H Magazine Winter 2021/2022

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WINTER 2021/ 2022

Zermatt – a weekend in wonderland. CHF 12.– / EUR 10.–







True friendship, nature and the finer things in life

Travel in style with the Glacier Express

Grand Tour Deluxe – The ultimate luxury road trip

All about magic moments

From swimming pool to pool table

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A bit of self-indulgence.

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Travel is what you make of it.



Made of Switzerland.

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© Ferdinand Kriwet, Poem Painting 41 (DU), 1967. Albert Oehlen – “grosse Bilder von mir mit kleinen Bildern von anderen”, MASI Lugano


say hello to the career of your dreams DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO WORK FOR ONE OF OUR 39 SWISS DELUXE HOTELS? Now is your chance! Apply to join the team at one of our hotels – the founders of exceptional service.




ver since those pioneering days, it has been our mission to make sure guests feel at home when staying with us. And so, we remember their favourite table, their wedding anniversary and their preferred number of pillows on the bed” says André Seiler. The descendant of the visionary hotelier and current proprietor of the Mont Cervin Palace – a fifth-generation family-run jewel of Swiss hospitality – abstracts: “Sure, there are plenty of decadently wonderful, luxurious hotels with a huge focus on wellness and all that. But they might be missing the nonpareil personality of traditional Zermatt establishments.” © KO Photography + Film

From the hotel entrance guests enjoy awe-inspiring vistas of the Matterhorn, the iconic and majestic peak reaching a breath-taking 4478 metres above sea level. A mere stone’s throw away from the Mont Cervin Palace, lays Zermatterhof, another Swiss institution, where host Rafael Biner correspondingly delivers Zermatt’s unique and exceptional blend of hospitality. We have joined the duo of über-hoteliers for a wintry walk along the snow-covered lanes of Zermatt witnessing a year-long friendship, bonding over their shared passion for high-end hospitality and the finer things in life along with their unwavering love of nature (Page 52). After all, the hospitality sector is all about people and their stories…

Ferdinand Kriwet is the son of the owner of a sausage stand in Düsseldorf. This self-made man invented media culture long before computers were around and impressed us deeply. That’s why we have dedicated the previous double page in this issue to his Poem Painting 41 (“DU” – YOU) from 1967, which is currently on display at MASI in Lugano as part of the exhibition Albert Oehlen – “big paintings by me with small paintings by others”.

PS. Are you interested in working at one of our five-star hotels? We’d love to hear from you! See details on how to join Switzerland’s finest selection of hotels on the adjacent page.

With that in mind, we have introduced our new “People” section, casting a spotlight on stimulating personalities, like Christian Aeby, a former commercial film-maker from Basel, now known as Hamburg’s best sourdough bread maker. “This bread tastes like home to me. One bite and I’m transported straight back to my childhood,” he says (Page 30). Then there’s Sibylle Jenni, who has mastered the production of the perfect granola, bearing batches on a small scale with the help of a few of her friends in Zurich. For Swiss Deluxe Hotels, Jenni has created a special edition packed with golden flaxseed. “It’s organic, vegan and unbelievably tasty,” she affirms (Page 33). Furthermore, we meet film director Michi Steiner, who tells us all about his quirk of eating protein and carbs separately, while sharing his favourite restaurants in Zurich with us (Page 36). We hope you enjoy these stories, insights and much more during the cooler months ahead. Get cosy, put your feet up and enjoy this issue of “H” Magazine! It’s packed with uplifting, encouraging and extraordinary accounts of inspiring human interaction. Welcome to the world of Swiss Deluxe Hotels! Evelyn Gorgos Please feel free to get in touch with us at gorgos@swissdeluxehotels.com or follow us on Instagram (@swissdeluxehotels).


People This bread tastes like home –

Christian Aeby


Granola doesn’t get better than this –

The Tiny Factory


A head chef and his favourite restaurants –

Andreas Caminada


Going out to eat in Zurich –

Michi Steiner


Our portraits Rafael Biner & André Seiler – General Managers Zermatt “True friendship does not need many words. 52 And creates priceless memories.”


Marco Zanolari – General Manager Grand Resort Bad Ragaz “When something fills you with joy, you can be genuine. And authenticity is the secret 126 to our success.”

Mario Guzzetti – Gstaad Palace, Gstaad “Even though I come from Lombardy, I’m a Juventus supporter” says the bar manager about his second 84 passion

Richard Dillier – Chairman Swiss Top Events “Moments are magic if they make you stop and say wow. They are often completely unplanned 148 and unexpected.”

Sandrine Sommer – Chief Sustainability Officer, Moët Hennessy “We need quality soil to produce quality wine” 86


© Marco Schnyder / Zermatterhof

Stefan Heilemann – Widder Hotel Zurich Skill and finesse with a cheeky twist

Urs Langenegger – Parkhotel Vitznau Is there really a general manager out there who managed to up room rates and extended the average length of stay during the pandemic? 100 Sure there is!












© Zermatt Tourism

110 © The Living Circle / Widder Hotel

66 Exclusive

Our top tip for next season? Gorgeous green 82 Diving into history, the Zermatt way Neither size nor high-tech treatment rooms define 88 whether you feel at home or not

Pamper yourself


Our beauty tips for this winter curated by 94 Steffi Hidber

Stay cool Our culinary trends for this winter


Travel in style? Alpine luxury on board the Glacier Express 96

Zermatt – a weekend in wonderland Survival tips curated by Clifford Lilley


Paradise found

Zermatt travel guide

Must-have pieces for the hot winter season

Timeless winter magic by Dimitri &  72 Mamiko Burkhard

In the shadow of the Matterhorn

Suite Talk at The Chedi Andermatt

Ger ready for a journey through time that’ll take 110 you back more than 150 years

The Chedi has been welcoming a well-heeled clientele to its grand European bearings paired with minimalist 80 Asian spirit since opening in 2013

And the Oskar goes to … A heart-warming winter’s love story from 128 Arosa

Air Zermatt Being on call and ready to respond up in the 132 mountains around the clock 22




148 Runner’s Tips


Clear, fresh, mountain air and no pollution make 166 Zermatt seriously jogger friendly

Charming Bern – Claudio’s Top Ten Tips for Switzerland’s capital 102

Welcome to the Riffelalp resort – Cows, comfort and five-star 172 luxury at 2222 m

Grand Tour Deluxe – A luxury road trip through Switzerland 114

Three days – three extraordinary chefs

Parkhotel Vitznau – A wine lover’s dream

Why Swiss Deluxe Hotels are considered the 178 creative nucleus of Swiss gastronomy

Children’s world at the Grandhotel Kronenhof Pontresina


Swiss Top Events – Magic moments at unique places

From swimming pool to pool table

Locarno Film Festival – For the stars of today 137 and tomorrow


Pioneers of Sustainability St. Moritz wants to use exclusively recycled water for 188 snowmaking on its slopes – a world premiere

Our Seasonal Pic – Epic Mont Cervin Palace 160

Standards Editorial 19 26 Contributors Swiss Deluxe Hotels Locations Swiss Deluxe Hotels Overview 200 Publishing Credits 202 Preview 24

192 194

PRECIOUS moments

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1. TITUS ARNU JOURNALIST & AUTHOR Is a keen skier and has known Arosa since his youth. His dog, Oskar, may not be able to ski, but he loves deep snow just as much as he loves long walks in the mountains – perfect for a winter stay at the Grand Hotel Tschuggen. titusarnu@mac.com

2. K ATHIA BALTISBERGER JOURNALIST & AUTHOR Writes about chefs and food producers for the GaultMillau channel. She accompanied the “Grand Tour Deluxe” and kept a culinary diary – with valuable tips from the region. kathia.baltisberger@ringieraxelspringer.ch 3. OLIVIA PULVER PHOTOGRAPHER Works as a freelance photographer with a focus on portraits and food. She captured the best moments of the “Grand Tour Deluxe” with her camera and lets readers see the hotels through a completely different lense. info@glanzlicht.ch 4. DAVID CARLIER PHOTOGRAPHER Is a multi-skilled photographer and director, who is particularly keen on natural environments to express his art. His studio is located in the great outdoors. Moving between sea and mountain, he criss-crosses the globe for his visual projects, shooting worlds as varied as the high peaks, long-distance voyages and the Olympic Games to produce thrilling reports. davidcarlierphotography.com



Although he leads an adventurous life as a travel journalist, Martin found himself having to postpone his departure from Zermatt for two days while researching for this issue due to the sheer amount of snow and the danger of avalanches – the first time that has ever happened.

PHOTOGRAPHER Changing perspectives is part of his job. And one perspective in particular fascinates him: the bird’s eye view. This issue found him boarding an Air Zermatt helicopter a number of times.


5. PATRICIA BRÖHM JOURNALIST She made the most of her days as a student in Geneva, sampling French cuisine at every opportunity. Now she works as a journalist and restaurant critic in Munich. The former Editor-in-Chief of the Guide GaultMillau in Germany unveils the secret formula of Christian Aeby’s perfect sourdough bread. info@chefsreporter.de




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While there’s no denying that Switzerland isn’t exactly blessed when it comes to raw materials, we boast two assets that are absolutely priceless to the hotel and tourism sectors. And those are stunning natural landscapes and a longstanding tradition of top hospitality training opportunities. Switzerland’s deluxe hotel scene has been leading the way for over a century and a half. Names like César Ritz, Johannes Badrutt and Alexander Seiler have come to be synonymous with exceptional service and the whole world looks to us for the values at the heart of luxury hospitality that have been around since the Belle Époque at the end of the 19th century. The current crisis being faced by the global tourism sector has once again highlighted the importance of our home-grown quality standards, traditions and centuries-old infrastructure. Switzerland is still home to the most prestigious hospitality schools in the world. Talented young students travel here from all corners of the globe to lay the best foundations for their future career in the hospitality business. And yet tradition doesn’t survive long without a regular injection of innovation and ongoing optimisation. With a view to keeping up with the latest developments within our sector, the Swiss Deluxe Hotels have joined forces with some of the best-known hotel management schools in the country to bring to fruition the Swiss Deluxe Hotels Innovation Award for rising stars in the industry. The prize for outstanding concepts and achievements relating to sustainability, digitalisation and innovation with the potential to take luxury hotels to the next level

Michael Smithuis President Swiss Deluxe Hotels

will be awarded. The criteria have been left fairly open so as to encourage students to think outside the box. Where better to put what they have learnt on their courses into practice and try out new ideas for size than at the 39 Swiss Deluxe Hotels? We are looking forward to this exciting partnership between enthusiastic young talents and Swiss Deluxe Hotels. Our success may be built on tradition, but innovation is our ticket to a bright future. We just have to look to Zermatt for the perfect illustration of this. Back in 2019, the Zermatt-Matterhorn resort launched a full-on digitalisation strategy and now uses its own impressive systems and platforms with the aim of giving guests the best possible experience and conveying key information across all relevant channels, bringing together all service providers in the region. With a pioneering past behind it as one of the original influencers behind luxury hospitality up in the mountains, Zermatt can now also be credited with playing a leading role in shaping its future. I hope you enjoy reading all about the winter wonderland surrounding the Matterhorn and every other corner of Switzerland. Enjoy a magical winter at Swiss Deluxe Hotels this year. You can rest assured that you’ll be in safe hands with our founders of exceptional service.



this bread tastes like home “One bite and I’m transported straight back to my childhood” says Christian Aeby. Born and bred in Basel but a Hamburg local for 30 years, he can hardly believe to be lucky enough to make a living doing what he loves best – making sourdough. He spent most of his working life travelling around shooting commercials until he finally decided to turn his passion for baking bread into a career in early 2019. He had been experimenting for years, picking up tricks of the trade from top bakers until finally perfecting the sourdough recipe of his dreams. These days, he sells that bread in his own shop in the Eppendorf district of Hamburg. Spanning four square metres, it is styled like a designer shop with black walls and a traditional apothecary counter as the only piece of furniture. Every single loaf is lovingly wrapped up in pink tissue paper – a true culinary status symbol. This is a bakery like no other. At “bread.”, there is only one product for sale. It’s sourdough bread or nothing here. Five ingredients (flour, water, salt, acerola cherry and natural yeast) baked in a wood-fired oven to create a crusty, almost overdone finish on the outside with a superbly soft and fluffy middle. If you ask this maverick baker, quality is more important than quantity. “The aim is to get as close to perfection as possible.” That’s quite a big ask considering that “sourdough is temperamental.” It has to prove for 36 hours and it responds to the slightest change in temperature, humidity or air pressure. If the 63-year-old isn’t happy with a batch, he’ll sell if off for a reduced price. And it pays off … A local newspaper dubbed Aeby the “best baker in Hamburg” after he outshone his professional competitors in a ranking of a renowned culinary magazine. His perfectionism has actually been stopping him from expanding his business. Until now! Another branch of “bread.” just opened up in his hometown of Basel.

Blumenrain 32, 4001 Basel, Switzerland Tel. +41 (0)79 575 74 55 www.bread.love 30

© Christoph Siegert für FARM TO TABLE Deutschland


Eppendorfer Weg 189, 20253 Hamburg, Germany Tel. +49 (0)171 428 70


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Bites of bliss … Granola doesn’t get any better than this. The Tiny Factory is a small company that produces delicious organic granola in Zurich. In the beginning, Sibylle’s mum chopped the nuts by hand and the team was mostly made up of friends. “The extended period of time I spent in San Francisco inspired me to create my own fresh recipe to replace the overly sweetened, mass-produced granola-type cereals you usually find on the supermarket shelves”, remembers founder Sibylle Jenni (left in the picture). It didn’t take long before more or less everyone she knew was hooked her on her special breakfast creations. The secret to her granola’s tasteful flavour is the high nut content and the subtle sweetness of maple syrup.

The production is strictly limited: “We make just enough granola to give five women a nice part-time job and make my life a dream”. It’s important to Sibylle to use only organic and fairtrade ingredients. All products are made in Switzerland without any preservatives or palm oil. The granola works best as a crispy, crunchy accompaniment to anything that isn’t a liquid. A savoury variation is missing yet, which could be a good idea to enjoy with drinks in the evening. Available online and at Jelmoli in Zurich, an exclusive Swiss Deluxe Hotels edition is packed with toasted cripsy golden flaxseed, a nutritious super food that’s high in fibre.


hello@thetinyfactory.ch thetinyfactory.ch 33

a head chef and his favourite restaurants TEXT ALEX KÜHN PHOTO NICO SCHAERER


Sonnenhof, Vaduz

Andreas Caminada has well and truly put the little town of Fürstenau on the culinary map with his food that is simple yet sophisticated with close ties to the local area. Just like the chef himself. With the exception of his classics, which he sneaks into the menu as surprise courses at the three-star restaurant Schloss Schauenstein, Caminada avoids all fish, crustaceans and mussels from the sea. Instead, his culinary concept is centred around freshwater fish like trout from Lake Walensee and underappreciated cuts of meat like pork neck and lamb belly. And obviously all things green! “In peak season, we have well over 700 types of fruit, veg and herbs growing in our permaculture garden. We can choose when to use them, so we might pick something before it’s ripe and let something else go completely wild. That’s how we manage to serve our diners something delicious and distinctive every time,” he explains. He recently managed to get Dom Pérignon on board as a partner which is also very keen on supporting his social engagements like Fundaziun Uccelin. The foundation fosters young culinary talents, and scholarship holders can now also complete specific champagne trainings. And Caminada certainly won’t be complaining if they bring back a bottle or two with them to Fürstenau. “I didn’t actually drink any alcohol until I was 20, but I always had a weakness for champagne. Even now I could drink champagne as an accompaniment to a whole meal. I don’t necessarily need red or white wine. Some champagnes like the Dom Pérignon Plénitude 2 are incredibly complex and intense, which I love,” says the master chef.

Hubertus Real celebrates classic cooking at its finest at his wonderful restaurant high above Vaduz in Liechtenstein. His talent sings through in every dish from the mini bouillabaisse and the duo of foie gras to the skate wings with capers. My two sons, Cla and Finn, are crazy about his home-made ravioli filled with veal and spinach. They’re always asking me when we’re going back for some of Hubertus’ special ravioli. – sonnenhof.li

Casa Casutt, Ilanz I love traditional fare from Grisons. I’m talking about Capuns (dumplings wrapped in greens), Maluns (a slow-fried mix of potatoes and flour), Pizokel (buckwheat dumplings) and Gerstensuppe (barley soup). These dishes taste even better when they’ve been prepared with love, which is guaranteed when you visit Linus and Therese Arpagaus at the cosy Casa Casutt. You don’t always need fancy ingredients to create exquisite food. – casacasutt.ch

Alter Torkel, Jenis Alter Torkel is home to the prettiest terrace in the whole canton of Grisons. And that’s saying something in this idyllic region. My old Restaurant Manager and Sommelier Oliver Friedrich is there to look after you as you soak up the view of the surrounding vineyards and treat yourself to a bottle of wine from the incredibly well-stocked cellar and a sumptuous yet simple meal prepared by David Esser. – alter-torkel.ch


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La Reina del Barrio

“What sort of foodie am I?” asks Michael Steiner with a smile. “That’s quite difficult to say. Somewhere between a trashitarian and a connoisseur. I get just as excited about Ikea meatballs as I do about the finest champagne. In case you’re wondering, mine’s a Krug 2003 or a Roederer Cristal Late Release 2006. Those bottles of fizz aren’t exactly cheap though, so I tend to stick to water and the odd can of Coca-Cola. As for the meatballs, I don’t really know if I actually like them or if it’s just that an Ikea shopping trip always makes me so hungry!” As a director, Steiner often has to fit his eating habits around his work. And talking of his work, did you know that his latest film “Und morgen seid ihr tot” (“And tomorrow you’re dead”) has just been released in cinemas? “When I’m on set, I eat when I don’t have anything else I need to do. But you won’t ever catch me eating protein and carbs at the same time. If I don’t watch what I eat, I’ll put on 10 kilos before I know it and won’t fit into my tux. Then what would I wear on the red carpet? Unlike the lighting technicians and camera crew, I barely move. I just end up sitting in my chair for hours on end.” When he’s at home, you’ll find 51-year-old Steiner lighting up the barbecue in the garden or trying his hand at an Italian dish or two. Along with Mexico and Israel, where he filmed part of “The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch”, Italy is home to the best food in the world.

