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TEL: +41 33 744 97 00 TEL: +41 33 744 74 80

W W W. G R A F F D I A M O N D S . C O M


December 20, 2013 - Issue 8 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT

The Prosts

Racing’s Royal Family

Grande Dame Brigitta Notz

Gstaad Mountain Rides

Gstaad Winter Games

Kudos to Couples

From Runaway to the Runway

Saving the Bergbahnen

Adrenaline-Packed Action

M. Theodoracopulos Talks Marriage


Special Advertising Section

Laurence Graff Recreates Timeless Hair & Jewel

In 1970, world renowned diamantaire Laurence Graff OBE created Hair & Jewel, an ornate coiffure comprising one million dollars of diamonds and precious gems. It captivated audiences from around the globe, creating an interest and excitement for the jewellery crafted by Graff Diamonds, which continues to this day. To celebrate Laurence Graff’s 60th anniversary working in the jewellery industry and to mark the success of Graff Diamonds globally, Hair & Jewel has been recreated. Featuring 22 individual jewellery pieces including a number of the world’s rarest and most valuable diamonds, it showcases Graff’s renowned expertise for creating the most fabulous jewels in the world. Incorporated into the recreation are a number of record-breaking diamonds that have been cut and polished by Graff, namely the Graff Sweethearts, a magnificent pair of earrings featuring 51.53 ct and 50.76 ct D colour Flawless type IIA heart shape diamonds and a selection of

jewellery crafted from the 550 ct Letšeng Star, the 14th largest white rough diamond ever discovered. Other pieces include an exceptionally rare 10.47 ct Fancy Vivid Blue Internally Flawless briolette diamond pendant, a stunning 52.73 ct Fancy Vivid Yellow emerald cut diamond ring, a 6.51 ct Fancy Intense Pink Internally Flawless oval cut diamond ring and other one of a kind jewels designed and created at Graff’s Headquarters in London.

It is more than 40 years since the original image of Hair & Jewel was captured. The recreation marks an important milestone in Graff Diamonds history and coincides with the opening of its 40th store globally. Mr Graff continues, “Hair & Jewel is a celebration of our expertise and success, as we continue to operate at the very pinnacle of the industry. I am extremely proud of what Graff Diamonds has achieved, but as I always say, we are just beginning – there is still a long way to go.”

Commenting on the original creation of Hair & Jewel in 1970, Laurence Graff says, “At that time, this was a highly original concept which captured the attention of the world’s media and was seen in newspapers and magazines around the globe.” “Until this time, images showing fine jewellery were typically modelled in a more conservative style. This image broke the mould by using a younger model and created the idea of diamonds being aspirational to younger women.”

Grand Hotel Park, Wispilenstrasse 29, 3780 Gstaad, Tel. +41 33 744 97 00 The Alpina Gstaad, Alpinastrasse 23, 3780 Gstaad, Tel. +41 33 744 74 80 www.graffdiamonds.com

Photo: Fotolia

Letter from the Editor

‘Tis the Busy Season December is only half over but I’ve been playing Santa for a month now. The holidays start early for me, with Thanksgiving in late November, and its obligatory homemade feast of turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie. “Turkey Day” coincided this year with Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights – an eight-day celebration complete with the menorah, dreidels and chocolate gelt. By the time Hanukkah was over, it was nearly St. Nicholas Day. On December 6th, I woke up early to fill my children’s stockings with mandarins, yet more chocolate and little cans of Aromat. We are in Switzerland, after all!

views with the Prosts. Racing is in this family’s blood, be it down the track or down the runway. We’ve scored a two-page interview with patriarch Alain, as well as a fashion-forward story about son Sacha and daughter-in-law Delphine’s venture into the world of racing-inspired luxury menswear. And that’s not all: Contributor Januaria Piromallo gives us a glimpse into international icon and Gstaad-legend Brigitta Notz. From runaway to runway model, her life story reads like a novel – proving that truth, as they say, is indeed stranger than fiction.

But nothing beats Christmas. Growing up with both Jewish and Catholic parents gave me an appreciation for both religions, however if we’re comparing holidays, Christmas is the winner, hands down. Nothing beats the beautiful twinkling trees and prettily wrapped gifts, carols and cookies, and the overall festive holiday mood. That said, Christmas is a lot of work for us moms – and I’ll be glad when the annual wrestling with tissue paper and curling ribbon is over, and it’s all about spiked eggnog and good company.

There are good things in store on the news front as well. Hint: What’s Gstaad Mountain Railways’ favourite ‘70s rock band? Dire Straits! In all seriousness, an in-depth article on the three plans vying to pave the way to a secure future for the Bergbahnen awaits in our Business section. And in our Local News, the Molkerei will soon build new dairy facilities in Gstaad. Best of all, locals priced out of the housing market here will be glad to learn that the municipality of Saanen has designated the large parcel of land known as Ebnitmatte for reduced-cost apartments.

Merry races, runways and railways But you don’t have to wait until New Year’s to enjoy the best this season has to offer in the Saanenland. In our largest issue of the year, GSTAADLIFE is chock-full of holiday glitz and glamour – starting with our exclusive inter-

A winter “fun”derland There’s no shortage of fun and games this time of year – starting with the first annual Gstaad Winter Games. Set to


replace the former Winter High-Fly, the Games will feature daredevil sporting events as well as a film festival and concerts, so mark your calendars. And don’t miss the annual ice-skating gala at the Grand Hotel Park. This year students of the John F Kennedy International School perform an “American Musical on Ice,” featuring Broadway’s greatest hits as well as live classical music. And it’s all for a good cause – proceeds benefit the charity Innocence in Danger. Baby, it’s cold outside In a touching column that might have you shedding a tear, Last Word columnist Mandolyna Theodoracopulos wears her heart on her sleeve. She praises couple hood, proving that if marriage is an institution, Ms Theodoracopulos is ready to be committed. At this time of year, when temperatures hit the double digit minuses and we snuggle up in front of the fire, who doesn’t prefer going duo to solo? Whether it’s new friends and old family or old friends and new family, I sincerely hope you’re spending this special time of year surrounded by those you love. Now bring on that eggnog!

Best regards, Alexis Munier – Editor in Chief

at www.gstaadlife.com

Twitter: @GSTAADLIFE · Facebook: Gstaad Life · Youtube: GstaadLife GSTAADLIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse 7, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, info@gstaadlife.ch, www.gstaadlife.com, www.gstaadlife.ch Management Board: Frank Müller Publisher: Frank Müller, frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch Editor in Chief: Alexis Munier Contributors: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos, Januaria Piromallo Layout: Desirée Bach Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider, peter.kuntze@gstaadlife.ch, Phone: 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Flurina Mutzner, flurina.mutzner@mdruck.ch, Phone: 033 748 88 74


The Gstaad Palace – Serving the “bear” necessities since 1913. www.dano-cartoon.com Tel: +41 (0)76 407 77 31 info@dano-cartoon.com

DANO • www.dano-cartoon.com Cartoons for Newspapers, Parties, Events





Letter from the Editor


Caricature by DANO


Business Saving the Bergbahnen – Three Possibilities


Local News Molkerei Makes the News


“pure” Snowboard Shop Relocates



Sports & Leisure The New Gstaad Winter Games


Big Airbag at the Saanewald Lodge


Locals Join International Boat Rally


Profile Alain Prost and Family


Lifestyle The Life and Times of Brigitta Notz


Race to the Runway


Skating Around the Giving Tree


Ted Scapa Booksigning



Gstaad Living Ebnitmatte to Provide Housing Relief for Locals


Entertainment Events Calendar


Last Word M. Theodoracopulos – ¡Viva Holy Matrimony!


Cover Photo: Anoush Abrar UK mobile: (+44) 75 7545 2408, CH mobile: (+41) 76 576 75 71 anoush@anoushabrar.com, www.anoushabrar.com


JA N UA RY 31 st - FE BR UARY 8 t h

EIGHT YOUNG PIANO DUOS & Thomas Hampson | Amsterdam Sinfonietta | Daniel Hope | Genova & Dimitrov | Geneva Camerata David Greilsammer | Renaud Capuรงon | Xavier de Maistre | Academy of St. Martin in the Fields | Benjamin Grosvenor | I Barocchisti | Diego Fasolis | Karina Gauvin | Camerata Europeana | Francesco Piemontesi


Saving the Bergbahnen – Three Possibilities BY: GSTAADLIFE

It’s been a long decline for the financial and physical health of the mountain railways of the Saanenland. Troubled times hit Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad (BDG) several years ago, and have continued to mount. The Saanenland’s mountain railways are outdated and require renovation in order to attract customers.

