G R A N D H O T E L PA R K · 2 9 W I S P I L E N S T R A S S E · C H 3 7 8 0 · T H E A L P I N A G S TA A D · 2 3 A L P I N A S T R A S S E · C H 3 7 8 0 ·
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January 30, 2015 - Issue 1 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT
LOCAL SKIER # 1 Von Siebenthal Named Best in Country
C IS FOR COMPROMISE Les Arts Gstaad Reveals Revised Plans
THE REICHENBACHS Sleigh Rides in the Saanenland
MASSIMO NAVA Massimo grew up in Como, Italy and although he left for Germany and then France as a young man, he maintains close ties to his roots. He often takes his wife and children to this beautiful part of Italy for holidays and to visit family. In 1988, at age 20, Massimo took a job in Lugano and in 1990 arrived in Gstaad for the ﬁrst time, beginning with a position at the Rialto as barman. He soon fell in love – not only with the area, but with a very spirited
and pretty young woman. Their romantic wedding was, naturally, held on Lake Como, but they decided to settle and bring up their two lively daughters in Gstaad. When the Hotel Bellevue re-opened its doors in 2002, Massimo took over as Chef de Bar, advancing to Maître D within just two years. When he was hired away to the Olden in 2005, a perfect accord seemed to take
place, and Massimo has been an integral team member ever since As Maître D, Massimo is also in charge of the famous Olden Bar and the celebrated winter restaurant ‘La Cave’. His welcoming smile and friendly personality have won the Olden many loyal customers. They come back with friends and family to celebrate events and birthdays in ‘La Cave or ‘the Bar’ relying on Massimo’s talents to create a successful evening.
Where tradition begins Hotel Olden ll Promenade 35 ll CH-3780 Gstaad P +41 33 748 49 50 ll F +41 33 748 49 59 email@example.com ll www.hotelolden.com
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Photo: © Delphotostock – Fotolia.com
Love (& the Swiss Franc) Conquers All We are living in uncertain times. It’s not just the snow, which has finally made an appearance in late January. The winter season can truly begin. But will it? If the weather keeps its icy grip on the region, tourists can start flooding our ski slopes. But will they? With the National Bank of Switzerland’s unexpected abandoning of the cap on the franc’s value against the euro, panic has set in for the Swiss tourism industry. Despite a full Christmas holiday period, sources conﬁrm the hotels are struggling to ﬁll all their rooms. Already under ﬁnancial pressure, will the Saanenland continue to attract guests from Eurozone countries? And what of the ruble’s mysterious overnight plummet in December and further devaluation this week? Will our Russian guest base, which has been growing signiﬁcantly in recent years (note the Russian language signs in the Gstaad Palace if you’ve any doubt), shrink like a raisin, or should I say beetroot, in this bright winter sun? Art Is Where the Heart Is Speaking of Gstaad’s unclear future, an in-depth look at the revamped Les Arts Gstaad project gives Foundation President J. Markus Kappeler the chance to share his vision in this January issue. We’ve heard from the very vocal opposition in the past, yet key players in the region, like Gstaad Tourism, hotel directors, and local politicians are now voicing their support for the proposed cultural and arts centre. Whether you’re for or against
the project, the fact remains that, without a strategy to keep Gstaad buoyant and attractive to tourists, our position as a top Swiss resort destination may slowly melt away. The multi-faceted interior designer, furniture and landscape designer Hom le Xuan shares his design philosophy with GSTAADLIFE as well. Causing a sensation in the German press after a cover story appeared in Architectural Digest, Hom le Xuan is fast becoming one of the biggest names in industry today. Showstopping, Heartstopping Gstaad Despite all this uncertainty, one thing is for sure–the show must go on. And what a show we put on here in the Saanenland! What better way to enjoy Mother Nature’s winter show than the sleigh rides and excursions led by the Reichenbach family of Lauenen? This industrious family does everything from building their own wooden carriages to raising their own horses; I can practically hear the Jingle Bells as I write. But all the fun here isn’t happening outside. Indoors, the partying never stops, especially at some of the newest hotspots in town. From T-Bar and 16 on the Wasserngrat, from Parmigiani CEO Jean-Marc Jaccot to Pharrell Williams, famous faces have been seen at famous places around town. Meanwhile, contributor Januaria Piromallo
was forced to report on each luxurious fête, poor thing. Images of Love (and Life) If photography’s your thing, plan to visit former Rosey student and current Gstaad resident Marshall Vernet’s exhibition. Vernet’s love for the lens led him to leave a high-proﬁle Hollywood career and make his home once again in the Saanenland. The fruits of this passion are a series of stunning black and white works, which will be on display in Gstaad just in time for his alma mater’s Valentine’s Day alumni weekend. Speaking of Hollywood, columnist Mandolyna Theodoracopulos is crazy about legendary producer Harvey Weinstein. In her ode to this king of ﬁlm, Theodoracopulos proves she’s open-minded enough to embrace someone with whom she, and her father, disagree on many fronts. But that’s love for you… All You Need Is Love Perhaps the currency crisis, unseasonably warm winter, and tourism concerns are here to remind us–just in time for Valentine’s Day–that love conquers all. And in the end, it’s our love for the Saanenland that will save the day. May your Valentine’s Day be ﬁlled with good chocolate–or paying customers!
Best regards, Alexis Munier Editor in Chief
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Between the arrival of Pharrell Williams and the long-awaited snow, Gstaad has plenty to be happy about. DANO â€˘ www.dano-cartoon.com Cartoons for Newspapers, Parties, Events
Photo: Anita Moser
Magazine 3 4 21 22
Letter from the Editor by Alexis Munier Cartoon by DANO Last Word by Mandolyna Theodoracopulos Events Calendar
6 6 7
Gstaad Palace Names New Director Compilation of Jacques Naegeli Photographs Released Le Rosey Pleased with Temporary Housing Solution
Gstaad Living 8
Les Arts Gstaad Unveils Updated Development Plans
Arts & Culture 11 13
"Silence Within Walls" Vernet-ssage 'Tis the Spirit – Sommets Musicaux 2015
Sports & Leisure 16 17
Photo: Januaria Piromallo
Sleigh Rides in the Saanenland – The Reichenbach Family
Number One Nathalie von Siebenthal Gstaad Yacht Club's Busy Winter Season
Lifestyle 19 20
The Three Faces of Hom le Xuan Do We Party? Yes, We Do!
Cover Photo: Michael Föhn/Anzeiger von Saanen www.anzeigervonsaanen.ch
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gstaadlife.com, www.gstaadlife.ch // Management Board: Frank Müller // Publisher: Frank Müller, email@example.com // Editor in Chief: Alexis Munier // Contributors: Januaria Piromallo, Mandolyna Theodoracopulos // Layout: Epu Shaha // Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 033 744 46 64 // Subscriptions: Flurina Mutzner, ﬂurina.email@example.com, Phone: 033 748 88 74
CONTENTS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Romuald Bour, left, and Andrea Scherz, right, celebrate Bour's promotion to Director, Gstaad Palace.