In Spanish, “La Reina del Barrio” means something along the lines of “The Queen of the Neighbourhood”. The brains behind the operation is my friend Samantha Meier, who regularly sets up pop-ups known for their authentic Mexican cuisine. Samantha spent some of her childhood in Mexico and still has some incredible contacts there. That’s how she gets her hands on recipes that are out of this world! – lareinadelbarrio.ch

Ornellaia Antonio Colaianni is a very talented chef. If I had to choose just one of his exquisite Mediterranean creations, I would have to go for his bouillabaisse. He combines all kinds of delicacies from the sea with the punchy flavour of boiled Sicilian red prawns. Delicious! And I wouldn’t say no to a glass of red wine the restaurant is named after to wash it down. – ristorante-ornellaia.ch

Pergola Pergola is one of the last traditional old restaurants in the city. Forget all those on-trend, super stylish joints. This cosy and laid-back little gem is all you need. I promise you’ll feel right at home. The veal cutlet is the pièce de résistance on the menu, but you can’t go wrong with the poussin either. – ristorantepergola.ch




big paintings by me with small paintings by others

05.09.2021 – 20.02.2022

Albert Oehlen Space is the Place (detail) 2020 Oil on canvas Photo: Simon Vogel © 2021, ProLitteris, Zurich

MASI LAC www.masilugano.ch

Main partner

Scientific partner

With the support of



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squeaky clean “What do you do with all the used soap from the hotel?”, asked Dorothée Schiesser to her husband Rudolph, a Swiss hotelier with more than three decades of experience. “We throw them away”. This answer and the fact they had lived in Africa in the past and saw the lack of hygiene education in some places were the trigger to develop the concept of SapoCycle. She is a strong believer in sustainable change in every industry. Nobody is too small to make an impact.

´ Soap is one of the most efficient and cost-effective means of combating the spread of serious infections and reducing mortality rate. Our soap recycling program is based on three pillars: First, we collect the discarded soaps from hotels in Switzerland and France and have them recycled into new bars instead of ending in landfills to be burnt as waste. The teams who carefully recycle these used soaps are adults with disabilities. They have a stable job and are therefore socially integrated. And lastly, we provide access to soap to people and communities that live under precarious conditions.´

´ Discarded hotel soaps are transformed into life-saving products in our two workshops in Basel (Switzerland) and Colmar (France). We have developed a process with machines adapted for the adults with disabilities who skillfully recycle these soaps. they are proud that with the fruit of their labor, they can, in turn, help less privileged people.´

´ We do not sell the soap and there is no possibility of branding. We do have the option of Corporate Gifting: when a company makes a donation in return we can give them soaps with their logo stamped on the soap. For donors we have specially designed our Hüüsli soap collection.´ 38

´ We do not change the composition of the original soap or mix the different sorts of soap. In Switzerland for example we have more than 60 types and each of them is treated separately. This allows us to have full traceability of our recycling process since we receive the soaps from the hotels until the new soap is handed out to our distribution partners.´

´ Since we started our organization in 2015, we have collected more than 27 tons of used soap. With our recycling program, we have saved around 49 tons of CO2 and have distributed more than 170,000 soaps to people in need in Switzerland and around the world in refugee camps and to people in precarious situations.´

´ Instead of recycling, we can also say that our program does “upcycling”. This means that a product that would have been treated as waste is now being repurposed through our initiative. It has a very meaningful added value: the new soaps are socially responsible because they have been transformed by people with disabilities.´

´ Our program is a virtuous circle: a win-win-win for hotels, for adults with disabilities that recycle our soaps as well as for the thousands of people that receive our soaps and improve their hygiene conditions. In 10 years, we hope we can continue replicating our initiative in various countries around the world, so more people can benefit from it.´


projects@sapocycle sapocycle.org 39

tempting ham One day back in the 1930s, a request for boneless ham came in from Suvretta House. “Our great-grandfather may have been cursing as he prepared that ham but he was proud of the end product,” recalls Philippe Gerber, Sales Director at Suter Viandes.

´ The meat was referred to as ‘Suvretta ham’ to make sure that it wasn’t mixed up with any other ham. And that very ham ended up being added to the standard range and it is still sold across Switzerland every day. Essentially, it’s boneless leg ham that has been salted, smoked and boiled. Suvretta ham is only ever made using Swiss pork and the salting and smoking process lasts several days.´

´ 600 Suvretta hams are produced every year and around 50 of those end up at the Suvretta House in St. Moritz. Suvretta ham is an excellent breakfast buffet staple and it can also be enjoyed warm with potatoes and beans.´ 40

´ Suter Viandes has been a trusted supplier to hotels and restaurants ever since it was first founded back in 1871. It started off delivering locally to Montreux, Territet and Vevey, before spa resorts like Leysin were added into the mix. A few years later, larger hotels in Grisons like Suvretta House became customers too. After four generations of Suters, our father Ueli Gerber took over the company in 1986 and now I run it with my two brothers Michel and Pascal. We are currently in our sixth generation with 150 years of business acumen behind us. Our top priority is staying in direct contact with our suppliers, partners and customers. Our specialities include dry-aged meat, local meat and sausage products, and exclusive imports.´

´ Each ham typically weighs about 7 kg. Not exactly the best souvenir for hotel guests to pack in their suitcases! As they are only sold directly to businesses in the hospitality industry, you’d have to ask your favourite hotel or restaurant or, ideally, contact the Suvretta House in St. Moritz directly if you were looking to get your hands on one of these beauties.´

´ At the beginning of the 20th century, meat products including ham and sausages would have been sent out in large baskets. Our great-grandfather used to sew them up by hand to ensure that the delicious meat products arrived at their destination in perfect condition whilst being transported by train and carriage.´



Pré-du-Bruit 3, 1844 Villeneuve Tel +41 21 967 02 02 suterviandes.ch

time sensitive Think of Parmigiani Fleurier as the Bentley of the watch world. The brand adheres to the highest quality standards and combines luxury with innovation. Passion and craftsmanship are at the heart of their production processes. Not to mention that they are highly regarded by connoisseurs and fall far from the mainstream. Bruno Jufer, General Manager of Parmigiani Fleurier, tells us what makes these Swiss watches so special. ´ The Parmigiani Fleurier brand was created by Michel Parmigiani and Pierre Landolt back in 1996. Landolt, the President of the Sandoz Family Foundation at the time, recognised the incredible potential of Michel Parmigiani, who was 45 years old at the time with a reputation as one of the best clock and machine restorers in the world. That same year, the brand’s first watch was released – a hand-wound tonneau watch with an eight-day power reserve. ´

´ The watch design is based on the perfect proportions of the Golden Ratio, which influenced all of the brand’s later creations too. The bezel is knurled – a classic signature feature of Parmigiani Fleurier watches. These masterpiece mechanisms have been on a par with the most beautifully and intricately decorated timepieces around for a long time now. ´ 42

´ Every year, around 3,000 watches are sold to watch experts, enthusiasts and collectors. Prices start at CHF 15,000 and can reach as much as CHF 400,000 depending on the features. The case can be made from steel, rose gold, white gold or platinum, with the choice always in the hands of the customer. ´ ´ Depending on the complexity, it takes somewhere between three and five years to develop a new watch. As many as 20 talented artisans are involved in the production of each masterpiece, which may consist of up to 400 individual components. Once all of the parts have been produced, it can take between a few days and a few weeks to put the watch together. ´

´ Parmigiani Fleurier now employs more than 400 staff at its factory, meaning that the brand can now produce every last mechanical component in-house – from the dials and hands to the cases and movements.´

´ The TONDA PF is Parmigiani Fleurier’s latest and most forward-looking collection. Released as the watchmaking brand celebrates its 25th anniversary, these new integrated bracelet timepieces take attention to craft, complication and streamlined aesthetics to a new high. One that doesn’t scream expensive but spells excellence. One that is created to satisfy purists looking for a high-end timepiece. The TONDA PF collection is built around the most iconic in-house movements of the maison. Available in a two-hands version with micro-rotor, with an integrated chronograph movement or an annual calendar function. ´


Rue du Temple 11 2114 Fleurier parmigiani.com 43

collector`s item Just under two years ago sknife founder Michael Bach set out to create the best pocket knife the world had ever seen. Given that precision is the top priority at the company based in Biel, Switzerland, the knife maker had to invest a lot of time in the final assembly stage. The new pocketknife has been delighting a diverse fan base ever since it was released – and for knife collectors, the full damask pocket knife comprises over 1,600 damask steel layers adding up the blade, blade back and handle.

Way back in the Middle Ages, Damascus steel was viewed as a high-tech product that could even pierce steel armour. The sknife Damascus knives are forged with up to 1,000 alternating hard and soft steel layers. The decorative pattern of the torsion damask structure inside the material is made visible by an acid treatment.

sknife has taken the French herdsman knife’s concept of designing a collectible pocketknife to new heights by adding Swiss quality, modern design, blades made from surgical or Damascus steel and an opening mechanism with a unique plain bearing made of high-tech ceramic inspired by the world of watchmaking. The result is a beautifully sleek collector’s item and trusty tool that oozes elegance and can be opened with ease.


High-tech ceramic has excellent gliding properties that make it ideal for use in high-end watch movements, allowing the rubies used as jewels inside to keep on turning without the need for lubrication. Due to the sealing effect the glide properties are consistently excellent. sknife has cleverly applied these properties to its pocketknives to create a mechanism for smooth and silent opening. What’s more, the closing mechanism is water and moisture resistant.

The Damascus pocketknife may retail at somewhere in the region of CHF 1,000 but it’s still a top bestseller. The average price of collectible pocketknives from this Biel-based company is between CHF 600 and 2,000. The product is crafted with the utmost precision and built to last a lifetime as a trusty tool.

The surgical steel pocketknife is marketed as a steak knife to go. It boasts a razor-sharp blade with a hardness of 59 HRC and is four times more resistant to corrosion. The steel is sourced from Sweden and the finising process takes place at sknife’s manufactory in Biel – as is the case for all the company’s knives. All of the components are produced within a radius of 30 kilometres from Biel. The knives are handcrafted down to every last detail, featuring high-tech ceramic and components from the watchmaking industry. The pocketknives are available in a full Damascus, Damascus and surgical steel version, with the option of a stabilised ash or walnut handle.


Tel +41 32 322 97 55 contact@ceco.ch welt-der-messer.ch 45

full-bodied Bordeaux in the south-west of France, where both the Dordogne and Garonne have their estuaries, has a maritime climate due to its position on the Atlantic coast and is divided into different areas: Médoc, Graves, Entre-Deux-Mers, Libournais and Blaye & Bourg. Peter Keller has summarised everything you need to know about the biggest and best-known wine-producing region in France.

´ Bordeaux wines typically tend to be made of a blend of grape varieties. For red wines, the main grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, but some Malbec and Carmenère grapes are cultivated here too. This way, allowances can be made for the negative effects of the weather. Some grape varieties ripen sooner than others, which minimises the risk. And this means that the definitive blend of a wine will be different every year. Bordeaux vintages are different, with 2018, 2019 and 2020 having been exceptional years and 2017 having been considered just average. ´ 46

´ Production methods have evolved drastically over time. Lots of the top vineyards have invested large sums into state-of-the-art fermentation systems with temperature control – either in stainless steel tanks or open wooden vats. Strict quality criteria are followed to sort the grapes before and after destemming. In some areas, the fermentation time has been extended too. Bordeaux wines are always aged in barriques, barrels that each hold 225 litres. ´

© [Marilyn Nieves] / iStock

´ Bordeaux is the world’s largest continuous wine-growing area producing top-quality wines. High-end vineyards like Château Lafite-Rothschild and Mouton-Rothschild only produce up to 300,000 bottles each year.´

´ It is believed that the first Bordeaux vineyards were planted from 56 AD during the Pax Romana until Marcus Aurelius Probus became Emperor. By the 14th century, the region already spanned about 100,000 hectares. Back then, the wines were more of a pale-red colour, which is where the term ‘Clairet’ came from. They didn’t last very long either and it wasn’t until the 17th century that sulphurisation was discovered as a means of storing cask wine for longer. Haut-Brion was the first château wine as we know it today, meaning that the estate can probably be credited as the original inventor. Château Haut-Brion is one of the five estates with the Premier Grand Cru Classé classification, which was introduced in 1855 and hasn’t changed since with one single exception: Mouton-Rothschild. ´

´ Although they are ready to drink earlier than they used to be, it is still best to wait seven or eight years, especially for the very best crus. There’s no other wine with such impressive storage potential, which can extend to 20 years and counting in the best vintages. Red Bordeaux wine is best served between 16 and 18 degrees in large glasses to allow the aroma and flavour to be released. Big brands like Riedel and Zalto even have special glasses to suit the wine in their range. ´

´ The Bordeaux wine-growing region is vast, with vineyards covering some 120,000 hectares. Here, an impressively wide range of wines is produced. Well-known labels from vineyards with the Grand Cru Classé classification are at the high end. Estates and châteaux working at this level have the best terroirs and produce wines that are full-bodied and refined. But these classifications only account for around 5% of all the wine made in the area. It gets really interesting when you start to look at all the other châteaux selling wines ranging from good to excellent at reasonable prices. And yet the many unknown wine-growers have to make sure that they do actually sell their products, which are often rustic and inaccessible. ´

´ Bordeaux wines can be enjoyed far and wide. They can be purchased from specialists, food stores and discount supermarkets. And then there’s the option of a subscription. If you are keen to get your hands on a new vintage before it is bottled up, you should go straight to the wine-grower of your choice. After all, if a retailer goes bust, you will lose your money and never actually receive your wine. Auctions are a good place for picking up older vintages. Sure, you can bid on the prestigious crus being sought after the world over. But you can also find some brilliant bargains at auction too. Depending on the label, prices for Bordeaux wines can soon rocket up into the hundreds. But don’t be disheartened. There are plenty of decent wines out there in the CHF 20–30 price range. ´

´ Bordeaux wines make the perfect accompaniment to a meal. Steak is traditionally paired with these reds since the flavours of the pan-seared or grilled meat complement the drink’s toasty flavour. Lamb and game are other delicious alternatives that go nicely with the tannic taste of these full-bodied wines. ´ 47

true blues Blueberries are everywhere! On café and restaurant menus, and on supermarket shelves, adding a beautiful burst of blue and superfruit properties to muffins and smoothies. A firm believer in a world united in its enjoyment of gastronomic delights, Alexander Kuenzi, Executive Chairman of Mediterre, harnesses the power of these little blue wonders to produce 100% natural juice.

´ It all started back in the 1990s, when US dieticians published multiple studies on antioxidants. Blueberries have been known as superfoods and vitamin bombs ever since. The berry’s secret lies in its blue pigmentation. Its antioxidant effect drives out any nasty molecules from the cells that speed up the ageing process.´


© [vetr_ksu] / Shutterstock

´ Blueberries are a superfood we all know and love. They are a rich source of anthocyanin pigments, important minerals like iron, calcium and potassium, along with plenty of vitamin C and E. Despite being low in calories, they are packed with dietary fibres that are good for the digestive system. They look as fresh as they taste, adding a beautiful burst of colour to any bowl or recipe.´

´ Our blueberries are grown in Italy and Greece. We need about 1.2 kg of the fruit to produce every litre of blueberry juice. As it stands, our range includes juice and jam without added sugar as well as freeze-dried blueberry powder. Blueberries are sweet and acidic, making them the perfect fresh addition to a light and healthy granola. They pair well with all kinds of desserts and can even be enjoyed on their own or as a snack. The small but mighty berries taste good in smoothies, salads and savoury dishes.´

´ Although other fruits are known to boast similar health benefits, research published by Dr Ronald Prior reveals that blueberries have the most antioxidants in a line-up of over 20 fruits. The best way to get that goodness inside your body is to pick your own blueberries and eat them straight away.´

´ With our long-standing partnerships with our producers being based heavily on trust, we work together like clockwork to produce organic, sustainable and purely natural products. We focus closely on quality and have no desire to produce bulk quantities. We want to create a fair product that is fully sustainable from the very start of the production process to the last sip or bite.´ ´All of our fruit juices are 100% natural and undiluted as well as being organic and free from additives. They last for between 12 and 18 months after we produce them. Once opened, they should be stored in the fridge and consumed as soon as possible.´ MEDITERRE INTERNATIONAL

mediterre.com Mediterre products are available at the Mediterre Coffee Lab in Zurich, at Globus stores as well as selected delis. 49

on the road Zermatt watches on as the global automotive industry moves forward at pace with the shift towards e-mobility. After all, electric vehicles have been gracing the streets of this mountain village in the canton of Valais since the 1970s. They may not be quite as sleek and stylish as the ones being produced by the automotive giants right now, but they certainly aren’t any cheaper. And there’s a reason for that. Raphael Imboden is on hand to tell us more, with plenty of anecdotes, facts and figures up his sleeve. He produces electric vehicles for Zermatt at the family-run company Stimbo alongside his father Bruno Imboden. ´ The Imboden family may produce electric vehicles now, but their business began with Raphael’s grandfather Heinrich transporting guests to hotels in carriages. Back in the 1950s, he was the only carriage driver. And the local mountain guides laughed in his face, convinced that his business venture was doomed to fail. And yet just a few years later, in 1960, he was providing taxi services with a fleet of some 40 carriages.´