The three plans – “Focus,” “Focus Light,” and “Vision” – vary greatly in scope, range and cost (from 140 to 262 million francs): 1. “Focus”, would cost approximately 196 million francs. It requires limited closures and concentrates on a two-sector market repositioning with moderate investment. 2. “Focus Light” is similar but would include increased closures of the BDG’s mountain railways, costing 30 percent less than “Focus” at 140 million francs. 3. “Vision” outlines the most detailed and ambitious result. Truly visionary, the plan would see the construction of a central car park in Gstaad. Two lifts there would take guests directly to the slopes at Hornfluh and Eggli. The cost would amount to 262 million francs. The train to nowhere? But no matter which plan prevails, BDG faces a rocky road ahead. With losses topping 2.8 million francs last year, the company cannot continue to operate without a complete restructuring.

Photo: Frank Müller

Three plans to save BDG At the information session held December 4th, three plans to save these mountain railways were presented to the public. Over 1,000 locals came to hear the proposed 10-year plans (2014 – 2024) to put the BDG on sound financial footing.

well as to attract new tourists to the region. Such upgrades would include modernizing equipment and installations to provide the most up-to-date lifts expected in a place like Gstaad. Next steps Discussions in the communities will begin in January 2014; negotiations with banks and the cantons Vaud and Bern concerning financial restructuring measures are scheduled for March. The decision regarding financing of the selected plan shall be made in June 2014. In the meantime, this winter season will see the implementation of a variety of cost-reduction measures, including a 200,000-franc cut in administration costs. In addition, the Gstaad Saanenland Tourism’s (GST) marketing department is expected take over most of the BDG’s communications and public relations activities in the summer of 2014.

“Bankruptcy is not an option,” says Aldo Kropf, Gemeindepräsident (City Council President) of Saanen. “The damage to Gstaad’s image would be disastrous.”

Facilities reduction include, but are not limited to: 1) Closure of the ski lifts Birrmoss (Rinderberg), Hugeli (Rellerli) and Läger (Horneggli) and closure of the lift stand at Wispile; 2) Some pistes will not be wholly groomed and the full network of pistes will not be available: The black slopes beginning at Rellerli will only be groomed to Schönried and from Hugeli only the blue slope down to the valley floor will be groomed. These austerity measures will immediately save the company approximately 550, 000 francs.

BDG management believes that vast improvements must be made to retain repeat guests as

St. Stephan takes the lead St. Stephan is set to suffer most. The operating

That said, voluntary bankruptcy is not permitted. Moreover, many communities are partially responsible for cantonal loans made to BDG, and they could be held liable for up to 10 million francs.

times for the Ried-Lengenbach chairlift were planned to be reduced to only three weekends in January 2014. However, the community, businesses and private individuals have donated enough funds to ensure the lift remains open this winter. The future of St. Stephan is uncertain; all three plans call for a total closure of the lift. Controversy surrounds the plans For the moment, there are varying opinions of how the future should look for BDG, not only within the board itself but also among the opposition groups. BDG board member Bruno Hammer admits that the Board is not fully in agreement with all the measures of the “Focus” plan, and that adjustments are absolutely necessary. Criticism of the plans has been harsh, especially by Ernst B. Frautschi, of the opposition group “Group 5”, who insists that the presentations held December 4th are simply ‘snapshots’ of a larger, more complex problem. He believes further expert advice is needed to develop a clear financial rehabilitation plan. “You must make a clean slate before reinvesting millions of taxpayer francs in the BDG,” Frautschi says. Co-owner of Glacier 3000 Marcel Bach speaks frankly of his displeasure as well. “We must depoliticize the BDG,” Bach says. “It’s a pity, but it’s better to have a few top pistes than a larger but mediocre offer.” continues on page 10


Business Divide-and-conquer marketing The one thing everyone agrees on is that the region offers a wealth of outdoor activities. Compartmentalising the mountain areas by activity will facilitate marketing them to specific tourist groups. Future positioning would label the area from Schönried to Zweisimmen as a family and daytrip location, under the slogan “Family and Fun”. It would feature targeted offers in gas-

tronomy and ski lifts. The western sector, Eggli and Videmanette, would be tailored to longer-term guests who enjoy boutique holidays with gourmet food, services and lifestyle options. Wispile would be family-oriented with sledging opportunities. Rellerli would remain strong as a free-ride and ski-touring zone for advanced skiers. But plans for summer activities are on the table as well. In addition to traditional hiking, bik-

ing is set to become a new focus in the region. Downhill scooters and flyers will also feature prominently in the western area. Future of the mountain Just how BDG plans will help or hinder these divide-and-conquer marketing efforts remains to be seen. But what is clear is that without a viable plan for the future, the economic health and well-being of the Saanenland remains at risk.

Local News

Molkerei Approves Land Purchase for Building Construction BY: GSTAADLIFE

The Molkerei, dairy cooperative of Gstaad, is moving to greener pastures. On Thursday, November 29th the General Assembly voted unanimously to purchase a plot of land on which to build their new production and storage facility. While the group had first decided to buy the plot last June, it was subject to the approval of the construction permit. Now, permit in hand, the entire project is on its way to becoming a reality. The dairy collective’s shop will remain in the village at its current location on Lauenenstrasse. The fate of the portion of the building that will be vacated after the facilities move is yet undecided. Ideas include using it for storage or even rental apartments. Milking them for all they’re worth With a budget of 9.1 million francs, the cooperative will take over the “Chräwel” parcel in Gstaad. The existing structure will be levelled, and a new, three-storey production and storage building will take its place. “The costs are realistic,” states René Ryser, Director of the Molkerei. “The dairy area, where milk is made into cheese in various stages, is the most expensive part of the oper-

Photo: Anzeiger von Saanen


ation. Luckily we can move this area directly to the new facilities.” Funding for the project comes not only from the cooperative itself; public funds are necessary. The Municipality of Saanen has pledged 160,000 francs but only under certain conditions. To benefit, the project must gain federal and cantonal support as well. “Talks with the Foundation for Agricultural Credit are in the works,” says Ryser. “We are also speaking to three banks.” The Molkerei’s cash cow Despite the stability of milk prices last year, a six percent-decline was noted for

the financial year 2012-2013. The decline in profits was, among other things, attributed to the changing structure of the cooperative. Last year the Gstaad dairy took over the Saanen dairy, which came at an additional cost and increased expenses. However, this year there is no such collaboration. In other administrative news, Board Members Roland Zahler and Alfred Haldi retired but a decision was made not to replace them. This reduces the board from seven to five members. The Executive Board currently includes President Jürg Romang, Vice-Chairman Daniel Hauswirth, Secretary Hansueli Müllener, and Assesors Beat Walker and George Reichenbach.

Gstaad’s Dedicated Snowboarding Shop in New Location BY: GSTAADLIFE

Snowboard shop “pure” has moved from its location on Gstaad’s Promenade to bigger new digs at Umfahrungstrasse 11.

The first and only snowboarding specialty shop in the area, “pure” offers equipment from brands such as Nitro, Carhartt and Burton. In addition, owner and snowboarding

enthusiast David Schmid arranges private lessons, freestyle training, backcountry and heliboarding adventures for daring customers. www.pure-snowboarding.ch

Special Advertising Section

Curious About Gstaad’s Key Fashion Trends This Season? fashionably unforgettable. Details such as lace with crystals and colourful satin add both character and elegance to beautiful basics. Want to make the stars themselves jealous? Sparkle a little along with the bubbly champagne in your glass. Head to Bach’s Bazar for one-of-a-kind pieces like a cherry pink Fendi dress, beaded Botega Veneta gown in a sweeping 1920’s style, or a stunning black and white Christian Dior cable knit dress. Forget Santa. You’ve been very, very good this year – offer yourself the gorgeous gift you deserve.

