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Friday 25 January 2013 - Issue 1 - CHF 3.50 excl VAT



· Les Arts Gstaad is ready for building input


· Opening of The Alpina by Prince Albert II · New manager at Benoît de Gorski · Z’Loft became Saanewald Lodge · Protection & aid for animals · The Obayda family in Switzerland · Gucci opens in Grand Hotel Park · Celebration at Grand Hotel Bellevue · New Louis Vuitton store in Gstaad COLUMN

· Xenia Rules

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Friday 25 January 2013 Page 3

Contents Letter from the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Local News Les Arts Gstaad: The project is ready for building input . . . . . . . . 5 Implementation of second home initiative . . . . . . . . . 7 Opening of The Alpina by Prince Albert II of Monaco . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 New ski bus in a 15-minute cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Roger Moore in Gstaad to watch his granddaughter’s school play . . . 9 New manager in jewelry store Benoît de Gorski . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Protection and aid for animals . . 10 Z’Loft became Saanewald Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Obayda family in Switzerland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Chalet Jewels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Money Matters Local News

Events Local News


Gucci opens store in Grand Hotel Park Gstaad. . . . . . . 16 The Six Senses Spa at The Alpina Gstaad . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 New Louis Vuitton store in Gstaad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 The peg will be abolished over the next 2 to 3 years . . . . . . . . . . 18 Celebration in historical costumes at the Grand Hotel Bellevue . . . . 18 Watch out for ski-thiefs . . . . . . . 19 Hotel Bellerive: Restaurant with a new look . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Events calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Russian icons at the Gstaad Palace Hotel . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Gstaad needs shops to be opened during the whole year . . . . . . . . . 21 Xenia Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Anne Hathaway, Madonna, Valentino and many more, sparkle in Gstaad It takes just a few snowfalls and a little top class piste combing to get a slice of the world’s celebrities frequenting Gstaad. Late last year, at a members only to know date, more than 200 ASMALLWORLD members gathered for a three-day winter weekend party at the Gstaad Palace. ASMALLWORLD is an exclusive, invite only, members social network club for which members from afar flew to be in Gstaad. “Some from Tokyo and Vancouver,” said ASW Chairman Patrick Liotard-Vogt at the opening party in the lobby of the Palace, on the Friday night as Tara Reid, Xenia Tchoumitcheva, Patricia Knoerr and Alexandra Friedli


warmed themselves in front of the fire. Suffice to say apart from the usual discretion and privacy on offer to visiting celebrities, some of the star-studded cast of Gstaad this winter just didn’t go unnoticed. At the top of the bill must be Anne Hathaway and her husband Adam Schulman, who together with Madonna and her now 16-year old daughter Lourdes, were in town over the New Year. Anne Hathaway was seen walking along the Promenade in the company of two of the fashion world’s

most respected icons, Valentino and business partner Giancarlo – Giammetti, who are long-term patrons of Gstaad. Lourdes was spotted casually skiing on the Wasserngrat and it was reported in New York tabloids that Valentino supplied the caviar, champagne, décor and fireworks for a private party that was touted as the hottest New Years-eve invite in Europe. Since the time of David Niven and Elizabeth Taylor’s days in Gstaad up until now, the sparkle of Gstaad continues to be found, not only in its fresh snowflakes.

also on www.gstaadlife.com

Gstaad LIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, E-Mail: info@gstaadlife.ch, Website: www. gstaadlife.ch Management Board: Frank Müller Publisher: Frank Müller frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch; Columnist: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos Translations: Anja Brand Editorial: Anita Moser, Januaria Piromallo, Franziska Raaflaub, Silke Frohloff, Michael Föhn, Blanca Burri Polygraph Team: Desirée Bach, Jonas Bach Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider peter.kuntze@gstaadlife.ch, Phone: 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Flurina Mutzner Phone: 033 748 88 74

LOCAL UPFRONT NEWS GSTAADLIFE IS AVAILABLE IN THESE HOTELS ***** GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch ***** THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, info@thealpinagstaad.ch ***** 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, gstaaderhof@gstaad.ch **** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com **** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch **** HOTEL STEIGENBERGER +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch *** HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch *** HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch *** HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, info@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 *** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, info@landhaus-saanen.ch *** 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

Picture on the Front Cover by: Gstaad Saanenland Tourism www.gstaad.ch

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Friday 25 January 2013 Page 5


Les Arts Gstaad: The project is ready for building input The representatives of Les Arts Gstaad announced in a media release that all necessary arrangements have been made in order to make decisions regarding the project. Artists, museum specialists and politicians praise Les Arts Gstaad as a unique opportunity. “If we do not seize the opportunity, others will,” says National Council Erich von Siebenthal. Les Arts Gstaad has now defined a utilization plan for concerts, exhibitions and other public events. The center is to be privately financed and to be built next to the train station in Gstaad. The foundation board informed that Architect Rudy Ricciotti and his team has moved on with the project by end of 2012, so the building application is now ready to be submitted. Lawyers and engineers finished the building ordinance no. 79 “Les Arts/Ried,” the authorities published it for participation, and it was also informed on several events.”

ing the tunnel, Schützen roundabout, bus station, parking area and MOB’s rail track improvement, are part of the building project, therefore can be evaluated by the population. Associations and legal representatives made use of the participation right. “The authorities are currently analyzing the most positive and constructive suggestions of incoming statements and will present the results in a report,” says the board. With this, the population will most probably be able to vote about the project in the last third of 2013.

Sale agreements and construction costs The project’s planned location, which belongs to the municipality and the MOB, has been secured by two agreements of sale, which have been registered in the name of Les Arts Gstaad. Furthermore, conditions for the parking area and the bus station will be linked to public transportation where clarified. “In order to avoid any risk regarding increased construction costs, negotiations are still running,” says the board. The project’s estimated costs are SFr 100 million.

Supported by artists, museum specialists and politicians In the latest newsletter, artists, museum specialists and politicians rated Les Arts Gstaad as a unique opportunity for the region. In an interview, curator of Kunsthaus Zurich, Bice Curiger grades the project as a respectfully tailored and glamorous solution. Les Arts Gstaad would also consider a co-operation with the Art museum in Zurich, in order to exhibit some of its collection in Gstaad. According to Curiger, the location of the center would be perfect: “It is situated next to the station - an ideal, unobtrusive place. The center is not showing off - its design is modern, but maintains the tradition of the buildings in the region.” Also Heinz Spoerli, former director of ballet and choreography of the Zurich Opera House, sees Les Arts Gstaad as a “great stage for ballet and dance.” Lovers of good performances would travel from afar to enjoy a good ballet. “This would be a great opportunity for Gstaad,” he says.

Analyzing participatory process The details for the allotment includ-

National Council Erich von Siebenthal also supports Les Arts Gstaad.

