A perfect storm of Alpine opulence and Asian serenity, the Chedi Andermatt certainly makes for a handsome lodging in Switzerland’s Urseren Valley. Slatted walls and Spirited Away-style Japanese lanterns are set against mountain views and roaring fireplaces – both feature throughout the rooms, suites, restaurants and bars here. Its pin-drop perfect position between three Alpine passes (at 1,447 metres above sea level) strikes awe into an exclusive legion of hikers and skiers – oh, and add Bond location scouts to the list: a key set piece from Goldfinger was shot here.
123, including 80 suites. That said, space is abundant even in the entry-level deluxe room, at 55 sq m.
12 noon. Late check-out is subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £563.22 (CHF630), including tax at 3.8 per cent.
Rates include breakfast – but this isn’t just any hotel breakfast. Kick-start your day with dishes from four open kitchens (not to mention the glass-walled cheese cellar). Choose from smoothies, fresh ginger shots and flaky just-baked pastries.
Rooms are wheelchair accessible, with even the smallest rooms having plenty of space to manoeuvre.
At the hotel
Three restaurants, The Bar, 35-metre indoor pool, 12-metre outdoor heated pool, spa complete with saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools, The Winter Village (in winter, naturally), ski room with ski butlers. In rooms: WiFi, TV, Bose sound system, built-in electric fireplace, tea- and coffee-making equipment, Hästens box-spring beds, balcony, Acqua di Parma toiletries
Our favourite rooms
With bedrooms starting at a rather stately 55 sq m, you needn't worry much about space (or lack thereof). Plus, every room in the hotel has a balcony overlooking the mountains, glass-fronted electric fireplace and spa-style bathroom. Couples might opt for the loft-style Gemsstock suite – a penthouse with arresting views of the Gemsstock peak, exposed wood beams and an open-plan, airy feel. If you’re more about spa-ing than ski-ing, then you’ll love the Furka Suite – it has its own sauna, Turkish bath and Jacuzzi.
Not half: the 35-metre pool is a focal point of the hotel, given its picturesque location in a steel frame glasshouse overlooking the mountains. There’s a steaming outdoor pool (warm enough to swim in even in the snow), and plenty of plush daybeds and loungers both indoors and out.
There’s spas, and then there’s The Spa at the Chedi Andermatt. Retreat into the Tibetan relaxation lounge after a day on the mountains: the low-lit hydrotherapy pools, Finnish and organic saunas and steam baths are hard to resist. Treat yourself to an Ayurveda-inspired treatment, Balinese jet-lag therapy or Chedi Chakra balance massage in one of the twelve treatment rooms, or get the chop at the on-site hairdressers. Sure, there’s plenty of exercise to be had in the mountains (hiking, skiing, mountain biking and more), but the hotel also has a gym with all the latest TechnoGym equipment, and space for yoga and pilates practices.
Fear not about shelf space – there’s plenty of room for multiple layers of cashmere in the oversized wardrobes. Vintage car lovers might like to bring their wheels: the high alpine passes around the hotel provide some dramatic drives – or so thought the James Bond location researchers, given that scenes from Sean Connery’s Goldfinger were shot here. The hotel can even arrange a driving package including Morgan rental and route suggestions.
The hotel's design is thanks to Jean-Michel Gathy, who looked to fuse alpine chic with Asian elements such as Buddhist sculptures, latticework panels, Balinese art and Japanese paper lamps.
Sofa beds can be set up in all of the rooms, but if you’re travelling in a big group then we’d recommend the Gotthard suite – it has five bedrooms including bunk-style alcoves for children.
Any and all ages of kids are welcome.
Bigger families and groups might opt for the Gotthard suite, which has five bedrooms including bunk-style alcoves.
The Chedi Bear club operates in peak times and is a free service for hotel guests. Kids can be dropped off early doors and picked up before dinner, with their days including ski school, ice skating and cookie making.
The pool and the top floor of the spa are kid friendly.
All Chedi hotels are committed to employing local staff and using sustainably sourced building materials. The Chedi Andermatt gets its power from hydroelectric stations and wind turbines, and is heated by a wood-chip-fired power plant – making its heating entirely carbon neutral. Given the alpine location, the hotel also makes extra effort to retain heat and electricity where possible. For example, through use of heat waste in the spa flooring, and installing energy recovery systems throughout the hotel.
Book out the private table in the exclusive Wine Cave for special occasions – just note there’s a minimum spend of 250 Swiss francs for the table, which can seat up to eight guests.
Dependant on where you dine: go casual in the Chalet (but not shorts-and-sandals casual), and more formal in the top-flight Japanese Restaurant.
