Dating back to the 13th century, the small village of Andermatt is laden with history. The town, bastioned by its location at the foot of the Furka, Oberalp and Gotthard passes, has continually been a strategic crossroads for traffic through Switzerland, between northern and southern Europe. Embedded in this rugged mountain landscape, The Chedi has been welcoming a well-heeled clientele to its grand European bearings paired with minimalist Asian spirit since opening in 2013– arguably putting Andermatt on the map as one of Switzerland’s top alpine destinations.
If the building’s exterior façade evokes the sobriety of an Alpine chalet that has tripled in size, the skillfully crafted interior decor earmarks a plethora of Asian elements and oriental grandeur – a combination of style and luxury that remains refined throughout the five-star deluxe’s 123 spacious guest rooms and suites, courtesy of Belgian star architect Jean Michel Gathy. Packed with style, one of the crown jewels of The Chedi is the 134 square meter Gemsstock Suite. Yet another example of Gathy’s plainspoken design anchored in the hotel’s natural environment, while infusing Oriental components throughout in a truly contemporary way.
This perfect symbiosis of Asian and Alpine details comes to life through the use of local woods, granite and sleek leather furnishings, discoursed by a three-meter-high vaulted wooden ceiling, semi-transparent movable wall panels and a flickering log fire placed in the center of the suite. The wonderfully spacious and sumptuous bathroom is a masterclass in temperate Swiss hauteur, with an equally impressive walk-in closet to match. Downstairs, the alpine East-meets-West narrative carries on, be that in the snug corners of the cosy lobby lounge, the library or the main restaurant, a lofty montane canteen of sorts, serving a rich assortment of Swiss, international and – surprise, surprise – Asian-inspired dishes. For those in search of regal repose, the 2500 square meter wellness and spa areas invite guests to unapologetically immerse themselves in the Asian art of healing, letting their minds wander while enjoying the various baths and saunas, indoor and outdoor pools, ice fountains and flower baths.
Here, too, Gathy’s style is evident in the shape of large and expansive, palatial and ultra-modern spaces. To round it all up comme il faut, American natural cosmetics guru Tata Harper’s treatments are exclusive to The Chedi in Switzerland. Back in the Gemsstock Suite, complete with its own dining room table and living area, the ample balcony is the perfect place to appreciate the picturesque backdrop of the suite’s namesake, the Gemsstock Peak rising high up into the clouds, while enjoying a multi-course dinner from the wide-ranging in-room dining menu or that all essential après-ski tipple.
Three reasons to leave the suite:
For those in search of more than mere relaxation, there is plenty of action for Duracell-powered guests. Courtesy of Andermatt’s rich natural surroundings, waterfalls, mountain lakes and more than 180 kilometres of hiking and skiing routes and pistes await to be discovered. During the winter months, speedy connections from the resort to Andermatt, Sedrun and Disentis ensure that Central Switzerland’s largest ski region is within easy reach.
2. ASIAN ALPINERY
The highest Japanese gourmet hotspot in Switzerland at an altitude of 2362 meters, the aptly named The Japanese, offers refined specialities such as Shidashi Bentō, Omakase, Saiseki, sushi and fresh tempura dishes right by the Gütsch-Express mountain station. With a view of the Gotthard, the Oberalp Pass and the Ursern Valley, its intimate atmosphere acts as the perfect setting for a spectacular high-altitude dining experience.
3. UP IN SMOKE
Hosted and curated by The Chedi’s very own cigar aficionado Marie Gerber, the hotel’s Cigar Library is home to one of the most extensive selections of any hotel in the world. The swanky walk-in humidor includes over 800 varieties, hard-to-find rarities and special editions for connoisseurs to spoil themselves, originating from far-off corners of the world such as Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and, of course, Cuba.
The Widder Hotel is a fascinating amalgamation of townhouses from the 15th century spread across nine medieval buildings in the centre of Zurich’s old town. These structures have been skilfully combined to create space for 48 distinctive rooms and one exceptional Penthouse Suite.Discover more
Zurich is the largest Swiss city – with vineyards. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 400 hectares of vineyards across what is now the city. Today there are still 14 hectares planted with all kinds of varieties. Of course, there used to be many more.Discover more
I swiftly glance at my watch to be sure. Yes, it has indeed been only 38 minutes since I shut off my laptop at home in Zurich’s Seefeld district, and the moment I find myself in now, checking in with the concierge at the Dolder Grand’s SPA. It’s only early afternoon, but I feel I’ve done enough work for today. Admittedly, this renders my spontaneously booked hometown beauty getaway that tiny bit more decadent. I have brought a book along in the hopes of some peace and quiet, but … would you like to join me instead?Discover more
Not short of its fair share of bars and cocktail lounges, Zurich boasts a bar for every type of patron. From white glove service to underground grunge and contemporary mixology, we feature ten of our favourite watering holes in the city.Discover more
Mummy, is that lady in a bathrobe and towel turban the mother of the richest man in the world? One of my daughters asked me that while we more or less tiptoed into the Grand Hôtel du Lac Spa, trying not to be too obvious with our espionage.Discover more
Founded in 1834, the iconic Hotel des Bergues was Switzerland’s first palace and Geneva’s very first hotel. A weighty landmark in its own right, it is considered by many as the number one address in town among the many upscale waterfront hotels that host Geneva’s well-to-do visitors flocking in from all four corners of the planet.Discover more
It would be a bit of a stretch, considering I can hardly breathe in an underwired bra – but nonetheless, I can’t help picturing myself swanning daintily through the extra-wide, historic halls of Montreux’ legendary Le Fairmont Palace in my hooped skirts. But I’ll be damned if I let my old-timey daydreams get in the way of three days of proper pampering on the shores of beautiful Lake Geneva.Discover more