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February 19, 2016 - Issue 2 – CHF 3.50


Saanen Shooting Range Renovation


Italian Cuisine Crosses the Alps


Peter Erzberger & Manrico Iachia

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The French have an expression, “jamais deux sans trois”, literally, never two without three, but which is better translated as “third time’s the charm.” As I wrap up my third winter here in Gstaad, I’m wondering where else to apply these wise words… Husbands? Homes? Hermès bags?

In my three years at GSTAADLIFE, I’ve seen it grow from a loose collection of translated German texts to a glossy magazine thick with original articles from a team of highly skilled writers. Though the ride has not been without its ups and downs, we’ve achieved something nearly unheard of in the media business today– we exist! As newspapers and magazines big and small shut their doors or move to a reduced online-only business model, GSTAADLIFE is not only surviving, but thriving–delivering even more news and entertainment to our readers via expanded print issues and a new website. Big Names, Big Achievements Our last issue of the season boasts several pieces on big-name celebrities who continue to attain even bigger heights. Januaria Piromallo gives us the scoop on Gstaad-regular Monika Bacardi’s impressive resumé both on and off-screen. In a delightful coincidence, Bacardi has just produced a movie starring Renaissance man James Franco, the actor-writer-artist who had his first art exhibition in Saanen this month. Focusing on the man behind the camera, we have a two-page spread of Swiss photographer Reto Guntli’s most celebrated snapshots. The frequent Saanenland visitor is in town to promote his 40th book, a collection of the most spectacular interiors from our very own chalets. According to Plans More renovations are on the books, as official permission has been given to the shooting range to expand its facilities in Saanen. A little-known fact: The range was originally founded by two guests, though today the clubs that shoot there have grown to include a wide selection of local gun-lovers.

Photo: Anna-Mari West – Fotolia

Third Time’s the Charm

And it’s the last chance for Les Arts Gstaad, the controversial art and cultural centre which hopes to make the Saanenland a year-round destination for music lovers of all ages. After major contemplation and minor redesign, the project is yet again up for a public viewing at the municipality. If no major obstacles appear and funding is secured, we could have a perfect acoustic hall to host Menuhin concerts in just less than five years. Nothing to Sea Here In our Profile interview, long-time contributor Gstaad Yacht Club reveals their new executive team. Commodore Peter Erzberger and Rear-Commodore Manrico Iachia sat down for a lengthy discussion of the club’s past, present, and future. With the GYC hosting social events and sporting competitions in equal measure, these two water-aficionados have a lot to say, and sail, about it. No winter in Gstaad would be complete without a spectacular selection of arts and culture events. Though the official music festivals are over, a familiar (and devilishly handsome) face was back in town. Russian cellist Dimitri Maslennikov and his crossover group Tango 5 gave a private concert

on one of the region’s cosiest stages–that of Chalet Saqqarah. In a performance of new and old South American tango music, it was one of the most thrilling in the chalet’s five-decade history. Mangia, Mangia Italians do it best. Food, that is. With several new Italian offerings in town, you’ve got a choice of the tongue or heel of the boot, i.e. northern or southern cuisine. From the truffles at Fab Bistro to the fresh laganuri pasta with sausage and porcini mushrooms at Gildo’s Ristorante–served by winter-occupier La Frasca–there’s a primo piatto with your name on it. Mid-February is a funny time. The GSTAADLIFE workload is dwindling as the last issue hits the stands, which leaves me plenty of time to enjoy the Saanenland like a real guest would–whether that’s making my painful way down the slopes or getting cracking on that “jamais deux sans trois” idea. And as the hectic winter season will slowly wind to a close in the next month, I’ve got only one thing to say. See you this summer!

Best regards, Alexis Munier Editor in Chief



Photo: Martin Göppert subtlepatterns.com

READER'S PAGE Your Vision of Gstaad

High up in the Saanenland, nothing but your backpack can weigh you down. Mountains offer the possibility to contemplate life’s concerns from afar. Taking time now and then to leave your problems or doubts aside will help you gain perspective. No matter how big they are when you're staring them in the face, they appear as insignificant as the buildings down below when you've climbed high enough. Building profiles in the very centre of the photograph. Martin Göppert is an avid real estate negotiator specialising in private property auctions of all kinds in Gstaad and surrounding areas. Before opening his own real estate company, CONSULTA, in Gstaad 20 years ago, he had a successful career in event and management positions in various Swiss companies and destinations. Martin is a nature-lover and former mountain guide who manages the a mountain hut in the summertime. www.consulta-gstaad.ch

If you would like to share your photograph of the Saanenland, please send it with your contact details and a brief description to info@gstaadlife.ch.

Photo: Raphael Faux/Gstaadphotography.com


3 Letter from the Editor by Alexis Munier 4 Reader's Page 26 Events Calendar

Local News

Photo: zVg


6 Swiss Mountain Spring Tonic Water 7 Leading Legend 7 IID Plans Busy Winter Calendar 9 Ready, Aim, Fire

Gstaad Living

10 Where There's a Will, There's a Way


12 Interview with Peter Erzberger and Manrico Iachia

Arts & Culture

Photo: zVg


14 Expedition to the Alta誰 Mountains 15 It Takes Five to Tango 17 Koo Koo for James Franco


17 Truffles, Pesto & Red Curtains 19 La Frasca Fantastica 21 Every Fork in the Road 22 The Colourful Life of Reto Guntli

Sports & Leisure

25 Record-Breaking Winter for GYC

17 Read

Cover Photo: 息Sebastian Devenish www.sebastiandevenish.com

at www.gstaadlife.com

Twitter: @GSTAADLIFE // Facebook: Gstaad Life // Youtube: GstaadLife GSTAADLIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse 6, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, www.gstaadlife.com // Management Board: Frank M端ller // Publisher: Frank M端ller, frank.mueller@gstaadlife.com // Publishing Director: Markus Iseli, markus.iseli@gstaadlife.com // Editor in Chief: Alexis Munier, alexis.munier@gstaadlife.com // Contributors: Januaria Piromallo // Layout: Epu Shaha // Advertising: Eliane Behrend, advertising@gstaadlife.com, Phone: 033 744 88 74 // Subscriptions: Flurina Welten, subscriptions@gstaadlife.com, Phone: 033 748 88 74



Swiss Mountain Spring Tonic Water With its steep Alpine peaks and trickling streams, its no surprise Switzerland is home to some of the world’s tastiest, cleanest drinking water. Long-time guest Peter Oppliger would agree–this Basel-based businessman had the idea to create boutique mixers with this natural resource.

Photo: AvS

Long-Time Guest Débuts New Soft Drink at the Restaurant Wasserngrat


Long-time Saanenland guest and owner of Syngama, Oppliger was on hand at the Wasserngrat last month for the official launch of the company’s newest product, Swiss Mountain Spring Tonic Water. While the water is from the Allegra source in Graubünden, it does have a local connection. The idea for the tonic water was born at the 16 Art-Bar-Restaurant in Saanen. Michael Schneider, creator of one of Switzerland’s own gins, and Oppliger, were persuaded by the owners of the 16, brothers Simon and Nik Buchs to create a tonic wa-


Official launch of Swiss Mountain Spring Tonic Water on the Wasserngrat ter. Rather than the tonics available today, which they deemed too sweet, „artsy“, and full of flavour, they aimed to create a soft drink that was very pure–and very Swiss. Like most things produced in Switzerland,


the tonic water comes at an elevated price, heftier several times over than its international competitors. But for locals and guests who prefer locally made food and drink, it’s one that they are happy to pay.

Leading Legend Palace Director Honored

GSTAADLIFE would like to retract any and all information regarding Patricia Low Contemporary on page 20 of our 29 January issue within the article Tis the Party Season–Events at Local Galleries and Private Chalets Shine.

Photo: zVg

Ernst Andrea Scherz, secondgeneration owner and director of the Gstaad Palace, was awarded the Leading Legend for his achievements on the Leading Hotels of the World board.

