The Chedi, Andermatt: Alpine class meets the luxury of the Orient

Room Service

Welcome to Andermatt, an isolated village in central Switzerland previously known to troops doing compulsory military service and ancient Britons addicted to time-warped adventure-skiing. Not any more. As visitors arrive at the tiny railway station, they are confronted by a glittering peaked façade towering over the traditional wood-shingled buildings.

The Chedi, which opened just before Christmas to "oohs" and "aahs" from an astonished farming community, has no need of an identifying plate on its steely glass-and-wood portals. Limousines glide on to the glass-covered turning circle, where guests from Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and India, many wrapped in furs, are whisked into its cocoon of luxury. Plenty of Brits too, but more city-slicker than squirearchy.

Chedi, a Thai word for a Buddhist stupa, is the brand name for luxury resorts operated by the Singapore-based GHM group. Its tiny Chedi portfolio is currently beach led, with new resorts to open in India, Japan, the Emirates and Morocco in the next three years. The Andermatt hotel, its first mountain project, is a joint venture with Amanresorts, who as owners of Amangani in Jackson Hole, are equipped to fuse oriental tranquillity with Alpine skiing.

The renowned Belgian architect, Jean-Michel Gathy, based in Kuala Lumpur, is responsible for the overall design, and what Gathy likes, he likes a lot of. There are more than 200 log fireplaces, many in the numerous public seating areas; there's a wine bar with 7,000 vintages; a cigar library with a walk-in humidor; and nooks with books – just take your pick and settle in. Log piles to fuel the glass-shielded flames add a rustic touch, but the emphasis is on lustrous slatted wood screens, local stone floors, chequered cow-hide carpets and elaborate ceiling and floor lighting. The 35-metre swimming pool, off the lobby overlooking the ice rink, is a centrepiece where tropical air is offset by invigoratingly cool water.

The restaurant, with its spectacular walk-in cheese room, serves classy global gourmet dishes, including excellent Chinese and Indian, and the Japanese restaurant is outstanding. The spa does amazing massages, in my case Tibetan. Currently the service is excessive, as staff forever ask "are you happy?" – superfluous and disconcerting ... but these are early days.

Location

Andermatt's ski slopes are on two sides of a high white valley. Beginners and cruisers head for the area off the Nätschen train from the station opposite the hotel. The Chedi shuttle takes more ambitious guests to the two-stage cablecar up the Gemsstock, a mountain with three ways down the front, two seriously steep blacks and one lovely rolling red. A well-charted route leads to the Hotel St Gotthard, built in 1722 by an old mule bridge on the edge of Hospental, a lovely village. Adventurers with guides have a choice of classic off-piste descents down the back of the Gemsstock.

Back in Andermatt, the atmospheric village streets make for a rewarding stroll, with plenty of pit-stops: the Sternum still has a locals' table where old timers drink beer and play cards. Getting here from Zurich, the nearest international airport, takes around two hours by train or 90 minutes by car.

The Gemsstock suite The Gemsstock suite Comfort

The Chedi has 104 rooms in four connected buildings, the pinnacle of which is the magnificent Gemsstock penthouse under the mansard roof. Gathy's declared game plan is Asian zen mixed with Alpine chic, a blend that delivers spectacular comfort. In my grand deluxe room, the main features were a huge double bed and a low marble table surrounded by plump lounging cushions. From the bed, I enjoyed the yesteryear sepia photograph of the Nätschen train puffing up the valley that covers whole wall at the far end of the room.

My bathroom had a heated stone floor, a well appointed black double basin unit and a wet room with a monsoon shower. I could watch television in the bedroom from the free-standing bath tub or draw the oriental screen across the opening for greater privacy. A pre-programmed iPad Mini controlled lights, blinds, television and phone charging with varying levels of success, but manual overrides provided the right result. The device should also control the fire that faces both the room and the balcony, but essential safety checks hadn't been completed on my visit. Still, there were at least 200 more to choose from downstairs.

The Chedi, Gotthardstrasse 4, Andermatt, Switzerland (0041 559 252 4848; thechedi-andermatt.com)

Rooms ****

Value ****

Service ***

Doubles start at Sfr660 (£445), room only

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam