The Big Six: Swiss ski retreats
Ski-in living rooms, "casual luxury", affordable bases, strange spherical structures, "munchie boxes", and rooftop bars
Saturday 04 January 2014
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.
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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