Overview of Gstaad
The glamorous ski village of Gstaad needs very little introduction. Widely recognised as one of Europe's top luxury resorts on par with the very best of them, Gstaad's reputation as a top ski destination certainly precedes it. Located in the Saanenland in the Bernese Oberland, the lovely village can be found on the eastern side of Lake Geneva only separated by the Regional Park Gruyère Pays-d'Enhaut. Less than a 2-hour transfer from Geneva’s international airport, Gstaad is a very upscale resort with luxury hotels, upmarket designer stores and high-end gourmet restaurants which draws some of the world's most well-known celebrities and royals every year. Although well recognised for its star power and prestige, Gstaad’s popularity is not solely hinged on its celebrity pull. The area has long maintained its Alpine authenticity and traditions as a farming community with over 200 farms and pastures across the area. The resort is a lovely place to be in, possessing a captivating charm and silent charisma that is hard to miss when you’re out and about. It operates a pedestrian, car-free system allowing holiday-makers to roam about the shops and restaurants quite freely. Sitting at 1,050 metres, the slopes reach as high as 3,000 metres and cover over 200 kilometres of well-groomed pistes suitable to a wide range of ski ability levels from beginners and families with young children to confident intermediates and advanced skiers. The areas in Gstaad and the wider Saanenland offer different exciting skiing opportunities, thanks to the cable cars and gondolas that connect skiers with the slopes in the surrounding areas of Rinderberg Lengebrand, Saanerslochgrat, Hornberg and Horneggli. We have provided further skiing information below.
Skiing in Gstaad
The local ski slopes are on the Wispile and Wasserngrat which has some easy, nursery slopes perfect for families and beginners. More confident beginners can try the easy-tree lined which runs down from the mountain and is easily accessed via gondola. This area is generally limited and best suited to beginners as earlier mentioned. The largest areas offering more variety, especially for intermediate to advanced skiers can be found at Rinderberg ( thanks to the Saanerslochgrat valley to summit gondola installed between 2018 and 2019) and Schönreid. Here, skiers will find a variety of long, wide-open reds ( and even a number of blues). Advanced skiers looking for a challenge will no doubt be heading for the steep blacks on Glacier 3,000. The are other blacks that can also be located around the ski area with the most notable being the legendary steep Tiger run on the Wasserngrat.
Snowboarding in Gstaad
Boarders and freestylers in particular will naturally gravitate to Snowpark 3000 on the glacier. It is a fantastic snowpark suitable for all levels and well equipped with a number of rails, tables, and boxes. Freeriders at Gstaad will also appreciate the numerous wide-open pistes perfect for freeriding. Beginners can find some easy cruising on the Saanenmöser slopes while more advanced free-riders will find some fantastic off-piste challenges in the Saanen areas.
Snow Conditions in Gstaad
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The area has excellent snow conditions, thanks in no small part to the unmissable glacier with slopes reaching up to 3,000 metres. Gstaad also has world-class snowmaking facilities which cover most of the ski area.
Apres-Ski in Gstaad
Gstaad’s has an impressive apres-ski scene. It's certainly not as crazy and extravagant as other ski resorts in the Swiss Alps but its great selection of bars, restaurants and clubs still allows it to provide party-going skiers with some amazing nighttime experiences in Gstaad. Its wide selection of hang out spots also allows skiers the preference of a vibrant, lively night or a relaxed rustic evening. Whatever the case and the preference, keep in mind that Gstaad evenings are also known to be a little bit expensive. That being said, we have put together a few places that may be of interest to you.
As far as parties go in Gstaad, there is hardly any other place to start other than GreenGo nightclub. Over 50 years since it first opened its doors, the GreenGo nightclub has earned legendary status in Gstaad as one of its most iconic places to visit on a night out. A classy, trendsetting nightclub, it has welcomed some of the world’s most famous celebrities and personalities from Princess Diana to Madonna. Popular music artists and DJs such as Akon. Tim Cullen from Ministry of Sound and Bob Sinclair have been recent visitors and performers. The atmosphere in the GreenGo is fantastic and perhaps one of the best in Gstaad, being the number one party spot in the area. It also hosts different events such as themed parties, live DJ and performing artist's sets and much more. Certainly, the place to party with the stars, the GreenGo should be top of your apres-ski list if you are visiting Gstaad this season with a view to party.