´ In the 1970s, the Imboden family was looking to the future and innovating once again. They bought two electric vehicles from a company called Pfander, convinced that they would be ideal for the narrow streets in the small village. The police had other ideas and confiscated them within a matter of days. Lengthy discussions and a period of heavily restricted use followed until the people of Zermatt finally had their say and voted in favour of the electric vehicles.´


´ The speed limit in Zermatt is 20 km/h and the vehicles can reach a maximum of 30 km/h. Private individuals are not permitted to drive electric vehicles on the roads here. Even businesses have to be able to prove that they need a vehicle for professional purposes. For example, a hotel may need to shuttle guests. The aim is to keep traffic to a minimum, whilst making sure local businesses have the electric vehicles they need. Around 550 of them are registered in Zermatt in total.´

´ As you watch all the little electric vehicles zoom by on the roads in Zermatt, it’s hard not to notice that they all look pretty much the same. “The vehicles can only be up to 1.4 metres wide, 4 metres long and 2 metres tall,” explains Raphael Imboden. That amounts to a total volume of around 11 cubic metres. “That’s why the vehicles all look so rectangular. Everyone aims to hit those maximum dimensions spot on.” The only exception is vehicles used for work in the public interest.´

´ If you’re assuming that the vehicles must come with a price tag to match their modest size, think again. Prices for production range between CHF 65,000 and CHF 120,000. A shuttle taxi for use by a hotel costs somewhere around CHF 90,000. The fact that each vehicle is manufactured as a one off drives up the costs. Stimbo’s margin isn’t even all that high. The company tends to make its money through vehicle maintenance. Maintenance that keeps the vehicles on the road for 30 to 40 years. Raphael Imboden puts the price into perspective: “The first vehicle we ever made is still going strong.”´






here’s just 150 metres or a minute’s walk between the Mont Cervin Palace and the Zermatterhof – the finest hotels on Zermatt’s Bahnhofstrasse. André Seiler welcomes guests to a life of luxury at the Mont Cervin Palace, whilst Rafael Biner is on hand to cater to his guests’ every need over at the equally upscale Zermatterhof. But there’s no feeling of hostility or rampant competition between the two hoteliers. In fact, they are the very best of friends, having met at the Zermatterhof bar ten years ago. That should come as no surprise really since they have a good few things in common. They are both highly professional and enjoy balancing out their busy work schedules with nature and the finer things in life. 53










© Gian Marco Castelberg



A unique interplay of stability and dynamism is conveyed by the archaic shaped table TURNTABLE in combination with the sculptural chair MORPH. – zeitraum-moebel.de

E2-S – Exclusively produced on a madeto-order basis and assembled by hand right in the heart of Zurich. It’s small, fast, beautiful and easy to use. We just love it! – www.zuriga.coffee

Are you after an elongated horse in a jockey outfit to complete your coffee cups and sugar bowl collection? Look no further. – hermes.com

The unique feature of FUMO is that it marries with the strong, smoky personality of peat with the smoothness of cherry. – vergani.ch

Mamma Luisa and Mamma Lina have entrusted Claudio Del Principe with over 100 previously closely guarded recipes. Celebrate the almost forgotten purist everyday cuisine of Italy. That’s amore!

Sillage d’Hermès Armchair Beechwood structure clad in cellulose microfibres from FSC-labelled forests (Forest Stewardship Council) with Cashmere cushions

– at-verlag.ch

– hermes.com


The first ever biodynamic cuvée in Champagne! The Europe which witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall inspired the name of this wine. The ethereal and floral Chardonnay brings a special elegance to this cuvée. Despite at first receiving a dosage, it has been zero-dosage for the last 10 years. – smithandsmith.ch

Balsamic Vinegar with Pomegranate from organic and biodynamic agriculture. – mediterre.com

Gone are the days of messy cutlery drawers with the Christofle Mood egg. – christofle.com

Elevate your coffee tasting experience. Set of two tasting glasses in crystal, enhancing the body and aroma complexity of the Lungo coffees (also available for Espresso). Building on a similar approach to oenology, Nespresso has called on Riedel’s glass masters to develop exclusive tasting glasses. – nespresso.com

The third book by renowned three-Michelin-starred chef Andreas Caminada focuses on his vegetarian creations. Sophisticated dishes by no means require meat. The recipes, though wonderfully refined, are easy to put into practice even for amateur cooks.

JA\UND? stands for sustainable designer products of the highest quality created with great social engagement and innovative ideas. Each handmade product tells a story of people who give their best every day to take the next step forward. – globus.ch

– at-verlag.ch

The sknife pocket knife in damask has blade and knife back made of damask steel with this unmistakable, typical damask pattern. Handcrafted production down to the last detail with high-tech ceramics and components leaning on the crafstmanship of watchmaking. The opening of the pocket knife is a sensation; thanks to the unique plain bearing made of high-tech ceramic, the knife can be opened as easily a movement of a watch. – world-of-knives.ch

Oona is the first and only Swiss caviar from sturgeons which are bred in naturally warm mountain spring water: Oona stands for uniqueness and genuineness, and enables you to sense the exceptional nature of caviar. – oona-caviar.ch


2 1 — The exhibition Albert Oehlen – “big paintings by me with small paintings by others” at MASI Lugano presents iconic works embodying different phases of Oehlen’s painting career which are displayed alongside a selection of more than thirty international artists belonging to his private collection. Image: Exhibition view, © MASI Lugano 2 — The transformation of a small, spartan farmhouse in the high Alps into Chez Vrony is more than just a story. It also encapsulates the history of the past 120 years, chronicling the fortunes of the Julen family life in Findeln, and Zermatt’s meteoric rise from a remote mountain village to a world renowned tourist destination.


YOUR WORLD OF ENJOYMENT FOR A YEAR Reading pleasure & exclusive bonuses: also for giving away.


000_000_INSERAT_MUSTERa3.indd 7

22.09.20 21:56

For your order go to: falstaff.com/abo @falstaff.magazin 62


a weekend in Zermatt A weekend in Zermatt is like a weekend in Wonderland! You’ll be bewitched, beguiled and possibly a little bit bewildered. My survival tips:


The picturesque village of Zermatt is arguably the most magical destination in Switzerland with the main attraction, the iconic Matterhorn, taking pride of place in the spectacular Alpine landscape. At night, the village transforms into a winter wonderland, directly out of a fairy tale. Hotels, bars, cafés and restaurants abound with food playing a central role in any Zermatt experience – the mountain restaurants being particularly popular. Zermatt works like a magnetic charm for sporty types. One can easily see why, with 360 km of pistes, ample sunshine, and some of the best downhill skiing in Europe. The question is, take to the slopes or relax in the spa? Well, alternatively, there’s always the sun terrace… a lazy lunch and glass of Walliser white wine. Wonderful wonderland!


1 Look ma, no fur!

Puffer jackets are all the rage and it’s not hard to see why. This hunky-looking model seems to be begging for a body to take it out in. To the slopes, the slopes! Never mind the weather …


– canadagoose.com


2 Youth and vitality

Essential ingredients for the high demands of the modern man. The luxury cosmetic brand for men, MBR has just the answer: The Cream for men – unsurpassable! – muse-beauty.ch

3 In style, on time … 3

Timeless in style and otherwise state-of-the-art, this extremely handsome and sporty chronological watch is the perfect companion to wear at work or at play. Not to mention while showing off your elegant moves on the piste. The Black & Gold time-keeper. Parmigiani’s pride. – parmigiani.ch

4 Hot as Hermès!


In true basket-ball style this sassy red leather boot from the house of Hermès will keep you on your toes and kickin’ the proverbial ass. Not to mention the admiring looks you’ll get as you hit the road.


– hermes.com

5 Did you know?

Dom Pérignon’s quest for creating the finest champagne dates back to 1668 when he commited to creating “the best wine in the world ”? An ambition to create “harmony as a source of emotion ”that continues to this very day. – domperignon.com

6 Lost in the Alps

Lost in the Alps. The Alpinists … this book contains the photographic work of 11 young photographers whose passion for the mountains and photography culminate in this extraordinary tome.


– at-verlag.ch



Restaurant Bazaar ZERMATT INSIDER TIPS Riffelalp Resort



Julen Sport The champions in town. Reliable supplier of sportswear and ski rental for every shape and size, taste and style! – Hofmattstrasse 4, Zermatt julensport.ch

Riffelalp – at 2222 meters, as a place to stay or destination to hike to, this legendary five-star resort hotel with its own private tram, super spa, gourmet restaurants and relaxing piano bar has everything one could wish for in an Alpine hotel and is an absolute higlight. Including the best view of the Matterhorn for miles around!

Matterhorn Museum – Discover the triumphs and tragedies of life in Zermatt in the shadow of the Matterhorn at the turn of the 19th Century and relive the drama of the first ascent of the iconic mountain. Including the broken rope … The film recreating the momentous event, “Der Berg Ruft”, on show in the museum, is well worth watching.

Boutique Fusalp

Place to be…

The Swiss designer label for him and her. Cool fashion to cut a dashing figure in - on the slopes or a night out on the tiles.

Amazing food at Hotel Cervo’s Restaurant Bazaar, inspired by the lively markets of the East. Cool bar! The place to be!

– Bahnhofstrasse 39, Zermatt fusalp.com

– cervo.ch

The Petit Royal Café Best little tearoom in town with the most scrumptious selection of homemade goodies and their very own hot chocolate!

Restaurant Chez Heini Unique and quirky … fantastic restaurant with an entertaining, singing chef and the best lambchops in town. – chezheini.com

– Bahnhofstrasse 7, Zermatt

The Riffelsee Most picturesque and most photographed lake in the alps, dramatically reflecting the Matterhorn. A brisk walk in pure nature.

Insider tip The elegant Edwards Bar in the historical Hotel Monte Rosa (dating back to 1839) is the perfect place for cocktails or a cozy chat. The hotel embodies the story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn. – monterosazermatt.ch

A day in the Matterhorn glacier paradise – the Klein Matterhorn peak. The stunning views from the world’s highest cable car station (3,883 m), with its new restaurant, makes for a fantastic day trip. The state-of-the-art gondolas created by Italian design studio Pininfarina have glass bottoms adorned with Swarovski crystals that open up after three minutes to reveal the spectacular glacier landscape below. Weather permitting … Don’t miss it!


Zermatt is a world unto itself and no visitor leaves its slopes or streets without leaving a part of himself behind. It’s the kind of place you have to tear yourself away from. And no sooner done, than make plans for a return visit.







© Olivia Pulver

skill and finesse with a cheeky twist



A meal prepared by Stefan Heilemann at the Widder Restaurant is a journey for all senses that takes you from Central Europe all the way to Thailand. Always on board? Exceptional skill and a real feel for flavour.

© Selina Meier / Widder Hotel


interested in other cultures. I want my international mindset to come across in my cooking,” he says. “It’s nothing to do with fusion cuisine, though. With my Asian dishes, the only western influence comes from the techniques and some of the ingredients. But I never compromise on the typical flavours.” Stefan Heilemann’s Asian-inspired creations may come across as ultra-modern, but his attitudes toward cooking are as traditional as they get. The five years he spent working with the legendary Harald Wohlfahrt at Schwarzwaldstube (a restaurant with three Michelin stars) at the Hotel Traube Tonbach clearly had a lasting impact on him. “You can’t get anywhere

As if by magic, a crispy fried pig’s ear served with a Thai-inspired cucumber salad appears on the table. This unusual delicacy is straight out of the kitchen of Stefan Heilemann, Head Chef at Widder Restaurant since the summer of 2020. Heilemann loves Thai flavours and is known for including a quirky dish or two in his menus. That explains the pig’s ear, then. “Lots of my diners have been following my cooking for over five years. That level of trust allows me to send out plates like this once in a while,” he explains. Whilst many other successful professional chefs stick to food from their local area, Heilemann is not keen to restricting his creativity to one place. “I love travelling and am 67

© Stefania Giorgi / Widder Hotel



© Olivia Pulver


in this job without the proper skills. And that’s why my menus are traditionally French at heart to this day,” he explains. One of his most famous dishes is the perfect example of exceptional culinary skill. A whole turbot filled with langostinos, scallops and coriander – served in a delicious tom yum sauce, with a simple bowl of fried rice on the side. The enjoyment he gets out of spoiling and surprising his guests with a cheeky twist shines through again and again. Heilemann has taken great pleasure in blurring the (previously impenetrable) boundaries between street food and haute cuisine. This comes across from the moment you pop that first amuse bouche into your mouth. A light and airy bao bun with braised duck and green curry. “Complexity is an important element of a full menu, but the focus has to always be on flavour. I want my guests to always want more whenever they try our dishes,” explains the master chef. When he first became Head Chef at the Hotel Atlantis in Zurich (which has since closed down), he seemed to be a bit on the shy side. Now he fully embraces cooking in front of diners at the Widder Restaurant, where he can watch over the Chef’s Table and chat with guests happily tucking into his food. The vast majority of customers here are regulars who come to the Widder because they know they will be served exquisite food that not many other chefs would be able to replicate. That could be a duck liver with a salt crust or a perfectly matured game bird. Diners who come to the Widder know that they won’t be served up anything overly pretentious. From the very first appetisers to the desserts created by pastry chef André Siedl, which are always perfectly balanced and, of course, seasonal. Wild strawberries, wood sorrel and liquorice is a classic Siedl combination that never fails to impress. “We just cook dishes we would like to eat ourselves”, says Heilemann with a smile. Aiming to open up his culinary creations to a wider circle, the chef created a range of simple Asian dishes to take away from the Zur Schtund restaurant (which belongs to the Widder Hotel) in the spring. His sandwich filled with beautifully succulent pork belly, coriander cream, Thai coleslaw and roasted onions became a firm favourite in the city. 69


© Olivia Pulver

If you ask Stefan Heilemann for the secret to his success, his first answer is his team. And that’s the whole team – from the chefs to the waiters and the kitchen porters. “Although I give the direction as far as the food is concerned, a restaurant only succeeds if the entire team works together. If it were down to me alone to prepare every single meal as the head chef, there’s no chance we would have two Michelin stars and 18 GaultMillau points.” Friendship and solidarity are two qualities that Heilemann takes very seriously. After the Atlantis closed down in spring 2020, he didn’t just sit around and wait for another job to come along. Instead, he worked with his chefs to put together gourmet boxes for high-end department store Jelmoli. He peeled vegetables and chopped onions like any hard-working intern. Now that he’s working at the Widder, his career dreams have come true: “This restaurant is iconic and I couldn’t ask for a better platform. The fact that I was able to bring almost my whole team with me made the transition so much smoother. Consistency is one of the determining factors when it comes to highend gastronomy. We can’t be expected to work blind.” Heilemann and Restaurant Manager Stefano Petta, who is also the sommelier, are a bit like an old married couple at work. “We have been working together for almost seven years and that makes my job a whole lot easier. I am fully acquainted with Stefan’s flavour palette, which allows me to serve the perfect wine with his Thai-inspired turbot without having to always turn to a Riesling, which is known for going nicely with these kinds of dishes. So I may recommend a rich rosé Grenache or a Vermentino di Sardegna with a more mineral and less acidic taste,” explains Petta. Heilemann clearly has a friendly relationship based on respect with his kitchen team. And he’s also always happy to hear from the service team if they have any concerns or points to raise. “The only time his facial expression is anything less than positive is when I give him direct and deliberately provocative feedback on a new dish that he is still perfecting. His response is always the same: ‘Stefano, you’re the worst taste tester I’ve ever worked with!’”


© Widder Hotel




© Switzerland Tourism / André Meier



N 4 6 ° 0 1 ' 1 1 ' ' | E 7 °4 4' 5 5 ' '


74 © Switzerland Tourism / Silvano Zeiter



TIMELESS WINTER MAGIC during the winter months. And before long, Zermatt is covered under a powdery blanket. This signals to hotels that the holidays are near; time to deck the lobbies and outdoor spaces with festive lights. It may come as a surprise that winter tourism has taken hold in Zermatt less than a century ago. Thanks to lobbying efforts by the Seiler family, owners of the Mont Cervin Palace, the summer train service of the Visp-Zermatt-Bahn was eventually extended. Ever since, travelers from near and far have been flocking to the town on the foot of the Matterhorn. Some appreciate the winter landscape primarily for its timeless beauty. Snowshoeing and winter hiking are mindful ways of experiencing it all; the trails reveal new vantage points around every bend. Others see the numerous ski runs as an open invitation for schussing. Each slope has its own merits – generous space for carving or steep inclines for speeding. But whatever your activity of choice may be, we all find ourselves glued to the mighty Matterhorn.


N°1 Arrive in style on the Glacier Express The panoramic train line connects glitzy St. Moritz with car-free Zermatt.

N°2 © Matterhorn Group / Gaudenz Danuser

If you follow the Matter Vispa river upstream, you will find yourself facing the Matterhorn. At the foot of this mighty peak, dozens of natural springs were the reason for Zermatt’s original name: Praborno, “meadow among natural springs.” At these altitudes, water turns to snow and ice

Take advantage of an equine courtesy pick-up On a typical day in Zermatt, electric shuttles of various sizes await hotel guests at the train station. An added benefit of staying at either the Mont Cervin Palace or the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is their unique pick-up service. A coachman will load you and your luggage onto a horsedrawn carriage, then whisk you to your hotel in style.


Tips for an unforgettable time in Zermatt



4 6 N O 3. SUNRISE Watch the Matterhorn at sunrise.

N O 4. SURRENDER TO A HEAVENLY SPA After a day of winter sports, there is no better relief than a spa. The Mont Cervin Palace and Grand Hotel Zermatterhof boast soothing saunas, indoor pools, and jacuzzis. Up at the Riffelalp Resort, the heated outdoor pool with scenic Matterhorn views is an unmissable highlight.

