Liv­ing the high life in moun­tain re­treat

Fed up with func­tional places to stay when you head for the slopes? went for a lit­tle lux­ury...

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

IF, like me, the thought of a skiing hol­i­day con­jures up im­ages of sore feet, aching mus­cles and the un­re­lent­ing cold, then how does a ho­tel with a per­sonal ski but­ler, ski-in liv­ing room and lux­ury spa sound?

I was given the op­por­tu­nity to stay in the lux­u­ri­ous Chedi An­der­matt, a ho­tel nes­tled in the foot of the Swiss Alps, which rather won­der­fully boasts all these things and much, much more.

The ho­tel it­self is ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful, a mix­ture of alpine chic, roar­ing log fires and op­u­lent lux­ury, mak­ing it the per­fect ski des­ti­na­tion for both sea­soned ski bun­nies and those who plan to spend as much time re­lax­ing as they do on the slopes.

There are two moun­tains within easy reach of the ho­tel, Natschen, by a short train ride, or Gem­stock, via a ca­ble car.

Both are very pop­u­lar with the Swiss and more suit­able for the more ex­pe­ri­enced skier, with the nearby Furka Passa fa­mously used as a back­drop for an iconic scene in the James Bond movie Goldfin­ger.

And while our ski in­struc­tors were very en­thu­si­as­tic and kind, it’s not re­ally de­signed for the English novice – but this is where the ho­tel comes in.

It’s owned by GHM, an Asian ho­tel chain, which ex­plains the Asian twist on the usu­ally tra­di­tional Alpine ski re­sort dé­cor.

At one end of the ho­tel there’s an enor­mous walk-in cheese cel­lar, a wine and cigar lounge, and at the other an en­tire res­tau­rant ded­i­cated to Ja­panese sushi and sashimi.

When we ar­rived we were treated to a Ja­panese, Mediter­ranean and Swiss twist on af­ter­noon tea be­fore be­ing in­tro­duced to our ski but­ler, Eric, who was re­spon­si­ble for fit­ting and warm­ing our boots and or­gan­is­ing our equip­ment each morn­ing.

The ho­tel has its own kit and while there is an ad­di­tional hire charge, it is no more ex­pen­sive than go­ing to an in­de­pen­dent ski hire shop.

The ski lounge, lo­cated about a 30 sec­ond walk from the train sta­tion, was per­fect, with roar­ing log fires, huge com­fort­able so­fas and an end­less sup­ply of peach schnapps.

The day we ar­rived, the chef was pre­par­ing roasted chest­nuts and hot schnapps in the heated out­door area – enough to tempt even the ‘nesh­est’ among us back out­side.

As you would ex­pect, ev­ery facet of the ho­tel rooms are per­fec­tion, with lux­u­ri­ous Aqua Di Parma toi­letries in the shower and a huge cash­mere throw for those who wish to brave the bal­cony in the freez­ing tem­per­a­tures.

But my favourite part was def­i­nitely the bed – per­haps the most com­fort­able I have ever slept in.

And it seems I wasn’t the only one to think that, as each room comes with its own iPad which al­lows you to con­trol ev­ery­thing with­out step­ping out from un­der the cov­ers.

The lights, blinds and TV, to the liv­ing flame fire which roars into life at the touch of a but­ton – or should I say the swish of a fin­ger?

And if one room isn’t enough, the ho­tel’s Furka Suite is a fan­tas­tic of­fer­ing, with all the ben­e­fits of the ho­tel plus its own kitchen, spa, steam room, Jacuzzi and sauna.

The en­tire ho­tel is laid out for those who in­tend to spend as much time in the spa as they do on the slopes. It has its own ac­cess from the first floor which means you don’t have to traipse through the ho­tel lobby in your dress­ing gown.

The spa con­sists of a myr­iad treat­ment rooms, ther­mal spa and hy­drapool, which was much hot­ter than the swimming pool and per­fect to soak your aching mus­cles af­ter a day on the slopes.

Af­ter a few days’ skiing I was also treated to a 60minute ‘Alpine mas­sage’ which is one of the best I have ever had, con­cen­trat­ing on my aching mus­cles and warm­ing my chilled bones in a beau­ti­ful treat­ment room with its own roar­ing log fire.

An­der­matt it­self is about an hour from Zurich and at the mo­ment is very much geared to the lo­cals.

But this is a good thing, the moun­tain­side eater­ies are re­fresh­ingly good value and the town cen­tre restau­rants are full of Swiss charm.

The de­li­cious fon­due served up at Gasthaus Och­sen is def­i­nitely worth a try, with the staff at Pinte Musik Bar also ex­tremely wel­com­ing for those af­ter some après ski.

There are plans afoot to turn the whole town into a ski re­sort, with more five star ho­tels in the pipeline and more lifts and be­gin­ner runs ex­pected soon. So whether you pre­fer to wait for the re­sort to grow, or if you are al­ready pack­ing your bags, the ho­tel I’m sure, will con­tinue to take your breath away.

●● Above, the lounge at the Chedi An­der­matt. Be­low, An­der­matt town

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