I stayed here with a friend just for one night on 20 July 2013 to escape the overpowering heat of Basel. The train journey to Gstaad is very picturesque, and I'd certainly recommend rail as the best way to arrive. Especially attractive is the stretch from Zweisimmen to Gstaad, where you can take a panoramic train or a 'Classic' - a repro of an old train faithful to the last detail.
The acceuil at the Bellevue couldn't have been better. We were met on the doorstep by the new owner Daniel who was sorry we'd not informed him of what train we were coming on, or he'd have arranged to have us met at the station (it's only 300 yards away!). We were given a short tour of the hotel and its excellent facilities - including the spa with huge indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi , bubble rack and so on. Quite an installation!
Our room was a Deluxe Double on the 4th floor, with a balcony overlooking the hotel grounds and a fine view of the mountains in the distance. The room was excellently appointed, the bed very comfortable, and there was a vast and well-equipped bathroom with waterfall-style shower and separate bath. There was a free mini-bar and wi-fi. The latter was a bit difficult to access though – you had to log on and get a password sent to your mobile phone; and then you could only have one device connected up at a time. Much easier if they just gave you the password on a bit of paper, like most other hotels do! The only other small niggle about the room was the rather old B&O TV which gave a very bad picture and had no connections for laptops etc. You could watch a DVD from the hotel’s library though!
So all very comfortable. The staff were also excellent – very helpful and friendly. The hotel had just reopened after a change of ownership and a re-fit just 3 weeks before, so one sensed everyone was on best behaviour! But that’s no bad thing, as long as they keep it up. But I also felt Daniel the owner was very committed to the success of the hotel and the comfort of his guests – he was certainly very much in evidence front of house (good for him!).
We made as much use of the spa installation as time allowed – oddly, it was almost deserted so we had it to ourselves most of the time. There are no less than six saunas varying from a proper Hammam through to a Finnish Sauna, Bio Sauna and even an Ice Sauna where you went to cool off in a cold room and rub ice all over your body – quite an experience! One or two of the saunas weren’t quite warm enough (or at least not operating at the advertised temperature), but we reported this to Daniel and he went off to fix it! The indoor swimming pool is also wonderful, with a super Jacuzzi and a rack you can lie on in the water while bubbles are streamed through! We didn’t try the very extensive selection of massages and beauty therapy on offer – all very enticing, but just rather too expensive at £150 plus an hour!
We had an excellent breakfast on the hotel’s terrace – the usual extensive buffet, but also a choice of hot pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage etc from the à la carte (all included in the price too!). It seemed a shame only to spend one night there – it’s certainly worth a long weekend at least!
Value for money? We paid £385 (CFH 540) for just one night, to it’s not cheap, but in terms of the hotel’s excellent facilities, its location in one of the swankiest Swiss alpine resorts, and the price of things in Switzerland anyway, it’s not bad value at all if you want to give yourselves a special treat. I’ve stayed in more expensive hotels elsewhere in Switzerland which have nothing like what the Bellevue has to offer. And the fact that everything was included (most Swiss hotels charge extra for mini-bars, wi-fi, use of spa, breakfast etc) was certainly a very nice surprise.
A very fine experience overall, and one we’d certainly recommend. Treat yourself!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set amid an idyllic park, right at the entrance of the charming, traffic-free village of Gstaad, Le Grand Bellevue invites guests to experience comfortable elegance and dramatic views of the surrounding mountains. After a complete renovation, the 100 year old hotel reopened in early December 2013 and presents its public areas and 57 rooms in an all-new look. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Gstaad