During winter, the sun will hit the tip of the iconic peak anywhere between 7 and 8 AM. Find a place with unobstructed views, ideally your hotel room or somewhere on the main street. As the sun rises in the East, the light will travel down the face of the mountain – a truly memorable experience.




© www.iglu-dorf.com

Every winter, igloo hotels are carved out of the snow at 2727 meters above sea level. Ice carvings, cheese fondue, hot tubs, bonfires, and sleeping bags are all part of this unique experience.


N O 6. SUNBATHE AT CHEZ VRONY The transformation of a small, spartan farmhouse in the high Alps into Chez Vrony is more than just a story. It also encapsulates the history of the past 120 years, chronicling the fortunes of the Julen family, life in Findeln, and Zermatt’s meteoric rise from a remote mountain village to a world famous tourist destination.

N O 7. MOVIE TIME A cult cinema for over 30 years, the Vernissage Cinema combines a dinner show restaurant, cinema, concert hall and night club in one. In addition to silver screen hits, it offers a home for the international music and art scene. Cinema Vernissage is considered the cradle of Zermatt Unplugged, the renowned music festival. This extra-ordinary venue in the Backstage Hotel was conceived by Zermatt artist and hotelier Heinz Julen and opened in 1991.


© Rob Lewis

Beautiful spring snow at 1620 meters above sea level, over 80 special unplugged concerts, 14 stages, culinary delights, exciting encounters, relaxing hours under the Alpine sun. From 5–9 April, 2022, the musical highlight will spoil you with a varied, top-class and international music and enjoyment program.




© Gornergrat Bahn


N O 9. SLEDDING FUN ON THE GORNERGRAT Not only is the sled run from Rotenboden to Riffelberg on the Gornergrat the highest in the Alps (2815 m) but it is also one of the most beautiful, located in a wonderful mountain setting.


N O 11. HELICOPTER TOUR Air Zermatt offers a wide variety of sightseeing flights. A highlight is a flight around the Matterhorn and the surrounding mountain peaks.


N O 12. SNOWSHOEING Winter hiking in Zermatt leads to undiscovered hamlets or sun-drenched terraces with magnificent views over Zermatt, Täsch and Randa. And then as a great reward, stop at a cozy mountain restaurant.


© Christian Pfammatter

One area, two countries: in the cross-border ski area of Zermatt, you can easily switch between Swiss and Italian pistes as well as their respective gastronomic offers.

12 79

Dating back to the 13 th century, the small village of Andermatt is laden with history. The town, bastioned by its location at the foot of the Furka, Oberalp and Gotthard passes, has continually been a strategic crossroads for traffic through Switzerland, between northern and southern Europe. Embedded in this rugged mountain landscape, The Chedi has been welcoming a well-heeled clientele to its grand European bearings paired with minimalist Asian spirit since opening in 2013 – arguably putting Andermatt on the map as one of Switzerland’s top alpine destinations. If the building’s exterior façade evokes the sobriety of an Alpine chalet that has tripled in size, the skillfully crafted interior decor earmarks a plethora of Asian elements and oriental grandeur – a combination of style and luxury that remains refined throughout the five-star deluxe’s 123 spacious guest rooms and suites, courtesy of Belgian star architect JeanMichel Gathy. Packed with style, one of the crown jewels of The Chedi is the 134 square meter Gemsstock Suite. Yet another example of Gathy’s plainspoken design anchored in the hotel’s natural environment, while infusing Oriental components throughout in a truly contemporary way. This perfect symbiosis of Asian and Alpine details comes to life through the use of local woods, granite and sleek leather furnishings, discoursed by a threemeter-high vaulted wooden ceiling,


semi-transparent movable wall panels and a flickering log fire placed in the center of the suite. The wonderfully spacious and sumptuous bathroom is a masterclass in temperate Swiss hauteur, with an equally impressive walkin closet to match. Downstairs, the alpine East-meetsWest narrative carries on, be that in the snug corners of the cosy lobby lounge, the library or the main restaurant, a lofty montane canteen of sorts, serving a rich assortment of Swiss, international and – surprise, surprise – Asian-inspired dishes. For those in search of regal repose, the 2500 square meter wellness and spa areas invite guests to unapologetically immerse themselves in the Asian art of healing, letting their minds wander while enjoying the various baths and saunas, indoor and outdoor pools, ice fountains and flower baths. Here, too, Gathy’s style is evident in the shape of large and expansive, palatial and ultra-modern spaces. To round it all up comme il faut, American natural cosmetics guru Tata Harper’s treatments are exclusive to The Chedi in Switzerland. Back in the Gemsstock Suite, complete with its own dining room table and living area, the ample balcony is the perfect place to appreciate the picturesque backdrop of the suite’s namesake, the Gemsstock Peak rising high up into the clouds, while enjoying a multi-course dinner from the wide-ranging in-room dining menu or that all essential après-ski tipple. 80

© The Chedi Andermatt

suite talk

Three reasons to leave the suite:


For those in search of more than mere relaxation, there is plenty of action for Duracell-powered guests. Courtesy of Andermatt’s rich natural surroundings, waterfalls, mountain lakes and more than 180 kilometres of hiking and skiing routes and pistes await to be discovered. During the winter months, speedy connections from the resort to Andermatt, Sedrun and Disentis ensure that Central Switzerland’s largest ski region is within easy reach. 2. ASIAN ALPINERY

The highest Japanese gourmet hotspot in Switzerland at an altitude of 2362 meters, the aptly named The Japanese, offers refined specialities such as Shidashi Bentō, Omakase, Saiseki, sushi and fresh tempura dishes right by the Gütsch-Express mountain station. With a view of the Gotthard, the Oberalp Pass and the Ursern Valley, its intimate atmosphere acts as the perfect setting for a spectacular high-altitude dining experience. 3. UP IN SMOKE

Hosted and curated by The Chedi’s very own cigar aficionado Marie Gerber, the hotel’s Cigar Library is home to one of the most extensive selections of any hotel in the world. The swanky walk-in humidor includes over 800 varieties, hard-to-find rarities and special editions for connoisseurs to spoil themselves, originating from far-off corners of the world such as Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and, of course, Cuba. MORE INFORMATION

thechediandermatt.com 81

think green Our top tip for the coming season? Go green! In every shade and tone available. Doina Jung and Karin Grossenbacher and their team from Al Lago Interiors /  Agentur Al Lago have been realizing interior design projects of private and institutional clients for over 15 years. They look for inspiration on the catwalk at major fashion shows, on their travels and out in nature. The result is a simple style bursting with joy that aims to lighten up our living and working spaces.

´ Interiors should always blend in effortlessly with their surroundings – context is key. The materials we settle on for a hotel up in the mountains are clearly going to be different from the ones we choose for a place by Lake Lugano or Lake Neuchâtel. We can work with all kinds of styles in line with the customer’s expectations for their project. To start with, we engage in an in-depth discussion about their wants, needs and aims. At the heart of everything we do is our intuition and years of experience. We blend traditional looks with touches of modern luxury to ensure that our customers will be happy with the finished result for years to come.´

© Accento

´ The coronavirus pandemic has shown us the importance of feeling at home and loving where we work and live. Most things can be bought off the shelf, but customers with large individual projects tend to turn to professionals with the right expertise and fresh ideas. We have noticed that people are getting braver and bolder. With wall colours and bright accessories as well as with colourful and patterned wallpaper, which is a trend that has been around for a while in the UK and Scandinavia. Wallpaper can transform your living space in an instant.´


´ One exciting hotel project we worked on in 2020 was for The Henry. The slogan of this Zurich-based hotel is “Sleep in our hotel in the colours of a movie scene”. Each of the themed rooms is named after a film, such as The Great Gatsby. And we were hired to fully renovate the hotel and to set the scene with wallpaper, soft furnishings and curtains. We also recently worked on the RadioOncology Department at The Circle at Zurich Airport, with a brief to make sure that patients and visitors could be given a warm stay.´

´ A comfy sofa is a must for any family wanting to relax and spend some quality time together, but it is also a piece of furniture that needs to look nice and fancy, ready for when friends and other guests come to visit. With kitchens increasingly being used as living spaces, they need to be practical and homely yet stylish.´

´ With our agency we market 26 textile and furniture brands to specialized trade and hotels. Our suppliers give us early access to their upcoming collections so we can see what’s new on the horizon. We keep up-to-date with industry developments and draw inspiration from exhibitors at trade fairs in Switzerland and abroad. On top of that, we keep an eye on what’s happening at fashion shows and in the wider world of fashion, as the same trends are often reflected in interior design. Nature and travel are two other important sources of inspiration and ideas for us.´ ´ If you’re looking in furniture shops and especially if you’re shopping online, you’re probably only going to find bog-standard designs. Our customers are looking for unique solutions and that is exactly what we give them with our extraordinary brands and plenty of customisation options.´




Seestrasse 107 8803 Rüschlikon agenturallago.ch

Seestrasse 107 8803 Rüschlikon al-lago.ch


MARIO GUZZETTI Chef de Bar, Gstaad Palace


When the Bar Manager is on his travels, he tends to frequent bars and restaurants with just as much history as his own bar. The Widder Bar in Zurich or the Leopard Bar in Geneva, for example. And he always favours a seat at the bar. “That way you can keep an eye on the action and get a proper feel for the place.”


Mario Guzzetti is the Bar Manager at the legendary Gstaad Palace. The Italian is just as passionate about football as he is about his work. “Although I come from Lombardy, I’m a Juventus supporter,” he says, before proceeding to gush about all the top players that have worn the famous black and white stripes of the Turin-based team. Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo, Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini… In the Lobby Bar at the Gstaad Palace, where he has worked since 2005, Guzzetti has just as much swagger as any of those footballing stars. Every move is delivered to perfection and he doesn’t miss a beat. In the spirit of true sportman-

ship, the suave gentleman in a sharp black suit is always ready to listen to his guests. Maybe that’s why his signature cocktail is aptly called the ‘Be Nice’. It’s a straightforward drink that somehow still packs a flavour punch. You can taste rose, violet, vanilla, orange peel and, of course, the refreshing floral bouquet of Hendrick’s Gin. At home in Italy, Guzzetti heads to the pitch himself every now and then. For a match with mates, that is. “If I could hand-pick my own team, Ronaldo and Pirlo would definitely be in the starting line-up. And Francesco Totti, even if he did play for AS Roma.”


“BE NICE” The signature cocktail of the Gstaad Palace

Hendrick’s Gin Bols “Parfait Amour” Lemon juice

© Photo: Mason Rose

It’s a straightforward drink that somehow still packs a flavour punch. You can taste rose, violet, vanilla, orange peel and, of course, the refreshing floral bouquet of Hendrick’s Gin.


we need quality soil, to produce quality wine Moët Hennessy

Sandrine Sommer, Chief Sustainability Officer at Moët Hennessy tells us about the Group’s sustainability projects and visions and explains why environmental issues are so important. WORDS ALEX KUEHN



How seriously do you take sustainability at Moët Hennessy? Very seriously indeed! On one hand, our position as a global leader in luxury wines and spirits means that we have a great sense of responsibility towards our stakeholders and our planet. On the other, there’s the fact that the quality of our product is determined directly by the soil quality, which in turn relies on us all taking care of the environment. The more we do to improve the quality of the soil, the better the grapes we have at our disposal. But our strategy goes well beyond the soil and terroir alone. Caring for the environment ultimately means supporting and respecting others and bringing about positive changes to our society. We also have to bear in mind that our customers expect us to be leading the way when it comes to sustainability. Equally, we do everything in our power to encourage our customers to recycle empty bottles and packaging. Luckily, glass is a great material as far as recycling is concerned. Which organisations are you working with as part of your sustainability efforts? We have a number of partners. For example, the Moët Hennessy Group is working with a French NGO called Pour une Agriculture du Vivant. They are helping us to achieve our goals surrounding regenerative agriculture more quickly. We support the Fondation Albert de Monaco with funding so that experts can research innovative ways to promote biodiversity. Our parent company LVMH is also working hard. A key part of their strategy is to collaborate with UNESCO on biodiversity. We also always try to partner up with local NGOs in every one of our active markets. Can you tell us about Moët Hennessy’s sustainability projects in more detail? Ruinart, one of our champagne houses, planted 4,000 trees and hedges over an area of 40 hectares to investigate the impact of biodiversity on vineyards. Whilst it’s obvious that more trees and hedges are bound to bring with them more living things and diversity, concrete figures paint a clearer picture. Exciting work is being done all 87

over the world. We are looking to launch a flagship sustainability project at our Château du Galoupet estate, which is known for its rosé wine. We are even taking a biodynamic approach to cultivating some of the vines. Elsewhere, we are investing with Hennessy in partnership with ReforestAction in regeneration of forests in Cognac but also in Nigeria, Kenya and China, with the aim of creating new habitats by planting more trees. How do you involve the staff in Moët Hennessy’s sustainability efforts? We have launched an online training tool to cover the basics given that a fundamental understanding is the key to success. Our employees need to know why climate change is such a problem, why biodiversity is so important and why social issues are crucial. All our activities aimed at taking care of the environment and of the people are also covered on the online training tool along with an overview of how the world is changing and of what our stakeholders are doing. We have been taking sustainability seriously for some time now, but we haven’t always done the best job of communicating that. It is important to us that we can strike the right balance between sustainability and profitability. There’s no way of having one without the other. Do you think that companies without a sustainability strategy will still be able to attract highly qualified applicants? I don’t think so. The kind of talented young people we would like to hire don’t waste any time in asking about our sustainability projects. We are only able to convince them to work for us when we can confi­dently communicate our environmental, social and societal efforts. We have teams of volunteers in a number of countries who get involved outside of a work setting. For example, the Swiss volunteers organised a clean-up day in autumn 2020, which involved them ridding Lake Geneva of invasive plants. In 2021, they also set themselves the goal of picking up as much waste as possible up in the mountains. The mountains give us so much, so this was our chance to give something back to them.


© Danuser / Zermatterhof



You know the feeling you get when time seems to stand still, in the most beautiful way? That’s what arriving at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof in your horse-drawn carriage feels like. And taking a spa break while the Matterhorn teases you behind its demure curtain of clouds just might be the best possible way to experience this timeless mountain getaway.


e may as well get the most shocking aspect of my stay at the Zermatterhof out of the way now: I am a Swiss National and have lived in Zurich for over 30 years, but I’ve never actually seen the Matterhorn. There, I said it. And now we can comfortably dive into one of Switzerland’s most unique alpine hotels. Or rather, into the inviting indoor pool of the Zermatterhof’s “Vita borni” Spa, where I’ll be spending most of my time as a spa expert – and Matterhorn novice. 90

© Oliver Milczarek / Fashion Whisper – Blog




Having just been named “Hotel of the Year 2021” by Karl Wild of the renowned Swiss Hotel Ranking, the Zermatterhof quietly resides in the middle of town, right next to the beautiful church and just a stone’s throw away from the main, pedestrian-only street. Built in 1876, during Zermatt’s very first Renaissance as a hotspot for “summering” Europeans, the Zermatterhof immediately became the biggest hotel in town, with a (for the time) mind-boggling 94 rooms. In the past 140 years, it has lost nothing of its luxurious comfort, all while keeping its historic décor and charm. Knowing this, I’m not surprised by the warm greeting as we disembark from the horse-drawn carriage that picked us up at the train station, a mere five minutes away. I am surprised, though, at how quiet and serene the small square in front of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is. But this will soon change, as the sun is coming out and travellers will be arriving by train quite soon, most of them dressed in their finest mountaineering gear and ready to conquer Switzerland’s most iconic mountain peak. My friend and I have left our hiking boots at home, though. There simply won’t be enough time for adrenaline and rock dust: We’ve not only got spa treatments booked, but are expected to arrive for dinner at “Loti”, one of the two Zermatterhof restaurants at 7 PM sharp. My husband would argue that I’m simply making excuses to avoid a probable near-death experience on the mountain, but I take my job as a beauty journalist quite seriously and need to be well-rested and prepared to take in all that this historic hotel has to offer.



Thanks to my job, I’m no stranger to beautiful spas, but I’ll admit something here that may surprise you: I’ve discovered that neither size nor high-tech treatment rooms define whether you feel at home there or not. The “Vita borni” spa, located on the lower level of the hotel with a small, yet lovely outdoor sun area, may not be the largest mountain spa, but it is immediately, wonderfully inviting. The name, which means “life from the source” connects pureness of the surrounding mountains with the healing power of water, both hot and cold. My girlfriend and I are immediately whisked away into our respective treatment rooms to enjoy a full-body massage, and a 90-minute facial, respectively. I don’t want to spoil things for you, but please do read up on my “signature treatment” tips! My favorite detail was certainly discovering “Matterhorn Swiss Mineral Cosmetics”. This small Zermatt-based brand creates natural, beautifully formulated skincare products using actual mineral particles made from finely-ground Matterhorn rocks, which are rich in minerals and trace elements like silicium, calcium and magnesium – that are fabulous for the skin. They then add local plant extracts, such as Edelweiss, alpine rose and mountain pine, all sourced sustainably. Needless to say, my one single souvenir from Zermatt was not a snow globe or fun T-shirt, but the gorgeous Matterhorn Peeling Mask!


Matterhorn “Anti -Aging” Signature Treatment – CHF 260 (80 min)

This luxurious, deeply relaxing facial treatment includes a hand and head massage, but the main attraction is the gentle routine of cleansing, exfoliation (using Matterhorn Swiss Mineral Cosmetics) and a lifting massage that focuses on decongesting and lifting areas that could use a little help. The finishing moisturizer leaves you glowing and relaxed.