Gstaad Palace Names New Director Romuald Bour has been named director of the Gstaad Palace. Andrea Scherz, the third generation to run the family hotel, will remain in his position of General Manager.
The 37-year old Bour, who is Alsatian by birth, graduated from the Ecole Hotelière Strasbourg in 1992. He gained experience at luxury establishments in England and Austria before relocating to Switzerland.
“Romuald is my right hand man,” beams Scherz, whose grandfather acquired the hotel after WWII. “He understands the Scherz Family philosophy and demonstates it every day with his engagement in the business.”
His is a classic tale of working one’s way to the top; Bour began at the Palace as a cashier in 1999, then moved on to positions as food & beverage manager and eventually assistant director. He continued
his studies in Bern, obtaining a diploma in Hotel Management in Bern in 2011. “Even after 15 years, I'm still proud to come to work every day,” says Bour, when asked what he enjoys most about the Palace. “Our co-workers and regular guests are like family, which gives the Palace its incredible, and very unique, atmosphere.” www.palace.ch
Jacques Naegeli Compilation Published A hardcover book on legendary local photographer Jacques Naegeli (1885– 1971) has just been published under the title, Welt & Gstaad.
Gstaad and the region –Naegli's images adorn the walls in many places and recall beautiful memories for locals and visitors alike.
Welt & Gstaad is part of a greater project which has been exhibited at Saanen’s Museum der Landschaft since December 2014. It features a short ﬁlm with historic restored clips of Naegeli’s ﬁlm works.
This is the ﬁrst volume to provide holistic examination of Naegeli’s work–until now his well-known works had never been compiled or discussed in entirety. Naegeli grew up in Gstaad and lived here for most of his life. During a career which spanned over 50 years, Naegeli's iconic photographs were taken both here in the Saanenland and on numerous trips worldwide. He left a signiﬁcant mark throughout
The book is written in German and features 296 black and white photographs. It is available for purchase at Müller Medien and at all bookstores in Gstaad and Saanen.
Welt & Gstaad, edited by Suzanne Potterat and Christian Högl, is the only compilation of the famed Jacques Naegeli's photo-
LOCAL NEWS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
graphic works currently available.
Photo: Anita Moser
Le Rosey Updates on Campus Status With the opening of several new chalets at the Gstaad Sports Centre, Le Rosey has a temporary solution to its growing problem of housing students. BY GSTAADLIFE
While they await an ofﬁcial response to current objections at the cantonal level, the municipality of Saanen provided this opportunity to appease the school, whose current Ried campus is bursting at the seams. “We’re really happy in the new chalets,” says Philippe Gudin, Director, Institut Le Rosey. “It’s a blessing that they were offered to us so quickly by the community–for this we are truly grateful.”
Trouble in Paradise Yet despite their current satisfaction, Le Rosey is adamant that this is indeed a temporary solution and will not last indeﬁnitely. “The chalets at the Gstaad Sports Centre will hold us for another two to three years, but not longer,” says director Christophe Gudin. “We need to have a single, modern campus where we can have sufﬁcient space for housing.” “The difference between school life in Rolle and Gstaad is quite shocking,” says Director Philippe Gudin, who will retire shortly, handing over the school’s management to
son Christophe. “Our Rolle campus is stateof-the-art and is large enough to house all our activities like cooking, sculpture, art, music and gymnastics/ﬁtness. Here in Gstaad we are struggling to offer students any congruity in their indoor activities.”
Approval and Appeals Timeline The Erli project received an approval from the Canton of Bern last year, in spite of several quite vocal objections. The opposition is spearheaded by both locals and national advocacy groups like Helvetia Nostra, which fear the project will blemish the Erli meadows and mar the area’s tranquil Alpine surroundings. The opposition is now on its ﬁrst level of appeal to the Canton, and a decision should be made before this April. If a compromise cannot be reached to reassure the opposition and have their objections rescinded, the ﬁrst appeal to Switzerland’s Federal Court will be placed. If the answer were positive and the opposition decided to keep their objections and go for a second appeal to the Federal Court, another nine months to one year would be needed to reach a ﬁnal decision. In this, the worst case scenario, a ﬁnal decision for approval would not come until spring 2017, if it came at all. With an additional two years allotted for construction,
Le Rosey’s new campus would not be operational until the Fall 2020 semester. “All this said, we are conﬁdent that compromises can and will be reached,” says Philippe Gudin. “Le Rosey treasures its time here–and we are quite sure the Saanenland does not want to disrupt this mutually beneﬁcial relationship, which has been going strong since 1916.” The school, which has a large campus near Lake Geneva in Rolle, traditionally spends the winter in the Saanenland–bringing more than 600 total students and staff to the region, and providing a welcome economic boost.
February Alumni Weekend The AIAR (Association International d'Anciens Roséens) is unique because Roséens keep a very strong link with their friends and alma mater. Each year, the school organises an Alumni Weekend packed with events and activities for the hundreds of former students who attend. 2015 marks Le Rosey's 100th winter in Gstaad, and will also see Philippe and Anne Gudin retire from their positions in day-to-day school management.
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Les Arts Gstaad, Part Deux Last Chance for the Arts Centre to Gain Approval The revised plans for Les Arts Gstaad, the ambitious concert hall and cultural centre proponents say will reinvigorate the Saanenland, will soon be available to the public. After this second public inspection procedure, opponents will again have the right to submit objections to the project. The controversial performing arts centre has had its share of both critics and supporters–yet the new, improved plans are designed to ease those objections by compromising on certain issues.
seasonal tourism trend and provide a steady stream of guests to the region.
BY ALEXIS MUNIER
Local support is also at an all-time high. Gstaad’s Director of Tourism, Martin Bachofner, stands fully behind the project. Bachofner also believes Les Arts Gstaad is in line with the key strategic objectives of the region and could secure the region’s future as a top tourism destination.
Several of the Les Arts Gstaad founders have been working on the project for more than ten years now. The project is envisioned as a ﬁrst-class concert hall and cultural complex that the Les Arts Gstaad team hopes will bring year-round tourism to Gstaad. The Saanenland’s tourism industry has always been seasonal in nature; recent attempts to become a yearlong tourist destination have all fallen by the wayside. Les Arts Gstaad supporters say that a centre offering a wealth of concerts, exhibitions, small conferences, and events could attract thousands of visitors to the village all year round. This could help to reverse the
Foundation President J. Markus Kappeler is convinced the project will breathe new life into Gstaad. “Especially since the Secondary Home Initiative passed, the Saanenland needs to become a year-round destination," says Kappeler. "Les Arts Gstaad offers us this opportunity."
“Even a snowless Christmas like we just had could be a boon for Gstaad, with day-trippers coming to visit the mountains, or a speciﬁc restaurant, in addition to an offering at Les Arts Gstaad,” says Bachofner.
