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City Breaks

Switzerland's Finest Alpine Retreat: The Chedi Andermatt

Ski season is at a climax, unfortunately the snow isn’t. But whether the winds blow north or south, almost all of the storms which cross the Alps, seem to drop snow on Andermatt.

Andermatt is located in the Central Swiss Alps, and within this postcard-pretty Alpine enclave proudly stands The Chedi. Yes, it’s a perfect base for ski in, ski out, but really, this is an all-year destination.


 


The Vibe

You’d expect nothing less from the management team behind The Chedi Oman and The Datai Langkawi. The Chedi Andermatt fits elegantly with the classic ski chalets of Andermatt that give this timelessly charming town in the Ursern Valley its character. This hotel reveals a perfect fusion of authentic Swiss alpine chic and Asian style. It really is a handsome looking hotel.

How did it revive this previously sleepy town? A chance meeting between the former-Swiss ambassador to Egypt and the Director of Security for the Canton of Uri, in which Andermatt sits, led to a phone call with an Egyptian resort developer, Samih Sawiris. Four months later, after a quick flight around the valley in a helicopter, Sawiris said simply: “I’ll help.” As you can imagine, and as the citizens of Andermatt would learn, nothing was done in halves. Millions of sprinkled fairy dollars later, the project helped breathe new life into the old town.


The Rooms

Traditional materials like warm woods and natural stone along with layers of leather, create an intimate and sophisticated atmosphere throughout the 123 spacious guest rooms and suites. The lavish rooms feature Hästens beds, terraces overlooking the green slopes, glass-fronted electric fireplaces, with a low table laid with a complimentary bottle of Swiss wine, chocolates and fruit. iPads control everything, including the blinds. Entry level rooms are already deluxe starting from 520 square feet, until the Furka (with its own private spa) or Gotthard Suites (with 5 bedrooms), accommodating 8 or 10 people, set over 2 floors, and ideal for family getaways. Bathrooms are equally luxurious with heated stone floors, freestanding bathtubs, rain showers and Acqua di Parma toiletries.


The Pool + Spa

Perhaps the hotel’s pièce de résistance is its lavish spa – an almost-too-good-to-swim-in 35-metre pool stretching out behind a steel-framed glass beyond the lounge. Outside is another pool, deliciously warm. And venture downstairs below the vast hydrotherapy area where you’ll find Finnish and organic saunas, a series of Balinese-style pools to get the circulation going, and complimentary yoga and pilates classes, alongside an extensive gym. Treatments are based on healing traditions from the East and include ancient Balinese massage and jet lag therapy. This one is good enough for our Spa of the Month.


The Food + Drink

The Restaurant, The Japanese Restaurant, The Chalet (open only in the winter months), The Bar and Living Room, The Lobby, The Courtyard, The Wine Cellar (containing a stellar private collection of Château Mouton-Rothschild labels, one of the most extensive collections of Swiss wines), and Cigar Library, The Chedi Andermatt really has endless options.

The Japanese Restaurant has been awarded one Michelin star and while you won’t be totally disappointed, we suggest you make the most of The Restaurant with lively open kitchens and menus featuring Asian or Swiss cuisine – beautifully cooked in stunning surrounds. For more informal dining, The Bar has raging fires and copious furs, the place to be in the ski season, a popular local spot for après-ski cocktails made with sake (the hotel has Switzerland’s largest selection) or beer. Skiing or otherwise, the Swiss fresh mountain air will ensure you wake up with a healthy appetite. Lucky The Chedi Andermatt has this in mind with a sumptuous breakfast involving vats of berries and chopped fruit, egg dishes, daily smoothies, gluten-free cereals and biscuits, jams and nut butters, and fluffy home-baked bread. And a special station for the younger travellers amongst you. The exquisite cheese cellar opens for breakfast too.


The Little Extras 

Ask for born-and-bred Andermatt guide Bänz Simmen. This man (bookable via The Chedi) is Andermatt personified and somewhat of a local legend: book him for a foraging walk or a history tour of the town, including Andermatt’s famed Devil’s Bridge.

And for those in the know, in 2021, The Chedi Andermatt became the first Swiss hotel to accept payments in Bitcoin and Ethereum for on-site payments at the property. Now it is entering the metaverse. Thanks to a partnership with the digital payment provider Worldline, travellers are able to visit a new virtual showroom for The Chedi Andermatt in metaverse gaming platform Decentraland, where they will also be able to book three exclusive packages for future stays at the five-star hotel. They will also be able to pay with cryptocurrencies.


The To-Do List

The spa. Check. Skiing. Check. Guided tour from Bänz Simmen. Check.

Finally, the hotel’s spectacular Courtyard – the place to be during both the summer and winter months. This winter, they have transformed the Courtyard into a traditional mountain winter village, offering The Chedi Bear Club for children, the Market Booth (open daily from 2 pm – 6 pm), showcasing local craftsmanship, with Andermatt artisans selling their handicrafts each day and talks from Bänz Simmen. The pop up restaurant, The Chalet, serves up Swiss specialties such as Raclette and Cheese Fondue. And, you’ll find The Finnish Sauna and The Hot Tub – where relaxation reaches new horizons. The barrel sauna can seat up to four guests at one time, with a selection of infusions, all inspired by the Alps and fir forest.

Staying true to The Chedi Andermatt’s sustainable ethos, every cabin in the Winter Village has been made with local wood, whilst The Winter Village makes the most of the natural light shining through the trees, using only a few additional lanterns to illuminate The Courtyard. Fir trees have been planted in pots, so they can be re-used around the town of Andermatt after the village closes.

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