The motorist, a local resident, was driving towards the town of Bulle when for reasons unknown he lost control of his vehicle and veered into the parking area of the Hotel de l'Etoile at around 10am, Fribourg cantonal police said in a statement.
The vehicle ended up striking four people and damaging three vehicles before coming to a rest against a hotel wall, the statement said.
Despite the rapid intervention of emergency personnel the 71-year-old victim, a resident of the canton of Neuchâtel, died on the spot, police said.
Emergency rescue staff took three injured people to hospital for treatment of injuries police said were not life-threatening.
Those hospitalized included a 43-year-old man from the canton of Neuchâtel, who was in a wheelchair, a 41-year-old man from the same canton and a 10-year-old girl from the canton of Valais.
Two Rega helicopters transported them to a nearby hospital.
The driver was transported by ambulance to hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police said.
Police closed the cantonal road running through the centre of Charmey for six hours while investigators investigated the site of the accident.
The force has issued a call for witnesses who may be able to shed more light on what happened.