Ofﬁcial Objections to the Project In spring 2014, Saanenland residents were able to examine the detailed ordinance
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on display at City Hall and make their objections to the proposed Les Arts Gstaad project. As a result, concerned locals ﬁled seventeen ofﬁcial complaints against the building ordinance no. 79 “Les Arts-Ried”. "Objections are opportunities,” says Kappeler. “We seriously evaluated all justiﬁed objections and have found solutions to many of them. We’ve made several compromises to address the opponents’ concerns.” Of the ofﬁcial complaints, ﬁve have been resolved or withdrawn. The remaining 12 complaints fall into the categories of aesthetics, location, disruption, and geological concerns. Aesthetics and location are the main points of contention, however, for locals who oppose the project. The NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) sentiment is pervasive amongst those who live near the proposed construction site on Ried, and the noise and disruption is an issue as well.
Too Big for Its Britches? Some residents believe that the sizable Les Arts Gstaad is simply too large for both the plot of land where it would be built, and the residential setting of which it would be a part. Several chalet-style buildings–
rather than the monolithic centre now proposed–would be a better ﬁt, according to these naysayers.
station level. Another minor improvement is a choir gallery with mechanically adjustable platforms.
The centerpiece of the project is the concert hall itself, whose acoustics are expected to be world-class. To maintain this level of sound quality, Kappeler says the size of hall can only be reduced by two metres. The size of the concert hall, which would seat up to 1200, has been called into question in the past.
Looks Aren't Everything Critics have also called out the look of the centre as well, which they believe is not in keeping with Gstaad's trademark charm. Complaints have not been voiced about the unusual interior, which has in fact been awarded much praise. Les Arts Gstaad will resemble a crystal cave or rock grotto–an effect achieved by light-ﬁlled, open, jagged planes with relief recesses up to 40 centimetres deep. The exterior, however, has been the subject of much criticism.
“It begs the question: In addition to the chamber concerts in Gstaad’s beautiful churches, do we really need such a big concert space for large orchestras?” Anita Heutschi outspoken member of the opposition, has previously noted. Kappeler insists the concert hall's modular feature will allow for adjustments suit each concert's requirements in terms of ambience, acoustics, and audience. “Acoustics and comfort are of upmost importance to us,” says Kappeler. Using the Foundation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny as an example, Les Arts Gstaad team expects to draw crowds to a series of events and concerts. Temporary exhibitions could draw half of what the Gianadda does, around 400 visitors per day, according ofﬁcial estimates. Three dozen concerts yearly are in store as well, which organisers say could range from the largest Menuhin performances to concerts of all musical styles. Les Arts Gstaad would replace the Menuhin tent, which has been criticised by both performers and audiences for its mufﬂed acoustics.
While the building style is modern and certainly unique, the design does aim to be harmonious with its surroundings, according to Kappeler. “Rudy Riciotti has respected the local architectural style, so the centre will ﬁt nicely into the village,” insists Kappeler. As Riciotti himself has said in the past, “It is a project that integrates with respect and humility…but does not strain its rural and alpine surroundings.” But not everyone sees it that way. Addressing these concerns, Les Arts Gstaad’s biggest compromise is the reduction of the concert hall’s height by two metres.
While this is a minimal improvement for those who see its size as a major deterrent, there are also structural beneﬁts. This means the depth of the excavation pit has been reduced, which will allow the parking garage to span one sole level. This would eliminate the need for additional underground levels. Location, Location, Location The location of the centre has also drawn criticism. Yet proponents say that the Les Arts Gstaad site is centrally located, with public transport at its door. Building the centre will not require the removal of any farmland or agricultural areas. While large, it will not occupy more space than the Menuhin tent, which currently stands all year long, even though it is used only as the main venue for the two-month long summer classical music festival. An access road made available through tunnel construction has been on the agenda for more than two decades, 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. Concerns have also been raised about the slope of the site. Regarding such concerns, Les Arts Gstaad has made several
Local organisations could beneﬁt from the centre by renting rooms and space for their club meetings or seminars. For Michael Bach, Musician and Head of the Saanenland Obersimmental Music School, Les Arts Gstaad is a blessing as it will provide a new home for the school. “Our region deserves to have a beautiful concert hall which does justice to the rich variety of concerts,” says Bach. Spatial planning has been revised in the building’s interior as well: An indoor courtyard will be built in the foyer and event space has been moved to the bus
Les Arts Gstaad Foundation Presdient J. Markus Kappeler at the future construction site.
GSTAAD LIVING // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
changes after their architects, engineers, and a geologist all reviewed 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.
Paying the Piper The costs of the project are not insigniﬁcant. CHF 150 million is needed in total. This will be comprised of construction cost and an operating fund. The CHF 50 million operating fund will also cover any deﬁcits, renovations, or additional improvements that come up. Of the CHF 100 million needed to build on the plot, CHF 75 million are for the concert hall and backstage rooms. From the remaining CHF 25 million, CHF 10 million have been earmarked for the exhibition and event rooms and CHF 15 million for transport infrastructure, of which CHF 8.5 million are for the parking garage, CHF 4 million for general bus station improvements, and CHF 2.5 million for opening up a pedestrian area at the bus station. The community of Saanen is expected to contribute approximately CHF 15 million to the project, to cover the transport-related costs listed above. CHF 16 million has come
from private donors, and Les Arts Gstaad expects an undisclosed amount expected to reach several million from the Swiss Lottery Fund. However, Kappeler stresses that more funds are needed to ensure the total CHF 150 million is reached. This undetermined amount will need to be raised before the project can commence. Previously, another CHF 35 million was needed to secure the Menuhin Festival portion of the plan, however the Festival has now declared it will raise those funds itself, which comes as a relief to the Les Arts Gstaad team. “We have two objectives: easing the worries of local residents as much as possible and reducing costs without compromising the quality of the overall project," says Kappeler. The Future of Les Arts Gstaad Les Arts Gstaad has now reached a crucial stage. Major players in the community have come forward to embrace the centre, but without full support and further funding, Kappeler is afraid the project might be abandoned once and for all. ."Europe already has too many arts and cultural centres," sighs Heutschi, who feels abandoning the project is for the best.
GSTAAD LIVING // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
"Better to keep our beautiful little chalet village in natural surroundings." Kappeler, however, believes otherwise. "With Les Arts Gstaad, we aim to continue the high-level link between tradition and innovation that is typical for Gstaad," says Kappeler.."The centre will be a much welcomed extension of current offerings, with music, ballet, art, and literature for regular guests. For new guests, it will be the best reason to visit!" The revised plans for the centre will be presented in early 2015 during the public inspection process. In order for Les Arts Gstaad to proceed, the municipal assembly must approve the project during a vote on the building ordinance, loans, and contracts. Kappeler hopes this will occur by mid-year. If indeed planning consent is given, the Board of Trustees of Les Arts Gstaad must approve it with a qualiﬁed majority. The tourism board, several hotel owners, and prominent local businesspeople are all on board. But ultimately it's the people of Saanenland who will decide the fate of the fabled arts centre–by acknowledging and supporting Les Arts Gstaad as an integral attempt at turning Gstaad into a year-round tourist destination, or not.
Photos: Marshall Vernet
"Silence Within Walls" Vernet-ssage Le Rosey-Trained Local Photographer Presents New Exhibition Le Rosey alum Marshall Vernet is bringing his striking photographs to Gstaad just in time for the school’s 100th winter in the Saanenland celebration.
Rosey,” Vernet admits. “My ﬁrst few rolls were shot on campus in Rolle and Gstaad during my attendance from 1969–71, and many of them made it into our yearbook.”
The Saanenland is just one of many places to host Vernet’s series, but it’s here that he feels the series is “coming home,” much like he did himself several years ago.
Vernet was based for many years in Los Angeles, where he worked on feature ﬁlms before turning his visual skills toward directing television commercials for prestigious clients worldwide. Now pursuing his ﬁrst passion, photography, Vernet is back at his old stomping grounds in Gstaad. The photographer has released a series of highly graphic black and white works entitled “Silence Within Walls”. The series features photographs taken with Vernet's special technique, which adds density and contrast before being printed on cotton paper, giving the feel of a charcoal drawing.
as well as in Paris at the art&miss Gallery in the city’s Marais neighbourhood. The Samasi Gallery on Gstaad’s Cheseryplatz will host Vernet’s photographs from February 12–27, 2015, Monday through Saturday from 3 to 6 pm and by appointment. www.33-rpm.fr facebook@marshall vernet images
“I deﬁnitely caught the photography bug here in Switzerland,” says Vernet, at his quaint chalet that faces the Rosey campus on Ried hill. “It has been in the past three years that I ofﬁcially spend my time (when not traveling and shooting) here in Gstaad both in-and between-season.”
Merci Le Rosey In a sense, Vernet has the school to thank for his career as a photographer.
Exhibition in Gstaad The AIAR (Association International d’Anciens Roséens) has been a big help in promoting Vernet’s work. It's no coincidence that Vernet has chosen to host his exhibition during the Rosey alumni weekend to show his thanks to the organisation.
“The only formal photographic training that I ever had was through the photo club at Le
“Silence Within Walls” was shown at the Milan Image Art Fair in Singapore this past fall,
Marshall Vernet, Photographer.
ARTS & CULTURE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Château-d’Oex – Gstaad Valley Two opportunities to settle down in a very enjoyable village
* Le Hameau de Vert Pré *
* Le Domaine des Bois *
Come and have a look at our show Apartments in both residences The new residence “The Hameau de Vert Pré” is full of charm and authenticity. It’s located at the edge of an agricultural area, just minutes from the village centre. This unique location guarantees optimal sunshine and stunning views over the valley and surrounding mountains. Apartments with 3 to 6 rooms. Very large terrasses or balconies for each apartment. Basement garage. Finished to owner’s liking. 300 meters from the railway station. Réf. 200 – From CHF 610 000.–
Ideally located in the centre of Château-d’Oex, “Le Domaine des Bois” is close to shops and the railway station. This new residence, comprising apartments of 4.5 or 7,5 rooms, offers you the opportunity to make a good investment and to enjoy a peaceful and happy existence in the heart of the local community life. Large balconies or terraces for each apartment – underground parking space. Finished to owner’s liking. Ref. 300 – From CHF 750 000.–
Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information. Our ofﬁce is opened 6/7 days CF Immobilier Compagnie Foncière SA Rue du Village 40 – 1659 Rougemont Tel. +41 26 925 10 00 – info@cﬁmmobilier.ch www.cﬁmmobilier.ch
GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Photo: Miguel Bueno
'Tis the Spirit Sommets Musicaux 2015 Presents Thierry Scherz's Last Programme A beautiful yet bittersweet musical celebration is in store for this year’s Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad. Honouring the spirit of their late artistic director Thierry Scherz, the ten-day festival will feature a selection of music for harp by some of the most masterful young performers today. BY GSTAADLIFE
The Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad 2015 will present the last programme designed by Thierry Scherz, the artistic director whose tragic death shook the community last year. As Scherz Intended Entirely faithful to his wishes for the programme, the classical festival will present the harp as its instrument muse. “The harp has existed since time immemorial, played by ancient civilisations the world over, ” says Ombretta Ravessoud, the event’s co-founder and chief executive. “The secret of the harp’s charm lies in its timbre, always discreet...veiled…otherwordly.”
Scherz invited Ivan Fedele as composer-in-residence and selected Emmanuel Ceysson to mentor the festival’s group of young harpists, who will perform each day at 4 pm to the public. The choice of Ceysson shows the continuity of the festival, which named Ceysson laureate when he studied here under famed harpist Xavier de Maistre in 2005. Now, Ceysson himself is back to mentor the new group of young performers. Festival Highlights Teen violin prodigy Daniel Lozakovitj and sweet-timbred soprano Inva Mula, a close friend of the late Mr Scherz, are just two of the celebrated artists who will perform during the the Sommets Musicaux. Other highlights include Ivo Pogorelich with the Sinfonia Varsovia, who will play, amonst other works, Fedele's Epitafﬁo and Chopin's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 2 in F minor. “Thierry’s exquisite programme, and the fragile, poignant harp might be his way of reminding us of his presence,” comments
Ravessoud. “The harp and its ethereal sound, so close yet so far away...despite the fact that Thierry is far from us now, his memory brings us so much joy.” Famed Violist Takes the Helm Embracing a bright future for the festival, Renaud Capuçon has been selected as the new artistic director. The French violinist will inaugurate the 2016 festival with an as-yet-undisclosed programme. With the experience of an international career spanning more than 20 years, Capuçon will oversee the Festival alongside Ravessoud. "I’m very happy to be part of the team of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad and to be devising a musical programme beﬁtting this glorious venue. I’m thrilled to be setting out on this new adventure.“ The Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad runs January 30 to February 7, at various venues across the Saanenland and Pays-d’Enhaut. www.sommets-musicaux.ch
ARTS & CULTURE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Photo: Hans-Ueli Tschanz
Love & Marriage, Horse & Carriage The Reichenbachs Talk Family, Farming & Sleighmaking INTERVIEW BY ALEXIS MUNIER
It all started with a big idea from a little farmer. At just 16 years old, the industrious Ueli Reichenbach decided to offer his horse and carriage services to Saanenland hotels. Fast forward a quarter of a century–Ueli Reichenbach, along with a helping hand from his wife Julia and father Ernst, runs a plethora of custom carriage rides through the forests surrounding their farm in Lauenen. The family's “car” collection includes three carriages, ﬁve stagecoaches, and three sleds, which the family makes exclusively by hand. Carriage construction is a Reichenbach speciality–they are one of only several businesses to do so in Switzerland. In fact, many carriages used in Switzerland are made in Poland. Reichenbach sleighs are now in demand across Europe, with limited orders available. In addition to their woodworking atelier, the Reichenbach’s maintain a small farm with horses and dairy cows. Horse breeding, raising, and training is important to the family’s work; afterall, they need at least ten horses to pull certain carriages transporting large groups. The Reichenbach farm is truly a family affair. Father and son cut and prepare the wood, turning each sleigh into a work of
art. The soft, supple sheepskins which line the carriages and sleds are hand sewn by Ueli's sister Edith. Cousin Gottfried also lends a hand when needed, helping with the horses and sled making. In addition to training the horses, Julia runs administration and is the point of contact for guests. Nestled under a warm sheepskin, GSTAADLIFE sat atop a sleigh with the Reichenbachs to discuss their work.
