Winter wonderland for the world’s richest people since the early 20st century, Gstaad has retained its charm with typical dark old-wooden Swiss chalets, a pedestrian promenade with luxury boutiques and art galleries, snowy Bernese peaks, farming lands and alpine pastures filled with firs and 7,000 cows.
This idyllic scenery can be admired from the Ultima Gstaad 5-star superior hotel. Opened in December 2016, the fifth 5-star hotel of the Swiss resort, ranked among the top ten hotels in the country, was built on the last available plot. A worthy investment for Max-Herve George and Byron Baciocchi, two young real estate entrepreneurs whose goal was to provide the warm atmosphere of a private chalet while offering 5-star services.
The entrance hall sets the tone with a seven meter tall Baccarat crystal chandelier, a glass elevator and a lounge bar made of leather and shaped like a rotunda. You can’t miss the Schimmel glass piano either, tagged by street artist Alec Monopoly, the only art piece you cannot buy in this boutique hotel. Every other painting, canvas or sculpture is on sale.
The Customized Interior
Once passed the almost hidden porch, guests discover three chalets with suites and residences with up to 4 bedrooms. “Each room offers a contrast between traditional alpine architecture and contemporary aspects, thanks to custom-made Italian furniture and upscale materials,” says Katell Pensivy, head of communication of the hotel. Guests see wooden walls and exposed beams, a chimney with a bronze frame, padded headboards, leather bedside tables, velvet chairs, marble bathroom furniture, glass bath shower screens with arabesques, and a discreet Fleur de Lys pattern on both sides of the bathroom mirror, the emblem of Ultima hotels.
And this is just the beginning. The handwritten welcome message on the fruit basket tell us that the raspberries taste good, and we did not count the bed cushions – there were many - but fell in love with small fur pom-poms. There are coffee table books about art on display for lovers as well as decorative items like vintage armillary spheres. “Guests are able to reshape their interior design by selecting pillows, or candles using an iPad. They can even ask to have their initials embroidered on bedding or choose a particular piece of music as background,” Pensivy told hiEurope.
A Private Chef
The five star service starts at the entrance, where clients are welcomed by a personal butler who leads them to their rooms. Stay in the residence or the Presidential suite and you also can rely on a private chef who will prepare anything you want for a friendly dinner. We were served a fine tournedos Rossini made of local beef filet, topped with a slice of foie gras with mash potatoes and truffles.
This exclusive service does not deprive residents from going to Duchessa’s Italian style restaurant enjoying alpine and Mediterranean dishes. YI Concept DUCHESSA offers an innovative and tasty experience with modern and traditional influences.
Wellness & Aesthetics Treatments
Don’t be surprised if you see guests in the elevator wearing bathrobes and cute blond fur slippers. They are probably going to the spa and we cannot blame them for that. Over 800m² are dedicated to wellness with a 15m² pool with blue and green soothing light plays, indoor and outdoor jacuzzi, a fitness center, quiet spots to relax, a healthy bar with organic juices and six care cabins. Luxury treatments are offered in coordination with Swiss cosmetics brand La Prairie, known for its anti-age products like white caviar. The one-hour signature massage based on shiatsu and reflexology techniques, leads to a deep state of relaxation.
Ultima Gstaad is itself a medical unit as two surgeons from Aesthetics, a Geneva-based clinic, provide aesthetics treatments: detox, revitalization, full check-up, stem cell therapy, Botox, laser, radio-frequency. “DNA tests can be conducted prior to your arrival so your meals will be based on what is best for your personal health”, says Charline Elmaleh, the clinic’s communication manager. A full tailor-made detox program without family separation is also possible. Kids can sign-up for ski lessons led by multilingual instructors, go hiking or watch a movie in a private projection room where chairs look more like couches than theatre seats.
Other Ultima properties are set to open (or have already done so) in Crans-Montana, Geneva, Megeve and Courchevel.