Andermatt Swiss Alps, the single largest residential building project ever undertaken in the Alps, is also Switzerland’s most ambitious new ski project. Unusually, the Swiss government will let anyone buy a home there, bypassing the usual strict permit system.
Andermatt has form as a holiday favourite. German poet Goethe described it in 1779 as “the most interesting and beautiful place” and Queen Victoria visited several times. However, its role as a military base for the Swiss army from the Fifties meant tourism took a back seat. Hard-core skiers still liked its devilishly difficult, cold slopes but the town relied — successfully — on the 80,000 troops stationed there.
A NEW PLAN
By 2000, with the military base sharply reduced, affluent Andermatt needed a new focus. It has come in the shape of £1.3 billion investment in Andermatt Swiss Alps.
The ambitious plan includes building seven hotels, an 18-hole golf course designed by Gary Player, and 500 apartments in 42 buildings with easy access to the central lift station.
There will be large indoor sports and swimming centres, a revamped train station and 17 new lifts, with a new family-friendly ski area on the sunnier, south-facing slopes. If all goes to plan, Andermatt in 15 years will look very different to today’s sleepy town.
It took four years before the plans were passed but now the golf course is complete and early flat owners have moved in. The first hotel, the magnificent five-star Chedi Andermatt, opened last December, immediately winning a place on Condé Nast Traveller’s best new hotels list.
PROPERTY FOR SALE
Apartments are all freehold, and are either linked to the Chedi Andermatt or in separate buildings nearby. Abercrombie & Kent International Estates (www.akinternationalestates.com) is selling 495 newly built one- to five-bedroom flats in 42 contemporary, chalet-style buildings priced from £323,270.
The first apartments are complete and occupied, some with wooden walls and cosy fireplaces, and all with contemporary bathrooms and kitchens. The “modern Alpine” architecture is attractive, with pale wooden cladding.
The Chedi Residences, with full access to the hotel’s completed facilities — such as the slick spa complex with a swimming pool and gym — include one- and two-bedroom apartments from £1.15 million through Savills Alpine Homes (www.alpinehomesintl.com).
The apartments start from 1,022sq ft and are fully furnished with all the style of the hotel.
Chedi Andermatt penthouses with up to 6,630sq ft of living space and wide terraces start from £2.69 million through Abercrombie & Kent International Estates (www.akinternationalestates.com).
These have high ceilings, good views and can be finished as buyers choose. Four of the 13 penthouses and half of the apartments have been sold so far to buyers from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Three of 25 bespoke chalets have also sold (www.thechedi-andermatt.com).
“Andermatt Swiss Alps is a wonderful year-round alternative to the popular but expensive resorts of Verbier and St Moritz,” says Robert Green of Abercrombie & Kent International Estates.
“But those looking to invest need to share the vision of what Andermatt will become in five or six years’ time as the project grows and more facilities become available.”
- Chedi Residences apartments can be put in an optional rental pool which is managed by the hotel.
- Annual service charges start from £1,800.