Today (June 12, 2019): Review of The Chedi Andermatt Hotel (Switzerland).
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: The Chedi Andermatt
- Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso
Captivating and striking in its otherness, The Chedi Andermatt offers an extraordinary blend of Swiss Alpine chic and Asian Zen. Glossy Alpine wood, leather sofas, more than 200 fireplaces and numerous panorama windows offer a warm and cozy spot to linger awhile. Located 1,447 meters (4747 feet) above sea level, The Chedi Andermatt enchants guests with its 123 elegant rooms and suites, award-winning restaurants and bars and a spa that is unique in Switzerland – an oasis of calm and relaxation.
Have you ever stayed at The Chedi Andermatt? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
*** Read: Top 10 best things to see & do in Switzerland ***
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The Chedi Andermatt is a chalet-like resort set in the traditional village of Andermatt in the Urseren Valley, known for its towering peaks, deep canyons, cascading waterfalls and pristine mountain lakes. Guaranteed snowfall in winter ensures powdery pleasures and challenges for thrill seeking skiers and snow boarders at every level. Summer brings an outdoor playground of walking, hiking, golf, fishing and mountain biking. Those who think they don’t know this idyllic region may be surprised to learn that Andermatt served as the stunning backdrop in the James Bond movie Goldfinger and that the famous Glacier-Express railway disembarks here.
- Arguably the most influential architect of luxury hotels working today, the Belgian Jean-Michel Gathy – know for his creation of several breathtaking Aman properties – is responsible for the signature style of the hotel. On the outside, the hotel is comprised of four interconnected towering wings with slatted double facade that represent a modern interpretation of traditional Swiss chalet architecture. Inside, the hotel decor fuses an Alpine chic design of wood paneling and local black granite with Asian elements, such as Budda sculptures, latticework panels and Japanese paper lamps. The result is a spirit-lifting and deeply comfortable five-star hotel where Swiss mountain style meets Asian flair.
- Upon arrival, the sheer scale of the incredibly impressive lobby immediately impresses. The reception desk is a 27 m (90 ft) granite bar where guest can get help or lounge and order drinks. Next to the reception area are several sitting areas grouped around glassed-in woodburning fireplaces (there are more than 200 fireplaces in the hotel). The lobby also provides access to several smaller side-rooms, such as a wine and cigar lounge, a jewelry shop, a boutique retail, and a lovely library with a fine selection of books about Switzerland. The lobby’s interior is made from an attractive mix of materials – local stone, wood and leather – creating a sense of warmth and understated elegance. Exploring the lobby is a joy in itself.
- The property features 123 rooms and suites, which come in 7 categories. During my visit, I stayed in a Deluxe Room (the property’s lowest room category), which featured oak-plank floors, a glass-fronted electric fireplace, and natural stone ensuring a warm ambiance. Running the entire length of one wall was a giant mural of Alpine winter scenery above a long sofa. The room’s opposite wall comprised wood paneling with sunk-in bronze lamps behind the comfortable Hästens kingsize bed. On arrival I was welcomed with fruit and a bottle of Pinot Noir, which was left out on the stylish table in the room’s center. The spa-style bathroom had heated stone floors, a freestanding bathtub, a huge rain showers, two sinks and luxurious Acqua di Parma toiletries. There was also a small balcony overlooking the hotel’s arrival courtyard.
- The property’s three main wings are built around a stylish courtyard, which is the perfect place to unwind all year round. It features a south-facing terrace along a large reflecting pond, from where you can enjoy breath-taking view of the Gemsstock Mountain, one of the many imposing peaks in the area. In winter, the pond is transformed into a charming ice rink for guest and their kids that feel like lazily skating around a rink in the snow surrounded by the resort and mountain views. There’s also a small bar on the courtyard’s edge, serving refreshing drinks in the warm summer weather and mulled wine in the chilly winter months.
- The Chedi Andermatt has various dining venues, all offering excellent gastronomy:
- The Restaurant, which has 15 Gault Millau points, features four different, stylish open studio kitchens showcasing both Asian and European fare. Surrounded by exquisite aromas, you can watch the food being prepared directly and freshly in front of you.
- Awarded a Michelin Star in 2017 and lead by Executive Chef Dietmar Sawyere, The Japanese Restaurant seats 46 guests for maximum exclusivity and privacy, with seating at either the open sushi bar or around a table. A selection of Japanese sake and beer is available as well as expertly paired wine and Champagne.
- In winter, a pop-up restaurant housed in an intimate, rustic-chic chalet opens within the hotel’s courtyard. Among the Alpine wood beams and homey, red and white checked tablecloths, you can dine here on exquisite Swiss classics paired with fine European wines.
- Each morning, a lavish breakfast buffet – one of the best I ever encountered during all my years of traveling around the world – is served at The Restaurant next to the lobby. The decadent spread is displayed around the venue’s four open show kitchens, and will wow even the most discerning travelers. The buffet comprises a large selection of fresh fruits, made-to-order egg dishes, yoghurts, ginger shots, daily smoothies, (gluten-free) cereals, biscuits, dozens of jams, nut butters, cold cuts, salads, and fluffy home-baked bread. A particular highlight at breakfast is the glass-walled wine and cheese cellar – located in the restaurant’s center – which features the tallest cheese tower in Europe.
