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?Rubrik GRAND HOTEL PARK · 29 WISPILENSTRASSE · CH 3780 GSTAAD · TELEPHONE: +41 33 744 97 00 THE ALPINA GSTAAD · 23 ALPINASTRASSE · CH 3780 GSTAAD · TELEPHONE: +41 33 744 74 80 www.graffdiamonds.com


June 21, 2013 - Issue 3 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT

Heinz Brand Brand-ing the Saanenland


Second Homes Interruptus



Sports & Leisure

Institut Le Rosey

Sirina Juffali

Grand Slam 2013

Federal Court rules on initiative

Road paves the way to expansion

Tween artist sells out

Beach volleyball mountain high



4 Déjà

LE BEAU SEJOUR Profitez de la même vue que depuis un ballon s! ndu e v s nt eme part


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Opening hours: TU–FR 14–18h SA 10–16h Kirchstrasse 7 3780 Gstaad Tel. 033 744 89 66 Fax 033 744 89 68

Photo: Jonas Bach

Letter from the Editor

Back to the Future at GSTAADLIFE How exactly does a California girl make it up to the Bernese Oberland? Via Gstaadstrasse, of course! When I arrived in Zürich in 2003, a fresh-faced writer and opera singer with a hankering for adventure, I rented a room in an old home on Gstaadstrasse. Who knew that a decade later I’d be coming up and slowing down in the village of Gstaad itself? I’m thrilled to celebrate my ten-year anniversary in Switzerland with a new position as Editor in Chief of GSTAADLIFE. GSTAADLIFE really is “the little engine that could”– the only magazine featuring arts, events, business and lifestyle in and around Gstaad in English. It’s a special magazine for a special place, and one to which I’m uniquely suited. With degrees in music and me-

dia, I’m the author of nine books and many articles, which have appeared in publications such as EQUITIES, Harvard Business Review and TIME magazine. After retiring from the stage to concentrate on my blossoming career as a writer, I spent a decade consulting for international organizations along the Arc lémanique, including most recently, the World Economic Forum. But enough about me, and more about GSTAADLIFE. You’ll notice some changes to the magazine as well as our online blog as we transition to a fresh, updated version of GSTAADLIFE with content tailored for the savvy Gstaader. This summer début is packed with articles on the Insitut Le Rosey expansion, Second Home Initiative, profits of local banks and more.

We’ve interviewed a local politician, Heinz Brand about his role in the community, and also provide insider tips for living well in Saanenland in our ‘GSTAADLIFE Recommends’ section. GSTAADLIFE.com will continue to post short articles and summaries throughout the year, so if you haven’t already, subscribe to have all the latest in local news and entertainment delivered straight to your inbox daily. I’d like to thank the community for extending me such a warm welcome, as well as my predecessor Peter Sonnekus-Williams, in whose capable hands GSTAADLIFE grew into the magazine it is today. I look forward to meeting many of you in the very near future, but in the meantime, I’d be pleased to hear from you by phone or email and gather your insights on GSTAADLIFE and Gstaad living.

All best, 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, Cindy Schönrich Layout: Arlette Bütschi, 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


“Darling, there’s something I need to tell you…”

Contents GSTAADLIFE is available in these Hotels ***** GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch


page 10

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

Letter from the Editor Alexis Munier takes the reins


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

Cartoon Oliver Preston packs our bags


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

Local News

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

Banking on Profits Local banks report big earnings


Profile Heinz Brand On mixing business, politics and baking


Lifestyle Sirina Juffali 12-year old steals the (Art) Show


Going to the Dogs Teens groom pooches for charity GSTAADLIFE Recommends Take a Hike Off on a lark to Lauenensee


Sports & Leisure Life’s a Beach At the Gstaad Grand Slam 2013

**** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch

Sailing to Victory GYC sailors bring home the bronze

**** HOTEL STEIGENBERGER +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch


*** HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch

Meat and Greet Swiss prefer homegrown beef


Til the Cows Come Home Livestock moves to Alpine meadows


Saanenland Schwings Bernese Oberland Wrestling Festival


*** HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, info@gstaad4.com *** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch *** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@gstaad-alphorn.ch *** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch

12 13

Business News Suite Gstaad wins big, Palace hits 100, GOLFHOTEL reopens 15 Education Rosy Future for Le Rosey Institut’s new campus in Schönried


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

New Digs Gstaad Int’l School acquires Hotel Alpine Lodge


*** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch


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

page 12


**** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com

*** HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch


Moratorium on Second Homes Federal Court rules on implementation date


Entertainment Events Calendar, Classifieds


Last Word M. Theodoracopulos Run for the hills!


Cover Photo: Mark Nolan Gsteig bei Gstaad www.marknolan.ch

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page 15


Special Advertising Section

Alpine Summer Wellness at The Alpina Gstaad Yoga Retreat with renowned Yogi Julien Balmer. The three or seven-day Yoga programme combines group classes, sun salutations and other signature poses with meditation and inspirational films. Guests will also enjoy Six Senses signature massages.

Six Senses Spa at The Alpina Gstaad: Six Senses Spa has been expertly integrated into the hotel’s cosy yet luxurious setting, offering a secluded and calm sanctuary from the moment you enter. In keeping with the Six Senses philosophy, natural materials and design features have been used to evoke a sense of place – from the curved walls, water elements, and exposed timbers, to the outdoor pool reflecting the majestic Alpine peaks. Local artwork flows from one space to the next, acting as a silent guide through the spa. Our passionate and skilled team will guide you through an integrated wellness experience, helping you to focus on new perspectives and make positive lifestyle changes. Blissful three, five, and seven-day retreats whisk you away from the stress of everyday life, inspiring you to attain personal goals and develop a greater sense of self-awareness. Reopening its doors at The Alpina Gstaad from June 1 to September 30, the Six Senses Spa introduces five Summer Wellness Retreats aimed at achieving targeted results for the body and mind. Guests who wish to cleanse and invigorate the body will be drawn to the Sense of Detox programme, which accesses the body’s natural healing process and encourages regeneration. Treatments including an Ila Detox Bandage Wrap Ku Nye Body Work will leave you refreshed and energised. The Sense of Ayurveda programme is inspired by its Sanskrit meaning of ‘life

knowledge’ and uses this ancient Indian science to achieve a wholesome, balanced lifestyle. The programme combines traditional Ayurvedic methods and activities to introduce guests to this century-old practice— benefits include improved sleep, reduced stress, decreased fatigue and it can even delay the natural signs of ageing. The Sense of Fitness, Movement and Balance programme is designed to improve fitness and general well-being. Whether your goals are cardiovascular training, strength and flexibility, muscle toning or boosting metabolism, personal trainers will be available to assess current fitness levels and develop a plan to fit any needs.

