Three of the best

Francesca Syz picks Alpine ho­tels for the sum­mer sea­son

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Three Of The Best - Eleanor Mufftt

Be­ing the frst newly built fve-star ho­tel in Gs­taad for a cen­tury does not come with­out its chal­lenges, but the Alpina has risen glo­ri­ously above them all. With its strict de­vel­op­ment re­stric­tions, set in place in the 1950s, this idyl­lic vil­lage feels frozen in time, barely chang­ing over the past cen­tury, and only the in­fux of de­signer shops and con­tem­po­rary art gal­leries nod to mon­eyed moder­nity.

The ho­tel is perched over the vil­lage, its wooden man­tel­piece al­ready creak­ing un­der the weight of its many awards. With 56 rooms and suites, the Alpina is not small, but re­tains an in­ti­mate feel. The win­ning blend of Alpine an­tiques and stream­lined min­i­mal­ism works equally well in win­ter and the sum­mer sea­son (which be­gins in about a week).

The ho­tel has two tem­po­rary con­cept rooms. Guests with an artis­tic eye can stay in the Liv­ing Art room, where they can paint us­ing easels or di­rectly on to the wall (they can also ad­mire the own­ers’ per­ma­nent art col­lec­tion, from lo­cal pa­per­cuts to work by Tracey Emin and Alex Katz). Cou­ples in the mood for an in­ti­mate week­end away can book the Love Suite, de­signed by the lin­gerie com­pany Kiki de Mont­par­nasse.

The Alpina’s three restau­rants are over­seen by head chef Mar­cus G Lind­ner. At Stübli you will fnd Alpine haute cui­sine (such as cham­pagne and trufe fon­due), Megu serves Ja­panese food, and Som­met ofers Miche­lin-starred twists on rein­deer and Wagyu.

In win­ter, guests need have no other mo­tive for vis­it­ing than the 137 miles of sur­round­ing pistes. Come sum­mer­time, there are other dis­trac­tions: from hik­ing, sailing and moun­tain bik­ing, to clas­si­cal mu­sic dur­ing the town’s an­nual Menuhin Fes­ti­val (this year, July 14-Septem­ber 3), founded by the vi­o­lin vir­tu­oso in 1957. Ex­pect per­for­mances in churches and out­door spa­ces all around town.

Back at the ho­tel, you can shop at the in-house Graf bou­tique, see a flm in the 17-seat 3D cin­ema, or un­wind at the spec­tac­u­lar Six Senses spa: re­tire to a can­dlelit treat­ment room for a mas­sage or fa­cial us­ing Ila or Bi­ologique Recherche prod­ucts, head to the Hi­malayan salt grotto or, bet­ter still, just slip into the out­door pool and soak up the moun­tain views.

Come sum­mer­time, dis­trac­tions range from hik­ing. sailing and moun­tain bik­ing, to clas­si­cal mu­sic dur­ing the Menuhin Fes­ti­val

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