The Saanen population always believed in progress and realized visionary projects. “If we do not seize the opportunity, others will,” he says. The project will not secure the future of Gstaad and Saanenland; this needs an overall solution and a cooperation of all concerned areas. “But Les Arts Gstaad is a step in the right direction - especially considering the growth of the national and international development in the last decades.” According to von Siebenthal, the location at the station is the right one, as it would increase the frequency of public transport. The dimension and aesthetic of such a building always divides opinions. “More important is that an objective discussion can take place,” he says. “If the foundation board can present a credible financial plan, the population will give this ambitious project a chance.” “A brilliant decision” According to architect Rudy Ricciotti, it is important to embed the center in the landscape. It should be implemented in a way that it does not disturb the alpine surrounding. Urban forms would not be suitable for Gstaad. The foundation board has found the ideal location, together with the municipality. It would not be possible to

build apartments there, as it is too noisy. “Building a visionary culture and meeting center next to the train station, is a contribution for a sustainable development,” says Ricciotti. Financing Until the end of summer 2013, the following amounts have to be raised: - SFr 100 million for the construction of the cultural center (concert hall incl. side rooms, exhibition rooms, foyer, lobby, etc). - SFr 50 million for the operating fund to cover the operational costs over the years. - SFr 35 million for a financial strengthening of the Menuhin Festival. Board members J. Markus Kappeler-Steffen (President), Marco Strahm (Vice President), Helga Dobbs, Maja Hoffmann, Stephan Jaggi, Noëlle de Kostine, Hans Ulrich Märki, Dmitriy Rybolovlev, Jobst Wagner, Kurt Aellen (Building commission), HansUeli Tschanz (Fundraising). www.lesartsgstaad.ch TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE PRESS RELEASE & ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 21.12.2012  


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Friday 25 January 2013 Page 7


Implementation of second home initiative

It is difficult to say whether a construction boom can be expected. As a result of the second home initiative, the number of building applications increased in 2012. The authorities have permitted some of it and declined the objections of Helvetia Nostra. Nevertheless, many questions are still open and it is not yet predictable who will be able to finalize their building plans. The courts will decide in the end, says Governor Michael Teuscher. Based on Credit Suisse’s real estate monitoring, the Swiss Television reported 225% more applications in the region Obersimmental-Saanenland. There were in fact many, but the published number is exaggerated as the district office counted an increase of 30% comparing to

the year before, informs Governor Michael Teuscher. Up to the end of 2012, the Saanen municipality has granted 307 building permits in total (whereas 187 were submitted in 2012, the rest in the years before), informs Adrian Landmesser, planning department manager. Franz Weber’s foundation has submitted objections nationwide against building applications. “Until August 22, Helvetia Nostra only submitted objections if there was a clear sign of second home buildings. But after the Federal Council’s announcement that the resolution will become effective January 1st 2013, the foundation started to submit objections for all applications, also against extension

of hotels,” says Teuscher. Many questions still remain open regarding the implementation, except one thing. “The resolution will become effective on January 1st 2013 and communities which reached the limit of 20% secondary homes, will not approve new requests for secondary residences,” stresses Teuscher. It also has to be clarified if Helvetia Nostra has the legitimacy to submit objections. The canton Wallis has denied such legitimacy. “Helvetia Nostra has objected to all decisions,” says Teuscher. A building application approved in 2012 can still be objected against when the case is given to a higher court only in 2013. “We are still waiting for the first

decision.” The same issue will appear when the Federal Court would decide against Helvetia Nostra and denies its legitimacy for objections. “The question will be whether the decision from 2012 will be final or not.” It is difficult to say whether a construction boom can be expected. According to the cantonal construction law, building permits are valid for three years and can be extended for another two years. “It is not yet clarified if building permits for secondary homes can be extended,” says Adrian Landmesser. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 04.01.2013


Friday 25 January 2013 Page 8

Opening of The Alpina by Prince Albert II of Monaco After the official opening on December 1st 2012, the owners of the 5-star-superior hotel The Alpina, Marcel Bach and Jean-Claude Mimran and Managing Director Niklaus Leuenberger, invited guests to a private opening party on December 22nd 2012. Guest of honor was Prince Albert II of Monaco. 400 Guests part-took in the unveiling of the opening plaque. Star guest of the evening was British soul singer and Grammy-winner Josh Stone, who performed live in the ballroom of The Alpina Gstaad. Artists such as Larry Woodley and Bernhard Henchoz entertained

guests in the official parts of the hotel. Executive Chef Marcus G.

Prince Albert II of Monaco with owners Marcel Bach (left) & Jean-Claude Mimran (right).

New ski bus in a 15-minute cycle Gstaad Mountain Rides provides a new transportation system which already started in December 2012. Three separate routes through Gstaad, Saanen and Rougemont complete the existing offer of public transportation. People are transported to the mountain stations in a 15-minute cycle. “This is a clear commitment for reducing the individual traffic,” says Heinz Brand, member of Saanen’s municipal council. The new service was developed by the co-operation of the municipality and mountain railways. From December 22 to March 17, the ski bus runs from 9am to 5pm in a 15-minute cycle. In Saanen, the bus route starts at the train sta-

Lindner and his team provided the evenings’ culinary highlights.

tion with stops at Walischistrasse, Rübeldorf, Eggli Sesselbahn, Hotel Bellerive, Bellerivestrasse, Wyssmülleri, Schwimmbad and Saanen Oberdorf, back to the train station. In Gstaad, it starts at the train station with stops at Kinoplatz, OberGstaad, Gstaaderhof, Eggli main road, Eggli mountain station, Ski school and Wispile mountain station. In Rougemont, the bus stops at Les Allamans, Chemin du Rouet, Chemin du Perrex, La Clotze, Rougemont gare, Le Borgeaud and La Videmanette. The use of the ski bus is free for everyone, even without a ski pass. If this new service is well frequented, the system might be implemented permanently. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE PRESS RELEASE AVS 18.12.2012


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Friday 25 January 2013 Page 9


Roger Moore in Gstaad to watch his granddaughter’s school play BY JANUARIA PIROMALLO

Roger Moore and son Geoffrey.

Ambra with granddad Roger Moore, Joanna & Gareth Davies and her class of the JFK school. Roger Moore recently watched his granddaughter, Ambra, perform with all of her class of the JFK school, the brilliant comedy of Oscar Wilde “The importance of being Ernest.”

Roger smiled at the sarcastic comments about matrimony: “The engagement should not be too long or else it gives one the chance of finding out too much about one another, and that is never advisable.”

A fabulous piece of theatre concerned with paradox, parodies, farce, double lives, discovered identities, memory lapses all put together to make fun of a judgemental and hypocritical Victorian society.

The production designer for the show was the creative Anne Pleydell Bouverie. Under the ‘mise en scene’ of Joanna and Gareth Davies, both brilliant English drama teachers, Ambra played a perfect Lady

Kamalei von Meister & Eleonore Polumenti.

Bracknell, Duncan played the part of the flamboyant and flirting Algernon; the promised fiancè of Jack was played by Kamalei; Kimon and Azra as an entertaining priest and governess. Two perfectly dressed butlers Ugo and Jeremy served tartine and tea to the public. Sveva played the capricious Cecylie and Eleonore as Gwendolen. “Are you proud of your granddaughter’s performance Mr. Moore?

Lady Bracknell played by Ambra.

Roger Moore and Januaria Piromallo. I asked. With his ageless charming smile, looking at his movie producer son Geoffrey and his daughter-inlaw Loulu, answered: “I am proud of all of them and the show was an excellent performance worthy of a west end production”. The play took place at the auditorium of the Landhaus in Saanen. There will be a repeat show in February. Don’t miss it!