Dine on dishes from all parts of the world in the Restaurant – an open-kitchen concept with everything from Indian murgh makhani to the tallest cheese tower in Europe (five metres high, if you’re wondering). Try sea scallop carpaccio with lobster dill, fragrant mushroom risotto, veal cutlets with garlic or sole steamed in banana leaf. The Japanese Restaurant is more intimate and exclusive (you’ll need to book) with just 46 covers and a sultry feel. Sit at the open sushi bar and try the 100 varieties of sake on offer. We love the truffle edamame, sizzling wagyu steaks and tempura shrimp. For an authentic Japanese experience, opt for the multi-course Kaiseki menu. Visit the alpine-inspired winter Chalet for classic raclette, fondue with truffles, and chocolate praline tarts – all served up on homey red- and white-checked tablecloths amid the Winter Village.
Cosy up on a fire-side leather sofa in the Bar, or head to the south-facing outdoor terrace. The cocktails take an Asian twist here, with many featuring sake; or opt for a mulled wine in the most wintery months. The Wine Library has a selection of high-end wines from around the world, and the Cigar Library is a unique experience for smokers and non-smokers alike (the ventilation is excellent) – given its cosy feel and view of the Courtyard. There are over 800 varieties of cigars to choose from, with special editions from more than 15 countries: tastes of Colombia, Costa Rica and Cuba can be found in this corner of the Chedi.
Breakfast is served 7–11am; lunch 12 noon–2pm; dinner from 6.30pm in the Restaurant, or from 6pm in the Japanese Restaurant and the Chalet. The Wine Library takes orders until 10pm; the Bar and Cigar Library are open until midnight.
The Chedi Andermatt is 1,447 metres above sea level in Switzerland’s dramatic Urseren Valley.
Zurich airport is a 90-minute drive from Andermatt; Milan is two hours away by car. Those with access to private jets might prefer to fly into Buochs Airfield, a 45-minute drive from the hotel.
The hotel is just steps from Andermatt station, which connects to Zurich in two hours. The station in Andermatt is one of the stops on the scenic Glacier Express route.
There’s parking at the hotel for those arriving by car. Andermatt is accessible in 60 minutes from Lucerne, 90 minutes from Zurich and two hours from Milan. You could also drive from Munich or Stuttgart in around four hours.
Worth getting out of bed for
If you think Andermatt is a winter-only destination then think again: there’s much to do in the spring and summer seasons. The dramatic peaks, notorious Schöllenen gorge, cascading waterfalls and rapid rivers (the Rhine, the Rhone and the Reuss all originate around Andermatt) make for ample exploring year-round. Take in the bracing Alpine air on one of the well-maintained hiking trails, go biking through the craggy mountainscapes, forage across hills for wild cranberries and juniper, or join a goat trekking tour. With all that activity, you’ll have more than earned a session of authentic Alpine cheese-making: press your own wheel of artisanal cheese and have it mailed to you, wherever home may be, after it has matured a few months later. And if you are visiting in winter, then you’ll be spoilt for skiing and snowboarding choice: the snow-sure mountains and 180km of slopes are made for swooshing your way down open passes and off-piste runs. The Living Room includes ski butlers, who’ll sort your equipment, organise your ski passes and direct you to the best runs.
The Japanese Restaurant by Chedi Andermattis geographically separate to the, being 2,300 metres above sea level by the Gütsch-Express mountain station. Dine here for high-quality, high-altitude Japanese fare: dragon rolls, tempura and other Japanese delicacies feature on the sophisticated menu. The River House bar serves excellent burgers – try the local rolled pork sausage with mountain cheese and apple chutney – and a very strong vegetarian offering, with plant-based chicken burgers, veggie burgers with sesame-mayo and sweet chilli, and vegan patties with aïoli, onion, red pepper chutney and pickles. Try Restaurant Zum Schwarzen Bären for homemade pumpkin ravioli, beetroot risotto and duck leg a l’orange; or the Swiss House for warming soups, stews and mac n’ cheese.
Simple: ski over to the furthest point of the ski resort and jump on the Après Ski train in Disentis: carriages have full glass windows and roofs with uninterrupted views of the Oberalp Pass and mountains for the one-hour journey back to the Chedi. Perch at bar stools as you ascend, descend and ascend again – with beer, wine or champagne in hand.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Asian-Alpine hotel in Switzerland and unpacked their bottles of saké and handmade cheese wheel, a full account of their mountain break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside The Chedi in Andermatt…
Despite being one of the first Alpine regions in Switzerland to have a ski lift built, Andermatt didn’t become well-known to the winter-sport world until Bernhard Russi won Olympic gold in 1972. And still today its slopes are relatively quiet, and the town itself remains quaint and authentically Swiss. And then there’s the Chedi Andermatt, a collection of chalet-style connected wings – a modern interpretation of traditional Swiss architecture that sweeps through the rooms, incorporating The Cigar Library and living room-style ski lounge. All rooms have a balcony, fireplace and picture windows of the Alps. Oak-planked floors are complemented with tables and chairs in tones of cream and chocolate. Deep leather armchairs, glass-fronted electric fireplaces and sunrise-bronze lamps create a sultry, moody ambience. The bathrooms are spa-style with rough granite surfaces next to glossy black panels, free-standing bath tubs, rain showers and heated stone floors. Sure, the backdrop of the Alps is dramatic and James Bond-esque, but the Chedi is more about Asian zen.