The Big Six: Swiss ski retreats - Skiing - Travel - The Independent

The Big Six: Swiss ski retreats

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Ski-in living rooms, "casual luxury", affordable bases, strange spherical structures, "munchie boxes", and rooftop bars

The Chedi, Andermatt

The former Alpine backwater of Andermatt has recently reinvented itself, after Egyptian-born developer, Samih Sawiris, committed nearly two billion Swiss francs to create six new hotels, 490 apartments, 25 chalets and an 18-hole golf course. The latest to enter the upmarket mix is The Chedi. This is the first European outpost from GHM – the ultra-luxury Asian hotel group with properties that span from Bali to Oman. The interiors, by French architect Jean-Michel Gathy, are a fusion of natural woods and stone, while the ski-in living room and in-house spa promise to cradle skiers after a day swishing around the Urseren Valley.

The Chedi, Gotthardstrasse 4, Andermatt (00 41 41 888 74 77; thechedi-andermatt.com). Doubles start at Sfr650 (£448), including breakfast.

Le Grand Bellevue, Gstaad

The Hotel Grand Bellevue has presided over the car-free resort of Gstaad since 1912, but it has recently come under new ownership, with a fresh new look and a new name – Le Grand Bellevue – revealed for this season. Swiss entrepreneurs, Daniel Koetser and Rudolf Maag, have aimed to create a feeling of "casual luxury" within, revealing 57 rooms with balconies or far-reaching views of the peaks, a gastropub-meets-fine-dining restaurant and the low-key Le Petite Chalet eatery.

Le Grand Bellevue, Gstaad (00 41 33 748 00 00; bellevue-gstaad.ch). Doubles start at Sfr390 (£269), including breakfast.

Hotel Spitzhorn, Saanen

This homely three-star is new to the chalet-clad village of Saanen. Located in the Bernese Oberland region, it offers a more affordable base than the often-expensive hotels just down the hill in nearby Gstaad. Run by the Wichman family and a small team of staff, it has 50 cosy rooms, an on-site ski shop and a spa, complete with a pool, sun deck, sauna and steam room. Crackling hearths and an Alpine restaurant serving hearty raclette invite guests to linger.

Hotel Spitzhorn, Spitzhornweg 30, Saanen (00 41 33 748 41 414; spitzhorn.ch). Doubles start at Sfr240 (£165), including breakfast.

InterContinental, Davos

The latest InterContinental appears to have descended from space. Its strange spherical structure – created by the Munich-based firm Oikos – is part futuristic-work-of-art, part all-singing, all-dancing hotel, set amid the pine-clad tranquillity of the Graubünden Alps. Once you've ceased gawping at the exterior, you'll find 216 rooms inside, with the Capricorn restaurant serving Tyrolean cuisine, the fire-warmed Nuts & Co bar and an all-service Alpine Spa.

InterContinental, Baslerstrasse, Davos (00 41 81 414 04 00; ihg.com). Doubles start at Sfr440 (£299), including breakfast.

W Hotel, Verbier

The first mountain retreat by W Hotels & Resorts fans out at the foot of Verbier's main Médran gondola with a hotel, apartments, shops and restaurants. The complex invites guests and non-guests to ski in straight from the slopes, stop for a bite in the Eat-Holas tapas restaurant and stick around for an après-ski session in the Living Room bar. Inside, flashes of pink-neon lighting illuminate a playful, design-led space, while rooms feature quirky "munchie boxes" and Bliss toiletries.

W Hotel, Rue de Médran 70, Verbier (00 41 27 472 88 88; wverbier.com). Doubles start at Sfr500 (£345), including breakfast.

Nira Alpina, Silvaplana

Indian-born MPS Puri has been working behind the scenes in luxury hotels for 40 years. Credited with putting Miami's Setai on the map, he's also had a hand in the Peninsula, Orient Express and Raffles hotel groups, too. In 2009, he set up Nira Hotels & Resorts and later launched the Alpina on the shore of Lake Silvaplana, a 10-minute drive from St Moritz, with access to the Corvatsch cable car. Inside its low-rise concrete shell, there are two restaurants, 70 rooms, a spa and rooftop bar.

Nira Alpina, Surlej, Silvaplana (00 41 81 838 6969; niraalpina.com). Doubles start at Sfr465 (£320), including breakfast.

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