GL: How many generations has your family been in Lauenen? UR: Oh that’s hard to say–we go way back. Reichenbach is a very old family name from the village. There are actually two different branches, but most Reichenbachs you’ll meet in Switzerland can trace their lineage back to our little valley.
about leaving, I fell in love with Ueli. I wanted to ride horses again, and someone recommended Ueli to me. I’ve been riding since I was seven. My uncle had several horses, and it was always my dream to live on a farm. I also learned to drive the carriages–Ueli taught me about 13 years ago.
GL: How long does it take from start to ﬁnish to make a sleigh? UR: Making a sleigh can take a year or more, depending on the other work that needs to be done on the farm. We start normally during the off-season in April and May. But then, there is the haymaking in the summer, which takes up quite a lot of our time. The last sleigh was started in last spring, but summer 2014 was so wet that the grass couldn't be cut mechanically; we had no choice but to harvest by hand. We are just putting the ﬁnishing touches on the sleigh now.
GL: How did you come to the region, Julia? JR: I grew up in Northern Germany, but came to Gstaad in 1999 to work at one of the local hotels. The ﬁrst winter here was very snowy and I just fell in love with the mountains. And then, just as I thought
PROFILE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
GL: What features make your sleighs unique? UR: We paint our sleighs green and red, which is one of our trademarks. Another is the rounded corners of the sides. That’s
welding we do in tandem with our farrier, who also shoes our horses. Making a sleigh can take a year or more, depending on the other work that needs to be done on the farm. Ueli Reichenbach
GL: Speaking of horses, what type do you have? JR: We raise Franches Montagnes, an old horse which traces its roots to Switzerland. In fact it’s the only original Swiss breed alive today.
pretty unusual–if you see a sled like this it has deﬁnitely come from our workshop. GL: How much time is required to maintain the horses? GL: What is needed in the construction process? UR: Quite a few things go into making a carriage. We need wood for the chassis, iron for the rails, sheepskin for the interiors, wheels and paint. Mechanical items, like a hydraulic pump to attach the wheels and a wide variety of tools are also vital.
GL: Which type of wood do you use? Do you cut the wood yourselves?
GL: How many years does it take to train a horse for your purposes? Are both males and females used? JR: Yes, both males and females are used. Whether or not we keep the horse for training depends on its character, like with humans! Usually the basic training takes a full year, and from that point on it just varies according to the details and
Photo: Michael Föhn
JR: We exclusively use ash from the region for the sleighs. We do nearly everything on our own, except some of the wooden slats we give to a woodworker for curving. Everything which requires
JR: The horses require daily care, of course. Either they are here in Lauenen with us, or up on our small “Alp” in the summer. We used to have several dairy cows and made cheese and milk, but we are slowly concentrating just on the horses.
which tasks you’d like your horse to perform. Normally all horses can be trained eventually, it just takes time and patience.
GL: Why is the Franches Montagnes breed the best for carriage pulling? JR: They are not the best, but we like them anyway. It is an old farming breed–robust and easy to keep, with a mostly pleasant character.
GL: Can you tell us a funny story of the most exciting or interesting carriage ride you’ve ever given? UR: There have been many funny and interesting moments over the years. Every sleigh ride is special because of the guests who ride with us. From locals to celebrities, they all enjoy their time in the sleighs, and it makes us happy to share our way of life with them. www.kutscherei-reichenbach.ch
Sleigh Ride Specifics Think carriage rides will cost you an arm and a leg? Think again. For a reasonable fee, which starts at just 30–40 CHF per person, you'll get whisked through the snow while comfortably seated in one of the Reichenbach family's handmade wooden sleighs, carriages, or stagecoaches. Several routes are available for sleighrides, from a classic tour through the Rohr nature preserve to Lake Lauenen, to customised itineraries according to the season and outside temperature.
Ueli Reichenbach (seated, left) takes a break from driving to enjoy a ride with father Ernst
For a touch of romance, an antique wedding coach is available for storybook nuptials or a memorable anniversary ride. Fully serviced parties may be arranged, with catering and decorations to suit any style. Held at a historic chalet on Lake Lauenen, your group can relax and bask in the warmth of a cosy ﬁre, sipping hot wine and eating fondue before heading back into the winter cold.
PROFILE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Number One Nathalie von Siebenthal Lauenen’s own Nathalie von Siebenthal is making a name for herself in the world of professional cross-country skiing. BY GSTAADLIFE
Descended from a long line of farmers, the 21-year old von Siebenthal was working with her family and their dairy cows before taking up skiing professionally just two years ago. Her father taught her to ski at a young age, but until she joined the Swiss team in 2012 she had little time outside her busy farming work schedule to train. Monkey Ski, Monkey Do Recent successes include an outstanding ﬁnish, 17th place, at her ﬁrst Tour de Ski. The Tour de Ski is made up of seven races in nine days. von Siebenthal had low expectations going in, as this amount of races was a new challenge for her. The Tour de Ski didn’t start with a bang however. Von Siebenthal began in 48th place
in the ﬁrst race, a 3-km skating course in Oberstdorf. But race by race, speed and strategy allowed her to manage a successful ﬁnish. By the second race, she had already managed a big jump to ﬁnish in 26th place. When the Tour de Ski was over and done, the petite "Lauenerin" stood at 17th place with 110 total points.
The Lady from Lauenen Comes Out On Top
"It's a great feeeling," says von Siebenthal, "I gained a lot of experience in this race. To get to the top, you have to give everything you've got, every day." Next Stop, Kazakstan Von Siebenthal’s goal for the season is to secure a medal at the U23 World Cup in Kazakstan in February. She will head to the World Cup with a ranking of 35th place, making her the best Swiss cross-country skier. If her recent successes are any example, von Siebenthal has more than a ﬁghting chance of making that dream a reality, and making the Saanenland proud.
Nathalie von Siebenthal proudly sporting a medal at the Tour de Ski 2015.
GRAND GOURMET FEBRUARY 2015 AT THE GRAND HOTEL PARK
Andrea Migliaccio Capri Palace (Capri, Italy) Two Michelin stars
18 FEB. Benoit Violier
Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville (Crissier, Switzerland) 3 Michelin stars
SPORTS & LEISURE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Lau Kwok Keung Grand Hôtel Kempinski (Geneva, Switzerland)
Busy Season for Gstaad Yacht Club A Series of Events and Future Challenges Await The winter season is off to a great start for the Gstaad Yacht Club. Highlights include three sporting events, and a plethora of other activities are in store.
Antonis Drosopoulos at the prize-giving ceremony. “For 4th time in a row, GYC won the Monaco Optimist Team Race. Congratulations to all the teams for their effort.”
BY GSTAAD YACHT CLUB
Pleased with the event itself, Drosopoulos commented further,“It was the best edition of this event, with the organising and racing committee doing a ﬁne job despite difﬁcult conditions. Yacht Club Monaco offered a high level and warm hospitality to us and we will be glad to come back for the 2016 edition!"