Friday 25 January 2013 Page 10

New manager in jewelry store Benoît de Gorski Thanks to those challenging jobs, the Gstaad based store provides the best conditions to represent the Benoît de Gorski store in Gstaad. Benoît de Gorski started 30 years ago in Geneva and is worldwide known for its unique creations, which are often inspired by Greco-Roman style. The owner and designer Benoît de Gorski was also very much involved in the success of Hublot. Robert Niklasiewicz. The Polish Canadian, Roger Niklasiewicz, has been living in Gstaad for 20 years. “I really enjoy the wonderful landscape whilst playing golf, as well as the contact with locals,” he said. In 1990, Roger Niklasiewicz moved from Canada to Switzerland, first working in Bern and later in Gstaad as a goldsmith.

He was most influenced by Andrew Grima, Court Jeweler of the Queen, who opened his boutique in Gstaad in the nineties. Grima was the Jeweler of the British Royalty and has designed many famous collections, such as the jeweled watch collection “About Time” from Omega. Therefore Roger Niklasiewicz designed jewelry for the British Royals during his work for Grima.

The store located at Alte Lauenenstrasse, has re-opened its doors in mid December 2012. With the young French brand “Messika” they would like to address adolescents, as their collection expresses a touch of “Rock’n’Roll”. The Parisian label “Poiray” is also now on offer - a brand that is known for its elegant and eye-catching style and is worn by women of all ages. The range of products includes watches from Parmigiani.

The creation of Benoît de Gorski’s designs remains the same: trying to find the most personal solution for every client. It is his biggest source of inspiration. “For example, when a woman has a stone that she would like to integrate in her jewelry collection, I listen to her wishes, while immediately starting to make sketches. Then, we start to customize the jewelry together. The wishes of my clients inspire my imagination”. The close relationship with their clients also delights new manager Niklasiewicz: “I am already looking forward to help clients to satisfy their wishes. Despite of the difficult economic situation, I am convinced of the future of Benoît de Gorski. The exclusive offer and ambiance in Gstaad are crisis-proofed.” TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY FRANZISKA RAAFLAUB AVS 21.12.2012

Protection and aid for animals For years, we have been supporting both national and international projects for animal protection, for example in taking care of dogs and cats in front of our house or whilst in Spain, Italy and France. It is always wonderful being able to help these creatures.

for some time. On July 9th 2012, we were finally ready. We, Brigitte Grundisch (President), Ulla Dreyfuss (Vice-president), Silke Frohloff, Martina Schade, Sofie Weibull, Mike Panic, Arnold Meyer, Jolanda Strähl, Renate Gysi and Floriana Kahn founded the association “We care protection and aid for animals.”

Even though we are not association geeks, we were planning to found an association for animals in need

We have made Arthur Schopenhauers’ thoughts our basic principle: “The world is no place built by mankind and the animals are no product to be used by us. Not mercy, but justice is what we owe to the animals.” Unfortunately, such justice is not often found. There are countless national and international associations for animal protection, but the

common goal is not yet reached: provide welfare for animals. Next to immediate help, our goal is to educate people in treating animals respectfully in order to achieve a change of mind. Founding an association takes some time, but is also simple. It is more difficult in that people are not losing their objective and it can be very intense at times. We are convinced that we may overcome the difficulties, as the animals deserve our attention. We are happy to announce a positive reaction towards the population. A lot of people want to help, therefore become members. For any questions regarding animals, please contact us via phone or e-

mail. Furthermore, we can help with lost animals and trap wild cats in order to give them medical treatment. Our current main topic is to keep the cat population on a healthy level. Therefore, we support farmers financially and take over the costs if they want to castrate their cats/tomcats. Contact details: Tierärztliches Zentrum Gsteigstrasse 5, Gstaad.


Opening hours: 8h00-12h00 and 14h00-18h00 Phone: 033 744 06 61 (during opening hours) / 076 534 14 59 (after hours). TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY SILKE FROHLOFF AVS 23.10.2012

Friday 25 January 2013 Page 11


Z’Loft became Saanewald Lodge Until last spring, the 3-star hotel in Saanenmöser was called Z’Loft Hotel. During summer, it was slightly renovated and reopened in the beginning of December with the new name Saanewald Lodge. “We are what we are, and we underline it,” says Urs Weisskopf, General Manager of Saanenwald Lodge. The hotel is situated on the same height as the golf course in Saanenmöser. The hotel belongs to Paul and Jean Peyer. The brothers from Geneva have been spending their holidays in Pays d’Enhaut since their childhood and owned a holiday residence in Rougemont for ten years now. When they heard that the previous Z’Loft was up for sale, they acted quickly. They like the architectural style of the house, which was built in 1964. “The commercial success is of course important, but the architectural aspect and representation of the sixties is important for the hotel,” says the General Manager, representing the owners. The old white and orange logo was removed; the colors Bordeaux and grey have replaced the previ-

Urs Weisskopf, General Manager of Saanenwald Lodge. ous look. Details of the sixties can be found in and around the entire building. In the vintage Stube, old ski helmets, posters and skies are hanging on the walls. Even though a new name also means a new start in terms of the marketing, the owners therefore decided to change it. “The hotel is surrounded by the Saanen forest, which matches perfectly with the hotel and its authentic concept,” says Weisskopf. It is most imporA Golden airbag at the Saanewald Lodge in Saanenmöser A giant airbag is now at the Saanewald Lodge in Saanenmöser for snowboarders and freestyle skiers to perfect their skills. The giant air cushion, called Bigairbag, guarantees a smooth landing. Some brave freestylers have already taken the plunge into the golden airbag which is sponsored by Saanen Bank. Thanks to this sponsorship the initiative will stay in place for the next three winter seasons.

tant for the owners that guests are not frequenting the hotel for the three stars, but for the warmth and individual style of the hotel. The 30 rooms were fully booked over Christmas and New Year. The General Manager thinks mostly active and sportive people will enjoy the lodge. The guest has to leave his car at the parking area at the station in Saanenmöser, and Saanewald lodge organizes further transportation. As the road leads over the ski slopes, it is closed from 9.00 to 17.00. The hotel has its own wellness area with Finnish sauna, steaming bath, infrared cabins and whirlpool (incl. outdoor whirlpool) and is only used by guests. During the winter season, the hotel has 18 employees and in summer 10. The restaurant and terrace are open to the public. Fabrizio Montalto is leading the kitchen with a team of two other chefs. “Our dishes are prepared with local products in an innovative way,” says Weisskopf. As a long-term goal, he plans to open the restaurant during the whole

year. The Big Airbag for jumpers is again installed in front of the terrace. Slow movement and slow life are the main keywords used by the hotel manager. The owner’s primary wish for their guests is to relax during their holidays. “There are too many offers stressing people even during holidays. We want to be different,” he says. Until the sale of Z’Loft last spring, Barbara Samsel was running it. Today, she is working as Chef de Reception at the Hotel Bernerhof. Urs Weisskopf from Unterseen took over her role and can be relied upon as he has a broad experience and career in the hotel industry. He is looking forward to the new challenge in Saanenmöser. Weisskopf was already involved in the renovation of the hotel. He has moved with his wife and his daughter to Zweisimmen, where they fitted in easily. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 14.12.2012 & PRESS RELEASE AVS 28.12.2012

Savoury magic moments

Seafood Buffet Every Sunday in February from 12.30am at Le Grand Restaurant Indulge in our seafood buffet, together with a selection of Swiss specialties prepared by our Chef, whilst you are enjoying the magnificent view over the snowy Swiss Alps.