Wonderfully relaxed, we meet back up in the serene relaxation room, and then proceed to take full advantage of being in the spa at dinner time. From the steam bath to the sauna, a jump into the ice grotto and then back to the pool for a few minutes of swimming – and not another hotel guest in sight, except for Spa manager Linda quietly tidying up. We linger until the last possible minute before running up to our beautiful corner suite with two balconies and a view of the Matterhorn, which kept itself shrouded in clouds during our entire visit, as if to make sure we’d be back to see it in its full glory soon. As a Zermatt first-timer, I was truly surprised that a small alpine village that is so famous could retain so much charm, despite the thousands of tourists that visit daily. And it was the small things, like the twice-daily herd of goats that are ushered through town, bells happily clanging, or the pleasure of hearing the local Alphorn quartet practice their afternoon set in a quiet back alley. Being Swiss, part of me wanted to resist its charm, but after a glass of ice-cold Champagne at the Zermatterhof’s lovely outdoor bar, I gave in. And enjoyed myself thoroughly enough that I swore that I’d see the famed mountain peak during my next visit. In the meantime, its image on a bar of Toblerone will suffice, especially when a frothy cappuccino is involved. Thank you for a wonderful stay, Grand Hotel Zermatterhof!



November 2020 - Februar 2021 D 8,- € / A 9,- € / I 10,- € / L 9,50 € / E 10,- € / CH 15,50 SFR travellersworld.de


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Entspannen im Engadin Chalets zum Träumen Münchens Schlossquartier






s the first deliciously crisp autumn days arrive, I tend to revert from my summery hedonistic mood to a slower, more deliberate pace. And one of my favorite things to do in the fall is to find time to take care of myself – and my skin’s needs. These new beauty products fit the bill perfectly and will make sure that you get a glowing start to the new season. 1 – Now that summer’s over, a lot of us (myself included!) could use a bit of a boost. This luxurious face mask by Swiss brand La Colline combines a high-tech peptide complex to swiftly plump skin up, and the light, melting gel texture feels fabulous, too. Bright complexion, here we come! 2 – You’ve never experienced rose like this! A spicy, fresh creation with a mysterious and slightly dark side – and a scent that leaves no one indifferent. What we love most about Laboratorio Olfattivo’s diffusors, is that they can be refilled time and time again, making them not only lovely home scents, but sustainable as well. 3 – “Sunscreen, every single day” is my main beauty mantra, so I’m thrilled that Australian organic beauty brand Grown Alchemist just released a natural, intensely hydrating sunscreen with mineral UVA / UVB filters that don’t leave a white cast on the skin, while adding excellent hydration. This is what organic suncare should always look like! 4 – I’ve gotten so used to wearing face masks that I’m always up for testing a lipstick that won’t smear underneath it. This new, velvety liquid lipstick by Dior passed the test with flying colors – quite literally: it’s transfer-proof and feels wonderfully light on the lips. 5 – Don’t be frightened by its appearance; this LED face mask is here to revive your skin! The faceLITE mask uses clinically proven wavelengths of light to instantly energise skin cells for a natural revitalizing boost to dull, tired skin. I’m honestly impressed by its effect!

La Colline Matrix R3 Cellular Matrix Mask (50 ml) CHF 145

2 Laboratorio Olfattivo “ClamoRosa” Room Fragrance 500 ml CHF 84


Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 50 ml CHF 45

Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Lipstick CHF 45


Rio faceLITE Beauty Boosting LED Face Mask CHF 350

5 94


IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE! Marc Who? GmbH Market Development & Creative Networking contact@marcwho.ch • marcwho.ch 95


travel in


Alpine luxury on board the Glacier Express


© Glacier Express AG – Stefan Schlumpf



Travel info

he story of the Glacier Express starts way back in the Roaring Twenties, when affluent tourists started to flock to Switzerland from all around the world to experience a piece of Alpine magic. And it didn’t take long after its maiden voyage on 25 June 1930 for a journey on the “slowest express train in the world” to get added to the list of things not to be missed on a grand tour of Switzerland. The train ride starting in Zermatt, a remote Alpine village at the foot of the Matterhorn in the canton of Valais, and ending in St. Moritz in the picturesque Upper Engadine valley, originally lasted just under 11 hours. And the 291-km route covering three Swiss cantons, passing through 91 tunnels and crossing 291 bridges and viaducts at dizzying heights is just as spectacular 90 years later. With the addition of the Excellence Class coach in 2019, railway enthusiasts can since enjoy this incredible experience in true 21st century style. Passengers are treated to an exquisite gourmet meal as they admire the deep-blue mountain lakes, ravine rapids, idyllic mountain villages, historical towns and majestic mountain tops covered in a blanket of snow. These days, a journey on the Glacier Express will take just under eight hours, and we were lucky enough to hop on board.

The Glacier Express runs all year round except between mid-October and mid-December. An Excellence Class ticket costs CHF 688 including a reservation fee of CHF 420. Passengers with a Half-Fare Travelcard get a 50% discount on the ticket price and passengers with a First Class Swiss Travel Pass only have to pay the reservation fee. You can find out more here:

© Panoramic Gourmet AG


Recommended hotels in Zermatt: Mont Cervin Palace – This historical luxury hotel is home to some of the finest restaurants Zermatt has to offer. The spectacular view of the Matterhorn from the bedrooms is not to be missed! – montcervinpalace.ch

Grand Hotel Zermatterhof – Located on Zermatt’s prettiest square, the Zermatterhof gives off grand hotel vibes in the middle of town. Guests can get to the train station in style on a horse-drawn carriage. – zermatterhof.ch



There is no doubt that the highlight of a journey in Excellence Class is the food. A gourmet lunch is served to a maximum of 20 passengers over several hours. Top menu choices include smoked Swiss trout fillets served with baked beetroot, pea and mint soup topped with dried Alpine flowers, and tender Swiss beef tenderloin served with truffle oil potato mousseline and braised leeks. A selection of local cheeses is followed up by warm chocolate gateau for dessert. The food is paired with a selection of fine Swiss wines, so the almost eight-hour journey flies by as though you’re on a flight. Before you know it, it’s late afternoon and the train pulls into Zermatt station in the shadow of the magnificent Matterhorn. Bon voyage!

Boasting a chic interior with an elegant glacier theme, the Excellence Class coach is very much on a par with the lavish luxury of a Swiss five-star hotel. The extremely comfy loungers can be adjusted electronically, and every passenger has plenty of legroom and a guaranteed window seat. At the end of the carriage is the exclusive Excellence Class bar, where passengers can sip on a trendy aperitif or an afternoon cocktail. There is a massive compass on the ceiling to help disoriented passengers get their bearings after all the hairpin bends, tunnels and level junctions. Although there is a real-life concierge on hand to help, each passenger can also access information on the route, country and culture on an individual iPad. It goes without saying that WiFi is available on board.


Recommended hotels in St. Moritz: Badrutt’s Palace – See and be seen is the motto of this iconic hotel in the centre of St. Moritz. Guests can make use of the vintage Rolls Royce shuttle service to travel in style.

Suvretta House – An Alpine hideaway steeped in tradition and offering stunning panoramic vistas. The historical Grand Restaurant serves up exquisite meals. Perfect for guests requiring a little discretion. – suvrettahouse.ch

– badruttspalace.com


breakfast with

Urs Langenegger Is there really a general manager out there who managed to up room rates and extend the average length of stay during the pandemic? There sure is. 100



affected the bottom line. “But we have been able to increase our room prices.” And the average length of stay went up from just under two nights to slightly over three nights in 2020. That’s good news for Langenegger since the business has to generate CHF 6 million in room rates alone every year. So how exactly do you go about upping prices during a pandemic? It would seem that all Park Hotel Vitznau guests really care about is the opportunity to stay here. With most of them coming from Switzerland (20%), Austria, Germany and the USA, the amount of Swiss francs, euros or dollars on the invoice doesn’t seem to have much impact on their choice of destination. In the words of John Donne, “No man is an island”. And you might add, albeit it not quite so elegantly, that no business can escape the storm. Having said that, this proud property in Vitznau is kind of like an island. It has a bit of a reputation within the hospitality sector for being less than forthcoming with discounts – for individual guests or corporate events alike. Langenegger is quick to confirm this, and to add that they are playing in the big leagues. “Our guests also stay at the Villa d’Este and the Villa Feltrinelli,” he says, putting his hotel on a par with these legends on Lake Como and Lake Garda. Back to those corporate events, anyone enquiring about MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) is referred to the Campus Hotel Hertenstein. You can actually see the black and white sister hotel from where we are sitting since it is just a few coves away on the peninsula of Weggis. Langenegger is the general manager of the Campus Hotel Hertenstein too and both hotels are run under the umbrella of a company called Hospitality Vision Lake Lucerne AG. Let’s finish by looking ahead to the future. There are high hopes for a successful winter season after all. The hotel is open all year round and Langenegger confirms that there are already plenty of bookings for the end of the year (we met back in July). Apparently, November has recently become more popular due to the weather, which is less foggy and overcast. Climate change in action, perhaps? The hotel is all set to be super busy over the festive season too. No cause for complaint, then? Urs Langenegger knows only too well that you can’t finish a conversation without some mention of adversity. And so he adds: “Whilst there’s no shortage of guests here, our biggest challenge is recruiting enough employees who can live up to our high standards.”

The Park Hotel Vitznau is often described as a palatial luxury hotel on the edge of a village. Or something along those lines. And that sounds just about right. It’s just that “at the edge” could well give the wrong impression. From the perspective of an overseas guest, the Park Hotel Vitznau is at the centre and the village just so happens to be located around it. “The view of the Bürgenstock with the lake in front of it and the mountainous landscape of Central Switzerland is breathtaking,” says one colleague. What more can I say? I didn’t think I’d have anything to add until I met Urs Langenegger. As the General Manager, he and his team of 140 full-time employees are responsible for making sure that the inner life of the Park Hotel Vitznau delivers up to the spectacular palatial promise of its exterior. Originally from Toggenburg, this prodigial 50-year-old general manager started running the hotel in 2012, halfway through three years of extensive refurbishment work. As he puts it so succinctly, his job is to “respect the past and shape the future”. Facts and figures are all well and good, but they don’t quite capture the ambience and the magic of the establishment. There are 47 suites in total, eight of which are used by the hotel owner’s centre for neurology and rehabilitation, Cereneo. Then you have the exceptional health and beauty facilities, several restaurants, with fine dining very much on the menu, and the wine cellars holding some 30,000 bottles, including big labels in Salmanzar and Balthazar measures, with a total worth of around CHF 26 million. The owner, 79-year-old Austrian investor Peter Pühringer, calls his hotel a “health and wealth residence”. In fact, the top two floors are reserved for his family office and space for some of his other companies. Pühringer bought the hotel from the heirs of Rudolf-August Oetker, former director of German food company Dr Oetker, investing CHF 270 million into the purchase and subsequent renovation work. Langenegger and I sit at socially distanced tables in the main building behind the lobby with its huge windows offering a view of the vast gardens, and Lake Lucerne, of course. As we all know, the pandemic is far from over. But we have learnt to live with it. As we eat our breakfast, Langenegger tells me the Park Hotel Vitznau has not been as badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic as other businesses. Having to close the hotel and restaurants for weeks has undoubtedly 101


d e l e c t a b l e




bern 10

I O ’ S U D







The capital city of Switzerland oozes charm. Or ‘cachet’ as the French would say. There is always something new to discover when exploring this hidden gem with Medieval roots. The government convenes under the dome of the impressive Swiss Parliament Building, which stands tall over the city. The view from the terrace there is lovely, but you have to head to the rose garden or cathedral tower if you want to really admire the city in all its glory. Bern’s Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s no better way of capturing the magic of the place than visiting during the winter months. The lack of bright lights, billboards and department stores almost takes you back in time. Bern is home to one of the longest covered shopping promenades in the whole of Europe. Just be sure to explore all the boutiques, bars and cafés in the arcades on foot. You never quite know what you’re going to find along the string of little shops selling all sorts of bona fide treasures. Culture vultures will be in their element in the city too. The musically minded are catered to with everything from an historical concert hall to basement music and cabaret venues. And then there are the museums … You won’t want to miss out on the Paul Klee Centre, the Museum of Communication and the legendary Bear Park in keeping with the city’s animal emblem. Once you’ve finished exploring Bern, take your pick from the long list of local excursions or head out into the spectacular alpine Jungfrau region.


THE NEW OLD Zum Äusseren Stand

Looking for your new favourite eatery? Zum Äusseren Stand is a restaurant steeped in tradition. Did you know that the Swiss Constitution was approved here in the grand Empire Hall in 1848? Now it is the territory of Fabio Toffolon, a top young chef who has already been awarded a Michelin star. Lunch doesn’t get much fresher than the simple dishes served up here. And the evening brings a beautifully balanced gourmet menu served in a stylish setting. Classics with a modern twist? Asian-inspired fusion cuisine? The flavours and textures are spot on every time. – aeussererstand.ch

CLOUD NINE Sky Terrace

The sky’s the limit over the rooftops of Bern. Feel like you’re on top of the world as you take in the spectacular panoramic view over the Swiss capital from the Sky Terrace at Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa. You can even spot the Alps on the horizon. You’ll find it hard not to relax with the chill-out music in the background and a cool drink in hand. The menu is bursting with yummy snacks, seasonal specials and traditional Swiss dishes. If you fancy a wintry treat, it doesn’t get much better than snuggling up under the glass-domed roof to share a cheese fondue. – schweizerhofbern.com

KING OF POP Steinhalle

By offering laid-back lunches at midday and casual dining in the evening, Markus Arnold, a young and creative chef who has been awarded a Michelin star, covers all foodie bases. Quick snacks, burgers, ramen bowls and healthy, modern dishes all feature on the lunch menu. After sunset he wows diners with his ever-changing culinary concepts in true pop-up fashion. Class and quality guaranteed whether it’s strictly local, seasonal produce or a Korean kick. This culinary chameleon never ceases to amaze with his latest twist on delicious dishes. – steinhalle.ch


SAY CHEESE Berner Märit

No end of market stalls are set up in the city centre by the Parliament Building or the Münstergasse every Tuesday and Saturday, selling traditional fare and vegetables pulled up from the local fields. There are two incredible cheese stalls you won’t want to miss. Check out the exquisite range from Bruni and prepare to be wowed by young Jumi’s innovative cheese creations.

© Welcome Bern

– bernerwochenmarkt.ch


How about sidling up to a long bar amongst an animated crowd of locals and tourists from all walks of life? The bartenders are super passionate about their work. The cocktail menu features classics alongside exciting new creations using local and seasonal ingredients. The accompanying snack menu is another blend of tradition and innovation. And everything is served with a smile. – dietaube.ch



A chilled-out hotspot for laid-back lunches and dinners at the grand Bellevue Palace. You’ll feel right at home from the moment you step inside this chic restaurant thanks to the friendly staff and mellow ambience. You can watch the talented chefs whip up your meal. Mix and match bowls, on-trend street food staples, specials from the grill and fresh vegetarian creations for one or to share.

“Eat Switzerland, drink Switzerland” is the motto at Werkhof. The young restaurateurs celebrate local diversity and make delivering sophisticated dishes packed with intense flavours to the table look so simple. They forage for many of their ingredients and make a lot from scratch over a fire pit using traditional methods or in the open kitchen much to the delight of diners in the restaurant. – restaurantwerkhof.ch





This cultural and culinary establishment is the place to be in Bern. After the recent redesign and renovation work, the place has a cosmopolitan feel to it. Foodies won’t be disappointed by what’s on offer at the lovely café and its five restaurants. Will you try the menu at the brasserie, the Salon d’Or or the bistro bar? Perhaps you’ll dine at the Japanese chef’s table or at the multimedia guild table telling Berns culinary history. – casinobern.ch

CITY CLASSIC Jack’s Brasserie

It’s all very fin de siècle at the legendary Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa’s star attraction. Dubbed the home of the best Wiener Schnitzel in Switzerland by the GaultMillau Guide, Jack’s Brasserie is a popular eatery. And for good reason! A traditional dish of veal in a white wine and mushroom sauce? Bouillabaisse or choucroute perhaps? Or maybe something plant-based instead? The vegetarian and vegan menu changes depending on what’s in season, but it’s always creative and delicious. – schweizerhofbern.com


A gorgeously glam urban brasserie in an historical setting. Cool crossover cuisine and laid-back dining all day long. Top chef Gregor Zimmermann’s sensational neo-artisanal dishes are a celebration of the art of cooking. He uses Swiss produce almost exclusively in his tantalisingly tasty creations. Whether you order a brasserie classic with a twist, a fancy burger or a delicious vegan surprise. – bellevue-palace.ch



© Bogner Archives 1971



Treat your hands with care this winter with Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash in a winter woody scent, a combination of Orange-Rosemary and Lavender oils that doesn’t dry your hands. – aesop.com

Chanel went nightclubbing for its F/W Coco Neige collection. Artistic Director Virginie Viard took the show to the Club Castel on Paris Left Bank. Look 44, Knitwear Ready- to – wear.

Iconic mini Baguette bag, made of soft orange nappa leather with an embossed FF motif and decorated with an FF clasp.

– chanel.com

– fendi.com

Long Nappa leather gloves with a pouch by Prada.

The raw material for Ava Centravo Naturale originates with cattle from Swiss farms that have earned Bio Suisse certification.

– prada.com or mytheresa.com

– rubirosa.com

Hermès nail enamel in Orange Boîte (“Orange Box”) is a literal translation of the house’s signature orange. Each of the 24 shades contains ultrafine pigments to apply in one coat. – hermes.com

Hermès’ famous Anchor Chain breaks free from its fluid origins and reinvents itself in a rigid articulated ring version.

