Photo courtesy of Chedi Andermatt
The Chedi Andermatt
Opened in 2013, The Chedi Andermatt enjoys a unique location in the charming village of Andermatt in the Ursern Valley. Designed by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, the luxurious hotel draws on both Alpine and Asian influences, spanning traditional styles and materials (oakwood paneling, local stone, murals inspired by 17th-century European artist Rubens) as well as contemporary elements like soft leather chairs. Rooms are full of light thanks to panoramic windows (which also afford views of the Swiss Alps, Andermatt Village, and Furkapass, where the James Bond film Goldfinger was set), but also cozy at night with fireplaces. In the plush bathrooms, guests will also find large tubs, heated stone floors, and rain showers. The hotel has all the perks you could dream of, from an indoor lap pool and relaxation lounge with several fireplaces to four dining outlets, The Wine and Cheese Cellar, and a walk-in cigar humidor. This is one of those places that’s almost impossible to leave.
Asian Simplicity in the Alps
The Chedi Andermatt, designed by minimalist architect extraordinaire Jean-Michel Gathy and part of the elite GHM group of hotels, is one of the most distinctive and dramatic properties I've ever experienced. Designed with a Zen-like Asian simplicity, the hotel also has a modern chalet feel and a sensual emphasis on natural materials like wood and stone. You can't do après ski in a better place than The Chedi—they even have a ski-in living room. The Spa and Health Club has hydrothermal baths and two swimming pools where you can float in bliss with the Alps as a backdrop. Open all day, The Restaurant (yes, that's the name) features both a traditional and an Asian kitchen, both open for exhibition cooking and to create an inviting ambience. There's also The Japanese Restaurant (yes, that's the official name again—The Chedi Andermatt is serious about keeping things simple) where the Zen-like serenity of the decór suits the elegantly presented sushi each evening. We loved the hotel's incredible cheese tasting room, where you can sample some great Swiss cheeses with your wines and get fascinating explanations of everything you are sampling from the first-rate staff. Ready to embark on your own Swiss adventure? Check out the itineraries that have been created by the members of AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council and other specialists at AFAR Journeys.
Exploring a Swiss Village
During our May trip to Switzerland, we stayed at The Chedi Andermatt, a glamorous ski chalet fit for James Bond. Just 90 minutes by train from Zurich, Andermatt is a quaint village in the Ursern Valley in the Swiss Alps. It was once declared by Goethe as the "most interesting and dear region" (in 1779). Not a whole lot has changed since then, as evidenced by the age of the local church and the historic homes. Using the town as a homebase, travelers can board the charming Glacier Express railway, which connects Zermatt to St. Moritz. Film buffs will recognize Andermatt from a cameo appearance in Goldfinger.
Alpine High Life
When architect Jean-Michael Gathy designed The Chedi Andermatt, located 90 minutes from Zurich in the Ursern Valley, he gave the Swiss chalet style a contemporary edge. Some elements, however, remain decidedly traditional—the warm woods, natural stone walls, and, the over 200 fireplaces that provide perfect spots to warm up after a day skiing. Find a seat by one inside for a front-row view on the lobby scene or head to one of the outdoor firepits, like the one seen here. Bundle up with one of the cashmere blankets or fur throws provided by the hotel, and enjoy an evening in the shadow of the Alps with a warm drink in hand.