Gstaad ski resort is set among the mountains in the German-speaking canton of Berne in Switzerland. It is well-known for being one of the most expensive and exclusive ski resorts in the world. Aside from skiing events, Gstaad hosts a number of other sporting tournaments including the Allianz Suisse Open tennis tournament, the Hublot Polo Gold Cup and the 1to1 Energy Open beach volleyball tournament.
Gstaad is also famous for its myriad of former part-time residents, including the late Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly of Monaco, actor Roger Moore and director Roman Polanski and is currently the part-time home of actresses Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor and Jeanne Moreau.
How to get there
Since it is one of the most popular and exclusive ski resorts in the world, Gstaad has many excellent transport links.
- By air: The nearest airports to Gstaad are Basel, Geneva and Zurich. London flights to Basel airport cost from £45 return if booked in advance. Flights from London to Geneva cost from £35 return and flights from London to Zurich cost from £85 return. Zurich has the most frequent and flexible rail connections to Gstaad, but the ski resort is easily accessible from Basel and Geneva as well.
- By train: If travelling from Zurich, take the Spiez to Zweisimmen train, changing at Zweisimmen for a train towards Saanen, getting off at Gstaad station. From the Northern, Western and central regions of Switzerland, you will need to take a train to Spiez. From the Lausanne region you will need to take a train to Montreaux before changing onto a train towards Zweisimmen, which will stop in Gstaad. Booking facilities and timetable information can be found here. If you are planning on travelling all the way from England by train, you can expect your journey to take between 9 and 17 hours with up to 5 changes. This journey will involve taking the Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord, before changing to the Paris Gare de Lyon and taking a train to Geneva. You will then need to take a train to Montreaux and then another to Gstaad.
- By car: From Zurich airport you will need to head for the Swiss capital of Bern, taking the bypass and using the A1 motorway to Bern. After this take the A6 motorway towards Thun, exiting onto route 11 towards Gstaad. From Geneva you will need to take the A1 and A9 motorways towards Bern, exiting onto route 11 to Gstaad. From the Lausanne region in West Switzerland, take the A9/A12 motorway towards Bern, exiting at Bulle and following the main road from Chateau d’Oex to Gstaad. From the Aigle region take the A9 motorway from Sierre to Lausanne exiting onto the main road from Col du Pillon to Gstaad.
Who does it cater for?
Gstaad is famous as a celebrity haven and exclusive and luxurious resort, but it also caters fantastically well for people of all abilities. The resort offers many facilities and special discounts to families and groups, including free mountain rides and free accommodation for children up to the age of 9 if they share with their parents. Gstaad has a special park especially for children learning to ski or snowboard, as well as a Snow Sport school to help people of all ages learn or improve their skills. For information on the different schools available, please click here.
Aside from skiing and snowboarding, Gstaad ski resort also has 4 amusement parks, 9 toboggan runs and facilities for paragliding, curling, ice-skating, sleigh trips, snow-shoe trails and helicopter skiing, as well as 160km of hiking trails. There are also 2 floodlit slopes so you can enjoy a late-night ski.
Gstaad has a wide variety of accommodation for visitors, ranging from hotels and private apartments to bed and breakfasts and youth hostels.
- Hotels: Gstaad has over 40 hotels ranging from the 3* to 5* including the famous Gstaad Palace, which is a 5* luxury hotel known as one of the leading hotels in the world. A single room with en-suite here costs €390 (£330) per night, and a double en-suite is €375 (£316) per person per night. For cheaper, but still good accommodation, there is a wide variety of 3 and 4* hotels at very reasonable prices. For complete information on all the hotels in Gstaad and online booking, please click here.
- Apartments: There are many reasonably priced private apartments and chalets for rent within the ski resort, ranging from 2* to 4*. For 2* accommodation you can expect to pay around €75 (£63) for the apartment or chalet per night. For 4* apartments you can expect to pay between €80 (£67) and €260 (£220) per night, depending on the size of the apartment. For full information on all Gstaad apartments and chalets, please click here.
- Bed and Breakfasts: Gstaad’s main website provides a comprehensive list of all the bed and breakfasts available within the area with contact numbers and information on rooms, costs and languages spoken by staff. This list can be found here.
- Youth Hostels: There is one youth hostel, which can be found just outside Gstaad in Saanen. This hostel has over 70 rooms perfect for families, students and large groups. Rooms start at CHF34 (£18) a night, which includes a breakfast buffet and bed linen. Further information on this hostel can be found here.
- Group and Mountain Accommodation: Gstaad also has a range of group accommodation available, which is perfect for school or club bookings. A list of this accommodation can be found here. There is also a variety of mountain lodges for those who wish to fully immerse themselves in local living; for full details of this accommodation, please click here.
Gstaad offers 67 skiable pistes totalling over 250km of trails, of which there are 23 Green Runs (for absolute beginners, often very wide), 24 Blue Runs (marked and perfect for beginners and improvers), 15 Red Runs (for intermediate and experienced skiers) and 5 Black Runs (often steep and unmarked). The resort also offers 100km of cross-country ski tracks for those looking for a bit of a challenge. The resort has over 60 ski lifts meaning that it has an uphill capacity of 50,000 people an hour. The resort also has the use of 200 snow cannons to augment the natural snow, ensuring an amazing skiing experience.
- 250km Downhill Pistes
- 100km Cross Country trails
- 62 Ski Lifts
- 2,050m Max Vertical
- 3,000m Highest Lift
- 1,050m Resort Altitude
- 17km Longest Run