While Gstaad is still an old-fashioned place with long-standing family ties, newcomers can scratch their boots on the welcome mat. And in a town where, until recently, diners could be reprimanded for wearing shirt sleeves, a new informal has been adopted. The Huus (not in Gstaad, actually, but in neighboring Saanen) opened in late 2016, a chalet-style huus of the type demanded in those regions; but inside there is an open-minded and refreshing framework. A hodgepodge of sofas, chairs and stools create small islands of sociability in the spacious lobby living space, with a well-stocked bar to one side and shelves of books and interesting objects rising from above. the other. Bright pendant lights provide pops of color, as do heathered purple and orange fabrics, while river stone, slate, and pebbles add more texture to the ubiquitous woodwork. Family suites are outfitted with Mammut backpacks and cool hiking blankets, with balconies to take in the mountain-view, over rooftops to the razor-toothed, Eiger-like peak, private planes buzzing on the valley airstrip, is expected to come with its own string – booming John Barry theme.
Switzerland is downright expensive, so the amount of free activities here is a huge draw: e-bike tours (in fact, biking up the hill will get your calves pumping up like Popeye’s), abseiling and sledding to fondue nights, swimming and, surprisingly, ski lessons and a kit for under-10s, making it a great choice for those faltering first lessons. At the very least, swing in the gondola on the sides of the Rellerli, where there’s a trampoline, curious cows and a metal-walled toboggan that winds its way up the mountainside – lots of fun. Back at the hotel, little feet will quickly learn to navigate from the pool and junior spa to the games room or play chalet. Food is taken seriously here, with bells removed to reveal lavender-smoked veal or red mullet, and arancini or fillet of sole for the kids (there’s also a separate dining area for younger and younger guests). the most messy). This is a generous haunt, ready for any occasion for a summer or winter alpine dose.
Price Rooms from around $526 per night