Prices for the Summer Wellness Retreats start at CHF 2095 (approx. £1,500) in a deluxe single room, based on a three-day stay. The Yoga Retreat with Julien Balmer starts at CHF 2265 (approx. £1,590) in a deluxe single room, based on a three-day programme. Rates for participation in the Yoga Retreat with no accommodation start at CHF 1275. For further information on pricing, please visit http://www.thealpinagstaad.ch/

About Six Senses Resorts & Spas Six Senses Resorts & Spas have earned a global following, providing award-winning guest experiences in some of the world’s most beautiful locations. With properties in Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Europe, the name Six Senses is synonymous with a unique style of luxury – authentic, relaxed and in tune with the surrounding environment. Each spa has been designed to adapt seamlessly to host cultures in relaxing and rejuvenating surroundings. Six Senses Spas offer a wide range of holistic face and body therapies and beauty treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists. Spa products are made only from natural ingredients in harmony with the environment.

Drawing upon the surrounding Swiss nature, the Sense of Alpina programme features spa treatments with local plants and herbs to refresh and nourish the body. Besides the Alpina Swiss Facial and massages, the spa encourages daily walks and other outdoor activities. The three-day Sense of Beauty programme indulges guests in some of the spa’s signature treatments to replenish and hydrate the skin, helping regain a warm glow after the winter months. Treatments include the Triple Lift Mountain Facial and Lifting or Slimming toning treatment from Biologique Recherche, as well as the Alpina Collagen & Oxygen Facial by QMS Medicosmetics. From June 24 to July 1, we will feature a special Mountain

Contact For hotel reservations, enquiries and bookings, please contact us at: Tel: +41 33 888 9888 Fax.: +41 33 888 98 89 Toll free number: 00 800 9889 9889 Email: info@thealpinagstaad.ch reservations@thealpinagstaad.ch

Local News

Profits Up at Saanen Bank and Raiffeisen Bank Saanenland It was a record year for Saanen Bank and Raiffeisen Bank Saanenland. Shareholders of the financial organizations celebrated the asset growth, increases in deposits and boost in customer lending that helped make 2012 such a success. At the annual shareholders meetings for both in April 2013, bank executives revealed the strategies that have made the difference in difficult economic times. Saanen Bank hits one billion in assets Bank Manager Jürg von Allmen presented the 2012 financial statements to the Saanen Bank shareholders, who were all smiles at the annual meeting. One big reason: More than a billion in francs in total assets. This milestone marks the first time in its 139-year history that Saanen Bank has hit that benchmark – a success credited to the incorporation of 7.3 per cent more in deposits (56 million francs) and a 6.7 per cent increase in customer lending (nearly 900 million francs), consisting mostly of mortgages. Gross profits for 2012 stood at 8.18 million francs, an increase of 0.5 per cent over 2011, while net profits were up 2.2 per cent. Moreover, the bank enjoyed a gratifying Cost-Income Ratio (CIR), which sets expenses in relation to income. This serves as an important indicator to demonstrate efficiency – the bank’s CIR is approximately 50 per cent, a generous figure for companies in the banking industry. And last year the bank had almost twice as much equity on their books as that required by FINMA (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority). All of this good news has resulted in a 3.6 per cent increase in Saanen Bank’s share price in 2012.

In addition to adapting to updated banking regulations and requirements, one of the greatest challenges for the bank in 2012 was implementing new banking software. “The transfer went off without a hitch,” says Peter Kübli, Chairman of the Board, “and the cutting-edge system is expected to provide return on investment in only three years.” With regard to personnel, Victor Steimle was appointed new vice-president, replacing Barbara Matti, who stepped down after many years of service. Following in the footsteps of his recently retired mother, Matti’s son Daniel Matti has been elected to the board of directors. Diversification Rules 2012 at Raiffeisen Bank Saanenland At the meeting, Branch Manager Pierre-Yves Geiser presented financial statements revealPhoto: Desirée Bach


ing total asset growth of nearly 9 per cent and net profits of 3.25 percent. With an increase in the double digits – more than 12 per cent – customer lending hit an all-time high of 165 million francs. One reward for the bank’s conservative approach guaranteed to capture shareholders’ attention: fixing 2012 dividends at 6 per cent. “We want to grow, but refuse to strive toward unreachable goals, or those with limited financial incentives for our staff,“ says Chairman Andreas Grünig. “Modesty and sustainability – these two terms are the building blocks of our strategy.” “Growth, but not at any price” is the bank slogan designed to remind shareholders that the lessons learned from the past five years of economic turmoil must be heeded at all costs. Raiffeisen Bank Saanenland has continued to employ Raiffeisen Group’s conservative lending and risk policy for its core business, which relies heavily on the owner-occupied residential property sector. Diversification has also served the institution well, with a focus on supporting the corporate clients business, and in particular medium-sized enterprises. The bank also welcomed Béatrice Baeriswyl, a 20-year resident of Saanen, who was elected unanimously to the board of directors. Raiffeisen Group is now the third-largest banking group in Switzerland, with 321 independent banks and over 1,000 branches (in the cooperative of which Raiffeisen Bank Saanenland is a member).


Michael Teuscher coasted to victory as District Governor (Regierungsstatthalter) of the Obersimmental-Saanen administrative district in this spring’s election. The SVP incumbent ran unopposed – not a single challenger came forward to put their name on the ballot. “Apparently the community is satisfied with my work,” says Teuscher, who says he’s

pleased the election is over. “Now our work can quietly continue.” Born and raised in Saanen, Teuscher has held his current position since 2002. He began his political career in 1992 as a secretary at the Saanen district government office before winning his first District Governor seat a decade later. Teuscher’s three-year term will run from January 2014 to December 2017.

