As followers of my Instagram here know, I popped over to Gstaad for the weekend a few weeks ago. Knowing little about the area other than it being excellent for skiing I was really curious to check it out from a perspective of a non-skier (I'm not the best, and given our trip was so quick I thought I'd let Gus have a day to bolt down the mountains without worrying about me). After a few busy weeks my agenda was simple, relax and relaxation, and when I looked up our hotel, Le Grand Bellevue, I had a feeling it might just tick the boxes...
bag, Gucci / belt, Gucci at Vestiaire Collective / shoes, L.K.Bennett / jeans, Topshop / tee, Topshop
We flew in from Geneva as we'd heard the train ride along the lake was pretty spectacular (more on that later). The flight was really easy as was finding the station - the Swiss never fail to impress with their efficiency and punctuality! Times to fly from London are brilliant as they're based around people who commute from city to city, so getting there after work on a Friday was a textbook time. We could choose between all London airports and various different airlines (we picked Easyjet, which for what it lacks in all the things the Swiss have going for them, it makes up for price = £50 return).
We arrived in Gstaad to an amazing surprise; the Bellevue's very own Bond "taxi." Owned by Roger Moore beforehand, a vintage Bentley picking us up from the station was just one of the little touches the hotel made for us on our arrival! I didn't get a picture as it was night time, but perhaps thats better so you can experience it for yourself if you go!
After settling into our suite, we came down for dinner at the hotel's Michelin star restaurant. Being entirely honest with you, having had an afternoon travelling I wasn't really feeling like I wanted to eat in a posh place and had assumed this would be the case with Leonard's. I was totally wrong - the vibe was so, so relaxed and informal, but still a bit special, I was in my element. We sat back and asked the waiters to recommend us food and wine, who got it spot on. We also met the bar manager, who was a cocktail making wizard/extraordinaire!
the hotel's Jack Sparrow cocktail, you only need one!
Gus was up early the following day and I spent the morning sorting out emails and taking some time to breathe in the hotel's lounge areas which were brilliantly equipped for not-so morning people like me (strong coffee, strong wifi). The whole hotel mixes the idea of being a real treat, with feeling like you sit on the sofa in your socks. I felt completely at home and chatted away to staff like they were old friends (and made a new mate, the hotel's dire-wolf/dog).
Once Gus was back from a successful day skiing (I should point out that the hotel has it's own shuttle bus to the slopes) we headed out to Le Petit Chalet. A definite highlight of our trip, the restaurant is a little cabin in the hotel's grounds which can seat 18 at a time. It is the epitome of fun Swiss ski food serving as much fondue and raclette as you can handle. We decided to go all out and did both the cheese dishes, followed by chocolate fondue. Luckily its only 50 yards from the hotel because I basically rolled myself back to bed afterwards in an excellent food induced coma.
Lying on a massage table was just about all we were fit for the following morning, so we couldn't have been more smug when we arrived for our treatment. I did a few posts on my Instagram Stories about the hotel's spa, and it was tricky to photograph due to the light so I didn't get many - but please trust me when I say it was one of the best I've ever been to. Our massage was incredible, but the choice of 9 types of sauna afterwards really was something quite special. Apparently it is due for refurbishment this summer, which usually means a place might be getting a little rough around the edges. This is far from the case here - everything was absolutely pristine!
Rather than give you poor pictures of a brilliant spa, instead on the beauty front I thought I'd share what I packed for skincare as a few have been asking what I use when I go away. I try to stick to the same things where I can, but keep in mind of any weather differences. I always, always take my Jo Malone mini perfumes with me (they're carry-on friendly) and this time took the Basil and Neroli scent (gorgeous, fresh, not too much). Other things to note are how useful the Clarins' Advent Calendar goodies have been (as again, they're all travel friendly) and the HydroQuench moisturiser was incredible - I've since bought the full size one here. Lipstick wise, you can't beat Charlotte Tilbury and my one of choice for the trip was Stoned Rose, here.
By the mid afternoon we were ready for something to eat, so the hotel fixed us up one of their afternoon teas in the sunshine outside. I've rarely had a good scone outside of the UK but these guys had it nailed! I couldn't resist their "Snow White" white hot chocolate, despite having consumed a Lindt factory the night before. Suitably stuffed we head back to the station and had one final surprise!
We're still not sure if this is the norm, but regardless, the train that pulled up felt like it was bound for Hogwarts or to see Santa (my favourite book at a child was The Polar Express). I've never been on anything like it, and we pretty much had it for ourselves the whole way through the mountains! I took a million pictures, but here are the best ones...
So, as you can gather I'd recommend Gstaad and the hotel. I had a dream of a time letting my shoulders drop, whilst Gus had a brilliant day's skiing. There seems to be a lot of press about the town at the moment, but having stalked all of the other hotel website's online and seeing where they are positioned, I'd confidently say the Bellevue is your best bet! Thank you to Bird PR and Le Grand Bellevue for an amazing stay, we will be back!