Rays of sunlight are following us when we drive through Gstaad. We are heading for a huge chalet on one of the snow-covered hills in the Saanenland region: the former Steigenberger Hotel is magically transformed into the Huus Hotel, all with respect to its superb location. Clearly its name couldn’t have been chosen better: Huus means ‘house’ or ‘home’.
Upon entering the hotel, we are instantly blown away by the amazing design and atmosphere that has been created here. We are welcomed by the owner, Günter Weilguni, who undoubtedly lives up to the words that describe the style of Huus Hotel: unpretentious and down-to-earth. A truly committed and charming host who treats you to a warm and enthusiastic welcome.
Our stay here starts with drinks on the terrace. A lovely spot to enjoy the sun and admire the beautiful landscape around the hotel. According to a legend, God took a short rest whilst creating the world. The imprint of his hand thus shaped the Saanenland region. His five fingers formed the valleys, with Gstaad nestling in their midst. You indeed do believe that supernatural forces were used when you let your eyes wander over the beauty around here.
Our kids are getting anxious to explore the hotel, so we will need to absorb all of this beauty some other time. And off we go, to embark on our discovery tour of the interior. Counting the floors here requires a bit of creativity; the higher you get, the lower the floor number. It keeps our minds busy. This comfortable and luxurious retreat has 136 guest rooms and we nestle ourselves in two connecting rooms. The rooms are finished with cowhide which gives a natural feel and offer modern comfort with the most perfect beds. Our room is further equipped with Mammut backpacks and binoculars from Zeiss. Still, we are mostly impressed by the sweeping views of the surroundings.
And that’s not all. In each room, there are Samsung tablets with complimentary newspapers, magazines and information about the history and possible activities, all updated daily. We find out that families make up 30 percent of visitors coming to the holiday region of Gstaad, many of whom have been coming here for generations. And the Huus Hotel sure is perfect for families; our girls feel right away at home with so many facilities for children in and around this Alpine retreat. We seldom experienced such an amazing combination for both adults and children alike. For example next to one of the restaurants, there is a playing room with a caretaker on-hand during dinner time. Moreover, children can relax in the adjacent movie room and teens will have a blast in the enormous game room. No less than a dozen flat screens dominate this room with as many game consoles. PlayStation, Wii, you name it and they’ve got it. Hang out on one of the sofas while playing your favourite game. It’s almost too good to be true, because there is no way you get these teens outdoors now. And there is even more on offer at the game room: two pool tables, darts, football table, etc.
The Huus Hotel is in a great location and can best be reached by car. As the hotel is situated in Saanen with direct access to the motorway, it’s not very comfortable to go out for a stroll. Within easy reach of the hotel by car, however, there are tons of activities in the region. What makes it even more special, is that many activities are included in the room rate. This guarantees a relaxing holiday because you don’t need to have a care in the world and can entirely focus on your family. For example, the Huus Ski school offers free ski lessons to children up to the age of nine, just like free ski passes and ski equipment. Our girls are lucky the hotel staff managed to find us a nice Dutch-speaking guide for skiing who’s taking us to the best slopes in the region.
Families can explore the Gstaad area with complimentary guided (snowshoe) walking tours, skiing trips, including equipment and ending with a cheese fondue party. If you feel like it, you can go sledding on one of the authentic Huus sledges. When we return one day, we’d love to go snowshoeing; it would be wonderful to walk past frozen waterfalls and deep valleys.
Guests can also make use of walking shoes, Nordic walking sticks and even mountain bikes and e-bikes. For the more expert skier who is in for something new, Huus Hotel offers test skis (touring skis, freeride skis, normal skis and snowboards). To top it all off, a Range Rover is at your service for a complimentary test ride to explore the hotel’s surroundings. This come in very handy when you want to tour the picturesque village.
Adults who want some time for themselves, can rely on a team of childcare professionals. They are on-hand to keep the little ones entertained. The hotel offers caretakers for the younger children and a whole host of professionally-led activities like river rafting, trekking, climbing and rope courses for older children and teens.