Maison Lorenz Bach is THE place for a true fashion experience in Gstaad. For over 35 years, Lorenz’s philosophy has been to give his clients exceptional service while featuring unique and beautiful clothing. No matter what your style, there is a Bach shop that meets your needs. Lorenz’s couture-filled Bach Sign is the perfect shopping oasis if you want to stand out a little and shine on the slopes. Bogner and Jet Set are beautifully in line with the new trends. Prints are back on skiwear, with dots, graphics or florals in sporty, bright colours. Jackets all have a touch of something special – fur accents, flower embroideries with crystal, and leather with a metallic finish. Don’t forget accessories to pull your look together; cashmere hats and shawls add the cosy yet refined touch winter fashion demands. Key items this year include a fur or shearling vest. Not sure how to wear one? We

suggest wearing shearling vests over a light blazer, over your mid-layer, or even out for a cocktail. Versatile as they come, the vests not only offer warmth, but style – instant chic! Once the sun goes down, it’s time for glitz and glamour. Bach Sign’s evening wear by Dolce & Gabbana, Ermanno Scervino and Philip Plien will make your evenings

Maison Lorenz Bach: Bach Sign: Bach’s Bazar:

Promenade 81 Promenade 47 Viktoriastrasse 3

3780 Gstaad, www.lorenzbach.com



Special Advertising Section

A Round of Golf This Winter? Not as Impossible as it Sounds at the Grand Hotel Park Gstaad! When the new winter season opens on 20 December 2013, the Grand Hotel Park has a special treat in store for golf lovers – we are the first hotel in Europe to install an immersive, curved-display simulator. It’s the perfect solution for established players who are always looking to improve their swing or newcomers making their first venture into this increasingly popular sport – and an exciting new attraction for families or groups visiting this famous resort in the Bernese Oberland. It’s the standout innovation of the new season in Gstaad – a newly installed PGA Tour SimSurround golf simulator with HD graphics. As it is endorsed by the PGA, it enables users to take a virtual tour of some of the world’s most beautiful golf courses, whisking players away from the snowcapped alpine peaks to the most beautiful greens in Scotland, Asia or the USA. Seasoned golf enthusiasts can hone their game while beginners take their first steps in a sport that is increasingly opening up to a wider audience. Golf in Every Season Instead of an enforced winter break, golf lovers can now take advantage of profes-

sional advice and biomechanical swing analysis. For beginners, it’s an opportunity to find the level that suits them with the help of personalised coaching. It’s also a great rainy day activity for families and groups. Swing Like a Pro A professional golf instructor is on hand at all times to oversee the action in the simulator. Still active on the golf circuit, he is a coach in every sense of the word: always available to give a private lesson, offer advice on choosing the right club and improving your posture, movements or approach shots, or provide a clear explanation of the rules of the game. For guests of the Grand Hotel Park, it couldn’t be easier: simply book a time slot and choose the length of your session (in hours). All equipment is provided. Being in a luxury hotel, there are plenty of other pleasures to savour before stepping out onto the virtual green, such as sipping a cocktail or enjoying a culinary treat. It’s just one of the many joys of being in Gstaad.

Upcoming Events At the Grand Hotel Park Dec 20th

New Smoking Lounge Inauguration


Gstaad Indoor Golf Club Opening


Dec 20

Pop-Up Boutique FUR Caravan (Cocktail & Fashion Show Dec 28th)

Dec 21st

Ice Skating Show

Dec 20


Dec 24

Santa Claus at Tea Time, Christmas Eve Dinner

Dec 25th

Christmas Day Brunch


Dec 27 – Exhibition of Paintings Dec 30th by Dalia Fayed Dec 27th – New Year Music Festival Jan 4th Dec 31st

White Winter Wonderland, New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner, Fireworks

Jan 1st

New Year’s Brunch


Jan 2 – Jan 5th

Pop-Up Boutique “Rose BonBon” (Cocktail Jan 3rd)

Jan 6th

Orthodox Christmas, Sneguroschka at Tea Time, Gala Dinner “Les Nuits de Moscou”

Photo: Fotolia

Sports & Leisure

The New Gstaad Winter Games – As Much Fun Indoors as Out! With Gstaad’s famous High-Fly ski jump a distant memory, a new snow sport event is in the works. Held January 14th to 18th, 2014, the Gstaad Winter Games is certain to put Gstaad back on the map of action-packed winter destinations. See and ski The innovative Gstaad Winter Games combines indoor and outdoor art and sport in a unique way. The event will be comprised of four pillars: an International Ski Federation (FIS) Slopestyle World Cup, a freestyle show, as well as the Freeride Film Festival and various concerts. This is probably the first venue of its kind to include both sporting and cultural events. “We analysed other successful winter attractions in Europe, including Munich’s Air & Style and the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in St. Moritz,” says Simon Bolton, President of the Gstaad Winter Games organisation. “We then chose different elements proven to draw a crowd and incorporated them into a new Gstaad event.”

More to come – including tourists As it’s the first edition of the Gstaad Winter Games, many of the details are still up in the air. The Games are expected to provide a significant boost in tourism, with 8,000 to 12,000 spectators expected over the course of five days. After the final High-Fly last year, Gstaad Saanenland Tourism and the Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad mountain railways company rallied with the event’s organisation. Together, they developed a concept and strategy for a new annual competition. Now

the Municipality of Saanen, Hotel Association, Trade Association of Saanenland, and Gstaad 2020+ have come on board as well. A well-rounded wintry experience While some might hark back to Gstaad’s image as a ritzy celebrity-filled ski village of the 1960’s, the Gstaad Winter Games proves there’s plenty of action about town – both for the young, and the young at heart. If any region can pull off five days adrenaline-packed winter sporting events, it’s the Saanenland. Photo: Raphael Faux



Palace Events December 2013 23.12. 24.12. 25.12. 31.12.

Children’s cooking lesson from 3.30 to 5.30 pm Children’s cinema from 7.00 pm Christmas dinner from 7.30 pm Children’s Christmas from 4.30 pm New Year’s Eve dinner and party from 8.00 pm

January 2014 01.01. 02.01. 06.01.

New Year’s brunch from 12.30 pm Children’s New Year from 6.00 pm Russian Christmas from 8.00 pm

February 2014 Every Sunday seafood buffet from 12.00 pm 12.02. 14.02.

Children’s disco from 4.00 pm Valentine’s Day from 7.30 pm

March 2014 01.-08.03.

3780 Gstaad - Switzerland Phone: +41 33 748 50 00 info@palace.ch - www.palace.ch

Moroccan Gourmet Week

Sports & Leisure

Crazy, Sexy, Cool – Saanewald Lodge Hosts “Big Airbag” BY: GSTAADLIFE

Open the entire winter and entirely free of charge, the airbag is located on the Saanenmöser slopes just above the Saanewald Lodge. The retro-chic styled Lodge, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, has sponsored the highly anticipated attraction for two years running. “We’re thrilled to have the airbag back again this winter,” says Paul Peyer, the hotel’s owner. “It’s a great example of our “Zäme” (togetherness) theme – folks can relax on our terrace, drink a micro-brewed beer and watch the jumpers fly overhead. All are welcome.”

Accessible to all skiers and snowboarders from ages 12 and up, the airbag is part of the eastern sector of Gstaad Mountain Rides. Here, snowsport action is king; the nearby SnowPark in Saanenmöser is a must for snowboarders and skiers alike, while the Skicross in Zweisimmen has waves, bowls and jumps guaranteed to deliver an adrenaline rush. Calling All Jumpers to the Vreneli Contest If you’re anxious to show off your jumping skills, check out the Vreneli Contest on December 22nd. Each category champion will win a genuine Swiss gold “Vreneli” coin. Vreneli is the name for the emblematic Swiss woman pictured on the series of gold coins. While the official name is Helvetiakopf or Tête d’Helvétie, Vreneli likely stems from the name Verena, a popular female name at the time of the coin’s first minting in 1896.

Phhoootto:: Emily Ph m y We mi mil Wer W ergif er gifo fosss / Fottoog ogst ogs ggsssttaa aaad aad

Amateur daredevils are in for another treat this year, as the region’s only “big airbag” is now available. The ultimate soft landing option, the airbag allows beginner through expert skiers to try their hands – and skis – at jumps only a professional would attempt.

