There are three pillars of a restorative break, according to Theresa van den Bergh, Head of Marketing and Communication at Park Gstaad – and those are activity, well-being and sustainability. Suffice to say, this luxury Swiss resort offers all three. “Our Alpine hotel is the number one destination for active guests intent on unpretentious luxury,” she says.
Park Gstaad is nestled beneath the Höhi Wispile, Giferspitz and Rinderberg mountain ranges in the Swiss valley of Gstaad. “We have a range of rooms offering mountain and forest views,” says Theresa. “Or for an extra special stay there is the Gstaad Chalet, where guests can experience the largest penthouse in the Swiss Alps, with panoramic views, a private spa and a gym. Nowhere else in the valley can offer such comfort.”
The hotel was recently remodeled by interior designer Federica Palacios. “She has a flair for using interesting colours and shapes,” explains Theresa, “and she has blended contemporary and traditional designs beautifully. The rooms are so welcoming; Federica has managed to bring the hotel into the future while retaining its Swiss charm.”
Surrounded by more than 200 kilometres of ski slopes, Park Gstaad is ideally positioned for winter sports enthusiasts. “Ski breaks here are amazing fun,” says Theresa, “because the slopes are wide and perfect for every kind of level. Gliding down tracks and through the Alpine forests is so exhilarating. At the end of the day I can tell which guests have been out by their rosy cheeks and big smiles. That, and their huge appetites!”
Fortunately, Park Gstaad has three specialist restaurants, each with its own individual character. There is the fire-and-food theme of the Argentinian eatery, Chubut, which is perfect for warming the hands and heart on a chilly day. There is also the cosy atmosphere and traditional fare of Chalet Waldhuus, a hidden gem tucked away deep in the hotel grounds. However, Theresa says her favourite is the gourmet experience of Avenue Montagne.
Here, chef Riccardo Schievano reworks classic Swiss specialities, working closely with local farmers to source the best produce and sustainable ingredients. “This can be tasted in the delicious simplicity of the dishes,” says Theresa. “The combination of fine dining and an Alpine appetite makes a visit to Avenue Montagne a real highlight.”
There is a wide range of treatments and experiential activities on offer at the spa, where a huge part of the relaxation process is completed by the spectacular surrounding views. A team of aestheticians and therapists guide guests towards the perfect treatment, be it meditation, yoga, massage or a combination of all three.
Then, of course, there’s the vast saltwater pool – the surest way to transcend the stress of everyday life. Infused with natural salts from the Rheinfelden salt mines and heated to just below body temperature, the extra buoyancy helps to relieve aching muscles and sore joints. Users describe floating in these waters as being like a dream: guests step out of the pool feeling renewed.
The stunning setting of Park Gstaad leaves a beautiful impression on guests. “You spend so much time looking out windows,” Theresa concludes. “Be it from the restaurant, your room, anywhere. There is a magic in these mountains that speaks to something deep – you will be planning your return trip before you’ve even left.”