Corrigendum Article Retraction

Please excuse our error and accept our sincere apologies.


During his 17-year tenure beginning in 1973, Leading Hotels of the World established itself as one of the greatest luxury hotel groups. By the end of the 1980s, Scherz had helped expand the group to include more than 200 hotels, as well as regional branches worldwide.

The legendary 102-year-old Gstaad Palace Hotel has been in the sure hands of the Scherz family for most of its celebrated history. Now this extraordinary establishment relies on Andrea Scherz, third generation owner, to survive and thrive over its next hundred years.

GSTAADLIFE 'Tis the Party Season


Events at Local Galleries and Private Chalets Shine

Chiharu Shiota, left, and Patricia Low

Left to right, Mona Khashoggi, Prince Mubarak of Kuwait, IID Director Homayra Sellier

The 2015–2016 winter season is off to a superb start with a bevy of highprofile gatherings and glamorous soirées held in January. Two events stood out in particular.

ambience for a hotel lobby or other distinctive room.

inal piano solo version of his Rhapsody in Blue.

“Keys are familiar and very valuable things that protect important people and spaces in our lives,” said Shiota. “They also inspire us to open the door to unknown worlds…"

At the party, royals Princess Léa of Belgium, King Fouad II of Egypt, and Prince Mubarak of Kuwait were just a few of the distinguished guests present.

After a successful evening, the installation was bought by art historian and collector Georges Marci. Marci (see GSTAADLIFE’s 18 December 2015 interview) founded Chalet Saqqarah, the first gallery in Gstaad, bringing important art to our region.

The festival, founded by Princess Caroline Murat (known professionally as Caroline Haffner), celebrated its 10th anniversary this year and brought a world premiere, international prize-winning musicians, and stars of the stage and screen to the Saanenland. It runs annually from Christmas to New Year’s and welcomes the best in both established and up-and-coming artists our region.


Shiota at Patricia Low Contemporary 4000 keys, a red grid, an elaborate entanglement of red wool, a crossing of strings, and a week of work–what is the tie that binds these things? Chiharu Shiota. The artist is one of the most acclaimed of the moment; the Japanese Pavillion at the Venice Biennale saw crowds waiting hours in line for just glimpse at her colourful work. Now Shiota’s art is in Gstaad at Patricia Low Contemporary. Under a red rain of ancient keys and people from around the world, a gourmet buffet was served in the company of the artist. A delicious pumpkin soup with mascarpone foam and canapés de fois gras were prepared by L'Atelier d'en Bas, bringing a touch of the Pays-d’Enhaut to the event’s international guests. Each key holds memories, says the artist, as she hung them as talismans above the heads of passing visitors. Hoteliers take heed: Shiota’s custom work can be installed in most spaces, providing a unique


Ernst Andrea Scherz

NYMF Party with Homayra Sellier Homayra Sellier, founder of the celebrated local charity Innocence in Danger, hosted a fabulous affair at her home in early January. The evening featured several royal guests of honour, as well as musicians from the New Year Music Festival in Gstaad, whose Gershwin concert 8 January she sponsored. The concert, held at the Grand Hotel Park, was truly magical. Musicologist C. Agathe Amzallag gave a fascinatingly detailed account of George Gershwin’s life and work. French-American pianist François-Joël Thiollier played with a rare combination of logic and emotion, bringing to life some of Gershwin’s most moving compositions including the orig-

Pianist François-Joël Thiollier


IID Plans Busy Winter Calendar Events to Raise Funds for Victims of Sexual Abuse

Innocence in Danger, the non-governmental organisation that fights child sexual exploitation, will host a number of important fundraising events both here in Gstaad and further afield this spring. BY GSTAADLIFE

Over the 4–6 March weekend, IID founder and long-time guest Homayra Sellier will host three days of activities and events for members and donors. Annual Fundraising Gala At the annual gala on 4 March, guests will discover the tastes of the world’s most prominent artists. A dinner prepared with recipes from the book Artist’s Recipes will be featured. The book is a collection of collages and recipes, offering a glimpse into the private world of reknowned artists including Marina Abramovich, Erwin Wurm, Fiona Banner, Olafur Eliasson, Ryan Gander, Hermann Nitsch, Anish Kapoor, and many more. The artist duo Admir Jahic

and Comenius Roethlisberger will be in attendance, and attendees may purchase an exclusive signed copy of Artist's Recipes. Rounding out the evening, musical entertainment will include Eurovision Switzerland’s Mélanie René and singer Shana Pearson. A silent auction and tombola, handing out a multitude of exceptional prizes to eager bidders, will also help to raise funds for the charity. 15 Year Anniversary All proceeds from the Gstaad event will go toward funding IID’s Swiss activities, namely their summer camps and aftercare programme. 2016 marks the 15th year of Innocence in Danger’s existence, and the twelfth year it has hosted summer camps in the Saanenland. The main goal of the camps is to alleviate the shame that typically accompanies sexual abuse. Because all participants are

survivors, they are encouraged to speak openly if they so choose. The camp provides a safe place for the children to relax and have fun, which can activate self-healing. At the summer camps, children come to terms with their suffering through indoor and outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, arts and crafts, and yoga, making the experience a crucial step in the healing process. Important Work on a Difficult Topic Innocence in Danger is one of the largest privately funded non-governmental organisations in the world. The organisation is active in seven countries–Switzerland, France, Germany, the USA, the UK, Colombia, and more recently, Austria, where they provide legal, medical and social services to victims and their parents. Additionally, IID is equally dedicated to fostering real political change and awareness through high-level advocacy and lobbying activities.



LE DOMAINE DES BOIS CHÂTEAU-D’OEX ONLY 3 APARTMENTS LEFT! 300 meters from the center of the village, without nuisances and close to the station, this new residence enjoys a stunning view and offers all the conveniences. You will benefit from an underground garage, an elevator, a big cellar and a common laundry. Geothermical heating systmen Apartments available 4,5 pièces (100 m2) on the groundfloor 7.5 pièces (261 m2) on the 1st floor 4,5 pièces (100 m2) on the 2nd floor More information on our website

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Elia Huschka - Real Estate - Gstaad elia@eliahuschka.ch – www.unique-villas.com Mobile: +41 79 335 83 42 – Tel.: +41 33 744 6710



Ready, Aim, Fire

Gstaad’s hunting range is the latest in a string of local projects to get the green light for renovation. The CHF 500,000 project will begin this spring, says Pigeon AG, the company that operates the range, which is located in Saanen.

Photo: zVg

Saanenland's Hunting Range to Get CHF 500,000 Facelift


The Jagdschiessstand, as it’s called in German, is made up of three shareholders, the Jagd- und Wildschützenverein Saanenland (Saanenland Hunting and Wildlife Club), Jagdschützen Gstaad (a shooting organisation that is the majority shareholder), and the Diana Pays-d’Enhaut hunting club. “We want to customize the facility for today’s needs,” says President, Pigeon AG, Beat Matti. Work will begin on new features like a running boar, which is needed to practice shooting of wild boars that are found in the region. Shooters will stay approximately 50 metres from the target, which will move sideways across a 16-metre area. Concerning smaller targets, the range already has clay pigeons and rolling rabbits, but this offering will be expanded and improved. With building permission already in place since two years ago, the only delaying factor was ensuring the necessary funds. The renovation budget will mostly be provided by private donors, while the municipalities of the Saanenland and Pays-d’Enhaut area have agreed to contribute a total of CHF 100,000 to the project. As always, the range will be fully self-supporting when it resumes operations after the renovation. Since 1972 The Saanenland’s only hunting range has a long tradition in the area and a fine reputation for sportsmanship. It was founded in 1972 by a group of guests and locals, but is now operated by the Pigeon AG. The company that runs the range now boasts both local and foreign guest members, who fall into several categories. Marksmen, or sharpshooters, actively participate in domestic and foreign

Hunters and sharpshooters both use the Jagdschiessstand competitions. Hunters use the facility to train in the safe handling of weapons, and contribute to maintaining a healthy and balanced wildlife. Hunting is strictly regulated in Switzerland. First, one must obtain a hunter’s license. Applicants must be at least 20 years old and pass a lengthy exam. Moreover, applicants can only take the exam after completing a year of courses covering everything from dog breeds and identification of flora and fauna to firearms handling, amongst other topics. In the Saanenland, hunting is closely tied to forestry and conservation management; permits with quotas to kill specific sexes of animals are enforced. To combat overpopulation, females and younger animals are often designated for kill by the Federal Office of the Environment (FOEN), the body responsible for federal hunting regulations, while specific permits are issued by the canton. On Your Mark Currently the Jagdschützen Gstaad club numbers 100 members and the Jagdund Wildschützenverein Saanenland numbers more than 120 members, which use the range for sharpshooting and training activities. However in total, domestic shooting and hunting clubs in Switzerland number more than 3,000 and claim some 150,000 members.

