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“Paradise for the commoner!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gstaad

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Gstaad
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Gstaad, Saanen, Switzerland
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
375 helpful votes 375 helpful votes
“Paradise for the commoner!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2005

I avoided Gstaad for years because of the hype that it's a resort only for the rich and famous. But when I finally spent time there, I discovered incredible ranges of green, rolling hills dotted with patches of evergreens and quaint brown-wood villages. From Gstaad, you can visit the Vaud villages of the Pays d'Enhaut (Chateau d'Oex, Rougemont) as well as those of the Saanen Valley (Saanen); you can visit the mountain tops of Eggli and Gsteig, the glacier at Les Diablerets, and the lake Launensee; you can also take excursions to the Thun & Spiez on the Thunersee or to Gruyeres.

I have a small booklet from the Tourist Office that lists the walking trails in the area, and there are literally dozens of them, ranging from a few hours to more than five hours. I've cycled one of the local routes and found the trail around Rougemont leading to Chateau d'Oex to be one of the most picturesque I've ever seen. It's possible to cycle from Gstaad to Gruyeres (rent bikes in Gstaad, Bulle, or Chateau d'Oex).

It's really a paradise for hikers and bikers!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Towcester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“Gstaad - not as stuffy as you may think!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2005

Yes, Gstaad as a history rich with celebrities and the wealthy. Yes, there are lots of boutique. Yes, lots of women wear fur.

However, I absolutely fell in love with Gstaad when I went there last January. I am not part of the old wealthy set - I'm a middle class, married, 30 year old woman. Gstaad is very laid back - while those women wear fur, they also have silly hiking boots and jeans and big sweaters. Oh, and those women tend to be over 60. The rest of the people there, we stylishly casual - ski jackets, jeans and snow boots were the norm. Hardly stuffy.

There's also a large teenage population there, thanks to the international school located there. Restaraunts and cafe's get busy around 4pm, when they kids are out for a break.

Gstaad has some nice restaurants in the town centre, although we didn't try them all. We had two favourites: Apple Pie & and Blun-chi (Hotel Bererhof), along with the restaurant at our hotel (Arc-en-Ciel).

Gstaad is not the place to go if you are "hard core." You'll just be dissapointed as the slops are all easy to moderate, and a majority of the lifts look to be t-bar. But if you're just learning or looking to have relaxed fun, this is the place to be. Lift lines are non-existant and lift passes are pretty cheap. Even when there's not alot of snow in Gstaad, there seems to be snow on the Eggli - they also can make thier own if need be.

Kids are welcome in Gstaad, they even have thier own area to learn. Although some kids might not like the fact that they cannot get a Happy Meal in Gstaad - there's no fast food.

The people there are very nice and helpful. When I lost a screw for my bindings (they were cheap!), two places helped me, and none charged me! I can't imagine that would happen anywhere else.

I highly recomment Gstaad for relaxed fun.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Gstaad is a jewel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2004

Gstaad is a jewel of a resort - the picture-perfect swiss mountain resort of your imagination. Lying in a wide, sunny valley between pine-covered hills, all the buildings are charming wooden chalets in the alpine style. The exception is the is the fairy-tale castle of the Palace Hotel, the social centre of Gstaad. I don't know about staying in the hotels, because I stayed in a chalet, which again was decorated in the alpine style with pannelled walls and ceilings, fireplaces and mountain artifacts, (but also with all mod cons). Gstaad is expensive and it is full of wealthy and fashionably dressed people. If you don't want to splash out or dress up in the evening, might not be the place for you.The skiing is great with two main areas and a number of smaller mountains all covered by one ski pass. The skiing is generally not very challenging, with plenty of blue and easy red runs. If you like relaxing and sashaying gently down spacious runs, looking at fantastic views, then you'll love it. There are also some more challenging black runs (or so I'm told - I don't do black). For an intermediate skier the skiing is perfect - if you want black moguls and off-piste thrills, go to Verbier. When my wife and I went to Gstaad (early February) the whole place was covered in snow and the pistes were excellent. The slopes were not crowded, with short queues forming only at a couple of lifts. I have spent time in a number of alpine resorts and Gstaad is prettier even than chic rivals like Megeve and Lech. I would like to go back every year from now on. The only drawback is the unreliable snow (Gstaad is quite low at 1050m).

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Gstaad - Really dont bother”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2003

I came to Gstaad with an open mind. I had been told about the skiing, also the people and that unless you happen to like hobnobbing with the rich and famous its crap.

I am now sorry but habe to agree. Boutiques outnumber restraunts and bars 10 to 1. I felt almost embarressed walking the streets with my board on my arm. And within 5 hours had had my fill of extremelz polite, yet inteselz boring people.

The skiing/boarding could have saved its review but with the walmest december on record I am not able to say, beyond the fact that the vast majority of boarders will hate this place as most of the lifts appear to be t-bars. The gstaad logo tells you that you will not have to wait for the mountains as there is such great transport. I agree, the best use of this transport would be to make an escape back to Geneva and get a flight to somewhere not quite so far up its own ***.......

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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