Gstaad is one of the best places to go if you don’t want to ski – its other activities include an indoor sports centre with a swimming-pool, fitness facilities, badminton, sauna, mini golf, and beach volleyball. The climbing centre offers indoor climbing for bad weather days. The Alpine Coaster is the world’s highest bobsleigh track and is at Glacier 3000. Here you cruise along at approximately 40kph and, with personal brakes, riders can determine their own speed. The 1km track has a 520-degree loop followed by ten curves, six waves, two jumps and two bridges. A ride is for anyone aged nine years and over, and its daily timetable is weather-dependent – so if it is too windy it won’t open.
Post-skiing, there are cafés on the Promenade where you can sit and people-watch. The best-known is Charly’s, by the ice rink, where everybody goes for coffee and cakes. Then head to Hotel Olden for an apres-ski drink at Le Bar. The Palace lobby is for post-dinner drinks and then it’s on to the GreenGo nightclub, also in the hotel, which is packed on Friday and Saturday evenings. Locals favour Richi’s Pub, which is a tiny bit of England in the Alps. Other popular haunts include Stall-Bar Chlösterli and Rialto-Bar, which sometimes has live music. the piano bar in the Chesery Hotel also has live music and a great atmosphere. La Cave in Hotel Olden is for drinks, dinner and dancing. Gstaad’s famous Eagle Ski Club, founded in 1957, has long been one of the smartest members-only clubs in the Alps. Founding members include the Aga Khan and a throng of Viscounts, Barons and Countesses.