Shooting may be practiced from the age of 10 onward by Swiss citizens. Foreigners or non-Swiss residents must obtain a permit from the local authorities before they may buy or import a weapon. In order to gain membership to a shooting club, an applicant must be found able to properly and safely handle a gun; training and weapons will be provided to those who want to become permanent members. For some, shooting is an elite sport. Such athletic shooting is regulated by the Swiss Sports Shooting Association, which is a member of the International Olympic Committee. Popular events include pistol shooting at 10, 25, 50 and 300 metres, and air rifle shooting at 10 and 50 metres. Club’s Future According to Heinz Marti, president of the Jagdschützen Gstaad, the appeal of the club is wide enough to ensure renovating the hunting range is only a medium-risk project. According to Marti, few clubs in western Switzerland are up-to-date enough to continue operating under the strict governmental regulations in place for facilities maintenance–only that of Vallorbe, Vaud, is able to keep its doors open. With half a million francs positioned to renovate and expand current facilities, the range is on-track to provide both local and visiting marksmen with a firstrate shooting experience.



Photo: AvS

Computer rendering of the future Les Arts Gstaad project

Where There's a Will, There's a Way Les Arts Gstaad Project Up for Second Public Viewing

Les Arts Gstaad is in the news again, as the ambitious concert hall and cultural centre project prepares for a second public viewing. In order to accelerate the authorisation procedure, the project’s three portions–construction of the new arts centre, expansion of the railway station, and installation of a tunnel–have been joined together as one. BY ALEXIS MUNIER

Les Arts Gstaad founders have been working more than a decade toward constructing a cultural centre that will serve to host the Menuhin Festival as well as other smaller local events including seminars, exhibitions, recitals, and more. Optimisation According to Les Arts Gstaad, the centre has again been optimised. This is an attempt to ease objections by critics who were vocal in their dislike of the centre proposed size and location. After a previous public viewing of the project led to official complaints, the Les Arts team has taken time to rethink certain controversial aspects and has produced a new, improved version of the plans. “While the new construction is more compact than originally planned, the quality of the project and prescribed standards


are respected,” says J. Markus Kappeler, Chairman of the Board, Les Arts Gstaad. He continues, “The Board of the Les Arts Gstaad Foundation is constantly working on the realisation of the project – and the project is now optimised as far as possible before it will be put to the final vote.“ Regarding the slope of the site, Les Arts Gstaad has made several changes after reviewing once more how to further stabilise the gradient. In this rear area of the project direction Obergstaad, the number of interventions has been reduced. Less cutting into the slope will mean fewer concerns for the possibly fragile surrounding terrain. Additionally, the parking garage will now be constructed under the main structure at a reduced height, which will mean a level curve along the Riedhubel. Infrastructure The three subprojects are managed by different entities: Les Arts Gstaad is responsible for the structure itself; the municipality of Saanen is in charge of tunnel construction; and the MOB is the owner of the railway station. Together, they have already coordinated several aspects of the traffic infrastructure, which will be submitted in the integrated project.


Despite some concern by residents over increased traffic due to the centre, an access road made available through tunnel construction has been on the agenda for some years now, ever since it was approved by the city council. The Schützenkreisel roundabout at the north end of the Umfahrungstunnel (bypass tunnel to divert traffic from the Promenade in 2005) was constructed with exactly this–the joining of the new access road–in mind. The cost estimate for the project has been increased, due mostly to land improvement. Les Arts construction budget has gone up 20% to total CHF 120 million. This increase is due to high water levels, which have been recorded and analysed by local geologists over a five-year period. In order to ensure proper flooding precautions are taken, CHF 10 million is needed for the additional expenses, and another CHF 10 million for incidental costs. Donor Funding Despite popular misunderstanding, Les Arts Gstaad has always been a self-funded project. The team has reiterated that they will rely on the muncipality of Saanen for only the traffic infrastructure costs. Donors, corporate entities, and private investment will be the source for the bulk of

Les Arts costs. Thus far, donors have either made available or pledged approximately CHF 45 million towards the development of the project and the construction Les Arts Gstaad. The project’s foundation board recently welcomed several big names to their donor roster–Dr. Stephan and Viktoria Schmidheiny, and Aline Foriel-Destezet. Dr Schmidheiny, a well-known Swiss entrepreneur and his wife Viktoria will make a substantial financial contribution to the project. “The cultural centre will provide a venue for culture-lovers, tourists and local people to experience extraordinary encounters with the arts,” says Schmidheiny. I am happy that my wife Viktoria–a Viennese and passionate music lover–and I can contribute to the realisation of this visionary undertaking.“ Another prestigious benefactor, Aline Foriel-Destezet, will also lend her financial and personal support to Les Arts Gstaad. Like many others who have complained of the Menuhin Festival’s tent acoustics,

Foriel-Destezet has commented on the new project’s sound quality.

“I have never been so confident in finding the funding as I am now.”

“The quality of the tent, however, is that of a temporary solution which neither artists nor audience can be expected to put up with for much longer. Rudy Ricciotti’s wonderful project now deserves the support of all of us,” says Foriel-Destezet. “Artists, visitors and local people should be able to meet at a beautiful and inspiring venue.”

Future Steps In February 2016 the project will be submitted for a building ordinance. If given the green light, it will advance to the community and regional planning offices. The revised plans for Les Arts Gstaad, combined with those of the tunnel and railway subprojects will be available to the public shortly afterward, for a total of 30 days. After this second public inspection procedure, opponents will again have the right to submit objections to the project.

As for the total budget of 170 million, funding remains a major challenge. That said, just CHF 30 million is missing in order to secure the project and ensure its construction. The project is classified for a potential contribution from the Cantonal Lottery funds, and the municipality of Saanen has also agreed to provide CHF 15 million toward the traffic infrastructure costs within the building. “CHF 45 million has been pledged, which range in donations from a few thousand CHF to tens of millions,” explains Kappeler.

By positioning the three subprojects as one, objections would also be submitted in a single process. With the new improvements to Les Arts Gstaad, these are expected to number fewer than the 12 objections that remained before the last public viewing in February 2015. If the process goes smoothly and the building permit is issued, the construction is estimated to take four and a half years.

20 TH ANNIVERSARY Dental Office Dr Christian B. Tritten Dr Tritten dental office in Saanen is a small and modern practice that assists its clients with all their wishes and needs. For 20 years, Dr med dent Christian B. Tritten and his team have provided a patient-oriented and painless dental surgery on the highest level. His new webpage, www.zahnarzt-tritten.ch, informs about the practice and dentistry. A Radiant Smile Healthy teeth are essential for a radiant smile, which is the aim of both the patients and of Dr Tritten dental office. Patients receive dentistry with the most recent technological advances and informed by continuing education, coupled with a comfortable atmosphere, a friendly welcome, and thorough counseling.

