Summer in Gstaad anyone?
I love the mountains so much and when i was invited to go to Gstaad earlier this year i was over the moon. We just caught the end of the snow which was brilliant, hardly anyone on the mountain tops and great conditions and slopes. We stayed at Le Grand Bellevue which was beyond magical. As soon as you arrive it feels like entering a home from home. It is not pretentious like the rest of Gstaad it is, walk around in your slippers and curl up on a tweed sofa and enjoy a cup of tea or martini, kind of hotel which i loved. As you arrive the swinging bird cage in the reception area overlooked by the practically life size camel adds touches of light hearted fun. When we were there spring was setting in, the grass was getting greener and the flowers were breaking through the ground, i could only imagine what it looked like in the hight of summer, white tips on the highest mountains with rolling green luscious hills... a perfect place for a retreat.
One of the things that i loved the most about Le Grand Bellevue was the spa. As you went deeper into the spa more and more got revealed until you found the steam caves, i liked to call it. A wonderful underground warren of different steam and sauna rooms that each were there to service individual needs. The wonderful oxygen-rich location promises you to feel energised and relaxed in the same breath. My favourite was the Himalayan salt room - i suppose anything with Himalayan salt is going to get my attention as i know that the benefits of this rock are amazing helping to draw out the positive ions from the body and leaving you purified.
The massages were beyond amazing, at the time i was there I was suffering from terrible sciatica which normally gets more aggravated by a massage but the therapist they have at the spa knew what they were doing and for the first time got off the massage table without pain. Myself and my family spend quite a lot of time in gyms and when in a hotel they seem to be the last thing they spend money on and the equipment is falling apart however this was NOT the case here! State of the art amazing gym equipment there was no excuses to get down there every day, in fact i could have quite easily spent all my days down in the gym and spa and been extremely happy if it wasn't for the utterly amazing view that was drawing me outside.
We were a fussy group to cater for however nothing was a problem, gluten free bread was brought out at each meal, they cooked off the menu for us so that my vegetarian needs were met and the food was delicious. The breakfast spread was my favourite with avocado and eggs on toast or spinach omelettes to give me plenty of energy for a day of skiing, of course i would have like to have seen some healthy salads on the menu and a few green smoothies but I am sure they will be served up at the many amazing retreats they are running this summer.
I have been told that the hotel will be building on its reputation as one of Gstaad’s chicest yoga hangouts, with a weekly programme led by Nicole Von Grunigen, Le Grand Bellevue has introduced a number of new retreats running over selected weekends in 2015. Led by industry experts, these will incorporate yoga, meditation, psychology and diet, with cleansing menus created by Michelin starred Chef Urs Gschwend. What more could you want from a healthy holiday?
If you are looking for a chic ski resort for winter or the most wonderfully energising holiday for summer with a difference i cannot recommend Le Grand Bellevue more highly.