Another staple in Gstaad, Rialto’s Bar is open every day until 1:30 am. A very well-liked bar that is popular among visitors and locals alike, Rialto’s stands in sharp contrast to the GreenGo. It's a lot more chilled out with a rustic vibe which appeals to a more mellow crowd. It can best be described as a wine bar, with its large selection of wine accompanied by food platters setting the tone and overall theme of the bar. It is located on the promenade in the resort centre and is not hard to miss on an evening out so if you are after a quieter evening with yourself or your group, head over to the Rialto’s.
Bro's Café-Bar Lounge
A great place to hang out during the day for mid-day beverages (coffee, hot chocolate) and a few evening drinks after a day out on the slopes. Located in the centre of the resort, on the well known Gstaad promenade, Bro's Café-Bar Lounge is a relaxed cosy spot which acts as a fantastic meetup spot for an evening of apres-ski fun. Coffee and hot drinks aren't the only things on the menu here, look out for a wide selection of ritzy cocktails from the classic stuff to exotic selections. Bro's Café-Bar Lounge also has a great wine selection and a fantastic beer menu for those after more traditional or standard stuff. The food here is fantastic and is served all day, so keep Bro's Café-Bar Lounge in mind after a long night of drinking, you just might get that obligatory kebab at the end of the night. The only difference here is this kebab will be one of the tastiest you’ve had in a while.
The Lounge, Hotel Bernerhof
Aptly named, The Lounge is the bar and lounge in Gstaads lovely and welcoming Hotel Bernerhof. Recently refurbished, it offers a lovely getaway for people after a quieter evening but with all the trimmings of a great atmosphere, lovely surroundings and great drinks menu. The interior is expertly finished with traditional Alpine stone floors, local fir wood ceilings and some parts of the wall and large glass and steel-rimmed doors separating the restaurant from the lounge. There is a large fireplace in the middle of the lounge providing additional charisma and character. Probably preferred for an evening aperitif before dinner or a nightcap before bed, The Lounge will be most likely favoured and appreciated by visitors on a quiet one for the evening.
Facilities in Gstaad
Gstaad is one of Europe's top ski resorts and as expected, its facilities also rank among the best anywhere in the world. From its facilities on the pistes including its ultra-modern lift systems and piste grooming machines to its services such as ski equipment hire, non-ski entertainment and fantastic accommodation, Gstaad is very well equipped to cater to all its visitors every ski season.
Ski Equipment Hire
There are a number of places in Gstaad where you can secure your ski equipment for hire if you don't plan on towing all your ski equipment along with you on your holiday. If you're visiting the resort on an Erna Low ski holiday package, you can simply just hire your ski equipment directly with us as part of your customized holiday package. We have established very strong relationships with some of the Alp's biggest and most popular ski equipment providers and we make hiring your equipment with them super easy and convenient. It saves you the hassle of getting to the resort and visiting the store after store trying to find quality equipment to hire when you can simply secure it online with us after a few clicks, within minutes. Once completed, your hired equipment will be ready and waiting for collection upon arrival at the resort. Yes, it really is that simple.
Avoid the long queues at the ticket machines in Gstaad and secure your lift pass with us directly online whilst making your holiday booking. Perhaps the most convenient method of securing your pass, we always advise this, especially when visiting with a large group of friends or family. Once secured online, your lift pass will be prepared and sent to you way in advance so that you already have it before you have even started packing your suitcase. Not only do you save yourself the hassle and avoid the long queues, by securing your ski pass online, but you are also most likely to save on the ski passes with potential deals, some of which are only available online and others which are early season offers.