Regatta in Monaco The GYC Otpi Team celebrated its 4th victory in Monaco January 15–18, 2015. 64 young sailors from 13 different countries, between 11 and 15 years old, shared their passion for sailing in Monaco. These keen sailors were able to reach maturity in terms of tactics and strategy. They sailed on Optimist vessels offered by the shipbuilder Erplast (each team brought their own sails). This year four new nations entered the competition: Algeria, Denmark, Finland, and Austria. The regatta started with strong winds on Thursday, when the teams sailed the ﬁrst part of the qualiﬁcation (Round Robin) on the sea. GYC’s team won six out of seven races and placed in the leading position. In contrast to the ﬁrst day, there was no wind at all on Friday and no races could be sailed. Thanks to a great alternative program with ice carting, this day became a big success as well. The qualiﬁcation was ﬁnished on Saturday in front of Monaco’s spectacular harbour. At the end of the “Round Robin”, GYC maintained its spot as number one. After a moderate start in the quarter ﬁnals on Sunday (best of three) and losing against the Belgian team, success became possible once more. Two wins in a row brought the GYC team back and qualiﬁed for the semi-ﬁnals. Here they sailed and won against the Yacht Club of Aquitaine, qualifying for the ﬁnal against the team of HSS Helsinki. In a tantalising ﬁnal race, HSS Helsinki kept its leading position until the last mark, where the GYC team came from behind, beating them and winning the ﬁnal. "It was a really tight last racing day, and I’m proud of our hard work,” said GYC coach
Future Racing Events Spring and summer events are already taking shape. GYC is invited to the Gran Canaria Team Race in March together with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Solent Daring Class, the Royal Malta Yacht Club as well as the Real Club Nautico de Santander. In July, the club is invited to the 200th Anniversary Regatta of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Being the ﬁrst reciprocal club of the GYC, it has steadfast intentions to send a delegation to the team race announced for all members under the age of 30. World-Class Events On the social side the Gstaad Yacht Club will organise, as usual, diverse events which guests of GYC members are wholeheartedly welcome to attend. Speaking of Which... Andrew Winch, founder of Andrew Winch
Through the four years of organising, the Centenary Trophy in the Mediterranean the GYC has become a strong force in classic sailing. For lovers of classic yachts, later on this winter season Toby Walker will have a talk about the complete reﬁt of the classic sailing C&N yacht “Orion of the Seas”. This will include a photo history of the rebuilding process and discussion about the perils and joys of bringing a classic yacht back to perfect condition. Signings and Screenings GYC is delighted to offer its members the chance to meet Yoyo Maeght, and for her to sign each guest’s edition of her book“La Saga Maeght”. Later on in the season Natasha Fraser-Cavanossi and Ariel de Ravenl will present their book on Lou Lou de la Falaise. Screenings of documentaries and other ﬁlms include the unique opportunity to see award-winning IMAX documentary JERUSALEM narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch in mid-February. The event will be followed by a Q&A with producer George Dufﬁeld. Currently playing on IMAX screens worldwide, this documentary shows an exceptional vision of JERUSALEM.
Photo: © Jesus Renedo – Sailing Energy
Olympic Preparation for GYC Members GYC’s Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger of the Nacra 17 team continued their successful path ﬁnishing 3rd in the 2nd Olympic Test Event for Rio.
Designs, presents 30 years in yacht design. Based in London, Winch has won all of the industry’s most coveted design awards. Initially focused on designing luxury yachts, over time the company has added private jet, architecture and interior design to its specialities.
GYC Nacra 17 Team members Matías Bühler & Natalie Brugger are one step closer to Rio.
SPORTS & LEISURE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
THE HISTORY The House G.R. FISCHELIS was founded in 1966 when father, Raymond, and son, Gerard, formed a partnership to open a retail store with their own atelier located on Avenue
under the mentorship of the brand’s in-house master craftsmen – joined the company with the desire to continue and build on the family’s tradition of artistry and know-how.
Mozart in the 16th arrondissement, a prime Paris neighborhood.
As a result of using only the ﬁnest quality skins, demonstrating exquisite workmanship, providing a skilled made to measure atelier – as well as unique and sophisticated styles – they rapidly established their brand and secured their position as a leader in their ﬁeld. In 2004, Gerard's son, Benjamin, the 3rd generation – after completing his apprenticeship
Today, the brand is recognized by an international clientele throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the USA. In France, it is also distributed in the French Alps in Megève and Courchevel. Each year with the brand’s newest collection, G.R.FISCHELIS’ faithful customers return to experience the exceptional service and personal attention they receive in helping them select gorgeous and irresistible pieces, whether it be a sumptuous mink
coat, a chic sable jacket, or a lavish chinchilla bolero, for example. Recently, a new line of fur and leather accessories, including handbags, clutches and hats – as well as bed covers and throws – was introduced to complement the brand’s signature outerwear collection. Timeless, with an urban and sophisticated attitude, the G.R. FISCHELIS line of jackets, vests, parkas and coats is available in an extensive array of styles, materials and colors. “Made almost entirely by hand in Paris, the G.R. FISCHELIS collection is the ‘art of craft’, as deﬁned by the haute-couture tradition.”
THE COLLECTION: A/W 2015 Furs are fantastic this winter, and G.R. FISCHELIS is offering a breathtaking new collection to fit today’s lifestyle, from casual day looks to glamorous evening styles. The “art of craft” is at its best this season with skillful workmanship and a “play on skins”; patchwork and collage effects – as well as long hair and short hair combina-
tions – add new volume to give the newest furs a whole new dimension. The colors, from jeweled shades of blues and emerald to deep sensuous reds and burgundies (plus mystic purples) create a mood of sophistication and ... attraction. Color creates emotion, excitement and allows furs to effortlessly go from season to season!
When it comes to silhouettes, anything goes: from short boleros and cropped jackets to parkas, cardigans, dufﬂe-coats and trenches; made all the more dazzling when done in the ﬁnest quality Sable, Chinchilla and Minks. For A/W 2015, it’s all about individuality, sensuality and modernity you can enjoy throughout the fall and winter – even early spring!
Come discover the exclusive collection of exceptional furs at the Grand Hotel Park, Friday through Friday, 13th to 20th February, from 11am to 9pm and indulge yourself!
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Photos: J-C Planchet / zVg
The Three Faces of Hom Le Xuan Stand-Out Designer Makes the Most of his Time in Gstaad One thing Gstaad doesn’t lack is art or design galleries. When shopping for that perfect coffee table or bronze sculpture, there are a wealth of options on the Promenade. Yet only one artist combines the disciplines of interior design, interior decoration and landscape architecture. BY GSTAADLIFE
At Hom le Xuan’s gallery on the Promenade, something unusual graces the window display. A custom bathtub deﬁes traditional boundaries. The display is like Hom le Xuan himself–beautiful, reﬁned, with a touch of whimsy. The sculpted bronze bathtub will transform the bathroom of a local chalet into a real living area.