Redefining the Spritz experience: Chandon brings nature to the world of spritz blending its exceptional sparkling wine with locally sourced orange bitters in Chandon Garden Spritz.

– hermes.com


– globus.ch

SapoCycle collects discarded soaps from hotels and turns them into life-saving products to improve sanitary conditions of people in need. Visit the Donate Store, support one of these families & get these beautiful soaps!

A fully integrated bracelet and a redesigned case – the Big Bang Integral with its 'monoblock'like architecture catapults the model series into a new universe.

– shop.sapocycle.org

Magnifica is Bulgari’s 2021 High Jewelry Collection. Fearless audacious women are one of Bulgari’s eternal inspirations. – bulgari.com

The exceptional qualities of the minimalist Mandø seating furniture are visible and tangible in every detail. In cooperation with Garpa, the furniture is manufactured by the masters of the Bielefelder Werkstätten to the highest standards of traditional craftsmanship.

– hublot.com

Tom Ford Beauty Double Decker Eyeshadow with pigmented metallic cream eye shadow that glides onto the eyelids with a rich, melted glow and heavenly sparkling powder with a seductive shimmer. – tomford.com

– garpa.ch

Moncler’s, Baby snowsuit Kimete is gender-neutral and super cute for a first winter holiday or a freezing day in the city. – moncler.com

Acqua Di Parma’s Magnolia Handcreme makes me smile every cold winter day because it smells incredible. It keeps your hands soft in the iciest weather. – acquadiparma.com

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first ascension of the Matterhorn, Degussa Switzerland has introduced a one-ounce commemorative coin in the highest degree of fineness (silver 999.9).

Jasmin Brunner collaborated with London Sustainable Cashmere Label Jean & Temple creating a must-have piece that is soft and stylish and keeps you warm all year long in 4 colours and 3 sizes.

– degussa-goldhandel.ch

– jazbrunner.com



2 1 — The picture “Twiga Tatu” by photographer Nico Schaerer was taken in the wilderness of Tanzania. It shows elegance – giraffes on the catwalk in the wilderness. They have one of the most beautiful patterns in nature – created to be admired. Available online and in the nuvu galleries in Zurich and Flims. nuvu.ch. 2 — The collection at MASI Lugano reflect the very special history of visual art in Ticino. Since the end of the 19th century, this history has been shaped not only by regional artists, but also by international artists, collectors, art dealers and art scholars who have found their adopted home in Ticino. Discover more on masilugano.ch. Image: Marianne von Werefkin, Ticino, 1927, © MASI Lugano, Collezione Cantone Ticino.



pioneering years in the shadow of the matterhorn

The evolution of Zermatt from a farming village to a renowned holiday destination started with a man named Seiler. Get ready for a journey through time that’ll take you back more than 150 years!


© Zermatterhof


© Zermatt Tourism

© Zermatt Tourism

ajestic and breathtaking, it juts up into the sky like a giant pyramid with scarily steep sides. Any child in the local area will be able to tell you that the mountain is 4478 metres above sea level at its peak. Zermatt’s landmark gives off an incredible energy that you can sense when it is hidden behind the clouds on a grey and gloomy day. “The Matterhorn never stops having an impact on you – even when it has been the backdrop to your life for decades. It changes in the moment, with different colours being reflected in different light,” says André Seiler, General Manager of the Hotel Mont Cervin Palace, a family-run business in its fifth generation. Long before crowds of tourists started flocking to Zermatt, courageous mountaineers became obsessed with the idea of conquering this spectacular peak with its impressive topographic prominence of 1031 metres. There were 18 attempts at climbing to the top of the Matterhorn between 1857 and 1865, but none of them were successful. That is until Brit 111


© Zermatt Tourism

back in the day. Born in 1819, he and his brother Franz took over the accommodation from Josef Lauber in 1853 and reopened it as the Hotel Monte Rosa in 1855. By the time Seiler died in 1891, he had amassed a small empire consisting of the Mont Cervin, the Zermatterhof and the Grandhotel Riffelalp with an unbeatable view of the Matterhorn. “Sure, decadently luxurious hotels with a huge focus on wellness are wonderful and all that. But do you know what they don’t have that the traditional Zermatt establishments have in spades? Personality!” says André Seiler, a direct descendant of the visionary himself. Seiler’s favourite spot at the Mont Cervin Palace is the lobby bar, where the open fire crackles and the pianist tinkles the ivories. “Peak season here is in the winter and the atmosphere is unique, reserved just for this type of establishment,” he says. Zermatt may be a popular tourist destination when the weather turns colder now, but it took a while to make that happen in the winter as well as the summer. The legendary Alexander Seiler worked hard to attract tourists to the village when it was coated in a blanket of snow. Reverend Christopher Smyth, one of the first people to climb the Dufour Peak, for example, took him up on his offer of opening up the Hotel Monte Rosa to anyone who wanted to explore Zermatt during the winter in 1862. Smyth actually briefly wrote in the guest book that his ink had frozen when he had been writing in the lounge. In 1883, 19 members of the Geneva contingent of the Swiss Alpine Club stayed in Zermatt for a short while. Four years later, Leslie Stephen, President of the British Alpine Club between 1866 and 1869, enjoyed ten blue-skied days in Zermatt in the winter and caused quite a stir amongst people back home when he shared his experience. When Dr Hermann Seiler, another descendant of pioneering hotelier Alexander Seiler, boldly started the first proper winter season without a train link in 1927, 180 Brits arrived and were warmly welcomed with local folk music. That caught the attention of the

Edward Whymper refused to give up on his quest. Not even a fall of 60 metres was enough to put him off. On 14 July 1865 at 13:40, he finally stood right at the top of the mountain as the leader of a rope team of seven. He had started his challenging journey in Zermatt on 12 July and taken the route via the Hörnligrat. Sadly, that’s not the end of the story. Four of Whymper’s cohort paid the ultimate price for their mountain triumph and lost their lives on the way back down. Ever since, there has been an air of fascination and fear surrounding the elevated mountain region. If you ever visit the Matterhorn Museum, make sure you take a look at the safety rope used in the daring first climb. A shiver may well run down your spine. But this museum just by the church in the centre of the village has so much more to offer than just the Matterhorn. It takes visitors all the way back to 1850, when Zermatt was but a simple farming village, offering a glimpse into the old houses and the lives of people back then, including farming families, tradesmen who used to cross the Alps with laden pack animals, mountain guides and mountaineers who travelled from far and wide. The hotel trade really kicked off in Zermatt back in 1839, when surgeon Josef Lauber opened a guest house with six guest beds. In 1852, State Councillor Josef Anton Clemenz from Visp followed suit with 14 beds at the Hotel Mont Cervin. And yet Alexander Seiler had the biggest impact on Zermatt 112


ted. The global economic crisis in 1929 and the Second World War that raged on in Europe until May 1945 slowed down Zermatt’s evolution to become a winter tourist destination but couldn’t put a stop to it altogether. And so the vision of Alexander Seiler did still end up being brought to life.

© Archiv Gornergrat Bahn

President of the Supervisory Board for the Visp-Zermatt-Bahn railway. Having taken Seiler up on his invitation, he declared: “Zermatt in winter is a revelation for me!” The following year, trains finally made their way through the snow and ice to and from the village, even though the speed was a bit limi-





he Uetliberg mountain in Zurich may not technically be part of the Alps and yet this is where our Grand Tour Deluxe of Alpine Passes begins. From there, it’s on through the Swiss Alps. From Zurich to Andermatt to Zermatt and finally to Crans-Montana. Forget chalets – four of the 39 Swiss Deluxe Hotels provide the accommodation on this grand tour of the mountains. Four hotels in four days. Starting at the legendary Baur au Lac, the ideal base for discerning guests hoping to explore Switzerland’s postcard-city. Johannes Baur spotted the potential in this stunning location 175 years ago even though the area around the lake basin was just wasteland in the mid-19th century.

This five-star hotel is perfectly positioned for guests planning to spend a few days in Zurich. A spot of shopping along Bahnhofstrasse and a stroll around the lake sounds like a plan! On Tuesdays and Fridays, the vegetable and flower market around the pavilion at Bürkliplatz is well worth a look and it’s only a 30-second walk from the hotel. If you prefer hunting for antiques, the flea market comes to town on Saturdays. You don’t have to travel far for your caffeine fix or tasty treats. Bar 45 on Bahnhofstrasse serves the best coffee in town if that helps narrow it down for you. Or why not enjoy a drink in the pretty courtyard at Milchbar with the trickling sound of the fountain 114


in the background? Head down to the other end of Bahnhofstrasse for a simple lunch made with local produce at Lotti. What about dinner reservations? Laurent Eperon at Pavillon (18 GaultMillau points and two Michelin stars) really knows how to spoil his guests from Tuesday to Saturday evening, while traditional brasserie dishes are on the menu at the fabolous Baur’s. There are a couple of other options just a stone’s throw away from the hotel. Stefan Heilemann, GaultMillau 2021 Chef of the Year, is at the helm at the Hotel Widder on Rennweg, another Swiss Deluxe Hotel. And meat is what the AuGust Brasserie does best. All kinds of charcuterie, veal in a white wine and mushroom sauce, meatloaf with potato salad and sausages from the local butcher are just some of the tantalizing Zurich specialities served up in this laid-back setting.

Now it’s time to hop on the train to our next stop, Andermatt. On the Treno Gottardo along the Gotthard panorama route and into the mountain village in the canton of Uri. You can get to Ticino quicker on other lines, but on this route you can still see “s’Chileli vo Wasse”, the church in Wassen in Uri three times thanks to the loop tunnel. After a two-hour journey, it’s time to check in at The Chedi.




© Andermatt Tourismus

Dim sum & Greek gods

portions, it engulfs visitors in its Asian-inspired ambiance, bringing them into a world not often seen in other hotels of this calibre. The ultra-contemporary grandeur is masterfully paired with sober understatement. Andermatt is a mountain village with a tumultuous past. It was always an important stop on the transit route between the north and south of Switzerland. Not to mention that Goethe was a fan of the region. Whilst the wartime periods brought the army here, 007 Sean Connery upped the sophistication stakes when filming the Bond film Goldfinger in the area. When the military withdrew, a lot of jobs disappeared and it took billionaire businessman Samih Sawiris to bring people back. The Chedi was the first-ever hotel in the Andermatt Swiss Alps. As Sawiris’ projects picked up pace, the village has been given a new lease of life. Buildings were renovated and new boutiques and wine bars started popping up.


mmediately upon entering The Chedi, guests could be forgiven for dropping their jaws in utter amazement. Luckily, face masks will disguise their facial expressions in good manner. The number one address in Andermatt and arguably one of Switzerland’s swankiest Alpine sleeperies, The Chedi is a firm favourite of stylish domestic and international crowds during both the winter and summer months. Located in a mammoth chalet of epic pro116


If you love outdoor pursuits, Andermatt is the village for you. The rough, barren terrain is wild and natural. Looking down from the mountains, the view of the Ticino, Uri, Grison and Valais Alps is nothing short of breathtaking. Andermatt is right in the middle, linking the cantons via the Furka, Oberalp and Gotthard Passes. The Alpine passes on the Grand Tour of Switzerland are ideal for drivers looking for an adrenaline kick but should probably be avoided by any passengers with a nervous disposition. Change is afoot up in the mountains too. Last year saw The Chedi open up a branch of The Japanese Restaurant 2344 metres above sea level up on Mount Gütsch. In the summer months, Dietmar Sawyere cooks up a storm here every Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunchtime. Obviously one restaurant is never going to be enough. And so Markus Neff (previously awarded 18 GaultMillau points at the Fletschhorn Country Hotel in Saas-Fee) serves up gourmet cuisine at the Bergrestaurant Gütsch. Back at The Chedi itself, you can take your pick between The Japanese and The Restaurant. Fancy Asian food to share? The Restaurant menu is packed with delicacies like the Thai yam nuea

beef salad, dim sum with all kinds of fillings, salmon tikka and prawn pad thai. After a relaxing spa session, your next stop has to be the hotel bar. Bar Manager Marie Gerber and her team have created a menu of seriously cool signature drinks. The theme at the moment is Greek gods and goddesses… Why not order a

Poseidon? This cocktail of gin, yuzu sake and a black tea and soya reduction is served in a pouch. Or maybe a Hestia? Although, with chicken broth foam as one of the ingredients, this concoction is not for the faint-hearted. All of the syrups are made in-house and old coffee grounds are used to create a cold brew syrup. Where are we heading to next on this Grand Tour Deluxe? Let’s hop onto the Glacier Express for a leisurely ride over to Zermatt. Be sure to take in the spectacular panoramic views along the way!


door pool here is a special experience, with a clear view of the Matterhorn to take in and enjoy. There are two restaurants open at the hotel during the summer and one extra during the winter. The Al Bosco terrace is the lunchtime spot of choice, whilst dinner at the Alexandre is simply exquisite. Luigi Lafranco is the talent behind the gastronomic offering here. He may serve up cured meat and cream cheese from his own cows, but he has now started to delight vegan diners too. The Italian takes it all in his stride. “There are so many incredible vegetables to choose from. And we have the demand for them,” he explains. If you are a carnivore yourself, the Lostallo salmon and Sardinian fregola pasta with prawns and aubergine mousse come highly recommended.


nwards with the Grand Tour Deluxe! The Glacier Express, the slowest express train in the world, takes us from Andermatt to Zermatt. You wouldn’t want this train ride to go any faster. Just imagine not being able to savour the stunning view! After the Furka Pass, the landscape starts to get prettier. If you’re desperate to see the Matterhorn, you’ll have to be patient and wait until you’ve arrived in the village. Just keep your fingers crossed for a clear day. Do try to remember, though, that Zermatt does have plenty more to offer than just its famous mountain. Did you know that there is no other place in the mountains with so many GaultMillau points? The restaurateurs in the Valais region are also known for their never-ending innovation and experimentation. Vrony Cotting-Julen’s @Paradise and Dani Lauber’s new Cervo are two fine examples. To be honest, though, the trusty traditional options are as good as ever.

ZERMATT Spoilt for choice

If you’re looking to stay in Zermatt, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice. Even if you’re splashing out on a luxury hotel. After all, there are three Swiss Deluxe Hotels in the village. The Mont Cervin Palace and the Zermatterhof are in the centre, whilst the Riffelalp stands 2222 metres above sea level. You can either brave the journey to that one on foot or hop on the Gornergrat mountain rack railway and the hotel’s own train. A swim in the out118

Bern-born Heinz Rufibach is a culinary legend in the village. His Prato Borni restaurant has been awarded 16 GaultMillau points, whilst Brasserie Lusi has recently been added to the guide with 13 points. If the weather is on your side, you can enjoy a meal out on the gorgeous terrace. Snails, tête de veau and tripe may stand proudly on the menu, but this friendly foodie and his Sous-Chef Mirjam Schwarz also cater to the wider public with their culinary creations. Think veal steak ravioli, tarte flambée and breaded perch that has been sourced locally.

© Mont Cervin Palace


Delicious food is on the menu at the village’s third Swiss Deluxe Hotel too. Chef René ‘Cookie’ Kockelkoren grills meat over an open flame at the Grill Le Cervin. From December, Sicilians Andrea Migliaccio and Salvatore Elefante will be cooking up a storm at Ristorante Capri and spending the winter in Zermatt. Myoko, a Japanese sushi and teppanyaki restaurant with 13 GaultMillau points, is just opposite. And there’s even a cool Peruvian restaurant at the Hotel Schweizerhof, a partner establishment. Head to La Muña for gambero rosso prawns with caviar, sea bream ceviche with black truffles, yellow tail carpaccio and baby spinach. The next stop on the Grand Tour Deluxe? Let’s board the train to Crans-Montana, where the Guarda Golf Swiss Deluxe Hotel is waiting for us.



CRANS-MONTANA James Bond & Mont Blanc


ur final destination is Crans-Montana. The train from Zermatt takes us down into the Rhône Valley and on to Sierre, crossing the so-called Röstigraben cultural border on the way. And then back up we go. 1477 metres above sea level to be precise. The Funi cable car between Siders and Crans-Montana will take you up almost 1,000 metres. On the Grand Tour Deluxe, there’s a choice of two places to stay: Do you fancy checking into the Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences or the LeCrans Hôtel & Spa? If you’re a keen golfer, it’s a no-brainer since the golf course is right on your doorstep at the Guarda Golf. More of a foodie? The LeCrans will be right up your alley, with its Le Mont Blanc restaurant having been awarded 17 GaultMillau points.

Hotel even has its own cinema, which was a real bonus during lockdown. What’s the movie link here? James Bond himself, Roger Moore, was a regular guest at the Guarda Golf. Diners at Restaurant Five are treated to a menu of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean delights, including hummus, falafel, tsatsiki and stuffed vine leaves. Nati Felli is a Brazilian native and so pão de queijo obviously couldn’t be missing from the menu. Just be warned that these little cheesy dough balls are rather moreish. This could be a problem if you’ve got a later reservation at Le Mont Blanc restaurant at the LeCrans. Yannick Crepaux has been the chef here since last year. Not to be confused with his predecessor Pierre Crepaud. These two share more than just sim-

© Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences

Nati Felli is the owner, manager and all-round good fella behind the Guarda Golf. She goes the extra mile to keep every one of her guests happy. Two years ago, she extended the luxury hotel by adding seven premium suites in an adjacent building. Each of the suites has a living space with a fireplace, up to three bedrooms with en suites, a terrace and (of course) a kitchen. The question is just how much cooking are you really going to get round to? A large indoor pool, sauna and steam room await in the spa area. If you’re a golfer, though, you may be more tempted to head to the gym to work on your swing. This Swiss Deluxe 120

© LeCrans Hotel & Spa


ilar names – their careers are closely intertwined. Originally Crepaud’s Sous-Chef, Crepaux managed to hold onto the 17 GaultMillau points after his mentor’s departure.

