Skiing might not have been invented in Switzerland, but sometimes it feels that way with the number of famous Swiss ski resorts. Katie Ginsburg just got back from Gstaad, where she spent a week at the luxurious and — recently renovated — Gstaad Palace, home of the 70s-themed GreenGo nightclub as well as a world-class spa. She found the ski conditions to be good and the food to be even better.
Overall Impression: Gstaad is a cute ski town with some high-end shopping and extremely good restaurants. It isn't as flashy or lively as St. Moritz, but it's still very charming and fun with beautiful scenery. The town also wasn't very full when we were there, partly a function of the economy and partly because early-mid January is an off-time to visit.
Ski Report: The skiing is split up among a few different slopes, each of which is relatively small. You will need either a car or a guide with a car to get to all of them. The runs were not too challenging for the most part. The upside to the town being so quiet was that we practically had the trails all to ourselves.
Recommended Restaurants: The food in Gstaad was outstanding. For lunch, I loved sitting out on the terrace and taking in the amazing view at Bagatelle at Hotel Le Grand Chalet. I also liked Rialto and Sonnenhof for lunch. For dinner, we always ate in our hotel, at Le Fromagerie (an informal fondue/raclette place), Gildo's (Italian) and Le Restaurant (the more formal restaurant). There's also another restaurant in the hotel called Le Grill, Rotisserie, which was pretty good but not up to the standard of the others.
Favorite Bar: The Chesery.
Travel Tips: Fly into Geneva — Gstaad is a two-hour drive from there. While accommodations of all types (even budget) do exist, expect your stay to be fairly expensive, especially as the Swiss Franc is high right now.
Have you been to Gstaad? Which places do you recommend there? Please tell us in the comments below.