- The lobby extends into a phenomenal spa facility centered around an ultra-sleek, light-filled 35-m (115 ft) long indoor pool, which is separated from the lobby by a glass wall. In addition, the spa also features a 12-meter (40 ft) heated outdoor swimming pool (looking out over the courtyard), a variety of smaller hot and cold indoor pools, a Finnish sauna and hammam, and ten spa suites offering signature treatments including indulgent Oriental and reviving Polish rituals. There’s also a large gym onsite, equipped with the latest Technogym equipment and with personal trainers on hand to create customized programs that can easily be put into daily practice after leaving the hotel. Training can extend beyond gym as you can enjoy yoga, hiking, mountain biking and skiing within the hotel’s natural Alpine surroundings.
- The Chedi Andermatt is managed by the ultra luxe GHM brand. Established in 1992, GHM has created some of the world’s most highly regarded intimate luxury resorts and hotels. The brand is known for its signature Asian inspired cutting edge design, realized in each new location according to that region’s history and traditions, with great respect for the local environment. At the time of its opening in 2013, the Chedi Andermatt was the third property in a series that started in Bali and Muscat. Part of the reason GHM Hotels selected Andermatt for Europe’s first Chedi hotel was a major investment by Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris to transform Andermatt – a former military town – into the new St. Moritz (although it’s still a long way to get there since Andermatt remains unknown to most winter tourists).
- Service at the property is excellent (as you would expect from the GHM brand). Staff are on hand 24 hours a day to ensure you have a great time and to help you arrange awesome experiences such as cheese making in an Alpine hut. One of the resort’s service highlights are the dedicated ski butlers. These are a team member whose sole purpose is to make your day on the runs as easy as possible. He or she provides a range of services including help with choosing and setting up your rental equipment, storing and servicing your skis, arranging transport to the local ski areas, ensuring you have an international ski instructor available to show you the ropes, and being on hand for advice and tips on weather and conditions on the mountain. So far, the Chedi Andermatt is the only European ski hotel that offers this kind of ski butler service.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
Overall, The Chedi Andermatt is one of Europe’s most amazing hotels, with a sublime decor, great food and attentive service. It only has a few cons that you need to know when you consider a stay here:
- Andermatt is a sleepy town with a 1,200 population where the restaurants, shops and skiing facilities are still catching up with the new, aspirational standards it has set. Albeit charming and authentically Swiss, the village still lacks the glamour and ambiance that you find at Switzerland’s more famous ski resorts, such as Gstaad, Davos and St Moritz, although that may change in the near future of course.
- Being one of Switzerland’s most exclusive hotels, it shouldn’t come as a shock that The Chedi Andermatt is fabulously expensive like most other five star hotels in the Alps. I found The Chedi’s rates to be no different than other top hotels in Switzerland, but if this is your first time in Switzerland, you may be unpleasantly surprised nonetheless by the hotel’s very high prices for food and spa treatments. To give you an idea, the bill for a light lunch (salad) for two without wine or dessert was more than 100 euros.
- Even though it was winter, the temperature in my room was quiet hot (22°C or 71°F), despite trying to cool it down for hours by airconditioning. Supsecting that the A/C system was broken, I called the reception. Instead of sending over a technician to check the problem, I was told that the room could not be cooled down any further unless I opened the windows. Needless to say that this weird and frankly dishonnest answer surprized me, but since it was late already, I decided not to make a fuss about it and I left the window open (which made it impossible to close the blends). The next day, the issue was not followed-up with (despite another call from my part) and I had to sleep again with open windows.
- The breakfast at The Chedi Andermatt is one of the most exceptional buffet spreads you’ll ever see. The buffet is also complemented with a menu with premium egg dishes (e.g. French style omelette, eggs Benedicte, etc …). However, the items on this breakfast menu are chargeable (even when you book a breakfast inclusive stay). It’s a weird hotel policy, especially since the buffet comprises a cooking station where you can order more modest egg dishes as part of the breakfast package. The extra charge for an eggs Benedicte dish left a sour taste in my mouth, and I would recommend the hotel to make their fabulous breakfast an all-inclusive concept.
- The Chedi Andermatt is set in the center of the village on the valley floor. As such, it doesn’t offer panoramic mountain views which you can experience at some other Alpine hotels. Also, the hotel is not located on the slopes, although it’s only a short walk or complimentary shuttle ride to the nearest ski lifts.
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 9/10
- Pool: 9/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Food: 9/10
- Breakfast: 10/10
- Spa: 10/10
- Service: 9/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Overall experience: exceptional 9/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, authentic Swiss chocolate platter served with a bottle of Champagne, and $100 USD spa credit).
- Save money: The Chedi Andermatt is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) collection. It is possible to collect points here or use points for a free stay with LHW’s loyalty program Leaders Club (read my review of Leaders Club here). However, no matter how much I like LHW, their loyalty program Leaders Club is a disgrace, since you need to pay a hefty fee for membership to enjoy benefits that you can get for free via other booking channels (such as Virtuoso).
- Save money: read here my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like The Chedi Andermatt.
- Room tip: request a room on a higher floor facing the south or west, if you want to enjoy some views of the mountain tops.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Andermatt is the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts, whatever the time of year. In winter, the SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun, central Switzerland’s largest ski resort, is the perfect place for cross-country skiing, winter hiking and snowshoeing.
HOW TO GET THERE
Due to its central location and close proximity to major transit routes, Andermatt is easily accessible.
- By air: from Zurich Airport by car takes 90 minutes, from Milan airport two hours, and from Buochs private airfield, at the disposal of private planes, 45 minutes.
- By train: the hotel is located next to the small Andermatt station, and 10 minutes from Göschenen Station. Trips to the famous Glacier Express take place from this station several times a day. From Zurich, the trip to Andermatt by train takes approximately 2 hours, or from Milan, 3.5 hours.
- By car: Andermatt is accessible from Stuttgart or Munich by car in four hours; from Milan it takes only two hours, and 90 minutes from Zurich.