H Magazine Summer 2021

Page 1


hip & ho

Gstaad – prides itself on class.









The last paradise

Best golf in Switzerland

Nourished by nature

How to be a good host

Princesses and a pink panther


© Nicolas Party, «Sunrise» 2018, Chalk pastel on canvas, framed. Courtesy of the artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Currently exhibited in the Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana, Lugano


Passion creates progress. The new, fully electric Audi RS e-tron GT. Future is an attitude Discover now at audi.ch/e-tron-gt 4


ASCONA Gioielli-Orologi Herschmann | BASEL Gübelin | BERN Goldschmied Stähli | CRANS-MONTANA L’Atelier Du Temps GENÈVE Air Watch Center, Benoit De Gorski, Gübelin | INTERLAKEN Kirchhofer | KLOSTERS Maissen | LAUSANNE Guillard LUGANO Gübelin | LUZERN Gübelin, Les Ambassadeurs | MONTREUX Zbinden | ST.GALLEN Labhart-Chronometrie ST. MORITZ Gübelin | VILLARS-SUR-OLLON Brändli Creation | ZERMATT Haute Horlogerie Schindler | ZUG Lohri ZÜRICH Gübelin, Les Ambassadeurs 6



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DD COM Communication Arts Whether it’s Branding, Campaigns, Digital, Motion, Editorial, Graphic Design or POS – we deliver. With creativity, dedication and professionalism. www.ddcom.ch 9 2


Albert Oehlen Albert Oehlen ohne Titel / untitled, 2017 Oil on canvas 250 x 230 cm Photo: Rodolfo Alberto Martínez García © Albert Oehlen

“big paintings by me with small paintings by others”

05.09.2021 – 20.02.2022 masilugano.ch Main partner

Scientific partner



Institutional partner

WELCOME to the world of Garpa Houses with history. Gardens with character. People with passion. Furniture with prospects.

Garpa Garten & Park Einrichtungen GmbH | Kreuzstrasse 54 | 8008 Zürich | Telephone: +41 (0) 43 / 344 30 10 | www.garpa.ch 12












Into Nature’s tranquillity



eaving Gstaad always tugs at the heartstrings. But it is not all bad. After all, the pain of leaving is soon replaced with excitement at the thought of returning sometime soon, explains Alex Kuehn in his report.

Into the Green

We just fell in love during our stay in the Alpina Gstaad with the ancient wooden ceiling, consisting of 32 single pieces, the origins of which date back to the late baroque period around 1780.

Perhaps that’s what has made the past few weeks and months so hard. The trick has been to stay patient and accept that things haven’t always gone to plan. Our optimism became more and more clouded and we had to learn that freedom of movement is a very privilege. Our desire to go places and meet people has grown like never before. So this issue is packed full of fantastic locations and friendly faces. You will find inspiring individuals such as Andrea Scherz, who represents the third generation of his family to run the Gstaad Palace as a «hotel full of life» (page 32) and during the 1960s, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor could often be seen by the pool. It is the unique blend of rural charm and chic sophistication that has been attracting people from all corners of the world to this little village in Saanen for generations. And now it has provided us with inspiration for the months ahead.

Nicolas Party’s «Sunrise »is our favourite picture this summer. Don’t miss the exhibition at MASI Lugano from 27 June 2021 to 9 January 2022.

As we continue to exercise caution in all we do, please do not forget to be kind to yourself! Maybe now is the right time to treat yourself to something nice (pages 38 and 72) or plan your next weekend getaway? You will find a list of all our hotels on page 170. Summer is just around the corner and it brings the promise of warmer days and beautiful, bright colours. Enjoy this edition of «H» magazine!

PS. Have you seen our new Visa Card? You can earn

Evelyn Gorgos

points on every transaction and convert them straight into vouchers to use at our 39 hotels (page 150).

Please feel free to get in touch with us at gorgos@swissdeluxehotels.com

A reward well worth having!

or follow us on Instagram (swissdeluxehotels).


Our portraits Andrea Scherz Managing Director & owner Gstaad Palace «Did you know that Julie Andrews once called Gstaad the last paradise in a crazy world?»


Anne-Sophie Pic 45 Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne «Cooking somehow has a motherly feel. I have one son at home, but I also feel a similar sense of responsibility towards my team.» Thomas Maechler 50 La Réserve Eden au Lac, Zurich Old elephants head back to where they were born – life is looking good for the General Manager and Vice President of Swiss Deluxe Hotels. Sven Wassmer & Silvio Germann Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites, Bad Ragaz The two chefs on mountain weasels, wild plants and little plates that look precious enough to adorn a jewellery shop window.


Tim Weiland 89 The Alpina Gstaad «Active listening is a skill that is often undervalued.»

© Switzerland Tourism, Lake Arnensee

Didier Verrier 96 Park Gstaad «Similar to the feline lady, people notice very quickly whether you’re an inveterate host with passion or you’re simply doing your job.» Stefan Heilemann, Widder Hotel, Zurich 100 Patrick Mahler, Parkhotel Vitznau «Like a flavour train riding into your mouth.» Olivia Müri and Noelle Baumann 162 Baur au Lac, Zurich «A prestigious hotel makes the best employers.» 16


32 Forest bathing

© Enno Kapitza

A very popular form of nature therapy in Japan which 30 is called «natural awareness» in Switzerland.

Our gourmet trends for this summer


«Stay salty!»


A weekend in Gstaad A classy destination calls for stylish pieces and cool accessories selected by our expert Clifford Lilley 42

Caffè freddo

Gstaad travel guide

Cooled espresso over a few ice cubes is the Italian way 20 to do iced coffee. Delicious and refreshing!

Embedded among five mountains

Summer en rose


Summer perfection and a beautiful mountain adventure – A motherdaughter beauty treat

Sparkling rosé wine ticks all the boxes as a thirst-quenching drink that slips down rather nicely – 22 get inspired!

Oysters, baby!

A spa review from the Grand Bellevue Gstaad

They are a firm favourite amongst foodies – especially when accompanied by a glass of sparkling champagne. 24

Happening pieces and gift inspirations for the hot season

Celebrating Everything that is festive, languid and chilled about a summer’s day has come together – Happy Birthday 26 Ice Impérial!

«Paradise ***** found»


27 top tips


We’ve put together the best tips to become the host 90 with the most

«If wasps are buzzing around you, you’re almost too late!» warns Mattias Rook. He sources the delicacies from the hotel’s very own garden and knows the best recipes. 28 17


© Gian Marco Castelberg

© Switzerland Tourism, Rosenlaui


Suite talk in the Park Gstaad The ultimate differentiator of any sleepery worth its five-star-standing – all there to offer guests the 98 apex of luxury and comfort

Swiss Top Events – Magic moments at unique places


Weltklasse Zürich – About magic, efforts and the 108 sport’s new heroes Montreux Jazz Festival – Music like nowhere else 115

Oskar on luxury tour A story about a Labrador and a very special hotel 142 in Andermatt with friendly canine benefits

What about rosé wine? Luckily, there are plenty of varieties to choose from. We’ve put together a list of seven incredible wines that 122 we think you’re going to enjoy!

Enjoy Switzerland!

Our Seasonal Pic

Walk along water

The Grand Bellevue Gstaad, 5 things to do around 124 the hotel & our runner’s tips

Discover the hidden gems of the Val Poschiavo 152

Superstars, princesses and a pink panther

A treasure hunt fit for a little king and queen in Basel

The unbelievable story about the Gstaad Palace and 132 a crazy town in the middle of the mountains

Exactly the kind of adventure that boosts a child’s confidence and helps them come out of their shell 158

Where Goethe left his mark

Three days – three extraordinary chefs


Standards Editorial 15 166 Contributors Locations Swiss Deluxe Hotels Swiss Deluxe Hotels Overview 176 Publishing Credits 178 Preview

The «Tour de Swiss Deluxe Hotels» reveals why the best Swiss hotels are considered the creative nucleus of 139 its gastronomy


168 170

sustainability –

the basis of our success

Everyone is talking about sustainability – so are we. But what does it actually stand for, and what does it mean for the luxury hotel industry? For us as the most exclusive and luxurious group of hotels in Switzerland, it means a respectful and sparing use of natural resources, responsible approach to our employees and the right alignment with our partners – all absolute key factors for the success of our business and a good future.

Our product – excellent and exceptional service for our guests – is based on a healthy, balanced and sustainably managed environment and nature. As our mission is to inspire our guests and to offer the very highest level of service in every respect, sustainability definitely has to be a core element to build our future.

The coordination and promotion of electric plug-ins for e-cars at all our member hotels became a must – not only on behalf of our new partner Audi. Nespresso’s Sebastian Vasquez anwered «sustainability and Swiss spirit are in our DNA» when he was asked about his attitude (page 94). We attach great importance to sharing both responsibility and recognition in an atmosphere characterised by teamwork and inspiration within the very exclusive circle of our hotels and partners. As a leader in our field, we endeavour to bring out the very best in our staff by offering efficient training programmes and meaningful career opportunities. We encourage personal initiative and value on individuality and creativity highly. Looking at future trends in travelling we expect shorter journeys and the re-discovery of closer destinations for the next two summer seasons. For the luxury hotel business, this certainly means a stronger focus on our local and European markets and neighbours.

Our challenge as an association of 39 independent hotels is to align some common interests and strategies and to meet current needs and targets – not only in terms of business excellence. In the hotel and gastronomy business it is all about how to maintain processes in procurement (buy local food, hotel facility goods), energy (heating, CO2 reduction, water consumption), marketing (printing vs. online content, travel activities, promotion of «green» products and packaging) and housekeeping (use of sustainable products, avoid waste of consumables), to name just a few points. That’s why our main approach within our partner programme is defined by the terms Swissness, exclusivity and sustainability. Starting with buying goods and food from local producers, offering more healthy and sustainable menus, and even planting vegetables and fruit in their own kitchen garden, our chefs’ are very impressive yet. © Switzerland Tourism, Lake Arnensee

Jan E. Brucker Managing Director Swiss Deluxe Hotels

We are well advised to take advantage of the natural beauty of Switzerland at all our destinations and of the amazing diversity and spirit of our member hotels. Our original values such as safety, cleanliness, reliability, fresh air, plenty of space and room as well as individual guest care correspond exactly to the philosophy of sustainable business management and a mindful togetherness. We are looking forward to welcoming you to one of our 39 unique Swiss Deluxe Hotels at 22 destinations. Take care and stay safe!



caffè freddo Cooled espresso over a few ice cubes is the Italian way to do iced coffee. That’s «Iskafi» if you’re in German-speaking parts of Switzerland and «café glacé» in Lausanne and Geneva. Dominique Niederhauser knows all too well that some varieties of coffee are better suited to being served cold. And so the Coffee Ambassador at Nespresso Switzerland has created his own cool coffee drink to sip on a hot summer’s day.

´ Not all coffee is best served over ice. We searched long and hard before we settled on a beautifully roasted Arabica blend with a rich flavour.´ ´ Recipes for cold coffee drinks have been around for quite some time, especially in countries further south, which are home to some of the major iced coffee trends. There is no question that some varieties taste much better than others when served cold. ICE INTENSO is a special drink designed to be mixed to perfection and enjoyed cold. ´

´ If you want to create a soft caramel sensation, we recommend a ratio of 1:2. That means you use double as much milk as espresso. Add a sweet hit of almond syrup or brown sugar to get the flavour spot on.´ 20


´ A cold coffee on the stronger side goes beautifully with other intense tastes like dark chocolate, but you could also create a nice contrast with the acidity of red fruit.´

COFFEE OVER ICE Add 3 ice cubes to your glass or 90 g of ice Pour 40 ml of cold coffee on top Add 90 ml of cold water, then stir

´ The choice of coffee beans and the specific roasting process make all the difference. The acidic or fruity notes of an East African Arabica are delicious when the coffee is served cold. Coffees from Costa Rica, though, are stronger with a darker roast and so may need some sugar or syrup to balance them out a little. Basically, stronger coffee blends work well as cold drinks when they are combined with chocolate, syrup or a lot of milk.´

COFFEE OVER ICE MACCHIATO Add 3 ice cubes to your glass or 90 g of ice Pour 40 ml of cold coffee on top Add 90 g of cold milk foam, then stir If you ask me, cold coffee is best served over ice with a teaspoon of almond syrup. A delicious and refreshing drink for a summer’s day!

´ Coffee beans grown at a higher altitude, such as in Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya, develop a consistent natural sweetness unlike coffee varieties grown lower down, which have a richer, stronger flavour.´ DISCOVER THE NEW ICE INTENSO BY NESPRESSO PROFESSIONAL

nespresso.com/pro 21

summer en rose Pretty pink oozes summer vibes and gives sparkling rosé wine its lovely light look and feel. Wine expert Peter Keller confirms that refreshing, lighter wines are a real hit on a warm summer’s day. And sparkling rosé wine ticks all the boxes as a thirst-quenching drink that slips down rather nicely.

´ The flavour is largely influenced by the grape varieties used. Pinot Noir is a popular choice with delicate, elegant aromas, whilst Cabernet Sauvignon is a punchier, more decadent option that’s altogether richer and more full-bodied.´

© [Daria Minaeva] / Shutterstock

´ Sparkling rosé wine has been around for quite some time. They were drinking almost-white wine that had a soft pink hue to it in the Champagne and Alsace regions all the way back in the 16th century. It was the legendary Madame Veuve Clicquot who came up with the idea. She used a red grape variety and invented the riddling rack to aid the remuage process. This involves the bottles being gently shaken to dislodge any sediment towards the cork.´

´ Unlike with dry wines, there is the option of mixing white and red wine when creating sparkling varieties. As a general rule, the proportion of red wine is 10–20% – just enough to create that signature pink colour. The brightness is determined by the length of time the grape juice is in contact with the skins. The spectacular palette of potential pinks ranges from pale blush to bright salmon.´


´ Sparkling rosé wine is best served at between 10 and 12 degrees in a classic champagne flute. The narrow design is ideal for that beautiful bubbly sensation. White wine glasses are another good option, but champagne coupes are best avoided as the fizz will disappear before you know it.´

´ Sparkling rosé wine works well in cocktails – just try it in a melon and raspberry punch! But it also goes nicely with all kinds of fish dishes. And here’s an inside secret for you: serve it with lamb. The bubbles in the wine cut through that juicy fat and add a welcome light touch to the hearty meat. What more could you want on a warm summer’s day? Just make sure that you go for a dry sparkling wine.´

´ Women may be attracted to the colour pink and there is no denying that sparkling rosé wine has no end of female fans. But it’s harder to assess if they’re in the majority, as we don’t have any concrete figures. What we do know is that men do enjoy drinking this on-trend fizz too and often indulge in a glass or two.´

´ Invest in fine sparkling wines. It’s well worth shelling out a little more so you don’t end up with something massproduced and devoid of character. Rosé champagne is the ultimate bubbly beauty, but you’ll find that fabulous fizz is produced elsewhere, including in Italy (Franciacorta), Spain (Cava), Germany (Winzersekt) and even Switzerland (Schaumwein).´



oysters, baby! Traditionally known as an aphrodisiac, oysters are now being hailed as a deluxe superfood. And they are a firm favourite amongst foodies – especially when accompanied by a glass of sparkling champagne. Luca Bianchi supplies the whole of Switzerland with these sought-after delicacies and knows how to shuck them like a pro.

´ There are two main types of oysters: les plates (flat) and les creuses (cupped). The oysters most people are familiar with come from France, the home of the Bélon, Marennes and Gillardeau varieties. But you can also get your hands on exceptional oysters from the Netherlands (Imperial and Wilde Wad), Germany (Sylter Royal) and Ireland (Galway and Kelly). And we mustn’t forget American and Pacific/Japanese oysters, which we are less familiar with.´

´ As with all raw seafood, oysters don’t stay fresh for long. That’s why it’s important for the cold chain to be maintained when they are being transported. They need to be stored at or below 4 or 5 degrees. It can help to apply some weight or pressure to slow down their natural opening. Oysters last for around ten days, but they should always be examined to check they are still fresh.´ 24

© [Andrew Cebulka] / Stocksy

´ We import fresh oysters from France every day and send them straight on to our customers. The oysters are harvested in the morning, transported to Switzerland overnight and then forwarded directly to the customers. The price depends on the variety, country of origin, container and season.´

´ Oysters taste of minerals and the salty sea, leaving behind a slightly meaty, milky, nutty aftertaste. They are classed as a superfood because they are nutritional gold mines with very little fat, a low calorie count, plenty of protein, vital minerals, trace elements and a high zinc content that boosts the immune system. And then there’s the aphrodisiac myth, which can be traced back to the high protein content.´

´ Hardcore oyster fans enjoy oysters as nature created them – straight from the shell and without any accompaniments. The flavour is most intense that way. The most famous ingredients to combine with oysters are a splash of red wine vinegar with shallots, a pinch of black pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a sip of champagne.´

´ If you struggle with shucking oysters, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s an alternative. The French sell oysters that are «facil à ouvrir» or easy to open. A special technique is used to open the shell, which is then sealed shut using wax to ensure that no air can get in. An oyster knife can then be used to open the shell with ease at the point where the wax was applied. This can all be arranged when you place your order.´

´ Oysters should not be eaten if they are already open, no longer in clear water or even dry. You can also be sure that an oyster has gone off if its flesh is cloudy, very milky or even spongy and dry. And don’t forget to use the sniff test to check that an oyster still smells like fresh seawater.´

´ In the past, it was recommended that mussels and oysters were only consumed in months containing the letter «r». This doesn’t apply now that cold chains can be maintained without a problem in the warm summer months too. Some wild oysters are only available seasonally, though. For example, wild Irish oysters have to be enjoyed between November and February.´


Luca & Dario Bianchi order@bianchi.ch www.bianchi.ch 25


celebrating Everything that is festive, languid and chilled about a summer’s day has come together in the new «cool» way to drink champagne, served in a large wine glass, and bursting with the flavour of tropical fruits. Chef de cave Benoît Gouez at Moët & Chandon developed the world’s first champagne especially made to be enjoyed exclusively over ice 10 years ago. Happy Birthday Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial! ´ With a balance of contemporaneity and authenticity, Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial has single-handedly revolutionised the global perception of champagne while maintaining its high quality. Moët & Chandon has disrupted the classic codes of champagne by creating a champagne that can be savoured by the beach or poolside, in large wine glasses, without concern for outdated codes. ´

´ Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial is a new way of enjoying champagne by opening new possibilities for those who crave an experience in total freedom, one that is casual and refreshing on ice. It has become the champagne of choice for sultry summer evenings spent watching the sun set from a wooden porch in Bali, at a clam-bake on the beach in Montauk, at a chic party on a yacht moored in the port of St Tropez, or dancing barefoot in the streets of Panama. ´ 26

´ Ice Impérial offers a new hip champagne experience that combines fun and fresh sensations while remaining true to the Moët & Chandon distinctive style. It was designed to conserve its bright fruitiness, seductive palate and elegant maturity even with the added ice cubes. ´

´ Try adding a garnish to boost the freshness and intensity of the aromas. Mint leaves, lime peel, grapefruit, cardamom seeds, ginger and red fruits come highly recommended. For Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial, sushi and sashimi enhanced with a touch of fresh fruit or citrus fruit would make an enjoyable pairing. ´

´ The «perfect serve» of Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial, according to Benoît Gouez, begins with a chilled glass into which champagne is poured first and to which three ice cubes are added. ´

´ The powerful aromas of tropical fruits, stone fruits and raspberries give this demi-sec champagne its distinctive flavour. It is full-bodied, wellbalanced and refreshing after just 18 months of initial maturation and at least another three months more after disgorgement in the Moët & Chandon’s cellars. ´


www.moet.com 27

temptation Fig season kicks off in the summer and we can start to get our hands on the fresh fruits from the Mediterranean in July. «If wasps are buzzing around you, you’re almost too late!» warns Mattias Roock, Executive Chef at Castello del Sole in Ascona. He sources the delicacies from the hotel’s very own garden.

´ Figs like warm weather and most famously come from Turkey, Italy and France. They can grow nicely here in the south of Switzerland too thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate. Our harvesting season falls between the end of August and the end of October. Of course, you can find cultivated figs in the supermarkets all year round. But if you prefer to buy local fruit, you will be pleased to hear that Swiss figs are available in some specialist shops, at organic markets and directly from producers online towards the end of summer.´

© Locanda Barbarossa

´ You can tell if a fig is nice and ripe just by feeling it. They should be soft to the touch and you should be able to gently squeeze them and pick them with ease. You want the skin to be thin and delicate. When you cut into them, they should drip with red juice.´



´ Since fresh figs are delicate and ripen very quickly, it is best to eat them straight away. They do last for a few days longer if kept in the fridge, though. I tend to take them out of the fridge just before serving to give them time to come to room temperature and unleash their full flavour sensation. If you want to be able to enjoy your figs for a bit longer, I recommend whipping up a batch of lovely fig marmalade to spread on bread. Alternatively, take out some of the sweetness to create a delicious accompaniment for cheese.´

3 kg fresh figs 1 kg sugar 1 vanilla pod 4 lemons 100 ml dark rum Wash the figs in cold water and dry with kitchen roll. Cut into slices 2 mm thick. Place in a bowl with the sugar, vanilla pod and lemon juice. Leave to marinate for one hour. Tip the mixture into a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring gently. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight. The next day, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Carefully skim off the surface of the marmalade. Continue to simmer until you have the perfect consistency. Add the rum and heat to a temperature of 105°. Pour the marmalade straight into preprepared jars that have been heated in the oven. Make sure that the jars are properly sealed. Place the jars on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 8 minutes at 130 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover with a tablecloth and leave to slowly cool and stand for 48 hours.

´ Figs are a welcome addition to spicy, salty and sour dishes, and they go nicely with cheese and ham, on pizza and in salads, sandwiches and chutneys. We serve them up with goat’s cheese as a starter, for example, or with Ticinese yoghurt and honey from our farm Terreni alla Maggia as a dessert.´

´ There are countless fig varieties. We grow Ficus carica, also known as the common fig, in our garden. It goes a violet colour when it’s ripe. The same fig is given at least one different name in each country. The colour ranges from green to violet and the size from tiny to large.´ 29


Castello del Sole Tel +41 91 791 02 02 castellodelsole.com

forest bathing Meander through clearings, stretch out underneath the treetops or simply breathe in the scent of the leaves and the fresh mountain air. «Shinrin-yoku», or «forest bathing», is a very popular form of nature therapy in Japan. Sports scientist Anne-Marie Flammersfeld calls this technique «natural awareness».

