I am having a mad love affair... with a country. Yes, it's just this special little place called Switzerland. Maybe you've heard of it? And perhaps you've heard it's a place where people go to ski and that's about it. Oh how wrong you would be and oh how wrong I've been for so many years. Sure, Switzerland is seductive in the snow, but it absolutely comes alive in the spring. Only, I didn't really stand in a position to make such claims until recently. Weeks ago I visited The Chedi Andermatt. It was in June and the weather still hadn't quite made the switch to summer. There was fog in the morning, rain at noon and clear skies by mid day. The world above was bright blue with fluffy bunches of white clouds and the grass below was as green as anything I'd ever seen before. The mixture of the two colours was magnificent and spellbinding.
When I first told friends that I was visiting The Chedi Andermatt, it must be said that there was an overwhelming "awe" in the air. Those who know of The Chedi are part of an elite club of people who have discovered paradise on earth. If you drop the name as a forthcoming or returning visitor, you almost feel as if there is a secret handshake you're about to receive. And of course the experience itself doesn't disappoint.
The journey to The Chedi Andermatt is a moment to remember in itself. As the train dips in and out of tunnels, travelers are treated to majestic views of tiny Swiss villages, cows grazing in the hills or fantastic hairpin turns featuring Ferraris, Aston Martins, Lambos and more showing off their need for speed. But the real moment of truth is upon arrival in Andermatt. You disembark from the train and walk across the street and step into luxury personified.
At The Chedi Andermatt there are more fireplaces than rooms. I had to lead with that because I am a fireplace addict. Nothing seduces me more than a room with such a beautiful feature. See why this affair is heating up? So yes, there's a fireplace in every room, there's a fireplace in your spa suite, there's a fireplace by the pool (there are about a dozen, if I recall). There's even a fireplace where you wait to check into your room. And even in June, the fireplace works. It's more about feature than function here at The Chedi. That fireplace works year round to keep this romantic vibe alive.
Now, once you're finished sipping your hot chocolate and losing your focus as flames flicker before you, the room is beckoning you forth. And yes, when you enter you will find that the rumors are true. This is a place from another world, another time. The technology is top of the range, the beds cost more than most people make in a year (apparently they are upwards of $50k each... and this will be the best sleep of your life, guaranteed), the bathtub comes complete with a view of the mountains and of the flat screen TV, and the balcony becomes a place you want to live forever. For me, it became a place where I had breakfast, sipped my coffee and dreamt of what it would be like to live in the mountains for the rest of my life.
Yes, I considered the move to Andermatt more than once. Surely The Chedi would love to have a writer in residence? At this point I think I'd offer to sweep the floors just to be a part of this establishment. And trust me when I say that every member of staff seems all too happy to be there. Each and every person I spoke to told of their commute into work, most by bike it would seem, and how the air here must be so different to London. Well, you could say that and I do think it's something important to mention. I actually had trouble breathing the first few hours I was there and I'm pretty sure it's because my lungs had never been filled with such beautifully pure and sweet air. I think my body was in shock. Where are the London toxins, the big smoke, the tube's grey grime? It was all completely forgotten and washed away with the first bath. My body, life in general, in fact, is just better here, healthier and happier.
Have you booked your ticket yet? Get thee to The Chedi. It's an easy trip from London and it's an absolute treat in the summer. That's not to say it isn't just as appealing in the ski season. This bunny will be back when snow falls. I want to see those slopes in action.
Here are a few pictures of the adventures had while in residence at The Chedi Andermatt...
Fashion Foie Gras was a guest of The Chedi Andermatt.