When it comes to posh Swiss villages, most people usually think of Gstaad or St. Moritz. That may soon change, however, thanks to the recent debut of The Chedi Andermatt (Switzerland). This five-star contemporary hotel and apartment development in the Urseren Valley is bringing renewed interest to the timeless village. Designed to blend seamlessly with the stunning Alpine scenery, the luxe property is set to entice jetsetters to visit Andermatt and transform the area into the country’s next hot spot.
Spa enthusiasts will certainly be tempted by The Spa at The Chedi Andermatt, which serves as the ultimate holistic retreat. Resembling the hotel, the spa and wellness center is a lavish escape with its inviting pool and relaxation area; 10 comfortable treatment suites, each with a private steam shower and four with therapeutic whirlpools; and a state-of-the-art gym. “The spa is very much a textured environment, featuring lots of natural stone and wood that work to evoke a space rooted in Europe but with echoes of Asia,” says spa manager Irmgard Kuchernig.
That taste of Asia can also be found reflected in the spa’s treatment menu, which offers a variety of Indulgent Oriental Rituals. The Ila Adreno Restore Ritual ($538, 2 hours), for example, goes beyond indulgence to address adrenal fatigue, which can be triggered by stress. The treatment blends ashwagandha, an exotic Ayurvedic herb also known as Indian ginseng; cedarwood; pine; pfaffia, a kind of Brazilian ginseng; and vetivert with pink Himalayan salt to exfoliate the skin. The torso is then wrapped, and the adrenal glands are targeted with warm healing herbal packs. The ritual concludes with a Tibetan-style massage called Ku Nye, which helps restore balance to the body.
Also on the menu are a host of Romantic Bathing Ceremonies, Reviving Body Polish Rituals, Nurturing Envelopment Rituals, Rejuvenating Beauty Rituals, and Therapeutic Massages that draw on techniques from around the world. The Chedi Jade Massage ($392, 60 minutes), for instance, features two therapists working in tandem using a variety of styles, such as Balinese, lomi lomi, shiatsu, Swedish, and Thai. The Alpienne Mountain Massage ($224, 60 minutes; $336, 90 minutes) is a classic full-body massage ideal for treating the aches and pains from a day on the slopes. Guests can boost the massage’s effectiveness by choosing from a variety of Alpienne products, such as Arnica Massage Milk, which increases circulation to repair sore and tired muscles; Marmot Oil, which helps promote blood flow and relieve muscle cramps; St. John’s Wort Massage Milk, which is recommended for exhaustion and insomnia; and Propolis Massage Milk, which soothes and detoxifies the skin.
In creating the menu, the idea was to draw from nature. “Our philosophy is focused on natural and organic products and treatments,” says Kuchernig. As a result, the spa incorporated products from Alpienne, Ila, Ren, and SpaRitual into its facials, bathing ceremonies, massages, and more. Drawing on local folk remedies, Alpienne was also chosen for its connection to The Chedi’s Alpine setting. Many of the spa’s signature rituals rely on mountain botanicals and herbs for their healing benefits. “We founded the spa on 100 percent organic lines, believing the power of nature is the true source of wellness,” says Kuchernig.
Continuing outside of the treatment room, that same healing philosophy extends to the role retail plays in the spa. “We are very interested in giving the best to our guests and providing them with enough inspiration and nourishment so they can care for themselves at home,” says Kuchernig. “We offer the finest natural products according to every individual need with a wide variety of choice within the product lines. Retail is important for the spa, as well as the guest who wants to start creating life changes and higher self-care and self-consciousness.”
The spa’s staff is especially instrumental in helping guests achieve their goals. However, staffing remains one of Kuchernig’s greatest trials. “Because the hotel is located high up in the mountains of Switzerland in a rather small village, recruitment is a challenge,” she says. Despite that obstacle, she has succeeded in staffing the spa with 16 employees, who help cater to approximately 35 to 40 guests each day. According to her, employing staff members who are interested in staying for the long run and exceeding guest expectations is key.
“Most of our guests are spa-savvy and looking for extraordinary experiences,” says Kuchernig. “They want services that are authentic and delivered with refined attention, natural friendliness, and competent know-how. They want to be able to choose from a wide variety of possibilities that offer up new spa experiences with the utmost attention to detail and individual needs.” Fortunately, that is exactly what Kuchernig and her team intend to deliver.
Owner: Andermatt Swiss Alps AG
Spa manager: Irmgard Kuchernig
Opened: December 2013
MOST REPRESENTED COUNTRIES:
Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain
25,833 square feet; 10 treatment rooms
aromatherapy, Ayurveda, body treatments, couples’ treatments, eyelash and brow tinting, facials, fitness, guided meditation, hair and scalp treatments, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, makeup application, massage, nailcare, Pilates, reflexology, salon services, waxing, yoga
Alpienne Mountain Ritual ($737, 3 hours), which includes a foot scrub, a massage, a body polish, a facial, and more
MOST EXPENSIVE OFFERING
The Chedi Oriental Ritual ($850, 2 hours 30 minutes), which includes a foot scrub, a jade massage, a facial, reflexology, a bodypolish, and a bath
Alder, Alpienne, Aura Balance, Ila, Ren, SpaRitual
Living Earth Crafts, Ploh, TAC Reservation Assistant, Technogym
ARCHITECT & INTERIOR DESIGNER
Jean-Michel Gathy, Denniston International Architects (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Brenda Ramen, GHM (Singapore)