´ We observe, analyse, describe and make a connection with thoughts and images from our everyday lives. Positive psychology is so important here, with the focus on all the best bits of being human like happiness, optimism, feelings of safety and security, trust and confidence. Spending time surrounded by nature empowers and grounds us, whilst providing healing power on all levels.´

´ Children have a wonderfully imaginative way of looking at the world. And so if you are accompanied by a little forest guide, you’re sure to be amazed at the things you see that you’d have otherwise missed or looked at in a different way.´


© [Peter Wey] / Stocksy

´ All you need to indulge in a spot of forest bathing is a forest and yourself. In fact, it may be best to take a group of good friends with you to start with. That way, you can all discuss what you saw and share your own interpretations later. But remember that this is not a time to be thinking about sport!´

´ As soon as I get out into nature, I become so much more aware of my surroundings. I notice minute details that make me smile and help me to feel grounded. Forest air contains 90% fewer dust particles than city air. Is it really any wonder that the forest has an almost magical appeal? ´

´ The number one rule is to go slow. Every movement needs to be slowed right down and you need to give your eyes plenty of time to take in the forest setting. The idea is to be present and stop thinking. It’s important to be curious, attentive and open-minded.´

´ You could even try walking barefoot on the ground to feel the woodland properly beneath your feet. It doesn’t actually matter if you are in a city park or a mountain forest. In fact, you’d be surprised by the wonderful things you can discover on a balcony filled with plants!´

´ The forest absorbs chemical neurotransmitters, also known as terpenes, which act like a catalyst in the body. They strengthen the immune system, the mind and the nervous system. A study conducted in 1984 found that a view of nature was enough to have a positive impact on the recovery process of patients who had just come out of surgery.´


Sports scientist allmountainfitness.ch 31




s soon as Andrea Scherz climbs into his car – a bright-red Audi Sport Quattro – his facial expressions change. The corners of his mouth turn up as a cheeky grin spreads over his face. «Whenever I feel like I need a little break, I get my car out of the garage and head straight for Col du Pillon,» he says. He enjoys navigating the twists and turns along the mountain pass so much that it helps him relax. He is also keen to point out that he loves his job. «The Palace is my life. And I love getting out of bed every day knowing that I get to look after my very own slice of paradise.» He thrives on interactions with others. And it’s a good job given that «the hotel business is all about people». He certainly has a way with people. That’s one of the main reasons that the Gstaad Palace has managed to remain a popular destination for international guests with high standards for three generations. 32












© Holger Jacob

Our gourmet trends for this summer



«Sicily is my Love»: the citrus juicer by Smeg and Dolce & Gabbana is adorned with bright and vivacious colours. – CHF 548, available on smeg.com

Avoid buying a mishmash of kitchen utensils – choose these most essential copper tools by House Doctor.

Jukes is a unique series of non-alcoholic drinks made from top-quality fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices and flowers.

– CHF 76, available on idyllhome.co.uk

– CHF 54 (box with 9 little bottles) weinauslese.ch

Make Greek-style frappe and matcha lattes at home with the KitchenCraft Le’Xpress Stainless Steel Electric Milk Frother. – Price on request available on kitchencraft.com

Wire metal fruit bowl in copper turns your 5-a-day into a work of art.

Grappa Anima di Nebbiolo da Barolo – fruity start reminiscent of stone fruit. Wonderful Grappa – velvety, balanced and clean.

– CHF 35, available on cultfurniture.com

– CHF 37 (50 cl), available on vergani.ch

The BarCraft Copper-Finish Cocktail Shaker from Kitchencraft calls for homemade Espresso Martinis. – By Barcraft on request kitchencraft.com

Plates featuring Christian Dior’s signature «Toile de Jouy» pattern. Tiger dessert plate. – Starting from CHF 100 available at Dior Maison

The Lina Armchair in nude beige velvet creates a warm lounging space in any home. – CHF 1,250, available on sweetpeaandwillow.com


SWISS DELUXE HOTELS EDITION Golden linseeds, also called whole-fibre healing grains, from Switzerland. The crunchy breakfast is vegan, free of refined sugar and locally produced in Zurich. Spontaneous, radiant and enticing, with a bright fruitiness and elegant maturity, Moët Rosé Impérial is supple on the palate – the beautiful, fruity-pink expression of the maison’s style. Those who prefer champagnes with intense flavours will be particularly well matched to the lively and juicy Moët Rosé Impérial, which is made primarily from pinot noir. – CHF 64.95 (75 cl), available at manor.ch

– CHF 20 available on thetinyfactory.ch

Juicy Salif, the citrus squeezer designed by Philippe Starck on a pizzeria napkin during a seaside holiday in Italy.

Stainless steel handle table knives from the Advantage collection. Six piece set in a wooden storage box. – CHF 129, available on jeandubost.com and goyon-chazeau.com

– CHF 86, available on alessi.com

The Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer is a design icon. In the spirit of the Bauhaus, the Knoll canvas variant has an original charm. – CHF 1,949, available on connox.ch

A finely crafted range of recipes and a constant high quality in cup. Details are not just a detail with the Nespresso Momento Coffee & Milk machine. They make memorable coffee experiences. – Price on request, nespresso.com/pro

The stainless steel and copper tri-ply mini fry pan from KitchenCraft is ideal for cooking and serving straight to the table. – CHF 45, available on kitchencraft.com

Etoile Abstract Ballet Dancer group sculpture in stone finish.

Made of gold, this beautifully crafted Combibar is an ideal choice of bullion for investment. The 50 bars feature individual designs and weigh 1 g each. You are free to divide the bars as you see fit, for example, to give the pieces as small gifts.

– Starting from around CHF 50 available on artisanti.com

– Approx. CHF 2,900, available on shop.degussa-goldhandel.ch



© Gstaad Palace


2 1 — The ceiling above the main staircase at the Alpina Gstaad consists of 32 antique wood pieces painted with glue-bound distemper. The piece was bought from a Swiss Art dealer and brought back to life by Swiss art restorers. According to the experts, it most likely originates from Southern Europe and dates back to the late baroque period around 1780. alpinagstaad.ch 2 — The Gstaad Palace opened in December 1913. In the Golden Twenties, the infrastructure, weakened by the war, improved again. In the 1960s, Gstaad started to attract global superstars and the hotel welcomed the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Charles Aznavour, Maurice Chevalier and Louis Armstrong through its doors.



a weekend in Gstaad Such an i­ conic destination calls for stylish ­pieces and cool a ­ ccessories. What to get where, and where to wear it. That is the question!


Beautiful Gstaad, indisputably the jewel in the Swiss Alpine crown, lies cosseted in some of Switzerland’s finest Alpine scenery. One cannot help but feel exhilarated and awestruck, inspired by the very fact of finding oneself in the heart of this gorgeous region, paradise on earth! Presiding like royalty above the idyllic pastoral scene of the village below, are the iconic Palace Hotel and it’s neighbouring Alpina Gstaad Hotel. And within walking distance you’ll find the grand old Park Hotel. These offer an exclusive entry into what must surely be the highest level of hotellerie in the land. Where hospitality and elegance, luxury and lifestyle are celebrated in a world unto itself. Royalty could not ask for more! For an unforgettable holiday or even for your second home, Gstaad has it all. The place to be!



1 Graf von Faber-Castell 2

With this perfect 3-1 pencil, bring all you need stylishly in form. Replacing your phone with a timeless sketch of your experience. – graf-von-faber-castell.ch

2 Graff Jewels The fabulous tribal collection is every woman’s dream, exquisitely crafted by exceptional designers. The beautiful chalet style store on the Promenade is a major magnet for millionaires and their magpie desires.


– graff.com

3 Cimier Swiss time and Swiss excellence. Watches equally attractive for both him and her. – cimier.com


4 Lalique The sophistication and exceptional craftsmanship of these magnificent glass pieces never cease to amaze. – Lalique.com

5 Stoffels The exclusive optician, Stoffels in Zürich, will team you up with a pair of stunning sunglasses to compliment your every look. – stoffelsoptik.ch

5 6

6 Hermès The fabulous new fragrance of Hermes H24 seduces all tastes and all senses. Fantastic! – hermes.com




Marina Annouilh Exotic, bohemian treasures for ladies with style in the heart of Gstaad. – Promenade 6A, Gstaad marinaanouilh.com

Lake Arnensee

© Destination Gstaad

Rougemont Interiors by Pascal Heuberger


There mightn’t be a universal standard for good taste, but if I were to be pressed for an answer, it would be found at Rougemont Interiors.

THE place to be Restaurant 16


– Promenade 3, Gstaad rougemontinteriors.com

Trois Pommes You will find an exclusive collection of famous brands and hand-picked garments to entice him and her. – Palacestrasse 1, Gstaad stoffelsoptik.ch

Anne Rosat Anne Rosat keeps the traditional Swiss art of Scherenschnitt alive with her passion and dedication. – annerosat.ch

Home-made Charly’s bakery The perfect hot chocolate and delicious homemade pastries. – www.charlys-gstaad.ch

Ever-popular Restaurant Olden is an Italian restaurant with a spectacular wine cellar, housing 350 different wines.

Peak Walk – The famous Glacier 3000. Stand on top of the world and soak up the spectacular views for as far as the eye can see.

– Promenade 35, Gstaad hotelolden.com Lake Launensee – No holiday in Switzerland is complete without a refreshing dip in one of the beautiful lakes.

Most charming Restaurant 16 is a delightful garden restaurant. Especially in summer, it is THE place to be.

Lake Arnensee – It is an insider’s secret spot, I promised not to divulge the information so please don’t tell anyone.

Menuhin Festival – Every summer one of Europe’s top music festivals takes place in Gstaad. Dedicated to the memory of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and organised by the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Academy, this outstanding festival is an essential entertainment on every music-lover’s list. Including mine.

– Mittelgässli 16, Saanen 16eme.ch


The Gstaad Palace Hotel (built in 1913) is a landmark and beacon for the stylish and well-to-do. Here the guests are treated like absolute royalty, and incidentally, often are. As is to be expected, a stately opulence combined with old-world charm are steadfast attributes of this truly grand old hotel. Meet you in the lobby at midnight!

Anne Rosat Gstaad


. n i z a g a M s a D . a Caminad . e l y t s e f i L . r u t l u Köche. K ben) und 30.– (zwei Ausga F H C t at st .– 24 n. abo für CHF aminada gewinne C hlossene: Jahres as sc re nt le nd el A i hn be Sc r Fü inner for two» in.ch/abo mit Glück ein «D 44 caminadamagaz

© Anne-Emmanuelle Thion


Anne-Sophie Pic’s culinary creations are a lot like her – elegant, harmonious and inspiring. That makes sense given that this French chef believes that a cook’s personality is always reflected in the food they serve up. WORDS ALEX KUEHN

Madame Pic doesn’t actually drink coffee herself, she is fascinated by its complex blend of flavours. «I really wanted to produce a dish featuring coffee for that reason. And when I was looking for something to complement the iodine-rich oysters, the smoky undertones of whisky popped into my mind.» Her impressive culinary combinations have earned her Michelin stars, countless other awards and even a compliment from the great Paul Bocuse. «Anne-Sophie, you

Anne-Sophie Pic can even bring oysters, coffee and whisky together in perfect harmony. There aren’t many chefs out there who can combine ingredients quite as skilfully. But Madame Pic has a special talent for pairing foods that really shouldn’t work together. It is her mission to delight and surprise diners. «My career may be based around the element of surprise, but my priority is still to bring ingredients together in perfect harmony,» she explains. Although 45


´It’s all about balance.´


© Jean-François Mallet (pages 46 / 47)



are the Mère Brazier of the 21st century,» he once said after a visit to the daughter of his friend Jacques Pic. In 1933, Eugénie Brazier and Marie Bourgeois became the first women to be awarded three Michelin stars. And Mère Brazier also happened to be Bocuse’s mentor, who had a major influence on his culinary career. «Of course, being compared to Mère Brazier by none other than Paul Bocuse gave me a huge boost,» says Anne-Sophie Pic. «That compliment came at just the right time. When our restaurant in Valence had not yet managed to win back the third Michelin star it lost after my father’s untimely death. It helped me believe that I would be able to do it. And I was confident then that I could turn to Monsieur Paul for help. It turns out that I was too proud to do that anyway and I ended up going it alone.» These days, Anne-Sophie Pic is following in Bocuse’s footsteps and has become a culinary icon in her own right. And she is never afraid of making drastic changes if that’s what it takes to stay true to herself. For example, her interest in bitter flavours is growing because of that persistent aftertaste that acidic accents simply don’t have. «Just think of a lingering fine wine. Acidity used to be at the heart of my dishes, but now I really only use it to offset bitterness. It’s all about balance.» And what about umami, the fifth basic taste we hear so much about? «That yummy savoury flavour is an important part of my cooking,» explains Anne-Sophie Pic. «I started to be more deliberate in my use of umami than I was before we were all so familiar with the concept. Umami-inspired dishes already featured heavily in tradi-

tional French cuisine with its rich sauces, but more of a conscious effort goes into creating them these days. And they are fresher and more complex.» According to the creative chef, as the focus of haute cuisine continues to shift towards umami, sweet sensations are becoming less popular. «In my own savoury dishes, I only ever add sweetness in the form of alcohol. A chartreuse sauce, for example, is a flavour explosion with a sweet hint. And it’s that complexity that makes it such a hit.» It’s a different story, though, when it comes to the dessert menu. «We do need proper sweet dishes as long as they’re well balanced. It would be awful if the distinction between starter, main course and dessert disappeared altogether. I am steering clear of that trend.» The philosophy behind AnneSophie Pic’s cooking is the same at her original restaurant in Valence and at the Beau-Rivage Palace in Switzerland. And yet these two eateries each have their own unique character. Madame Pic and Kévin Vaubourg, her head chef in Lausanne, centre their menus around premium local produce. The succulent Limousin entrecôte from Vaud served with a beautifully fresh jus infused with shiso is sourced from the Boucherie d’Onex just outside of Geneva. It comes with baby aubergines grown by Mathieu Cuendet, a vegetable farmer based in Bremblens. The berlingots – delicate pasta parcels à la Pic served with Green Zebra tomatoes, verbena and watercress – are filled with a moitié-moitié fondue mixture typical of the Romandy region. Every plate served by Anne-Sophie Pic reflects her passion for her work. But does such a busy woman



ever find time to actually go out for a meal in a restaurant? «Not really when I’m in Lausanne. It’s more important for me to spend time with my team at the Beau-Rivage,» she explains. «Having said that, I did thoroughly enjoy the meal I had at the Hôtel de Ville in Crissier here in Switzerland. And I was lucky enough to experience Andreas Caminada’s exquisite, thoroughly modern cooking at a four-hands dinner here in Lausanne. My husband also raves about the Cheval Blanc in Basel. So now I’m very keen to try Peter Knogl’s Asianand Mediterranean-inspired take on haute cuisine one day.» Madame Pic visited two restaurants in France last summer, tucking into the delights served up by Glenn Viel at the Oustau de Baumanière, which had recently been awarded three Michelin stars, and by Fanny Rey at the Auberge de St-Rémy-deProvence. Her visit to Rey, a finalist on TV cooking show «Top Chef» in 2011, also gave her a chance to offer support and encouragement to an up-and-coming female colleague. After all, Anne-Sophie Pic knows all too well what it’s like to be a woman in the largely male pool of top chefs. And she deals with it completely differently now that she is further on in her career. «At the start of my career, I wanted to let my food speak for itself. I wanted to be seen purely as a chef rather than a female chef. But now I draw attention to the fact that I’m a woman with a view to showing young female chefs that the sky’s the limit for us. There’s nothing stopping them from getting to where I am today.» As a mother of a 15-year-old son, she describes her cooking style as predominantly feminine but ac-

knowledges that some of her dishes have a very definite masculine edge. She firmly believes that women are not restricted to cooking deemed to be feminine. Neither does a man have to worry about his food being overly masculine. «Everyone has their own unique qualities and ways of doing things. A chef’s personality is always reflected in the food they serve up. Each and every dish is an attempt to spark an emotional response. That explains why it hits us so hard when what we create doesn’t have that effect on someone. And it makes it all the more meaningful when our food does also end up feeding the soul.» Madame Pic doesn’t need to show off or be overly strict in the kitchen to assert her authority. «If you want to be respected, you have to be fair and in a position to teach your staff to help them grow and improve. Cooks work hard and expect respect and fair treatment in return,» says the grande dame of French cuisine. And she has a little trick up her sleeve just in case. When things are beginning to get just a bit too hectic, she doesn’t shout to be heard. Instead, she whispers to force everyone to concentrate extra hard on what she is saying. The most important thing to know about Anne-Sophie Pic, though, is that she comes across as a lovely, warm person. «Cooking somehow has a motherly feel to it. A mother follows her natural instincts and feeds her family. I apply that instinct in my work life too. I have one son at home, but I also feel a similar sense of responsibility towards my team.»



© Serge Chapuis

© Jean-François Mallet

© Marion Monier


Old elephants head back to where they were born, he tells us. The 52-year-old is quick to add that he may not be quite that old yet but he is an elephant – «and now I’m back where I was born». He took on the role of General Manager of the La Réserve Eden au Lac in Zurich last autumn. Of course, he had originally imagined that his glorious return to Lake Zurich – the La Réserve has been called the Eden au Lac forever and Thomas Maechler grew up in Küsnacht a few miles upstream – would go a little differently. French hotelier and wine connoisseur Michel Reybier opened midJanuary 2020 just before the lockdown. That hasn’t stopped the bookings rolling in at the weekends since then, with around 80% of rooms being occupied. Lots of guests already familiar with the La Réserve brand have travelled from Romandy to Zurich, where there’s more going on. Weekdays are a different story, though, with only around 30% of the 40 rooms being filled as it stands. «We are muddling through,» he says, getting down to business over a breakfast of Eggs Benedict, avocado on toast and assorted dim sum at his hotel last December. It’s difficult to predict what the future holds right now – and that’s certainly true within the hospitality sector. And yet Maechler is on team optimism. He points out that he is running a small hotel that very rarely holds seminars and events. «Our focus is on individual guests.» And he believes that this is the first type of traveller we can expect to see on the move and treating themselves as soon as possible. He is confident that the situation will improve. Things may even be better by the time this article is published. For the past 16 years, Maechler and his family have been living in Neuchâtel, where he ran the Beau-Rivage. But the opportunity to open and run a hotel like the La Réserve in Zurich is only really likely to come about once in a lifetime. «Michel Reybier seeks out entrepreneurs rather than hotel managers,» says Maechler of his new boss. Not to mention that his wife and

three children were keen to move to Zurich. And it all just slotted into place for him too. So now the elephant (Maechler’s own word) is back in Zurich or, more specifically, in «Sobe» (South of Bellevue), the name he gives to the area in which the La Réserve is located. Some rival hoteliers may be quick to point out that this isn’t the right neighbourhood for an upmarket hotel. The old-fashioned view would be that only an address on or near Paradeplatz is good enough. But Maechler vehemently disagrees with that opinion. In his mind, the Seefeld district («Sobe») is quite possibly the city’s most stunning spot. And that comes down to the beautiful lakeside location and the selection of elegant restaurants, trendy cafés and high-end boutiques. He believes that the hotel’s position «at the heart of the neighbourhood» and the «image of mingling with the community» are crucial to its success. Maechler is keen to get the top restaurants within walking distance on board, for example. Even though La Réserve has two restaurants of its own – La Muna and Eden Kitchen – serving up exceptional food and fine wine. «We want our guests to have plenty of choice,» he says. And he is confident enough to work on the basis that the in-house options are difficult to beat and will prove popular despite the strong competition nearby. As the General Manager of a new hotel, he has no chance of getting bored any time soon. But Maechler somehow has space in his busy work schedule for one more responsibility, as he is now the Vice President of Swiss Deluxe Hotels. After eight years on the Board of Directors for the association of five-star hotels, the time had come for him to take on a leadership role. His main job is to maintain contacts and relationships. Managing his network is something he takes very seriously. But now the elephant has returned to Zurich. And it looks like he is here to stay. Where would elephant Thomas Maechler be more at home than at La Réserve, a hotel group with an elephant in its logo? 50

breakfast with


A new management position at a new hotel back on his old stomping ground. Life is looking good (pandemic aside, obviously) for the General Manager of La Réserve Eden au Lac in Zurich and Vice President of Swiss Deluxe Hotels. 51



© Destination Gstaad / Melanie Uhkoetter

N 46°28'23'' | E 7°17'11''




N°1 Visit the famous Bollywood bridge in Saanen


Fly high aboard a hot air balloon The clear and sunny weather allows for a fresh perspective on the Alps.

N°3 Travel back in time aboard the MOB Connecting Montreux and Zweisimmen with a stop in Gstaad, the historic Belle Époque carriages offer comfort and elegance. mob.ch

Gstaad is just a stone’s throw from the very birthplace of Swiss luxury hospitality, which started along Lake Geneva.

EMBEDDED AMONG FIVE MOUNTAINS. Before it turned into an upscale resort at the beginning of the 20 th century, Gstaad used to be a farm town like many others. The misfortune of the great fire of 1898 was turned into an opportunity, however, and Gstaad was rebuilt with the growing tourism industry in mind. Now accessible by railway, Gstaad soon became the home of several luxury palaces that would cater to wealthy travellers. For more than a century, the five-star hotels of Gstaad have remained unchanged – until The Alpina Gstaad joined the party in 2012. Gstaad sits at a moderate altitude of 1,050 metres above sea level, which is considerably lower than many other resort towns in Switzerland. The surrounding mountains have soft slopes and are void of harsh cliffs or pointy peaks. Thanks to a generosity of sunshine and an abundance of nature, this region offers everything you can wish for from an Alpine getaway. 54

© Switzerland Tourism, Gruyère Nature Park

Featured in the 1995 blockbuster, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), the bridge across the station is a destination in its own right.