Valentine’s Day

Chinese Gourmet Week

Farewell Evening March 2 from 7.30pm at Gildo´s Ristorante Come and enjoy once more the savoury Italian cuisine from a buffet prepared by world class Chefs from Venice at Gildo‘s Ristorante before they leave the Gstaad Palace.

from March 3 to 8 from 7.30pm at Gildo‘s Ristorante Go on a journey through China with the Executive Chef of the Peninsula Bejing Mr Xu Chi Ping.

14 February from 7.30pm at all restaurants Enjoy the day of lovers at the Gstaad Palace with culinary specialties and candle-light.

Reservations with the Maître D‘ +41 (0)33 748 50 00, www.palace.ch

Friday 25 January 2013 Page 13


The Obayda family in Switzerland BY JANUARIA PIROMALLO They left behind their countries in flames: hers Lebanon and his, Iraq. Switzerland welcomed them like a protective “aunt.” Libana and Nabil Obayda, little more than children, found each other here in the shadows of the Alps. Libana attended school at the Rosey, which was followed by a degree in History and Art from Ecole Cammondo in Paris. She then completed her studies in International relations at the Webster University in Geneva. Nabil holds a masters degree in Economics & Financial Management, also from Webster University in Geneve. Libana and Nabil married in Le Grand Theatre of Geneve and produced four children. The first John and Emily who are 15 years old now, are twins, then there is 12-year old Micheal and 11-year old Elina. They have lived in Dully, a little village by the Lake of Geneve, for 15 years. 2012 was the first year living part-time in Gstaad whilst they have entered the two youngest children at the John F Kennedy School.

non. At the time it was a healthy and sparkling Lebanon. The capital Beirut was called the ‘Monte Carlo of the Middle East.’ There was a famous Casino frequented by the international jet set and the progressive and enlightened president of Lebanon, was Suleiman Frangieh, the Grand Uncle of Libana. The dolce vita of the country seemed to pose no risk until1975 when the country exploded into civil war. Until then Muslims and the Maronite Christians lived in harmony. The family of Libana then left the country that was considered the “Switzerland of the Middle East.” The son of the then President Suleiman Frangie, the cousin of Libana, was killed with his family only his son survived, today he is an important politician in Lebanon.

Nabil’s father was the first and the largest distributor of MercedesBenz in the Middle East, however in 1964 nationalization occurred resulting in the entire family business and property being confiscated. The father started again in Leba-

But the worst still had to come: in 1978, many Syrians were going to occupy Lebanon thus fulfilling their ancient dream of a “Greater Syria,” since Lebanon was regarded as a Syrian province of the state and not as a national entity in its own right. In 1982, Israel’s invasion in Lebanon broke out into the first Israeli-Lebanese war. In 1990, the civil war officially ended: 15 years of fighting, bloodshed and destruction transformed Lebanon from a country of ‘bon vivants’ into a pile of rubble.

The Obayda children (from left): Emily, Elina, Michael & John.

Nabil & Libana.

The first thing that strikes you about Libana is her strong sense of family. When she was 11 years old, to keep her away from the cross-fire of machine guns, she was placed in Le Rosey. “I grew up alone, my parents far away. For my children, I want instead, to give that sense of family warmth, a unity that I have missed.” Libana and Nabil met each other in the tearoom of the Richemont Hotel in Geneve. She was sitting with a common friend of theirs. From their first meeting Nabil was smitten. Then he presented to her an invitation to Venice for his 30th birthday. Accompanied by the magic of Venice, on a gondola under the “Ponte dei Sospiri,” Nabil courted her. Together they studied for the entrance exam for Swiss citizenship. Amongst other questions the Swiss Commission asked Libana how to prepare a fondue. To Nabil they asked if he would be a good Swiss citizen. He replied, “With all due respect, I will be more than you. I’ve already lost two countries. Nothing will take me away from Switzerland.” Both the families of Libana and Nabil are engaged in the reconstruction of their home countries. Libana, with her green eyes, is an uncommon beauty. And the mag-

Libana Obayda. netism of her gaze is startling. “At one time, I had an infection that put me at risk of losing my sight. After several pilgrimages from one doctor to another, we tried Lourdes. They washed her eyes with holy water from the source of Bernadette, the shepherdess to whom the Virgin Mary appeared. After a few days, the infection was completely healed.” Besides their love for Switzerland, religion also joined the couple, both being devoted Catholics. “Some people think that you can love ideas and ideologies, more than anything else. Others believe that you can only truly love human beings, made of feeling and emotions. Our God has taught us that we should not do to others what you would not want done to yourself. And if he, on the cross, forgave us, then we also have forgiven those who have stolen our countries. In the end we found one another.”

Friday 25 January 2013 Page 14

Chinese New Year and Gastronomic Adventures on the Silk Road For the first time in Gstaad, we will celebrate, at the Grand Hotel Park, the Chef Kenny of

Chinese New Year on February 9th.

La Réserve, Geneva, will propose a special festive menu on February 9th and 10th. Traditional

entertainment such as the lion dance, fireworks and other surprises will commemorate the occasion. This celebration will kick off a invited to travel along the Silk

gastronomic adventure at the Grand Hotel Park where guests are Road. Following the Chinese Chef we are delighted to welcome Chef Elias Azar from the

Lebanese Restaurant L’Arabesque, Hotel President Wilson, Geneva on 14th and 15th February and Chef Hemant Oberoi, coming the long way from the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, India, on 18th and 19th February. For further information or reservation, please contact +41 (0)33 748 98 00

Grand Hotel Park event agenda February 2013 January 25th

Dinner to benefit the François-Xavier Bagnoud Association January 26th & 27th 25h Free Ride January 26th to International Hot-Air Balloon Festival in February 3rd Château-d’Oex February 1st to 9th “Les Sommets Musicaux” Music Festival February 4th to 10th Van Cleef & Arpels Exhibition Cocktail Reception on February 7th February 6th & 7th Teuscher Chocolates Atelier February 8th & 9th Gsteig 24-hour race February 9th Chinese New Year’s Eve: Gala dinner by Restaurant Tsé Fung’s Chef (La Réserve Geneva), lion dance, fireworks & surprises February 9th & 10th Exposition QI Jewels Genève – A Swiss Eco Luxury Spirit February 10th to 19th Gastronomic adventures on the Silk Road

February 10th February 13th to 23rd February 14th & 15th February 15th & 16th February 15th to 17th February 16th February 18th & 19th February 20th February 21th February 22th & 23th

