Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Horse Carriage ride in the Alps

We visited Gstaad in Jan 2107.

Nestled among the Alps



Gstaad is one of the most famous (and expensive) ski resorts in Switzerland. It is a hotspot for celebrities, so don't be surprised if you run into one during your visit :) The city itself is very small - so you can easily walk around the main street. The street is beautifully decorated and full of cafes, restaurants, and high end shops.

A lovely evening in Gstaad Fairytale chalets in Gstaad

To accommodate the posh crowd,  there are 4 5+ Star hotels, with the Gstaad Palace being the most iconic and famous one. 

We stayed at the Le Grand Bellevue which recently re-opened after an extensive renovation. It is like a luxury home at the top of the mountains. It is a small hotel with around 60 rooms which gives it a cosy feeling. It was definitely one of the friendliest 5* hotels we have stayed in, as the staff were genuinely friendly and did not have the "air" sometimes associated with such high end hotels. The facilities and interior decorations are absolutely flawless - it also boasts of the longest sofa in Switzerland :)

The views in front of the hotel are absolutely stunning - check out the pics below!

Dawn in Gstaad
Chalet in Gstaad

 Horse Carriage ride in Lauenen


As we don't ski, every year we try to find interesting (non-skiing) activities to pursue at ski resorts, e.g. snow shoe hiking, toboggan rides. This year, we tried the horse carriage ride in Lauenen. 

Lauenen is a small city / village around 30 minutes drive from Gstaad.  You can also take the Post Bus, which unfortunately is not very frequent. Taxis are available, but they need to be booked in advance (will cost around 40 Swiss Francs) - check with your hotel if you need one.

The horse carriage ride is like 1 - 1.30 hours, from Lauenen to Lake Lauenen (and back). It costs around 150 Swiss Francs. We went with low expectations, but ended up thoroughly enjoying the ride. It felt like a dream - traveling on a horse carriage through beautiful scenery and snow capped mountains.

The isolated hut ...
The horseman cometh ... Chalets in Lauenen

 The real icing on the cake was when we finally reached Lake Lauenen - and the lake was completely frozen. Check out the amazing pic below!

Frozen lake Lauenen (in B/W)