Vacation Rental Review – Apartment Hitismatte, Gstaad (Switzerland)

Apartment Hitismatte, booked through a local Gstaad agency, Sicking Immobilien (
2bed/2bath ground level apartment

The apartment is in a chalet with six apartments in a complex of a few chalets just outside of Saanen (5 minute walk to train station) in an area of farms and residential houses. The complex is beside a small sawmill/lumber yard, but the apartment is not near it and we did not hear noise from the sawmill. (I was concerned that we were close to a noisy sawmill, but as we travel around this area I realize that lumber must be one of the main businesses here because there are small sawmills everywhere. We have been here several days now and not heard anything from the sawmill.)

The master bedroom is the typical two single beds joined together (with a gap between them) and bathroom with two sinks and a tub/shower (good deep tub, plenty of hot water). Large wardrobe and shelves for your clothes. The second bedroom is two sets of bunk beds and bathroom with shower. So, the setup would be good for a couple or a couple with children, but not for two couples. Large living room / dining room / kitchen area all wood floors (low carpet in bedroom, tile in bathroom). Large entrance way with places for coats and hiking gear, bench to sit on. Outdoor patio with a few chairs. French doors from living room to patio, windows on two sides of living area (very bright) and on two sides of master bedroom (very bright). Views to fields with chalets and mountains beyond (not spectacular views, but very nice views). Bright and sunny and very spacious feeling. A few cats live in the area and drop by to visit.

Good quality and comfortable furnishings. Two large comfy couches, cable TV with CNN, BBC, NBC (and Italian, German, Swiss, and French channels). Bathrooms in good shape, but a touch “70’s-ish”. Great European style bathtub (long, narrow, deep). Excellent kitchen (dishwasher, oven, electric stovetop, coffee maker, electric kettle, microwave, medium size fridge, good pots and pans, lots of plates and utensils).

Recommended. The only improvement would be a double bed instead of the two singles. And if you were higher up instead of ground level, you would have a better view. But the quality of the furnishings and kitchen makes up for this. Also the price is good – 750 CHF per week ($550). They said they wanted an 800 CHF deposit, but they did not ask for it when we arrived. Payment was half by wire transfer at time of booking, half in cash on arrival (you don’t have to pay on the day you arrive – you can go to their office to pay later in the week). This is my favorite kind of vacation rental – it is the second home for the owners so it is well equipped, but you don’t feel like you are moving into someone’s house with no room for your things. It is well setup.

When you stay in Switzerland, at a hotel or a vacation rental, you pay a daily “tourist tax”. Usually you pay the landlord and they pay the tourist office, but this time Yvonne who checked us in said we should go and pay at the tourist office (which seems to make a lot of sense). So we went and declared ourselves and paid 2.80 CHF each per day (14 days, 2 people = 86.80 CHF).

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.