Hallmark of the region: The Gstaad Palace
An architectural work of art sits high on a hill, lording over the charming village: the legendary Gstaad Palace – the hallmark of the region. It is one of the oldest and most venerable five-star hotels and regularly ranks among the best hotels in Switzerland. Its combination of discreet luxury, family homeliness and understated service and attention is the epitome of the entire holiday region of Gstaad.
Gstaad was linked to the outside world with the commissioning of the Montreux-Oberland railway in 1905. A veritable hotel boom erupts. The region's first tourist associations were founded in Gstaad and Saanen. In this economic and tourism boom time, the Gstaad Palace opened as the first luxury hotel of the region on 8th December 1913. With over 165 rooms, 70 of which had en suite bathrooms, central heating and its own telephonist, it met the highest standards.
The Golden Twenties
The outbreak of the First World War brought the promising upswing to an end in Gstaad as well. However, despite falling visitor numbers, a tennis tournament was held or the first time in 1915 – which would later become the internationally renowned Tennis Open Gstaad. The second half of the 1920s was a golden age for the Palace, as well as for Swiss hotels in general. Following an initiative by Gstaad's hoteliers and the tourism association, the first golf course was laid out in 1928 and the Palace open-air pool was built. The latter was an Olympic sized pool and is still open to the public today.
Marlene Dietrich radiates in the Palace
In 1938 Ernst and Silvia Scherz-Bezzola take over the management of the Palace and significantly shape it over the following years. Following the difficult period around the time of the Second World War, the prestige of the Palace and the international reputation of Gstaad continue to grow. Gala dinners with international stars are the high spots of the winter seasons in the 1960s. Alongside Marlene Dietrich, the list of celebrity guests ranges from Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald and Maurice Chevalier to Gilbert Bécaud, Dionne Warwick and Petula Clark.
Prestige, understatement, authenticity
To celebrate its centenary anniversary, the Gstaad Palace presented a rich kaleidoscope of Gstaad hotel history in its anniversary book. After all, it is precisely these hotels that make Gstaad the "last paradise in a crazy world" (Julie Andrews). More information: www.palace.ch