The Customer is Central To achieve long-term dental health necessitates the combination of an optimal oral hygiene, professional prophylaxis, and regular visits at the dentist’s. If a treatment is nevertheless necessary, Dr Tritten dental office helps patients in a fast, professional and uncomplicated way. Cutting-edge painless methods are a must to fulfil the dental office’s credo: “We provide patients with the kind of treatment we would like to receive ourselves”. More Than a Simple Dental Office At Dr Tritten dental office, patients receive general dentistry alongside specialised treatments. Other local dentists refer special cases to Dr Christian B. Tritten due to his long experience and profound knowl-

edge in various areas of dentistry, such as periodontics, implantology, reconstructive dentistry, and 3D X-rays. A Motivated Team Since the opening in 1996, the team grew from 3 to 11 members. It now consist of two dentists, two dental hygienists, four dental assistants, two apprentices, and a receptionist. Various renovations, modern equipment, and continuing education ensure a service with best possible results.

1996 – 2016

033 748 73 73 / www.zahnarzt-tritten.ch



Photo: ©Sebastian Devenish

Rear-Commodore Manrico Iachia, left, and Commodore Peter Erzberger, right

Two if by Sea

Commodore Peter Erzberger & Rear-Commodore Manrico Iachia On the occasion of their recent election, GSTAADLIFE sat down with Gstaad Yacht Club's Commodore and Rear-Commodore for a look into the club's past, present, and future. INTERVIEW BY ALEXIS MUNIER

GSTAADLIFE: Gstaad Yacht Club at first appears to be an oxymoron. How was your unusual club founded? Peter Erzberger: Everything started in 1996 in St Tropez, where one of our founding members had bought a beautiful classic Riva motorboat and wanted to give it a unique identity. He designed the burgee, beach towels, and jacket of the so-called “Yacht Club de Gstaad.” A virtual club was born! GL: And when did the club make it from the south of France to the Saanenland? PE: The following winter someone in Gstaad asked him how one could become member of this club. Not sure what to answer, he spoke with some friends who decided to found a real club. Ten founding members arranged the by-laws at the Olden Restaurant. On 28 February 1998 George


Nicholson was elected Commodore and the founders pledged to support this Club. Thanks to the generous offer from one of the initial members, a first target was achieved: the club moved into the exclusive clubrooms above the spa of Le Grand Bellevue Hotel. The club was able to develop further, to revel in the exceptional atmosphere–the harmony between the sea and the mountains–and later on established a top restaurant under the management of Robert Speth. The club could never have gotten this far without the strong support and encouragement of all our members. GL: How many members do you have and what is the application process? Manrico Iachia: As we approach the 400-member mark, we have come to realise just how much synergy there is between the mountains and the sea. Our members are representative of 24 nationalities; they enjoy a unique network and year-round activities on the waters, in the clubhouse, and the Saanenland. GYC is currently accepting a limited number of new members. Anybody who enjoys


sailing or yachting and is a regular visitor to Gstaad can contact the club to obtain additional details. The membership application follows a strict procedure and requires two recommendations by existing club members. GL: When and how did you first get involved in the club? MI: I learned about the GYC at a dinner party here in Gstaad. Living in Portugal–close to the sea–I enjoy boating. As a classic car and Riva nut, I joined after having taken part in the first Rally and Yachting event. This event will celebrate its 10th anniversary this summer. The destination is secret– water is involved, as all participants, after a scenic drive, perform model boat sailing on a lake or sea. GL: What is your current role and what are your responsibilities? MI: I am first-time Rear-Commodore and am responsible for the club’s worldwide relationships. Over the last year, we have increased the club’s reciprocity network to more than 25 yacht clubs, spread over all continents. The clubs allow our members a global network of friends and give

As we approach the 400-member mark, we have come to realise just how much synergy there is between the mountains and the sea. Manrico Iachia

Gstaad the opportunity to welcome an interesting flow of international guests. PE: Seven years ago, I followed George Nicholson as Commodore of the GYC and have just been elected for another three years. During this time, it will be my main task to evaluate our accomplishments and implement a proper strategy to ensure the GYC has a long-term future. GL: Yachting is considered a wealthy sport. Is GYC more than just another playground for the rich and famous? PE: From the very beginning, our aim was to establish a global club embodied by the vision of our patron His Majesty King Constantine who said, “Let's create a unique global yacht club away from the waters, instead of another local club by the waters.” He obligated the GYC to walk the talk. We are proud of our achievements, which we also owe to the help of donors and corporate partners. GL: GYC has several facets–is sport or socialising more important? MI: The club has a balanced structure of sailing and social club life. On the sports side, each year several members take part in different sailing categories–to name some–Flavio Marazzi, who developed a new foiling class GC32, the GYC Racing team on the Nacra 17 Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger, and 19-year-old laser sailor Nils Theuninck. Although the club has no lake or sea access, on-land training and on-water education is provided to youth. Children are introduced to sailing in different ways depending on their level–we even have an annual sailing camp.

GL: What about regatta participation? MI: Each year in cooperation with the Opti-class, a team is formed from the best Swiss Optimist sailors to take part in the International Club Team Race regatta, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco. Last year we also participated in the first LITTLECUP organised in Switzerland, which was sailed on a C Class Catamaran, and was the first large test of an international challenge on home waters. GL: How does GYC evolve to meet members’ needs? MI: Our sports and social calendar has greatly evolved and some of our events have become "classics" in a very short time. The GYC Ski Yachting in winter and the Centenary Trophy are two unusual ideas that became important elements of the GYC. Every March, teams from our network of yacht clubs are invited to the Ski Yachting to compete against us. GL: What about the Centenary Trophy? PE: That’s an interesting story. The boat Mariquita reached its 100th birthday in 2011 and for this occasion, the GYC invited other century-old or older yachts in their original condition to a special race. The Centenary Trophy, found and brought from England, was also 100 years old and awaited as a winning prize. With friends in St Tropez, we organised the first Classic Regatta in “pursuit” format. In 2016 the Trophy will be held for the 6th time. GL: Your GYC racing team is headed for the Olympics, is that correct? PE: We have preselected a team that will be officially announced by the Swiss Olympic Committee shortly, as they qualified this week during the World Championship. This opens the opportunity for Switzerland to win a sailing medal since the last one in 1968. This campaign and its funding is supported by our members. Besides our Swiss team, members Billy Besson will represent France and Will Ryan will represent Australia in Rio. We have three teams representing three countries in the games, bringing the total number of members who have participated in the Olympics to 18.

GL: GYC hosts a variety of events, conferences, and soirées. Tell me how you plan these activities. MI: One of our greatest assets is that we organise things that money cannot buy. Each event has a “hosting member” that brings in his or her ideas and passion. This winter season, the club hosted the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George (Italy) who raised funds for Sailability–the association that enriches the lives of people with special needs through sailing. In previous years, GYC hosted Silvia Earl of the Blue Marine Foundation, the Bertarelli Foundation who supported our Olympic sailing project, and William Winram of WWF. GL: How do you envision the next few years for the club? Are there any new projects in the pipeline? MI: In two years’ time the GYC will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The club has an increasingly younger generation joining and taking over board positions. The children of some of our founding members might be the leaders of tomorrow. GL: Where are you originally from, and what brought you to the Saanenland? Where are you based in the off-season? PE: I first sailed on Lake Thun where I grew up, and used to ski in the Saanenland. When I later lived in Brazil and London, my wife and I always spent the winter holidays here with our two sons. MI: My family is from Trieste, where I started to sail when I was very young. Nowadays we continue to enjoy the coastal life in Lisbon. GL: Why is sailing important? MI: Sailing is a sport that develops important life values: respect for others, the elements, and nature; and friendship, camaraderie, and teamwork. It's a marvellous sport to help relax from the stresses of daily life. GL: How is the club passing on a love of sailing to the next generation? PE: The GYC kids and Junior sailing programme opens the door to local children– and those of our members–to learn sailing. I hope that they make the same great friendships that accompanied me as sailor to more than 50 championships. That passion, as well as the friendships, is the reason for the GYC's success.



