Photo: Valentin Luthiger
Andermatt: an expanding ski resort in central Switzerland
Issue 11 / 03 January 2019

Andermatt: an expanding ski resort in central Switzerland

Andermatt's 1.6 billion makeover into a luxury ski resort is finally coming to fruition this season

Serena Norton

The town

Andermatt has a prime location at the heart of three major alpine passes: the Gotthard, the Furka and the Oberalp. Just an hour from Lucerne, two from Milan and one and a half from Zurich, Andermatt has become popular with weekenders looking for quick and easy access to the slopes. Over ten years ago it was announced that Andermatt was to receive an investment of over 1.6 billion Swiss francs and in 2019 we are certainly seeing the results.

However, it has not always held such tourist appeal. During the World Wars, Andermatt acted as the headquarters for the Swiss Federal Army, leading to a major downturn in the town's fortunes in the 20th century.

The transformation

Quiet and rustic, Andermatt has not been renowned for attracting business tycoons, royalty and the jet-set. However, things have begun to change since international property and leisure mogul, Samih Sawiris, committed to restoring the area, doubling the size of the town and transforming it into a luxury ski resort.

So far over 900 million francs have been invested, with the overall plan being to build six, four and five-star hotels, including the luxurious Chedi which has been in operation since 2013. In addition, multiple luxury chalets and apartments have been constructed, plus an 18-hole golf course which is reputed to be one of Switzerland’s best. Furthermore, in June the much-anticipated Andermatt Concert Hall opens. This state-of-the-art music venue will be able to host large orchestra concerts and ensembles as well as gala dinners and lectures.

The ski area

The transformation of Andermatt isn’t just confined to the town. The Natschen ski area is now fully linked in both directions to the Sedrun ski area. This season brings a brand new 10-person gondola from the Oberalp pass to Schneehüenerstock, along with new pistes and increased snowmaking capacity. The resort now has over 120 km of pistes and 22 lifts. Also new this season is a large self-service restaurant at Schneehüenerstock and a glass igloo bar at Gurschen on the separate Gemsstock mountain.

For 2019/20, the ski area will be further expanded by a link from Sedrun to neighbouring Disentis, bringing the total ski area to 180 km of pistes and 30 lifts.

Where to stay

You can’t get much better than the Chedi, a world-renowned five-star hotel in the heart of the resort. Just a five-minute walk from the slopes, the hotel has several exclusive suites including the Gemsstock and Furka Suites. As well as your own personal spa, you have access to the stunning hotel spa area which includes a 35-metre indoor swimming pool, 12-metre outdoor pool, sauna area, gym and Tibetan relaxation lounge.

With a Michelin-star Japanese restaurant, a wine and cheese cellar and a further four stylish open kitchens, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to gourmet dining. After dinner, relax in front of a blazing fire in the cigar lounge, enjoy a tipple at the bar or peruse the selection of high-end wines in the Wine Library.

"The Chedi has over 100 rooms,...the pinnacle of which is the magnificent Gemsstock penthouse..."
The Independent
"The Chedi has over 100 rooms,...the pinnacle of which is the magnificent Gemsstock penthouse..."
The Independent
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