Idenn is the genius behind the exceptional dessert of a sweet and sour peach variation hidden beneath a half-sphere meringue with a garnish of candyfloss to finish it off.

Produce from the Valais region is still very much on the menu despite the change at the helm. Raron perch fillets make for one lovely local dish, served up with seasonal tomatoes and elderflowers from the neighbouring village of Chermignon. The main course of Arctic char from Lake Geneva is as fresh as it gets and the Valais apricots go beautifully with the beer-infused pork. Antoine

As one of the smaller Swiss Deluxe Hotels, the LeCrans has just eight suites and seven standard rooms. The wood-heavy decor creates a cosy, snug atmosphere. The hiking trails right on the doorstep are perfect for the summer months, but this is a skiin, ski-out hotel during the winter. Relaxation is high on the agenda too thanks to the sauna, hammam steam bath and two pools. 121


park hotel vitznau

a wine lover’s dream WORDS THOMAS HAUER




1921 Château d’Yquem, 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild, 1947 Château Cheval Blanc, 1959 Château Latour, 1990 Romanée Conti – the names of these legendary wines are enough to give true connoisseurs goosebumps. It’s just as well that there is a magical place at the foot of Mount Rigi, dubbed the Queen of Mountains, where the cellars are full of wines of this calibre. And (almost) all of those wines are just waiting to be tasted in the private setting of an exclusive guesthouse. That place is the Park Hotel Vitznau on the banks of Lake Lucerne. This is as close as connoisseurs will get to the holy grail of the wine world – in Switzerland at least. This is indeed one of the most incredible private wine collections in the world. Some 30,000 bottles, including many in larger-than-average sizes, are stored in six themed cellars 123

filled with custom-built furniture. Old World wines and New World wines have their own separate sections, with the latter stored in style in a bright-blue shipping container incorporated into the building. There’s a dedicated department for champagne and sparkling wine with the bottles in stylised riddling racks and a spectacular French cellar that would be a sure-fire hit with any Bordeaux lover. The rarest wines are kept in a special section that has an almost sacred feel to it. Finally, there’s a private room for an important collection of iconic Château d’Yquem sweet wine, including every vintage produced since 1890 and a bottle from 1811, the legendary comet-vintage year when Napoleon Bonaparte was still Emperor of France and arguably the most prolific wine vintage of the entire 19th century. Cautious estimates put the current value of the entire



collection in the mid double-digit million range. Over the past year, Sven Uzat has been put in charge of this prized treasure trove as Head of Wine and Chief Sommelier. He may only be 30 years young, but this genuinely nice guy from Franconia knows all there is to know about wine. That should come as no surprise given his stellar track record. Before starting his current job in Vitznau, he learnt the ropes at the Park Hotel’s sister establishment, the Palais Coburg in Vienna, which has an equally impressive cellar. He also worked as a sommelier at the three Michelin-starred restaurant at the Waldhotel Sonnora. Uzat is responsible for overseeing and expanding the wine collection. Furthermore, he is on hand to field wine-related questions from guests at the two Michelin-starred restaurants at the Park Hotel Vitznau – focus ATELIER (2*) headed up by Patrick Mahler and PRISMA run by Philipp Heid together with 124

his sommeliers Lukas Kroesen and Sebastian Luebbert. In his work, Uzat demonstrates time and time again that it doesn’t always take a well-known name to impress wine aficionados with perfect food and wine pairings. He also takes his guests on exclusive tours of the cellars, with the opportunity for an exclusive tasting session or two. During our flying visit, we were treated to a 1989 Château Latour from a double magnum, before enjoying a 2006 Roederer Cristal, a 2003 Musigny from the iconic Comte Georges de Vogüe domaine and a 1996 Château d’Yquem with our evening meal from Patrick Mahler’s kitchen. Looking for a nightcap? Allow us to recommend a 1903 Delord Frères Armagnac from the hotel’s Verlinde Bar. That’s the same year that the Park Hotel Vitznau first opened its doors to guests. Go on, treat yourself! Cheers!



26 million estimated value of the cellars


cheapest bottle on the wine list


most valuable bottle in the cellars



most expensive bottle on the wine list

no comment

but the price tag of some bottles does hit six digits

total number of bottles stored in the six wine cellars


largest bottle in stock


Head of Wine Sven Uzatʼs favourite bottle at the moment


4,000 items on the wine list


Madeira Barbeito Terrentez

oldest bottle in stock



5 questions


Passugg is the perfect way of getting the next generation excited about the work we do here at the Grand Resort. If an entire generation tells us what is important to them – for example the issue of food waste – we need to make sure that we listen. It gives us the opportunity to demonstrate them that the Grand Resort is fit for the future. And that applies to our relationships with our staff too. Showing that we value our recruits and their contributions helps us to keep our staff turnover low. We need to convince motivated new recruits from the local area to stay here with us. Do you not think that pop-ups and sushi takeaways clash with that special Grand Resort character your guests are looking for? No, I would say that this variety is all part of the charm of the Grand Resort. And you can do it all in a hotel of this size anyway. Our regulars can enjoy the dishes that our Executive Chef Renato Wüst has been whipping up for over 40 years at Olives d’Or. Meanwhile, we have replaced our French restaurant with a menu of consciously healthy food. There really is something for everyone here. As much as you love your work, you do make time to enjoy the finer things in life too. Food is another one of your passions, isn’t it? That’s right. If you go travelling, what do you remember about your trip? What transforms it into an experience you’ll remember? The scenery is definitely part of it. But we also love to learn about how other people live. What better way to experience local culture than through food? It’s another example of that craftsmanship that I said was so important to me before. We should celebrate everyone’s craft from the farmer on the field to the head chef in the kitchen because there is passion behind what they all do. And, for me, we can’t succeed without that spark.

The media have you pegged as the “best in class” and your nearest and dearest say you’re “cheeky”. How come you’re so dedicated to your craft? There’s only one word you need to know with me and that’s passion. When something fills you with joy, you can be genuine. And authenticity is the secret to success. This world absolutely fascinates me. This parallel world that reminds of a theatre. We stand on a stage and entertain our audience. And I work hard to do just that. You set yourself the challenge of breaking new ground when you started working at the Grand Resort. That’s right. I often cite the renovation work that we completed in 2019 as one example of our ambition. But smaller things can have a big impact on guests too. Say, switching a clothing shop for a sushi take-away or putting a Harley-Davidson workshop in the middle of the lobby. These kinds of stunts do get a few double takes. But they do so much more than just that. They entertain and create experiences that won’t be forgotten in a hurry. And we put a lot of effort into cultivating craftsmanship here. And that’s what makes our hotel stand out from other establishments that just buy everything in. To give you one example, we recently moved our floristry department out of the basement and into the middle of the lobby to make sure that everyone can see the magic happen for themselves. The pop-up restaurant LeftLovers serving up leftover food is not exactly what you’d expect from a Grand Resort. Do you not feel as though you’re just jumping on a bandwagon? Sure, the concept is in keeping with the current sustainability trend. But it’s actually about more than just minimising food waste. Here in the hospitality sector, we’re struggling with a lack of trained staff. This project in partnership with the EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality in 127


and the Oskar goes to … Falling for Luna: Author Titus Arnu checked into the Tschuggen Grand Hotel with his canine pal and watched a heart-warming winter’s love story unfold before his eyes.

Can dogs fall in love? Do their hearts skip a beat? Do they get goosebumps? Do they feel butterflies in their stomach? My dog Oskar once had a butterfly in his stomach. I don’t think we could call it love though given that he hunted it down and ate it. It’s definitely possible that little insect snack gave Oskar a nice fluttery feeling inside. But I don’t think that’s quite what us humans have in mind when we talk about love and romance. Let’s look at this through the eyes of a dog. What must they think about our weird dating rituals? Lighting, scented candles – they stink! Drinking Champagne – how disgusting! Eating chocolates – that’s just silly! And listening to soft rock classics – cover your ears! Dogs are a lot more direct when it comes to this stuff. They can’t be doing with setting the scene. Or aphrodisiacs or music. Talk-

ing of music… Do you know the Cat Stevens love song “I Love My Dog”? It just doesn’t make sense – a cat loving a dog. I mean, really? Here’s some of the lyrics: “All he asks from me is the food to give him strength /All he ever needs is love and that he knows he’ll get.” Dogs can’t rhyme. They can’t even force it like Cat Stevens does here. But they sure can sing. My Labrador once sat in the hallway and howled for hours like a wolf. Research has actually shown that wolves howl even louder when they are separated. Say if another wolf has left the pack. Oskar had fallen in love with a dog in heat in our village and was pining for her so badly that he expressed his sorrow in a song. The title of this future doggie number one smash? “Aroooooo, aroooooo, where are youuuuuu!”




what happened when we stayed in Arosa. From the moment we arrived, it felt like we had stepped straight into a winter fairy tale. It was a beautiful day, the sun beaming down for the first time after almost two straight weeks of snow. As big skiers, my friend Enno and I only had eyes for the untouched pistes. We couldn’t get out into the deep, powdery snow fast enough. Oskar lifted his nose up into the air, sniffed something and was off before we knew it. Stefan Noll, the Hotel Manager, was waiting to greet us on the red-carpeted steps at the entrance to the Tschuggen Grand Hotel. Standing next to him on a smart red lead was Luna, a black Labrador. She looked just like Oskar. She was just a bit younger with a silky smooth black coat and a colourful collar that made her look chic and elegant on that red carpet. The two dogs looked into each other’s eyes and proceeded to sniff each other all over. Boom! Oskar was in love! Head over heels. And I couldn’t blame him to be honest. Luna is a very pretty little dog and a bit of a charmer. Her father was crowned the Swiss champion at the national Labrador dog show, so it’s in her genes. Stefan Noll is a dog person through and through. That much is clear from his hotel. In fact, as we found out when we took Luna and Oskar for walkies, he only took the position at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel on the condition that his dog could come with him. This laidback luxury hotel is all geared up for guests with dogs and there are usually several pets staying here at any one time. Only the restaurant and spa are off limits to our hungry, hairy four-legged friends, which is totally understandable when you think about it. But pillows, snacks, bowls and a fluffy blanket were waiting for Oskar in our room. The only disappointment was that the dog bed didn’t smell like Luna. Nevertheless, Oskar still snuggled up and shut his eyes with a satisfied sigh. No doubt he was dreaming about his new love interest. He really was crazy about her after their very brief encounter. You could even say he was a luna-tic!

Now we could easily put this all down to hormones. But it isn’t quite as simple as that. Oskar is picky. He has a definite type when it comes to the ladies. A very specific idea of what beauty looks like. Basically, his ideal partner would be the spitting image of him in female form. Labradors are by far his favourite. They can be golden, black or chocolate. But they have to smell good and share his hobbies (sniffing, scoffing, digging, cuddling). Oskar’s first girlfriend was called Mala. His dream was for them to have lots of puppies and grow old together. As you can probably guess, she was a black Labrador. You may well be wondering why I’m telling you about my energetic pup’s love life in such detail. Well, you need to know a bit about his dating profile and usual type if you want to have any chance of understanding 129


´ He really was crazy about her after their very brief encounter. You could even say he was a luna-tic! ´

The next morning, the sun was shining down over the mountain tops and the glistening snow was calling. After a delicious breakfast of bircher muesli and tea for us and dry food and water for Oskar, we set off to explore the mountains in this winter wonderland. Well-maintained hiking trails start right behind the hotel – one heads towards Prätschli via a Swiss pine forest and the other takes you up to a sky area. Pretty much the entire network of footpaths in Arosa is kept clear during the winter months, so there’s no need to worry about dog walks being off limits. We took the hotel’s own cable car up to the ski resort and walked along a panorama trail, admiring the stunning view of the valley down below and all the way to Innerarosa. Oskar burrowed in the deep snow, tried (and failed) to catch birds and flirted with skiers along the piste.



But the highlight of Oskar’s day was waiting for him down in the valley. During the day, the lovely Luna chilled out in the manager’s office and helped him with his work. “We all know that Luna is the boss around here really,” admitted Stefan Noll. We had arranged a romantic walk for later in the afternoon. The two dogs sped off and rolled around in the snow. When Oskar went a bit too crazy, Luna rolled straight onto her back and went with it. A flirting expert would probably tell them to play it a bit cooler, but dogs don’t really know the meaning of hard-to-get. The love birds nibbled each other on the neck and ears. Until Oskar gave a little yelp – out of pain rather than desire this time. In the heat of passion, Luna had bitten him. Not in a nasty way. More to leave her mark so that Oskar wouldn’t forget her. That evening, we took Oskar to dinner with us. Sadly, Luna couldn’t join us. Down in the basement, the oldest part of the hotel, there’s a bowling alley and cosy restaurant. Burgers, steaks, sandwiches and salads are all on the menu and you can even order fondue if you fancy it. As we dipped bread and potatoes into our melted cheese, Oskar was lying on a blanket, staring longingly at our dinner and making sure we all knew that he wanted food, attention, cuddles and love. I think we can safely say that he got all that and more in Arosa. If we had asked him if he wanted to stay at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel forever and ever with Luna by his side, he would have let out a resounding bark. Once back home, Oskar didn’t stop talking about our stay in Arosa for a while. Well, he howled about it. It went a little something like this: “Aroooooo, Aroooooo, Lunaaaaaa!” A rough translation? “Luna, I love you madly!”


life savers and tour guides WORDS MARTIN HOCH PHOTOS NICO SCHAERER



A helicopter flight around the summit of the Matterhorn is a truly unforgettable experience. For Air Zermatt pilots, making that happen for passengers is all part of the day job. And the other part? Being on call and ready to respond to accidents up in the mountains around the clock.




aramedic Dominik Imhof is organising and checking over the materials in the helicopter. Originally from Riederalp above the Rhône Valley in the canton of Valais, this young man knows the mountains like the back of his hand. The hangar is quiet with an air of concentration. Imhof is joined by other technicians, pilots and paramedics getting ready for their shift ahead. It’s still early in the morning and the top of the Matterhorn is bathed in the morning light. But it won’t be long before these airborne heroes are on duty. Soon the first skiers will be weaving their way down the pistes at lightning speed.

A siren breaks the silence. Everyone jumps into action within a matter of seconds. Technicians move one of the rescue helicopters out of the hangar and onto the launch pad. And it’s up in the air before five minutes have even passed since the alarm sounded. Gerold Biner sits behind the cyclic stick. But he is no ordinary pilot. In fact, he is the CEO of Air Zermatt. And a living legend of the local area. He has already been on 4600 rescue flights in Switzerland alone and that’s not counting his work abroad. Paramedic Imhof and Frank Kube, a doctor, are on board the helicopter too. As a team, they work together like a well-oiled machine. In what seems like no time at all, the injured skier is on his way to the hospital in Visp. The many nearby ski resorts mean that no other hospital receives quite as many patients arriving by helicopter. The crew are still transferring the patient to the hospital doctors when the next emergency call comes in.


During peak tourist season, Air Zermatt can cover up to 25 calls with three helicopters per day. A specialist in mountain rescues is also part of the crew for more complex rescue missions. The winter months are busy, but there is a steady stream of rescues during the summer too. The Matterhorn is one of the most dangerous mountains in the world after all. Since Brit Edward Whymper became the first person to reach the summit back in 1865, more than 500 mountain climbers have lost their lives on its slopes. These helicopters aren’t always on duty, though. “We would be operating at a loss if all we did were rescue flights,” says Gerold Biner. And so Air Zermatt offers transportation and taxi services as well as unforgettable tours high up in the skies. The skilled pilots fly up close to the sides of the mountains, pass over mountain ridges and circle the summit of this 4,000-metre peak. A Matterhorn helicopter tour is a breath-taking experience. You fly so close to the summit that you can even catch a glimpse of the cross on the Italian side of the mountain.

About Air Zermatt With their distinctive red and white stars, Air Zermatt helicopters stand for reliability and speed. Their pilots are known throughout the world for their competence, passion and vast experience. Air Zermatt offers the fastest taxi service in Switzerland. Travel exclusively, comfortably and with a magnificent view to Zermatt from across Switzerland over its neighbouring countries. For a very exclusive service fly with the Bell 429 Twin Engine helicopter equipped with the luxury VIP seating to take you to your desired destination. For further information contact Air Zermatt +41 27 570 70 00 zermatt@air-zermatt.ch



Magic Moments at Unique PlaceS PARTNERS OF SWISS TOP EVENTS:


swiss top events

© White Turf St. Moritz

Magic moments at unique places



all events The New York Times dubbed it the “Art Olympics”, Vogue called it “the most beautiful temporary museum in the world”, and Le Monde simply hailed it as “the best in the world”. Art Basel, the premier international art show, attracts and inspires art lovers from across the globe year after year.

In January 2022 the 92nd International Lauberhorn Races will be held in Wengen in the beautiful Bernese Oberland. The world’s best Alpine skiers will compete in the downhill on Friday, on the legendary downhill slope on Saturday, and in the Slalom on Sunday.

The Montreux Jazz Festival has become an essential event over the years, generating fantastic stories and legendary performances. With its intimate ambience and the quality of its hospitality, it offers a unique experience for artists and public alike.

The Omega European Masters, which takes place every year in Crans-Montana (VS), offers its 50,000 spectators magical moments in a breathtaking Alpine environment. Since 1939, Pro golfers from all over the world come to compete in the most stunning setting of the European Tour schedule.



The largest classical music festival in Switzerland is one of the leading music promoters worldwide. The summer festival’s distinctive programme presents internationally famous orchestras, conductors, and soloists and also encompasses contemporary music, support for young artists, and the development of innovative concert formats.