Round the World Rally Tempts Locals BY: GSTAADLIFE

A group of Saanenland sailors is making a lengthy yacht trip, participating in an around the world rally. Locals Koni Zeller, Sandra Balsiger, Dominik Perreten, Harry Reichenbach and Domenic Graber were on board during the preparation phase, while end November the “last man on board” skipper Kurt Iseli joined the crew. After a successful and rapid crossing from

We wish you perfect sleep. Accessories included.

La Linea, Gibraltar to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the team arrived three days early. This success can be attributed to their excellent two-week preparation period, for the second-longest stage of the rally. The third stage, which crosses the Atlantic and ends in the Carribbean’s St Lucia, is already en route. It may not be easy – weather reports forecast high winds and storms in several areas. More information and up-to-date reports on the teams’s progress can be found at www.worldcruising.com.

This holiday season our gift to you is the finest accessories to complement your choice of a Hästens bed. Enjoy perfect sleep in an all-natural bed that breathes to keep you warm through the winter nights, and select accessories up to a value of 10% of your chosen bed. Offer valid until December 25, 2013.

HÄSTENS STORE SAANEN-GSTAAD Dorfstrasse 45, 3792 Saanen, Tel 033 744 15 91





Alain Prost and Family The Family that Races Together Stays Together


GSTAADLIFE recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Alain Prost, racecar driver extraordinaire. His sons, Nicolas and Sacha Prost, as well as Nicolas’s wife Delphine, were on hand to round out this unusual glimpse into the“royal family of racing.”

Considered one of the greatest racers of all time, Alain “the Professor” Prost is known for his exceptional, calculating style and quiet, unassuming charm. He holds the record for the most Grand Prix wins from 1987 until 2001. Having scored victories in most of the world’s races, Prost ranks number three in history for total wins.

But there’s more to Alain Prost than his career – in fact, fatherhood might just beat out Formula One, even as it serves as a means by which he can pass on his love of racing. Alain imbued his sons, Nicolas and Sacha, with his passion for this dangerous yet thrilling sport. Nicolas is a champion racecar driver in his own right, despite a late start. He currently

Profile races for Lotus Rebellion in the FIA World Endurance Championship. But Sacha had other plans. He and Delphine developed 8Js – a sleek, racing-inspired luxury menswear line (see article on page 24). Retirement from racing doesn’t mean Alain can sit still very long. At 58, he competes in advanced biking competitions and also finds time to serve as Renault’s International Ambassador in 2012. It’s a “life of leisure” that is full of sport – and fun. Spend time with the Prosts, as we were lucky enough to do, and what emerges is the perfect picture of a family united in love, laughter, and speed. Because when it comes to racing, it’s all in the family.

Respect… it’s the most important value in sport but also in life in general. ALAIN PROST

GL: What parenting tips can be applied from racing? Did facing danger in the workplace help you appreciate better the time you spent with your family? AP: I don’t think you can really compare parenting and racing! But during my time, the 80’s, racing was extremely dangerous. I sadly lost many friends, so I always made sure I spent as much time as possible with my kids, enjoying every moment together.

GSTAADLIFE: What brought you to Switzerland, and specifically to Gstaad? Alain Prost: I’m French, but I’ve always found Switzerland the best place for peaceful living. It was the perfect spot to prepare for races when I was a Formula One driver. Now it’s the perfect place to be all the time. I come often with my sons Nicolas and Sacha. They are very attached to this place; over the years I got attached to it as well.

GL: What do you love about the Saanenland? How do you feel here? AP: It’s a great place to be all year round but my sons often drag me here during the summer. We’re all cycling fans and here is a great playground for biking. Also, in the backcountry I feel like the people and life in general are more easy-going. The lifestyle in Geneva, for example, is hurried – it can be a real rat race.

GL: Your racing style has been described as ‘skillful’ and ‘calculating’. In your own words, how do you describe your style, and does this directly reflect your personality? AP: I think that over my racing career I have always tried to pay extra attention to details. Going fast is one thing – of course that was a thrill for me. But preparing a car perfectly, with every ‘t’ crossed and ‘i’ dotted in order to win in the most direct way possible, that was really my drive.

GL: Given the dangers of racing, does this affect your parenting attitude? AP: I think that being in the world of any risky activity makes you more aware of the truly important things in life. I guess you could call me an overprotective father actually. I’m always scared for my children…

GL: Much has been written about your famous rivalry with Ayrton Senna, but you said recently you buried the hatchet with him after you retired. Is there a life lesson here for your kids? AP: My relationship with Senna was unique. We had both good and bad times of course, but we needed each other to achieve what we did. I think that if there is one lesson to learn from our rivalry it is respect. It’s the most important value in sport but also in life in general.

GL: For you, Sacha and Nicolas, what is your first memory of your dad racing? Nicolas Prost: I was not allowed to watch my dad’s races, as they were too dangerous. I saw him for the first time at Maranello in 1990 while he was testing for Ferrari. It was great to see him in the car, but I ended up in the local hospital after putting my hands on the car’s radiators! Sacha Prost: I was only three years old when dad put an end to his Formula One career, but as long as I can remember racing was always part of most conversations at home. I cannot say there is a first memory, but memories were plenty, as witnessed by the extensive collection of racing photos and videos lying around our home.

GL: Alain, what was your first reaction upon hearing of your son’s decision to race? AP: Nicolas actually came to us with this idea once he had finished his studies at Columbia. It was quite a surprise at first and I thought it was just to try out, but he continued and persevered and I am really proud and amazed of what he has achieved. To reach that kind of level starting so late is quite impressive.

GL: How is racing today different from the racing of yesteryear? AP: Everything! From technology to the sport’s culture itself, there is a whole world between racing today and the racing of yesteryear. But one thing remains the same: The passion and dedication of the drivers.


Photo: zVg


The Life and Times of Brigitta Notz BY: JANUARIA PIROMALLO

Anyone who knows Brigitta Notz, international icon of Gstaad, knows that nun is an occupation that wouldn’t suit her. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her way around a nunnery. Let’s start at the very beginning After years of suffering at the hands of her jealous, possessive mother, Brigitta decided at age 18 that she had enough. She left her home of Graz, Austria with the equivalent of only 50 francs in her pocket. Direction: Rome. Photo: zVg


All roads lead to Rome In Rome, Brigitta sought out a nunnery a friend had spoken of; here they helped German-speaking girls with good moral upbringing find jobs as nannies for aristocratic Roman families. Brigitta’s knowledge of Italian was non-existent – she knew only two words: Grazie and spaghetti. But that didn’t stop Brigitta. Instead, she went faithfully to mass in Latin. Because the priest was the only person she could understand. The third word Brigitta would learn was amore, love. Her “teacher” was the charming Marquis Spinola. He became her first boyfriend, and introduced her to the new world of Roman society. Here she met Russian Princess and fashion doyenne Irene Galizine, a meeting that would change the course of her life and career. A star is born Wish a push from Princess Galizine, Brigitta became a runway sensation. She strutted her stuff for a young Karl Lagerfeld, Emilio Pucci, Schubert, Givenchy, Fendi and Valentino. “At the beginning of my career I knocked on Valentino’s atelier, but the receptionist slammed the door in my face,” Brigitta recalls with a smile. Later, she would become the designer’s leading lady. As a well-known model she graced the covers of many magazines. Many rich and

powerful men, including the Shah of Persia, attempted to woo her – but Brigitta was not easily seduced. Brigitta does Gstaad Enter Peter Notz, a billionaire businessman with charm to spare. Introduced by common friend Gunter Sachs, these two took to each other like fish to water. That first evening they danced cheek to cheek at the famous Greengo nightclub; the next morning they were on the snow-covered pistes for racing competitions. From then on Brigitta began collecting trophies; she has won all the Eagle Ski Club races in her category. It wasn’t long before the couple started a family of their own. But in the dramatic fashion that appears the hallmark of Brigitta’s life, they could only marry after the death of Peter’s wife, who had been in a coma for 10 years. Based in Gland, near Geneva, they spent winters in their beautiful chalet in Gstaad next to the Palace Hotel and summers in their beautiful villa in Sardinia. As the owners of the private aviation firm Aeroleasing, the Notzs travelled nonstop, jet-setting their way to New York City, Acapulco, St. Tropez, St. Moritz, Paris, London, making friends the world over. “We were known for hosting the most incredible parties,” Brigitta boasts. “Friends and guests like Roger Moore, David Bow-

ie, Roman Polanski, Curd Juergens, Gunter Sachs, Joan Collins, Ivana Trump and Valentino, all made their way to our homes.” Never look a gift mushroom… An avid mushroom hunter, Brigitta was once surprised by Peter. One day he told her there was a huge red mushroom under the trees. Brigitta responded, “My dear, everybody knows that all the red ones are poisonous!” But he insisted. And there instead she found a Ferrari Dino, first edition. “Today it would be worth a fortune,” regrets Brigitta. When nine months pregnant and unable to drive the Ferrari comfortably, she took matters into her own hands. Brigtitta took her pilot’s license in a Piper single-engine airplane, at the same time as Roman Polanski. Model turned designer When her modelling days were over, Brigitta pioneered Aerobics in Europe. She realised there weren’t any workout outfits available yet, so she started her own brand called Pleasure Wear. The line featured basics in sexy,