© Destination Gstaad, Melanie Uhkoetter


5 6

7 4



For an unforgettable day in Gstaad, pick and choose from these activities

1 Speed!

4 Trek with llamas or packing goats


Pick a four-legged companion to discover the spectacular nature surrounding Gstaad. It’s an unexpectedly fun activity for families or couples. gstaad.ch


5 © Station Saanen

© Destination Gstaad / Melanie Uhkoetter

The Alpine Coaster will quickly raise your adrenaline level and make your heart beat fast! You will experience weightlessness up to 6 metres above the ground on this high-flying adventure in a mountain environment you will never forget. How many times do you want to go down? glacier3000.ch/en

5 It’s all fun and games at the STATION in Saanen In the case of inclement weather, take your family to this indoor playground. Housed inside the former fire station, this hands-on experience with slides and oversized marble games is sure to delight kids of all ages. stationsaanen.ch

© Glacier 3000


2 Fondue and artisanal ice cream go hand in hand Grab a rucksack filled with all the ingredients for an outdoor cheese fondue. Once back in town, stop by the cheese dairy to indulge in locally produced ice cream. gstaad.ch/ruci.ch

This idyllic mountain lake is so popular, the Swiss have even dedicated a song to it. During summer, locals and tourists flock there for some refreshing wild swimming or to take a date out on a rowing boat… gstaad.ch ©Destination Gstaad


7 Learn about the region on a guided e-bike tour


© Destination Gstaad


6 Relax with a yoga session in nature

© Park Gstaad


3 Row a boat on Lake Lauenen

Your concierge surely has Dario Di Gioia on speed dial. Early in the morning, this local yogi will take you to a pristine mountain top for a session of Wudang Five Animals Qi Gong, mixed with flow yoga. personaltrainergstaad.com


The Guides Gstaad-Saanenland are passionate local tour guides. While gliding along on a modern e-bike, they will teach you about the architecture, customs and history of the region. guides-gstaad.ch

© Glacier3000

The Tissot Cliff Walk at Glacier 3000.


How to explore the mountain tops above Gstaad Wasserngrat

© Destination Gstaad

The mountain restaurant at the peak of pleasure provides cool refreshments as well as first-class, regional products and the terrace invites you to enjoy a breathtaking view. The Wasserngrat is also the starting point of the impressive and panoramic Alpine hiking trail towards Leiterli and Betelberg Lenk. wasserngrat.ch

© Destination Gstaad / Melanie Uhkoetter

Wispile This hill is especially popular among families for its petting zoo and adventure playground. After a day of fun, race down to the valley floor on a scooter. From Wispile, hikers can embark on the panoramic ridge hike to Lake Lauenen.

Glacier 3000 A short drive from Gstaad is Glacier 3000, an impressive 3k-peak. Up on top, test your limits by crossing the hanging bridge. Then, take a brief walk on the glacier to meet a pack of huskies for a dogsled ride. For a typical summer hike, return to Col du Pillon and follow the trail to Feutersoey. Along the way, you will spot Lake Arnen, the «Pearl of the Saanenland». glacier3000.ch


Visit gstaad.ch or follow the destination on Instagram @gstaad_official 59


© Deprez Photo Crans-Montana

badass golf in crans montana If you are interested in experiencing the best of the best and golf is your passion, Switzerland should be at the top of your list: breathtaking views, celebrity-designed golf courses, exclusive networking possibilities, world class hospitality, top notch organisation are offered almost everywhere in the country. WORDS BEATRICE LESSI


ut if you want to try what is – hands down – the number one destination according to professionals, then it has to be Crans Montana. Why? Because of the world famous Omega tournament. The Omega European Masters is one of the most prestigious golf competitions played on European soil. Located at Crans-Montana in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club is indisputably the most spectacular course on the European Tour schedule. Some of the past winners include players such as Spain’s Severiano Ballesteros, José Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia, Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, South Africa’s Ernie Els and Britain’s Lee Westwood. Iconic hole no. 7 doesn’t only enjoy magnificent views,but also leaves 61

long hitters the chance to reach the par 4 hole from the tee. This prominent tournament attracts a worldwide audience, as the Crans-Montana website explains. It is above all the exceptional setting that remains etched in the memories of those who play on the famous Severiano Ballesteros (18 hole) and Jack Nicklaus (9 hole) courses. It is difficult to concentrate on the little white ball when one of the most beautiful mountains in the Alps appears at every tee-off ! But in these surroundings, the mountains soothe and inspire golfers, and encourage unwavering precision and endless pleasure. Maybe that’s why some of the professionals bought a chalet here and chose to keep training in this idyllic environment.

putt in front of the hotel, after-golf aperitif on the Terrace or in the Lounge, complimentary transfers around Crans-Montana and unlimited access to the Guarda Golf Spa. While my husband was playing, I took my time to visit the award-winning spa, which is the ultimate eye candy: even the sauna, here, has a view! A window showing the blue waters of the beautifully designed pool makes this facility very different from the average dark sauna. And the pool itself, I wasn’t surprised anymore at this point, has a view too – over the flowery terrace and the immaculate golf course. I also spent two hours in the gym because it was so welcoming: I warmed up watching the Swiss Alps, trained with the classic Technogym equipment, and had the opportunity to train my swing in the fitness area… which confirmed I’m not going to have a single digit handicap any time soon!


© GolfClubCransSurSierre

And if you, instead, are like me and play no golf, but travel with someone who does (in my case, my husband is the one who plays, and loves to «tick boxes» of best destinations and top hotels), then you might be interested in trying the legendary Crans Montana chalet life too, and getting to know where to stay. There is a clear winner: Guarda Golf Hotel and Residences. The first impression, when we checked in was: this is like being at home. Maybe because of the cosy chalet decor – wood and a spectacular line of dashing red geraniums everywhere. Or perhaps it was because the staff already knew our names, before we handed over our documents. The second small surprise came from the golf room – I expected just a cellar where you could store your golf clubs, but instead found an elegantly furbished space which almost resembled a library. The third impression came from our suite: a splendid, panoramic view over the golf course and the Alps. Finally I loved our bathroom, with its champagne-coloured Italian limestone, deep bathtub and separate, large shower. We looked at the hotel’s services. For golfers, a special Golf at the Top offer included one green fee per person per day on the Championship Ballesteros golf course, chip &

´The first impression, when we checked in was: this is like being at home.´

After the first day of the tournament, both my husband and I were quite tired and had the longest sleep we had had in years. I am not sure if it was down to the super cosy bed, the total silence, or both. The morning after we enjoyed an excellent breakfast. We were given a layered party tray loaded with fruits, breads and jams as soon as we sat down on the sunny terrace. A smoothie of the day and vegetable juices were offered. The cappuc-

cino was creamy to perfection – and believe me, I am Italian and I can tell the difference. Birds chirping and golf players in the background composed the sweetest soundtrack while we prepared for the day. Was it a lucky moment, or was it the good sleep and cool atmosphere? My husband totally nailed it and won the tournament – we went home with a heart full of emotions and, above all, the feeling we had just had a full holiday. 63

a beautiful




© Nick Hopper

Summer at Le Grand Bellevue. There is literally no place else I’d like to be than here in Gstaad. My official task is clear: to discover the large, prize-winning spa of this quaint luxury hotel. But unofficially, I’m taking my job as mum to two teenaged daughters to the next level. I’ve brought the 16-year-old with me. And she’s taking to the luxe life a bit too quickly for my liking.



© Nick Hopper (pages 66 / 67)

No place else I’d like to be than here in Gstaad.


Lying back on my exceedingly comfortable daybed, underneath the bright yellow umbrella, listening to the birds chirping in the trees and watching the beads of condensation slowly slide down my chilled glass of sparkling water, there’s just one thing I simply cannot fathom. And that is that so many of my friends speak so glowingly of the magical winters in Gstaad. How could they not want to come back in the summer? And more importantly: How will I ever manage to extract my teenage daughter Lily from our amazing Panorama Suite, when it’s time for us to check out tomorrow?

First things first, though. I firmly wrap myself up in my huge spa towel and make my way back to the spa. It may be 24° Celsius outside, but despite the beautiful summer weather, I’m heading back to my new favourite Swiss spa – and putting myself back into beauty therapist Isabel’s talented hands for a Dr. Barbara Sturm facial.




Perhaps I should start at the beginning, and not at the «happily-ever-after» high point of my three day summer stay at Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad? As a beauty journalist and resident spa expert here at «H» Magazine, I’m awfully used to travelling around Switzerland and checking out the latest and greatest hotel spas. But this trip is different: not only am I looking forward to some much-needed downtime in these unparalleled times, but I get to bring my 16-year-old younger daughter with me, who (clutch your pearls here, please) has never been on a spa break. The beautifully scenic journey from our hometown Zurich to Gstaad wasn’t quick, but the awesome train trip made it very much worth our while. And you know if a teenager spends an hour looking out of the window instead of at her phone screen, the view has got to be amazing. After being picked up by a friendly portier and being driven an embarrassing 300 metres to the historic Le Grand Bellevue hotel, with its fresh yellow-and-white exterior

and beautifully kept grounds, Lily and I are whisked straight to the spa: we’ve got a lot of discovering to do, and 48 hours are tight, even on relaxed summer-in-Gstaad time. The next two days are a blur, but a most delightful one. I love how excited Lily is about everything she’s experiencing here in this uniquely cosy, quietly luxurious Alpine haven. Our 180-minute-long «Alpine Serenity Ritual» in Le Grand Spa was just the start, and one we’re likely never to forget (see «Steffi’s Signature Treatment Tip»!). Our first evening was spent on the balmy outdoor terrace of the Gault & Millau awarded Leonard’s, where we were served the chef’s menu of beautifully arranged, seasonal specialties – including the prettiest oyster I’ve ever eaten. Heading up to our suite, Lily only manages a few half-hearted, tired jumps on our king-size bed before dropping off to sleep: it seems your first full-body massage really takes it out of you!




Awaking the next day to a brilliant sunrise, and another beautiful day, we enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Leonard’s, and then go do what any proper summer tourist in Gstaad does: put on our outdoor gear and get ready for a day of Alpine adventures. Which, in my world, means a private yoga lesson on the top of Wispile, Gstaad’s «family-oriented» mountaintop. After downward-dogging and Shavasana-ing in the midst of cows and hikers, we get to unpack a delicious, healthy lunch that was prepared for us by the chefs at Le Grand Bellevue and lovingly packed in an outdoorsy hiking pack. Lily finishes her salmon-and-quinoa salad, garnished with edible flowers, and sighs deeply. I’m afraid I’ve ruined her for hiking / yoga trips forever. We take the gondola back down to Gstaad and walk back to the hotel, enjoying summertime Gstaad, which – despite Covid restrictions – is restrainedly bustling. The aforementioned Dr. Barbara Sturm facial awaits, and Lily spends a shocking


Dr. Barbara Sturm Instant Glow Facial – CHF 150 (45 min)

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Barbara Sturm in person, and love both her energy and her results-oriented, potent anti-aging skincare products. So it was no surprise that this turbo-charged facial left my skin glowing and fresh. What was surprising, though, was how gentle and soul-feeding this four step treatment turned out to be, and the fabulous goodie bag filled with take-home samples was the icing on the cake.

© Nick Hopper (page 70)


amount of time in and out of the sauna (it seems teenagers can handle heat better than us oldies!). And with my patented «Instant Glow», the two of us decide to dress up a bit and spend our last evening in Gstaad in the adorable Le Petit Chalet out front, eating – as one does in the height of summer – a truffle fondue and loving every bite of it. The attentive staff of Le Grand Bellevue has one last treat up their sleeves for us the following morning: before we head back to Zurich, we once again board the hotel limo and are driven to Lauenen, where the 75-year-old head of the Reichenbach family is waiting patiently with his horse-driven cart and takes us on a wonderfully kitschy round trip around the Lauenensee. Lily can’t believe her luck and spends much of the bouncy ride taking selfies and making TikToks. I breathe deeply and think how lucky I am: not only to be living in this breathtaking country, but also having a daughter who appreciates being allowed to join me so much, that she writes me a letter when we get back home, thanking me profusely. And promising me not to post that video where I’m in my spa bathrobe. I’m thankful for that, too.




27 87 Perfumes Sónar (87 ml) CHF 205




NARS Euphoria Face Palette CHF 79.90


hat this will be a summer like no other is pretty much a given. And I’m sure I’m not the only one desperate for the kind of sunscreen-scented, sticky-Gelato-fingered bliss that only a long sunny day spent on boat or beach can bring. Good thing I’ve already rounded up some gorgeous beauty highlights that will most definitely be summering with me. And don’t forget your SPF 50! 1 – The Cell-Power Firming Body Lotion by MBR feels like a silky, velvety kiss on your skin, remodelling and tightening the contours by leaving a wonderful illuminating glow. The perfect prep for summer! Available on mbr-switzerland.ch. 2 – My favourite treat from La Prairie’s re-imagined Platinum Rare collection offers «the most elevated, high-performing formulation, sensorial experience and exquisite packaging to date.» Who am I to disagree? A decadent treat for thirsty skin. 3 – I just recently discovered this gorgeous niche perfume brand from Barcelona, and fell head over heels with this bright, modern scent with notes of bergamot, red pepper, tuberose and beer, of all things. Gorgeous and wonderfully new! 4 – No one does «glow» better than François Nars. This beautiful new limited-edition palette with eight eyeshadows and three subtle highlighters are the perfect way to build and blend an irresistible sheen that catches the light from every angle. 5 – The newest addition to the «Les Exclusifs de Chanel» perfume collection was inspired by Coco Chanel’s zodiac sign Leo: a strong, elegant composition with earthy, ever-so-slightly dangerous labdanum, vanilla and bergamot.

Le Lion de Chanel Eau de Parfum (75 ml) about CHF 230


2 La Prairie Platinum Rare Haut-Rejuvenation Cream (50 ml) CHF 1,700


MBR Cell-Power Firming Body Lotion (200 ml) CHF 210





© Gstaad Palace

Happening pieces for the hot season

Copper and black. Minimalism and ergonomics. For garden & interior. The new Pan Black Limited Edition - design by Garpa.

The Hermès Cinhetic clutch borrows its name from kinetic art. Clutch in Mysore goatskin with palladium plated hardware.

– CHF 1,150, available on garpa.ch

– CHF 8,100 available at Hermès

Faber-Castell Neo Slim ballpoint pen in black is particularly slim, made of black-lacquered metal with a spring-loaded clip. – CHF 45, available on faber-castell.ch

Dior Femme Cruise «Lady Dior» pearl and thread embroidered bag. The Lady Dior bag epitomises Dior’s vision of elegance and beauty. – Price on request available on dior.com

Sunski Bernina Sunglasses are subtle and built to last, constructed of sturdy dual-material.

Leggybuddy creates and carefully crafts products with a soul, made to last and cherish for many years to come as a memory of early childhood.

Inspired by symbolical «toi et moi» rings, Victoire de Castellane has dreamt up the high jewellery collection «Dior et Moi». – Price on request, available on dior.com

– CHF 159, available on leggybuddy.com

– CHF 98, available on sunski.com

Take on this summer’s denim trend. The must-have Oran Sandal, limited availability at Hermès.

© ‘27 mm photography’

– CHF 580, available at Hermès

«I would love jewellery to be alive,» says Pierre Hardy of Hermès about his latest High Jewellery collection «Lignes sensibles». – Price on request available on hermes.com



In 1938 Robert Dumas was inspired by the anchor chain and used it in his designs. Bracelet chaîne d’Ancre. – CHF 1,300, available on hermes.com

Live La Dolce Vita with the crystalembellished earrings from the Dolce & Gabbana x Mytheresa capsule collection.

CURTAIN toys with our perception – the symbolism of the wave increases all the more as the material qualities of the solid wood fade into the background.

– CHF 895, exclusive on mytheresa.com

What exactly happens when a man becomes a father? (Hint: A lot. Read about it here.) – CHF 35 order directly from the author: mark@markvanhuisseling.ch

– CHF 11,330, available on zeitraum-moebel.de

Shower in rose petals with Rosa Nobile, Acqua di Parma’s latest summer collection. – CHF 37.99, available at Jelmoli Zurich

Prada’s contemporary interpretation of a 90s archive piece with rubber shell sole and comma heel. – CHF 900, at Prada Zurich

Voile sur Galilee beach towel, 100% cotton, woven in Germany and screen printed in France (13 screens). Measures 90 x 150 cm.

Tondagraph GT Rose Gold equipped with an integrated Chronograph movement (5 Hz). Each limited to 25 pieces. Flamingo is a family of products of minimal design with maximum flexibility. Sinuous but rigorous lines generate high performance of light distribution both indoors and outdoors.

– CHF 540, available on hermes.com

– CHF 65,500 or CHF 41,000 with rubber strap available at Parmigiani.ch

This stylish backpack is made from old army wool blankets and truck tarpaulins, making it dimensionally stable and waterproof. Size: 51 x 34 x 25 cm.

– Price on demand available on platek.eu/ita/

– CHF 135, available on gstaad.ch




1 — Nicolas Party, Still life 2017, Chalk pastel on canvas, framed 140 x 110 cm – MASI presents the first extensive retrospective devoted to Nicolas Party, the Swiss artist who in recent years has established himself as one of the leading names on the international art scene. masilugano.ch 2 — In the last few months, withdrawal was the order of the day. In the process, many of us realised how much we miss discovering the world. A curiosity to which Nico Schaerer (photographer) and Martin Hoch (travel writer) already devote most of their lives. This picture was taken in Brazil and shows the view from Oscar Niemeyer’s Teatro Popular in Niterói onto the skyline of Rio de Janeiro. nuvu galleries zurich and flims, nuvu.ch.


© Switzerland Tourism, Vallée de Joux, viewing platform






© Claudio Del Principe

We are hoping to find a few porcini mushrooms. One of his favourite forages on his adventures.



NOURISHED BY NATURE «Look! A mountain weasel!» The nimble little creature has vanished by the time I’ve looked over to where Sven Wassmer is pointing. Here on Buchserberg, the top chef’s senses are all heightened and his gaze is focused. We are hoping to find a few porcini mushrooms. One of his favourite foods to forage on his adventures. He often wanders through «his woods» to be inspired by nature, to recharge his batteries and to collect mushrooms, berries, pine needles and wild herbs. Sometimes he journeys out on his bike, sometimes he sets off on an adventure with his son and sometimes he takes his whole kitchen team with him and asks them to get picking. During the summer, the Culinary Director of the Grand Hotel Quellenhof can use up to 40 wild plants at «Mem-

ories», his flagship restaurant with two Michelin stars, and his lifestyle restaurant «verve by sven», which has one Michelin star of its own. We end up crouching down after every few steps. «Try this. It’s caraway. Bit intense, right?» He is right. It’s juicy and succulent but the flavour is bold. Nothing like the herb you’d have in a jar on your spice rack. The lush leaf is barely recognisable to the untrained eye. It may not look like it to me, but the meadow on the left and right of the footpath is full of wild thyme, wood sorrel and lady’s mantle. Wassmer points out actual purslane in a narrow little stream. Higher up, on a steep wooded slope, we find some chanterelles. They are surprisingly sour when eaten raw. The 34-year-old from Fricktal has his own unique take on modern Swiss Alpine cuisine. «I want 78

to seize the opportunity to speak in greater detail about the art of cooking. To be an ambassador for a better world and to take a more careful and contemporary approach to cooking in line with that.» It is important to him to showcase the diversity of the Alpine region and make people think about local and seasonal produce. «Where ingredients have come from and who has processed them and how these are aspects that directly influence quality.» He is careful not to come across as overly strict in his opinions. «I am proud of Switzerland and its culinary offerings. But we must remember that we are in an Alpine region that has been interlinked for centuries. And it is the birthplace of plenty of incredible creations – from Italy, Austria and France.» For him, it’s important that nature is always respected as part of the


creative process. «And yet it doesn’t matter how much nature is on a plate, it still has to taste delicious every time too!» Describing this chef’s dishes as delicious is a bit of an understatement. They are utterly breathtaking. The way he pares back the flavours and presentation as much as possible is distinctly memorable. Let’s take kohlrabi as an example. Perfectly cooked with a salt crust, juicy, tasty. Served with crispy kohlrabi leaves and a hearty sauce made using local asparagus that has been fermented in whey and has an extremely creamy texture. A few drops of blackcurrant wood oil to add a woody flavour. «Memories feature heavily in my cooking. This dish is an affectionate nod to my grandmother. I have fond memories of us eating kohlrabi in a creamy sauce and spending time together under the cherry trees in the garden.» His menu is filled with punchy, bold statements. Vegetables take centre stage without acting as a substitute or trying to prove something. Fish and meat of the highest quality is also prepared to perfection. And yet there are several dishes in which it appears only as an accompaniment. Take the splendid celeriac braised in corn-fed chicken jus and rolled into elegant rosettes. In this dish it is the translucid, flavoursome jus which is the star, produced using nothing but bones, onions and water in an elaborate reduction process. «We don’t use any roasted vegetables and we don’t add any alcohol or stock. That would skew the authentic flavour,» explains Wassmer.

Perhaps the most surprising dish on a menu at a two-star establishment, though, is «Marcel’s Field-Fresh Salad», which is named after his favourite organic farmer, Marcel Foffa. A surprisingly generous portion without any frills but with a helping of delicious vinaigrette made from sea buckthorn berries and a pea flan. This dish is much more than a salad. It is a statement. Breaking it down, any Michelin-starred restaurant in the world can serve up expensive and luxurious dishes. But you can only eat this salad produced to this high standard right here. Dining at Memories is an unforgettable experience for a number of reasons. For one, the architecture is bold, with the open kitchen right at the heart of the restaurant, doubling up as a stage where the team of chefs create culinary masterpieces as if they are performing an opera. The service staff are exceptional and the drink pairings are outstanding thanks to the work of Wassmer’s wife Amanda Wassmer-Bulgin. As sommelière and host, she shares her passion for exciting wines from small producers and introduces diners to incredible non-alcoholic drinks. Many of the drinks she mixes are pure perfection and matched beautifully to the food on the menu. It’s definitely worth taking a risk and trying something new here. Sven Wassmer and his team manage to evoke wonderful memories and create new ones that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.




© Claudio Del Principe

The contrast couldn’t be any more striking. As part of his fine dining sharing experience, Michelin-starred chef Silvio Germann serves up delicate little plates that look precious enough to adorn a jewellery shop window. And yet here he is, sweating in a greenhouse and wondering why on earth this tomato variety is withering away whilst the other one is growing at an alarming rate and bearing plump fruit. «It’s more or less a case of trial and error, you see. Planting all kinds of seeds with my team and watching them grow and thrive is so exciting.» See how things go and just get on with it – that’s the simple, seriously low-key motto of the super-talented Silvio Germann. The young top chef from the school of Caminada has made a success of Andreas Caminada’s ambitious IGNIV concept in Bad Ragaz over the past five years and even taken it global. And he has been awarded two Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points for his efforts. Now other IGNIV branches in St. Moritz, Zurich and Bangkok are taking on this pioneering concept. In the beginning, nobody really knew whether the idea of putting gourmet meals on a sharing menu would really take off. «Andreas had this incredible idea and shared his vision and the motivation behind it with us. Rolling out the concept was a huge responsibility on our part, but he had every faith in us.» And so, with the help of his team and his partner in crime, sommelier and passionate host Francesco Benvenuto, he «just got going». Of course, the guidelines were influenced by Caminada’s signature style, which had to be a big part of IGNIV, and the solid base of iconic dishes from the Schauenstein kitchen.