In China, with Chef Kenny, restaurant Tsé Fung, La Réserve Geneva Private sale Butterflystate In Lebanon, with Chef Elias Azar, restaurant L’Arabesque, President Wilson Hotel, Geneva AC Bang Fourrures fashion show and private sale Ferrari Art Gallery, Paintings and Sculptures Château d’Yquem Vertical Tasting Dinner by Opera di Vino. In India, with Chef Hemant Oberoi, Mandala, Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai Swiss Design Event Paige Gamble Handbags exhibition and private sale Two exclusive gastronomic evenings with Chefs Philippe Rochat and Benoît Violier

Friday 25 January 2013 Page 15


Chalet Jewels This chalet is a jewel: next to Posthotel Rössli, a new jewelry boutique was opened this summer. This is not only a place to buy chains, broaches, bracelets or earrings, but also a place where jewelry connects with people. A good taste is not necessarily a question of money: in “Chalet Jewels” unique pieces made of interesting material combinations, can be found. Here, the quote “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” seems like an overestimated opinion. Silk, semi-precious stone and copper are combined, pearls knotted into flowers and written messages are encapsulated in glass. “Each piece has its own story,” says Zaza Innecco, manager. She personally chooses the products in Paris, Milan, Rome and New York, together with Jill Wolf, boutique owner in Geneva. The inside of the boutique is designed plainly with light wood; the stairs are covered with glass and roof windows provide natural light. Black glass slabs give inter-

A comfortable atmosphere in the boutique. esting optical contrasts. “We want to have a business where people like to spend time. Interpersonal contacts are more important,” explains Zaza, who has been living in the Saanenland since the 70s. “Furthermore, we want to be a boutique for locals and guests. We are open during the whole year, not only in the winter and summer season.” In their free time, they are seeking new jewelry pieces for their product range. Mainly young designers such as

Marie-Hélène de Taillac, Delfina Delettrez, Donatella Pellini or Vanessa Mimran are represented with charming creations such as filigree golden or stone bracelets, earrings made of peafowls and glass key chains. The price is also charming: some pieces can be purchased for SFr 60, depending on the designer and material. Their main goal for the winter season is to convince locals to visit the store. “No one should have a false sense and not visit our boutique.

The more the merrier.” Connecting with locals is very important for Zaza Innecco and Jill Wolf. “We are aware of the concerns of local businesses, this is why we asked Michi Gehret, an interior designer, to design our boutique together with craftsmen from Saanenland. Zaza is looking forward to the winter season and thinks positive into the future. The actual economic situation is not worrying her, in contrary: “Particularly in difficult times, people are seeking for things to enjoy in life - why not with some jewelry?” Opening hours: Monday - Friday 14h00 - 18h30 Saturday - Sunday 14h00-18h00 TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY FRANZISKA RAAFLAUB AVS 28.12.2012

Chalet Jewels.

Unique & neat detail to jewelry.


Friday 25 January 2013 Page 16

Gucci opens store in Grand Hotel Park Gstaad

Giannini’s innovative store design (it employs warm and luxury materials with natural lights to spectacular effects), is a grand departure from codified retail spaces and paves the way for the modern Gucci-look of the 21st century. The connection of classic elements like rosewood and marble, with new materials such as ribbed glass, polished gold, smoked mirrors and smoked glass, recalls the elegance and richness of the Art Deco era. Geometric lines, which include a stylized version of the famous striped webbing, characterize the interior. Smoked mirrors and glass ensure a spacious perspective; door handles contain strips of glass or gold; black marble strips reach from

the white marble floor to the ceiling; shelves and display cases are dressed with bronze glass and varnish. Walls, covered in both bronze glass and bronze mirror, contribute to the warmth and elegance. The modern product range consists of handbags, shoes, small leather articles, watches and fancy goods. The customer in the Gucci store in Gstaad will encounter an incomparable combination of personal service and love for detail that characterizes the Gucci shopping experience since Guccio Gucci opened its first store in 1921. The Gucci flagship store in Gstaad is one of 130 stores worldwide designed by Frida Giannini and follows the example of international cities such as New York, Rome, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Paris, Milan, Singapore and Seoul. The store is open daily from 10h00 to 19h00. Special opening times are possible upon request. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE PRESS RELEASE AVS 04.01.2013

About Gucci Gucci, one of the most famous luxury brands, was founded in 1921 in Florence. Gucci designs, produces and sells high-quality products such as leather wear (handbags, baggage, belts) shoes, clothes, silk scarves, watches and fine jewelry. Glasses and fragrances are produced under license, by global leading companies. Gucci products are sold exclusively in their own stores (411 in September 2012) and some exclusive department stores.

Holiday apartments

We design your chalet living

Gucci - one of the leading luxury brands of the world - is glad to announce the opening of their store in Gstaad. The new store in the Grand Hotel Park is designed by the concept of Creative Director Frida Giannini.

‘The Site’, in Saanen 033 744 06 03 office@vgminvest.ch gstaad-saanen-site.ch

Friday 25 January 2013 Page 17


The Six Senses Spa at The Alpina Gstaad

Switzerlands first Six Senses Spa at The Alpina Gstaad.

An ambience that perfectly underlines the “Balancing Senses”-philosophy. With treatments that are geared to individual needs, each guest experiences a maximum of tranquility, space, time and comfort. Besides the Asian inspired Six Senses treatments as well as the regional therapies with alpine herbs, the exclusive skin care brands of Biologique Recherche, QMS and ila are used for facials and body treatments.

Spa indulgence for all senses The Alpina Gstaad is located in a 20.000 sqm park landscape with a view over the Saanen valley and the Bernese Alps. With the debut of Gstaads new luxury hotel on December 1, 2012, Switzerlands first Six Senses Spa opened its doors at The Alpina Gstaad, offering its guests an eldorado of holistic wellness.

With a space of 2.000 sqm, Hammam, Floatation Room, Colour Therapy and Ayurveda Treatment Rooms, Salt Room and Detox Room, as well as luxurious Relaxation areas provide spa indulgences for all senses. Furthermore specialist sessions with visiting practitioners on topics such as stress management and sleep disorder, as well as the day programmes

A “Tree of Life” marks the entrance to the Six Senses Spa. The interior combines Asian stylistic elements with alpine accents. Hand-crafted stone ponds, plinths from rustic wood and a vertical garden bring the alpine nature inward. With walls made out of massiv lime stone blocks, the pool areas resembles a rock cave.

“Day Spa” and “Day Spa deluxe” (from CHF 70 per person) complement the sophisticated spa menu. The Six Senses Spa at The Alpina Gstaad offers memberships for adults, which include but are not limited, to the use of the spa facilities such as pools, whirl pools, sauna, steambath, gym, but also aqua classes, massage, reduction for skin care products and fitness classes and many more. From CHF 650 per person per month.

The Juice Bar.

New Louis Vuitton store in Gstaad Louis Vuitton is represented in Gstaad since 2004. The opening of the new store on the Promenade in Gstaad took place on December 18 2012. About Louis Vuitton Since its foundation in 1854, Louis Vuitton symbolizes the art of elegant travel. The suitcases and bags of the company achieved cult status and have accompanied many journeys. Since Marc Jacobs started as the Creative Director in 1997, the brand expanded its range of products with ready-to-wear collections, shoes, accessories and watches, which can be purchased in exclusive stores from all over the world.