Photo: Anita Moser

Michael Teuscher Easily Wins New Term as District Governor

Michael Teuscher




The Sweet Smell of Success Baker-turned-politician Heinz Brand scores brownie points with locals INTERVIEW: ALEXIS MUNIER PHOTO: MARK NOLAN

What do pastry and politics have in common? Here in Gstaad, it’s Heinz Brand, the baker who traded for bread for bureaucracy when he retired from business and ran for office. Recently Heinz Brand sat down with GSTAADLIFE on the Hotel Berner-

hof’s terrace to discuss his remarkable life in and out of politics, and his current and future plans for the betterment of the Saanenland.

GSTAADLIFE: As a young man, you left the Alps and lived and worked along Lake Biel. What brought you back to the Saanenland?

Heinz Brand: I’ve always had a lust for adventure, so after my schooling in Gstaad I took the first opportunity I could to attend business school in La Neuveville. Same canton, sure, but different language, different culture! After earning my business diploma I wanted to continue my studies and pursue my dream of becoming a doctor or government official. But life doesn’t always turn

Profile out as planned. For family reasons, I came back to the Saanenland and took over my parents’ business – the Brand Bakery.

GL: How did you make the unlikely transition from successful bakery owner to politician? HB: I took over the family business with one goal in mind – to retire at 50 (he says with a smile). It was a goal I set for myself, a personal compromise. I would run the bakery well and expand the business to allow for retirement at a relatively young age – and I would then pursue my earlier professional dreams. And through hard work and determination, I made it happen. I wouldn’t give up on my dreams. I’m a stubborn man, or so my wife says.

GL: Tell us about your current role and position in the local government. HB: I have held the position of Gemeinderat (roughly the equivalent of City Councilman) since 2007. My current role puts me in charge of city planning and construction, which along with building infrastructure also includes building consensus in the community.

GL: There are a lot of changes (and cranes!), in the air for Saanen these days. What are biggest items on the town’s development agenda? HB: Saanen is evolving on a daily basis. And as Gemeinderat, I’m very proud to be a part of that development. As you know, the Sanona project is designed to ensure sustainable, vibrant town. The top items on our todo list are: 1. Implementing industrial zones; 2. Renovating the Dorfrütti Zentralwäscherei (centralized laundry center for hotels); and 3. Finishing the parking garage in Saanen, which will facilitate access to the town and increase local business.

GL: Can you tell us more about the proposed zoning changes in Gstaad and Saanen? Is this good or bad news for local businesses? HB: We recognized the need for special industrial/production zones in the two towns some time ago, and have worked tirelessly to find available land. Getting the business

I took over the family business with one goal in mind – to retire at 50. HEINZ BRAND

community on board was also an important step, as it requires relocation on their part. New zones “Tomi” (Gstaad) and “Dorfrütti”(Saanen) will accommodate industry, so that the historic villages can be preserved in their entirety for both residents and tourists. In other words, plenty of space for industry to grow – with no more eye-sores.

GL: Two big construction items are the Le Rosey project in Schönried and the Gstaad Sportzentrum. What is their current status? HB: Le Rosey was finally approved a few months ago. The next step is waiting for a construction permit from the Canton of Bern (see a detailed summary of the approval on Page 14). Gstaad Sportzentrum is planning the renovation of the main building to include firstclass equipment and bright fitness rooms. The locker areas and walkways will be modernized as well. Much of the facility hasn’t been changed in more than forty years – including the pool. It’s time to renovate completely and even construct part of it outdoors. The community also plans to build two chalets on the Sportzentrum’s property, where we can house sports teams recruited to stay and train in Gstaad.

GL: Do you have any personal ideas for making Saanen a more attractive place to live that you can share? HB: I would like to see more people in the village itself, at all hours. By encouraging outdoor socializing, we could make this a reality. Imagine if all the bars, restaurants, bakeries, cafés and hotels had terraces – people could sit out and enjoy the warm summer and clear autumn seasons here,

while local businesses profited as well. Another idea is to bring back vital small shops onto Saanen’s main street. Demand is high enough that a butcher, for example, could make a good living there. The trick is finding someone respected locally, who would not only open a new business, but would contribute to the social fabric of the village.

GL: There has been a lot of discussion lately concerning the Secondary Home Initiative and its possible effects on the region. Anything to add that hasn’t already been said? HB: What’s done is done; the Federal Court has made a decision and we must respect that, however unwillingly. While there are some merits to the Second Home Initiative, here in Saanen we had developed and already implemented a wiser plan for reducing the number of so-called “cold beds.” Rather than limiting the total percentage of secondary homes, it limited percentages in all new construction to 70% for local residents and 30% for secondary residents. Buildings had be a mix of residence types, allowing for locals to benefit from reduced housing cost as well (which is associated with this type of classification).

GL: Besides having your roots here, what do you like best about the Saanenland and what has kept you here even after retirement? HB: I love the Saanenland for both the kindness of its people and the beautiful natural surroundings – it’s my home. However, now that I’m “mostly” retired, my wife and I can indulge our love of travel. Last year we visited Egypt, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, and we’re already planning our next adventure to somewhere equally as exotic.

GL: As a well-liked and respected politician who’s considered an asset to the local government, is there any truth to the rumour that you may run for higher office? HB: I’m more than happy with my current role. In fact, there’s so much more I’d like to do for development in the Saanenland that I couldn’t leave my Gemeinderat position just yet. My boss, Aldo Kropf, does an excellent job as Gemeindepräsident, and I’ve been fortunate to learn a lot under his tutelage. But never say never …




12-Year-Old Artist Paints the Cosmos Colourful BY: JANUARIA PIROMALLO PHOTO: JANUARIA PIROMALLO

Planet Outburst, Lava Fusion, Earth Evolution. These are just some of the contemporary works painted by precocious young artist Sirina Juffali. The 12-year-old Saudi-American schoolgirl has captured the attention of the art world with her whimsical creations – starting right here in Gstaad. First exhibition a big hit The Alpina Gstaad hosted Juffali’s first exhibition in February of this year, where understated luxury set a fine backdrop for her colourful paintings to come alive. For these unique pieces, Juffali worked liberally with glitter paints, which make collages with real flowers and leaves sparkle – proving she’s still a kid at heart. Priced at between 350 and 600 francs each,

the little masterpieces sold out quickly. With maturity beyond her years, Juffali is grateful for her support network and the chance to pursue her artistic passion freely, but very aware that other children aren’t as fortunate. Donating all profits to the charity Innocence en Danger, Juffali reminds us that the greatest gift is helping others.

