Andermatt – the heart of Switzerland

From the moment I arrived at Andermatt after a 2 hour drive from Zurich airport it felt like I was in a dream. It’s a bit like the good side of Narnia – not always winter but always feels like Christmas. The roads swerve around and through the mountains and down into what can only be described as the heart of Switzerland.

Over each hill is a different dialect, it makes Andermatt unique – French, German, Austrian and Italian influence. I was incredibly glad I’d bought snow boots with me and had hired a ski jacket from Front Row London, as the temperature was -15 degrees!

I started my trip with lunch in the stunning Chedi Hotel. The interior design is a mixture of Asian and Swiss, an odd combination you might think, but it works. They’ve managed to make the building look authentic using raw materials, creating a level of luxury that can’t be rivalled. So much so, they’ve won hotel of the year.  

After lunch I was taken on a  tour of the new apartments. Each apartment has its own style and layout but the overriding interior design style of Andermatt is prevalent throughout; from the sumptuous beds to the beautiful light fittings.

I checked into my apartment as the sun began to set. I was staying in the eagle building, featuring a large living room with fire, fully stocked kitchen, large bedroom and a beautifully tiled bathroom with sunken bath and walk in shower. The large balcony overlooked the trickling stream and up to the mountains.

I relaxed for a bit in the apartment, treating myself to a warming bubble bath and the complimentary prosecco.

That evening I was viewing the main parts of the Chedi hotel including the glorious spa, japanese restaurant, (top rated best in Switzerland) and the spa.

One of the hotel suites overlooked the ice rink, with a  huge bed and a delightful walk in wardrobe. The thing I loved was the attention to detail in the hotel rooms. The art has been selected to suit the spaces and there are little touches such as leather strap handles on drawers.

The Chedi has a wine library room with wines from all over the world. They have a cheese vault (yes you read that right) and a library where you can have a cigar, and of course the cigars are contained within their own library too.

Feeling rather peckish after eyeing up the cheeses I sat down for dinner. The meal was a delicious array of local dishes and the option of asian cuisine. I of course had to have the steak for my main (a measuring stick for any establishment) and it was divine. The wine was chosen to pair with our meals, we had both a local wine and a Argentinian red with the steak, followed by a selection of cheeses selected from the cheese vault.

The next morning was my first ever ski lesson. I met with my “ski butler” who had organised my gear for me, fitting me with a full ski suit, goggles, gloves and boots. I headed off to the slopes with my ski instructor who was incredibly patient with me. I was slipping down the snow next to 3 year olds who were clearly a lot better at it than me. I was so glad i gave it a go though and I did ended up confidently going down alone at least 4 times.

After this challenging and exhausting experience, I was rather glad to relax on a train for a bit and gaze out of the window. The train that takes you to Natschen, through the mountains is a ridiculously beautiful experience. All trains and ski lifts are included in your ski pass, so you can pretty much get anywhere around Andermatt with ease.

Once we reached the top there were spectacular views and so much space to walk and ski. We headed to the restaurant for lunch where I had a famous local dish consisting of potatoes, pasta, vegetables and cheese which was super tasty and filling after all that exercise.

That afternoon I relaxed in the apartment and gazed out at the mountains from my living room with the fire on.

Now I realise it is beginning to sound as though all I do is eat, but the cold gets to you! We had dinner in the old town, which has lots of lovely little restaurants and bars. I feasted on risotto and some tasty local wine.

Feeling full and tired I headed back to my apartment to pack and sleep.

On the final morning I joined a group for a guided walking tour of the old town where I learnt about the history of Andermatt. There were many fires that repetitively destroyed the town, but over the years the Swiss learnt to  adapt both their way of building and the structures relation to the mountains.

After the tour I went up in the cable cars. (Though they’re called gondolas there, which are not to be confused with the boats) I was the only person in the gondola without skis on the way up to 2916 m above sea level.

At the very top of the mountains is a viewing point, which has to be the most spectacular place I’ve ever been – so quiet and still when you’re up in the clouds surrounded by mountains and glaciers.

Back on lower ground, we headed over to The Clubhouse for our final meal. I of course decided on cheese fondue, which was so comforting. The Club House is for the golf area in the summer, but also perfect for apres ski lunch or dinner. The building is 2 years old and has a huge fire and beautiful views out to the mountains. It was insisted that fondue is excellent with white wine, and so I obliged naturally.  

I left Andermatt feeling as though I’d been in a secret place away from the rest of the world.

 

The resort will eventually have 6 new 4-5 star hotels, 490 apartments in 42 buildings and roughly 25 chalets. This is all planned and executed within a sustainable planning concept.

Due to a decision by the Swiss Federal Council, Andermatt Swiss Alps is exempt from the law of non-Swiss nationals being able to purchase real estate. This means international buyers may buy apartments and chalets from Andermatt Swiss Alps without special permits or limitations.

Read more information here on their website, or you can get in touch with their sales department:

Phone: +41 41 888 78 00

Email: realestate@andermatt-swissalps.ch

Sales and Info Center Andermatt Swiss Alps

Gotthardstrasse 2

6490 Andermatt

http://www.andermatt-swissalps.ch/

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