Louis Vuitton’s first store in Gstaad was opened in the Grand Hotel Park in 2004. “The opening of the new store emphasizes the brand’s relationship with Gstaad. It is a tribute to one of the most emblematic winter (and summer) destinations in Europe, which is celebrating its 700th anniversary in 2012,” said Roberto Eggs, President of Louis Vuitton Northern Europe. The store is designed according to the new “winter resort” concept. “We tried everything to create a setting for Louis Vuitton’s know-how and creativity, which is not only expressed by our leather goods and accessories, but also in the store itself,” Eggs said. A marble, stone and wooden fireplace creates a welcoming atmosphere. On 120 square meters, clients will

find new leather goods, accessories and travel items, complemented by seasonal ready-to-wear collections and shoes for women and men. The women’s collection is located at the entrance, featuring city handbags of finest leather for daytime or evenings. The leather goods collection features the legendary handbags from Keepall, Speedy or Neverfull. To finish the perfect look, Louis Vuitton presents its scarves, belts and cos-

tume jewelry as well as the women collection of Marc Jacobs, Creative Director of Louis Vuitton. The men’s collection is located in the back of the store and shows elegant leather goods and accessories - and last but not least - items devoted to the art of travel. A lounge invites clients to relax next to the fireplace. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE PRESS RELEASE/ANITA MOSER AVS 21.12.2012


Friday 25 January 2013 Page 18

The peg will be abolished over the next 2 to 3 years One of the first acts of our newly appointed Swiss National Bank Governor – Thomas J. Jordan was as widely suspected, to confirm that the peg against the € will be maintained and that the Swiss National Bank would print infinite amounts of its own money to achieve this. So one of the burning questions for investors in 2012 was whether the minimum exchange rate at 1.20 for EUR/CHF imposed by the Swiss National Bank would hold. In theory, a central bank can sell unlimited amounts of its own currency. 2012 showed that the floor could be held, but that the SNB had to buy significant amounts of

foreign currencies. Will the floor continue to hold ? In our view, the answer in the short term is a clear yes and in the medium term, over the next 2 to 3 years the peg will be abolished. Why? First of all, one has to fully admit that the time and level of the peg in September 2011 were both well chosen and thought through by the former Swiss Central Bank Governor Ph. Hildebrand. Having said that, one has to bear in mind that back then, our tourism sector was and actually still is exposed to two main drivers, which both of them simultaneously had a poor development: The overall foreign economic situation as well as

the Exchange Rate € / Swiss Francs. It goes without saying that without the introduction of the Peg, the Swiss Francs would have witnessed a further massive currency appreciation and the exports would have been seriously exposed. Most probably, Switzerland would have witnessed a distinctive meltdown of its exports. At the current peg level of 1.20, we are moving step by step towards purchasing power parity. This is mainly due to the fact of higher headline inflation in the Eurozone. This is also the reason why the Swiss Central Bank now has to focus on an exit strategy of the peg.

One also has to point out that currently the Swiss Central Bank holds foreign currency reserves amounting to 429.3 billion Swiss Francs representing over 70 % of the yearly GDP of Switzerland. Nowadays, only the Bank of China and the Bank of Japan have higher foreign currency reserves than Switzerland. It also could well be considered by the Swiss Central Bank to replace the current EUR/CHF peg by a partial gold standard peg, equally linked to a basket of leading currencies such as the Japanese Yen and the USD. WRITTEN BY MR TONI KNECHT, MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT, SAANEN BANK AG, TELEPHONE +41 (0)33 748 46 47.

Celebration in historical costumes at the Grand Hotel Bellevue The Grand Hotel Bellevue in Gstaad opened its doors 100 years ago. The anniversary was celebrated in historical costumes, serving the same menu of its first opening. “I have to admit, it is a bit unusual,” says the waiter while playing with the cuffs of his uniform. His female colleague, wearing a white robe admits: “Those work clothes are pretty, but not very functional.” 100 Years ago, the Grand Hotel Bellevue opened its doors to both national and international guests. “The original costumes of that time do not exist anymore, but a costume rental in Thun still had such costumes

in stock,” explains General Manager Philip Erne. The men were dressed in black swallowtails. The hotel uniform was most probably combined with a tail vest and braces, but for 2012 a cummerbund was chosen, which is more comfortable. The Chef de Cuisine, Urs Gschwend, contributed to revive the old times. He found the original menu of the opening in the archive. With his team, he cooked the same fourcourse menu, starting with a poultry parfait with red port wine, or as an alternative for the ladies, a warm lobster salad with melon and radish, followed by a creamy mushroom soup with chives. As a main course, a sole

filet “Joinville” was served. For guests preferring meat, a beef tournedos à la Bellevue could be chosen. A simple “Baba with rum” was the sweet ending to the historic meal. Around 60 guests were enjoying the dinner. Furthermore, the hotel distributed historical newspapers to their guests, such as the local newspaper, Anzeiger von Saanen of December 31st 1912. Whoever took the time to read it, could find some astonishing things: the subscription cost at the time was SFr 4.00 a year! The RMS Titanic was still in the news, even although the disaster happened eight months earlier. The bereaved received SFr 500 in compensation, which was much discussed.

The tradition-steeped Grand Hotel Bellevue certainly celebrated its anniversary at its best. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY MICHAEL FÖHN AVS 28.12.2012

The service staff in period costumes, with Maître d’hôtel Giovanni Alocci (far left).

Friday 25 January 2013 Page 19


Watch out for ski-thiefs Last year, SFr 180’000 worth of winter sport equipment was stolen in the canton of Bern. The police from canton Bern give some useful and simple tips on how to make a pickpockets’ life harder.

a minimum. “We want to sensitize people not to leave their expensive material unattended. Once the material is stolen, the chances are very low that the skis or snowboard can be found again,” says Narcisse Burri, policeman of the canton of Bern.

Whereas in winter season 2010/11 the police received 131 complaints about stolen ski material, the amount increased in 2011/12 to 182 complaints. Therefore, the police started a prevention campaign in Saanenland and Obersimmental, which is supported by the sport shops, tourism organizations and mountain stations. The main goal is to reduce the number of theft to

As most people do not make a note of the serial numbers of their equipment, Narcisse Burri has distributed so-called “ski and snowboard passes” to the local sport shops. The idea behind it is that the shops fill out this pass with all relevant detail (brand, length, serial number, color etc.) on behalf of the customer. Material can then be easier identified in case it is found somewhere else.

The number of complaints has to be relativized: in some cases, it might be an insurance fraud or simply someone who mixed up their own skis with someone else’s. Advice from the police - Don’t leave your material too long in open ski holders. Ideally keep an eye on it at all time. - Skis or snowboards in ski racks on cars should always be locked. - In case of new material, write down the serial number. - Tag your material individually. - In case of having lunch or shopping, leave your skis or snowboard in a ski holder with a lock. - In hotels, put them in the respec-

tive ski room. Don’t leave material unattended during the night. - Skiers can also put their skis separately in ski holders. A thief will most probably not have time to look for the second ski. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY MICHAEL FÖHN AVS 21.12.2012

Narcisse Burri with a modern, lockable ski-rack.