Photos: zVg

Nalotuesha tells us about her unforgettable journey through the Altaï Mountains

Expedition to the Altaï Mountains Saanenland-Lover Tells Her Tale of Off-Season Travel

Many of our readers enjoy an adventurous off-season in exotic locales. Here, a long-time guest Nalotuesha shares her story. BY NALOTUESHA

The last village before the mountain region, Bayan Ulgii was four hours flight away from the Mongolian capital Ulan Batoor. South West, the arid Blue River Valley and Altaï summits were stretching up to the Mongolian, Chinese, Kazakh, and Russian border. Here I sat, in a vintage post-war VW bus, which burst into flames when I plugged my phone in for some music. Following the shores of the Blue River would lead us with a nine-hour drive on to the dry grass paths with tranquil dignity, to the outmost edges of the Earth. One could see the colourful shamanic ribbons whirling in the wind from afar, having the virtue to frighten the wolves.

E 88°10’ 12567ft. The glacier was a few metres away with its interrupted profound, mysterious and deep sound filling the mournful stillness of the night, where no other sound broke the silence. My plastic bottle of hot water was leaking, making my sleeping bag wet. Don Quentin, my faithful travelling companion, had a nightmare that night: the camels, which were just right behind the tents, were peeing on the slope of the mountain, which caused it to pour down into our tents. After a sleepless night and sunken cheeks, it was finally dawn. With the gentle golden

light of an eternal blue sky, our brave horses were showing us the way to the highest Mongolian peak. I sometimes had to dismount to face the sharpness of the slope, leading my pony, whose hooves were sinking into a sea of stones. The beginning of the day in such a perfect light created a calming picture of the glacier. It made for such a sight that I shall hold it tightly as a framed and valued memory. The caravan of camels, carrying the tent materials and food, was following us half an hour away. To prevent my body from dehydration I had concocted what I used to always do for my African pupils, one lire of pre-boiled water, one

The next day, after an eleven-hour ride on our ponies, we set up camp at sunset. “I Know” (Ino) our Kazakh cook, served us the bubbling Fortnum and Mason “confit duck”, floating in a green liquid and on a powdery pink plastic plate. It looked like the Ganges River on a bad day. A sip of yak vodka to dilate the vessels, excellent at altitude, cleans our insides like polished barrels. The night was cold, –30°, and it was getting late. Our position was N 49°01’


Riding on horseback in front of the fading glacier


spoon of sugar or honey, with one spoon of salt. Concerning water, never trust anyone–prepare it yourself–2 H, 1 O!!! The sun was now at the horizon. The following hours brought us laboriously to the exact border between China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. Quentin made a memorable comment: “Please tell my wife I left for a salt mine,” and he then walked onto the Russian soil. After that episode of laughter, here we were, silently enjoying the profound serenity of the view and the snow-covered peaks. Some days later, at the centre of the Earth, where literally no human being could be seen, we would, to our great surprise, cross paths with a Kazakh woman with a lunar face and parched skin, who kindly greeted us with a bowl of fermented yak milk. It refreshed and sparkled softly on my tongue and had a slightly sour taste. Sipping from Quentin’s flask of vodka soon became part our morale booster. Our gang was composed of several characters: Quentin, the Lord Portsmouth one of the old school; Agii, Kazakh guide and bigamist; Bottei, Ger owner and colourful family chief; I Know, sensitive girl with a flat face;

and four brave ponies and an equal number of camels, amongst which was a white one to honour Quentin’ s presence. A few weeks after the Altaï expedition and one much needed fancy shower (shower for the essentials,–25°,in the river) later, our journey then took us to the East, staying with Bottei’s family. The eagle hunt was about to begin. Our ponies and two eagles, we were lost like miniature spots in the grand infinity of nature. Days and days riding out with the wind, between the bends of the river, the Mongolian peaks and the vast steppe, would define the rest of the adventure.

you might have to go outside the tent in the dead of the night, and the wolf’s song will remind you that you should head back to the safety of sleep. “NALOTUESHA”, an exhibition of my pilot diary and international clothes will be displayed at the Park Hotel Gstaad from 15 to 21 of February 2016. May you all wander, and wonder, in peace.

On this particular warm and bright day, I caught a fox. Back at the camp, I hung the poor little beast on a branch, removed the pelt with my father’s Purdey knife, and let it dry for three days. He accompanied me all the way back through Ulan Batoor, Kirghizistan, Istanbul, and Geneva, immersed in juniper–the herb they burn in Buddhist temples, and which puts you in a contemplative mood. Whatever your riding experience is, this is not for the faint of heart. At one moment,

The author with her hunted fox

It Takes Five to Tango

This February, Dimitri Maslennikov made a Gstaad homecoming with a brand-new project created to energize the often traditional programming long-associated with the region. BY ALEXIS MUNIER

The celebrated Russian cellist has played numerous concerts here, from his first performance at the New Year Music Festival in Gstaad a dozen years ago to more recent engagements at the Menuhin Festival and Les Sommets Musicaux. “I’m thrilled to be back in Gstaad,” says Maslennikov, with a twinkle in his eye. “While I’m the first to enjoy classical chamber music, I wanted to share the fiery passion of tango music with my fans here.” In a private concert at Chalet Saqqarah, whose small but important stage has heard the likes of Menuhin, Rostropovich

and more over the past five decades, Maslennikov performed with a talented new crossover group, Tango 5, which presented a vibrant selection of 19th and 20th century South American compositions. From Classical to Crossover Tango 5 was created by Maslennikov and the Argentinian composer Juan-Carlos Carrasco. The group’s repertoire includes the classical tango of greats such as Delfino and Gardel, as well as the modern tango of Piazzola and Carrasco himself, who was a friend and student of Piazzola.

Photo: Dimitri Maslennikov

Cellist Brings His Sensuous Strings to the Saanenland

Dimitri Maslennikov and Tango 5 In addition to Paris-based Maslennikov, the quintet includes four French string prodigies–double bassist Alexandre Baile, violist Aurélie Deschamps, second violinist Oriane Carcy, and stand-out first violinist Karen Jeauffreau, whose sultry style and intense energy proved classical musicians are anything but sedate.

The group of first-rate strings is currently working with the label Peach Prod, and will release a recording next month. After their preview concert here in Gstaad, they will be touring worldwide in including Argentina, homeland of Carrasco and tango music itself.



DISCOVER THE ESSENCE OF TASTE GRAND HOTEL PARK Wispilenstrasse 29 – Gstaad – Reservation : 033.748.98.30 – reservation@chubut-restaurant.com



Koo Koo for James Franco

He is young and beautiful...and famous too. James Franco boasts the credits of Hollywood actor, writer, and now artist. BY JANUARIA PIROMALO

Now, celebrating his first time in Switzerland, the super star has a new art exhibition on the horizon of the Saanenland. The show, called "Koo Koo," is a name ironically borrowed from the iconic cuckoo clock. It opened 5 February at Siegfried Contemporary’s pop-up location in Saanen, and will run through 26 February.

Koo Koo features a handful of colourful paintings inspired by birds of all shapes and sizes.

Photos: zVg

Pop-Up Gallery in Saanen Shows Actor-Writer-Artist's Works

"Birds are mystical creatures that inhabit our world and just as easily fly away,” explains Franco. “They're like fairies on the periphery of civilized life.” The inspiration for Koo Koo is manifold. The space where the show is housed, Chalet Mittelgässli, resembles a cuckoo clock in the mountains–the bird paintings will

Tiarè von Meister and James Franco complement the architecture. The title is a reflection on Franco's koo-koo multipronged personality, according to Andreas Siegfried, his art dealer.

James Franco's Koo Koo exhibition will run until end February

Franco was on hand at the pop-up gallery 14 February, where despite his celebrity status, chatted happily and posed for numerous photographs with fans.

