The Alpina Gstaad is slated to be opened as the newest luxury hotel in this Alpine village in 100 years. HBA's London office approached the designing of the property by beginning with the principles of traditional Swiss chalet architecture and fashioned a contemporary interpretation using local materials from the Bernese Oberland, stone from the surrounding Alps and weathered timber from centuries-old farmhouses in Saanenland. Key features include windowed towers crowning four sides of the roof, and, on the hotel’s main floor, larger windows for natural light. Inside, guests can sit in front of a fireplace.
On schedule to open Dec. 1, The Alpina Gstaad will have 56 rooms and suites, as well as three restaurants, including the first European outpost of MEGU; and a traditional Swiss stübli and Restaurant Sommet with Michelin-star chef Marcus Lindner. A 21,500-square-foot Six Senses Spa, a Havana-inspired cigar lounge, a wine room and a private cinema are among the special features of this five-star property.
The property’s entry area boasts a waterfall at a subterranean porte cochère with a large oculus that brings in natural light; weathered timber that line the walls; and the beamed ceiling of the entrance and reception. There are also: stone hearth made of boulders from local rivers; columns clad in Moore & Giles leather and embossed with a marquetry pattern; an asymmetrical slab of polished wood hewn from a single fir tree serving as the reception desk; and contemporary furniture including a B&B Italia piece, side tables by Lindley and black wooden stumps from Gervasoni. The rugs are of hand-tufted unbleached wool, while lighting is from Pinto Paris and floor lamps by Lorenzo Tondelli.
There is also a grand wood staircase with anthracite steel railings leading up to the lounge and public areas. Hand-stitched leather covers the glass balustrade, while painted ceiling recalls those of Gstaad’s traditional chalets. Behind the staircase, a wooden screen in the style of Saanenland farms diffuses light in lattice patterns.
The Alpina Gstaad’s lounge boasts an open fireplace, seating nooks, deep armchairs and leather sofas. Throughout the reception and lounge areas, lanterns cast soft atmospheric light. HBA London designers are said to have referenced many of the local customs and crafts from hand-painted wooden doors for the ballrooms to intricate embroidery on the armchairs. Quartz mined from Alpine crevasses has also been transformed into bases for lamps, decanters and beer taps, while glass pendant lights resemble classic Swiss cowbells. Rugs and throws are fashioned from Saanenland goat hair and columns are sheathed in saddle leather.
Crafted of hammered bronze, the front of the bar reflects light and contrasts with the natural texture of the pine forming the top of the bar. The palette is in natural shades with accents of crimson. Furnishings and fabrics are from Etro, Holland and Sherry and Casamance while furniture and fabrics are by Ralph Lauren, Zimmer & Rhode and Clarence House.
All 56 rooms and suites of The Alpina Gstaad are with floor-to-ceiling windows leading to terraces and views of the Alps. No two rooms or suites are alike. With walls lined in rough fir wood and ceilings carved in traditional Swiss style, the bedrooms boast: Contardi Italia re-fashioned traditional leather straps that hold the cowbells into bedside lamps; antique wooden chest at the end of the bed; and a hand-painted wooden armoire holding the plasma TV and bar. Original artworks are by Emily Hesse, Ian Turnock and Sonja Aeschlimann.
All rooms have the latest in technology including Wi-Fi, iPads, nail dryers and floor sensors that illuminate at night. The marble baths have showers and oversize tubs and TVs. Ranging from 610 square feet to 1,020 square feet, 30 suites have stone fireplaces and 40-inch plasma TVs. At 4,300 square feet, the two-story Panorama Suite has three bedrooms, two wood-burning fireplaces, a veranda, its own private spa, sauna, exercise room and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
A traditional Swiss stübli serving fondue and raclette is available. A communal buffet recalls the large kitchen tables in traditional Swiss alpine homes.
Also available is Restaurant Sommet, which features a ceiling intricately carved from antique timber, timber beams lining the walls, and hand-tufted rugs made of New Zealand wool covering the wood planked-floor. Wrought iron chandeliers, custom-designed leather chairs by Giorgetti and fabrics by Pierre Frey and Knowles & Christou add to the modern style. Handmade local crockery and crafts decorate the shelves.
A cigar lounge is authentic right down to the Montecristos. The dark wood and leather decor has accents from the 1930s and fabrics from Loro Paina and De La Cuona. The Wine Room displays 1,000 bottles, and an antique cheese table accommodates eight for wine tastings. In the Private Cinema, guests can enjoy 3D movies in 14 oversized leather armchairs. The Children’s Playroom has a tree house, as well as a slide and a media center to keep the young ones occupied.
Part of a $337 million luxury development which includes private chalets and apartments, The Alpina Gstaad is set on five acres in Oberbort, the exclusive hilltop area of the village in the heart of the Bernese Alps. Blocks of Ringgenberg limestone, the brown stone from local quarries; hundred-year-old fir wood, gathered from old Alpine farm houses, and natural slate have been used in the construction. The Alpina Gstaad will have a ballroom and several boardrooms. A fitness center and an 82-foot lap pool are included in the spa. An outdoor swimming pool will be set in the gardens.