Hotel Bellerive: Restaurant with a new look The lounge of Hotel Bellerive in Gstaad was not very well frequented by the locals. This was enough reason for the renovation, which took place in the autumn. The restaurant was given a cozy look with old wood and relics from the past. The Hotel Bellerive has a fateful past: in January 2003 it burned down and was re-opened four years later. The new hotel has 15 rooms (32 beds), a breakfast room and a lounge with bar. The lounge was designed to relax in the evening and have a drink. Since the smoking ban in 2009, the concept did not work anymore. This is why food was initially served in Bellerive. A further step was to change the lounge into a restaurant. First a testing phase - then renovation A year ago, some of the seating area was replaced with tables. “Like this, we could experience if it would

prices underline this statement. Renovations partly self-made Heino Künkel originally learned the profession of carpenter and plasterer. He was happy to renovate the restaurant, using his skills. For three years now, he is living and working with Claudia Gerber, who is responsible for the kitchen. The main dishes are Rösti, Entrecote or a salad with sausage and cheese. The offer is also well received by the hotel guests. “Around half of our guests are frequenters,” says Claudia. Owners Heino Künkel and Claudia Gerber of Hotel Bellerive. work,” says owner Claudia Gerber. “After a positive feedback from our clients we decided to re-create one part of the restaurant,” completes partner Heino Künkel. The sofas in the lounge were moved out, a wooden partition was installed and a restaurant with 16 seats was set up. The restaurant and walls is now decorated with old saws, hay forks

and horse harnesses. Claudia Gerber and Heino Künkel hope that the locals overcome their inhibition and frequent the place for some afterwork drinks and dinner. “Before the re-design, workers were worried to dirty the sofas with their working clothes,” says Claudia Gerber. “The Bellerive is a restaurant for locals.” A small local menu and moderate

Good cooperation with neighbours The neighborhood is important to the owners. The renovation was done in cooperation with Bach & Perreten Holzbau AG, located in Mettlen. The accessories in the restaurant come from Willi Brand’s second hand shop. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY BLANCA BURRI AVS 18.12.2012


Friday 25 January 2013 Page 20

Events Calendar ■ SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 18h45: Sledge Tour by full moon on the Wispile: Ascent 18h45-19h15. Cheese fondue in the Restaurant. Sledging to Gsteig. Take the bus back to the Wispile valley station at midnight. If you need to rent a sledge, (SFr10), please make a reservation. For more info contact +41 (0)33 748 96 32. ■ SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 – SUNDAY, 27TH 25h Freeride Dominique Perret Gstaad on the Wispile, Gstaad: The event is being organized by famous freeride skier, Dominique Perret, and is a 25-hour team race during which money will be collected for two children’s charities for every kilometer covered. Participation fee: SFr 120 per team. Contact +41 (0)21 804 10 70.

■ SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3 35th International Hot-air balloon week in Château-d’Oex: More than 80 balloons from many different countries will benefit from the special microclimate and rise into the sky. For more info, contact +41 (0)26 924 25 25 or www.festivaldeballons.ch

■ SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 10h00: Rivella Family Contest in Saanenmöser. A fun ski race for the whole family! For further information: www.familycontest.ch Inscription: www.fairplay-timing. ch or contact +41 (0)79 773 35 91.

■ SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 – END OF APRIL 13h00-18h00: Folklore musical entertainment. Venue: Hotel Restaurant Wildhorn Lauenen. Different artists. For info, contact +41 (0)33 765 30 12 or www.hotelwildhorn.ch

■ TUESDAY, JANUARY 29 – TUESDAY, MARCH 5 Eggli Tuesday Fondue: Cheese fondue, live music and accompanied departure (ski or sledge) with flambeaux. Ascent 19h00-

Friday January 25 2013 until Friday February 15 2013

21h00. Descent 21h15-11h00. Adults: SFr 49; 9-16 Years SFr 35’ children up to 9-years old SFr 20. All prices include the cable car up and down, but not the rental of the sledges (SFr 10). Reservation recommended, contact +41 (0)33 748 96 12.

17h00 Races. Sunday: small runway show with vintage snowmobiles; 10h00-11h30 Training; 11h30-12h30 Races; 13h3017h00 Races. Children paradise! Everybody is welcome! Contact +41 (0)33 755 11 20 for more info.



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6 19h00-21h30: Night skiing on the Wispile, Gstaad. Open from 19h00 – 21h30. Adults: SFr 10; Children (1997-2003): SFr 5; Children under 9-years are free! Season and day ski passes are not valid. Subject to change due to weather conditions. Contact +41 (0)33 748 87 37 for more info.

FEBRUARY 9 20h00-20h00: 8th 24-Hour race in Gsteig. Non-stop skiing or snowboarding. Venue: Skilift Heiti, Gsteig. Reservation possible. Party in the tent during and after the race! For more info, contact +41 (0)79 394 10 25.


High Fly 2013 at Rübeldorf Saanen. This freestyle event in the midst of the Swiss Alps has developed from a traditional event into one that is punk and saucy with an international character! It is considered to be the only winter event of its kind in Switzerland. Freestyle motocross, freeskiing and snowboarding combined with pyrotechnic effects will ensure a loud show spectacle. www.high-fly.ch

DAY, APRIL 18 Fondue party in Saanenmöser every Thursday evening followed by a torch-light descent with guide. By registration only! Prices for fondue party: Adults SFr 69, Children up to 16 years SFr 39. Last mountain train (Saanerslochbahn) is at 16h15. Booking info: 0800 11 33 55.

■ FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1 – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad: A classical music festival in winter! Greatly influenced by the violin, the starts of today and tomorrow will play music in the winter wonderland of the holiday region of Gstaad. Ticket pre-sales in the Tourist office Saanen & Gstaad. Contact +41 (0)33 748 81 82 or www.sommets-musicaux.com

■ SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2 & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3 09h30: JO BOSV championship. Ski Alpin Slalom for girls and boys JO I and JO II. Venue: Racing center Huble. Phone +41 (0)33 744 42 13 for more info.

■ SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2 & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3 10h00: Snow Cross Motoneige Gsteig. Saturday: 10h00-11h40 Training; 13h00-

CHALET Stairlifts Tel. 041 588 02 41

• Best quality and service • Slim Line rail • Short delivery time




■ FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22 & SATURDAY, MARCH 30 11h00 – 18h00: Winter market in Gstaad. Venue: Kapälliplatz. Lots of homemade products to choose from! Contact +41 (0)33 744 78 83 for more info.

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 normally each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12h00 a.m. for lunch or at 7h00 p.m. for dinner. Meetings in Wellness & Spa-Hotel Ermitage-Golf, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Jürg Müller, president, 033 744 54 40, jmtreuhand@bluewin.ch, https://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch

■ CHURCH SERVICES St Peter’s English-Speaking Anglican Church, Château-d’Oex 27 January 2013, 17h30 Evening Prayer. Rev. Paul Holley 3 February 2013, 17h30 Holy Communion. Rev. Paul Holley 10 February 2013, 17h30 Evening Worship. Rev. Ken Kvistad 17 February 2013, 17h30 Evening Worship. Rev. Paul Holley www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: paul.holley@anglicanhealth.org

■ IMPORTANT NUMBERS Ambulance 144, Police 117 Police office 033 356 84 31 Fire-brigade 118 Saanen Hospital 033 748 02 00 Château-d‘Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Car accident service 033 744 88 80 Veterinary 033 744 35 31 / 033 744 06 61 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers For the latest local weather forecast visit www.gstaadlife.com/weather

Friday 25 January 2013 Page 21


Russian icons at the Gstaad Palace Hotel The weekend before Christmas, the Gstaad Palace Hotel exhibited Russian icons. The saint images are not only very valuable, but also highly regarded by the

religious Russian community. The saying “not all that glitter is gold,” did not really match the Gstaad Palace Hotel’s exhibition.