The huge old greenhouses at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, just behind the golf course, look like they were abandoned long ago. «They are fantastic, but they were left empty for many years. Just imagine how much it would cost to have them all repaired. We asked management if we could try to get some use out of them as they are and we’ve been running riot here for three years now.» 80

«I really love working with local producers anyway and use local produce like organic vegetables and corn-fed chicken whenever I can. It’s obviously brilliant that we can now make use of home-grown vegetables, cress (which is fairly expensive to buy) and herbs in our dishes.» Before Caminada got Germann on board for IGNIV, he was on the other side of the world working for Brazilian superstar chef Alex Atala. «To be honest, I was relieved when I got the call from Andreas. I didn’t really like living in Sao Paolo and Alex Atala was pretty strict. For example, I was made to shave every day. Only Atala and his sous-chef were allowed to have a beard,» he laughs. IGNIV means nest in Romansh. Diners are made to feel as though they are eating with good friends at home rather than in a formal restaurant that features in the Miche-

lin Guide. Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola created the perfect ambience with her interior design, with the focus on informally sharing delicious food and good times with loved ones. The menu is divided into four flights: appetisers, starters, mains and desserts. Each of those flights consists of up to six small dishes to share. The appetisers are designed to be bite-sized finger foods. And you can expect serious yummy noises to come out of your mouth and your eyes to roll back in delight. The starters and mains are divided up to encourage diners to help themselves and try everything, which makes the experience feel even more sociable. The desserts are a mix of both styles. After all, you may find that you don’t want to share some of these sweet treats! We’ve picked out a few truly exceptional dishes for you… the soft 81

artichoke bottoms with parsley and truffles are simply stunning as is the Eggs Royal – a Schloss Schauenstein signature dish. The steak tartare is served with irresistible soufflé potato crisps, whilst diners can finish off their own miso langoustines to perfection on a mini grill. When it comes to the main courses, the corn-fed chicken is nothing short of impressive thanks to the different cooking techniques used to perfect the tender breast and crispy braised thighs. You won’t find a mushroom ravioli dish as exquisite as this one anywhere around. Dessert perfection is offered in the form of the soufflé and the baked peach with pistachios and champagne. And everything is served up on beautiful modern or vintage crockery, some of which has a quirky twist.

the alpina


Book the Alpina Picnic with a tailor-made basket filled with local delicacies.



The Alpina Gstaad makes for a break full of memories and Swiss sophistication. The hotel is a global platform for creativity and cultural innovation. We experienced breathtaking surroundings and were inspired by engaging visual arts and architecture in a relaxed, eclectic and peaceful atmosphere.

Electric Fiat 500, bought at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation auction: The Alpina Gstaad Trousers: Joseph | Hat: Onkaiheiwa Zurich | Bag: Hermès | Glasses: Spiltmilk Eyewear




Jewellery: Hermès | Foldable Glasses: Roav | Scarf: Rockins Hat & Bag: Onkaiheiwa | Suit: Joseph | Shoes: Gucci



1. The Panorama Suite (400 m²) is The Alpina Gstaad’s top suite, a two-floor, three-bedroom duplex, located on the top floor, with striking views over the surrounding mountainscape and an outdoor jacuzzi. The large living area with a wood-burning fireplace in the salon includes a fully equipped kitchen and a dining table for eight guests. The upper floor features a private wellness cocoon with spa room, hammam, sauna, and gym.

Jumper: Ralph Lauren Accessories: Hermès

2. Since its inception, The Alpina Gstaad has been ahead of the curve in ecological awareness. Indigenous wood and stone, local craftsmen and recycled raw material were used in the property’s construction. The Alpina Honey is produced on the property grounds, allowing hotel guests to gain insight into the fascinating world of bees with local beekeeper Stefan Neuhaus. 3. The only Six Senses Spa in Switzerland is inspired by Asian wellness traditions that draw upon the energy of the Alps and the Bernese Oberland’s peaks and pastures.



As well as being surrounded by beautiful Alpine mountains, The Alpina Gstaad has one of the most stunning outdoor panorama pools in Switzerland. In addition to winter, it’s perfect for a summer break. The hotel values a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, making you feel at home. An exceptional setting for all those yearning for a private hideaway.


Above: Suit: Ralph Lauren | Hat: Onkaiheiwa Shoes & Accessories: Hermès

Right: Scarf & bag: Hermès





5 questions


an opinion. Other important values are authenticity and sustainability in all its manifestations. How is that reflected in your work as General Manager? There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness. That means being aware of things – including food and consumables – and their background. We always have to ask ourselves where a product comes from, how it was produced and how long it should last. We even applied this process to something as simple as hotel slippers and now we provide our guests with a sustainable product made from pure wool rather than some polyester and plastic creation they are sure to just throw away after a couple of uses. Where is the luxury hotel sector headed? You have to be really flexible in this industry. The current situation has taught us that. We would like to focus on the concept of quality time. We are seeing our guests thinking more and more carefully about how they live, how they travel and how they deal with work-related stress. And we want to be there for them. On hand to give them what they need. We aspire to be a source of inspiration for our guests – that we are able to contribute to enhancing their mental and physical wellbeing while with us and after their stay.

You have spent your life travelling the world and exploring new cultures. What have you learnt along the way? People want to be seen as individuals. We are all different with our own cultural backgrounds, philosophies, styles and opinions. Our surroundings and our upbringing make us who we are. And I am fascinated by this diversity. I take great pleasure in welcoming every individual guest and their wonderful idiosyncrasies to our hotel. So what do you think it is that brings people together? You have to find some common ground. Some people can while away hours chatting about wine, whilst others would rather sit and smoke a cigar together. Events and activities are another great way of bringing people together. Our hotel provides a platform for sharing ideas and opinions, with the vehicle being events or even the art on our walls. Which values guide you through life? Talk less and listen more. Active listening is a skill that is often undervalued. Social media has such a strong hold over us and we are forever sharing information about ourselves. In fact, we share everything these days. What we are eating, what we like and even where we are. But we forget to take on board the information others are sharing with us. For me, it is crucial to listen, absorb and analyse before giving 89

27 top tips how to be a good host Just because you aren’t welcoming your guests to a five-star hotel doesn’t mean you can’t add some touches of luxury to their stay. It’s all about providing home comforts, paying close attention to detail and getting the food and drink spot on. We’ve put together our tips to help you become the host with the most. No 1

No 2

Everyone who stays with the Wagners in


If you really want to make your guests smile, you need to surprise them with personal little touches. This works best if you know what really makes them tick. I make sure that all my guests get a bottle of still water and a glass on their bedside table plus two or three spare bottles, a bedtime chocolate, the guest WiFi details on a little card, the parking garage remote, a dressing gown, slippers, soap and a mini bottle of shampoo.

LARS WAGNER General Manager Beau-Rivage Geneva

ANDREA SCHERZ Owner & General Manager Gstaad Palace

MICHAEL SMITHUIS General Manager Fairmont Le Montreux Palace

No 4

No 5

No 6

be sure to head out

Be sure to surprise your guests and go the extra mile even if your home is simple and intimate.

Giving a strong and genuine sense of welcome always comes from the heart. For me, the cornerstone of hospitality, regardless of the location, is how you make people feel. Conversations, gestures or a simple hug must inspire, comfort, enrich, make a small difference in each other’s lives and make you long for more.

RICHARD DILLIER President Swiss Top Events

PHILIPPE CLARINVAL General Manager Carlton Hotel St. Moritz

Geneva has access to fine wine from the cellar and freshly prepared tasty treats. What a great excuse for us hosts to indulge a little too! We pop freshly packed slippers collected on our travels and a little Bose alarm clock in our spare room when guests come to stay. The bathroom is stocked with branded shampoos and a fluffy bathrobe you’d expect at a high-end

Good hosts need to be there for their guests, but should also give them a little privacy from time to time. If your house is rather small, you should occasionally get out and take a walk around the block. Your guests will appreciate the time out as much as the time they spend with you. And you will get just as much out of the break! LEO MAISSEN CEO, Hotel Operations Tschuggen Hotel Group


No 3

be attentive I make sure that my guests feel right at home without ever having to worry about a thing. As an attentive host, I find out about their needs, wants, favourite foods and allergies before their arrival so I can plan their stay to perfection. It’s crucial for guests to have their own space. I put them in a room with an adjoining bathroom stocked with everything they could possibly need.

No 7

No 8

nothing less than the best As a hotelier, I prefer to put up my guests at the hotel. This provides them with ultimate privacy in their own space to enjoy a variety of extras at their leisure. Additionally, I would arrange to meet them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The alternative would be for me to sleep in the children’s room and give up my own bedroom with an en suite bathroom. At home or at the hotel, I offer nothing less than the best and finest to my guests! ANDREA KRACHT Owner Baur au Lac Zurich

No matter how long my guests are staying for and how inconvenient it may be for me, I always make sure I can make time for them. Whatever my guests have planned, I always like to set them up for the day with a huge breakfast we can enjoy together. Sometimes, we just end up spending hours eating and chatting. I can’t think of a better way to while away the time!

No 9

thank our guests We take inspiration from the most luxurious of hotels. We like to prepare fresh flowers in the guest room and leave a personal note in which we express our thankfulness for our friendship. It’s a small gesture but very much appreciated. We tend to party hard at our house, so my wife whips up a shake that can cure hangovers the morning after – a godsend for guests and hosts alike! GIANNI VERGANI CEO Vergani 1892

MARC EICHENBERGER Managing Director Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina

No 10

make guests feel at home For me, there are two important layers. First, you have to get the basics right. That means a clean room, fresh sheets, luggage storage space and coat hangers. Then come the personal touches that help your guest feel at home. A herbal tea before bed, water for the night and an agreed time for breakfast. As a bonus, I sometimes like to throw in an element of discovery too. I try to find a way to introduce my guest to something new. This could involve them trying a new food or drink or learning something interesting about the house or neighbourhood. MASSIMILIANO NUNZIATA CEO Bonuscard

No 11

nice little touches Whenever you have the pleasure of welcoming friends to your home, you should set up the spare room with flowers, scented candles and other nice little touches. Plus, the bathroom should be stocked with fresh hand towels, fancy shampoos and nice soaps. You should know the favourite drink of your guests. And don’t forget to pick them up from the airport! MARTIN RHOMBERG General Manager Four Seasons Hotel Geneva

No 12 When my wife and I welcome guests to our home, we go all out on the breakfast. This is our way of showing our guests how happy we are to have them and how much they mean to us. What you offer up for breakfast

No 13

be genuinely generous

star luxury moment.

For me, it’s important to be genuinely generous. None of this showing off with insanely expensive meals, wine and bed linen. I say «mi casa es su casa» and I really mean it. I like to tell my guests to treat my home as if it’s their own and help themselves to food and drink. They are like my temporary room-mates.

PATRICK VOGLER CEO Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

MARTIN NYDEGGER CEO Switzerland Tourism

and how you serve it can really say a lot. We value this time with our guests and we often sit around the table for hours, chatting, laughing and just having fun. Just being together is the recipe for a five-


No 14

No 15

dinner is ready

It’s important to get the look and feel just right with a candle, flowers, fresh bedding, beautifully folded towels with that freshly washed smell, mini bottles of shower gel and body lotion, and a hand-written note on the pillow. My intention is always to create a memory for people to look back on fondly.

A book on the local area full of personal notes and tips by the bed, a handwritten welcome card, a carafe of home-made iced tea and a bowl of fresh fruit are sure to get your guests firmly in the holiday mood.


TIM WEILAND General Manager The Alpina Gstaad

Whenever I’m trying to be the host with the most, I focus on making sure that my guests are never hungry or thirsty. That means preparing a lovely evening meal and serving it with a lovely bottle of wine from the cellar. A little red wine can help anyone sleep well on a sofa (set up with fresh bedding, of course). LUCA BIANCHI CEO Bianchi AG

N 17 o

No 16

atmospheric lighting It’s all about creating a feel-good atmosphere. Home comforts and atmospheric lighting are essential here, but there’s no place for pointless knick knacks caked in dust or loudly ticking clocks. Fresh bedding should be provided and smell divine, whilst flowers shouldn’t have a strong scent at all. I also pop some water near my guest’s bed and make sure they can easily reach a light switch. Having cleaned the bathroom especially, I lay out fresh towels and top up the toilet paper. For me, the ultimate finishing touch for the perfect stay is a magnificent breakfast of fresh pastries, eggs, orange juice and freshly brewed coffee served by a welcoming and accommodating host. REGULA BRUCKER General Manager Signau House & Garden Zurich

No 18

cosy Anyone who comes to stay with me at home is treated to a glass of fine wine, a delicious home-cooked meal, a cosy warm duvet on the comfy sofa, deep and interesting conversation until the early hours and a proper goodnight hug from me. And don’t forget the macchiato in the morning! TANJA WEGMANN General Manager Les Trois Rois Basel

No 19 No 20

Our guiding motto is to make

spice up with drinks

every minute count. That applies rather nicely to hosts in the home too. Anyone can be a good host as long as they are warm, open and understanding. And a clean spare room and delicious evening meal never go amiss.

Welcome your guest with a refreshing Moët Ice champagne cocktail garnished with strawberries and mint – especially if the sun is shining. Leave a special welcome card for your guest in their room along with some locally produced chocolate and a travel guide for your town. It may be a nice idea to offer to take them on a shopping trip or sightseeing tour. I would recommend a vase of flowers and silverware on the dinner table and a Ruinart Blanc de Blancs aperitif. Perhaps a fresh fish dish for the main course served with a glass of Dom Pérignon. Finish up the evening by offering your guests a Hennessy XO cognac nightcap on the rocks.

STEFAN NOLL General Manager Tschuggen Grand Hotel Arosa

GREGORY CARRIER Managing Director Moët Hennessy Switzerland


No 21

There are two things to bear in mind when welcoming guests into your home. First of all, make sure you are ready for them when they arrive. And try to think of a nice little finishing touch – perhaps something as simple as a chocolate on their pillow. That’s enough to make anyone smile and creates a little hotel magic. MAXIMILIAN VON REDEN General Manager Schweizerhof Bern

No 24

SURPRISE Why not surprise your guests with a turn-down service in the evening to make them feel as though they are at a fancy hotel? By closing the curtains, pulling back the bed covers, providing a pair of soft slippers and adding a nice little touch to the bedside table (maybe a book of short stories or fragrant pillow spray), you are bound to help your guests relax and have sweet dreams. SIMON SCHENK Owner’s Representative & Executive Director Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences Crans-Montana

No 26

good night

No 22

Impress your guests Impress your guests by making your home feel like a luxurious hotel with some of the traditional amenities. You can count on your favourite SDH hotel to provide a dressing gown, slippers, bedside rug, bath minis and even a pillow chocolate. You can create hotel vibes by adding a nice fruit bowl and fresh flowers. URS BÜHRER General Manager Bellevue Palace Bern

No 25

just the very best

A decent mattress and nice bedding are essential for a good night’s sleep. You should also leave a bottle of water and a glass on the bedside table. And don’t forget a nice lamp! My mother is an excellent host and she always leaves me something interesting to read by my bed because she knows that I like to read a few pages every night before I go to sleep. I then have the choice of taking the book home with me or leaving it at her house ready for my next stay. That’s a lovely gesture and a nice personal touch.

Make sure you treat every guest as if they are your best friend – that applies in a hotel and at home. After all, you want relationships that last and guests that come back. Despite all the preparations, you want everything to be as straightforward and natural as possible. It’s as simple as taking time to show how happy you are to have your guest stay with you and plan things around their wants and needs. At the end of the day, the most important thing is making happy memories together and enjoying every moment.

SIMON SPILLER General Manager Hotel Eden Roc Ascona

PETER KÄMPFER General Manager Victoria-Jungfrau Interlaken


No 23

create an inviting atmosphere Whether you are having guests stay with you at a five-star hotel or your home, the important thing is to make them feel welcome. And that means making sure that everything is clean and tidy. As the host, you also need to be able to spend time with your guests and create an inviting atmosphere to help them feel right at home. HEINZ HUNKELER General Manager Kulm Hotel St. Moritz

No 27

there is no end of lovely gestures The main thing is making sure that guests feel that they are welcome and being looked after. The emotional side of things is the key here. Just like in a hotel, you should add little personal touches to let your guests know that you are genuinely happy to have them staying with you. There is no end of lovely gestures: a nice scented candle, a folded hand towel accompanied by mini toiletries, a bowl of cereal in the morning, a favourite meal, wine, music… The list is endless! NATHALIE SEILER-HAYEZ General Manager Beau-Rivage Palace Lausanne

sustainability and swiss spirit are in our DNA WORDS ALEX KUEHN PHOTO LYRECO / PETRA WOLFENSBERGER

Sebastian Vazquez, Out-of-Home Commercial Director at Nespresso Switzerland, explains why the premium brand has been about more than just outstanding coffee for some time now. He also outlines the next steps in the company’s sustainability strategy. 94


um Capsule Recycling» organisation together with Delica, which sees us join forces with our competitors. Thus, we hope to convince all aluminium capsule producers to join us and use the recycling infrastructure established by Nespresso. Together, we are creating a recycling program for the entire industry to contribute to the sustainability of portioned coffee. We recycle the aluminium of the capsules and even turn the coffee grounds into biogas. How much Swiss spirit goes into Nespresso products? A lot! Sustainability and Swiss spirit are in our DNA. Nespresso is an international brand with Swiss roots. All Nespresso coffees sold worldwide are produced in our three factories based in Switzerland. It is a country with strong assets, quick, efficient and reliable infrastructures both for production and logistics, and skilled labour at ease with the most sophisticated technologies thanks to an efficient training system. This is where we developed our expertise. The fact that over the past eight months our head office has announced investments totalling CHF 270 million in both our Romont and Avenches production centres is a testimony to our commitment to the country. Nespresso supports the economic development of the municipality and the region by creating jobs (direct and indirect employment), impacting positively other local and regional businesses. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects? Sustainability is an ongoing endeavour, so there is always something going on. We are aiming to reach our next major milestone to make every cup of Nespresso coffee carbon neutral by 2022. We are working on this with an NGO called PUR Projet, which focuses on our carbon footprint and the quality of the soil within the farming communities. We are also going to be investing more into the Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund. What are the aims of this fund? The Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund is there to support sustainability projects that go beyond the scope of Nespresso’s normal business activities. The Reviving Origins Program is a good example. It aims to revive coffee farming in regions hit by war and other crises. We have so far been able to launch, for example, a limited edition coffee from South Sudan and we will be releasing a coffee from another country where coffee is under threat, in the second half of the year.

2021 is a special year for Nespresso. Yes, we are celebrating 30 years since we installed our first recycling system for aluminium capsules in Switzerland. But recycling is just one aspect of Nespresso’s sustainability strategy. We are constantly scrutinising the entire supply chain and asking ourselves what we can do better and where we can be more sustainable. And what comes out of that scrutiny? Initiatives like the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program. We launched this one back in 2003 in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance with the aim of building long-standing relationships directly with coffee producers from the top farming communities. Given that we make a premium product, we have a vital interest in ensuring a continuous supply of high-quality coffee beans without shirking our responsibilities towards people and the planet. 95% of our coffee is sourced sustainably through the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. Can you tell us how this partnership works in a bit more detail? The Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program focuses on quality, environmental protection, social equality and profitability. There are 39 sustainability criteria – set out by the Rainforest Alliance and the Sustainable Agriculture Network – at its heart. Through our AAA Program, we support farmers to grow sustainable quality coffee and reward them for their investment by paying a premium above the market price. What else does Nespresso do for its partners? We are always working on new projects. For one, we managed to work with the government to set up the first-ever pension fund for coffee farmers in Colombia. This is something I am personally very proud of, as it has a major impact on those people’s lives. What part do consumers play in Nespresso’s sustainability strategy? Recycling is a collective effort and they play a key role in the value chain when it comes to recycling. Everything is based on trust. That’s why we openly publish exhaustive details about the way we work. The success of our recycling system depends largely on our customers. It’s so important that we get them on board and raise their awareness of this vital contribution. This is the reason why we encourage them to recycle their capsules and that we facilitate their recycling process with specific services/solutions. What should customers do with their empty capsules? There are more than 3,700 recycling points in Switzerland now. Plus, we have the Nespresso «Recycling at Home» free service and the new «Swiss Alumini-



DIDIER VERRIER Chef de Bar, The Park Gstaad

I thought to myself, there must be a way to transport this feeling of well-being into a cocktail glass.


Didier Verrier’s most loyal visitor is dressed in fur and prefers to drink milk. The Park Gstaad’s bar manager doesn’t serve it in a glass, but rather in a small plate. The elegant visitor pays the hotel on the hill a visit every few days, and she is a feline lady. Why does she deserve to be mentioned in this story? Simply because her visits say so much about this idyllic place and the charming bartender from Marseilles who fell in love with the Swiss Alps. His explanation is: «The most important element of my job is having a friendly nature. Similar to the feline lady, people in a bar notice very quickly whether you’re an inveterate host with passion or you’re simply doing your job.»

You can easily recognise Didier’s passion for his job, especially when he describes how he created Park Gstaad’s signature cocktail, the Rose is in the Air. «One day, as I walked through the hotel’s garden, I was overtaken by the fragrant smell of roses. I thought to myself, there must be a way to transport this feeling of well-being into a cocktail glass.» He created a flowery-fresh drink with a base of homemade rose syrup, a touch of Hendrick’s Gin, bergamot liqueur and lime juice (see recipe). If you’re more into whisky, you’ll find what your heart desires in the bar at the Park Gstaad. The choice includes several rarities no longer produced, such as a 1982 Islay Single Malt distilled by 96

Port Ellen, which closed down several decades ago, as well as several precious varieties from Japan. Overall, Didier Verrier is the keeper of over 600 spirits and a large selection of champagne brands. Except for the feline lady, no one at the bar needs to order the same drink twice.


«When I came here the first time, and I saw the mountains, I was blown away. The mountains continue to attract me – in summer on foot, in winter on my snowboard. I make up for the calories lost with a cheese fondue in an Alpine cabin or at the Bistro Rialto in the centre of Gstaad, where they serve innovative Mediterranean cuisine.»

