• Take the cable car from Gstaad to Wispile, then trek across the pass and down to Lake Lauenen. Superb view. • Book a Pitanguy oxygen facial at the Palace Spa and marvel at the immediate lift. For a more intense experience, go for the hammam ritual, which involves a foam bath, flotation, and massage. • Learn how to make Swiss chocolate at the Atelier du Chocolat at Maison Cailler.
spot was once a vault where all the Swiss gold was stored during World War II. The armored door is still there to prove it. Descend the steps into this traditional Swiss eatery and swoon over the smell of raclette and gruyère slowly melting into fondue. Every winter season, La Fromagerie serves four tons of cheese fondue, particularly the truffle-Champagne variety that is the specialty of the house. Though winter is the main attraction in Gstaad, summer is just as charming. This is the time to break out the hiking shoes and do a bit of exploring in the backcountry. Of the several hikes accessible from Gstaad, the one that should not be missed is the trek to Walig Hut, about two and a half hours’ walk from town (walig-hut.ch). Gstaad Palace’s alpine outpost, the Walig Hut is an eighteenth-century farmstead sit-
Above, left to right: The Peak Walk on Glacier 3000; paths and hiking trails abound in Gstaad; the living room of the new Deluxe Suite. Right: La Fromagerie serves four tons of fondue every winter.
Left: Le Grill, Gstaad Palace’s international restaurant, has earned 16 (out of 20) Gault Millau points. Above: bathtub with a view
uated amid wildflowers and grazing cows—the perfect Swiss bucolic scene. At the end of the trail, the effort is handsomely rewarded. The fire in the open hearth rages, warming the hand-hewn wood cabin. Maurizio Pagliano, the caretaker, greets hikers with a glass of wine and a board of dried meats, all locally produced and as pure as they come. Then, the main event: a beautiful fondue of Swiss cheeses, potatoes, and bread, followed
palmbeachillustrated.com | january 2016