The Chedi Andermatt, a luxurious oasis for all seasons in the Swiss Alps
When the mule track over the Gotthard was converted in 1830 into a drivable road, travel to Europe became faster and comfortable., thus establising the future of Andermatt as an all season destination for both tourism and commerce. Thanks to the railway, thousands of tourist began flocking to Andermatt – today a 3 hour drive or less than a 4 hour beautiful train ride to St Moritz through the most spectacular scenery and less than 2 hours by train or from Milan.
The opening of Andermatt’s first hotel of a upscale ranking, the St Gotthard Hotel Andermatt in 1854 was followed in 1872 by the opening of the first luxury hotel, Hotel Bellevue – on the exact site of which, a spectacular luxury resort was born in December 2013, The Chedi Andermatt, the first hotel in Europe managed by GHM Hotels, which was co-founded by Adrian Zecha, the visionary hotelier behind the iconic collection of Aman Resorts.
When creating The CHEDI Andermatt, GHM Hotels together with developer Orascom have set out on a dream path an oustanding undertaking, financially, architecturally and operationally. Much like the Hotel Bellevue and other luxury hotels at the time which were self-contained complexes, with main house, annexes, apartment blocks, utility buildings, stables, park & garden, shop etc, The CHEDI Andermatt is a luxurious oasis which encompasses luxury hotel rooms and suites, a 2,500 sqm Spa with three swimming pools including an exquisit 35 m indoor pool (glass covered) and a lavish hydrotherapy complex of pools , three luxury restaurants (Swiss, International, Japanese and Asian), library, Children’s Club, Ski Concierge & Lounge.
The CHEDI Andermatt‘s General Manager, Alain Bachmann was the right person at the right time. With a vast experience both with major international luxury hotel chains and independently owned and run propertis including a luxury resort in Gstaad, Bachmann succeeded in less than 2 months from opening to achieve s standard of service which other luxury new hotels take at least one year. Despite many challenges, Bachmann put together a hugely passionate young team, which extended the most warm, friendly and personalized service throughout my recent stay at the resort. Although commanding a large complex, staff would know me by name and would seem to be costantly updated on my schedule. I loved the way they were so curious to learn of my experices in the sightseeing tour, at the restaurant or the Spa.
While exuding an inherently Asian sleek flair, The Chedi Andermatt has a very powerful Swiss component in its DNA, from architecture, interior design elements (exquisit wood, stone, marble and hand made leather furnishings), to Spa treatments (organic Alpine inspired treatments) and a wealth of activities which are deeply Swiss etc. The must-have characteristics of a Swiss resort such as working fireplace, lavish relaxation and lounge areas with a warm Swiss chalet style decor, are in perfect harmony with 21st century amenities – Ipad controlled rooms (lights, temperature, fireplace, DND, butler, blinds and shutters, sound and TV), complimentary high speed wi-fi throughout the entire hotel, latest LED Tvs with a huge selection of Tv channels etc.
The fire spots in the hotel’s courtyard garden by the swimming pool, the unique long reception desk which runs through the entire lobby, making it also a Bar table, the wine displays behind the front desk and the glass enclosed cheese & wine cellar in the middle of the restaurants, the Chef’s tables with open kitchens, the dramatic entrance through a glass arcade – will surely swipe you off your feet in what seemed to me a never-ending contemplating and discovery experience of this spectacular luxury resort hotel.
I also found most impressive the carefully conceived flow of spaces, which allow you to relax in a private alcove, in a larger space with friends or family, at the hotel’s bar which buzzes with locals and travelers, dine at Chef’s table which can also turn into a communal table for singles, the kid’s library-like play area (cleverly placed books and the decor leave little room for modern technologies) which families with children will surely praise. The Japanese restaurant offers a most authentic experience, with excellent food and a genuine Japanese setting.
Besides some technical teething problems, inevitable for new hotels, The CHEDI leave very little room for insatisfaction for even the most discerning guests. The world class Swiss Alpine resort, already the talk all over Switzerland, has also attracted a great number of Swiss guests, making for an ideal customer mix. Overall, the luxury resort, will most likely set new standards in the Swiss leisure hospitality market – ideal for holidays but also outstanding events – private (weddings, celebrations etc) or conventions and congresses (business, political etc)
Oliver Petcu in Andermatt