The daughter of Saudi businessman Walid Juffali and American/Canadian supermodel Christina Estrada, Sirina Juffali lives in London, where she attends an international school. Mom Christina has cheered Jufffali from the start, helping to organize exhibitions and watch her develop into the talented artist she is today.

“I’m so lucky to have my family’s support,” says Juffali, “I’d like the money raised to help kids who aren’t so lucky pursue their dreams, too.”

“The beauty of my mother was the first thing that I painted,” smiles Juffali, “She has been my muse, my supporter, my promoter.”

Juffali’s short road to success Juffali takes her creative work, what she calls her ‘mission’, very seriously. She started to draw and paint at the age of three, stunning her teachers with artwork that could have been mistaken for a much older child. They did not need to encourage her, as Juffali was already determined to pursue her career as a YBA (Young British Artist).

The determination of young artist Sirina Juffali proves Oscar Wilde wrong: Youth is not wasted on the young. Not even yet a teenager, Juffali has clear ideas about where she’s headed next: Art Basel. When asked which artist she’d like most to resemble, she sweetly replies, “I only want to be myself”. With talent like this, it’s the only answer she needs.



Best friends Tiarè von Meister and Sabrina Scherz are typical teenagers who spend their afternoons gossiping about boys between homework and hobbies. All in the company of their dogs, of course – Saphira, a beautiful

black Flat-Coated Retriever, and Teddy, a white Maltese puppy. But these students of the Kennedy School are much more – budding entrepreneurs who have spun a creative summer plan to turn their pets into pet projects. Rub a dub dub, put your pooch in the tub The dog lovers have opened Vanity Fur, an

indoor grooming salon and doggy gym. Their motto is simple: Dogs make life better. Located in the Chalet Wispile’s sunny garden, the site includes a doggy playground and relaxation area for owners, who can drink fresh lemonade and snack on homemade cupcakes while they wait. Beloved pets will be washed, splashed and pampered with bio products like specially formulated Paul Mitchell dog shampoo. The products are safe and gentle, protecting the natural gloss of the dog’s fur and keeping it silky soft. Saphira and Teddy certainly aren’t complaining; since the girls opened the salon, they are bathed twice a week and treated to dog biscuits. The nice price While the canine beauty treatments cost between 15 and 20 francs, it’s all for a good cause. One hundred percent of the proceeds are donated to the Lisa Woodward Foundation, which works extensively with orphans in Ethiopia.

Sabrina Scherz, left, and Tiarè von Meister in the salon with Teddy and Saphira, front.

For more information, opening hours and prices, please call 079 889 88 93.



Summer has finally arrived and there’s no better way to inaugurate the season than with a hike to its most beautiful lake, the Lauenensee. Whether you’re discovering it for the first time, or rediscover it every year, you’ll find clear blue waters surrounded by breath-taking peaks.

Photo: Richard Müller

Take a Hike: Gstaad Höhi Wispile – Chrine – Lauenensee

The journey begins with a cable car trip up to the top of Wispile – Gstaad’s very own ‘Pleasure Mountain’. After an hour or so’s relatively level hike to the Chrine Pass, you’ll dip steeply downwards another 560 m before arriving at the Lauenensee. There you can rent a boat, dine at the Restaurant Lauenensee, or discover the Tungelschuss waterfall and nature preserve. The 12-kilometer hike takes three hours and is appropriate for all ages. Buses regularly make the trip back down to Gstaad. For detailed information please see www.gstaad.ch or www. gps-tracks.com.

The Tungelschuss waterfall is just one of the many things to see and do at the Lauenensee.



Sports & Leisure

Gstaad Yacht Club Team Takes 3rd Place in 2013 Olympic World Cup Regatta BY: CINDY SCHÖNRICH PHOTOS: GSTAAD YACHT CLUB

GYC members Nathalie Brugger and Matías Bühler scored an unexpected triumph in the recent prestigious 2013 Olympic World Cup – Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères, France. Olympic 2012 participants Brugger and Bühler partnered in the new mixed boat class, Nacra 17. This regatta win was the first in what they hope will be a string of victories leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “United toward a common goal, we work well as a team and also manage to have a lot of fun,” Bühler stated about their newly formed duo. Stormy weather Rain and wind affected the course of the 7-day regatta, shuffling the first finishers. In the Nacra 17, Tim Shuwalow/Hanna Klinga SWE closed the gap on Billy Besson/Marie Riou FRA and took the overall win, thanks to their results in the two medal races. Gstaad Yacht Club’s very own Matias Bühler/Nathalie

Brugger SUI finished an impressive 3rd, just 9 points behind the leading sailors. “This is only my second regatta in the Nacra 17 and I am thrilled with our performance,” said Bühler. “We work hard and improve every day. Nathalie does an excellent job as tactician and we maintain a good boat speed. Also, Sebastian Godefroid is a tremendous coach. “ “It has been a fantastic week,” added Brugger. “Olympic sport is hard – and such a great win in one of the first events is a real confidence-booster.”

supported the team’s kick-off, but it’s actively looking for sponsors and partners to support the 2016 Olympic campaign. Both team members are long-time sailors who bring a certain amount of clout to the sport through their impressive credentials. Brugger came in 6th in the 2008 Olympics in Peking and 12th in London in 2012. Argentinian-Swiss Bühler coached in both years, leading the Tornado Duo Santiago Lange/ Carlos Espinola ARG to bronze in 2008 and Richard Stauffacher to a ranking in the first 10 in 2012.

