One hour and twenty minutes is how long it took for Ali & I along with Lorna and her other half to arrive in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. We flew in to Zurich, Switzerland at around 11am to an unusual welcome on these kinds of trips, there was noone from the resort waiting, there was no board with my name on and there was definitely no Mercedes bigger than my house. But something told us it wasn’t without reason. As we boarded the train bound for Göschenen the windows were so much larger, from floor to ceiling, what on earth for? Little did we know that those windows were about to give us the best possible view of the breath taking beauty of our destination.
As we arrived at Göschenen station there was the car which we were all thankful had left us to find our own way and take in the beauty of Andermatt. The car took us a short, 7 minute journey to our hotel, The Chedi. As we walked through the front doors the staff were festively dressing the epic trees nestled within the hotel, a fire roared in front of us and there was a low muttering from behind the check in desk. Apart from that the hotel was utterly silent. We sipped the most delicious tea and snacked on biscuits as we were checked in and before long we were opening the door of our Alpine retreat for the next three days.
The room was an eclectic mix of natural Alpine textures and materials of untreated woods and cosy faux furs whilst there is a subtle hint of Asian influence throughout. The two way fireplace at the heart of the room provides not only the perfect location for warming your slippers but also a cosy spot to cuddle after a long day on the slopes.
The bathroom was over flowing with the very best from Acqua di Parma, the only choice for warming up in the tub following the sub zero temperatures. We instantly felt at home, comfortable and relaxed, We felt secluded and cut off from the world as if we had found own private escape nestled within the stunning Swiss Alps.
We rose early the next day for a hearty breakfast to fuel us on the slopes. I took full advantage of the gluten free breakfast spread on offer at the Chedi with bowl upon bowl of fresh fruit, yogurt and seeds. Washed down with a macchiato I will never forget. We took our time, there was no rush.
We met the Ski Butlers at around 8:30am to pick up our equipment which had been personally fitted to our specification, I ride regular incase you were wondering. The wallers were decorated from floor to ceiling with memorabilia from great Snow sportsmen and women past and present from the sports brand Head with a wall specifically highlighting the latest innovations in Snow sports equipment. The Ski butlers themselves were a highlight, with their passion and love for their job so clearly evident in every aspect of their service.
The car drove us to the foot of the first mountain and I couldn’t wait to get to the top and experience the air when you are that many metres above sea level. It hits you like a slap in the face leaving you alert and awake in a way that only the Alpine air knows how. We were ready to tear up the slopes, with a face plant or two thrown in for good measure, for the rest of the morning. Not forgetting enough time left to sample some local delicacies.
The Apres-ski, the main reason we were here in Switzerland, to put the Waterproof EMU boots to the ultimate test. Could they with stand the metres of snow on offer whilst still maintaining Alpine Chic? Well there’s more on that to come. For now I can confirm that The Chedi does Apres-Ski outstandingly.
We were lead to the pop-up Chalet in front of the private ice-skating rink at The Chedi and were seated on makeshift benches made of of barrels of hay whilst out glasses were filled with gluhwein or Mulled wine to us English, whilst chestnuts roasted close by. This was my own festive heaven and the child within me was squealing with joy.
Soon we moved inside for an evening of endless glasses of wine which washed down our cheese fondue perfectly. If you didn’t already know like I didn’t either, cheese fondue incredible.
The final day in Andermatt was a day of rejuvenation. Having experienced the most incredible Alpienne massage in the spa on the first night, the last day was spent indulging and resonating the sense of escapism that the Chedi has so successfully created within the hotel.
The steam rose hypnotically from the out door pool whilst Ali and I rest our aching muscles from the previous days activities on the private beds which line the pool area. Ali slept silently whilst I enjoyed glass upon glass of cucumber infused water and too many medjool dates. The pool was warm and the ripples I created massaged my bruised legs as I looked out of the floor to ceiling window at the snow. We spent the best part of that afternoon submerged in the water or dosing on the beds embracing the escapism of The Chedi Andermatt.
This was one of the most unbelievable experiences of my life, I have never felt more festive, more invigorated and more lucky to have been able to have experienced every moment of the trip. A huge thank you has to go to EMU Boots for sending us and also to The Chedi an exceptional experience at their hotel.