How is Gstaad positioned among the luxury mountain resort destinations in Europe? How has its positioning changed, if in any way, given the challenging international context?
The history of Gstaad dates back to the 20th century. For guests especially multigenerational families, Gstaad has been a sought-after hideaway for centuries, anchor for the affluent due to the values that we represent: privacy, discretion with a laid back, relaxed atmosphere.
The positioning of Gstaad has not changed and given the challenging international context, this is actually a strength to have a positioning that has been constant and authentic despite international trends and developments.
Which other destinations would you consider as being in direct competition? Which are the fastest (new) growing international sourcing markets?
Today we are competing with the world and not other mountain resorts. The fastest (new) growing international sourcing markets for us at the moment are China, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Tell us more among the positioning of The Alpina Gstaad among the luxury properties of Gstaad?
In Gstaad, we are lucky that each of the five star hotels has chosen its positioning very carefully and therefore addresses different guest profiles. The Alpina Gstaad is one of the younger luxury properties which makes it strong in combining modernity with traditional Alpine chalet chic.
Modernity is not only given by the interior design but also for example by our mundane contemporary art collection presenting young emerging artists. Our contemporary Alpine architecture on the other hand gives our guests a certain feeling of cosiness where carefully chosen materials are incorporated to underline our passion for sustainability.
Is there a profile of the retuning guest at The Alpina Gstaad?
Our returning guests’ profiles are multigenerational families, entrepreneurs, creative activists and philanthropists.
Unlike other mountain resorts, Gstaad has both a winter and a summer season, thus, an overall expanded opening throughout the year. What is your offering during the two seasons? Are you targeting a different consumer profile?
We are open roughly around 7 months throughout the year. The two seasons complement each other through the destination’s offerings. Winter season gears towards more loyal guests who travel with friends & family and know the destination well where it feels like coming home, whereas Summer is a great opportunity to experience the versatility of the destination through events and outdoor activities. The beautiful natural surrounding is a benefit throughout the year.
With your expansive wellness and dining offering, do you attract guests staying at different properties? Do you also have ‘day’ guests?
Each hotel has its own distinct market share. However, we also have “day” guests at our different restaurants as well as the Spa which are made up with locals and guests with residences in Gstaad.
You are proposing your guest a complex array of experiences, from cooking classes to a natural bar with plants from your very own garden. Tell us more.
We strive to share our passion with our guests. Our Zero Waste pasta dish was inspired by our passion for sustainability. This heart-warming dish with an easy preparation, not only tastes delectable but is actually based on efficient kitchen management – our guests can take this knowledge home with them.
Celebrating the abundance of the Saanenland, the new Alchemy Bar at the Six Senses Spa allows the guest to take a piece of The Alpina Gstaad’s DNA with them home. The guests get the chance to create their own cosmetic using natural ingredients with even a number of herbs that are picked from our very own garden.
It is about to create memorable experiences together.
Besides an exceptional product, consumers are increasingly demanding when it comes to consistency and personalisation. Tell us more about your approach to motivate and inspire your team to provide a genuine service.
The motivation comes naturally for our team due to the identification with our hotel. They are part of The Alpina Gstaad hence the rapport built with our guests is genuine.
What is your view of operating a hotel independently versus a management contract with a prestigious international chain?
Running an independent hotel means that we are not bound by any group standards. There is much more flexibility to present and pursue different and creative ideas, and often also much quicker feedback. On the other hand, there is not the same level of exchange between colleagues, although we compensate for that within the association of the Swiss Deluxe Hotels.
For the rest of the winter season and the upcoming summer one, what novelties shall we be expecting at The Alpina Gstaad?
We are just now concluding our very successful winter season, despite the challenging time towards March. In Summer, we will focus on resetting body and mind for all visiting. In times like these, we go back to the source of The Alpina Gstaad and of our destination which is Mother Nature. Wellbeing, Healing & Brain Health are at the top of our list. With that being said, we continue to transmit the abundance of our region – the Saanenland – through epicurean journeys and lifestyle events.
Highly experienced and seasoned luxury hospitality senior executive Tim Weiland is a graduate of EHL and has spent most of his career prior to The Alpina Gstaad as General Manager of several iconic AMAN Resorts and Banyan Tree.
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