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Diamonds and Mountains and Cows, Oh My: The Alpina Gstaad Hotel

Panorama Suite at Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland

By Ann Abel

As European ski resorts go, it’s hard to say that any one country has the best. Is the piste better in France or Italy? Are the hotels more luxurious?

Not really. But what Switzerland has that its neighbors do not is whimsy. There’s a lightheartedness that verges on the goofy. And so even at the most refined resorts, there’s an element of what I like to call billionaire kitsch.

That’s what greeted me when I checked in the five-year-old Alpina Gstaad. The hotel provided me with a tourist pass for the village of Gstaad (a five minute walk) and a screen cleaner. Both were printed with pictures of cows licking the faces of sporty people … read more


Ann Abel is a travel writer and editor, and was a senior editor at ForbesLife. She writes for Forbes, Departures, Conde Nast Traveller, Robb Report, Afar, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Hemispheres, Brides, Modern Bride, , Well + Good NYC, and other print and online publications.”In the name of lifestyle journalism, ” she says, ” I’ve gotten a tattoo in Bora Bora, been bitten by a massage therapist, and flown small aircraft above three continents.” She lives in Lisbon.

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