Placing third also allowed the sailing team to fulfil the criteria for the Swiss National team. A star team is born After last year’s Olympics, Bühler and Brugger decided to make a play for the 2016 Olympics as a team – and started up their Nacra 17 duo. Nacra 17 refers to the ‘mixed multihull’ equipment approved for the upcoming Olympics by the International Sailing Association, which measure approximately 17 feet long. The Gstaad Yacht Club

Mathias Bühler and Nathalie Brugger

Sports & Leisure

Life’s a Beach for the Gstaad Grand Slam BY: ALEXIS MUNIER PHOTO: SPORT EVENTS GSTAAD GMBH

The world’s best beach volleyball players will hit the sand at the annual Gstaad Grand Slam July 9 – 14. Always a draw given its generous $480,000 purse and unique locale, this year’s Grand Slam will attract even more of the sport’s top athletes, as they’ll already be in the neighborhood, attending the World Championships in Poland the week beforehand. That includes the 2012 Olympic Champions and the new 2013 World Champions as well. What’s more, the event will give fans of the Swiss teams, many of whose players retired last year after the Olympics, a chance to encourage young talent and see their new teams in action.

ad Grand Slam has won the hearts of players and fans alike since its inception in 2000. Little more than a decade later, Gstaad is considered one of the favourite Grand Slams by adoring crowds who travel the world just to be here for the weeklong event. The event has come a long way since its beginnings as a women’s-only tournament. That first year the weather was unseasonably cold, summer having vanished into the thin Alpine air. It was so frigid that the Brazilian team asked for a tub of hot water to warm their feet during breaks. In 2001, the Gstaad Grand Slam expanded further to include men’s teams, and even hosted the 2007 World Championships.

Red Bull, Zumba and more No matter what the weather, participants should play and party in style at this year’s Gstaad Grand Slam. Red Bull will host the bar, promoting its glossy RedBulletin magazine. DJs will spin during the weekend for everyone’s listening, lounging and dancing pleasure. Thursday evening, a Zumba party will take over the center court – complete with free introductory classes. At Sunday’s lunch break, the Swiss pop-rock star Marc Sway will perform a free concert for the whole crowd. And breaking with tradition, the Gstaad Grand Slam 2013 will save the best for last, hosting both the men’s and women’s finals on the last day of the tournament, Sunday, July 14.

“Olympic champion Julius Brink considers our Grand Slam a welcome tradition,” says Ruedi Kunz, tournament director, “He has already booked the cozy apartment in Saanen where he’s been staying for ten years now. Players tell me coming back to Gstaad year after year feels a little bit like coming home.” World Tour comes to town The Gstaad Grand Slam is one of eleven events in the World Tour, pulling in professional beach volleyball players from around the globe. Given its mountainous backdrop and quaint village feel, Gstaad stands in stark contrast to other Grand Slams, which are played in urban locales like Beijing, Sao Paulo and Rome. The brainchild of local businessman Ruedi Kunz and his wife, former Swiss national team beach volleyball star Mägi, the Gsta-

Switzerland Ranks Fifth-Happiest Nation BY: GSTAADLIFE

The Swiss are among the happiest in the world – even though they spend less time ‘playing’ and more time working, says a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD’s Better Life Index identifies 11 areas as ‘essential to well-being’ including health, education, environment, security, income and personal satisfaction, amongst others. Disposable income, while originally as-

sumed to be a decisive factor, does not point directly to increased happiness. Switzerland boasts 5th place on the 2013 list of happiest countries, which includes data from the 34 OECD members as well as partner countries Brazil and Russia. Australia tops the list for the third year running, while the nation with the highest disposable income, the USA, dropped three places to 14th. The study’s results indicate that it might not be lifestyle or health which makes the Swiss

happy, but employment. The country ranks 4th place in the disposable income category and has one of the lowest unemployment rates. Yet, Swiss residents rated their ‘life satisfaction’ higher than those of any other nation, despite coming in at a staggeringly low 18th in terms of ‘time devoted to leisure and personal care’. Despite an abundance of available outdoor activities including hiking, biking and skiing, the Swiss spend less time on leisure then people in other OECD countries.



Citizens Claim There’s No Beef Like Swiss Beef The Swiss love their beef – literally. According to a recent study by Proviande, the country’s meat industry network, more than 75 per cent of meat consumed comes from animals raised right here in Switzerland. Despite the fact that it’s often more expensive, locally produced meat enjoys a reputation for quality and safety that outweighs its price. This reputation is largely deserved. Strict regulations implemented and policed by several different government agencies have helped Switzerland retain its image as a firstclass producer of safe and delicious meat, even as other European countries suffer

frequent scandals involving meat and meat products. For example, in the recent horsemeat scandal involving Britain, France, Poland and others, Switzerland escaped nearly unscathed.

Photo: Fotolia


The Swiss eat more than 50 kilos of meat per person annually, mostly in the form of pork. Chicken is gaining popularity, as consumers opt for lower-fat options to the traditional pork and beef. Tastes here differ from region to region as well. In Romandie, residents dine on more poultry and beef, while in German-speaking cantons, locals prefer sausage and charcuterie.

Calling all butchers Beautiful older village of Saanen seeks motivated butcher for immediate move-in. Must be good with knives and have an intimate knowledge of everything bovine. Experience with prime cuts and friendly demeanor a plus.

In Saanenland, residents and tourists alike remain loyal to the local specialty, air-dried Simmental beef.

The Grass is Always Greener for Saanenland’s Cows BY: GSTAADLIFE Photo: Anita Moser

In early June, local cows finally began their steep march to greener pastures high in the Alps. A blast of cold weather had kept the herds from making the trip two weeks beforehand, as scheduled. Alpauffahrt, as it’s known in German, brings the milk-producing bovines to the Alps for several months of summer grazing. The combination of sweet grass, herbs and flowers gives their cheese, and the milk from which it is produced, a unique fragrance and taste.

The Hauswirth family leads their herd down the Promenade toward the Tschärzis.

This summer transfer results in Saanenland’s famous Alpkäse. After two years of ageing, the cheese becomes Hobelkäse, which is traditionally served in shavings.

Swiss Fight Club – Schwingen in Saanenland BY: GSTAADLIFE

present to entertain the crowds.

The annual Bernese Oberland Wrestling Festival was held June 15 and 16 in Gstaad’s center court. The event featured an assortment of activities, including youth and adult matches.

The Schwingerkönig, or Wrestling King, title was ultimately shared by Kilian Wenger and Bernhard Kämpf, whose total 58.25 points resulted in a rare tie. The two profited from a highly unusual run-up to the finish, which saw the 12-minute match by Simon Anderegg and Thomas Sempach end in a draw.

