Until recently only the most extreme of skiers or snowboarders had heard of Andermatt. This traditional Swiss resort was a little known gem of a freeriding area with a fantastic reputation as being one of Switzerland's most snow sure resorts. Over the last couple of years a lot has changed.
The arrival and vision of an Egyptian born destination developer by the name of Samih Sawiris has completely changed Andermatt. Samih and his team are spending £1.2bn to reinvent and develop this former sleepy little resort into an upmarket destination. They are building 25 chalets, six four and five star hotels, an 18 hole golf course and 490 apartments. Once all of this is completed it will almost double the size of the resort.
The first part of the project has been the introduction of the stunning 5* Chedi Hotel. This hotel has brought the crowd flocking to Andermatt for luxury ski holidays. Investment is also being made to better link the ski area with a new lift linking Andermatt to Sedrun via Oberalp opening in 2017/2018.
Although the ski area is improving it is still known for being a more intermediate to advance ski resort. Freeriders will love the area. Specialist marked off-piste routes such as the Giraffe and Geissberg are popular whilst the famous Bernhard Russi run is perfect for those who prefer sticking to the groomed snow. The views are majestic particularly from the top of the north-facing Gemsstock. At just shy of 3,000 metres you get picture postcard views of the surrounding peaks.
The town itself is everything you would expect of a traditional Swiss ski resort. There's a steam train which knits its way through the valley into the town below whilst narrow streets housing imposing buildings. The resort has a number of bars and restaurants offering so much more than just the traditional regional specialities. You can enjoy exotic dishes mixed with Asian new world cuisine.
Historically apres ski in Andermatt has centred around hotel bars and small family run establishments. The arrival of the Chedi Andermatt has completely changed this. Fine wines and roaring indoor and outdoor fires can be enjoyed in one of the many lounges or terraces.
If fine wines and cigar lounges aren't to your liking then The De Prato Pub is the perfect village pub. Nachos and burgers are served alongside ice cold beers and the partying goes on until the early hours of the morning. Underneath the De Prato Pub is the Pinte Music Bar. This is usually where you will find people dancing well into the small hours.
The Spycher bar is renowned as one of the best places to watch live sports whilst enjoying a selection of beers or traditional mountain schnapps or stone baked pizzas cooked before your eyes.
If cocktails are more your thing then La Curva and The Riverhouse restaurants are two of the best places to enjoy these in a relaxed environment.
If you want to head for a drink straight after you leave the slopes then The Bar Di Alt Apothek is a popular spot. As the name suggests this bar is an old chemist and serves some of the best wines in Andermatt. Their specialities are wines from Spain and Portugal.
For those looking for a bit of live music then The Sportsbar Andermatt next to the ice rink or the Schlüsselbar under Co-op Supermarket are the best places to head. Live bands and DJ's perform throughout the season, usually at weekends.
One thing is for sure, this "quiet" little Swiss ski resort is anything but. There is plenty to keep you entertained and drinking and dancing throughout the evening and into the early hours.
|Airport Transfer Time
||Zurich 1½ hours