Truffles, Pesto & Red Curtains Welcome to Fab Bistro

Finding the perfect name for a restaurant is like finding the perfect title for a book–if the name is appealing, the success is almost guaranteed. In that case, Fab Bistro appears to have chosen wisely. BY JANUARIA PIROMALLO

Recently opened in Schönried in front of the Ermitage Hotel, Fab Bistro’s name has an intriguing double meaning. Fab could be just short for fabulous. And yet, it is also an abbreviation of owner Fabrizio Adamo’s first name. From Italy to the Orient The Bistro’s décor is a mix of boiserie and modern design. The theatrical red curtains at the entrance open onto the “stage” for Adamo’s Italian fusion cre-

ations. The eclectic menu is proof of the range of his culinary talent. Vegetarian bean burgers, double-crisp French fries, spaghetto trafilato al bronzo al pesto,and tagliolini with truffles are just some of the Bistro’s tasty creations. But throughout the Saanenland, hungry guests come for his spectacular (and spicy!) Thai soup with jiaozi, chinese ravioli. Strategically located in Schönried not far from Le Rosey, the Bistro is also popular with students as "the place" for après-ski gatherings featuring chocolate fondue and crepes flambés. Fab Fabrizio Adamo, who originally hails from Genova, has been in the Saanenland for 20 years. His wife is the lovely Antonella, a busi-

ness-minded fashionista with an eponymous boutique on Gstaad’s Promenade. Together, they form a strong local couple that is the face of entrepreneurial success. A chef since long before the profession became trendy, Adamo ran a lounge/ restaurant in Costa Smeralda in Sardegna. When "Mojito"–a crossroads of the international jet-set–closed, Adamo relocated to our region, where he was second in command at the now-defunct Le Comptoire in Rougemont. But don’t get too attached to your favourite meal here–the menu favours seasonal offerings and is updated weekly. Fab Bistro is open noon to midnight and serves brunch, lunch, happy hour drinks and bruschette, and dinner.



COMMERCE OF ART & ART OF COMMERCE: FROM CHÂTEAU TO CHALET Swiss Boutique Auction House Oversees Every Aspect of Selling the Contents of Your Home, or That of Your Clients

“Safe passage requires local knowledge,” reads a sign for boaters navigating waterways near Palm Beach, Florida. Nothing could be truer for those tasked with the cumbersome valuation, insurance,

removal as well as sale and/or disposal of furnishings in a mountain residence. The Hôtel des Ventes possesses both the experience and the expertise for any home, be it a chalet or a château.

Office hours by appointment only

For Further Information CALL +41 22 320 11 77 FAX +41 22 320 14 74 E-MAIL info@hoteldesventes.ch VISIT www.hoteldesventes.ch


Moreover, executors and other professional advisors–whether based here and/ or abroad–need only delegate and in so doing also profit from “local knowledge,” or savoir-faire.

PIGUET – HÔTEL DES VENTES Rue Prévost-Martin 51 CH-1205 GENEVA


Tuesday to Friday 9:30am to 12 noon 2pm to 5:30pm Closed Mondays

Photo: Gstaad Palace

Borgo Egnazia's La Frasca has partnered with the Gstaad Palace to bring Puglian delicacies to the Saanenland

La Frasca Fantastica

Famed Puglian Chef Flocks to Gstaad Palace for Winter While the most beautiful birds migrate south for the winter, the most beautiful Italian chefs migrate north. This winter, Puglian chef Domenico "Domenicone" Consoli has set up camp at Gildo’s Ristorante at the Gstaad Palace, bringing with him the exotic specialities of a region that boasts some of the tastiest cuisine in Italy. BY ALEXIS MUNIER

Known to the media through the wedding of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in October 2012, the new resort Borgo Egnazia quickly became a celebrated landmark in Puglia. The luxury property’s star restaurant, La Frasca, is an hommage to native Puglian cuisine, with recipes based on tried and true traditional favourites. Under Consoli’s leadership, La Frasca is serving up authentic flavours of southern Italy to warm the cold bellies of the Saanenland’s foodies. Since the beginning of this winter season, his four-person team has been on hand to skilfully reinterpret rustic Mediterranean dishes for Palace guests. Puglia Uncooked One of the culinary quirks that sets Puglia apart is the region’s consumption of raw fish. As Puglia makes up the peninsular heel of Italy’s boot, you’re never far from the sea. For a starter, the scorpion fish carpaccio with red berries pairs for a unique combination of flavours, the rasp-

berries and redcurrants adding a burst of sour to the slightly sweet fish. The primi piatti, or first courses, list one type of local pasta you can’t find on any other menu in town–laganari. Here, they are boiled al dente and tossed with ground sausage meat, mushrooms, and a disc of crispy fried caciocavallo cheese. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can always opt for Gildo’s signature spaghettini which is prepared before your very eyes on a mobile cooking station. If you’ve still got room for a main course, there are two stand-out options: beef and fish. Want to give your waiter a workout? Then the salt-encrusted cod is your best bet. With a plate-cum-hammer in hand, he’ll need to break through a generous layer of the white rock to rescue the flaky, tender codfish fillet within. Fans of the so-called diamond noir may prefer the beef filet with truffle sauce and shaved truffles. Its earthy flavour penetrates not only the cut of meat itself, but turns the accompanying potatoes into thoroughly truffled tubers. Be prepared to defend your plate–no matter what your dining partner has ordered, he or she will gaze at you across the table with loving eyes, hoping for a bite. Just Desserts Tiramisu, literally pick-me-up, is trans-

formed into Tirami-sud, a not-so-sweet concoction of layered ricotta cheese and crispy pastry layers served with a generous dash of cayenne pepper. Traditionalists might choose the warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream (which was caramelised, and delicious) but if you want to go local, go with the Boccanotto pastry. This Puglian delicacy is made of short pastry filled with a variety of stuffings including chocolate and almonds or amarena, wild cherries, and cream. Gildo’s Ristorante is named for maître d’ Gildo, who has been a faithful Palace employee for over 40 years. After so many decades of service, Gildo is intimately acquainted with the guests–their likes and dislikes–and is often seen strolling throughout the restaurant, chatting and ensuring they have a thoroughly enjoyable experience. He is not alone in his quest. The Palace staff have all mastered that rare but beautiful combination of exemplary service, supreme subject knowledge, and old-fashioned charm. The Palace restaurant, grill, and bistro have served as a meeting place of the international jet-set since the Palace opened its grand doors more than 100 years ago. By allowing the restaurant to feature another superstar chef and menu each season, the Palace offers its guests a glimpse–and taste–of some of the best gourmet cooking in the world today.



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Every Fork in the Road The life of Lady B has always been a sliding door–the difference is that at the crucial crossroads, she has always embarked in both directions. Mother or businesswoman? Movie producer or socialite? She is, after all, among the most envied women in the world. But Lady B did not have to choose; she did it all.

Photo: Monika Bacardi

The Extraordinary Life of Lady Monika Bacardi


The distinctive feature that strikes you upon meeting Lady Bacardi at the lounge of the Grand Hotel Park, where she is a regular, is her good manners. Bacardi speaks with a gentle lilt, and her tone is soft and sweet, as she gushes about Gstaad. "I love Gstaad. I met my beloved husband here. And my daughter goes to school here, too!" exclaims Lady Monika Barcardi, a women of many faces. Born in Italy, Lady Bacardi was a student of media and communication at La Sapienza University. She is fluent in five languages, which serve her travels from Monaco to Gstaad, from Los Angeles to London, from Cannes to Venice. In Gstaad now, as most winters, she is taking her time to relax and to read some scripts. Lady Bacardi loves modern art, photography, and especially film. She has now successfully turned her passion into a fruitful partnership with the talented Italian producer Andrea Iervolino, only 28 years old, and co-founded the AMBI Pictures Group. Lady Bacardi is strongly convinced that while cinema might not change the world, it can act as the conduit for important messages. “I am deeply convinced that cinema can help change the world. I believe in the power of universal stories making a difference,” says Bacardi. “Cinema contains everything a creative mind can offer, from the epic thrill of sci-fi adventure to the discrete heartbeats of a young love story. I really wanted to help and foster young creators, so that the audience can see their first works.” It is not a coincidence that she is in Gstaad

