The HedgeBrunch and Family Office Brunch Ski Trip
The HedgeBrunch and Family Office Brunch ski trip in Switzerland was a delight and, boy, we can’t wait to return next season. We headed to the Le Grand Bellevue Hotel, for this year’s instalment and found a haven of stylish tranquillity and world class hospitality in the chocolate-box town of Gstaad.
After a dream-like train journey from Geneva to Montreux and up through the meandering foothills (honestly worth the trip alone) we arrived at the stunning Grand Bellevue Hotel, our home for the next few days. Gstaad is a noted favourite of the rich and famous and the Bellevue is its oldest hotel.
It’s not a stuffy and old-world experience though, as you might expect with such lineage and location. Le Grand Bellevue manages to combine the glamour of its past (our concierge arrived in Roger Moore’s Bentley no less) with razor sharp future-now style and service.
Spirit of Gstaad
We were welcomed by owner and operator Daniel Koetser who has masterminded a recent redesign, bringing the entire 57 room hotel up-to-date. “My wife and I have a great affinity with Gstaad” says Daniel. “We love it for its traditions and age-old institutions but feel there’s room for innovation and a dash of sassiness. Our dream is to create a buzzing destination in the heart of the village that captures the spirit of Gstaad but looks to its bright future too. We want the hotel to feel understated and effortless yet imaginative and spoiling”.
Without doubt, they are fulfilling their aspirations and are achieving what they set out to. Our stay was pure Swiss luxury and relaxation from start to finish. On arrival, once shown up to our penthouse suite where there was a bottle of Ruinart waiting on ice for us, we were delighted to find a bright, modern space which managed to retain that mountain feel whilst succeeding in being both vibrant and youthful. The little touches count for a great deal; the concierge left us in excited peace and as she closed the weighty door behind her, a soft tinkling of after-dark jazz grew from the impressive in-room sound system. We popped open our champagne and felt instantly at home.
After freshening up in a fully loaded Bamford bath suite it was onto LEONARD’s, the hotel’s signature restaurant. A classic Negroni (replete with a full history of the drink from one the best-informed bartenders we have ever met) preceded the fabled sautéed veal aux champignons et rosti. A dish so fine, so well executed and so perfectly placed in its environment we were tempted to have it for dessert too. Collectively the past two hours experiences, especially after six hours travel from London, had been transformative. To bed, perchance to dream of fresh snow in the morning.
A Day on the Piste
As the day broke and our guests assembled to hit the slopes, we breakfasted in notable style and lay ourselves at the hands of the concierge for a little ski prep. On a shorter trip like this, a good concierge, one who can remove all the stress of time-consuming organisation is so very crucial. For ski prep, they did not disappoint. The Grand Bellevue will not only sort all your passes and transfers out they have a friction and stress-free ski solution in-house as well. Skis, poles, boots, helmets and a boutique for any extra kit one needs is on hand, consummately. It took us just 10 minutes to go from no-kit to full-kit and we were ready to hit the slopes. Once again, the little things make a big difference.
Now, Gstaad is not the highest of resorts and its season is one of the shortest in the region but it’s oh-so pretty and quite diverse. Its “Super Ski Region,” which comprises some six sectors, over 70 lifts and 150 miles of trails, offers both tree-lined and open cruising throughout, which is a joy. There aren’t many options for the most advanced of snow bunnies but for a social trip like HedgeBrunch and Family Office Brunch Ski it was perfect. We spent the day bouncing between late season moguls, igloo bars and cosy beer-halls in the spring sun, it could not have been better.
A world Class Wellness Experience
Once home, we hit the quite astonishing 3,000 sqm Le Grand Spa, a world-class sanctuary for wellness. Working in partnership with organic English brand Bamford, and revolutionary Swiss facial brand Cellcosmet, the spa invited us to indulge in a fully comprehensive range of treatments, remedies and retreats. The deeply impressive facilities include eleven spacious treatment rooms; seven heat therapy rooms (including a Turkish hammam, Himalayan salt inhalation grotto and outdoor Finnish sauna), a fully equipped gym; yoga & Pilates studio and beautiful relaxation areas with water beds overlooking the mountains. A swimming pool opening up onto a lavender-clad terrace during summer months tops off what must be one of the continent’s greatest wellness retreats.
This was truly a magical spa experience and would be worth the visit alone. The Swiss are famed for their wellbeing resorts and Le Grand Spa would not be out of place on any top ten list. The truly special design of the spa meant decompression was instantaneous and it’s safe to say it was hard to not be relaxed and happy at every turn on our short stay.
That evening we finished our day with a rustic, intimate experience at Le Petit Chalet, a traditional chalet restaurant nestled in the hotel’s grounds which caters for just 18 guests with a menu of hearty Swiss dishes. Fondu and raclette lovers eat-your-heart-out, this is epic mountain food. Whilst the modernity of Le Grand Bellevue is wonderful, no trip to the alps is complete without a little bit of this fare and the fact that Daniel et al have maintained this homage to their history is a testament to their understanding of how to bring skiing in luxury up-to-date.
We’ll Be Back!
Pained to leave but with marked resolve to come back, our short trip had to come to an end next morning. Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad is a true gem, combining formal and timeless Swiss elegance with a modern spin that will satiate appetites from the old and the new school alike. We left impressed, refreshed and excited and eager to return.
For more information and to book the Grand Bellevue Hotel Gstaad please click here
HedgeBrunch and Family Office Brunch Ski Week takes place every year with prices starting from just £3000. To register your interest in attending events please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.