ROSE IS IN THE AIR The signature cocktail of The Park Gstaad

0.6 cl

Hendrick’s Gin

2 cl

Italicus ( bergamot liqueur)

1.5 cl

Rose syrup

0.5 cl

Lime juice


suite talk

Switzerland isn’t exactly short of swanky mountain retreats with a suitably chic fit for every skier type. The ultra-luxe but tastefully understated Alpine gem of Gstaad has for long been the hideaway of choice for the more laid-back variety of well-heeled slope aficionados. Claiming the title of oldest luxury lodging in the Saanenland, The Park Gstaad is anything but dusty. While the 110-year-old Jugendstil lift continues to run as reliably as ever, the rooms and facilities reveal a more contemporary rendition of toned-down luxury. While in its heyday, The Park has played host to less low-key guests such as the Aga Khan, Princess Grace of Monaco and Audrey Hepburn, today’s habitués indulge in a more sporty and casual type of sojourn, without having to compromise an inch of efficiency or any type of creature comforts. Any of the 84 double rooms and 10 suites will keep guests in high spirits, very much in line with Gstaad’s distinguished hospitality standards. The décor honours traditional Alpine interiors, revisited with contemporary accents in light fir wood, sober furnishings and warm fabrics. There is, however, one suite that beats the rest of the lot when it comes to superlatives. Aptly named «My Gstaad Chalet», it is one of the largest suites in the Swiss Alps, spanning across 400 square metres over two floors. A regal penthouse in its own right, it features four bedrooms, each with bold black granite bathrooms, a dining room, a lofty sitting room and a staff kitchen. On the second level, a fully-equipped private spa awaits for the all-important post-slope relaxation time: a private sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, full gym, private hair salon and massage room, all there to ensure guests can enjoy the utmost discretion during their holiday. The star of the show downstairs is a steam fireplace that can be seen from the master bedroom and the living room, creating a truly snug ambience in an almost hypnotic way. While the overall quality of materials and comfort is a given, the devil – as always - is in the detail. Dimmable lights throughout, generous amenities, thoughtful niceties, and the touch-of-a-button service The Park’s guests love and forever come back to. And if you somehow encounter the impossibility of feeling like leaving this modern Alpine chateau, many surprises await downstairs, not to mention, of course, the picturesque and awe-inspiring beauty of the natural surroundings of the Bernese Oberland panorama.




Three reasons to leave the suite:


Experience the fiery temperament and gastronomic delights of Argentina at Chubut, where prime cuts of meat are cooked over a wood fire. The décor hints at a drawing-room setting of cattle ranches in Argentina, adding a distinct «gaucho» atmosphere. Inspired by the Chubut Region’s cuisine in Patagonian Argentina, chef Agustin – a native – serves up honest flavours based on memories of his childhood, topped up with a fine selection of Argentinian reds. 2. BIKING SUMMER

A mountain biker’s Shangri-la, Gstaad offers its visitors traffic-free mountain roads, double-digit climbs and thrilling high-speed descents. The Park Gstaad has positioned itself as the ideal home base for twowheel thrill seekers. At the heart of its cycling service is the ‘BikeLounge by Bianchi’, a unique concept developed in collaboration with the prestigious Italian racing bike manufacturer. 3. SPA

The Park’s SPA hosts space for pampering and well-being across an area of 1,000 square metres, including a large indoor saltwater pool, heated to a perfect 32 degrees Celsius. During summers, a second outdoor pool is surrounded by spectacular vistas of the Alps. 99


© Holger Jacob

© Jürg Waldmeier


has been working as Chef de Cuisine at the fine dining restaurant «focus ATELIER »since spring 2018. Already in February 2019, the renowned Michelin Guide awarded his delicate and high-contrast cuisine with two of the coveted stars.

Let’s start by addressing a stereotype. Are chefs really all night owls who only surface at around midday? — PM: I’m sorry to have to disappoint you … Even if I don’t get to bed until two in the morning, I’m generally up before eight. I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic and I like to hit the gym bright and early so I’m energised for the day ahead. — SH: The stereotype is spot on for me. I’m just no good before ten in the morning. It takes me a bit of time to get going the next day after a full-on evening service. That’s the only way I can stay at the top of my game when I really need to deliver. Do you think top athletes and top chefs are similar in any way? — SH: Athletes and chefs have to have the same level of focus and need to be able to work consistently towards a goal for a very long time.

A whole lot of training is absolutely essential in both fields. — PM: I can definitely see the similarities here too. Ambition, stamina, drive and passion are essential. Luckily, ambitious young chefs don’t have to slave away to quite the extent they used to. There is some level of work-life balance these days. — SH: Sure, you might have to work the odd 16-hour day, but that is the exception rather than the rule now. A decent work-life balance is key to keeping people going. Which sports do you like best? — PM: I used to swim and play badminton a lot. In fact, I even made it onto the national badminton team. Unfortunately, it has been a long while since I even held a racket. And it’s not in my nature to just have the odd game here and there. For me, it’s all in or not at all. 100

So I keep it simple and just head to the gym or go for a run. — SH: Shopping is where I really excel. I’m really rather talented at buying the best sports equipment around and never using it. Let’s get back to the kitchen … How would you describe each other’s cooking styles? — SH: Patrick’s dishes are cosmopolitan and playful with a focus on the produce. He has a real flair for creating a masterpiece on the plate. — PM: I can live with that description! When I think about Stefan’s food, the first thing that comes to mind is the incredibly intense flavours. Every bite is like a flavour train riding into your mouth. I would also say that he is passionate about using premium produce. He has a no-frills approach and focuses on getting the basics perfect. That’s what I’m looking for when I eat out.

© Kahima Design, photographer Tania Quispe

© Selina Meier

STEFAN HEILEMANN has been Chef de Cuisine at the Widder Restaurant since summer 2020. His two Michelin stars have just been confirmed. In addition, he is Gault & Millau Chef of the Year 2021. WORDS ALEX KUEHN

And a few luxurious items on the menu? — PM: Absolutely! I get really excited when I see wagyu beef, wildcaught turbot or Balfégo tuna on a menu. — SH: Those are truly exquisite ingredients. And if we don’t use them, who will? Of course, sustainability is still an important factor. With Balfégo tuna, for example, I even use the heart, which makes a great seasoning when cured and flaked. Patrick, you cried when you were awarded two Michelin stars at once in 2019. What was going through your mind? — PM: We had been through a challenging year. After Nenad Mlinarevic left, Focus needed more than just a new head chef. The whole concept needed updating too. All of the strain and tension just disap-

peared at the Michelin ceremony. And the fact that the stars were so unexpected made the occasion all the more momentous. Stefan, what was your experience like? — SH: When we were first awarded two stars, there was no lavish ceremony. I waited for the results to be announced in a side room at Brasserie Lipp in Zurich along with all the other chefs who had been invited. As the last to leave the room, I finally saw the name of the restaurant and two stars projected on the wall. It was an unforgettable moment. But no tears? — SH: Perhaps there would have been tears had the setting been different. The ceremony at the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre in 2019 was on a par with the Oscar award ceremony.


— PM: Definitely! We were surrounded by lots of our friends, supporters and idols. That’s bound to have an effect on you. If you could make one wish on behalf of the hospitality sector, what would it be? — P.M. That’s easy! I would wish for service culture to live on forever. It is getting more and more difficult to find passionate service staff because they just don’t get anywhere near the same level of respect and appreciation that we get as chefs. — S.H. I have to agree with that. Service is a huge part of the overall restaurant experience. It’s a way of introducing customers to our culinary creations, creating a cosy atmosphere and encouraging less adventurous diners to leave their comfort zone and try something new.

Magic Moments at Unique PlaceS PARTNERS OF SWISS TOP EVENTS:


swiss top events

Magic moments at unique places



all events The New York Times dubbed it the «Art Olympics», Vogue called it «the most beautiful temporary museum in the world», and Le Monde simply hailed it as «the best in the world». Art Basel, the premier international art show, attracts and inspires art lovers from across the globe year after year.

In January 2022 the 92nd International Lauberhorn Races will be held in Wengen in the beautiful Bernese Oberland. The world’s best Alpine skiers will compete in the Alpine Combined on Friday, on the legendary downhill slope on Saturday, and in the Slalom on Sunday.

The Montreux Jazz Festival has become an essential event over the years, generating fantastic stories and legendary performances. With its intimate ambience and the quality of its hospitality, it offers a unique experience for artists and public alike.

The Omega European Masters, which takes place in Crans-Montana (VS), just celebrated its 80th anniversary and still offers its 50,000 spectators magical moments in a breathtaking Alpine environment. Pro golfers from all over the world come to compete in the most stunning setting of the European Tour schedule.



The largest classical music festival in Switzerland is one of the leading music promoters worldwide. The summer festival’s distinctive programme presents internationally famous orchestras, conductors, and soloists and also encompasses contemporary music, support for young artists, and the development of innovative concert formats.

When Olympic champions line up against ­world champions, athletics legends, and shooting stars. When 25,000 track & field fans barely dare to blink for fear of missing the narrow outcome of a close finish, the record jump, or the new world leading throw. When athletes and spectators are under the spell of that unmistakable Letzigrund buzz, Welt­klasse Zürich is underway.

Each year, noble thorough­breds from every corner of Europe, international jockeys and the traditional skijoring events enthral guests from all over the world. On three race Sundays, around 30,000 spectators converge on the frozen lake of St. Moritz to witness the horseraces with the highest prize money in Switzerland, all held in front of a unique Alpine backdrop.

Over the course of its seventy-year history the Locarno Film Festival has turned its host town into the eye and stage of international auteur cinema. For eleven days in August, the shores of Lake Maggiore become the home and screen of the film industry. CALENDER AND DATES

You can find further information and details at swisstopevents.ch 105


July 2021, 2 – 17

August 2021, 4 – 14

August 10 – September 12, 2021

August 2021, 26 – 29




The Montreux Jazz Festival is held annually across two weeks in July and draws 250,000 music lovers from all across the world. Nestled between the Alps and Lake Geneva, minutes from the terraced vineyards of Lavaux, the Festival’s setting is truly exceptional. Created in 1967 by Claude Nobs, over the years the Montreux Jazz Festival has become a landmark event, generating fantastic stories and legendary performances. Originally a pure jazz festival, Montreux began showcasing other styles of music early and today presents artists from across every genre. With its ambitious programming choices, its intimate ambence, and the quality of its hospitality, the Montreux Jazz Festival offers a unique experience for artists and public alike.

In Locarno, thousands of film lovers have the chance to grow alongside the works that the Festival offers and promotes each year. One can view these films in a small theatre or as part of the crowd of 8,000 in Piazza Grande, one of the largest open-air venues in the world. Locarno is the meeting point of seasoned filmmakers and people who dream of becoming the stars of tomorrow. Throughout its 73 editions Locarno has played host to legends such as Marlene Dietrich and Anthony Hopkins; beloved performers like Hilary Swank and Ethan Hawke; strong minds such as Ken Loach and Werner Herzog. These unforgettable faces blend in with those of a family of thousands of film lovers, who meet in the same spot every year.



The 2021 Summer Festival, which takes place from August 10 to September 12, will explore the concept «Crazy» as its theme. The Lucerne Festival Orchestra performs under the direction of principal conductor Riccardo Chailly and guest conductor Yannick NézetSéguin; soloists are Igor Levit and this year’s «artiste étoile», Yuja Wang. Heinz Holliger, Ilan Volkov, Lin Liao, and Johanna Malangré will work with the Lucerne Festival Academy, focusing on works by composer-in-residence Rebecca Saunders and others. Among the guest orchestras and conductors are the Berlin Philharmonic led by Kirill Petrenko, the Vienna Philharmonic with Herbert Blomstedt, and the Royal Concertgebouworkest under Daniel Harding. The Festival places an emphasis on the generation of tomorrow and will thus begin with performances by youth orchestras and ensembles.




The Omega European Masters is one of the most prestigious golf competitions played on European soil. Located at Crans-Montana (1,500 m) in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf-Club is indisputably the most spectacular golf course on the European Tour schedule. The 2019 edition of the Omega European Masters was exceptional from start to finish. It attracted 64,800 visitors from 26 different countries, an absolute record. And the presence of Rory McIlroy, now world No. 1 and winner of the FedEx Cup in 2019, was a real bonus. The spectators who followed him in 2019 will probably come back this year. He gave fantastic publicity and it was a great way to celebrate the tournament’s 80th anniversary! omegaeuropeanmasters.com


September 2021, 8 & 9

September 2021, 23 – 26

January 2022, 14 – 16

February 2022, 6, 13 & 20





«New Spheres for Weltklasse Zürich»: two days, 32 finals. With its 2021 edition, the world’s most prestigious athletics meeting is entering new spheres. One month after the Olympic Games in Tokyo, all eyes of international athletics will turn to Zurich, where Weltklasse Zürich will have the honour to host the final event of the Wanda Diamond League. Weltklasse Zürich will stage 32 events on two days and at two venues: Sechseläutenplatz, the city’s famous square by the lake, and Letzigrund Stadium. weltklassezuerich.ch

Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world’s premier art shows for modern and contemporary art, bringing the international art world together. The Basel show features over 250 leading galleries from five continents, showing works by over 4,000 artists, ranging from modern masters to the latest emerging stars. Combined with stellar exhibitions and ar t events offered by local cultural institutions, each edition of Art Basel creates an exciting region-wide art week for artists, collectors, curators, critics, and connoisseurs.

On January 14 – 16, 2022, the world’s best Alpine ski athletes will compete on the Lauberhorn in the three disciplines Alpine Combined, Downhill and Slalom. In front of the breathtaking views of the Bernese mountain peaks Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau the Swiss slalom cracks Daniel Yule, Ramon Zenhäusern and Loic Meillard will try to present a Swiss winner in Wengen once again. In the Lauberhorn Downhill race, Beat Feuz will be the man to beat. Besides the athletes’ performances, the trip with the rack railway to Wengen and further on to Wengernalp is impressive, as well as the sight of thousands of cheering spectators on Girmschbiel.


What started as a pioneering achievement and visionary idea among equestrian sport enthusiasts in 1907, today occupies a very significant position in the international racing calendar. The fascination for the only horserace in the whole world to be held on a frozen lake, has prevailed for generations. With the traditional skijoring, the races with the highest prize money purses in Switzerland and a fringe programme featuring music and fine food, White Turf will once again draw VIPs from around the world, locals, urbanites, families and horse lovers alike to St. Moritz on the first three weekends in February. whiteturf.ch



You can find further information and details at swisstopevents.ch 107




When the flood light poles of Letzigrund Stadium shine their gleaming light on the arena, the Weltklasse Zürich venue looks like a gigantic spaceship that just landed in the city. Perhaps, the architects’ intention had been to point to the fact that Letzigrund Stadium is an ideal stage for extra-earthly performances. Over the course of the meeting’s long history – its very first edition was held on 12 August 1928 – the Zurich audience cheered 25 world records, the most recent one dating back to 28 August 2009. When Russia’s pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva cleared 5.06m, 25,000 excited fans could hardly believe their eyes. Her record still stands today. When the fans use the advertising boards as drums, beating them softly at first and then forcefully and loudly, they create a vibe that encompasses everyone in the stands and captures the athletes. Anything seems possible. The meeting’s unique ambience is now inspiring a new generation of athletes – young, rising stars. USA’s Sydney McLaughlin, for instance, or Armand Duplantis, a pole vault prodigy from Sweden who keeps


soaring to greater heights. They are both 21 years old. Or take Noah Lyles, a 23-yearold US star sprinter, a world champion, and the fourth-fastest 200 m runner of all time: in 2019, he proved that a world record is not the only way to turn Weltklasse Zürich into a magical experience. First, he set the arena’s track on fire in the 100 m race and then returned to the infield taking the stage as a rapper. Together with pole vaulter Sandi Morris and Zurich’s Baba Shrimps, he treated the audience to a musical «Souvenir». As host for the Wanda Diamond League finals in 2021 and 2022, Weltklasse Zürich is entering new spheres. Over the course of two days, the meeting will feature as many as 32 final events. Two locations will serve as meeting venues – Sechseläutenplatz, the city’s famous square with a view of the lake and the Alps (on Wednesday, 8 September), and Letzigrund Stadium (on Thursday night, 9 September). More national and international athletics stars than ever will be inspiring Weltklasse Zürich visitors and viewers at home.


Christoph Joho, Co-Meeting Director of Weltklasse Zürich, talks about the magic of his athletics meeting, his efforts to promote young talents, and the sport’s new heroes.

Christoph Joho, how does the Zurich athletics meeting prepare for the future? Introducing new formats are key to staying at the top. This year, we decided to be even closer to the public. Not just at Letzigrund Stadium on Thursday night, but also on Sechseläutenplatz on Wednesday. Two unique locations, two magical nights – that’s what we would like to achieve. We would like to inspire people. What will be the highlights on Sechseläutenplatz? We will present seven official Diamond League final events, including the men’s and women’s 5,000 m races, the women’s high jump and both shot put finals. We will install a 600 m track around the Zurich Opera House with a start and finish area on Sechseläutenplatz. The technical events will take place in arenas on the square. There will be a lot of exciting athletics action. How do you plan to include local residents in the Sechseläutenplatz action? Visitors will have the opportunity to watch the competitions from up close. There is a possibility that the number of guests might be limited due to official restrictions. The large public festival we are planning for will probably have to wait until 2022. The current epidemiological situation forces us to be extremely flexible and to be ready for various scenarios. How does Weltklasse Zürich inspire young people, the next generation of athletes? Supporting young athletes has always been close to our hearts. We organise the UBS Kids Cup, for instance, a series that drew about 178,000 children to

more than 1,000 events in recent years. Weltklasse Zürich stars, with their performances and their personalities, serve as role models, they inspire youngsters to bring out the best in themselves, to surpass themselves – true to our own motto: Never stop getting better. What is your earliest memory of Weltklasse Zürich? Back when I was in primary school, I used to pack a couple of sandwiches and head to the south stand of the old stadium at three o’clock in the afternoon. Of course, I had to skip school. There was no way I could leave my spot behind the advertising boards before the meeting ended at eleven at night. Someone would have taken it immediately. My hands would still hurt when I was finally on my way home, because I – a true fan – had been beating them on the boards for hours. Who were your childhood heroes? Middle- and long-distance runners, including Markus Ryffel, Sebastian Coe and Steve Cram. The drama of longer races never fails to fascinate me, even today. More than any hunt for records. A new world record is fabulous, of course. But a meeting must never depend on one happening. What’s important is that the sparks fly between the athletes and the audience. To this day, fans use the stadium’s advertising boards as drums to cheer the athletes. The stadium audience is an important factor of Weltklasse Zürich. We install old aluminium boards in front of the standing area so that the tradition can live on. When Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto won the 3,000 m SC 110

Christoph Joho, Co-Meeting Director of Weltklasse Zurich since 2015





1 — What a «Souvenir »: sprint star Noah Lyles rocking Weltklasse Zürich 2019 together with pole vaulter Sandi Morris and Zurich’s Baba Shrimps 2 — With its famous flood light poles, Letzigrund Stadium looks like a gigantic spaceship – an ideal stage for extra-earthly per­formances



race running with only one shoe in 2018, the atmosphere became magical. Moments like this epitomise the true spirit of Weltklasse Zürich. How important are successful Swiss athletes to Weltklasse Zürich? Immensely important! They are the glue of the relationship between the meeting and the public. Our visitors are mostly locals. They enjoy seeing Swiss flags in the stadium. Mujinga Kambundji, Alex

Which of your talents and competencies prove advantageous in your position as a Weltklasse Zürich Co-Meeting Director? I am good at creating enthusiasm for a new idea. I like developing things from scratch, and I don’t shy away from taking a calculated risk. I tell my team to be courageous, to try new things. If they go wrong, we learn from them. In addition, I am able to deal with all kinds of people.


Wilson, Lea Sprunger, and our young rough diamonds appeal to the emotions of the audience. People are proud of them. But Swiss athletes are important to us in other ways as well. We invest 600,000 Swiss francs in various projects every year. Athletics currently lacks big names, such as Usain Bolt or Carl Lewis. A problem? No, it is not. I am very confident of the sport’s future. There are outstanding young athletes getting ready for stellar careers. Look at Armand Duplantis, a world record holder at the age of 21. Or Karsten Warholm, the Norwegian 400 m hurdles world champion with the heart of a true Viking. He always gives his very best. And there is Noah Lyles, who won the 100 m in 2019 and then returned to the infield stage to perform the Weltklasse Zürich song. I am convinced that Duplantis, Warholm, Lyles, and other new faces will write athletics history. Just like Haile Gebrselassie, who treasures his special relationship with Zurich to this day.

It is quite immaterial to me, whether the person opposite me is a CEO or a road sweeper. And I thrive under pressure. How do you organise your cooperation with Andreas Hediger, the other Co-Meeting Director of Weltklasse Zürich? We make a great team. Partly, because Andreas brings me back down to earth whenever I have a high-flying idea. This helps us think things through and find solutions that will give our ideas the wings they need. Have you ever stayed at a Zurich hotel? I have. At The Dolder Grand Hotel, with my family a short while ago. It was a world-class weekend. My daughter was thrilled, so much so that she went back for a taster day at the hotel. And I was impressed by the staff’s ability to perform at the highest level every day. Weltklasse Zürich and Swiss Deluxe Hotels have much in common in that we share the same attitude when it comes to quality, teamwork, top performances, and passion.




1 — Janelle Monáe, jam at the House of Jazz, 2019 2 — Blind Boys of Alabama, Montreux Jazz Club, 2019




Montreux Jazz is for people who really love music.» Singer and guitarist Jack White aptly phrased what the Montreux Jazz Festival is all about. The festival on Lake Geneva, however, is also the legacy of visionary Claude Nobs, who wrote the first chapter of a long success story in 1967. He started out with a budget of 10,000 Swiss francs and invited jazz greats, such as Charles Lloyd and Keith Jarrett to play in Montreux. For more than four decades, Nobs headed the festival, turned it into a global brand, and managed to create an enchanting event that fascinates both musicians and visitors to this day. Montreux always was and still is a music mecca that draws the likes of Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Leonard Cohen, Sting, Elton John, Prince, Al Jarreau, Lauryn Hill, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys. The list of top artists could go on and on.

At this year’s edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival (2 to 17 July), CEO Mathieu Jaton and his team have completely reimagined its format taking into account the current guidelines of the Swiss authorities and the uncertainties surrounding this year’s summer season. In a Festival first, a stage is constructed entirely on the lake, with a maximum capacity of 600 seats. Three other stages with a smaller capacity, located in the event spaces and gardens of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel, are hosting jazz concerts, jam sessions, workshops and more. The 2021 program includes a current, eclectic line-up as well as featuring all different kinds of jazz, along with the Montreux Jazz Talent Awards, jam sessions and workshops. Just as exciting as the shows of headliners will be the question as to who could be the next talent to launch his or her international career in Montreux. 115




Mathieu Jaton, Montreux Jazz Festival CEO, recalls touching moments with his mentor Claude Nobs and explains how he and his team discover stars of tomorrow.

