heart of town, on the site of a former dairy, chalet-style restaurant The Chesery is more regional haute cuisine than cheesy – although it does serve a mop-uppable, truffle-filled brie de Meaux? Start with terrine of game with wild local cranberries before mains of home-made pumpkin gnocchi with regional mushrooms or venison with spätzle. The restaurant houses a formidable wine cellar too. We’re batty about belfry-set local favourite The Restaurant 16; the menu at this laidback eatery changes daily, but always features grilled meats cooked over an open fire. The molten chocolate cake is reason enough for a visit.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury hotel in Switzerland and unpacked their ski goggles and Fair Isle knits, a full account of their ski break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Le Grand Bellevue in Gstaad…
Family-owned luxury hotel Le Grand Bellevue may be the oldest golden-hued palace in town, but inside, it’s a chalet wallpapered with House of Hackney's baroque prints and dotted with flair: a hanging birdcage seats here, a life-size camel there. There are fewer than 60 rooms, all with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains or the cobblestoned city centre, and no matter the season, this boutique stay is equally well placed for guests looking to hit the slopes or designer shops.
When you’re not exploring Gstaad and the surrounding Alpine slopes, bounce between the hotel’s trio of restaurants and bars and sprawling subterranean spa. With such indulgence in one grand building, we’re betting you won’t want to (G)stop.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Le Grand Bellevue’s Guestbook below.
The spa was great, as well as the location, design and staff.
Stayed on 28 Sep 2019
This was our third visit to the hotel. Again, we had the most fabulous stay here. The food was sublime, the rooms were very luxurious and relaxing and the staff are the best I have experienced. You feel most welcome here as the owner/managing director is a constant presence, making sure you have everything you need to make your stay perfect. The spa is utterly fantastic with lots of different rooms offering wellness facilities and a beautiful pool area. We made use of the private cinema which was a real treat. I cannot express how much I recommend you visit this hotel, one in a million.
Stayed on 21 Jun 2019
The beautiful location, the spa is excellent and incredible thermal area. I always enjoy the Smith Extras and the patisserie workshop was amazing. A beautiful hotel!
Stayed on 4 Feb 2019
I have stayed in many lovely hotels, but Le Grand Bellevue trumps the lot. Ideally located at one end of the Promenade with ample parking. The hotel I would describe as relaxed luxury and very personal. All the staff were lovely and the owner/manager was very visible, stopping by your table during dinner/breakfast and always around for a chat. Our room was huge and had a very very spacious wrap around balcony overlooking the gardens to one side and the front of the hotel on the other. Lots of outside space – a restaurant terrace, an outside lounge area and an outside area off the spa. The spa is a must visit with I think it was nine different types of sauna as well as foot baths. The private cinema is a great addition and they have a large list of films to choose from. With travel time from Geneva to Gstaad just under two hours by car, it is perfect for a long weekend break.
Stayed on 9 Aug 2018
The service. Nothing was too much trouble and we were really made to feel at home. And the spa is incredible! Try the fondue at Le Petit Chalet.