In January 2017, I decided to kick off a new year in the snow. One thing I really wanted was a place that was super comfortable to escape the cold, because although I’ve been snowboarding for a long time and I’ve experienced amazing winter getaways like the little village of Nozawa Onsen in Japan and the south island of New Zealand, I’ve never been able to finish a day on the slopes and come home to proper luxury.
I’d heard about The Chedi in Andermatt because I’d previously stayed other Chedi hotels, including the Chedi Chiang Mai (now Anantara) and the Chedi Ubud in Bali. The brand has a unique touch on luxury and there is a consistent Eastern theme that ties their hotels together, so I was super intrigued about how the brand was able to incorporate the feel of an Asian luxury hotel in an old Swiss alpine town that is full of traditional chalets.
The Chedi Andermatt is by far the most significant hospitality operation in the town of Andermatt, which has an interesting history – click here to read more about the town and click here to read the full Andermatt development story that includes The Chedi hotel. Due to it being Andermatt’s largest resort, the developer of the hotel had to stick to extremely strict guidelines about complementing the existing village landscape rather than dominating it, so the resort looks perfectly at home among the local homes, small streets and alpine train tracks that bring visitors into Andermatt.
When you walk into the foyer you’re greeted by lots of stone, wood, glass and metal, although the décor is warm and inviting, which is helped by the many open fires that operate throughout the ground floor. It is a premium hotel for travellers who are looking for something special, and you can understand why when you get a sense of how uncompromising they have been in the design, construction and fit-out.
A lot of brands use the word uncompromising, but let me give you some examples of why it fits here: the hotel has its own ski butler, so 15 minutes before you’re ready to hit the slopes you simply get measured up, grab your stuff and walk out fully-equipped; downstairs there are three large Asian-inspired hot pools at 32 degrees, 38 degrees and 42 degrees; there are two steam rooms and two dry saunas at different temperatures to suit your tastes; there is a regular indoor pool upstairs, and an outdoor heated pool where you can reach out and grab powdery snow from the edges and watch the steam float off toward the hotel’s own ice skating rink. (The hotel is quite exclusive and some areas couldn’t be photographed easily, so click here to check out their gallery to get a feel for the spa areas.)
For all of these reasons and more (I forgot to mention a five metre high glass cheese room and a shower in every room that would be plain weird if it were any bigger), this place has really earned the label of being uncompromising – everywhere you look you realise that they haven’t attempted to save a dollar on anything. It’s absolutely over the top, but tasteful at the same time. And it was familiar, because so many elements of the interiors have been borrowed from their other hotels from around the world.
The food is fantastic, and they have an incredibly good Japanese Restaurant (simply called… The Japanese Restaurant, the Swiss can be very practical at times!), and the restaurant has a sake selection fitting for its achievement of having Switzerland’s only sake sommelier. And the sake was excellent, and the sashimi and sushi provided a welcome break from the typical and heavy Swiss mountain food.
And a massive shout-out to one of the extremely friendly lobby staff, Guido, who made our stay very special. My husband and I love snowboarding, but we also really love being in the snow and NOT snowboarding! I mean, it’s the nature and little bars and restaurants and spa experiences that probably dominate our snow holidays more than the ski runs etc. So Guido gave us some amazing suggestions for what to do around Andermatt, which were all awesome:
- There’s the cutest little alpine train that can take you all the way to Zermatt, and the section that leaves from Andermatt makes the surrounding areas really accessible. And because it’s Swiss, it’s almost completely silent, it arrives and leaves on time, and it’s heated and comfortable inside with big windows to take in the alpine views. Make sure you use this train – the ride is beautiful.
- Close to the town there is a winding track that you can get to the top of by an old two-seat chairlift or by taking the train, but stopping at Natschen. Either ski down at the end of your day or toboggan down for fun, but stop at Alp-Hitta for a cordon bleu and a beer or Himalaya bar for a schnapps and a chance to relax and look at the view
- If you’re keen for a walk, take the train to Tschamut and trek up the winding path that will eventually lead you to Milez, which has a couple of bars and is a busy ski slope – you’ll find fun parks and a half pipe here during high season. At the bottom you’ll find Sudada, which makes a fantastic schnitzel and mushroom soup, as well as a coffee made with schnapps and whipped cream on top – delicious but deadly
So as you can see, if you don’t want to ski there is plenty of other stuff to do in and around Andermatt, and we spent two out of our five days entirely within the hotel, just because the room, fires, food, balconies, pools and hydrotherapy areas make you want to chill.
Anyway I hope the photos below do the hotel some justice, we stayed in the base room and it was more like a junior suite compared to most hotels, it really was an amazing experience and I nearly cried when I had to leave!
* This article is not an independent review and should not be considered as such