Most of these reviews are summer. Here's a ski/winter review.
Skiing - There's a ski rental shop on site and the concierge will get your lift tickets and advise on the day's conditions. The hotel shuttle will take you to within 5 feet of the Gstaad-Eggli gondola, but you'll probably end up calling a taxi back (16 fr.) The shuttle will also meet you at the Gstaad train station (free), or it's about CHF 400 for a taxi from Geneva or Zurich (actually a good deal for 3+ people). Gstaad is a big mountain and a small town, so crowds are not nearly as bad as at other resorts nearer big cities. Most of the runs are easy or intermediate. The hotel spa is awesome for relieving any leg pains.
Service - world-class. By the second day, everyone knows you and your preferences and goes out of their way to meet them. We had no problems at apres-ski with service in the lobby bar. We ordered a bottle of 20-year-old Bordeaux that seemed slightly tainted and there was no problem replacing it with a better bottle.
Food - generally quite good but I agree with Michelin's decision not to give Le Grand a star. The main course on the menu du jour one night was basically glorified baked chicken. Missing an element of je ne sais quoi. #notimpressed
Expense - yes it's costly. Beyond the room, plan on easily spending CHF 400/night for dinner for two with drinks, maybe 300 if you try to be economical. Drinks are CHF 25 to 35. You will not get the full enjoyment out of this experience if your credit card has a limit or if you're concerned about the really bad exchange rate to the Swiss franc.
Tipping - There is a "tip" line on the bill, with sometimes a suggested amount of about 10% in addition to the menu price. The expectation of a gratuity is annoying (though I did it because we Americans have it in our bones). Many high-end internationally-oriented resorts, tours, cruise lines, and restaurants are "service compris" or explicitly include a tip in the advertised price. Everyone tips differently, so please don't put me in a position of assessing what is or is not proper in your country.
3-for-2 deals - Check the Palace website for a variety of deals for slightly less popular times like mid-week in January. Including dinner can make these reasonably good deals. Note that the terms are not always clearly worded in English. The 3-nights-for-2 deal this season includes 3 nights and 3 breakfasts, but not dinner on your final night, the one before you check-out. Also, the CHF 110/person dinner credit is only valid in LeGrand Restaurant. If you want to go to any other restaurant in the property, you forfeit 60/person.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Over the years the Gstaad Palace has earned an unrivalled reputation for discreet, refined hospitality, and has always welcomed the most discerning international clientele. Set on a hill overlooking Gstaad, the resort is privileged to offer a breathtaking view of the majestic Swiss Alps. The 104 tastefully decorated rooms include 19 junior suites, 4 suites, 2 Tower Suites and the most luxurious and sophisticated three-bedroom Penthouse Suite ever built in an Alpine resort. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Agoda, DerbySoft Ltd Shanghai HQ Supplier Direct, Orbitz, Travelocity, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets and HotelQuickly so you can book your Gstaad Palace Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.