Where? Gstaad, Switzerland, the chic ski resort which is famed for its high society clientele and playing host to the international jet set. Celebrity visitors include Julie Andrews (who lives there), Formula 1 boss Bernie Eccleston, who owns a house there, Madonna, Tiger Woods and many more.
We stayed at? The Ermitage
When? December 2018
Why? As part of a festive collaboration with Gstaad Official tourist board I was invited to the beautiful snow-filled resort, on a two part Alpine adventure. For the first half I stayed at the lovely Ermitage hotel with my parents. We enjoyed some great family experiences, from visiting Xmas markets, horse drawn carriage rides through the village to visiting Glacier 3000.
The second part of the trip is a romantic getaway to Gstaad, where Charlie joins me for a few nights of skiing and pampering at the Alpina Hotel, which will be on the blog next week. Here’s my photo diary of my family Xmas holiday to the Ermitage, Gstaad.
But first let me introduce you to mama and papa Rakhit. This is my mum and dad, they joined me on the first leg of this visit to the Alps. Here we all are wearing Mountain Warehouse ski gear at Glacier 3000.
Upon entering the Ermitage hotel you’ll be greeted by the breathtaking view through the double height window in the Panorama Hall. This is without doubt my favourite place in the hotel and encapsulates the majestic backdrop in which our hotel is situated.
Enjoy afternoon tea and pastries whilst taking in the beautiful views of the snow capped mountains of the Swiss Alps beyond.
The wonderfully homely and welcoming Ermitage Hotel is the perfect place to enjoy a cosy, festive trip to the Alps. The hotel is luxurious in a warm and friendly way. Roaring log fires warm the main communal areas of the hotel, as well as in-room fires which the staff will come and light for you on request. Pictured above: The grand double height windows of the Panorama Hall from the outside and below a spectacular mountain view from one of the log cabin style bedrooms. You’ll never get bored of waking up to this winter wonderland view.
The decor throughout is traditional Alpine log-cabin style, with timber beam ceilings, large cosy sofas and pretty soft furnishings. There are some modern elements to the decor such as the Swarovski bar which is made of over 1 million Swarovski crystals, more on that later.
Me and my parents enjoying a horse drawn carriage ride of Gstaad by twilight.
Enjoying the stunning view from my bedroom balcony.
The spa at the Ermitage offers so many treatments, fitness offerings and wellbeing services that it is the heart of the hotel. Whether you’re hitting the gym, enjoying pilates or getting competitive in the indoor squash and outdoor tennis courts, there’s plenty to keep you sweating.
The spa has so many types of rooms it’s called a Spa Park. The large sauna park has an organic sauna, Finnish “Schnapps Distillery” sauna, “Amethyst” stone grotto, “Tropicana” steam bath, quartzite salt-water grotto, herbal sauna, whirlpool, Aqua Dome, Lady’s Spa, relaxation area and pool bar. And breathe!
Add to this the numerous indoor and outdoor pools varying between salt water, fresh water and different temperatures, I would recommend putting aside at least 1 full day to experience the spa properly. It’s definietly worth it.
I also loved my relaxing massage in the warm and cosy treatment room. My parents enjoyed the Rasa treatment which is a lovely couples treatment made to boost circulation and rejuvenate tired skin.
Eating at the Ermitage is an absolute pleasure. Pick from its eight different parlours decorated in various styles from cow hide cottage (above) to chic modern mountain style (below). The food is the same in all but the atmosphere very different.
Breakfast is an extravagant buffet with a huge variety of fruits, cereals, pastries and healthy options on top of the classics cooked breakfasts such as eggs Benedict, eggs Florentine and hearty porridge.
Dinner is more of a 5 course affair, where it’s partly a la carte, with pre dinner salad and post dinner cheeses arranged as a buffet.
Mum, me and dad enjoying dinner in the Alpine Room. And pictured below: you can enjoy a traditional fondue and raclette dinner in the Fondue Spycher restaurant. The small but perfect menu can be read from the wooden disc behind me on the table.