Spa and Swimming Pools in Gstaad
A popular pastime in any ski resort in Europe, there is hardly a better end or start to the day than a lovely, refreshing spa session or swim in a heated pool. You don't always have to end your evening party, you can opt for a few massages and beauty treatments so you can even party harder the next day! The majority of Gstaad's highly rated hotels and chalets have fantastic wellness centres and swimming pool facilities (most of which are open to non-guests as well). The Six Senses Spa in the truly astounding Alpina Hotel in Gstaad is a classic example of a 5-star spa experience. As the same implies, the spa offers a sensual as well as a physical experience. It features excellent facilities such as individual treatment rooms designated for specialist treatments and therapies such as colonic hydrotherapy, a salt room, a cave room and much more. There are also couples lounges and ladies-only areas with full privacy. There are also additional hydrotherapy experiences which are located in the changing areas for both male and female clients featuring ice fountains and ice showers, hot and cold plunge pools colour therapy showers and a saunarium. For a less indulgent experience, visitors can visit the local Sports Centre in Gstaad which is fully equipped with very good aquatic facilities. It has a 25-meter, 28 degrees, indoor swimming pool with a diving board, a year-round open, 34-degree outdoor swimming pool with whirl seats, a children's area with a water slide and a 12 metres pool for non-swimmers. It also has other fitness facilities as well as a solarium.
Shopping in Gstaad
Gstaad offers a wonderful shopping experience as expected from a well known, glamorous Swiss ski resort. There are several designer boutiques and high-end fashion brand stores in Gstaad. You can also find art galleries, ski sports shops, wineries, cafes, lovely restaurants, grocery shops and more. The resort's promenade also makes for s great window shopping stroll for those not interested in buying anything.
Facilities for children in Gstaad
If you are visiting Gstaad with the family in tow including the little ones, the village is well equipped with more than enough facilities and services to ensure children are catered for , looked after and very well entertained. From ski lessons, slope and off-slope entertainment and childcare, Gstaad is very well suited, booted and prepared for children.
Ski Lessons in Gstaad
Gstaad has several ski schools, all of which provide ski lessons for children from the ages of 3 years old. At Erna Low, we have formed great partnerships with a number of highly reputed ski schools across the Alps over the years, including Gstaad, making it easy for visiting parents to easily book and secure ski lessons for their children through us without having to wait until they arrived at the resort to sort out their children ski lessons. Securing your children's lessons with us makes it super easy for you as it puts you ahead of the queue before your arrival at the resort. It also ensures that your children are booked with some of the very best instructors in Gstaad.
Children's Entertainment in Gstaad
There's a lot of entertainment for kids at Gstaad and the number one place to start has to be Saanis Winter Wonderland, home of Saani, the White Goat and mascot of the Gstaad ski area. Meet Saani and best friend Snowli and have fun together in the children themed Winterland. Saani’s world features a host of fun activities such as snow slides, a snow castle and an ice skating rink. In addition, there is a fun toboggan slope as well as cross country skiing for little kids. Saani and Snowli can be found at the nursery slopes areas and constantly provide much fun for the kids there. For a warmer but wetter experience, take the kids out for a splash at Gstaads sports centre or Sportzentrum. There is a children's pool with a water slide and water games. If any of the kid's birthdays fall during the visit, you also enquire about a children's pool party as the Sportzentrum is well known to host these.
Childcare in Gstaad
There are several quality childcare minders and babysitters in Gstaad that provide excellent childcare services. Check with the tourist office for recommendations. Please note that while most offer all-day services, some may only work weekends or evenings. Also ensure that when requesting, you ask for an English speaking or multilingual carer.
Gstaad sits between valleys of Saanen, Schönried, Saanenmoser and Zweissimen. Other ski areas include the slopes of Rinderberg, Lengebrand, Saanerslochgrat, Hornberg and Horneggli all accessible by an efficient, interconnected lift and cable-car network.