The Chedi Andermatt is one of the most exclusive addresses in the Swiss Alps. Situated in the Urseren Valley in central Switzerland, it dominates the quaint and quiet town of Andermatt and brought about a mini-revival for the small town renowned for summer hiking and biking and of course, winter skiing.
The hotel effortlessly blends Alpine chic with understated Asian design. It’s high ceilings and sense of space are perfectly balanced with cosy corners to ensure that the warm welcome is not lost and that the main lobby, bar and reception areas have a cocooned, chic feel. The five-star property is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and was designed by international star architect Jean-Michel Gathy. From the outside the hotel mirrors a traditional wooden chalet and the interior combines alpine chic with modern Asian design touches which extend throughout the hotel, spa and its 123 rooms and suites.
Wood dominates the design with slate and some Swiss Granite. It’s all very stylish and there are a few jaw-dropping moments. The reception and bar are stunning and the view to the indoor pool in the spa are also impressive.
Each restaurant has its own speciality and you can dine on Asian cuisine, modern European, traditional Swiss and even sushi in the Japanese Restaurant. Wine? Yes of course, there are over 6,000 bottles on site. The rooms are large by any five-star standard and the entry level rooms alone start at 55sqm. Dark woods and high ceiling give a true sense of space and the bathroom, bedroom and lounge areas are ever so smart. All rooms have a balcony but you may want to grab the cashmere throw as it can get chilly, even in summer.
The spa at The Chedi Andermatt
The main event is the spa and it really does impress. From the reception area, you wait for your therapist in a large white space, with white granite curve wall spectacularly lit by tubular lighting which wouldn’t look out of place in a modern art museum. Swiftly up the stairs you will be escorted to one of the ten spa suites. These are spacious, tastefully decorated and each has its own bathroom, changing space and shower. Post-treatment you might chill-out in the relaxation area on a lounge bed watching a multi-media projection with a Tibetan them whilst munching on nuts or dried fruit.
If that doesn’t take your fancy then head downstairs to relax on a lounger by the 35-metre indoor pool. It’s stunning. And if it’s warm outside. Laze by the outdoor pool – SPF recommended and there is organic sunscreen on tap. The sun is intense in the Alps. I learnt the hard way.
For the active crowd, the fitness suite has all the latest Technogym equipment to work up a sweat and burn a few calories. And that’s not all. The hydrotherapy area has two saunas (at different temperatures) two steam rooms, one at 45 and one 40 degrees. The 40 degree steam room is a salt experience to totally clear the airways. Take a bracing dip in the 18 degree plunge pool to cool off. Then I suggest a swim in the other indoor pool (yes there’s more). This is warm and is where the spa exudes a real sense of its Asian influence with Asian warrior statues at either end. More lounge/sofa space is provided here. If you can’t relax at the Chedi spa – there’s no hope for you.
The Slimming Retreat at Chedi Andermatt
The Chedi has partnered with Brides-Le-Bains from France. With over 30 year’s experience in Thermalism, it has been treating clients with weight issues via its unique method, and a team of 20 people bring their slimming expertise to the Swiss Alps. The new retreats package a luxurious stay at the hotel with excellent slimming cuisine prepared by Brides-le-Bains Chef Sebastien Roux. But you will have to get moving. Physical exercise is central to the philosophy with nutritional talks and pre and post nutritional consultation with Natalie Negro, again from Brides-les-Bains.
This is a unique partnership and a demonstration of pan-European wellness in action. The programme includes three balanced, healthy and interesting meals per day. Breakfast is generally quite light combining dairy, fruit or compote, a small portion of bread with tea or coffee. Nice to see that caffeine is firmly on the menu.
Mornings are spent working out either cardio or strength training, but there’s a whole range of options including yoga, pilates, walking, hiking, or swimming. The idea is that movement is essential, not only to health, but also vitally important to weight loss.