You completed the Lausanne Hotel School (EHL) in 1999. Does your professional background help you in your work as a festival director? The hotel and music industries are very much alike. I had opted for the Lausanne Hotel School because it provided me with training in more than 40 areas. The syllabus included subjects such as social skills, mathematics, culinary art, and philosophy. When Claude Nobs offered me the position of Head of PR and Marketing in 1999, I asked him why he had thought of me for the job. His answer: «Because you have exactly the kind of training for the it!» I was surprised. But a year later, I knew what he had been talking about. Claude Nobs had started his own professional career in the gastronomy industry as well. He was a trained chef and also completed the Lausanne Hotel School. That’s why he understood that the aspect of hospitality would help the Montreux Jazz Festival stand out against other festivals. A little like a first-class hotel has to stand out against others. The entire success of our event is based on Claude Nobs’ ability to welcome artists as friends and turn their stay in Montreux into a memorable experience for them. How important is the charm of the town of Montreux for the festival? The two complete and enhance

each other. The Montreux Jazz Festival was created to attract more tourists. There are Montreux Jazz Cafés all over the globe for a reason. One of the main tasks I had as Head of the festival’s PR and Marketing was to develop our brands. Until today, there are strong ties between the festival and the hotels of the region. That’s true. Particularly with the Montreux Palace. The hotel is an icon. Imagine how happy the musicians are to stay there. It offers just the most beautiful location, all comforts and conveniences you can think of – and it is only a short walk from the stage. Elsewhere, it often takes stars an hour or more to transfer from their hotel to the venue. The Montreux Jazz Festival would not be the same without the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace. What does the Montreux Palace mean to you personally? Oh, we have a very emotional relationship! When I was 18, I worked odd jobs at the Palace. One night, I ran into Claude Nobs. I had met him briefly through my father two years earlier. He remembered me and asked me to come to his chalet the next day. I went and helped with cooking and serving food, and I met the manager of Monty Python, who was a guest at the chalet that night. Without that chance encounter in the Palace lobby, I would proba118

Mathieu Jaton, CEO of the Montreux Jazz Festival


bly not be a festival director today. And I would not have worked with ­Claude Nobs for 25 years. Speaking of emotion: your most emotional festival moment so far? That happened in my first year as a backstage volunteer. George Clinton was still playing at two o’clock at night, and Claude Nobs asked: «Would you like to experience something really special?» He took me onto the stage, and we sat right behind Clinton’s drummer and drank champagne. Do artists swap ideas when they get together in Montreux? Stars, Carlos Santana, for instance, often tell me how much they appreciate being able to meet with colleagues at the festival, unceremoniously – on the street, on the festival ground. This seems to be unique, and it creates unique situations, a jam session in front of the Montreux Palace, for instance.

the best among them with the Montreux Jazz Talent Award. In addition, we organise a music academy every year. Six talents team up with select mentors for a week and give a concert at the end of it. How does the search for talents work? We – a booking team of five people and myself – travel the world and visit all kinds of festivals and concerts. In addition, the Montreux Jazz Festival has affiliates in Japan and Brazil. They help us scout the Asian and South American music scene. As a member of the European Jazz Festivals Organisation, we also receive inputs from other promoters, from Istanbul, for instance, or from Pori in Finland. In short: the search for new talents is a mix of travelling, listening, and networking. And, of course, we scan what is happening on digital channels, including Spotify and YouTube. The reward for all our


What does the Montreux Jazz Festival do for the future of the music scene? Workshops, masterclasses, and competitions for young talents have been an important element of the festival from day one. In 2007, we established the Montreux Jazz Artist Foundation. The foundation focuses on finding young musicians and helping them on their first steps in the music industry. During the festival, these young artists get the opportunity to show their talent to the audience. The foundation awards


efforts is that there are many stars, who had their first major live concerts in Montreux. Like blues and soul singer Rory Charles Graham aka Rag’n’bone Man, who became world famous with «Human»? We introduced him at a media conference in 2016. He managed to impress journalists with his enormous talent. Being talented is the most important thing. But talented artists need a stage, and someone who campaigns for them. And that’s where we come into the picture.

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la vie en rose WORDS PETER KELLER

C l e a n CLARETTE ROSÉ CUVÉE WEINGUT KNIPSER, PALATINATE GERMANY –––– 2019 This German winegrower specialises in all things rosé. Made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes, this scintillating example of elegance has a beautiful aroma and delicious, well-balanced aftertaste. CHF 17.50 – rieslingco.ch

C l a s s i c DOMAINE DE L’ILE ROSÉ, DOMAINE DE L’ILE FRANCE –––– 2019 Provence in the south of France is the rosé wine paradise par excellence. This moderate organic wine with fresh, fruity notes is made from the region’s main grape varieties (think Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut and Mourvèdre) and goes beautifully with fish dishes. CHF 18.20 – arvi.ch

C rowdp l e asi n g CHÂTEAU LA VERRERIE, LUBERON FRANCE –––– 2019 Straight from the south of France, this rosé is a firm favourite. This organic, medium-bodied wine made by pressing Grenache and Cinsaut grapes is light salmon pink in colour with complex aromas, punchy acidity and sweet fruity notes. CHF 17.50 – Jeroboam.ch

R i c h A’ TOSCANA ROSATO ALDOBRANDESCA, TUSCANY ITALY –––– 2019 This well-balanced, elegant wine is ideal for summer thanks to its beautifully complex aromas. It is fruity, fresh, lush, rich and finely structured. It is made entirely using the Aleatico grape grown locally. CHF 36 – bindella.ch



Seven top rosé wines

F u l l - b o d i e d ROSATO CONTE LEMAR TENUTE GREGU, SARDINIA ITALY –––– 2019 This Italian wine made from Cannonau and Vermentino grapes is full-bodied, dense, fresh and lingering with a complex bouquet that packs a peppery punch. Beautifully versatile. CHF 24 – vergani.ch

E x c i t i n g CHIARETTO RIVIERA DEL GARDA COMINCIOLI, LOMBARDY ITALY –––– 2019 This bright pink wine is clean, fruity, fabulously fresh, rich and lingering. Made by pressing Groppello, Barbera, Sangiovese and Marzemino grapes. CHF 24.90 – caratello.ch

P a t r i o t i c WEISSHERBST, WEINGUT BROGER THURGAU SWITZERLAND –––– 2020 Michael Broger produces pure, simple and elegant wines, as this Pinot Noir variety proves with its light salmon pink colour, crisp acidity and lingering aftertaste. Deliciously thirst-quenching. CHF 19 – broger-weinbau.ch


Rosé wine is a popular tipple – especially during the summer months. Luckily, there are plenty of varieties to choose from. We’ve put together a list of seven incredible wines that we think you’re going to enjoy! Best served chilled on the veranda, in the garden or by the sea, rosé wine is seriously trending right now. Did you know that pink wine is simply a fruity take on red wine without the tannins or the deep colour? There’s no better way to soak up those carefree summer vibes. Try it as an aperitif or pair it with light bites featuring tomatoes or melons. Or maybe even serve it up with fish dishes or barbecue feasts. The main thing is that you get the quality of your pink drink just right. A good rosé is dry, fruity, fresh, light, subtle and not overly complex. There are a few different ways to make rosé wine, including direct pressing. This method does what it says on the tin, with the red wine grapes being pressed directly to avoid contact between the juice and skins. Another option is limited skin maceration, which involves the grape juice being left in contact with the skins for a set amount of time (usually just a matter of hours). The longer the maceration, the darker and more richly flavoured the wine will be. There are plenty of rosé varieties to choose from. As is often the case with wine, it all comes down to personal preference. What you like and what you don’t like. Here’s our selection of seven wines from four countries that are best enjoyed on a carefree summer’s day.



le grand bellevue gstaad WORDS BEATRICE LESSI

This is haute couture vacation, tailor-made for you, pinned on your body exactly for your taste and to make you tick – and feel alive.


Le Grand Bellevue is located in a very calm spot, a park in the centre of Gstaad, one minute’s walk from the world-renowned Promenade, which boasts the best in luxury shopping, art galleries, and cafés, and with perfect access to public transport too. I mention this because, having a dog, we greatly enjoyed having our walks while watching the superb chalets blooming with endless geraniums and the fancy local shopping. For a posh drive, the hotel can also offer you the best looking old lady in the village – a vintage Bentley S3, once owned by Sir Roger Moore. Otherwise, just enjoy the picturesque walk.

BEST SPA IN GSTAAD We kicked off our family stay with a hike and gourmet picnic organised by the hotel. Each of us was given a backpack. Opening it to discover the delicacies inside – along with the fancy Krug Champagne blankets - was worth the trip alone. The well deserved prize after our physical effort was going to the spa. We didn’t expect it to be so big. It’s a total of 3,000 square metres and has been extensively and luxuriously renovated. We walked from one wellness zone to the next and wanted to try them all. We sat in the rattan cocoons hanging from the ceiling, walked the candle-lit paths, explored the thermal oasis, yoga and detox retreats, inhaled in the salt grotto, the herbal and bio and hay sauna, dived into the outdoor jacuzzi, dipped our feet in the icy and hot waters of the Kneipp therapy basins, lay in the meditating rooms, sat on the fountain with floating flowers, tried the experience showers, and checked the massage and beauty treatments. We loved it so much that we decided to go back the day after, to try something all together – my husband included. The hotel team suggested outdoor Qi Gong. The session started with a lot of giggling, but slowly we got into it and deeply relaxed and enjoyed the energy increase. It was a bonding experience I can warmly recommend.

Walk to the steamy outdoor pool, inhale in the salt grotto, or choose one of the 17 different wellness zones.

© Nick Hopper






After experiencing two days at Le Grand Bellevue, I heard from Fabian Nusser, the hotel manager, that the hotel has only 57 rooms. I couldn’t believe it. The range of services and options offered makes you think it’s much bigger – to give you just one example, the hotel boasts its own private yacht club. But staff is what makes the real difference, and here’s my second little story. When I sat in the bar to start gathering notes about this article and ordered a glass of water, the barman asked me if I wanted to try the tea cocktail of the day instead. I had never heard of such a thing, and found out that Ondrej, who was serving me, was a tea sommelier – a little superstar in his field. Then I was told the story of Luca, the new Italian waiter who, knowing that the Bellevue is in the 5-star superior category, started his job behaving extremely formally to its clients. Daniel Koetser, who owns the hotel together with his wife Davia, noticed that and asked him: If you were a guest, would you prefer to be served by a formal waiter, or by a cool Italian being simply himself? Luca immediately understood the hint and relaxed. He is now a little bit of a star himself – for sure my daughters loved him too! Our staff doesn’t just serve. It’s a crew of people who love their job, that is about serving … concluded Daniel.



That leads me to my third little story. The combination of friendly service, top quality and understated luxury is something I wanted to capture with an image. I had seen some hotel photos I liked a lot, and one in particular was about a couple having dinner on the grass in front of the grand entrance, with the name of the hotel, the five stars, the white pillars and the fountain as a perfect background. I asked the hotel manager if he could pose to replicate the picture for me, thinking he would for sure claim he was busy the whole afternoon – let’s face it: modelling for a blogger is a hassle. Not only did he immediately accept, but ten minutes before the shooting he turned up with a wooden barrel and a fondue set, transported it himself while wearing his immaculate suit, and explained to me that he felt the summer fondue would make the photo more fun. Knowing that I don’t drink any alcohol, he also brought two glasses of apple juice – they look like real champagne, don’t they?




Perhaps it was the Gstaad nature, or the way Le Grand Bellevue crew interacted with us, or a combination. But we felt our family break was more intense than expected. The first night, while sitting on hay bales and enjoying a unique dinner experience at a private table in the lush hotel gardens, my daughters opened up like they rarely did before, and also criticised us parents for being a bit absent in everyday life. This aroused some interesting (and hopefully fruitful) thoughts in all of us, and I don’t know if we would have faced our issues that positively, had we remained at home. The following days, while being active and also contemplating nature, we all felt very close. The last day, when we were served dinner in the hotel’s private cinema, I couldn’t avoid the tears. What a nice, beautiful crying experience watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s with my daughters! We could see just how much effort the staff had put into organising our stay. We felt appreciated as guests, and really «seen» as people, not only as guests.


© Switzerland Tourism, Gstaad, Schoenried


things to do around the hotel

STAND UP PADDLE YOGA Don’t worry if you haven’t tried it yet: it’s also suitable for beginners. The stunning Lake Arnensee is the ultimate setting for total relaxation. Ask Le Grand Bellevue for the perfect gear and yoga teacher.

E-BIKE TOURS Cycling with the support of a silent, environmentally-friendly electric motor is a special pleasure for the fitness-conscious, for whom enjoyment is more important than the effort expended. Less athletic cycling enthusiasts can thus extend their sphere of activity in this way. The Destination Gstaad offers fully-equipped electric bike facilities and countless routes. 130

HELI HIKE Is also available at Le Grand Bellevue. Take a helicopter ride to the top of the mountain before a leg-burning hike, where you will tuck into an indulgent lunch courtesy of the hotel’s unique fondue backpacks – there is no better post-hike reward.

© Switzerland Tourism, Lauenen, Lake Lauenen

© Switzerland Tourism, Woman doing yoga in the wood nearby Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence


FONDUELAND Fondue isn’t for winter only! With its gentle topography and varied speciality cheeses, Gstaad offers the perfect mix for sophisticated bons vivants. In Fondueland Gstaad, there is nothing more natural than enjoying a delicious fondue surrounded by the mountain landscape. In a place where fresh air, lush pastures and herbs provide the best possible foundation for outstanding cheese.

MAGICAL MOUNTAIN WATERS A bath in the crystal clear mountain lake is guaranteed to be an unforgettable vacation moment. In the destination Gstaad, there are more lakes than just the famous Lake Lauenen. Mountain lakes are hidden on many of the hikes. Their appeal lies not only in the ice-cold clear water, but also in their natural beauty: turquoise blue and a view of the mountains, far away from the hustle and bustle and noise. Relaxing moments like this are not offered in any spa in the world. 131

Glacier 3000 boasts breathtaking views and is both a summer and winter destination. A classic hike is Glacier 3000 (Scex Rouge)-SanetschGsteid. There is also a Glacier 3000 run, which I have now put on my bucket list.

Another trail to try – both for hiking or running, involves the beautiful Lake Arnensee and is called the Berglauf Feutersoey Arnensee. The calm waters mirroring the mountains leave every visitor speechless. The water is so clean you can see every fish and stone. Of course, you can drink it and bathe in it in total safety.

One more trail I have tried and can recommend is from Gstaad to Wispile and to Lake Lauenen. Once more, the mix of mountain views and of calm lake waters is unbeatable.

If you like to do interval training on the treadmill from time to time (I personally do that because it allows me to check my speed better), don't miss the Le Grand Bellevue gym. It is the best spa in Gstaad, gym equipment included.


superstars, princesses and a pink panther WORDS ALEX KUEHN PHOTOS GSTAAD PALACE


eaving Gstaad always tugs at the heartstrings. But it’s not all bad. After all, the pain of leaving is soon replaced with excitement at the thought of returning sometime soon. To the unique blend of rural charm and chic sophistication that has been attracting people from all corners of the world to this little village in Saanen for generations. Grace Kelly, who went on to become Princess Grace of Monaco, and Sophia Loren used to love visiting Gstaad, whilst Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Audrey Hepburn, Roger Moore and Peter Sellers were regulars. Some celebrities have even moved a huge part of their life to Gstaad. Take Julie Andrews, for example, who said it was «love at first sight» when she visited in 1968 with her husband Blake Edwards. The Gstaad Palace Hotel has proudly overlooked the village since 1913. Majestic in bright white with four stunning towers, it looks like a fairy-tale castle straight out of a Disney film. Michael Jackson, who was invited to visit Gstaad by Elizabeth Taylor, was so taken with the Palace that he tried to buy it on the spot. Of course, the family that

Standing from left to right: Shiwa & Ernst Andrea Scherz Seated from left to right: Curd Jürgens, Luisa & Roger Moore


Mireille Mathieu accompanied by Hansruedi Schaerer, Director of Gstaad Palace Ernst A. Scherz and kitchen brigade of Gstaad Palace.



HISTORY The Palace welcomed the Pink Panther through its doors.

through its doors. When the legendary US trumpeter and singer agreed to perform at the hotel, it set the owners back CHF 40,000, an eye-watering sum at the time. But the guests were treated to an unforgettable show and the Scherz family ended up taking enough money to make it a worthwhile investment. And the audience that evening was just as dazzling as the star on the stage. Prince Karim Aga Khan, Henry Ford and David Niven were just some of the famous faces enjoying the music. Scores of photos line the hotel corridors, telling stories from the village and hotel’s past. Plenty of films provide an insight into the location too, including Blake Edwards’ hilarious comedy ‘The Return of the Pink Panther’, starring Peter Sellers as the inept Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the role he was best known for. Andrea Scherz, who was six at the time, remembers being absolutely fascinated. «In a scene filmed at the swimming pool, Peter Sellers had to watch an attractive lady and then fall into the water in perfect sync with her, whilst making the whole thing seem unintentional. That was no mean feat, so it took three attempts to get it just as the director wanted it. And so Sellers had to take off his wet suit and get completely dry before getting dressed and restyled again – twice,» remembers Scherz. As a little boy, he was over the moon about being allowed to sit on the cameraman’s shoulders. And yet Gstaad isn’t just a hotspot for artists and royals. Sport is high on the agenda too, with tennis taking centre stage. The international tournament that was first held in 1915 on the courts next to the Palace is now a popular event on the ATP Tour calendar. Roger Federer won the trophy in 2004, but the tournament means the most to another sportsman: Roy Emerson. The Australian tennis player, the only man to have won titles at all four Grand Slam events in the same year, triumphed at the Swiss Open in 1960, 1961, 1966, 1967 and 1969. The tennis arena with a capacity of 4,500 that is constructed every summer is even named after him. The annual Roy Emerson Tennis Weeks demonstrate the tennis legend’s close ties to Gstaad and give many a tennis fan the chance to pick up tips and tricks from the winner of 12 Grand Slam singles titles.

owns the hotel didn’t take him up on his offer, putting their guests’ needs first as always. «We have incredibly close ties to the hotel. I honestly think of it as a living creature. It’s as though it has a soul,» muses Andrea Scherz, who has been running the hotel since 2001 as a representative of the family’s third generation. He believes this may come down to the sheer volume of remarkable people that have stayed there. «We learn something from each of them, so they always leave a little piece of themselves behind in the hotel.» The Scherz name has had strong ties to Gstaad since 1938, when Andrea’s grandfather, Ernst Scherz, signed his contract as Manager of the Palace. Little did he know that challenging times were just around the corner for him and the hotel. The German armed forces invaded Poland in September 1939, initiating global conflict on an unprecedented scale. But the First World War hadn’t broken the Palace’s spell, and the Second World War wasn’t going to either. Ernst and his wife Silvia managed to navigate the ship through the rough seas. During these difficult times, the hotel was used as lodgings for around 150 detained soldiers and officers from France. The Swiss National Bank built the space now occupied by the restaurant La Fromagerie into a store for gold and insurance documents. In the 1960s, Gstaad started to attract global superstars. The Palace welcomed the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Charles Aznavour, Maurice Chevalier and Louis Armstrong 136


Top athletes, film stars and music legends have always come to the Palace to party. The legendary GreenGo nightclub opened its doors for the first time in 1970 and it still has the same decor and unique charm as it did back then. It’s no wonder that it’s such a popular spot for colourful characters to primp, preen and spread their wings. Quite literally, as Andrea Scherz knows only too well: «We have genuinely had guests bring their parrots to the club and check them in at the cloakroom before heading off to the bar for a drink. On two occasions in the past, GreenGo staff even had to look after big cats. We’ve had one pet cheetah and one lynx that the owner would take for a walk on a leash.»



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A taste of the Mediterranean


If you’re looking for an all-round enjoyable dining experience, you won’t be disappointed by the luxurious yet playful feel of Leonard’s. The Italian head chef, Francesco de Bartolomeis, has a real talent for marrying flavours. He clearly enjoys getting creative in the kitchen and yet he never loses sight of his roots. The warm focaccia bursting with cherry tomatoes, rosemary and Taggiasca olives is like a hug on a plate. And it goes beautifully with a glass of Ruinart Rosé to create the perfect aperitif. The tender pork belly with crisp crackling is served with delightfully translucent langoustines, shiitake mushrooms and a Jerusalem artichoke mousse. A refreshing blend of cucumber and buttermilk is poured into the ring of salmon tartare, avocado and bergamot at the table. This is followed up by an exquisite pasta dish of bottoni with an aubergine parmigiana filling, burrata, tomato confit and crispy basil. Not to mention three sauces – one with spinach and basil, one with pecorino and one with roasted oxheart tomatoes. There may be a lot going on in this bottoni dish, but it has the makings of a classic! The savoury dishes are rounded off with a pink roasted lamb entrecôte sourced from the Bernese Highlands with a side of red cabbage, blackberries, baby veg from Gstaad and a Ratte potato purée. The desserts are equally exquisite. The coconut sorbet and foam with caramelised pineapple and matcha and a new twist on Black Forest Gateau with Amarena cherry sorbet are simple, perfectly balanced and light as air. Sommelier Olivier Gastal serves up the perfect wine with every course and is not afraid to think outside the box, presenting a Romanian ice wine as one of his recommendations.



The elegant authenticity of Japan




Oh, how we’ve missed that special tickling sensation in our noses. Whether you opt for the sweet and nutty scallops, buttery yellowtail or nigiri with tender tuna belly, it is the made-to-order real wasabi paste that makes the dish so special. The manner in which head chef Tetsujiro Ogata and his team in no way compromise on what seem to be the tiniest of details is nothing short of impressive. It goes without saying that sake is the drink served with the incredible selection of sushi and sashimi. Surprisingly rich and complex, the Japanese rice wine goes perfectly with the saltiness of the soy sauce. You’d be hard pushed to find a bar in Europe that could beat Megu’s impressive selection of sake. Leaving your drink order in the hands of the knowledgeable service hosts is a gamble well worth taking. You can’t eat at this tastefully designed restaurant inspired by Kyoto’s temples without trying the signature asparagus coated with spicy rice crackers and chilli. We pick it up with the carefully integrated chopstick, squeeze a little lemon over it for an extra burst of freshness and nibble at it quite contentedly. Megu’s culinary crew shows off just how juicy and meaty poultry can be with its crispy chicken nanban served with a yellow-infused Japanese take on tartar sauce. If you appreciate a little entertainment and wagyu beef that melts in the mouth, you may want to have your meat seared on a hot lava stone. That dish also comes with sautéed Japanese mushrooms and sesame spinach. If you’ve got room for pudding, we recommend trying a generous portion of deliciously sharp tarte tatin drizzled with salted caramel and sour cream glaze.

