The British Press in Andermatt
Two days of world-class snow, skiing, Swiss food, and a taste of what life will offer guests and residents at Andermatt Swiss Alps awaited members of the British media when they visited this month.
Keen to discover the village, the development and the spectacular slopes were Kate Oxbrow, Director of Runwild Media, Abi Butcher , Editor of Where to Ski and Snowboard who also came for The Times, and Felix Lowe for both Vertu and Brummel, all arriving from London to be greeted by crystal-clear blue skies and picture-perfect Alpine weather.
The group travelled from Zurich airport to their base, the cosy Hotel Monopol – but there was barely time to settle in before Andermatt local (and veritable mine of information), Bänz Simmen, welcomed the group to Andermatt, following an impressive Rösti lunch.
Always keen to show off his home, Bänz lead the group on a tour of the village. From the historic centre rich in traditional architectural detail, to the gas station where Sean Connery famously stopped in Goldfinger, his love of this exceptional place shone through in his every word.
After seeing the work in progress first hand, the press were eager to meet those responsible for bringing this impressive development to fruition. Andermatt Swiss Alps’ Managing Director Robert Felliermeier was the group’s proud guide for a tour of the Chedi Andermatt hotel, which will open late this year, while Bo Halvardsson, Chief Operating Officer of Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG, shared his plans for the expansion of the already-impressive ski area.
The main event, of course, was hitting the slopes. Heavy snowfall (standing outside for even a few moments left the groups’ coats and hats covered in a downy layer) created perfect powder conditions on the slopes of Nätschen-Oberalp-Sedrun, where a morning’s session was rounded off by lunch at the picturesque Alpsu restaurant.
For many, however, the highlight of the trip came later that afternoon. Olympic legend and World Champion skier Bernhard Russi is an Andermatt Ambassador, and couldn’t resist the opportunity to greet the international media on the slopes of the Gemsstock for a skiing masterclass – and to share some welcome tips on how they could improve their techniques even further.
All that time out on the slopes gives rise to a good appetite, and this trip proved no different. It was lucky, then, that Andermatt’s restaurants were on hand to provide a vast array of traditional Swiss food – from golden-crusted rösti, to indulgent fondue at Ochsen, to a veritable five-course banquet at Baren.
When the time came – all too soon – to return home, it was clear that Andermatt Swiss Alps’ spectacular scenery, stunning architecture, crystal-clear air and warm welcome made for easy converts to the exceptional way of life on offer here, and the visit created memories that will stay with all the guests for a long time to come.
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