The Nature of Design Gstaad’s ‘Come up, Slow down’ motto ﬁts right in with Hom le Xuan’s design philosophy. His gallery here is the ﬁrst to present new pieces, with an avant premiere for local chalet owners. “I literally come to Gstaad to breathe,” says Hom le Xuan. “I love the energy of Paris, but here in the Saanenland I refresh my batteries.” An avid walker, he can often be seen combing the local trails both in summer and winter. Amongst the trees and ﬂowers, Hom le Xuan says he feeds the “calm center”, which inspires his work.
So it comes as no surprise that Hom le Xuan is fast becoming a household name in Western Europe. His reﬁned elegance, easy charm and excellent sense of humour have made Hom le Xuan something of a media darling. The December/January 2015 German edition of Architectural Digest lavishes praise on his designs. As for those designs, here in Gstaad they're for our eyes only, or rather, our eyes ﬁrst. The gallery will host an exhibition of paintings by Themis Woellwarth-Lauterburg on February 3, followed by the vernissage of Hom le Xuan's new collection, featuring the spectacular bathtub, among other items, on February 17. www.homlexuan.com
Stand Up, Stand Out Hom le Xuan’s works are tailored to seamlessly integrate into their surroundings, yet still manage to stand out. Strong materials and clean lines dominate his furniture. Many pieces could be mistaken for purely aesthetic objects of art. Yet, even Hom le Xuan’s sculpted bronze chairs hide an unexpected comfort, which is not often the case with such designs. Hom le Xuan is a master sketcher, and has been drawing since childhood. Descended from an ancient royal Vietnamese family steeped in culture, he had the opportunity to pursue a career in the arts and architecture in Paris, where he makes his home when he’s not in the Saanenland.
‘Homely’ Xuan Limiting Hom le Xuan’s work to a single genre is mission impossible. “What I do is much more than add a ﬁnal touch,” insists Hom le Xuan, “It’s a spirit that encompasses a complete lifestyle.” It’s this lifestyle that many of his clients lead. Most have several international bases, with chalets in Gstaad as well as homes in the South of France and apartments in Paris or London. Hom le Xuan is often asked to design and furnish them all. With projects in the UK, United States, France and Switzerland, Hom le Xuan is a busy man, sought after worldwide. Yet, he still takes time to smell the roses, or more appropriately, the rosewood.
Hom le Xuan, designer and decorator.
LIFESTYLE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Photos: Januaria Piromallo
Do You Party? Yes, We Do! Waiting impatiently for winter's arrival, some "glacial“ artists made the best of their pre-snow performances. BY JANUARIA PIROMALLO
Never has there been an icier start to a snowless season: Vodka shots served as miniature sculptures with frozen orchids at the Olden; a full-size ice bar accompanied by the strains of beautiful violin music at Lorenz Bach’s Promenade cocktail, and a deer sculpted from ice embracing the terrace at the 16 on top of the Wasserngrat. Other highlights from the season thus far include Parmigiani Fleurier’s oyster and champagne-laden soirée at their Gstaad boutique, and Charlotte Casiraghi’s charity gala at the Grand Park Hotel. Hadn’t heard about that one? No surprise; she arrived in secret.
Cyril Jonay, Princeton student.
16 played host to another fabulous affair, a full afternoon and evening gathering by Nicole Jonay, the guresse of beauty at the Bellevue. Lunch was followed by dancing and swinging under the blue sky up until sunset and the last drop of vin brûlé had been sipped. A candlelit dinner and panettone freshly baked in Milano were served. But that was not all – to top off the evening, an array of ﬁreworks coloured the night sky. Those who dared skied down with torches, while the less brave (or less sober!) took the cable car down. The recently opened T- BAR, which bills itself as an international Alpine gathering
spot, brings a new philosophy to town–relax, connect, and enjoy. The concept was designed by Jean-Pascal Bach, who decorated the bar with an old ski cabin and vintage pair of skis on every step. The opening party was hosted by Veuve Clicquot, with music by DJ Free G and spaghetti sciuè sciuè, of course. In attendance was Edoardo Francia, the designer behind the Avrone sunglasses which have taken Gstaad by storm. But the hottest winter parties are perhaps yet to come. February’s roster looks quite full already, with Le Rosey’s 100th year in Gstaad gala and the Innocence in Danger fundraiser sure to be some of the highlights.
Left to right: Unknown, visual artist Felice Limosani, Parmigiani's Jean-Marc Jaccot, Doris Kovacs
LIFESTYLE // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Photo: © Andrew Bayda – Fotolia
I For those of you who have never heard of Mr Harvey, he is the mega producer responsible for most of the good movies that come out of Hollywood. BY MANDOLYNA THEODORACOPULOS
Mr Harvey's list of hits is long and his ﬁlms have received many awards. You have probably seen one of his movies even if you didn’t know he produced the picture. Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Il Postino, Good Will Hunting, Cold Mountain, The Aviator, and Silver Linings Playbook to name just a few. Stories out of Hollywood travel far and wide, and of course Harvey Weinstein is the sort of guy whose reputation precedes him. You might have heard the rumour that Mr. Weinstein throws telephones at the heads of his employees when he isn’t getting what he wants. You might also have heard the rumour that he made Gwyneth Paltrow get on her knees before he gave her the lead in Shakespeare in Love. There are countless other canards coming out of Los Angeles, but who has the time for all that nonsense? Though many people are roused by these triﬂes, I am not impressed by rich people or by famous people, I’ve met too many of them to bother. Having spent the better part of a decade in Hollywood and most of my life in New York, London, and Gstaad, I’ve met a lot of them. Most rich and/or famous people have no manners, no humility, and nothing interesting to say. The exceptions prove the rule. Now that I have met Harvey and his wife, Georgina, I can say he’s one of
the exceptions. At least he was in my case. Thankfully, I am not looking for a job! The Palace lobby might as well be the center of the universe, at least where Harvey is concerned. It was the night after Christmas, or thereabouts, and I found my way to the bar after dinner in the Fromagerie. My friends and I ordered a few drinks. Low and behold, sitting just below me at the corner table was Mr. Harvey and his wife. They were with another couple who as it happened, knew my husband. Mr. Harvey was on his Blackberry, as busy people tend to be, but I didn’t let that stop me. I leaned down and whispered into his ear as he continued typing on his machine. “Forgive me for bothering you, Mr. Weinstein” I said. “But I hear stories. My father tells me stories, lots of stories, and I am wondering if a story he has told me is actually true.” He was listening, though he didn't turn around to look at me and he didn't say a word, he kept on typing. I kept on whispering in his ear while trying not to fall off my stool as I was leaning over too far so he could hear me. I went on, “my father says you want to make a movie about him. My father’s name is Taki. Is this true?” “Your father is Taki,” he asked. “Yes, he is.” He put his phone down. “I love your father.” This surprised me a bit because I am sure my father had written some horrible things about him many moons ago, Harvey is the sort of guy my father would knock blind. At this point I introduced myself to Mrs. Weinstein. She is about my age and ex-
tremely beautiful. She is also very charming, very polite, very successful, and easy to talk to. She made me laugh. After we chatted for a while Mr. Harvey got up and said he was going to his room. He insisted we take his table and that the bill be sent to him. It was hard to turn him down so I made sure we ordered the cheapest drinks on the menu. The next day Mr. Harvey joined us for lunch at the Eagle Club. He was 45 minutes late but couldn’t have been more entertaining once he ﬁnally got there. We talked about my father’s movie, which will surely never make it to the silver screen. But maybe Mr. Harvey’s promise to help my father write his memoirs will come to pass. We spoke about the Sony hack and the Kim Jong Un spoof. Harvey told stories, Taki told stories. I hope he had a good time. We certainly were amused to have Harvey Weinstein join us for lunch. He is obviously a smart, talented guy. He’s also pretty funny. Behind it all, Mr. Harvey is a family man. He comes to Gstaad over Christmas with his wife and children. His mother-in-law comes too. They all stay at the Palace. Why wouldn’t they stay there? It’s the best. As I am not a huge fan of Hollywood types, I cringe when they turn up in Gstaad. I hate to think of all the low-lifes who will follow them to my little bit of heaven. Fortunately they usually don’t know anyone and tend to leave as quickly as they come. Sometimes they stay, though. Do they get bored of Hollywood? It’s no surprise if they do, sycophants are banal after a while. But only after a while. And since it’s early days, I Harvey!