Photo: zVg

Lifestyle sleek jersey that felt as good as a second skin, as well as exclusive bathing suits. She opened shops on the Costa Smeralda and in Gstaad. Gunter Sachs himself photographed the Pleasure Wear ad campaign and brochures. Brigitta was also the first to import brands Blumarine, Cavalli and LoroPiana to Gstaad. The path to enlightenment Too much of a good thing can be dangerous, and skiing is no exception. While taking an off-piste adventure at Les Diablerets, Brigitta was in an avalanche. It is a miracle she survived – only the tip of her boot was sticking out. A guide managed to pull her free and saved her life. After the accident, Brigitta focused on what was most important to her, family and friends. She became an esoteric life counselor, regression therapist, and numerologist, continuing meditation to this day.

Italian is well connected to all social circles. Her friends range from the Eagle Club to the Dracula of St. Moritz. Today, she works as a personal service provider. In the space of 24 hours, Brigitta can provide exclusive Beluga from the House of Caviar of Geneva and organise a full moon ski descent by torchlight.

And the plot thickens… Never one to sit still very long, Brigitta, fluent in German, English, French, Spanish and

Brigitta’s motto: The sky’s the limit! If her life story is any example, we know this to be true.

60 years

is happy to present

Visit our restaurant – Middle-Eastern & traditional dishes Family Geadah-Nopper | Christiania | Untergstaadstrasse 26 | 3780 Gstaad Tel. 033 744 51 21 | www.christiania.ch | info@christiania.ch

Your confidence is our highest commitment

Winter 2013–14

full manicure & pedicure menu gelcolor from OPI fabulous prices and lots, lots more … all those little extras that you'll be thrilled to discover … walk-ins and appointments welcome! Alte Lauenenstrasse 4 • 3780 Gstaad • 033 744 32 39

Gstaad 033 748 77 88 · Feutersoey 033 755 19 51 www.raiffeisen.ch/saanenland T H E E X C L U S I V E M O N T H LY P U B L I C AT I O N A B O U T T H E G O O D L I F E I N G S T A A D

15 February 2013 - Issue 2 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT

Winter issue dates: Friday, January 24, 2014 and Friday, February 14, 2014

Your ad here in GSTAADLIFE Further information: www.gstaadlife.ch


Die neuen Bücher und Kalender von SCAPA SCAPA NE AG NT NE M O N TA G O M




Ideally located in the centre of Château-d’Oex, this new residence, comprising appartments ranging from 2.5 to 6.5 rooms, offers the opportunity to make a good investment and to enjoy a peaceful and happy existence in the heart of the local community life. Underground parking spaces. Large garden located on the garage – cellar. Restaurant, Spa and indoor pool in the building (As far as restaurant, Spa and pool, those facilities are not comprised within the coproperty charges) Ref. 4D From CHF 680’000.–

Beautiful and charming appartment of 226 sqm in duplex (groundfloor-1st floor) in an old chalet dating from 1810. This chalet is located in the center of the village, and close to all conveniences. You will enjoy the very large private garden facing South and the gorgeous view on the mountains. Rougemont offers access to the resort of Gstaad Mountain Rides thanks to « La Videmanette» not far from the appartment. Ref. 7C Price on request


SCAPA Berge. 156 Seiten, gebunden, 80 farbige Abbildungen, 24×29cm, mit Schutzumschlag Vorwort von Alt Bundesrat Dölf Ogi. CHF 58.00 SCAPA So ein Stress!. 80 Seiten, gebunden 36 farbige Abbildungen,148x210cm. CHF 19.80 SCAPA Kalender 2014 «Bäume». Posterformat 33x97cm, 7 Blatt, farbig. CHF 38.00 Buchsignierung mit dem bekannten Schweizer Künstler Ted Scapa. Montag, 23. Dezember 2013, 17.00 bis 18.30 Uhr Book signature with the famous Swiss artist Ted Scapa. Monday, 23rd December 2013, 5 pm to 6.30 pm

CF Immobilier Compagnie Foncière SA Rue du Village 40, 1659 Rougemont | Pl. du Village 2. 1660 Château-d’Oex Info@cfimmobilier.ch - www.cfimmobilier.ch - Tél. +41 (0)26 925 10 00

Buchhandlung Cadonau 3780 Gstaad, Tel. 033 744 12 32, Apéro surprise! Tel. +41 (0) 31 312 32 00


E-Mail: atelier@scapa.ch


coiffeur & more


years of experience

visit hair_room_gstaad and experience our 61 years of cutting edge, hairstyling and coloring skills

hair_room_gstaad mo–sa 9.00–19.00h 033 744 98 88 hairroomgstaad.ch

Special Advertising Section

Two New Jewellery Collections Celebrate the Diamond THOMAS FRIEDEN – Passion for Jewellery for More than One Hundred Years Nestled in Switzerland’s crown of luxury watch designers is one sparkler set apart from the rest – jewellery manufacturer Frieden Ltd. Creative Design. Founded in 1898, this family company launched THOMAS FRIEDEN, a one-of-a-kind brand created for ambitious, international clientele. Now two new lines of THOMAS FRIEDEN jewellery honour the company’s history:

Oeil Magique – Magical Magpie This collection is based on the magpie, which has always been present as trademark in Frieden’s creations. In early times, the bird was a symbol for freedom and inspired the imagination of human beings. The ease and elegance of the magpie fascinated again and again. Oeil Magique features this elegance and light-heartedness that man admires but can never truly imitate.

Feuille Divine–Homage to Nature For this collection floral elements were translated into modern designs realised with extraordinary materials. Floral motifs reflect the themes present in the Frieden workshops long ago. The diamond-set leaves evoke an air of lightness and the awakening of nature.

THOMAS FRIEDEN displays the diamond in a very special way; he employs all possible cuts from rough octahedron crystals, from medieval cuts to the modern brilliant cut. His work features rare combinations of cuts in exquisite designs, uniquely mixing tradition and modernity. The natural pastel colour of the diamond and its sparkling fire intensify the emotional value of these jewels, giving the “king of all precious stones” a personality all his own.

Villiger Gstaad AG Promenade 55 3780 Gstaad Tel. +41 033 744 11 22 shop@villigergstaad.ch

nature’s glittering temptation Promenade 55 · Gstaad Phone +41 33 744 11 22 www.villigergstaad.com




Special Advertising Section Following a change in ownership and a full refurbishment, Le Grand Bellevue will open its doors on December 13 2013. Redefining elegance, guests are invited to unwind in exquisite surroundings. Come and enjoy the Classic Afternoon Tea, the Sushi Bar, the 2,500 m2 Le Grand Spa, the private Cinema, the fully staffed Kids Club or the Michelin rated casual dining restaurant. Explore all the new facilities and be transported into a world of vibrant luxury where the class and services of a grand hotel are combined with neighbourly charm.

classic afternoon tea

the neW sushi bar

Daily 15.30 - 18.00

Wednesday to Sunday 16.00 - 23.00

saturday brunch Every Saturday between 12.00 - 15.00 Our Michelin starred chef and his team roll out a fantastic brunch for you. Topped off with a glass of Champagne along with daily specials, you will feast away to the relaxing tones of music. CHF 85 per person including the buffet, orange juice, hot beverages and 1 glass of Champagne

Special Advertising Section

Wunderchef Martin Dalsass Returns to the Saanenland For Martin Dalsass, the future means returning to nature.The philosophy of his style of cooking is based first and foremost on the quality of the ingredients and use of the purest olive oils. It perfectly reflects the symbiosis of the lightness and simplicity of Mediterranean cuisine. “Simple food is simply delicious,” says Dalsass, whose culinary star rose to fame in Switzerland. “We use only the most authentic cooking methods to ensure preservation of each ingredient’s true flavour.” BASTA by Dalsass BASTA is the unusual Italian restaurant at the Bernerhof; unusual in its concept, as well as its cuisine. As of December 2013, BASTA has been reborn as BASTA by Dalsass. Chefs trained at Talvo by Dalsass in St. Moritz will cook according to the philosophy of the star chef from the South Tyrol. Dalsass has personally overseen Chef Loris Meot in his techniques and together they have prepared a menu which ensures Dalsass’s signature dishes are prepared by skilled hands.

