HBA London designs The Alpina Gstaad

The Alpina Gstaad opened to reveal an interpretation of chic Swiss Alpine living by HBA London. Nathan Hutchins, senior associate of HBA London, led the design team.

The entrance lobby has rustic timbers, hand-crafted pieces and detailed finishes. Timber planks to the walls and ceilings have been reclaimed from old Swiss chalets and individually crafted to fit their new location; while the reception table is hewn from a single alpine ash tree trunk - all that remained of a long since felled tree. Above this, a cluster of hanging glass pendants form a display of lighting, with each one having a Swiss verse etched into it. Rugs are of hand-tufted unbleached wool boasting organic materials, while the structural columns are clad in embossed leather.

The property has a fireplace surrounded by Alpine boulders individually selected and picked from the local rivers. Another fireplace of similar scale and also flanked by stone is found in the lounge upstairs, connecting the two spaces. In between is a staircase with anthracite steel railings and a glass balustrade around which saddle leather has been hand-stitched on-site. Above is a painted antique ceiling.

The lounge has armchairs, a combination of linen, wool and leather upholstery, and – continuing the narrative of the entrance below – leather-clad columns and a weathered timber envelope. The palette of the fabrics is soft with punches of burnt red color and stitching and embroidery details in the Swiss tradition.



The bar's hammered bronze facia captures the lights and its top is cut length-wise from a local forest pine leaving a naturally textured edge. Standing apart from the wall, the double-sided bar gives the barman a stage. The D.J. station is a consul table by day that transforms into a fully-functioning station by night replete with the latest equipment.

Restaurant Sommet has interiors that showcase regional traditions and culture and offering a contemporary experience. All joinery is within the tradition of Swiss cabinetry, from the antique ceiling planks to the timber beams that clad the walls. Wrought iron and saddle leather are widely used, the former in the lighting, the latter upholstering the banquettes and chairs. There are also: white linens and numerous potted plants and herbs, as well as the wrap-around views of the Bernese mountains. Outside, a terrace with a fire-pit is the setting for al fresco dining.

The Cinema is another exceptional experience at The Alpina Gstaad. Located deep in the building, it is an intimate space equipped to support both presentations and screenings, as well as guests’ own plug-in content, or by way of a sliding pocket wall to open up to the adjacent function room and become part of a larger event. All the furniture is free-standing allowing the room to be adapted to different occasions. There is seating for 14 people in over-sized armchairs and sofas with ottomans and individual reading lights, as well as bean bags for children. Upholstery is in rich brown leather, charcoal-toned wool with Swiss stitching details covers the panels that line the room concealing storage areas, and there are even blankets for late-night audiences to nestle under.

HBA London also designed the Kids Room. There are activity and relaxation offerings, including a tree house and slide in front of a simply colored mountain scene, a blackboard wall, a reading area, an arts and crafts zone and a media center, as well as an area for children to take a nap.

No two guestrooms are the same, with the rooms differing in their aspect, features and detailing. As in the public areas, the guestrooms are clad in timber. A custom-designed, hand-tufted carpet covers the floor apart from the timber-floored entrance lobby inside the door. Each room has a carved ceiling, some in a rustic manner, others in a contemporary style. Some rooms are tucked under the eaves. Fabrics include knitted cashmere, wools and linen; details include hand-crafted stitching to the upholstery and touches of embroidery.


Many rooms also have a cocktail cabinet, made from individually selected antique Swiss cabinets with traditionally carved and painted exteriors. Their internal planning integrates a sink, drinks storage, Nespresso machine and a fridge. Another feature in some of the rooms are working fireplaces above which a convex mirror by Ochre; bespoke furniture; and original art pieces that re-work natural and reclaimed materials into something new. All the rooms have views, some to the mountains, some to the meadows, and have outdoor terraces from which to enjoy them.

There are 56 guestrooms in total, 31 of which are suites, and among these is the duplex, three-bedroom Panorama Suite on the fifth and sixth floors. This suite extends from the north to the south elevations of the building, and, due to its six skylights, offers views of the glacial mountains to one side and Alpine meadows to the other. The living spaces begin with the natural wood-burning fireplace with its floor-to-ceiling stone chimney piece and collection of seating. From here, the lounge continues in the style, opening out onto a large terrace; on the other side, hidden from view, there is a kitchen.

The master bedroom has a wood burning fireplace, walk-in dressing room and a bathroom that contains a large free-standing tub, over-sized showerheads and TV inset into the mirror.

A staircase leads to the suite’s top floor that reveals a spa, Jacuzzi, a fitness and massage area, a central wood-burning fireplace and a bedroom, as well as a verandah providing birds’ eye views of the panorama outside. 

Other areas of The Alpina Gstaad designed by HBA London include: the ballroom, meeting rooms, Cigar Lounge and Wine Room, as well as outdoor terraces.


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