Chlösterli Nightclub & Dalsass Restaurant

Gstaad, Switzerland is a luxury ski resort better known for its shopping and après-ski scene than for skiing. The most popular dining options are invariably rustic and cheese-centric, so when chef Alain Ducasse brusquely abandoned his over-sophisticated and underperforming Spoon des Neiges, no one was surprised. But owner Michel Pastor, the Monegasque businessman and bon vivant was left scrambling to find a new chef to fill Ducasse’s expensive shoes. Enter Ticino-based, olive oil loving chef Martin Dalsass. Gault Millau was impressed enough with Dalsass’ fresh, seasonal food to award the restaurant 17 points, but as the menu still doesn’t feature any cheese, it’s the nightclub at Chlösterli, a member of World’s Finest Clubs, that is attracting the crowds.

At Chlösterli, an ancient chalet built in 1686, history meets modernism. Overhauled by celebrity Parisian decorator Patrick Jouin, Chlösterli is a testament to how the unusual constraints of working within a historic shell can lead to exciting design. The tiny private dining room known as the “Aquarium” would feel claustrophobic were it not for a wall of clear resin planks and its huge kitchen-view window. The discotheque features soaring ceilings, slate floors punctuated with irregular resin “stones” lit from below by LED lights, a state of the art sound system employed by top international DJs, and a 17-foot-high clear wine wall. The play between the transparency of glass and crystal and the opacity of natural materials such as leather and stone is superbly executed.

Even the work of a talented designer like Jouin can read a bit cheesy, and to that effect, his original hay-bale ottomans and milk-pail tables were mercifully recently retired, while the subtler cow-shaped oak milking stools still provide a touch of tongue-in-cheek kitsch. 

TEXT BY Karena Akhavein