In sunny 28°C weather, more than 4,000 fans came to support both upcoming and experienced wrestlers with a passion for Schwingen, as it’s known in German. Yodellers, Alphorn players and prize-winning local cows Stier Claudio and Stier Arnold were also

For a detailed history of Schwingen and its cultural heritage, please see the upcoming August issue of GSTAADLIFE.

Photo: Peter Holmes à Court



Survey Says Gstaad Boasts a Dozen of Switzerland’s Best Hotels The newspaper SonntagsZeitung has released their annual hotel ratings, with Gstaad-area hotels earning top marks.

holiday hotel, while luxury newcomer The Alpina Gstaad made 8th. At numbers 12 and 22, respectively, came the Grand Hotel Park Gstaad and Grand Hotel Bellevue Gstaad.

Local hotels topped four of five categories: holiday hotels, city hotels, wellness hotels family hotels and ‘nice price’ holiday hotels. The Gstaad Palace proves it’s still a destination in itself with 3rd place as a

In the wellness category, the Wellness & Spa Hotel Ermitage Schönried placed 3rd; newly renovated GOLFHOTEL Les Hauts de Gstaad & Spa Saanenmöser was not far behind at 12th.


Proving Gstaad is indeed affordable, four hotels were deemed ‘nice price’, including Romantik Hotel Hornberg Saanenmöser (7th), Hotel Alpine Lodge Saanen (17th), Hotel Kernen Schönried (19th), and Hotel Alphorn Gstaad (34th). Families take note, Steigenberger Alpenhotel and Spa, as well as Lauenen’s Alpenland, are top choices with the little ones in tow, earning 10th and 19th in the family hotel category.

Photo: Gstaad Palace

At 100, Gstaad Palace Balances Celebration with Sustainability BY: GSTAADLIFE

The Gstaad Palace will celebrate its 100th anniversary in grand style with a series of swell – and sustainable – activities. The hotel opened in 1913, as a fine example of modern luxury, boasting a total of 150 rooms and 50 bathrooms – not to mention electricity and six telephone booths, a rarity at that time. Events include a two-day Open House, during which locals are invited to explore the landmark hotel. The December 7 and 8 festivities will include live music, food, and drink. To honor its history, the hotel has grander community visions in mind as well. The Gstaad Palace will reforest a nearby area destroyed by the 1999 cyclone Lothar. In April, it began a two-phase project to plant over 1,200 trees and bushes, and develop a picnic site. A hiking trail leading from the Gstaad Palace to the site is also under reconstruction; it will open this summer.


The four-star superior hotel in Saanenmöser now boasts new rooms decorated in a modern, luxurious ‘chalet’ style. Spacious double rooms and junior suites have a warm atmosphere, with oversized box-spring beds and comfortably elegant furnishings. Every room features a genuine cowhide throw as well as new oak flooring. “It is important to show the hotel’s relation to farming,” says Andrea Sprenger von Sie-

benthal, daughter of owners Heidi and Walter von Siebenthal, when asked about the hides. Next to the year-round hotel, the von Siebenthal family runs a 20-hectare working farm. Adults and little ones alike will feel at home here, as the chic décor is surprisingly kid-friendly. All guests young and old will appreciate the long list of hotel amenities; the spa, indoor pool and sauna are spread over more than 1000 m2, offering beauty and wellness treatments for all ages.

Photo: Blanca Burri

GOLFHOTEL Les Hauts de Gstaad & Spa Gets Million-Franc Renovation



Council Ruling Green Lights Institut Le Rosey Expansion BY: GSTAADLIFE

Institut Le Rosey has cleared the last major hurdle for its new Erli campus in Schönried, thanks to the Saanen City Council’s overwhelming approval of two critical measures. The council ruled 254 to 12 in favour of Project n.75 “Erli” and “Ausbau Hubelstrasse,” which provides for the 1.5-million-franc street improvements needed to accommodate the expected increase in traffic. The venerable educational institution will contribute to this effort, without which the campus in Schönried would not be possible. A campus is born Bursting at the seams at its current Gstaad location, Institut Le Rosey was under

pressure to secure plans for a new campus. But where? The location was subject to significant debate, as several parcels were considered and abandoned by the school. Some refused to be relinquished by their landowners, while others had zoning issues that could not be resolved despite best efforts. In 2009, the board of trustees of Ferienheim Fraubrunnen approved the sale of Erli, a 40,000 m² plot, to Le Rosey. The sale, however, would only be legally valid with planning permission. The project plans for “Erli” and “Ausbau Hubelstrasse” now approved, Le Rosey can take next steps for transforming the four-hectare Erli parcel into a campus which will accommodate 450 students and 100 staff. Photo: AvS


Institut Le Rosey’s new Erli campus will sit high above the town of Schönried.

The project will have follow-up costs, such as wastewater and water, but voters have been assured that the building and property owners will shoulder those costs, not the community itself. Shuttle buses – rather than private cars – are expected to transport students. Concerns voiced in the council Despite these assurances and the council’s ready approval, questions regarding snow removal and ski slopes which cross the street remain. Additionally, the intersection at Bettlersmatteweg and Hubelstrasse has been deemed unsatisfactory and considered a security risk. Keeping Institut Le Rosey local A close friend of the Saanenland, Institut Le Rosey has been bringing students to spend the winter months in Gstaad since 1916. Close to four hundred students and 100 staff members relocate to Gstaad each year, providing a significant economic boost to the region. Moreover, it fosters long-term tourism as students grow to love Gstaad and often return with their families for many years to come. With the approved “Erli” project and expansion of Hubelstrasse, both the community and Le Rosey can now breathe a sigh of relief while they await official building approval from the canton. Courted extensively by other cantons and communities, such as Crans-Montana, Le Rosey has secured its nearly 100-year old home in Gstaad for future generations.