LAST WORD // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
Events Calendar Friday, January 30 to Thursday, February 19, 2015 Fri, Jan. 30 – Feb. 3
Fri, Feb. 6-7
Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad
Björnstadlauf Cross Country Race
Array of concerts featuring worldreknown harpists and up-and-coming musicians.
Sat, Jan. 24 – Feb. 1
Fri, Feb. 6
Bach Organ Recital With Ada van der Vlist Walker, 7:30 pm
Thur, Feb. 19
Rinderberg Kind and Queen Football, contests, and music
English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm
Thur, Feb. 19
www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Night Skiing on the Rinderberg 6 pm
International Hot-Air Balloon Week Fri, Feb. 6 37th annual festival in Pays-d'Enhaut
St Peter’s Anglican Church
For further details please visit: www.gstaad.ch
Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels
8 pm, all are welcome Fri, Jan. 30 – Oct. 15
**** * GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, email@example.com
Saanen Sat, Feb. 7 – 8
Welt & Gstaad Exhibition Photographs by Jacques Naegeli
Swiss Championship Motoneige
**** * GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, firstname.lastname@example.org
Experienced teacher gives
**** * LE GRAND BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, email@example.com
Two-day event Fri, Jan. 30 – Apr. 30
Gstaad Wed, Feb.11
Gravity Meditation Works by Pascal Fiechter
38th Ludi Cup Slalom race on Wispile
Fri, Jan. 30 – Apr. 5
Blankenburg Wed, Feb. 11
Silhouette Exhibition Works by Ann Rosat and Ueli Hauswirth
Night sledding on Sparenmoos Every Fri and Sat at 6:30pm Fri, Jan. 30
Fri, Feb. 13 – 14
Gsteig 24-Hour Race Two-day event
Zweisimmen Fri, Feb. 13
Trio concert Palitra
Welt & Gstaad Film Concert Film of Jacques Naegeli's works
7:30 pm Fri, Jan. 30
Saanen Sat, Feb. 14
8 pm, all are welcome
8 pm, all are welcome Fri, Jan. 30
Assembly of Gsteig and Feutersoey
Sat, Feb. 14
8:15 pm Fri, Jan. 30
Sat, Feb. 14
Artists Mr Brainwash & Hijack Exhibition and opening party Gstaad Sat, Feb. 14
6th Landi Cup
Valentine's Night on Wispile Fondue Chinoise and entertainment
Kids' slalom race, all day Gstaad
Wed, Feb. 18
Night Skiing on Zückerli, 7 pm Fondue Chinoise and entertainment
Photo: © Daniel Loretto – Fotolia
8 pm, all are welcome
EVENTS // GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
**** * THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, firstname.lastname@example.org ***** ERMITAGE, WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL +41 (0)33 748 04 30, email@example.com *** * BOUTIQUE HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, firstname.lastname@example.org *** * GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, email@example.com **** HOTEL LE GRAND CHALET +41 (0)33 748 76 76, firstname.lastname@example.org **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL +41 (0)33 748 43 43, email@example.com **** HOTEL BERNERHOF +41 (0)33 748 88 44, firstname.lastname@example.org **** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA +41 (0)33 744 51 21, email@example.com **** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, firstname.lastname@example.org **** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, email@example.com **** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, firstname.lastname@example.org **** STEIGENBERGER ALPENHOTEL AND SPA +41 (0)33 748 64 64, email@example.com ** * HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, firstname.lastname@example.org ** * HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, email@example.com *** HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Tues, Feb. 17 – 18
Sledding and fondue, 7 pm
Full Moon sledding on Eggli
Thur, Feb. 5
For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers.html
Valentine's Night on Wispile Fondue Chinoise and entertainment
8 pm, all are welcome Tues, Feb. 3
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
Wed, Feb. 4
for all ages in German, English and French. Tel. 079 257 65 94
8 pm, all are welcome Fri, Jan. 30 – Mar. 7
inexpensive language instruction
Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Christiane Griessen (079 / 432 73 93) 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, email@example.com gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch
*** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, firstname.lastname@example.org *** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, ofﬁce@alphorn-gstaad.ch *** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, email@example.com *** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, firstname.lastname@example.org *** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, email@example.com ** * HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94, firstname.lastname@example.org ** * HOTEL SPITZHORN +41 (0)33 748 41 41, email@example.com *** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42, firstname.lastname@example.org *** SAANEWALD LODGE +41 (0)33 744 69 69, email@example.com *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA +41 (0)33 748 44 22, firstname.lastname@example.org HOTEL RESTAURANT BÄREN +41 (0)33 755 10 33, email@example.com
Soroptimist International President: Heidi Gafner-Keiser Tel. 033 748 83 15 Program: Stephanie Iseli Tel. 033 744 18 33
HOTEL GELTENHORN +41 (0)33 765 35 91, firstname.lastname@example.org HOTEL VIKTORIA +41 (0)33 755 10 34, email@example.com HOTEL WILDHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 12, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SMALL SCHOOL BIG HEART Boarding and Day School
The ﬁnest sable furs and cashmere collection made in Italy. New Location: Promenade 6A at Marina Anouilh Showroom (ex Grima) – Gstaad l T +41 (0)33 744 34 07 Amina Ru bi nacci
Boys and Girls ages 4 to 14
John F. Kennedy International School Chilchgasse 2 | 3792 Saanen | Switzerland T: +41 33 744 13 72 | email@example.com | www.jfk.ch
IONS G, SOLPUATIN TTEER TIN F ENERGY E B E R A O E T R S E TH HEN IT COMG ON THE COSTROST RIPES W FOR SAVIN ED OU WE‘VE EARN
WE LT& GSTA AD SILENT FILM CONCE RT NIGHT With Original Films by Jacques Naegeli (1885 -1971) Concert by Pierre Omer & Julien Israelien Friday February 13, 2015 at 21:00 Restaurant Wildhorn, Lauenen
www.werrenag.ch Phone: 033 748 84 00
GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 1 // JANUARY 30, 2015
The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad