Les Hauts de Gstaad has a reputation for entertaining the beau monde during Gstaad's social season, but any formality implied by the elegant fabrics and designer colours in the entrance is quickly shattered, thanks to the relaxed professionalism of the staff.
Although modernised completely in 1985, the building is full of antiques, such as the museum-quality Bernese Oberland baby carriages. In daily use, however, is the 26-passenger 1949 yellow post bus. As for food, guests choose the dining-room according to their mood: the Belle Epoque for classic French, the Winter-Garten for half-board guests, and the Borengraben for Swiss specialities such as raclette and fondue in informal surroundings complete with murals of bears.
The Dolce Vita, of course, is strictly Italian. Bedrooms, mostly of the same size and design, have hand-carved pine doors, painted wooden beds and large, white-tiled bathrooms with double wash-basins. Although next to a working farm, there is nothing rustic here; this is a retreat for city folk who enjoy sports, particularly skiing and the 'new' 18-hole golf course.