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The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland
March 3, 2016
Andermatt is one of the lesser known alpine Swiss gems, and those who do know it, know it for one thing: The Chedi Andermatt. Undoubtedly one of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels in the world, The Chedi’s hidden location makes it all the more appealing.
During the winter season the entrance into Andermatt is limited to one way only (worth noting, it’s a long drive back in the direction you came from if you make that mistake), up steep, winding and quite frankly, a little treacherous mountain roads, but boy oh boy is it worth the drive. Andermatt appears, as you come over the side of the mountain, like a fairytale snow village so small you could cover it with a thumb from a distance. It’s little wonder that this historic spot has, in recent times, become a bolt hole for those seeking separation from the real world. Remote though it may be, however, Andermatt is also home to the five-star, wooden palace that is the Chedi Andermatt hotel. Grand, but cosy, it’s the type of place that sends shivers down your spine as you step through the door.
Everything about the Chedi Andermatt is spacious and indulgent from the wide corridors to the oversized stand-alone bathtub and cloud-like king sized double bed. It has been designed to impress, and impress it certainly does. Dark woods, brown leather, furs, warm lighting, candles and glass-encased fireplaces make the rooms feel romantic and sumptuous like very decadent studio flats. They are worlds of their own, each sound-proofed so efficiently that you might well forget the outside existed if it were not for the views of the snow covered mountains and the occasional train charmingly making its way over the peak – though, even breathing the fresh, mountain air from your private balcony feels a little surreal.
The Chedi Andermatt is one of the more fragrant hotels we’ve visited, not just the spa, but in the general sense – herbal teas on arrival, Acqua Di Parma products in the room – everything smells so good we almost suspect fragrances are filtered through the air conditioning system. The spa, naturally, is the most sensuous of spaces with a two large swimming pools (one outside – thankfully heated – and one in), surrounded by thickly cushioned loungers where you could quite easily while away the day sipping on the smoothies, cucumber flavoured water and candied fruits that are generously offered at intervals. There’s the hydrotherapy section too with saunas, steam rooms and heated pools for wallowing. In case you misplace your towel, almost every wall is shelved high with fresh, fluffy white replacements as well as bottles of water to make sure you stay hydrated.
The large restaurant on the ground floor boasts four open plan kitchens, where you can watch the chefs prepare Swiss, European and Asian delights (the menu offers the option to mix and match if you’re in the mood for dim sum, sashimi and slow roasted quail), whilst a five-metre high cheese cellar takes pride of place in the centre of the room, allowing guests to make a hand picked selection. It’s a fun, immersive dining experience with plenty to watch if the conversation dries up, whilst the food itself is exceptional in taste and presentation – perhaps a touch lighter and more controlled than the typical, homely Alpine offerings, but like with all things Chedi, it aims at striking rather than humble. No shorts or sandals are allowed on the premises, presumably only really applicable in summer, but nonetheless a guideline of the type of clientele the property attracts.
In a Nutshell
The Chedi Andermatt is the very epitome of indulgence, the type of place you might well venture to for a honeymoon or a more extravagant weekend getaway. It welcomes you into a world of comfort and bliss – one that’s very hard to leave and even harder to forget.
Rooms cost from £370 per night.
Words by Millie Walton