I picked Saanen as a base to explore the towns of the Vaud Pays d'Enhaut (Rougemont and Chateau d'Oex), Gstaad, Spiez, and Thun. It was the perfect spot!
There's not much in the actual village, which consists of a few rows of houses and shops clustered around the tiny bahnhof with a few expensive chalets hugging the hills above town. There are a lot of antiques stores, a small pharmacy, and several grocers. There is a 15th-century church near the center of town, where some music performances are held during Christmas or during music festivals.
Saanen is also the location of the English-language day-school, the John F. Kennedy International School, so you'll see gaggles of school kids running around and yelling at one another in English.
Saanen is linked to Gstaad by a nice walkway that follows a stream part of the way. It takes about 40 minutes to make the trip, and you can return by bus or train.
From Saanen, you can take advantage of 300 km of walking and hiking trails; you can take excursions to Montreux, Gruyeres, Spiez, or Thun; or you can take advantage of the many bike trails in the area.