Gstaad International School Aquires Hotel Alpine Lodge BY: GSTAADLIFE

Gstaad International School has announced plans for a luxurious new campus within Hotel Alpine Lodge. Located between Saanen and Gstaad, the hotel is is comprised of two chalets, indoor and outdoor pools and a modern fitness centre. In the next few months, it will be partially transformed to integrate bright, spacious classrooms and common rooms. While Alpine Lodge will continue to operate as a hotel, attracting guests throughout the year, it will over time house the school’s older pupils. “The acquisition of Alpine Lodge is a natural step for Gstaad International School,’

commented Mark Malley, CEO of Bellevue Education Group, which acquired the school in 2012. “The school already offers a unique learning experience for its pupils; now they will benefit from unrivalled facilities and accommodation.” Home to several of the finest international schools in the world, the Gstaad/Saanenland region has been offering a first-class education for over 100 years. While the famed Le Rosey and John F. Kennedy International School host a majority of pupils, the petite Gstaad International School proves good things come in small packages. The school, which recently became a Boarding Schools’

Association (BSA) member, has historically maintained low pupil numbers and small class sizes for a personalised learning environment. A private reception will be hosted at Alpine Lodge on Saturday, June 29. Invitees are welcome to learn more about Gstaad International School and its educational philosophy at the event, as well as connect with staff and administration. The Gstaad community is very important to the school, insists Executive Headmaster Christopher Sanderson, who hopes to strengthen existing ties by closely engaging with residents and local businesses.


High Court Ruling Throws a Wrench into Local Construction BY: ALEXIS MUNIER

In a recent decision, Switzerland’s Federal Court ruled that the controversial second home initiative would go into effect March 11, 2012, the date voters approved the measure to limit holiday homes to a maximum of 20% of a commune. This supersedes the implementation date of January 1, 2013 named earlier by the Administrative Court in Canton Graubünden – which had ruled that this date was implied, since the initiative did not specifically state that it was due to take effect immediately. That ruling was the first regarding the initiative, and as such it was widely assumed it would prove applicable in other cantons as well. However, the final Federal Court ruling stops all construction on secondary residences with permits issued March 11, 2012 and beyond. Building permits had soared last year as homebuyers and builders scrambled to build housing before the law went into effect. This moratorium is a move many believe will jeopardize not only the construction industry, but the entire social fabric of the region. “My first thought was, it can’t be true,” says Ruedi Trachsel, mayor of Lauenen, who expressed shock and disbelief at the ruling. Others voiced similarly negative views, including Bernese government official Christoph Neuhaus, who stated in an SRF1 interview that Canton Bern has once again hampered business and tourism development.

“When secondary residence owners are in the region,” explains Hans-Peter Spychiger, business owner and former president of the Saanenland Chamber of Commerce, “they use local infrastructure extensively and support local restaurants, stores and businesses.” The loss of this this critical revenue does not sit well with many residents of the Saanenland. Coupled with a decline in tax revenues and decreased investment in local sports and cultural activities, the effects of the second home initiative could prove exceptionally challenging for the Gstaad area. Where there’s a will, there’s a way The new restrictions on the construction of holiday homes will impact the majority of Switzerland’s Alpine tourist destinations. Saanen is just one of the 573 communes which are now facing an uncertain future. Nationwide, more than 250 building permits filed during 2012 are still awaiting for approval from the Federal Court. However, finding a way around the restrictions might not be impossible in certain cases. Currently the federal government ‘working group’ tasked with drafting the legislation itself could consider excluding municipalities that are set to host entire village-type settlements. Billionaire Sami Sawiris’s Andermatt project, which consists of constructing nearly 500 apartments and homes as well as five ho-

Photo: AvS

The argument for secondary residences Nearly half of all dwellings in the Saanen-

land, 49 per cent, are second homes. The local economy relies heavily on the business generated by the building and maintenance of these homes, as well as the money homeowners pour into the community while present.

tels with 844 rooms as a self-sustaining resort village, is an example of what could benefit from a ‘free-pass’, depending on the wording in the legislation. Other ideas might include permitting the adaptation of existing first homes into second homes. Such behaviour could be allowed for several reasons, including but not limited to family motives or the preservation of historic village centres. Silver lining to the potential consequences Some experts disagree, including environmentalist Franz Weber and his organisation Helvetia Nostra, who pioneered the initiative. They believe despite the economic challenges, the law is needed to preserve Switzerland’s natural beauty from overbuilding. Some local builders have stated that although jobs may be lost, a majority of those employed in the construction industry are temporary or seasonal workers from Europe; in other words, permanent Swiss residents will not bear the brunt of the new unemployment numbers. “We just don’t know exactly how the scenario will play out,” confesses Hans-Peter Zingre, owner of Zingre Chaletbau in Saanen, “but we can’t forget there’s a good side to the cap on secondary homes. We simply couldn’t have continued to build at the rate we’ve had for the past two decades – there wouldn’t be much land left. Most important is staying positive and dealing with the issues created by the initiative as they develop.” Country mouse vs city mouse The difference in attitude between Swiss who live and work in the Alpine areas and those who live in urban areas or towns not so dependent on tourism has been made very clear by the initial vote in 2012. Nationwide, 50.6 percent voted for the initiative. In Canton Bern, 54.9 percent voted in favour, but in Saanen an overwhelming majority – 82.8 percent – voted against the initiative. “No matter which way opinions sway, the federal implementation law will be decisive,” states lawyer and notary David Matti of Matti & Matti in Saanen, who also serves as president of the Saanenland Chamber of Commerce. “A draft of the implementation law should be published in the shortly, and it is expected to enter into force in about two years.”

Secondary residence construction falls flat after Switzerland’s Federal Court decision

For the moment, all Saanenland can do is wait.



Entertainment Events Calendar

Friday, June 21, 2013 through Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday, June 21 Saanen «Saaner Proms» – Open-air Concert Corale Alpina Savonese from Ligurien/Italien Oliver Marti, Blockflöte, Preisträger Prix Walo 2012

Friday, June 28 Saanen «Saaner Proms» – Open-air Concert Militärmusik in Concert Militärspiel Rekrutenschule RS 16-1

Events Calendar

Saturday, June 22 Lauenen Theater Night “Truth” Theater in Swiss-German starring Isabelle von Siebenthal.

