The story of the Gstaad Palace could be the script for a Hollywood musical.
On a cold December night in the 1920s, Ernst Scherz arrived in Gstaad with a group of carolers and singing “Stille nacht“ in the little town square, he discovered The Gstaad Palace, the regal hotel that dominates the Village. Twenty years later, he would bought the property.
Immerse yourself in the more than one hundred year old history of the Gstaad Palace: the luxury hotel in Switzerland opened its doors on 8 December 1913.
Successfully: it was decided to build an extension after the first season. In the 1960’s gala dinners with international stars such as Louis Armstrong and Marlene Dietrich cause a great sensation.
The 104 room hotel redefines anyone’s idea of what makes a grand hotel, an iconic location. The baronial living room, has hosted such famous guest as Roger Moore, Elizabeth Taylor, Princesse Diana, Michael Jackson, Prince Ranieri, Grace Kelly, Cristina Onassis, Margareth Thatcher and many others famous people.
Andrea Scherz is the third generation of the Family, now owner and general manager of the hotel, to run what is arguably the most illustrious hotel in any ski resort in the world.
The History of Hotel Palace has run trough the years, during World War 1 when a very exclusive private school called Le Rosey opened in Gstaad,
where its well -heeled students could sky, the most expensive prep school in the world, and their parents stayed at the Palace when they would come to visit and a social wheel was set in motion.
Even The AgaKan was student there and the families transformed old chalets into luxury residences or they stayed at the Palace.
After the World War 1, positively boomed with presence of The Austro Hungarian and Russian aristocrats that would book entire floors themselves and their servants.
The came the World War 2 and hurt the hotel business and in the 1947 the majority owner of the Palace decide to sell. Family Scherz invested and found capitals to buy.
Mythical performers played there like Louis Armstrong , Maurice Chevalier and Ella Fitzgerald.
The combination of American entertainers, European royalty and the arrival of the commercial airline age, resulted in the Gstaad Palace becoming the so called the boarding house of jet set.
In 1968 the Scherz’s son, Ernst Andrea took over the hotel from his father. He ran until 2001 and now his son leads the Palace. As the fortunes of the hotel grew, the Scherz family began a series of upgrades and renovations.
The upgrading continues every year when the hotel closes its door .
I have been personally several times a guest of the Hotel Palace on the occasion of international events.
Last year I had the pleasure and the good luck of staying with my production team for a shooting of the communication campaign of another iconic subject, Beretta Gallery.
We brought together two worlds of excellence, telling a story of friendship in a context of extraordinary level of life style.
We enjoyed the rare privilege of having the Palace available only for us, the structure was closed for the end of the season. We appreciated the silence and charmed by the magic of the place, we behaved as if the international jet set were there with us.
Around 11 p.m., guests begin arriving at The Greengo, a 1970 style lounge It extends into the indoor pool area, covered very evening by a dance floor.
Mr Scherz says the scene is best around midnight, when locals clients arrive from chalets and you might meet spot Roman Polansky, Bernie Ecclestone the heirs of Mercedes Benz family mixed to members of Russian rich family, Greek shipping families and ultra millionaire of the middle East.
They congregate over drinks and backgammon boards in the huge lobby, here to see and to be seen.
I want to thank even after time has passed, the managing director Vittorio di Carlo and his staff who hosted us with great professionalism and courtesy.
We allowed ourselves the luxury of dedicating a scene,where the Italian barman made for us a Vesper Martini, the favorite cocktail of James Bond, whose legendary Beretta gun, is always the faithful companion of all his adventures in the coolest places of the world.
We told the story of three friends, who decided to meet again after a long time at the Palace Hotel in Gstaad.
In the Swiss Alps we celebrate between brokering business deal and socializing, a friendship day for three men, who have never forgotten what their friendship has represented .
The Palace was the Castle of their youth, the Genius loci of remembrance