A new hotel with 30 rooms, a roof deck and a Grand Café is to be built in Gstaad. Its name: The Mansard. Local guide through the project is hotelier Michel Wichman. His guiding principle: not always more of everything, but the best of what is necessary.
Until recently, Isabelle and Nagy Geadah-Nopper welcomed their long-time guests at the Hotel Christiania in Gstaad. Last October it was sold. The building, which is situated next to the Coop, will make way for a new project.
Hotelier Michel Wichman is the local partner of the projected new build with the resounding name The Mansard. The plans of the new hotel show a building with 30 rooms, which can be combined and are therefore attractive for families. All rooms will have a shower, a bathroom and a balcony. “When it comes to the furnishings, we pay attention to good quality, but take into account the motto: less is more,” says the full-blooded hotelier. On the ground floor, there will be a shop and a public restaurant in the style of a grand café for about 60 people. Instead of multi-course menus, fresh and modern dishes from a small menu will be served. The entrance will be located in the corner of the building that faces the Promenade, at the foot of a small tower reminiscent of The Alpina.
The roof deck will be a unique feature in Gstaad and nicely tucked away from the Promenade below due to the partial gable roof. Hotel guests, on the other hand, will enjoy the view over the village and the ice rink area/summer event area.
A small wellness area and over 28 parking spaces in the second and third basement levels complete the offer. A special feature is the light well in the middle of the house, around which the staircase winds its way up the floors of the building.
Down-to-earth, casual and modern
“Even though a novel style prevails in the hotel, it will remain downto-earth,” Wichman promises. The Mansard – open all year round – is to become a casual, informal and at the same time down-to-earth place, completely blending in with Gstaad. “The neighbours don’t have to worry either, because no noisy parties are planned on the roof deck,” Wichman assures. “We want to blend in harmoniously with the neighbourhood.”
Moreover, it will not be a boutique or luxury hotel. The new project is in the three-star range with a certain tendency towards understatement. “At The Mansard, we want to be better than the stars displayed over the entrance. We want returning and satisfied guests. With a calculated understatement we can exceed our guests’ expectations, who will be delighted and return.”
Opening planned for 2022
The architectural firm Rieder Architektur AG is responsible for the planning. During the period for objection two objections were raised, which are currently the subject of negotiations. If everything goes according to plan, the hotel should be inaugurated as early as May 2022.
About the construction costs, Wichman says: “We are spending the money very carefully and sensibly, our aim is to achieve a normal return with the invested funds of our shareholders, preferably over a long period of time. Gstaad already has many beautiful five- and four-star hotels. For us, it’s clear that a good, down-to-earth three-star hotel is a complement for the region and may therefore be successful.”
The new owner of Hotel Christiania is InterGlobe Enterprises (Switzerland) AG, a globally active company with a focus on the hotel industry and aviation. Its headquarters are in India. Also involved is InterGlobe Enterprises (Switzerland) AG, founded in 2020, of which Wichman owns a share. René Peyer is entered in the commercial register as chairman of the board of directors.
The Mansard is an inspiring form of modern hotel business, not a meaningless hunt for stars, but a lot of quality of life and genuine hospitality at more than just fair prices, Wichman concludes. “A form of hotel business is growing here that is contemporary and fit for the future, that leaves stars where they belong” – in the sky, as he puts it.
BASED ON AVS/BLANCA BURRI