Food, glorious food
The food is light, healthy, nutritious and satisfying whilst offering the quality of taste and presentation that guests would expect from a five-star resort. Lunch and dinner include protein from meat or fish and mix this with vegetables and the right balance of carbohydrates and oils. Carefully planned by the nutritionist and then brought to life by Roux the Chef, the food I tried provided a range of taste sensations, exciting the palette, the eye and the nose. Never bland or dull, the food was supremely tasty and used a clever mix of ideas. In particular the team experiment with balancing mouth-feel with different gelatines and xantum gum for example, whilst always where possible reducing sugar. It is calorie controlled and you eat around 1300 to 1500 calories per day.
You get a starter, main and much to my pleasure – dessert. Which was not just fruit and yoghurt. Far from it. Slow cooked meringue, chocolate mousse, cerviche of pineapples. Suitably impressed by the offering I would definitely sign up – just for the food.
I always felt full and satisfied after each meal. Although I did get a few hunger pains and was a touch ‘Hangry’ on the second day. The nutrition talks will guide you through how to eat, what to replace when eating out and hopefully inspired and inform.
What I love about the concept is that nothing is completely off the menu. During the stay, you won’t be indulging in alcohol (you’ve been warned) and added sugar is pretty much off limits. But the team recognise that we all live lives in the real world. So, my propensity for eating huge quantities of crisps was not greeted with horror, just a gentle discussion of how to manage portion control and maybe switch to baked not fried. Also, Natalie told me that if I eat crisps before dinner, I should remove starch from the following meal.
It’s not a punishing regime
There is post retreat support and it’s all very reassuring. If you are slipping off your targets and goals, a quick phone call should put your right. This isn’t a heavy duty full fasting diet regime and you won’t be expected to chew every bite 40 times. Nor will you be evacuating your bowels each morning with regimented regularity. There’s no juice cleanse either. It’s worth remembering, this Slimming Retreat is at an exclusive five-star property and reflects this.
Your spa treatments included in the package feature the luxurious Chedi signature treatment – a Balinese style massage that uses a combination of kneading with long fluid strokes that was hypnotic and also works on targeted area where you need it most (tell your therapist in advance what ails you).
The Brides-les-Bains massage is more focussed on slimming and begins with the stomach using palpetting and rolling massage techniques. This is designed to break up the fatty deposits and stimulate circulations. It’s a touch intense, but is completely different from any beauty massage and conducted by one of the expert team brought over from Brides-les-Bains.
There are a lot of treatments included in this package plus all meals are included, and you are staying at the gorgeous Chedi Andermatt. It doesn’t come cheap and a week stay comes in around £4,000. Everything is included. And you will see below exactly what you get for your money. In just two days I felt lighter and brighter. The tummy bloating had disappeared and I felt alive. Here’s what you get.
EACH 7 OR 14 NIGHTS SLIMMING LIFESTYLE RETREAT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING:
- 7 or 14 nights in chosen room category
- Welcome Drink with a nutritional twist on arrival
- Bespoke full board dietetic and perfectly balanced cuisine
- 1 Individual Consultation with our Dietician
- 6 Algae Wraps
- 4 Slimming Therapeutic Massages
- 2 Chedi Signature Massages
- 2 Traditional Thai Foot Reflexology
- 2 Head, Neck & Shoulder Massages
- 2 Sublime Aqua Flores Rituals
- 1 Cooking Class with the Chef and Dietician
- 5 Group Workshops with the Dietician
- Access to the daily Physical Activity Schedule
- 1 Departure Consultation with our Dietician
- Unlimited access to the award-winning Spa & Health Club
14 Nights Slimming Retreat: 27 May until 10 June 2018
7 Nights Slimming Retreat: 27 May until 3 June 2018 / 3 June until 10 June 2018
Slimming Lifestyle Retreat 7 nights from CHF 5’050 * /
14 nights from CHF 10’440 * per person in a Deluxe Room