Taking the occasion that Swiss hotels reopened in March 21, I decided to defy this frustrating COVID period and enjoy Easter time in the mountains of Gstaad. Many hotels were still closed though, and remaining ones were full booked. But I was lucky to find a room in the gorgeous Le Grand Bellevue Hotel and Spa, which gave me a pleasant taste of the pre-pandemic world.
Gstaad was at the top of my list, after my Swiss tour last year in Interlaken, Zurich, Bern and Zermatt with Michel Reybier Hospitality. This ski station has a reputation of being very exclusive, for happy few and with a large selection of luxury hotels. In order to see it by myself, I booked a room in the five-star hotel Le Grand Bellevue – the oldest palace in Gstaad – located very near the train station and just 2-min walking distance from the lovely city center.
I arrived during the very first days of April, so most of the snow had given way to a beautiful green spaces. Still, this hotel offered stunning views over Swiss Alps and green spaces. This property is a true institution in the station, unmissable for fine-dining and Spa relaxation. Let’s review it.
Le Grand Bellevue is composed of a main building boasting 57 room and suites, a cozy lobby with the Reception, a tea lounge, a beautiful bar and a fine-dining restaurant. The overall interior design, by Studio George Smith and Atelier Zürich, is a good balance of contemporary, traditional-chalet and art deco styles. Together with fine materials and bold colors, the sensation is very positive when you pass the entrance for the first time.
The large outdoor spaces enable the hotel to propose a temporary dining installation, some igloo-inspired spaces with few tables, perfect for a romantic setup. There is also a small park in front of main door, a great Instagram spot!
Finally, the climax of the visit at Le Grand Bellevue is definitely its 3,000 square meter spa. Settled in a separate – yet connected – building, that’s one of the largest that I have seen worldwide. It includes all possible facilities: gym center, treatment cabins, a large indoor pool with jacuzzi, 17 wellness zones at a lower level, outdoor jacuzzi and terrace for sunbath.
I had the chance to stay in the gorgeous Deluxe Chic Room #103 on first floor, with a large corner terrace overlooking hotel’s front entrance and with nice mountain views. This 40 square meter room uses the same interior design style as the rest of the building, yet in a more minimalist and “cold” way. I would expect more decoration on the walls, for instance.
This being said, the overall is very comfortable and I particularly enjoyed the modern bathroom, with its large tub and fine bath amenities. Not to be missed, all rooms come with complimentary mini-bar (daily furnished) and coffee/tea machine.
I recommend to book a room facing the property’s park, as the view is just outstanding. If you can afford it, take a room on first floor with the same large terrace as I had, otherwise you have also some circular ones in the building towers. Very unusual and I am certain they are very nice rooms!
I enjoyed a full dining experience at Le Grand Bellevue. For breakfast at Leonard’s, due to COVID, I had to order from a menu but the selection was quite nice and more than enough. It arrived promptly, maybe I could have expected more refinement since the restaurant’s Chef Francesco De Bartolomeis is Gault&Millau awarded. Let’s say it was OK.
Then for lunch, I went for the casual dining menu from The Bar. A wide choice of European dishes, together with the classical burgers, club sandwiches and co. I sat on the outdoor terrace and I ordered a Cesar salad which was super tasty, a good surprise actually. After that I was ready for hiking all afternoon!
Finally, thanks to my half-board plan, I had a true fine-dining experience at Leonard’s for dinner. Menu is fixed but refreshed every day, mixing Italian and Swiss dishes made with local products. The service was well orchestrated, with a nice ballet of waiters and bred/drinks attendants. Dishes were also well executed, Chef Francesco De Bartolomeis did a great job ; despite the “humble” ingredients the plate was always looking like in a three Michelin-star restaurant.
Discreet, yet faultless service. I really liked the Reception staff who made me feel comfortable, like at home. No doubt they come from the very best Hospitality schools and have regular internal trainings. Housekeeping was also perfect, each time I went to spa or breakfast or else, they took the occasion to make my room so it was ready when I was back. A true pampering experience.
That’s impossible to be disappointed by Swiss luxury, and Le Grand Bellevue is a great example. Whatever your stay duration, one night or one week, you will live an incredible experience in the middle of the picturesque Gstaad. And if you are a spa lover, then stop thinking and run for it!
All pictures copyright The Luxe Insider
One-night stay in April 2021 – Unsponsored media stay.
Le Grand Bellevue hotel and spa opened originally in 1912 and has been refurbished the last time in 2013. It is composed of 57 rooms and suites. I stayed in a Deluxe Chic Room, around 40sqm plus a huge terrace, which public rate starts at CHF 950/night inclusive of half-board.