Boris Berkowitsch and one of his most valuable icons.

Some of the shown icons were coated with beaten gold in the background, which symbolizes heaven and divine light. Spectators reverently took one step backwards when admiring the works. Nevertheless, one has to approach it still, as the icons are worked in a filigree way. But why were those valuable icons in Gstaad? The reason being the recent opening of the luxury grocery store “Sense of Delight” in Saanen. The new business of Ursula and Jürg Kappeler specializes in fine foods, and sells vodka from the “Imperial Collection.” Boris Berkowitsch is a general importer of the brand in Switzerland and a passionate col-

lector of icons for 35 years. So it was given that Berkowitsch opened a part of his collection to the public, specially in Saanenland, where his vodka is very popular. Berkowitsch’s collection contains mostly icons of the 16th to 19th century, all from different artists. They are all most certainly valuable with works costing between SFr 10’000 and SFr 500’000. In comparison to that, the vodka is more affordable, which was also presented at the exhibition. Further sponsors of the event were Louis Roederer Champagne and Oona Swiss Mountain Caviar (Tropenhaus Frutigen). TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY MICHAEL FÖHN AVS 28.12.2012

Gstaad needs shops to be opened during the whole year On December 7 2012, Schuhhaus Romang could re-open its doors after nine intense months of construction. The size of the building remained almost the same, but different spatial planning offers now a significantly larger sales and storing area. Christoph Romang’s main goal was to maintain the same style of the original building. His grandparents Ernst and Elise Romang-Matti opened the shop in 1913. “An entrance without steps and a broad door are very important for a shop - wheelchair users or clients with pushchairs can now enter the shop easily,” stressed Romang. The sales area is 50 square meters larger than before. “Now, we can present our offer in a broader way,”

explained Romang. The colours beige and brown dominate and were artfully combined with wooden materials, glass and metal. LED lamps provide a pleasant light and a specially designed carpet rounds off the new store. The lower ground floor is more spacious now. Around 10’000 shoes can be stored in the rolling storage system. The upper floor has two big offices, the storage area for accessories, a broad recreation room and a studio. The top floor contains an apartment, which is used by the family. Christoph Romang has taken over the shop in 1999 from his parents Ernst and Esther Romang. Whereas his father learned the profession of a shoemaker, Christoph started

his career with an apprenticeship in Sales. Christoph Romang has 10 employees including two trainees. “My father is still doing some small repair work. We also offer a repair service.” As all shop owners in Gstaad, the Romang family had lucrative offers to sell the building. “Selling is out of the question; this business provides a job to my employees and me.” For years, Christoph Romang was actively involved against the closing of local stores. “For Gstaad, it is important that shops are open during the whole year to enliven the village.” The prices and offers remain the same, even though the store has a fancier look now. “I refuse to accept the common opinion that it is impossible to do shopping in Gstaad for people with average in-

comes. “For example, we have sales offers twice a year,” said Romang. With this attitude, it goes without saying that Romang engaged local business for his renovations. Mainly responsible was the local architect Mike Tschanz. “The co-operation was great and the timeline and costs were very well kept”. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER FROM AVS 11.12.2012

The newly built Schuhhaus Romang.


Friday 25 January 2013 Page 22


I love hotels. I spent the better part of my early years living in them: the Caravel, the Carlyle, the Stanhope, the Palace, and the Arc-en-Ciel. My grandfather owned two in Greece. When I was small I spent many summers in his hotels feeling like Eloise, the fabled children’s-book character who runs wild at the Plaza in New York. Back then, a hotel was also home. When I was a child, the Caravel in Athens felt like it was all mine. I loved ordering room service and getting to eat anything I wanted whenever my tummy desired it. I loved the crisp white sheets and the endless flow of white towels. I loved robbing the housekeeping cart of soaps, creams, shower caps,

and stationery. I loved the grand marble-covered entrance and the statue of Zeus that greeted guests just beyond the sliding glass doors. I loved the industrial air conditioning that hit you like a wall on the other side of those doors and emancipated you from the scorching summer heat. I loved the pool and the pizzeria. I loved the green carpets, the plush velvet chairs, and the nightclub downstairs. I loved the jewelry shop, the newsagent, and the mosque on the top floor that had lots of men’s slippers strewn about in front. I also loved Room 701. That was our suite whenever we stayed. But most of all, I loved knowing everyone who worked there—and more importantly, the fact that everyone knew me! From the bellmen to the telephone operators, wherever I found myself I had a friend. During the winter months, the Palace here in Gstaad was home. Though I don’t remember it now,

I am told I had dinner every night with Gildo downstairs. I don’t live at the Palace anymore, but it is still home and every Christmas I await coming back for the first time with pleasure. I most look forward to greeting Andrea at the front desk, Domenico at the coat check, Franco and Massimo in the restaurants, Romano in the GreenGo, Davide and Max behind the bar, the nice gentleman with glasses at the door, the valet boys...and on and on. And these wonderfully kind and hardworking people—many of whom have known me all my life and have been at the Palace for longer than I have been alive—are the ones that bring me back. They are the ones I most want to see. Their hospitality is the reason I love hotels. My favorite kind of hotel is one that never changes—the staff most importantly, but also the decor. I like old-fashioned hotels because I like the old-fashioned style. This is why I love the Palace most. But even the Palace had to put in a new carpet

a few years ago and had several upgrades before that. But it hasn’t much changed since I can remember, and what has changed was done in a way so as not to offend people who dislike such modifications. But it wasn’t all good news for the nostalgically minded, what with the new Alpina and the Bellevue’s new proprietors. The Alpina has brought Gstaad to new heights of modernity. For the fashionable set, Muhammad has certainly come to the mountain. On the other hand, the community’s sentimentalists were sad to see the old Alpina destroyed and are worried about the sort of clientele the new and improved Alpina will attract. Among other projects such as the art center, the Alpina has divided the community between those who support growth and those who resist expansion. Perhaps the Bellevue is a perfect example of how to please both camps. The new owners, similarly to those of the Alpina, have roots in the region. But in contrast, they will not destroy a landmark building to start anew. Instead, they are keen to draw out the warmth and soul of the existing building, which has been around for 100 years. They are updating the sterile decor and creating a more hospitable and youthful atmosphere for the village inn. Let us hope that the new group of hoteliers abandons the often lifeless, inferior, and impersonal service that is so ubiquitous of late. Let us hope they remember the ancient Greek tradition of xenia, or hospitality, so that current and future generations of children who come to Gstaad can have experiences similar to the ones I remember.

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GstaadLife, January 2013  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

GstaadLife, January 2013  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

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