It was my second trip to the Alpina Gstaad, but the wow factor was certainly not diminished this time around. Perched among the snow-topped Swiss Alps, the setting is best admired from the Golden Pass train which travels up to Gstaad from Montreux station.
After an early morning flight from London, and several train rides, we were delighted to see the Alpina staff at the station ready to whisk us away in a shiny Tesla car.
Check-in was swift and within minutes I was sitting in my spacious but cosy suite sipping tea by the fire. My bedroom was on the fourth floor and from my balcony I had beautiful views across the mountains which at this time of year had a light dusting from the first snow of the season (Gstaad is best for skiing in February and March).
There are 56 rooms and suites in total at The Alpina Gstaad, ranging from Deluxe rooms to the amazing Chalet and Panorama Suites. Every room has a private terrace, perfect for al fresco breakfasts in summer and warming hot chocolate with a view in the winter months.
The decor is classic Alpine in style with details that represent the Saanenland artistic heritage. The woodwork has a warming effect and soft furnishings give the feel of luxury. The fireplaces are hand-built from local stone and there is traditional artwork on the walls, including charming paper-cutting art.
We had two blissful days at the Alpina, days were spent relaxing at the spa while evenings were a joyful chance to try the best food and drink the hotel has to offer. On our first night, after an immersive pasta class in the kitchen, we sat by the fire to enjoy a Alpina gin & tonic. The Alpina pride themselves on making as many of their own products as they can, which includes this herbaceous gin and a lovely Alpine honey (we can be sampled at breakfast).
The hotel is currently collaborating with English sparkling wine brand NYEtimber and you can try a variety of the bottles with the in-house sommelier, paired with complementing canapés from the kitchen.
There are two Michelin star eateries at the hotel, perhaps most exciting is Megu, a fine dining restaurant combining Japanese recipes with the best local ingredients. Head Chef Tetsujiro Ogata and Head Sushi Chef Tsutomu Kugota delight guests with wonderfully refining tasting menus and Japanese delicacies. Don’t miss the crispy asparagus lollipops!
At the spa we had time to use the state of the art facilities, from Himalayan salt room, sauna and cold plunge pool and of course the huge swimming pool. We were also treated to a rejuvenating massage, which sent me into a deep slumber! I woke up feeling completely refreshed, and was further soothed by ginger tea and dried fruit and nuts.
There are a variety of classes to get involved in at Alpina, I took part in a brilliantly taught Ying and Yang yoga class one morning, and also learnt to make face masks and intensely fragrant bath salts.
Breakfast was the feast for all the senses, either enjoyed in the room or at the Sommet dining room. I loved the freshly made juices, plump but light pancakes and delicious buttery pastries.
If you are feeling brave I recommend heading outdoors to the picturesque outdoor (heated) pool for a swim with the most magical surroundings. I also recommend saving some time to wander round the artwork at Alpina, there are many mesmerising pieces to see, exhibited throughout the building, including poignant photographs, striking paintings and a thoughtful installation with blind fish in the main lobby.
Our time at Alpina went by in a flash and before we knew it we were back on the retro emerald train heading back to reality and the chaos of city life. Whizzing past the epic Swiss countryside our time at Alpina Gstaad soon felt like a distant fairytale memory.
I can’t recommend this hotel enough, there is so much to entertain and excite inside even if you don’t intend going out of the slopes.
I was a guest of the Alpina Gstaad, more information and book a stay here.