Monika Bacardi (left) with Sarah Jessica Parker (second from right) in the same days that James Franco is having his first artistic exposition, "Koo Koo", here. Lady Bacardi just produced "In Dubious Battle" with the Hollywood golden boy, a film that portrays the struggle between labour and capital in 1930s America as close to all-out warfare. But Bacardi’s impressive film production credits don't end there–she was responsible for The Humbling starring Al Pacino and Andròn–The Black Labyrinth with Alec Baldwin. She says AMBI Pictures Group’s goal is to produce 12 movies per year and distribute them through AMBI distribution in Los Angeles, California. “We are working on a movie with the famous Italian actress Claudia Cardinale and the Hollywood star Sarah Jessica Parker called All Roads Lead to Rome and another one on Ferruccio Lamborghini's life,” explains Bacardi, when asked what’s next on her projects. “We have a lot of films in production.” Despite AMBI’s success, she is yet again reaching for the stars by continuing to expand the company’s influence. “We have recently assumed control of the majority of the Exclusive Media Group (EMG) library that includes more than 400 films and the legendary Memento,

Donnie Darko, and End Of Watch,” Bacardi boasts. With a name like Bacardi, you may wonder if Lady B is indeed related to the eponymous rum. Yes. Her husband Luis Adalberto Facundo Gomez del Campo Bacardi, Lord of Bayfield Hall (who sadly passed away in 2005) was a descendant of the founder of the Bacardi company. To this day, it is the largest privately held spirits company in the world. Lord Bacardi is remembered fondly by many here in Gstaad. Gianni Biggi, the ex-director of the Grand Hotel Park, remembers him as a true gentleman, an icon of the Gstaad high life. However, Bacardi mixes this high life with a score of humanitarian activities. She is actively involved in several causes and undertakes gestures of solidarity to raise funds and awareness in favour of the social issues that are dear to her heart. In the last few years, Bacardi has offered her support to dozens of charitable organisations in Monaco, France, and around the world. With a life fit for a Queen, or rather, Lady, might Bacardi eventually be the subject of a movie about her own extraordinary life? “Too soon,” she smiles. “I know it could be a great story. But I prefer to wait.”



Photos: Reto Guntli

Casa Suntushti, the Saanenland home of Onno and Alexa Poortier

The Colourful Life of Reto Guntli Star Swiss Photographer in the Saanenland and Beyond

Reto Guntli is a man of many colours. From his beginnings in the theatre world to his current stature as one of the world’s most sought-after photographers, the Swiss native shows his keen eye for style knows no bounds. BY ALEXIS MUNIER

Whether he’s capturing the interiors of a multimillion-franc mountain retreat, smiling Buddhist monks, or contemporary artists, Guntli puts his heart and soul into his art. Decades ago, Guntli had his heart on another discipline–acting. But when he turned to photography to help pay for his theatre school studies in New York, he fully embraced a permanent role behind the camera.

Travelling Man Guntli makes his home in Zurich, but describes himself as a traveller. He has been to all four corners of the world, photographing more than 1000 buildings, including the most luxurious hotels and private properties. This week, for example, Guntli was here in Gstaad


to shoot the Grand Hotel Park. Guntli has also photographed cultural and historic monumennts, such as the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, bringing his portfolio full-circle.

von Unger Gallery. Housed in a historic building on the village’s main street, von Unger ‘s elegant space allows Guntli to expose a variety of artwork including photographs and art installations.

“Each culture has grandiose styles that show you something about the way they lived,” says Guntli, who is accustomed to the international travel necessary in his chosen occupation.

Some of Guntli’s most famous photographs are on display, such as his portrait of reknown Brazilian architect

He must occassional immerse himself completely in a project, and spent more than nine months travelling in Asia for his book Inside Asia. The extended travel was a learning experience, which took Guntli across 17 countries and provided a wealth of different photographic opportunities. “This trip was the most adventurous and fascinating of my life,” he smiles.

Reto Retrospective A retrospective of two decades of Guntli’s work is now featured at Saanen’s Urs


Artist Marina Abramovic

Oscar Niemeyer and that of Marina Abramovic, a contemporary performance artist whose controversial work polarises audiences. Guntli is unusual for his close relationship with artists; his photographs include many of his dear friend Abramovic, who uses Guntli to capture her staged performances. In a manner rare for such a name in his field, these works are credited to the artist, not the photographer. "It remains their art and my name does not appear anywhere under the photo,” says Guntli, modestly. “But for me, making this work is a great opportunity.”

Chalets with Style Guntli has recently released his 40 th book, published by Knesebeck. Chalets mit Stil–Alpine Interiors in Gstaad is a collaboration between Guntli, photographer Agi Simoes, and author Christine Marie Halter-Oppelt. A Saanenland afficionado, Guntli had the idea for the book after shooting at a local five-star hotel. "I'd finished a photo assignment for The Alpina Gstaad and met some of the residents,” explains Guntli. “It’s not only the magnificent chalets that impressed me– but the hospitality of the owners who invited me to stay.” Guntli told Halter-Oppelt, a freelance writer and editor of S.I. Style magazine, of his idea, and the project was born shortly thereafter. Co-photographer Agi Simoes, who works closely with Guntli, was then asked to join the project.

Artwork on display at Casa Santushti

The chalets featured in the hardcover coffee-table book run the gamut from historic to contemporary. The luxurious homes represent the best in design, architecture, furnishings, and artwork, and each chapter focuses on a specific home, delving into not just the chalet’s history and anecdotes, but the owners themselves. Despite the English subtitle, Chalets mit Stil–Alpine Interiors in Gstaad, is available in German-language only at the region’s local bookstores. Reto Guntli’s exhibition at the Urs von Unger Gallery in Saanen will run through 29 February. www.ursvonunger.com www.retoguntli.com

Photographer Reto Guntli

Dyptich Daniel Spoerri, Tuscany, 1998



THE TIMELESS ELEGANCE OF PURE DESIGN questions about relationships, habits, and schedules, asking to see photos of all family members. By knowing the ins-and-outs of each family, she can begin to envision a home truly befitting of its owners.

challenge. An autodidact, she observed design trends from Miami to Megève and incorporated them into her creative visions. Working with Nathalie’s exclusive network, Pure Design collaborates with only the crème-de-la-crème of craftsmen. "I have the simplest tastes," she says, quoting Osar Wilde. "I am always satisfied with the best."

Nathalie Danel Arnoux doesn’t just design chalets–she brings them to life. “Every chalet has a soul,” says the talented artist, who creates unique spaces for clients from London to Lauenen. With a multi-disciplinary approach, she envisions bespoke homes, taking into consideration the needs of each family. In an introductory session, soft-spoken Nathalie seems more like a psychologist, posing

Where most designers imagine a basic white wall, Nathalie has other plans: supple suede, tanned and tinted sur-mèsure, hand-sewn by Hermès designers in a neutral patchwork of even squares. For Nathalie, perfect interiors require up to a year or two of detailed planning. She might spend a week secluded, planning a bespoke, hand-woven carpet, inlaid with ribbons of bronze, emerging only with a finished outline of her artistic creation–or draw from dusk ‘til dawn, perfecting the clean lines of an exquisite porcelain hammam. French by birth and Swiss by adoption, Nathalie began her career in the yachting world, where each boat presents a new



Nathalie admits that she's a perfectionist; whether that’s a 1200m2 luxurious new construction or a historic renovation, her trademark style results in timeless elegance. Eschewing both garish and overly stylised interiors, her chalets radiate the cosy luxury so befitting of the Saanenland.

nathalie arnoux – pure design Geneve – +41 78 786 52 78 nathalie@napuredesign.com www.nathaliearnoux.ch

Photo: P.A. Brugger for GYC

Matías Bühler und Nathalie Brugger on Nacra 17 qualified for Olympics in Rio

Record-Breaking Winter for GYC Series of Extraordinary Events Keeps Club Going Strong

Winter is a key season for the Gstaad Yacht Club, whose busy calendar is a vital part of it’s activities – awareness raising, fundraising, record attempts, and qualifications are all cause for current celebration.