From left to right, Chefs Luigi Bleve, Loris Meot, Martin Dalsass and his son, Andrea Dalsass.

Perfect Pasta and More Freshly prepared pasta specialities like olive gnocchi with tender sautéed shrimp are served alongside revamped classics – the creamy saffron risotto with veal marrow, for example. The restaurant even serves juicy mini burgers, topped with crispy bacon and thick-cut French fries. Dalsass’s exciting Mediterranean creations also include dessert. Those with a sweet tooth may enjoy the bittersweet olive oil

chocolate mousse, which packs a punch with Felchlin Arriba 72% cacao. Buongiorno, Buona Sera, Buona Notte Mornings take on a whole new light at Basta. The restaurant happily serves a true Illy Italian espresso and a fresh panino alongside the morning paper for breakfast. Peckish mid-afternoon or fancy an evening aperitif? Try the selection of tempting savouries and a glass of hand-selected Italian white wine. Last but not least, don’t head off to bed without a nightcap at the bar, where staff is on hand to shake a favourite cocktail or gently pour one of the many single-malt whiskies available. Morning, noon and night. Basta.

Bernerhof Gstaad, Promenade 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch Phone +41 033 748 88 44





There’s fashion forward – and then there’s 8Js. The clothing line, created by Sacha and Delphine Prost, son and daughter-inlaw of racing legend Alain Prost is inspired by the fastest cars on the planet. This is chic at its raciest – sporting cool, clean lines reminiscent of race cars streaking down the track. Gentlemen, start your engines The name “8Js” itself is an homage to the first names of the Golden Era of racing’s legendary drivers. While the Prosts won’t name last names, any racing fan knows to which James, Jo, Jacky, John, Jack, Jochen, Jim and Jody the brand refers. “I caught the ‘car virus’ the day I was born,” Sacha Prost says, half-jokingly. “Hearing my dad’s stories about the races fueled my passion for everything racing-related.” 8Js proved a natural extension of this passion. Together Sacha and his sister-in-law Delphine Prost designed a racing-inspired line of luxury menswear that marries modern style and retro appeal. Fast making a name for itself, 8Js designs are available in

exclusive stores around the globe: Gstaad, St Tropez, Biarritz, Crans-Montana and Brussels. Here in Gstaad, 8Js is available at Maison Lorenz Bach. Fast track to fashion The pair began the creation of the brand last year, putting together their first line for Spring 2014. The collection runs the gamut from sleek, warm knits with leather epaulettes to quilted down vests. Signature items include a long-sleeved t-shirt with racing stripes and classic leather jackets. In 8Js’ contemporary twist, the bomber jacket has a leather front and accoutrements paired with thick knit sleeves. The aesthetic is one that strives to embody the unique essence of Grand Prix culture. “We believe racing is not only about cars, but the glamour and spirit that live within Grand Prix culture,” says Delphine, wife to Sasha’s racecar driver brother Nicolas Prost and Co-Founder and Creative Director of 8Js. “Our vision blends the gentlemanly, Golden Era of racing with contemporary details and design.” All in a day’s race For the Prosts, 8Js is a logical extension of the racing life.

“When I met Nicolas, racing was already part of his life,” says Delphine. “I don’t really know if I should talk about racing as a passion, a job, or an addiction. Life is organized around racing.” And why not? As they say: Racecar spelled backward is still racecar. Note: For more on Alain Prost and family, see this month’s Profile interview on page 16.


Skating Around the Giving Tree BY: JANUARIA PIROMALLO

If you think that Christmas is all about kids getting instead of giving, think again. The children of the John F Kennedy International School take giving very seriously – as evidenced by their participation in local charitable events this holiday season.

The spotlight will be on the hotel’s spectacular natural ice rink, where the prima donna of Holidays on Ice Mary Germany has choreographed an American Musical on Ice – to be performed by the children of Gstaad. The skaters, aged 5 to 15, will be wearing glittered dresses made by Italian brand Cambio Filo, in exclusivity for Maison Lorenz Bach. Tiare von Meister will pirouette under a

Photo: Januaria Piromallo

Holiday on ice, Gstaad-style December 21st marks the fourth year that the Grand Hotel Park opens its season with its festive fundraising gala – on ice. This year, the event will benefit Innocence in Danger, the organisation dedicated to eliminating child sexual abuse. romantic Venetian lace parasol to “Singing in the Rain.” Sabrina Scherz will relive the past with the haunting “Memory” from Cats. Estelle Fischer and Arabella Ryter will grace the ice to the sounds of The Phantom of the Opera. Arianna and Camilla Proto di Santa Dorotea will add their aristocratic and sparkling touch “A Star is Born”. Cool “hippies” Elina Obayda, Nicoletta Salmi and Tatiana Papageorgiu will skate to the classic 1960’s anthem “Hair.” The graceful Anouk Rotlisberger will be the “Dancing Queen” of Mamma Mia.

Photo: zVg

The cutest little ones, Ava Lovell, Sabrina Sessa and Jolie Holt, will prance around the ice in puffy tutus to the uplifting “Spoonful of Sugar” from Mary Poppins. Special guests will include soprano Alexis Munier singing “Ave Maria” and “Silent Night” to famed pianist Roumen Kroumov’s tinkling ivories set against a backdrop of Christmas trees in the snow.

And last but not least, direct from Lausanne, the English-Swiss champion Tabitha Pavitt will do a breath-taking angel flight on ice. Lessons from the little ones The smallest among us know that even the simplest of gestures can change the lives of those less fortunate. God bless the children – each and every one.

The Light of Generosity Marshmallows, candy flowers, cupcakes, jelly beans, and more – all ingredients in a recipe to help raise money for Ethiopian orphans. These delightful gourmet lamps make up the exclusive lighting collection “A Light for Africa,” as envisioned by new Creative Director Alida Menotti of Moods Interiors by Lorenz Bach. Inspired and created by the children of Gstaad, these playful kits provide the goodies needed to decorate the handcrafted frou frou lamps as you see fit.

Saanenland’s Celebrated Sojourner Scapa Signs Current Collection TEXT BY: GSTAADLIFE

Dutch-Swiss artist and cartoonist Ted Scapa has just released his newest book, Berge (Mountains). His whimsical cartoons evoke the beauty of the Alps with a clever, intellectual twist.

In winter the artist often spends time in Schönried, while his home base is the Château de Vallamand on Lake Murten. Scapa’s atelier is located in Bern’s Nydeggstalden neighbourhood; here he gathers his inspiration and puts pen to paper.

The artist will appear at a booksigning event and surprise apéro at Cadonau, Gstaad December 23rd, 5 – 6.30 pm, where he will happily personally dedicate each copy sold.






handmade gifts

2 – 5 January, Salle Expo, Gstaad Palace 11 am – 1 pm, 6 pm – 11 pm Cocktail Reception 2 January, 5 pm

LUCAS CRANACH Holy Family with Dancing Angels. Woodcut. circa 1510/15.

