More than just an overnight stop on the jet-set circuit, Assouline’s latest release reveals the German town of Gstaad to be a must-visit destination for bons vivants. A hallowed haunt of James Bond actors and European royalty, as well as heirs and heiresses, Gstaad is a snow-smothered paradise and surprisingly intimate village that sleeps beneath the majestically breathtaking Gstaad Palace.
If there’s one thing In The Spirit of Gstaad teaches us, it’s that you needn’t be a skier to enjoy a decadent, lavish and overindulgent holiday here. In fact, the après-ski activities are the main attraction. Gstaad is a place both to see and be seen in, Mandolyna Theodoracopulos writes. An interior designer and avid journalist of all things luxury, Theodoracopulos began her career as a writer for Hamptons Magazine in 1997. Since then, she’s become a regular visitor of Gstaad.
She writes about A-list establishments, chi-chi boutiques and mouthwatering fondue (the best of which can be sampled at Saagi Stübli, in the basement of Hotel Gstaaderhof). This under-the-radar and hidden gem is miles off the well-trodden skiers path, and is a great village to spend your holiday time if you value privacy and luxury above all else. After all, aren’t these the hallmarks of any memorable getaway?
Opulent boutiques and sparkling high jewellers, as well as international high-end design stores, accompany smaller retailers that sell the most delicious regional produce. Gourmet restaurants serve up hearty and delectably creative cuisine, as do the traditional raclette lodges and quaint tearooms. And yet, Gstaad has remained genuinely Alpine, its residents down-to-earth. Homely chalets and crackling fires glow with warmth among the dramatic mountains and cattle.
While synonymous with the glitterati, Gstaad is far smaller than its illustrious reputation. The village owes much of its exceptional beauty to its natural surroundings, in addition to the whimsical local architecture and enchanting wooden chalets. Its storied hotels including Bellavue, Alpina and Victoria, as well as the exclusive Eagle Ski Club, has hosted personalities including Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Moore, and Madonna. In The Spirit of Gstaad successfully captivates the reader with its fabulous documentation of this village’s history. After reading, there’s no doubt as to where you’ll be planning your next winter holiday…