Saturday – Sunday, June 22–23 Saanen Bernese Oberland Song Festival A festival for all senses, an event where some local families meet with each other and sing as choirs. Saturday – Sunday, June 22–23 Zweisimmen Nightwalk in Zweisimmen Easy hiking trail near Zweisimmen with stop at the Mannenberg ruins. Thursday, June 27 Thursday, July 4 Thursday, July 11 Saanen Guided Tour of Saanen Every Thursday at 4 p.m. we show you through the beautiful village and interesting museum of Saanen. Thursday, June 27 Thursday, July 4 Thursday, July 11 Lauenen Guided Tour of Lauenensee Interesting tour with a local hiking guide through the wonderful nature reserve. Friday – Saturday, June 28 – 29 Football Festival Football Festival in Saanen.

Saturday, June 29 Lauenen Popular Entertainment Musical evening at the Hotel Alpenland. Saturday, June 29 Lauenen Mountain Theater at the Geltenhütte Zu Fuss von Hütte zu Hütte, im Rucksack ein Freiluft-Theaterstück wahrer Schweizer Bergsteigergeschichte. Sunday, June 30 Zweisimmen Orchestra ColCuore From classical to romantic music as well as pop – there’s something for everyone.

Friday – Sunday, July 5 – 14 Zweisimmen Open-air Cinema The Open-air Cinema makes a stop at the “Bärenparkplatz” in Zweisimmen. Sunday, July 7 Feutersoey Alpine Festivity on the Alp „Walig“ Sermon on the Mount at 10.30 am. by Family Perreten followed by „Suufsunntig“ with the „Treichlerklub Gsteig“, music with the „Ländlerfründe Walopsee“ and vocal Jodelclub „Lauenen“, and nomination of the prettiest cow. Tuesday – Sunday, July 9 – 14 Gstaad FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Grand Slam Gstaad 2013 The world’s best Beach Volleyball teams compete on Gstaad’s Center Court.

Friday, July 5 Gstaad Senior-Day at the Wispile Enjoy a nice summer day at the Wispile. Pensioners pay only CHF 5. Friday, July 5 Saanen Summer Party in Saanen The Summerparty with live music in the middle of Saanen to 2 a.m. Friday – Sunday, July 5 – 14 Gstaad Davidoff Saveurs - Gourmetweek Culinary gourmet week for bon vivants.


Clubs Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Christian Sieber (026 / 924 45 25) Program: Rot. Pascal Rey (026 / 925 10 00) 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 Philippe Werren, president, 033 748 84 00, philippe.werren@werrenag.ch, https://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch

Church Services St Peter’s Anglican Church English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm

Employed writer seeks poodle-friendly living arrangement two days/week in Saanenland – Pays-d’Enhaut. All options considered. French, English, German spoken. bigtopvintage@gmail.com 0765590378

www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: cliveatkinson@bluewin.ch

Important Numbers Ambulance 144, Police 117, Fire 118 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 Dental Care Center 033 744 15 45 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 Veterinary 033 744 35 31 / 033 744 06 61 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/useful-numbers.html

Friday, June 28 Gstaad Oldtimer-Rally Peking – Paris One of the toughest classic car rallies in the world makes a stop in Gstaad.


15 February 2013 - Issue 2 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT

Advertise in GSTAADLIFE and you’ll reach a diverse audience. No matter what your product, service or company, you‘re sure to be noticed by chalet owners, hotel guests, Anzeiger von Saanen subscribers and many more. Issue dates: Friday, July 12, 2013 Friday, August 2, 2013 Friday, August 23, 2013

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


Photo: Jonas Bach

Last Word

Why sweat it out in a gym when you can attempt to beat the ‘Taki Cup’ record up Wasserngrat, on foot in the summer or snowshoes in the winter?


Gym rats from Los Angeles all the way to Gstaad are as addicted to fitness as some people are to drugs and alcohol, though they manage to be more annoying and a lot less fun. People love to say they are either coming from, or going to, the gym. Even worse, they often walk around in their fitness clothes as though this were a suitable way to appear in public. Treadmills are like hamster wheels. Gyms smell like sweat and are full of people you don’t want to see, unless you fancy the muscly type. The bathrooms and saunas are breeding grounds for verrucas and other ghastly microbes requiring medical treatment. On top of all that, you have to pay for it. Some gyms are so outrageously expensive that one could feed an whole tribe for a year on the monthly fees alone. Yet for some reason, many people still love going to the gym. Is it the adrenaline they crave? Are they merely staying fit? A bit vain? Or are they escaping some sort of weighty obligation like child-rearing? Probably all of the above. And I don’t blame them. I only wonder how they manage, considering all of gym life’s negative aspects.

Why sweat it out in these expensive dungeons when all you need do to stay fit is to get outside and take a walk, ride, or run in the park? I am no fitness freak, although I do like to exercise outdoors. I spent years going to a gym, taking yoga classes, sweating up a storm at Barry’s Boot Camp, and taking aerobic dance classes to get in shape, but I don’t anymore. Nothing beats a bit of fresh air. Whether that means swimming, playing tennis, walking up a mountain, cycling, skiing or langlaufing, exercise should really be taken outdoors. If you are lucky enough to live or spend time in Gstaad, you have innumerable choices right outside your door. This year, an outdoor boot camp will be offered through the Gstaad Palace. It only costs five grand per week, but at least you get to stay at the Palace. Or you could try and beat your own record by doing the Taki Cup over and over again, if you are a member of the Eagle Club (and even if you are not). The Taki Cup involves climbing the Wasserngrat on foot in summer and on snowshoes in winter. The best time is somewhere under 45 minutes. My record is abominable – it usually takes me the better part of a

day to get up there, but I enjoy it nevertheless. I shan’t try and beat the record lest I make one of our outrageously fit male climbers look bad. So don’t worry, boys, I won’t be catching up anytime soon. Madonna, on the other hand, might catch up, despite her age and apparently exhausting sex life. She’s the ultimate fitness freak and seems to have taken a liking to our little valley. Fortunately, she isn’t yet a club member. But who knows? She should learn how to ski first on the baby slopes at the Eggli, where she has been photographed taking a few nosedives. Despite the weirdest weather and longest winter I have ever known – it snowed in Gstaad as late as early June – now the sun is shining and we can all get in better shape. Better yet, we can get out of the gym and up the mountain before we end up looking and smelling like the love child of Borat and a female bodybuilder. Gyms are dead. But the hills are alive.


Profile for Müller Medien

GstaadLife, June 21 2013  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad

GstaadLife, June 21 2013  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad

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