AUGUST LAUBE Buch- und Kunstantiquariat Trittligasse 19 CH–8001 Zürich, www.augustlaube.ch +41 44 256 88 99



Kirchstrasse 7

Tue – Fri 2–6pm Sat 10am – 4pm 3780 Gstaad T 033 744 89 66 atelier@mdruck.ch

ME N US PLAISIRS Promenade 6, Gstaad



Caroline Freymond is delighted to invite you to an OPEN HOUSE following a beautiful renovation and expansion which has been created by Michael Coorengel & Jean-Pierre Calvagrac, interior designers and decorators from Paris.

Friday, December 27, 2013 – 3 pm to 7 pm Open House and Glühwein

Your snowboard specialist in town Snowboard Shop / School / Rental Postfach 304, Umfahrungsstr. 11, 3780 Gstaad, Switzerland T 033 744 75 70, pure@bluewin.ch, www.pure-snowboarding.ch

Promenade 6 – 3780 Gstaad – Tél : +41 (0)33 744 92 42 – info@menusplaisirs.ch www.menusplaisirs.ch – Caroline Freymond : Tél : +41 (0)79 456 91 81

Gstaad Living

Ebnit Offers New Hope for Locals Priced Out of Housing Market BY: GSTAADLIFE

Housing prices in the Saanenland have skyrocketed in recent years. Whether it’s a 20 million-franc historic chalet, or a 700,000-franc 2.5 room apartment, properties are squarely out of reach for most locals. Even working-class families whose roots date back hundreds of years here are fleeing Gstaad in droves for cheaper, better living options in Zweisimmen and Chateau-d’Oex. But that may change now for permanent residents, thanks to Gstaad’s Ebnitmatte area (aka Zingrematte), which has been designated a locals-only zone. Housing here will cost a fraction of the standard market price. Voters approved the municipality’s acquisition of the 3.6 million-franc property back in September 2011 – an area which can accommodate seven multi-family homes if

there is sufficient demand. The buildings will be constructed in a large chalet style, featuring up to six apartments inside. Two sizes are planned, one with a 300 m2 ground floor, the other with a smaller 205 m2 ground floor. Previously classified as agricultural land, the Ebnit parcel was approved by voters for re-zoning in March 2011. Its central location is just five minutes by foot from Migros and the Promenade. Whether the Municipality of Saanen constructs apartment buildings on the property itself or whether the permits are allotted to private parties is still undecided. Anyone who is a legal resident of the Saanenland is eligible for the housing and/ or parcel purchase. Interested parties should contact the Municipality of Saanen immediately for further information.

Special Advertising Section

Saanen Bank: Private Banking That Meets Regional Needs For the past several years, Saanen Bank’s Private Banking division has secured a spot as the region’s premiere provider of regional financial services. We are pleased to welcome Stephan Hebeisen as the new Head of Private Banking and member of our Management Team. Faced with a challenging position, Mr Hebeisen speaks frankly about what the future may bring customers and clients. What future do you see for Private Banking at Saanen Bank? The Saanenland brings outstanding business opportunities with local private and commercial customers as well as with international private clients. Private banking in Switzerland is in a period of transition. Yet, we are convinced that our high values in areas like Swiss legal security, expertise, performance and mutual trust will form the basis of a valuable business relationship with our clients. Is there a “typical” Private Banking client? Regardless of their origin, Saanen Bank welcomes all customers who are dedicated to tax transparency, which corresponds to the bank’s strategic positioning. With regards to our international clients, our core competencies are vital. In addition to our own skills, we can rely on our wide network of external specialists.

Does Saanen Bank have any special concerns? At Saanen Bank, we are committed to our shareholders. A healthy capital structure, a reasonable cost to income ratio, and our independence rank first. This is the base from which we build, which will lead our bank into a successful future. Our employees are also very important to us; their passion, motivation and commitment to continuous education make us very proud. Tell us about yourself, Mr Hebeisen. I grew up in the Gürbetal (between Bern and Thun) on a farm. My parents ran the farm and also built up related production in the food industry. My background and these roots influence me to this very day. After my basic education and one additional year of working at a regional bank, I completed a language course abroad. I then worked for five years at the former Swiss Bank Corporation, as a client advisor for private clients. My further education and main professional experience was gained in Wealth Management within UBS in Basel. Last but not least, I spent eight years running a team of 20 employees responsible for HNWI client advice and market development.

For just a short time now, I’ve lived in Saanen with my wife and our twins. My family and I are looking forward to discovering you and the Saanenland! I am happy to invite you to my offices, where our private banking team in Saanen Bank is waiting with a warm welcome. I wish everybody in the Saanenland Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas.

Stephan Hebeisen, Tel. +41 33 748 46 47 stephan.hebeisen@saanenbank.ch


Entertainment Events Calendar Friday, December 20, 2013 through Friday, January 24, 2014

Important Numbers

For further details please visit: www.gstaad.ch Fri, Dec. 20 Winter Market Winter market with local products


Fri, Dec. 27 – Sat, Dec. 28 Saanen Ice & Snow Road Safety Training A full day of road safety training

Wed, Jan. 8 37. Ludi-Cup Slalom for children until 15 years


Fri, Dec. 20 – Thu Jan. 8 Exhibition Anton Molnar at Adler Joailliers


Fri, Dec. 27 – Sat, Jan. 4 Gstaad New Year Music Festival Concerts at various locations around town

Wed, Jan. 8, 15, 22 Skiing by night Night skiing in Gstaad


Sat, Dec. 21 Saanen Christmas Market in Saanen Something for everyone on your list

Sun, Dec. 29 St. Stephan Altjahrskonzert in St. Stephan Concert by Nicolas Senn

Sat, Jan. 11 Zweisimmen Les Papillons Catchy tunes at this local concert

Sat, Dec. 21, 28 Zweisimmen Events at the Forellensee Details & information at www.forellensee.ch

Sun, Dec. 29 Zweisimmen Christmas Concert with the Cantate Choir Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle Evangelical Reform Church, 7 pm

Sat, Jan. 11 Zweisimmen Downhill biking by night @ Rinderberg Downhill biking by night, first section (B1)

Sat, Dec. 21 Zweisimmen Christmas Market Pre-Christmas atmosphere in Zweisimmen Sat, Dec. 21 - Wed, Mar. 19 Gstaad Exhibition -- Paintings of Kunz Exhibition at the Hotel Gstaaderhof Sun, Dec. 22 Saanenmöser Vreneli Big Airbag Contest Crazy ski and board jumps cushioned by a giant inflated airbag

Mon, Dec. 30 Zither Concert Werner Frey plays the zither


Tue, Dec. 31 Gsteig Swiss folk music Orchestre Bernard Henchoz plays folk Wed, Jan. 1 New Years Fireworks Presented by The Alpina Gstaad


Wed, Jan. 22 Gstaad Ski Race for Children 5. Landi-Cup, giant slalom, for kids up to 15

Thu, Dec. 26 Gstaad Night Skiing Night skiing in Gstaad on the Wispile

Fri-Sat, Jan. 3-4 Zweisimmen Events by the Forellensee Details & information www.forellensee.ch

Thu, Jan. 23 Gstaad General Assembly Gstaad All members are welcome to join the meeting

Fri, Dec. 27 Winter Market Winter market with local products

Sat, Jan. 4 Zweisimmen Cross-Country Championship BOSV / SSM racing

Sun, Jan. 5 Open-Air Curling Open-Air curling tournament


**** * THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, info@thealpinagstaad.ch

*** * HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch

**** HOTEL LE GRAND CHALET +41 (0)33 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL +41 (0)33 748 43 43, info@arc-en-ciel.ch

Tue, Jan. 14 - Sat, Jan. 18 Saanen Gstaad Winter Games FIS-Slopestyle-World-Cup, Freestyle Show, Backcountry Film Festival and concerts

Thu, Jan. 2 Schönried His & Hers Race and Curling Tournament Ski race and curling tournament for couples

Fri, Dec. 27 Saanen Saaner Altjahrskonzert Orchestra concert in the Church of Saanen

**** * LE GRAND BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch

*** * GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch

Thu, Dec. 26 Saanen Saaner Altjahrskonzert Orchestra concert in the Church of Saanen


**** * GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch

Tue, Jan. 14 Zweisimmen Lecture Series SRK Event in Swiss-German only!

Wed, Jan. 15 Zweisimmen Getting Acquainted with Yodelling Event and concert in Swiss-German only!