Now working for she has come face to face with the community of the poorest migrant Indians. DRAG is a 'Non Government Organisation' (NGO) that consists of model tree farm, in a village called Manger, not far from Delhi, and an education centre for women in West Delhi.


Olympic Qualifications The die is cast: Nathalie Brugger and Matias Bühler will represent Switzerland this summer at the Rio Olympics in mixed Nacra 17 catamaran. Thanks to a 7th nation ranking (9th overall) at the 2016 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida, they comfortably met the necessary criteria. The Olympic year had a great start with a World Cup podium in Miami and a top 12-nation finish at the World Championship. Goal achieved! There are 172 days left until the games to improve with their new coach Mitch Booth–which will get them closer to the podium. Indian Spirit at the GYC Seventy guests gathered to see Development Research and Action Group’s (DRAG) Patricia Montalto present her years in two non-profit schools in India, dedicating her voluntary work for the poorest section of society in West Delhi. The evening's film showed a great deal about motivation and development work in India, where DRAG

For six years, Patricia has gone twice annually for 10 weeks per visit to India, to educate in the school itself, exploring innovative topics and assisting and training in the women's centre to help them achieve financial independence. Last but not least, she makes contact with the upper classes and high society, to inspire them to visit and offer their time. Around the World to Save the World On 12 February, Francesca von Habsburg, Tomás Saraceno and GYC celebrated the newly established Aerocene Foundation. The Foundation has been built upon Saraceno’s artistic project–a series of air-fuelled sculptures that will achieve the longest, emission-free journey around the world, becoming buoyant only by the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth. The sculpture floats without burning fossil fuels, without using solar panels and batteries, and without helium, hydrogen and other rare gases.

Aerocene is poised to de- and re-engineer the hydrocarbon infrastructures that envelop our world. In our exceptional surroundings of well-preserved ecosystems and strongly concerned by the deteriorating global ecological condition, GYC was moved to host Saraceno's highly conscious artistic endeavour, embarking Aerocene to sail for a better future. Female GYC Member Beats Records Dona Bertarelli, owner of the world’s largest Trimaran Spindrift 2, did a fourmonth non-stop circumnavigation of the world. Skippered by Yann Guichard, the sailors crossed the finish line of the Jules Verne Trophy after 47 days, 10 hours, 59 minutes, and 02 seconds at sea. After nearly 29,000 miles travelled at an average speed of 25.35 knots, Spindrift 2 closed the circle on its first voyage around the world by claiming the second-fastest time in history. During its high-speed journey, the black and gold trimaran also improved three record times (Ushant-Equator, Ushant-Tasmania and Ushant-Cape Horn) and held, for a few hours, the record for the crossing of the Indian Ocean. One woman among 13 men on this record attempt, and the first to complete a Jules Verne Trophy course, Dona Bertarelli is now the fastest woman to sail around the world.



Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels

Events Calendar 19 February 2016 through 12 March 2016 Fri, 19 – 23 Feb.


Sat, 27 Feb. – 21 March


Eric Reichenbach Exhibition

Modern Masters Art

Heimatwerk, 9am – 5pm

Free exhibition at The Alpina Fri, 19 – 26 Feb.


Sat, 27 Feb.


TONY Massage Therapist Home visits: 079 50 22 705

Bosv-Leki JO Cup

Koo Koo Paintings by James Franco

Slalom, 8am – 3pm

Fri, 19 Feb. – 5 Mar.

Sat, 27 Feb.




8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays at Sparemoos Fri, 19 Feb. – 30 Mar.

Sun, 28 Feb.



Horn Sledge Race

9:30am REGA Tour

Sat, 5 – 6 March 

Fri, 19 Feb. – 20 Feb.


Lillian Lampart Exhibition At the Heimatwerk Fri, 19 Feb. – 9 Feb.


Winter Market


Curling Tournament Junior's championship Sat, 5 March


Rinderberg Derby Famous ski race Sat, 5 March

Small items for sale Fri, 19 Feb.


Open-Air Curling


Sarina Ski Race All are welcome Sat, 5 March

6:30pm Fri, 19 - 27 Feb. 


Polaroid Challenge Sat, 20 Feb.


Curling and Brunch

Snowgolf Tournament Attractive outdoor event


Girls Shred Session Sat, 20 – 21, 27 – 28 Feb. Zweisimmen


With Trombone chorus, 2pm Saanenmöser

Ride on Music Four-day festival Sat, 12 March

9:30am – 3:30pm


Audi Skicross Tour Sat, 12 – 13 March

Snowbike Test Days Each weekend on the Rinderberg Feutersoey

Cross-Country Race


Curling Sweepers Cup 9am Sat, 12 March


Mobi Horneggli JO Cup

Björnstadlauf, 8am

Kids race, 10am

Mon, 22 Feb.

English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm www.stpeters.ch Contact: cliveatkinson@bluewin.ch


General Assembly Wed, 24 Feb.


Ski Teacher's Promenade Apero All are welcome, 4pm

Tues, 15 March


Gstaad-Saanenland Tourismus Members welcome, 8pm Fri, 18 – 20 March


Cross-Country Championships Zweisimmen

Fondue Ronda End of night-skiing season 6pm

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 Château-d’Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Veterinarian 033 748 08 58/ 033 744 06 61 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/useful-­ numbers.html

Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Patric Lutz (079 / 669 29 83) Secretary: Rot. Markus Iseli (033 / 748 92 08)

Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12 pm for lunch or at 7 pm for dinner. Meetings in Ermitage, Wellness & Spa-­Hotel, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Sigi Feller, president, 033 748 85 73, sigbert.feller@ubs.com gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch

Soroptimist International

General Assembly

All are welcome 8:15pm

Important Numbers


Music Tea Thurs, 10 – 13 March


Sun, 21 Feb.


Sun, 6 March

Daily winners

Sat, 20 Feb. 

St Peter’s Anglican Church


Helicopter Base Tours

Thurs, 25 Feb.

Church Services

15th Swiss Folk Musician Ski Race

Night Sledding

Sparenmoos, 9am For further details please visit: www.gstaad.ch

Visit our new webpage

www.gstaad.LIFE 26



**** * GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch **** * GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch **** * LE GRAND BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch **** * THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, info@thealpinagstaad.ch ***** ERMITAGE, WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL +41 (0)33 748 04 30, welcome@ermitage.ch *** * BOUTIQUE HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch *** * GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch *** *HOTEL DE ROUGEMONT Member of Design HotelsTM +41 (0)26 921 01 01, info@hotelderougemont.com **** 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 **** 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 **** STEIGENBERGER ALPENHOTEL AND SPA +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 *** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@alphorn-gstaad.ch *** HOTEL ERMITAGE +41 (0)26 924 25 00, info@hotelermitage.ch *** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch *** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, info@landhaus-saanen.ch *** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch

President: Heidi Gafner-Kiser Tel. 033 748 83 15 Program: Stephanie Iseli Tel. 033 744 18 33

** * HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch

Club des Leaders

*** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch

President: Jean-Sébastien Robine www.clubdesleaders.com contact@clubdesleaders.com

Classifieds in GSTAADLIFE Place your classified ad here for CHF 17.– per line (plus CHF 20.– for the highlight box). Contact us at eliane.behrend@mmedien.ch.

** * HOTEL SPITZHORN +41 (0)33 748 41 41, spitzhorn@spitzhorn.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 HOTEL RESTAURANT BÄREN +41 (0)33 755 10 33, welcome@baerengsteig.ch HOTEL GELTENHORN +41 (0)33 765 35 91, brand@hotel-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

ATTITUDE offers some of the world’s most treasured luxury brands for men and women. From Elie Saab’s sophisticated haute couture and Zuhair Murad’s illustrious red-carpet gowns to the latest sartorial for style-confident men by Brioni, Corneliani and Kiton.




Profile for Müller Medien

GSTAADLIFE, 19. February 2016  

The exclusive publication about the good life in Gstaad.

GSTAADLIFE, 19. February 2016  

The exclusive publication about the good life in Gstaad.

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