After dinner adjourn to the very sparkly One Million Stars Bar for some post dinner drinks accompanied by the in house pianist. The bar (pictured below) is made up of over 1 million Swarovski Crystals which change colour on rotation to change the mood in the bar.
A very impressive afternoon tea and cakes service is also served here and is included in the room price. There’s also an inclusive healthy soup and salad lunch which is complementary in the spas relaxation room. I swear they’re on a mission to make me fat :)
From guided hikes and snowshoeing, to over 200KM of ski pistes, Gstaad is the perfect destination for winter sports lovers.
My parents don’t ski but we still managed a trip up to Glacier 3000, where we braved the world’s highest suspension which links two peaks and we walked across it! It was super fun and an incredible way to get a real feel for the extreme and beautiful mountain scenery.
You can also ride the cable car, go sledging, have a bob sleigh experience and of course, go skiing.
Look out below!!!
If you fancy a day off from skiing, there’s plenty of activities on the ground level to keep you entertained.
We visited the quaint Christmas Market in Saanen, which is a 15 minutes car ride away. Don’t expect a huge Berlin or Vienna style market though, this is a cute, tiny version in comparison. Much more local and a lovely way to spend an hour or so in the village. (pictured below)
Head into the centre of the village to pick up the horse drawn carriage ride. There are several carriages to pick from and you can go on a romantic ride through the village and surrounding countryside. Visit in the evening to get a lovely view of the fairy lights and xmas decorations all lit up and twinkling in the dark.
That’s all from the Ermitage for now, next stop The Alpina in Gstaad.
For more of Bonnie’s ski adventures click here.
Bon voyage x
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looks amazing !
THANKS SO MUCH X
Wow the Ermistice looks like such a beautiful hotel! I’d love to go somewhere with log fires and such, I’m sure it felt super cosy. The Glacier 3000 sounds absolutely terrifying! There is no way I would have been able to walk across it, I struggle way too much with heights. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, it looks like you had a truly wonderful time :)
I’m officially jealous! This looks like a dream vacation. The pictures are amazing and your parents are adorable. It made me want to go skiing again! The spa also looked so relaxing. What a beautiful place to be. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for stopping by x
This looks like heaven! I hope you had a lovely Christmas holiday. Happy New Year! x
it was so lovely x
Wow! Such a wonderful experience. Reading it seems like a place you have ever wanted to see and experience the overwhelming happiness of it. Thank you for sharing.
This shows that you and your family had amazing fun during the Xmas festive.
Looks like the whole family enjoyed it. Ermitage hotel looks so interesting and i love your photos..
thanks Surekha x
OMG, Gstaad looks amazing! I had no idea such a place like existed. Looks like you had a great time!
What a beautiful place to explore. I’d love to check it out sometime when we’re in the area.
You must x
Wow that looks amazing! Such an amazing way to celebrate Christmas :)
A bar made out of 1 million Swarovski Crystals, no wonder can Madonna and Julie Andrews go there! I couldn’t imagine waking up to that view. I think I would shed a tear each day.
haha thanks x
I’m always looking for good trip ideas. The horse drawn carriage sounds really great too.
It was lovely
This place reminds me of Vail, Colorado…that’s my playground! Love the story!
Wow I’d love to go there x
The Ermitage Hotel looks amazing and sounds like such a luxurious place to stay. It looks like you had a great time. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.
I am drooling over how amazing this holiday looks! The views outdoors, the stunning indoors. I’m booking it over here as soon as possible lol
That spa looks absolutely to do die for! I’m so envious, I would love to go here.
Looks like a great place to visit. I’ll definitely go here one day with my family. Will be saving this! Next trip here.
Its well worth it x
The Ermitage Hotel looks amazing and it looks like you guys enjoyed your stay there. Thank you for the recommendation.
Oh my goodness what a flawless looking place! I’d love to travel here :) It looks so clean and beautiful!
What a great Christmas? The horse ride got me. I would love to stay at this place. Happy New Year
It looks like you had such a great time! I have never been there before, but the pictures here are beautiful! I’d love to visit there one day, thanks for sharing!
That was really an awesome getaway with your parents, they deserve it. I wish i could give my parents the same getaway this 2019.
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