Sat, Jan. 4 Swiss Folk Music Evening Folk music artists

**** * GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch

***** ERMITAGE WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL +41 (0)33 748 04 30, welcome@ermitage.ch

Thu, Jan. 2 St. Stephan Christmas Tree Bonfire Recycle your Xmas tree in style

Fri, Dec. 27 Zweisimmen Community Aperitif Join to reminisce over the last year

GSTAADLIFE is available in these Hotels

Sun, Jan. 12 Schönried Grand Prix Migros Schönried Horneggli / Mike von Grünigen Run

Sun, Dec. 22 & Thu, Jan. 2 Zweisimmen Night Skiing @ Rinderberg Night skiing in first section (B1)


Ambulance 144, Police 117, Fire 118 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 729 26 26 Police station 033 356 84 31 Car accident 033 744 88 80 Zweisimmen Hospital 033 729 26 26

**** HOTEL BERNERHOF +41 (0)33 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch **** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA +41 (0)33 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch **** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, info@gstaaderhof.ch **** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com **** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch **** HOTEL STEIGENBERGER +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch ** * HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch ** * HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch *** HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, info@bellerive-gstaad.ch *** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch Photo: Frank Müller


Church Services St Peter’s Anglican Church

Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm

Classifieds Seeks full time position. Fluent French + Italian, warm personality. tania.ankersmit@yahoo.com Single in the Saanenland? Exclusive Matchmaking Services saanenlandsingles@gmail.com

*** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch *** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, info@landhaus-saanen.ch

English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex

English Personal Assistant / Property Mngr

*** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@gstaad-alphorn.ch

For Sale Property with authorised chalet project with 3 apartments. Basement with adjoining living room and garage. On Lauenenstrasse. Requests to: Cipher 29777 Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstr. 6, 3780 Gstaad or admin@mdruck.ch

www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: cliveatkinson@bluewin.ch St Niklaus, Gstaad with Reverend Dr Christopher Hancock

Dec. 22 10 am Morning Worship 4:30 pm Carol singing outside St Niklaus 5 pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols Dec. 24 4.15 pm Blessing of the Crib (family service), 6 pm Christmas Communion with Carols Dec. 25 10 am Christmas Family Service Dec. 29 5 pm Evening Worship

*** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch ** * HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch ** * HOTEL SPITZHORN +41 (0)33 748 41 41, spitzhorn@spitzhorn.ch *** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch *** SAANEWALD LODGE +41 (0)33 744 69 69, info@saanewald-lodge.ch *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA +41 (0)33 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch ** LE PETIT RELAIS +41 (0)33 744 35 65, info@lepetitrelais.ch HOTEL BÄREN +41 (0)33 755 10 33, welcome@baerengsteig.ch GASTHOF GELTENHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 22, info@gasthof-geltenhorn.ch HOTEL VIKTORIA +41 (0)33 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch HOTEL WILDHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 12, info@hotel-wildhorn.ch

Photo: Fotolia

Last Word


People have a lot of hang-ups about marriage. They tell you how hard marriage is for them and to wait as long as possible before getting married. Some people marry many times, or late in life, or not at all. Almost half of marriages end in divorce. The percentage of children born to single mothers is high. Yet I believe in marriage. I believe that not all marriages are bad. I believe two people who know how to make good choices can be happier and better off together than alone. In the 21st century, marriage and coupledom are often sold to the masses by those who lament the family unit’s breakdown. But I cannot remember a time when anyone ever encouraged me to marry, except perhaps my father, but it was always in the form of a question rather than an order. Over time I formed my own view on marriage, and it is surprisingly traditional. First a person has to find someone with a similar background they get along with; not such an easy task. Then they can get married, and then have children if they so choose. Nowadays people often have a child first. I was born before my parents’ marriage. So were my brother’s children. But I refused to brush off the

marriage-first approach like so many others. Bringing it up in conversation can be a bad idea; a lot of people start to twitch and moan. They think marriage is an obsolete institution. A number of people have, for good reason I am sure, a negative view on the subject. I even know a happily married couple who say the only reason they got married was for their families and they don’t really buy into the idea. Like them, I have also witnessed or experienced my share of bad relationships. People are not wrong to question the institution. But other people’s hang-ups about marriage are not my own. The problems people have regarding marriage are mistakenly placed on the institution rather than on the people who choose to enter into a marriage without due consideration, knowledge, or understanding. These people are sort of like atheists, and I much prefer agnostics to atheists. After all, certainties in life are few and far between. Despite all the difficulties, some marriages last. There are good ones, bad ones, mad ones, and even madder ones. Take my parents, for example. They’ve been married twice! I consider theirs a good one. Other couples shout all day long, but they stay together. Mad ones! Others beat each other up, like a couple I know who live down the road. Even madder! What I admire is seeing people who have been together for many decades who still

like the look of each other, who still spend time together and have a good time. But the most touching of all is when you see an older couple walking down the street hand in hand. Just a few weeks ago I was walking through the park with my fiancé; he had proposed to me that morning. We were walking behind an older couple holding hands. They must have been almost 80. They made me think of the wonderful future we might have. At that moment I hoped that we would walk again through the park forty years from now still holding hands like them. I’m sure it will not always be easy, but I know it can be done and I refuse to let other people’s neurosis about marriage dissuade me. It wasn’t always easy being single, but I waited to find just the right one even when most of my friends were married long before me. All I can tell the single girls out there is not to worry. It will happen eventually. This Christmas I offer a special wish for good companionship for the singletons and a long, healthy, and happy life for all the couples out there, young and old. I am happy to finally be among you.



Special Advertising Section

Love Thy Neighbour – Drogerie Jaggi and Zwahlen-Hüni It’s a relationship most couples could only dream of – 65 happy years of living side by side. But staying together takes work – after decades in business, both shops now have reason to celebrate. With Drogerie Jaggi’s large extension and Zwahlen-Hüni’s total facelift, the two are set for another century together. Drogerie Jaggi, older and wiser Founded in 1932, third-generation druggist Peter Jaggi runs this Saanenland institution. It boasts a large organic market, the Reform-Huus. Drogerie Jaggi brings the very best in health food and products, in addition to their standard offering of medications and toiletries.

The shop caters to people with allergies; lactose- and gluten-free pasta and other staples are available for those who suffer from Celiac disease or lactose intolerance. A wide selection of fresh produce, grains and the American and British staples sought after by expats. Organic hygiene products and cosmetics are on offer, too. All-natural brands Dr. Hauschka and Weleda – as well as Switzerland’s own locally produced line, Li, await.

Eberle cashmere, to name just a few. The store also stocks Longchamp handbags and suitcases in a range of colours and sizes.

The pretty little shop next door Zwahlen-Hüni has been serving customers at locations in Saanen and Gstaad since 1948. Available exclusively at the shop is the rarest and warmest fibre in the world, QUIVIUT. Shawls and jackets created from this wunderfabric are unique. The fibre is warmer than wool, softer than cashmere and as light as a feather. In a delicate process, QUIVIUT fibres are obtained from the undercoat of the Canadian Arctic muskox, known as the “gold of the Arctic”.

Happy ever after For these neighbouring shops on the Saanen’s Promenade, life is as good as it gets. Now customers can share the love; with direct access to Saanen’s new Parkhaus, shopping has never been easier. They may not have a lot in common, but Drogerie Jaggi and ZwahlenHüni are committed nonetheless. What lessons can be learned from their success? Perhaps keeping separate addresses is the secret to a long-standing relationship!

Zwahlen-Hüni represents many quality fashion brands: Mirabell knitwear and Andrea

Austrian-style jackets by Poldi and Zeiler, in addition to the exclusive “Couture by Zwahlen-Hüni” collection designed by Alex Zwahlen, are a treat. The jackets are made to measure; materials and styles can be chosen individually to create your own unique look.

Drogerie Jaggi, Dorfstr. 54, 3792 Saanen Zwahlen-Hüni, Dorfstr. 50/52, 3792 Saanen







K L E I N E S L A N D H A U S , D O R F S T R A S S E   , C H -     S A A N E N / G S TA A D P H O N E +   ( )         , G A L L E R Y@ U R S V O N U N G E R . C O M , W W W. U R S V O N U N G E R . C O M

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