The classics of haute cuisine




The largest of the five restaurants in the fairytale Hotel Gstaad Palace oozes beauty and artistic flair. If you find yourself sitting here of an evening, start by ordering a glass of champagne and a few oysters. Then sit back and soak up the atmosphere and ambient lighting. Maybe check out the skill of the serving staff as they carve and fillet meat in front of you. This is the place to come for inventive culinary creations, this is the place to come if you’ve got a craving for haute cuisine classics from around the world. Highlights include the beautifully thick and foamy lobster bisque with carefully shelled lobster tails, the home-made foie gras terrine with mandarin and black garlic, the sole meunière, the salt-crusted sea bass and the châteaubriand with béarnaise sauce. This restaurant steeped in history and Culinary Director Franz Faeh are also famous for their extravagant buffets and barbecues on the Big Green Egg. We decided to go for the double slow-cooked Simmental veal cutlets and were suitably impressed by the crust on the outside and the tender meat that was still nice and pink on the inside. It’s no surprise to see caviar on the menu at an establishment of this calibre. Here it’s served as a simple dish with new potatoes, sour cream and chives or as a side with a signature Palace rainbow trout fillet with white wine sauce and boiled potatoes. Franz Faeh’s mighty Grand Marnier soufflé (which is also mighty fluffy) is a firm favourite amongst regular diners and restaurant critics alike.


and oskar goes to… andermatt Labrador of luxury: writer Titus Arnu took his dog with him to stay at The Chedi in Andermatt, an elegant hotel with a fine dining menu for our four-legged friends.


Sometimes I wish that my dog could talk. I want to know what he’s thinking when he tilts his head to one side and gives me that look that melts my heart every time. Is he really suffering when he sits and yowls at my door? Or is he just after a bit of attention? Does he see me as a boring old lump constantly sat staring at a screen? Does he wonder why I don’t spend all my time running around outside and enjoying nature? Is he in love with the sweet, curly-haired dog next door? I wish I knew… Oskar does manage to express himself quite well without using any words, though. Almost all of his attempts to communicate with me revolve around one thing: food. When I’m standing in the kitchen with the fridge open, Oskar tells me what he wants with his eyes and the way he moves. He resorts to an almost comical 142

interpretive dance to get me to understand him. «I want a sausage!» «Give me cheese!» «How about that bread crust?» And my answer is almost always no. Outrageously unfair as far as he’s concerned. Oskar is a two-and-a-half-yearold black Labrador. Weighing in at 33 kilograms, this muscular canine is always hungry. He will devour anything that isn’t safely locked away. Mastering «Sit», «Stay» and «Drop it» at puppy training was no problem for him. I dread to think what would happen if he could talk and use the phone. And I’m relieved that Oskar isn’t able to read and write. Otherwise, he would be able to understand the beautiful doggy menu in our hotel room. On the front there’s a black Labrador staring into the camera. This could well be Oskar’s brother. The back is filled with a list of exquisite meals prepared



without seasoning or spice especially for dogs. We’re talking fried rice with chicken and vegetables, couscous with poached fish and eggs, and game bird with vegetables. You can also order raw treats (minced beef, lamb and chicken with vegetable flakes) and even dessert (banana ice cream and fruit salad). If you can talk and dial the number, that is. Oskar starts by bounding over to the bowl that has been left in our room for him. A few welcome snacks await him. They are demolished in one mouthful. Wagging his tail, he proceeds to explore our room, a Junior Deluxe Suite at The Chedi in Andermatt. A comfy dog bed has been set up in front of the fireplace. There is plenty of space to run around and several soft fluffy rugs. When I open the sliding door onto the hotel’s courtyard garden, Oskar can smell the fresh mountain air. Our room on the ground floor is ideal for walkies, as the side exit takes us straight outside. From there, we can take a stroll along the Unteralpreuss, the mountain stream running through the village. On our way back to the hotel, Oskar pulls hard on his lead until it is taut. He must be keen to return to the relaxed luxury on offer at The Chedi. «We are more leisure than business here,» says Melanie Horn, who works for the Sales & Marketing department at the five-star hotel. Oskar seems to have grasped this laid-back approach and spends the interview lying on the floor like a good boy. Every so often, he will stare longingly at the caramel biscuit on my saucer. When a yappy little chihuahua comes into reception and starts making a scene, Oskar stays cool and his eyebrow just twitches. No young whippersnapper is going to ruin his mellow mood. The hotel welcomes dogs with open arms, with everything set up to make life comfortable for four-legged guests. Here, lavish luxury is on the cards for

people and animals alike. Faux leather dog beds in all shapes and sizes await in one of the back rooms, with something to suit Pugs, Great Danes and every breed in between. Past canine guests even include dogfluencers like Mumford, a doggy star of the screen known in Switzerland for his appearance in a Coop advert. Did you know that Mumford can do a handstand (a pawstand?), hide in a suitcase and balance a stick on his nose? Oskar can’t do any of those tricks. But that doesn’t stop the staff fussing over him. The doorman greets him with a smile and gives him a friendly pat on the back when we leave the hotel in the afternoon armed with a rucksack full of bottled water, treats and poo bags. The area surrounding the hotel is a dream for dogs and their owners. Meadows, streams, mountain lakes and sprawling pastures provide the ultimate backdrop for long walkies. From the hotel, we make our way up to the Gotthard Pass. The view here is a little disappointing at the moment thanks to a huge construction site. Once you get past all the cranes and diggers working at Lago di Lucendro, though, things quieten down and you are left alone with your thoughts. A narrow, rocky path takes you to Lago

´The hotel welcomes dogs with open arms, with everything set up to make life comfortable for our four-legged guests.´ d’Orsino and three other lakes at an altitude of 2,500 metres. Oskar listens to the whistling marmots and would love to be let loose to catch himself a juicy little snack. But nature conservation and a healthy diet stand in his way. Dogs have to be kept on their leads and make do with admiring the view and sniffing the bluebells and



cyclamens. The highlight of our whistle-stop tour is a dip in the icecold Lago d’Orsirora. Back at the hotel, all Oskar can think about is food. There is a delicious smell of bread, bacon and cheese coming from the main restaurant. I presume that Oskar has registered this as his tongue is hanging out and his nostrils are flared. I guide him past the entrance to the Michelin-starred restaurant called The Japanese on the way back to our room. It may be closed, but Oskar is keen to stop for a bite to eat right away. That might have something to do with the aroma of fresh raw fish and steamed rice. Labradors were bred to be the perfect water dogs, so fish is the holy grail for them. But dogs are banned from the restaurant – and rightly so. When we get back to the room, I decide it’s finally time to get my paws on the doggy menu and I end up ordering a tagliata. After a short wait, there is a knock at the door and Oskar’s personal waiter ceremoniously hands me a bowl that makes my dog’s mouth water. Fresh beef, fried to perfection and served on a bed of steamed rice with carrots and peas. Did Oskar enjoy his fine dining experience? It’s hard to say as he had scoffed the lot down within 30 seconds. Later, I get stuck into the book ‘I know what you’re trying to tell me – understanding what your dog is saying’ by Stephanie Lang von Langen. The animal psychologist helps owners translate dog speak so they can better understand their pets. Will I be able to communicate with Oskar soon? And do I need to be careful what I wish for? «The moment we start seeing our dogs as humans, we are falling into a trap,» explains the animal psychologist. «As much as we love our pets, dogs aren’t people and people aren’t dogs.» Got it! Good night then, Oskar! I’m off to eat my evening meal without you. I think it’s probably best that way for everyone. Stay and drop it!

´When we are back at the hotel, all Oskar can think about is food.´




In his book «Ferne Berge im Sonnenschein» (Distant mountains in the sunshine), Jürgen Pachtenfels follows in the footsteps of Goethe’s second trip to Switzerland through the Bernese Oberland in October 1779.


Bernese Oberland The Bernese Oberland refers to the Alpine region of the Canton of Bern. This includes the lakes of Thun and Brienz and the famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. «Goethe was practically my co- worker.» We set off through the Bernese Oberland with author Jürgen Pachtenfels and his wife Madeleine. We will now hand over to Jürgen Pachtenfels himself. «Goethe used to be lauded as a kind of god in grammar school, which meant that we had to study his literature very closely. After my studies, I worked as an administrative lawyer, senior civil servant and headed a government agency in the state government of Schleswig-Holstein. Goethe himself was a minister in the state government of the Duchy of Thuringia.» «In 2003, my wife Madeleine and I moved to Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland.» Jürgen Pachtenfels When nobility seeks adventure Goethe’s travel group met on 8 October 1779 in Bern – on horseback no less. In those days, Switzerland was anything but a tourist paradise, with no public transport or network of signposted hiking trails. Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, his friend

Senior Ranger von Wedel, and Goethe’s secretary Seidel accompanied Goethe on his adventurous trip. Where nature calls the shots The ascent to Grosser Scheidegg proved to be risky and strenuous. The oncoming winter had Goethe’s Weimar travel group shivering with cold and made clear to them just what dangers the winter could bring. Goethe and his secretary Seidel then found themselves separated from the group. Nobody knows how long they were missing. But Goethe and Seidel luckily found their way back to the group. «We all warmed up as we climbed the Scheidegg.» Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Where water plays the main role From the Zwirgi vantage point, Goethe and his travel group were treated to magnificent, sweeping views that stretched all the way down into Haslital and Meiringen. Today, visitors can enjoy the views while feasting on a typical Meiringen meringue on the terrace of Gasthaus Zwirgi. Below this viewing platform, Reichenbach Falls thunder over seven steps down into the depths. The meltwater comes from the Rosenlaui Glacier and makes its way through the imposing Rosenlaui 147

Gorge, where rock faces tower up to 80 metres. Where mountains are addictive Goethe’s travel group climbed the Obersteinberg, which they found to be a difficult and dangerous mountain tour, with some of them breaking off their journey prematurely to return to Lauterbrunnen. Goethe admitted that the trail had been hard going. Battling against the rain and early nightfall, and with the sound of avalanches roaring in the distance, the hikers finally made their way back to Lauterbrunnen during the night. But Goethe didn’t grant himself a day’s rest after the return journey either. Things continued in the same vein the next day. «We are not here to relax, but to hike through Switzerland.» Johann Wolfgang von Goethe One of the main reasons for his restlessness was his many female acquaintances (they simply overwhelmed him). He thus tried to escape them, knowing that he would find peace and solace in the Swiss mountains. In his notes, Goethe made several mentions of this as being the reason that had prompted him to embark on his second trip to Switzerland. He also referenced this in some of the poems he wrote at the time.


´We are not here to relax, but to hike through Switzerland.´

Goethe and his noble travel group hurried tirelessly through the mountains, leaving themselves no time to take in the many sights around them. This was the reason for Seidel’s paucity of notes. «We were on Schwarzwaldalp at 1 p.m., from which you can see the Wellhorn, Wetterhorn and Engelhorn on the right. The weather was bright. We ate what we had brought with the farmers.» Finding a soft bed back then was no easy feat This sophisticated travel group found it difficult to find fitting accommodation in 1779. The hotel and gastronomy industry at that time was only just being established in this area and there were hardly any rooms to be found, never mind decent accommodation. This was in contrast to larger places and towns where guest houses were already offering such rooms. However, bailiffs, judges and ministers proved to be excellent hosts out in the countryside and enjoyed an excellent reputation. «The rectories in Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland were especially lauded in early travel guides.» For this reason, Goethe’s travel group seemed to have had problems finding reasonably pleasant accommodation in a lot of places. Often, there was no accommodation to be found anywhere. 148

Goethe’s and Seidel’s notes fail to address this subject in some cases, which is why nobody really knows where they spent the night at times. But Goethe wasn’t here to stay overnight in style, but to climb the glaciers in the region. Where craftsmanship spans more than 380 years A cheese storehouse stands on Schwarzwaldalp that dates back to 1637. When Goethe walked past this very building on his hike into Haslital, it was already 142 years old. In his haste, Goethe made the following note about it: «These cheese storehouses stand on a wooden base, a few feet above the ground, so that dry air can flow underneath.» On the subject of the building: Ballenberg Open-Air Museum is home to more than 100 original historical buildings from all parts of Switzerland. Although the museum didn’t yet exist in Goethe’s day, a lot of the buildings exhibited in it today are several hundred years old. Even back in those days, it was a popular custom for foreigners to watch cheese being made on an alp. But Goethe’s travel group hurried on further and chose not to look into the subject of cheese in any detail. This was why Goethe’s assumption about the space between the ground and the cheese storehouse wasn’t entirely correct. The main reason why cheese storehouses were built on stilts was not to allow the wind to blow through beneath, but to make it difficult for rats and mice to climb up into them.


GESANG DER GEISTER ÜBER DEN WASSERN Des Menschen Seele Gleicht dem Wasser: Vom Himmel kommt es, Zum Himmel steigt es, Und wieder nieder Zur Erde muß es, Ewig wechselnd.

© Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Goethes Schriften. Achter Band, G. J. Göschen. 1789. Page 187–188

Strömt von der hohen, Steilen Felswand Der reine Strahl, Dann stäubt er lieblich In Wolkenwellen Zum glatten Fels, Und leicht empfangen Wallt er verschleiernd, Leisrauschend Zur Tiefe nieder.


Ragen Klippen Dem Sturz entgegen, Schäumt er unmutig Stufenweise Zum Abgrund. Im flachen Bette Schleicht er das Wiesental hin, Und in dem glatten See Weiden ihr Antlitz Alle Gestirne. Wind ist der Welle Lieblicher Buhler; Wind mischt vom Grund aus Schäumende Wogen. Seele des Menschen, Wie gleichst du dem Wasser! Schicksal des Menschen, Wie gleichst du dem Wind!

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walk along water A walking tour from Lago Bianco to Le Prese, from freezing cold glacial lakes to the Mediterranean shores of Lago di Poschiavo. WORDS MARTIN HOCH PHOTOS NICO SCHAERER


The train ride from St. Moritz, past the Morteratsch glacier, offers the first spectacular views of the day. And there are many more to come. Before heading south after arriving at the station of Ospizio Bernina, make sure to visit photographer Guido Baselgia’s Camera Obscura. It is just a short walk from the station. Afterwards, follow the trail along Lago Bianco until you reach Alp Grüm. A few steps south of the lake, the idyllic scenery of the Valposchiavo takes over. Flowers bloom at the wayside, and the warm southern air is filled with sweet and spicy smells of herbs and tree resin. HIKE — START AT OSPIZIO BERNINA, TO VISIT CAMERA OBSCURA: T. +41 (0)81 830 00 60. CAMERA-OBSCURA.CH OSPIZIO BERNINA TO ALP GRÜM, 1 ½ HOURS




Hikers often take a well-deserved break when they reach the Albergo Ristorante Belvedere on Alp Grüm. Enjoy a cool drink while admiring the impressive Palü glacier and its frozen water resources. The view of the valley below is just as rewarding; if you look closely, you can spot people taking a stroll along Lago di Poschiavo, enjoying their ice creams. TAKING A BREAK — ALBERGO RISTORANTE BELVEDERE, ALP GRÜM, BELVEDERE-ALPGRUEM.CH



After leaving Alp Grüm, the pleasant trail takes you through larch forests and down to the Alpe Palü. Time for a delicious, wholesome lunch. Ilaria Vitali serves local specialties – polenta, pizzoccheri, barley broth – with an Italian touch at the Agriturismo Alpe Palü. She uses the Alpe’s own meat and eggs. Their animals spend their summer grazing the pasture nearby and on Alp Varuna. LUNCH — AGRITURISMO ALPE PALÜ, JUNE – OCTOBER, T. +41 (0)79 414 41 14 (ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE APPRECIATED)



A tip for summiteers: pleasure hikers prefer heading directly to Cavaglia. However, taking a detour via Lagh da Caralin is very rewarding. You may have to cross some snowy patches, but it is worth making the effort. Half a dozen waterfalls plunge into the glacial lake. Lagh da Caralin is a solitary place, an enchanting stone arena played on both visually and acoustically by the cascading water. And the ice-cold pool is ideal for treading water. TREADING WATER — ALPE PALÜ TO LAGH DA CARALIN AND BACK, DIFFERENCE IN ALTITUDE OF 393 M, APPROX. 2 HOURS




When leaving the Alpe Palü, heading towards Cavaglia, the trail leads along the Cavagliagasch stream, where volunteers of the Giardino dei Ghiacciai Cavaglia club have created a garden for visitors. They invested 150,000 hours to clear 32 glacial mills. Their new, equally spectacular project, the gorge below the glacier garden, is scheduled to open for visitors in spring 2021. EXPLORE — GLACIER GARDEN, CAVAGLIA, FREE ADMISSION, TOURS ON REQUEST. GHIACCIAI.INFO



The Rhaetian Railway RhB will take you from Cavaglia down to Le Prese. On Lago di Poschiavo, a day filled with mountain air and southern charm comes to an end, with a drink on the terrace of the venerable Hotel Le Prese or a romantic boat ride. The journey back to St. Moritz follows the route of your walk along water. BOATS & DRINKS — HOTEL LE PRESE. HOTEL-LEPRESE.COM


a treasure hunt fit for a little king and queen WORDS AND PHOTOS OLIVER SCHMUKI



A treasure hunt is so much more than just a clever way of attracting families to traditional hotels like the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel. This is exactly the kind of adventure that can boost a child’s confidence and help them come out of their shell. What parent wouldn’t be happy with that?


few weeks after our stay at the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel, my little girl told me that there would be no beating the first visit to this hotel if we were to return. We had been chatting about our time at this prestigious place steeped in tradition that has made a name for itself in Switzerland and beyond. My curiosity got the better of me and I asked why. «The first time round we didn’t know where the treasure was hidden.» said my five-year-old, adding. «It would be cool to go back again, But not quite as cool as before.» Great. As if there wasn’t already enough pressure on planning the perfect holiday! I was just starting to panic about how I could book another trip that would live up to last October in Basel, let alone top it, when her brother chipped in. Staring up at me with wide eyes, he told me (again) all about how the treasure had been hidden more or less 159

where they had started – in a drawer at the concierge desk. But the dilemma I had found myself facing was far from over. A few weeks later, my son asked when we would be going back to Les Trois Rois, catching me off guard at the dinner table. «I really want another lobster bisque,» he announced. It was more of an order than a request. I considered asking him how his request tied in with the barley soup I had just served up – a dish that had required me to spend what felt like an eternity chopping up carrots and celery so fine that even Andreas Caminada (whose recipe I was using) would have been impressed. But I just couldn’t fight the memories of that evening at the Brasserie Les Trois Rois. The impeccable service, the fish, the oysters, the view of the Rhine, the countless masterpieces by illustrious artists all around us. And my children, who were so exhausted after


the treasure hunt but so happy that I didn’t worry for a second that they might bother anyone. But there was a simple explanation – they felt so welcome and at home. And so did all the other kings and queens, big or small, that we came across during our stay. That evening, I really appreciated the huge benefits of a children’s treasure hunt upon arrival at a hotel. Sure, it gives the parents time to get sorted and checked in calmly before settling into the room, studying the restaurant menu and entering the Wi-Fi password in peace. But really it’s all about the kids. The treasure hunt (or «Tour des Petits Rois» as it’s rather fittingly called here) helps them feel at ease. Not to mention that they have the chance to meet some of the hotel staff and burn off some of the energy that is sure to have built up on the journey. When we were reunited, it was time to tuck into the legendary afternoon tea in the lobby with the children’s grandmother, who had made the short journey from Kleinbasel to join us. Boy did the kids have a lot to tell us! They spoke about chests, keys, crowns, the double glass chandelier in the foyer and Playmobil pirates. And when I heard that my children even got to have a look into the hotel’s wine cellar on their tour, I found that I was actually a little bit jealous of their VIP adventure. Now it goes without saying that every royal needs a fitting kingdom to rule over. On top of the prestigious hotel itself, where even the youngest of guests are treated like royalty and where the supply of sweet treats seems never-ending, Basel is a cultural hotspot with plenty to offer the whole family. And so the next day we made our way over to the other side of the Rhine, escorted by the «Fährimaa» on the «Vogel Gryff» ferry. After a stroll along the river, we boarded the «Wild Maa» and headed from Kleinbasel towards St.-Alban-Tal. At the paper mill there, we put our

creative skills to the test and transformed pulp (water and textile fibres) into sheets of paper you could write on – complete with a watermark of the Basel coat of arms. Back at the establishment where a certain Napoleon Bonaparte had lunch back in 1797, we retreated to our room and ordered some room service. No hotel stay is complete without room service! There’s no

´We felt like passengers on a fancy ship waving goodbye to the real world.´ arguing about that. In our River King Room filled with classical style and luxurious antiques, we felt like passengers on a fancy ship waving goodbye to the real world and being transported to a place where dreams really do come true. Where people celebrate without a care in the world. Where people can hug one another without a face mask in sight. After a fair few farewells, with our bags and treasure chests in tow, we exited through the revolving doors. It was time to leave this historical hotel behind us. We all turned round for one last reluctant goodbye before we had to make our way back to the real world. From now on, as a new year begins, we will chat about the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois around the dinner table. It makes sense to earmark 6 January since it’s known as Three Kings Day in some parts of the world. Who knows if we’ll end up going back to the hotel? If we do, I hope for my daughter’s sake that the treasure will be hidden somewhere else in the hotel. That way, the next stay will be just as cool as the first one. Or maybe even cooler. 160



Olivia Müri and Noelle Baumann are at completely different stages of their respective careers. But they both agree that prestigious hotels make the best employers.

knowledgeable colleague that trained me in Bern and finish with Mr Kracht, the owner of the Baur au Lac. It is his personality and unwavering commitment to reinvesting in the hotel that give this establishment its unique character. — NB: Obviously I haven’t got anywhere near as much experience as Olivia. I do see the supervisor from the first year of my apprenticeship as a role model, though. She knew absolutely everything about the hotel. Other than passion and expertise, what do you need to make it in the hotel business? — NB: Language skills! Being able to speak in different languages shows guests and colleagues that you are welcoming, approachable and interested in them. — OM: I have to agree with Noelle there. It’s also a good idea to be highly flexible with a solid network behind you. My five semesters at the SHL Schweizerische Hotelfachschule

Why did you decide to embark upon a career in the hotel industry? — OM: I travelled a lot with my parents, so I got a glimpse of this fascinating world at an early age. Having completed an apprenticeship as a restaurant consultant at Bellevue Palace in Bern, I knew this was the path I had to take. — NB: My decision to take on an apprenticeship here at the Baur au Lac was actually pure chance. Now I really like the fact that I’m always around people and I have the chance to interact with guests and employees from all kinds of cultural backgrounds. Who has made a big impression on you in your work life? — OM: I would start with the incredibly 162

Luzern were invaluable given that the alumni are spread out all around the world. — NB: I’ve also seen first-hand just how useful it is to have connections at other hotels. Even if it just helps you get hold of extra beds and other bits and pieces at short notice. Let’s talk about SHL… The courses are known for being rather challenging. — OM: And they live up to their reputation. But I’m very grateful that they are so challenging. I loved pushing myself and seeing what I was capable of achieving. You learn to take a hands-on approach and just get stuck in. «What an important life lesson!» I wholeheartedly recommend SHL. — NB: SHL is the next major goal for me. I’ve already attended information sessions in Lucerne. The school buildings are nothing short of impressive and they make you feel right at home. 163

Do you often find yourself in strange situations at work? — NB: I’m yet to be faced with a seriously strange situation. But I will never forget the experience of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) last year. Despite all the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, all of the interviews and events surrounding the ZFF went ahead smoothly here at the Baur au Lac. I was working on reception at the time, which meant I got to experience the partnership between the hotel and festival up close. How inspiring! — OM: When I was working front of house at another hotel, I often served a lady who would come to eat with her imaginary friend. The first time it happened, I wasn’t sure whether I should actually serve up a meal for the non-existent guest. Luckily my colleague was on hand to tell me that I should just be guided by what the lady wanted me to do. After all, you never know what people are going through. And finally… Where do you see yourself in ten years? — OM: Definitely still in the hotel industry. And if I happen to be working somewhere with sunshine all year round, you won’t see me complaining. One of the brilliant things about this line of work is that you can happily find a job anywhere in the world. — NB: I enjoy working in the hotel industry so much that I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’m just planning to take things one step at a time and learn as much as I can along the way. NOELLE BAUMANN is currently completing her professional hotel training at the Baur au Lac in Zurich. She will be coming to the end of her three-year training programme this summer. OLIVIA MÜRI has been working at the Baur au Lac since 2014. She took on the role of HR Operations Manager back in 2016. She finished her training to become a restaurant consultant in 2009 and graduated from the SHL Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern in 2014.