Huus Hotel can indeed be called the ultimate winter sports hotel. And with all the extras, even a week is not enough to experience it all. On day two, our daughters already ask us if we can promise them to come back next year. Preferably with the whole extended family, including all of their school friends if it where their choice.
It is also the perfect destination for a summer holiday. The contrast between staying here in winter and summer couldn’t be bigger. It feels like staying in a completely different country. During spring, the Alpine meadows are full in bloom and the scent of blossom spreads throughout the valleys while the eternal snow on the mountain tops glints in the sunlight. Also then, the Huus Hotel bustles with activities. What to think of some river rafting, mountain biking, special family canyoning, flying fox descents, climbing lessons or e-bike tours.
Of course, you don’t need to do any of this at all, no one will force you to do anything. You might just as well sit outside on the terrace and enjoy the summer or winter sun with the most delicious cappuccino and a good book. As mentioned earlier, the Huus Hotel offers plenty to keep children entertained, so parents can have their own moment of reflection. We would almost forget to mention that the hotel has a large swimming pool with a special Kid’s Spa with ice cave and separate play area. The Spa for adults is one floor up from the Kid’s Spa, with a scenic view sauna that really has magical views of the surrounding mountains. The absolute pinnacle of relaxation.
The Huus Hotel is also the place to be for culinary delights. The sympathetic Günter introduces us to two of the three restaurants. We begin with La Vue Restaurant. While the girls are colouring away in their colouring books, we enjoy once again the magnificent views through the panoramic windows. The kitchen delivers a true taste of the Alps with straightforward, honest and contemporary cuisine. The chefs mainly work with local produce. The herbs, for example, are home-grown in the hotel’s herb garden. Everything is fresh and authentic. It is at the same time, like everything at the Huus Hotel, very accessible. The cheery and friendly staff do everything possible to ensure a pleasant evening. At your request, they even make sure you get your dishes served quickly – especially nice when you dine with young children. As for the little ones, it is practically impossible to sit down for long when there is so much to do in and around the hotel.
The Huus Gstaad Restaurant is the beating heart of the hotel. You don’t need to hurry for your breakfast in the morning. All day long, you can choose from over 200 breakfast dishes. There are no less than seven unique world breakfasts on the menu. You can also come here for an aperitif (the cocktails are highly recommended) or dinner. As with everything else, much thought has been given to what works best for families. While the parents enjoy their dinner, the kids can watch a film in the children’s area. It doesn’t get any better than this.
The cocktails at the Huus Gstaad Restaurant are absolutely divine, yet they also serve savoury cocktails at the Huus Bar in the lobby. For the best in classic and modern home-inspired signature cocktails, pull up a stool at the bar with its floor-to-ceiling display boasting some 450 spirits, making it the highest bottle wall in the region. Or sink into one of the comfy sofas in the Livingroom, where you’ll find the Huus library. It is stocked with more than 500 books. This is also the place where you can relax and listen to a DJ playing some chill-out lounge tunes now and then.
The last option for culinary pleasures at the hotel is The Stollen, Huus’ underground bar and lounge area where special culinary themes are regularly being organised such as tapas tastings and sushi extravaganzas.
# We are having the ultimate vacation in winter here, however summer should be just as great with an endless range of activities. The Gstaad region is not without reason a destination where families like to return year-on-year, as there is a great range of fun activities for younger guests as well. From playgrounds, petting zoos and river rafting in summer to fun parks in winter. And Huus Hotel with all its activities fits in perfectly.
# We seldom experienced such an amazing combination for both adults and children alike. Caretakers can watch your children, there are several playing and game areas and a great pool. No need to go outside if you don’t feel like it.
# The word ‘Huus’ means home and that says it all. The Huus Hotel is really a home away from home. Not only for its amazing design: we hardly ever felt so welcome. It goes without saying that we owe this warm feeling to the staff. When it’s time for us to take our leave of these lovely people, we are waved off as if we are old friends bound to be back some time soon. We are and we definitely will!
This property can also be booked through iescape-huushotel.