Since its very first intake back in 1909, the SHL Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern has been dedicated to training highly qualified managers specialising in the hospitality sector with genuine passion for what they do. We spoke to Christa Augsburger, Director of SHL, about which courses are on offer, who they are aimed at and what makes studying at the modern campus in a beautiful location in Lucerne such a special experience.

Since our collaboration with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in 2019, we have also been in a position to offer a four-year full-time study programme in English. The programme leading to the academic degree Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management imparts modern knowledge and in-depth expertise with the practical relevance typical for SHL, covers topics in a more international context and includes two practical internships. Both courses open up all kinds of career opportunities – both in Switzerland and worldwide.

sionally. And this kind of training happens during both the school-based lessons and the workplace internships. In project studies, for example, our students develop feasible, practice-relevant gastronomy and hotel concepts, which they then present to external commissioners in a professional sales pitch. Personal and social skills are absolutely essential for anyone looking for a successful career in a globalised, multicultural and complex setting. This is where the tailored ‘Concierge Myself’ programme at SHL comes in, as it helps students to tackle day-to-day tasks and challenges on their own initiative with professionalism and confidence.


Furthermore, we are always willing to

Students wishing to start the HF

work alongside a student’s career path by

programme at SHL need to have a Swiss

offering flexibility on our courses. This also

Federal Certificate of Competence (EFZ)

allows for students to decide where they

or another secondary level II qualifica-

want to complete all internships.

tion, for example the Swiss Matura. If

Finally, there is something really spe-

students have already completed a foun-

cial about our school’s spirit. As the school

dation hospitality training and have been

is relatively small, there is an almost fami-

awarded a Swiss Federal Certificate of

ly-like feeling to it. In actual fact, we often

Competence, they may be able to by-

refer to the ‘SHL family’ and that obviously

pass certain semesters or internships. This

extends to all our alumni too.

course is taught fully in German, so flu-


ency in German is another requirement.

We have two courses here at SHL. Our renowned Dipl. Hôtelière-Restauratrice HF/Dipl. Hôtelier-Restaurateur HF course with accompanying work placements is based on the well-founded understanding that future managers need to have experience in all areas of the hotel business. The five varied semesters at SHL and the different internships in the real world of work give students the opportunity to develop the well-rounded skill set they will need to manage a business with success.

Students looking to register for our English

EXPERIENCE SHL UP CLOSE! Are you interested in studying at SHL

BSc programme need to have passed the

and would like to receive even more first-

Swiss Matura – or an equivalent qualifica-

hand information? Then register for an

tion – and have an excellent command of

online info event or an individual counsel-

English. Students on both courses must be

ling session.

18 or over and be passionate about pursuing a career within the hospitality sector.

WHAT MAKES SHL SO SPECIAL? We pride ourselves on our firm focus on practical and applied training. This means that students learn how to put theory into action properly and profes-





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Born in Simonstown, South Africa, Clifford has lived for the best part of 40 years in the «Villa Egli» in Zurich. Dabbling in the arts, Clifford chose fashion and rose up through the ranks to become an independent stylist and image consultant. Today he is a wellknown face on TV, radio (voice) and in the media. Eventologist, life-style expert, bon vivant… call him what you will, if you don’t know him, you should! Instagram @cliffordlilleyofficial clifford@clifford-lilley.com



Beatrice is an Italian/Swiss ultra runner who completed races such as the Everest Marathon. After 10 years in London working as a bond broker, she moved to New York, and then to Zurich, where she lives with her husband and their three daughters. In Switzerland, Beatrice started her own fashion and lifestyle blog, askthemonsters.com. Instagram @beatricelessi beatrice@askthemonsters.com

Alex Lambrechts is an internationally renowned fashion photographer, auteur film maker and creative director. His impressive client list includes British Vogue, GQ, Acqua di Parma, Bvlgari and Karl Lagerfeld to name only a few… Alex is tirelessly working on his upcoming exhibitions, exclusively captured using analogue equipment and processes for both his stills and motion content. alexlambrechts.com Instagram @alex_lambrechts




PHOTOGRAPHER Enno Kapitza´s photo assignments take him all around the world and he can also often be found capturing famous faces. As a dog owner himself it was a perfect match to take the pictures of Oskar the dog’s second visit to one of the Swiss Deluxe Hotels. Author Titus Arnu took his always happy and hungry Labrador to The Chedi in Andermatt where this furry guest wrapped the staff around his paw in no time. Instagram @ennokapitza contact@ennokapitza.de

How lucky for him that the doors to the first La Réserve hotel in Zurich were recently opened just a stone’s throw from his office. We sent him to go for breakfast with Thomas Maechler, who returned home to Zurich to take on the role of General Manager. Their conversation was fascinating and eye-opening… Mark enjoyed the avocado on toast so much that he is going to order it instead of the club sandwich when he goes back! Page 50. markvanhuisseling.ch info@markvanhuisseling.ch


TRAVEL WRITER Swiss travel writer Martin Hoch travelled the world for more than seven years. The time he spent on the move shaped his career. Since returning to Switzerland, he has worked as a freelance travel writer driven by a passion for nature and a fascination for diversity. His clients include internationally renowned magazines, newspapers and web portals. martin@nuvu.ch



Even as a boy, Alexander Kuehn was ­fascinated by the art of cooking. In 2012, he started his professional career as a food writer with the Zurich Tages-­ Anzeiger. T ­ oday, he writes for various culinary magazines, including Falstaff and the Gastro-Journal, and he is a co-author for Switzerland’s three-star chef Andreas Caminada. If he had to recommend a restaurant beyond the country’s borders, it would be Landhaus Bacher in Austria. Instagram @alexkuehnzh kuehntext@gmail.com


Peter Keller is a part-time wine editor for NZZ am Sonntag and the lifestyle online portal bellevue.nzz.ch. In addition, the wine expert hosts wine workshops for his readers. The remaining 50% of his working hours are dedicated to the Coop wine club Mondovino, where Keller curates his own «Peter Keller Edition» of unique rarities and special limited editions. peter.keller@nzz.ch



Since 2010, Dimitri and N ­ amiko Burkhard have been exploring Switzerland through two inquisitive pairs of eyes. Along with their team of contributors, they have published more than 1,300 articles in the Newly Swissed Online Magazine. This one-stop resource about S ­ witzerland covers topics ranging from hotels to hiking and from start-up portraits to unmissable Swiss events. Instagram @newlyswissed info@newlyswissed.com




Nico Schaerer is well recognised for his unique, independent, and highly creative approach. For many years, he travelled the globe. Nico graduated from the renowned School of Fine Art and Design/St. Joost, Netherlands in 2002, and has since built an impressive portfolio of key Swiss and international clients. mail@nicoschaerer.com

Claudio Del Principe is a copywriter, storyteller and successful author of six award-winning cookbooks. His blog «Anonyme Köche» (Anonymous Kitchen) is regarded as a jewel among German-­language food blogs. He is a master in reducing to the essential – in cooking, writing, and photography. He is a regular contributor to food magazines, a columnist and workshop lecturer on sour dough and handmade pasta. Instagram @claudio_anonymekoeche claudio@delprincipe.ch


Oliver Schmuki is a senior editor for Zurich-based branding agency Branders. A former journalist and food critic for NZZ am Sonntag, he now overlooks a print publication concerned with the future of our health. In his spare time, the father of two is grateful for every opportunity that allows him to escape his hometown and roam through the country. If that entails the possibility to put up at one of Switzerland’s nicest hotels – so much the better. oschmuki@gmail.com

LIFESTYLE JOURNALIST Growing up in Southern ­ alifornia, Steffi Hidber did not C much ­enjoy her mother’s efforts to slather her with sunscreen. In love with all things beauty, the outgoing Swiss beauty expert not only runs heypretty.ch, the country’s leading beauty blog, but shares her experiences in various print and online publications. Instagram @heyprettybeautyblog steffi@heypretty.ch






JOURNALIST & AUTHOR Travel, mountains, winter sports, dogs, nature, good food and beautiful hotels are Titus Arnu’s favourite subjects. The journalist from Munich writes for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, magazines such as Geo and Natur and is the author of several books (including «Tsum – a Himalayan expedition into the valley of happiness»). When staying at «The Chedi» with his dog Oskar, both man and dog were allowed to enjoy high luxury – and to hike extensively in the Gotthard area. titusarnu@mac.com


Dr. Thomas Hauer is an internationally renowned food and wine expert who made his passion a job. After earning a PhD, he set out to hunt for ultimate palatable pleasures all over the world. Today, he is a regular contributor to various magazines and newspapers with a strong focus on all F & B-related topics. Instagram @the_flying_gourmet thomashauer@web.de


Jasmin is a fashion entrepreneur with over 16 year’s experience working with industry icons such as Cavalli, Westwood and Dolce and Gabbana, to name a few. In 2016 she founded her creative communications agency Rogues Artist Management in London. The agency engages in unique collaborations with select clients and reflects Jasmin’s passions for aesthetics and creative processes. On her blog www.jazbrunner.com you can experience the fruits of her numerous personal collaborations and luxury ambassadorships. Instagram @jazbrunner jasmin@roguesagency.com

22 locations


Basel Zurich

39 36




Lucerne Vitznau




25 7




Interlaken Lausanne 19


Le Mont-Pèlerin 21 31


Andermatt 1

Gstaad 14

15 16





11 12






4 33





100 km

City Hotel Resort Hotel

40 miles 168



13 Mandarin Oriental Genève 14 Gstaad Palace Gstaad 15 Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad 16 Park Gstaad Gstaad


17 The Alpina Gstaad Gstaad 18 Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa Interlaken 19 Lausanne Palace Lausanne 20 Beau-Rivage Palace Lausanne-Ouchy

Bad Ragaz 5


Le Mirador Resort & Spa Le Mont-Pèlerin

22 Hotel Splendide Royal Lugano 23 Mandarin Oriental Palace Luzern



24 Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Montreux


25 Beau-Rivage Hotel Neuchâtel

28 29


St. Moritz

26 Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina



27 Badrutt’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz 28 Carlton Hotel St. Moritz St. Moritz 29 Kulm Hotel St. Moritz St. Moritz 30 Suvretta House St. Moritz


31 Grand Hôtel du Lac Vevey 32 Park Hotel Vitznau Vitznau 22



The Chedi Andermatt Andermatt

7 Bellevue Palace Bern

2 Tschuggen Grand Hotel Arosa

8 Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa Bern

3 Castello del Sole Ascona


4 Hotel Eden Roc Ascona

10 LeCrans Hotel & Spa Crans-Montana


11 Beau-Rivage Genève

Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites Bad Ragaz

6 Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois Basel


Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences Crans-Montana

Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Genève


33 Grand Hotel Zermatterhof Zermatt 34 Mont Cervin Palace Zermatt 35 Riffelalp Resort 2222m Zermatt 36 Baur au Lac Zürich 37 La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich Zürich 38 The Dolder Grand Zürich 39 Widder Hotel Zürich



Swiss Deluxe Hotels




Jean-Yves Blatt, General Manager

Stefan Noll, General Manager

Simon V. & Gabriela V. Jenny, General Managers




T +41 (0)41 888 74 88

T +41 (0)81 378 99 99

T +41 (0)91 791 02 02




Simon Spiller, General Manager

Marco R. Zanolari, General Manager

Tanja Wegmann, General Manager




T +41 (0)91 785 71 71

T +41 (0)81 303 30 30

T +41 (0)61 260 50 50




Urs Bührer, General Manager

Maximilian von Reden, General Manager

Nati Felli, Owner & General Manager




T +41 (0)31 320 45 45

T +41 (0)31 326 80 80

T +41 (0)27 486 20 00















Paola Masciulli, General Manager

Lars Wagner, General Manager

Martin Rhomberg, General Manager




T +41 (0)27 486 60 60

T +41 (0)22 716 66 66

T +41 (0)22 908 70 00




David Collas, General Manager

Andrea Scherz, Owner & General Manager

Daniel Koetser, Owner & Managing Director




T +41 (0)22 909 00 00

T +41 (0)33 748 50 00

T +41 (0)33 748 00 00




François Grohens, Hotel Manager

Tim Weiland, General Manager

Peter Kämpfer, General Manager




T +41 (0)33 748 98 00

+41 (0)33 888 98 88

T +41 (0)33 828 28 28




Ivan Rivier, General Manager

Nathalie Seiler-Hayez, General Manager

Benjamin Müller-Rappart, General Manager




T +41 (0)21 331 31 31

T +41 (0)21 613 33 33

T +41 (0)21 925 11 11
















Swiss Deluxe Hotels




Giuseppe Rossi, General Manager

Will open in 2022

Michael Smithuis, General Manager


Christian Wildhaber, General Manager


T +41 (0)91 985 77 11

palace-luzern.ch, T +41 (0)41 220 22 12

T +41 (0)21 962 12 12




Marc Landert, Maître de maison

Marc Eichenberger, Managing Director

Richard Leuenberger, Managing Director




T +41 (0)32 723 15 15

T +41 (0)81 830 30 30

T +41 (0)81 837 10 00




Philippe Clarinval, General Manager

Heinz E. & Jenny Hunkeler, General Managers

Esther & Peter Egli, General Managers




T +41 (0)81 836 70 00

T +41 (0)81 836 80 00

T +41 (0)81 836 36 36















Luc Califano, General Manager

Urs Langenegger, General Manager

Rafael Biner, General Manager




T +41 (0)21 925 06 06

T +41 (0)41 399 60 60

T +41 (0)27 966 66 00









André & Simone Seiler, General Managers

Hans-Jörg & Claudia Walther, Keepers of the Hut

Wilhelm Luxem, General Manager




T +41 (0)27 966 88 88

T +41 (0)27 966 05 55

T +41 (0)44 220 50 20




Thomas Maechler, General Manager

Markus Granelli, General Manager

Jörg Arnold, General Manager




T +41 (0)44 266 25 25

T +41 (0)44 456 60 00

T +41 (0)44 224 25 26







AAAAA GLM General Limousine Management


NetJets Management Ltd

Erwin Müller Group

Newby Teas (Suisse) SA

Esprit Gourmand

Oona Caviar – Echter Schweizer Alpen

ADA Cosmetics International GmbH

Falstaff Schweiz AG

ananné AG

Fideco AG

Orakei Ltd

Andros (Suisse) SA

Fredy’s AG

Pakka AG

G. Bianchi AG

Parmigiani Fleurier SA

Apostroph Luzern AG

Garpa Garten & Park Einrichtungen GmbH

Patiswiss AG

ARYZTA Food Solutions Schweiz AG

Geberit Vertriebs AG

P.F. Timmermans AG

Audi Schweiz

GK Media GmbH

Positioner SA

b & n Service AG

Globalwine AG


Baur au Lac Vins

Good Taste Imports GmbH

Ramseier Suisse AG

Bonne Maman

BDO AG (tbc)



Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG

Berndorf Luzern AG

Grohe Switzerland SA

Berner Blumenbörsen Genossenschaft

Groupe GM Exklusive Amenities

Royal Fish Sàrl

Heineken Switzerland AG

Schulthess Maschinen AG

Bindella Weinbau-Weinhandel AG

Elite SA

GaultMillau – Channel

Biner IT Consulting GmbH


Schwob AG

Caratello Weine


SIX Payment Services AG

Cash Hôtel Service SA

Hofmann Swiss Prime Menue AG

Smith & Smith Wine Compagny

CeCo Ltd.

Hotelis SA

Sola Switzerland AG

Hugo Dubno AG

Al Lago Interiors AG

Sknife CFD SA (Culturefood)

Igeeks AG

Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG

IRF Reputations AG

Suter Viandes SA

Boucherie du Palais


Jeroboam SA

Swisscard AECS AG


Kaldewei Schweiz GmbH

Swisscom (Schweiz) AG


KERNenergie GmbH

Swiss Top Events


Kerzenmensch Schönbächler AG

Cornèr Banca SA Cornèr Bank AG, Zweigniederlassung

Kessler & Co AG


Swiss Mountain Spring Tam Plenus GmbH

kukui GmbH

BonusCard (Zurich)

Sygama SA

Celergen – Cell Therapy

CULTI Schweiz

La Bottega

Teehaus Ronnefeldt


Läderach (Schweiz) AG

The Music Architect

Curaden AG

Laurent-Perrier Suisse SA

Tini Factory

swiss smile

Lyreco Switzerland AG


CWS-boco Suisse SA

MASI – Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana


Daniel M. Kahn & Partner AG

Maura Wasescha AG

Coop Pronto / Tankstellen

MBR Switzerland

Prodega / Growa


Mediterre International SA

Designeers GmbH

Mérat & Cie AG


Dettling & Marmot AG

Valentin Gastro USM U. Schärer Söhne AG

Cher-Mignon SA

vality GmbH

Hendrick’s Gin


Valser (tbc)

The Macallan

MK Illumination AG

Vergani + Co AG

Moët Hennessy (Suisse) SA

Weishaupt Innenausbau AG

Diction AG Diversey Europe B.V. Utrecht

Taski Druckerei Bloch AG

Dom Pérignon

Weita AG

Moët & Chandon



Zamba Fruchtsäfte AG

DynaSphere – DEM GmbH

Molton Brown

E. J. Gmür AG

Mövenpick Wein AG

E. Weber & Cie AG / Webstar

Musketier Blumen GmbH

Ecco-Jäger Früchte und Gemüse AG

Narimpex AG

Ecolab (Schweiz) GmbH

Nestlé Nespresso Suisse SA

Ecotel Suisse AG Edel & Stark AG

Zweifel Pomy-Chips AG

Nestlé Waters Suisse SA

Acqua Panna

Granini Fruchtsäfte

Henniez SA

San Pellegrino







DISTRIBUTION «H» is the only magazine that is available in all 39 Swiss Deluxe Hotels and reaches a readership of 1.5 million individuals PUBLICATION «H» Magazine is published twice a year, in July and December PUBLISHER Swiss Deluxe Hotels Augustinergasse 30, 8001 Zürich


One of the most popular traditions in Gstaad is the driving of the farmers’ cattle from the valley up to the Alpine pastures and back again. The Saanenland has around 80 working high-Alpine farms and some 200 Alpine dairies – the highest alp is the Obere Trüttlisberg at 2,006 metres above sea level. Our title picture was captured by Melanie Uhkoetter for Destination Gstaad.

EDITOR & CREATION Evelyn Gorgos gorgos@swissdeluxehotels.com DESIGN DD COM AG Seefeldstrasse 301, 8008 Zürich info@ddcom.ch ADVERTISING MANAGEMENT Swiss Deluxe Hotels gorgos@swissdeluxehotels.com TRANSLATIONS & PROOFREADING Apostroph Group PHOTOGRAPHS Photos were made available by Swiss Deluxe Hotels, Switzerland Tourism, Nico Schaerer and other sources PRINTED BY Prowema GmbH Im Rebenacker 2, 8332 Russikon


Fascinating and informative stories, interviews, and theme features on gastronomy, lifestyle, luxury, trend, and business topics, as well as interesting long reads. «H» Magazine conveys Swiss flair, savoir vivre, and the well-established world of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and their sophisticated guests. All texts are written by renowned Swiss journalists. They offer guest experiences and glances behind hotel scenes. «H» Magazine is aimed at readers who love exquisite service and are interested in learning more about the passion and work of inspiring people who contribute to the success of Swiss Deluxe Hotels. The magazine would like to both surprise and fascinate readers – in an elegant fashion.

WEBSITE swissdeluxehotels.com «H» MAGAZINE ONLINE swissdeluxehotels.com/en/magazine «H» MAGAZINE BLOG swissdeluxehotels.com/en/blog DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS BonusCard.ch AG, Gold Key Media Germany GmbH, Globus AG COOPERATION PARTNERS Traveller’s World Verlag GmbH, Falstaff Schweiz AG, HEEL Verlag GmbH

Would you like to sell our «H» Magazine in your book shop? Please write to: gorgos@swissdeluxehotels.com


OPEN UP A NEW WORLD OF PAYMENT POSSIBILITIES SIX Payment Services provides you with the right solution for cashless payments throughout Europe with one single point of contact. Our offer ranges from preferred acceptance methods from national and international brands to specialized payment terminals and value added services such as Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). Take advantage of our efficient, reliable payment services. six-payment-services.com worldline.com



CARS? NOWHERE! Did you ever think about having an Italian cappuccino right on the slope and heading back to Switzerland without even taking off your skis? Definitely an option for Zermatt! Gourmets cannot get enough of the outstanding and surprising culinary spots above 1,600 metres and we have all the tips for a perfect stay in one of the most particular and coolest car free zones in the world.

´True friendship does not need many words. And creates priceless memories.´ ANDRÉ SEILER





Bern Lucerne

St. Moritz





© Switzerland Tourism / André Meier


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