When Olympic champions line up against ­world champions, athletics legends, and shooting stars. When 25,000 track & field fans barely dare to blink for fear of missing the narrow outcome of a close finish, the record jump, or the new world leading throw. When athletes and spectators are under the spell of that unmistakable Letzigrund buzz, Welt­klasse Zürich is underway.

Each year, noble thorough­breds from every corner of Europe, international jockeys and the traditional skijoring events enthral guests from all over the world. On three race Sundays, around 30,000 spectators converge on the frozen lake of St. Moritz to witness the horseraces with the highest prize money in Switzerland, all held in front of a unique Alpine backdrop.

Over the course of its seventy-five history the Locarno Film Festival has turned its host town into the eye and stage of international auteur cinema. For eleven days in August, the shores of Lake Maggiore become the home and screen of the film industry. CALENDER AND DATES

You can find further information and details at swisstopevents.ch 139


January 2022, 14 – 16

February 2022, 6, 13 & 20

June 2022, 16 – 19

July 2022, 1 – 16





On January 14–16, 2022, the world’s best Alpine ski athletes will compete on the Lauberhorn in the two disciplines, two downhills and slalom. In front of the breathtaking views of the Bernese mountain peaks Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, the Swiss slalom stars Daniel Yule, Ramon Zenhäusern, and Loic Meillard will try to present a Swiss winner in Wengen once again. In the Lauberhorn downhill race, Beat Feuz will be the man to beat. – lauberhorn.ch

What started as a pioneering achievement and visionar y idea among equestrian sport enthusiasts in 1907, today occupies a very significant position in the international racing calendar. The fascination for the only horserace in the whole world to be held on a frozen lake has prevailed for generations. With the traditional skijoring, the races with the highest prize money purses in Switzerland and a fringe programme featuring music and fine food, White Turf will once again draw VIPs from around the world, locals, urbanites, families, and horse lovers to St. Moritz on the first three weekends in February. On Saturdays (5, 12 and 19 February 2022) there will be a free White Turf Family Day with skijoring races and taxi for kids as well as pony races. – whiteturf.ch


Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world’s premier art shows for modern and contemporary art, bringing the international art world together. The Basel show features over 250 leading galleries from five continents, showing works by over 4,000 artists, ranging from modern masters to the latest emerging stars. Combined with stellar exhibitions and art events offered by local cultural institutions, each edition of Art Basel creates an exciting region-wide art week for artists, collectors, curators, critics, and connoisseurs. – artbasel.com

Montreux Jazz Festival is held annually across two weeks in July and draws 250,000 music lovers from all across the globe. Nestled between the Alps and Lake Geneva, minutes from the terraced vineyards of Lavaux, the Festival’s setting is truly exceptional. Created in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become a landmark event over the years, generating fantastic stories and legendary performances. Originally a pure jazz festival, Montreux began showcasing other styles of music early and today presents artists from every genre. With its ambitious programming choices, its intimate ambiance, and the quality of its hospitality, the Montreux Jazz Festival offers a unique experience for artists and public alike. – montreuxjazzfestival.com


August 2022, 3 – 13

September 2022, 7 – 8

April 2022, 8 – 11

August 2022, 25 – 28



August 9 – September 11, 2022

In Locarno, thousands of film lovers have the chance to grow alongside the works that the festival offers and promotes each year. Visitors can view these films in a small cinema or as part of a crowd of 8,000 at the Piazza Grande, one of the largest open-air screening venues in the world. Locarno is the meeting point of seasoned filmmakers and people who dream of becoming the stars of tomorrow. Throughout its over 75-years history, Locarno has played host to legends such as Marlene Dietrich and Anthony Hopkins, beloved performers like Hilary Swank and Ethan Hawke, strong minds such as Ken Loach and Werner Herzog. These unforgettable faces blend in with those of a family of thousands of film lovers, who meet in the same spot every year.

Olympic champions, world record holders, Europe­an and world champions: no track & field meeting in the world celebrates national and internation­al athletics with more il­ lustrious line-ups and ex­ traordinary moments. No other meeting in the world treats its audience to larg­er numbers of stars and competitions, and to more excitement than Welt­k lasse Zürich. “Never stop getting better!” True to its motto, the much-loved Zurich event has entered new spheres in 2021. In 2022, Welt­ klasse Zürich will host the prestigious Wanda Dia­m ond League Final again. Athletes and fans are in for an unforgettable Weltklasse experi­ence: two days of com­petitions and two ven­ues – the city’s famous Sechseläutenplatz and the iconic Letzigrund Stadium.


– locarnofestival.ch

– weltklassezuerich.ch

November 2022, 18 – 20

LUCERNE FESTIVAL Lucerne Festival is one of the leading international festivals for classical music and presents some 100 concerts each summer, as well as in a festival weekend in spring and Lucerne Festival Forward in autumn. Coming to Lucerne to perform every year are the most acclaimed symphony orchestras in the world – such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics – and star soloists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter and Igor Levit. The Lucerne Festival Orchestra attracts internationally renowned orchestral musicians to Lucerne. Current and former students of the Lucerne Festival Academy form the newly founded Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO), which focuses on contemporary repertoire as well as modern classics both during the festival and at guest performances abroad.

The Omega European Masters is one of the most prestigious golf competi­ tions played on Europe­an soil. Located at CransMontana in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Cranssur-Sierre Golf-Club is indisputably the most spectacular golf course on the European Tour sched­ule. Each year the best international golfers come to battle for the trophy on the iconic course designed by one of the best European golfers, Spaniard Seve Ballesteros. After the 2020 cancellation, the 2021 edition of the Omega European Mas­ters was a special one for everyone. The success was beyond expectations, the spectators, VIP guests, sponsors and players were all very enthusiastic to be part of the show! – omegaeuropeanmasters.com

– lucernefestival.ch CALENDER AND DATES

Please find further information and details at swisstopevents.ch 141


© Photo House Steinemann / Locarno Film Festival


Let’s climb into this time machine and turn the dial back to August 6th 1971. Back to the day of an exciting première. The first-ever Piazza Grande screening at the Locarno Film Festival. Ticino-based architect Livio Vacchini came up with the idea to transform the entire piazza into a open-air cinema. Gazing out onto the square in the centre of the city from his office window, he realised that it would be a fantastic location for the festival.


And the request from Raimondo Rezzonico, the Festival President at the time, to spice up the festival for its 25th anniversary was taken care of in style. On that evening, ‘Take the Money and Run’, a comedy directed by and starring Woody Allen, was shown on the biggest screen in Europe, which measured in at 22 x 10 metres. Word of the magical atmosphere at the film evening soon spread and demand had far outweighed the capacity of 500 seats at the Piazza Grande by the second night. The festival committee grabbed as many chairs as they could find from the local schools and teaching training college. People still get just as excited about watching a film screening at the piazza to this day. In fact, the iconic location has been a highlight of the Locarno Film Festival for years and years. Unfortunate-

ly, the screening was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. So you can imagine the reaction when it was announced that the event could return to its usual central spot in August. “Last summer the Piazza Grande was a sorry sight, with no chairs, no people, no thrilling atmosphere in the evening between filmmakers and personalities on stage and the audience,” recalls Festival President Marco Solari. Luckily, there are more happy moments than not-so-happy ones in the history of the Locarno Film Festival. Moments like the one in 1997 when Roberto Begnini couldn’t make it to the screening of his film ‘La Vita è Bella’ in Ticino and decided to speak to the audience at the piazza on the phone instead, making the witty remark that he had never talked on the phone with 10,000 people before. 143




© Locarno Film Festival (both pages)


´Whatever you catch on camera is yours to keep. Even if you have to look a bit like a thief in the process.´

It would be impossible to list all the stars that have made an appearance in Locarno. Stars like Marlene Dietrich who came to Lake Maggiore in 1960 after being invited by Josef von Sternberg, the man who discovered her. The Swiss media was so excited about the biggest acting star to come out of Germany showing up that the television broadcaster waited for her at the border. “Whatever you catch on camera is yours to keep. Even if you have to look a bit like a thief in the process,” said the guilty reporter responsible for the scenes filmed on August 3 1960. He even followed the famous festival guest on her shopping trip in Ascona. Nevertheless, Marlene Dietrich appeared to be in high spirits on the festival stage and mesmerised the audience in a shimmering silver dress and white elbow-length gloves. With a real eye for talent, the festival committee managed to invite plenty of actors to Ticino before their Hollywood

careers really kicked off. Penelope Cruz appeared at the Piazza Grande at the tender age of 19 in 1993. Although she would later go on to win an Oscar, back then she was free to walk around the city without really being recognised. The glitz and glamour of the Locarno Film Festival is based on a long tradition. And yet there is also a focus on the future and support for the next generation of talent. The Locarno Academy gives attendees the chance to meet and chat to major players in contemporary cinema, be published in leading international film review magazines and learn more about programming and distributing films from highly regarded industry experts. Locarno Film Festival BaseCamp brings together 150 talented youngsters from the top academies for ten days of discussion, discovery and creative pursuits.


© [MARKA] / Alamy Stock Photo



An odontologist by profession, Richard Dillier has been passionately involved on the board of Swiss Top Events and in St. Moritz Tourism for over twenty years.




Swiss Top Events cover events from the worlds of music, film, sport and art. But what do they all have in common? The very highest of standards. All Swiss Top Events showcase the finest talent in Switzerland. Claude Nobs, Founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, was the mastermind behind Swiss Top Events. What was the original concept? Claude Nobs co-founded Swiss Top Events in 1995 with Paul Reutlinger, who was the President of Switzerland Tourism at the time. Back then, Switzerland was working hard to position itself as a popular tourist destination. Claude Nobs once told me that he had the idea when chatting in his chalet one day at four o’clock in the morning. He wanted to bring together the very best events in Switzerland under one umbrella, with the aim of attracting more tourists. Swiss Top Events helped us to move away from the chocolate, banking and cow stereotypes and show the world the impressive sport and culture events we have to offer. 149

And is that still the main focus of Swiss Top Events? No, that original idea faded into the background over time. We work more independently these days, although we do still have a good partnership with Switzerland Tourism. And we rely on other partners like Swiss Deluxe Hotels and Swiss International Airlines too. We hold all the events together with our Swiss Top Events quality seal. There are eight members of Swiss Top Events so far. Will that number grow? We want to stick to a small and exclusive group of events. What we don’t want is for the individual events to be taken out of the spotlight. But ever so often we do get in touch with other prestigious events held in Switzerland. We wouldn’t dream of welcoming a new event that didn’t fit with our philosophy, though. What does it take for an event to earn the Swiss Top Events quality seal? An event needs to be at the top of its game on an international scale and fit in well with the other members. It’s important to


remember that we are operating on a win-win basis here. Events need to be held annually and open to the public. Tradition is important to us too, so events have to be successful and well-established. Do events held in such high esteem around the world really need marketing under an umbrella brand? It’s true that each event has its own brand that is more highly celebrated than the Swiss Top Events umbrella brand. And yet we provide that all-important quality seal and a platform for exchanging ideas and expertise. What benefits does the Swiss Top Events umbrella brand offer? We work closely with some formidable partners. For example, the

Have you experienced one of these magic moments for yourself at a Swiss Top Event? Absolutely – at the Prince concert in Montreux. I was standing five metres from the stage and staring up at that exceptionally talented musician doing what he did best. Experiences, emotions and memories are what our society is craving now more than ever. Do you get a sense of that at each of the events? Our eight events have been working along these lines for a long time now. These values are at the heart of what we do, after all. We give people the chance to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences, let their emotions run wild and make memories that will last forever.

´ALL ABOUT THE MAGIC MOMENTS´ only events ever promoted by Swiss International Airlines are members of Swiss Top Events. Our partnership with Swiss Deluxe Hotels is just as close, giving our members another platform. And our members get direct access to Switzerland Tourism through us. We provide each and every member with a stage and a chance to shine. Is there a lot of close collaboration between the different events? Yes, very much so. Especially at the moment, during the pandemic, we provide a valuable platform that allows the presidents and marketing teams working on each event to share expertise and ideas. The networking opportunities are one of the biggest selling points of working with us. Swiss Top Events are known for their “magic moments”. How would you describe them? Moments are magic if they make you stop and say wow. They are often completely unplanned and unexpected. We see a lot of them at our exceptional events.

There’s a lot of talk right now about unique locations too. Is it important where an event is held? Globally, major events tend to take place in big cities. And those big cities are pretty much interchangeable. In other words, if you move one of those events to a different location from one year to the next, most people won’t even bat an eyelid. That’s what sets us apart from most other events around the world. We are very lucky in that the venues for each of our events are fixed. Can you imagine the Locarno Film Festival being held anywhere else? The Piazza Grande is a non-negotiable setting for that particular event. Likewise, the White Turf just wouldn’t work outside of St. Moritz and it doesn’t bear thinking about the Montreux Jazz Festival moving somewhere else. Swiss Deluxe Hotels are heavily involved in the events – just look at the Montreux Palace.


© Weltklasse Zürich

© Montreux Jazz Festival 2013, Marc Ducrest





© Kurt Wyss, Courtesy ArtBasel



© White Turf St. Moritz


© FIS Ski World Cup Lauberhorn Wengen

© Weltklasse Zürich

Which are your favourite Swiss Deluxe Hotels? I’m a huge fan of the Widder Hotel Zurich and the Dolder Grand. I often stay there because I travel to Zurich a lot for business. But I do love staying in other Swiss Deluxe Hotels too whenever I’m travelling around the country. Swiss Deluxe Hotels and Swiss Top Events live up to my high standards. And their shared commitment to quality is one of the reasons why we attract a similar group of customers. You live in St. Moritz, which is one of those unique locations we spoke about. What’s it like to live in what is a holiday destination for so many people? This is where I grew up and I’m still heavily involved in tourism. I know how lucky I am to live here. We get to enjoy the lakes during the summer, the colours in the forests during the autumn and the snow-topped mountains during the winter. And I take advantage of everything this place has to offer. There’s plenty for active, sporty types and no end of opportunities to enjoy a busy social life in St. Moritz. Over the past year or so, so many events have had to be cancelled or scaled down because of the coronavirus pandemic. What have you missed most during this time? I’ve missed feeling busy, motivated and driven. Not to mention being around people and interacting with different cultures. You’re not alone there. We’ve all been missing out on socialising and culture. Do you think we’ll get back to where we were before the pandemic once it’s all over? I think we’ll see a move away from digital communications after this pandemic. Meeting up with people to explore new places, have a good old chat and spend some quality time together is what it will all be about. Whilst the pandemic has helped us move forward with digitalisation, it has also shown us that

we do still need interactions with people in the flesh. Many of us have spent a little too long online during the pandemic. Once everything is back to normal, we’ll want to put our digital devices down and enjoy proper experiences again. Those magic moments await in real life and not on a computer screen. A crisis always prompts us to think and reflect. What lessons are you going to take care not to forget once the pandemic is behind us? Generally speaking, we’ve come to realise that we can’t escape our roots. Things will need to be scaled down, more personal and more intimate. We can’t just focus on growth alone. Guests want to be made to feel special and not like just another face in the crowd.


His first involvement with Swiss Top Events was in 2002, when he was the President of the St. Moritz Polo Club. He was elected as President of Swiss Top Events for the period between 2004 and 2010. 2018 marked the start of his second term in role.


bordeaux on a budget WORDS PETER KELLER

The best-known red wines from the Bordeaux region come with a luxury price tag. But there are decent crus out there that don’t require you to take out a second mortgage. Just check out our seven recommendations under CHF 50. Bordeaux is still very much the home of fine wine. Savouring a mature Château Latour or a Château Margaux will be on the bucket list of any true wine connoisseur. Unfortunately, the most prestigious labels in the French wine-growing region on the Atlantic coast come with one major downside. All the hype and global demand has driven the prices up dramatically in recent years. A Premier Grand Cru Classé, the highest classification awarded to Bordeaux wines, will set you back a good CHF 600 or 700 a bottle depending on the vintage. And yet outside of the circle of unaffordable wine legends and prestigious status symbols, there are plenty of delicious fine wines coming out of this wine-growing area covering some 120,000 hectares at reasonable prices. Sure, lots of the unknown wine-growers struggle to cover their costs, but there are so many reputable châteaux out there producing exceptional crus. And once you’ve discovered them, you’ll realise that they are offering extraordinary value for money especially in successful years like 2015 and 2016. Bordeaux wines tend to be made of a blend of grape varieties. In the Médoc region on the left bank of the Gironde Estuary, Cabernet Sauvignon is the star of the show, with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot as supporting acts. Over in St.-Emilion and Pomerol on the right bank, though, Merlot takes centre stage. People often forget that good white wines are produced in the Bordeaux region too. So we’ve been sure to include one in our seven recommendations under CHF 50 for you. 158

C l a s s i c CHÂTEAU PHÉLAN-SÉGUR ST. ESTÈPHE –––– 2016 This Cru Bourgeois is a fantastic choice, boasting complex flavours, vigour, sophistication and a lingering aftertaste in this excellent year. Good ageing potential. CHF 42.90, flaschenpost.ch

U n d e r r a t e d CHÂTEAU CANTEMERLE HAUT-MÉDOC –––– 2016 This Grand Cru Classé is rarely in the spotlight, which doesn’t make much sense considering that this vineyard produces complex wines with a subtle tannin structure, finesse and depth if this example is anything to go by. CHF 38, bindella.ch


W h i t e GRAND VIN SEC DE LAFAURIE-PEYRAGUEY CHÂTEAU LAUFAURIE-PEYRAGUEY, SAUTERNES –––– 2019 With sweet wines out of favour right now, vineyards are focusing their efforts on dry white wine. This cuvée of Sémillon and Sauvignon blanc has a complex aroma, marked acidity, minerality and a lingering aftertaste. CHF 42, denzweine.ch

U n d e r d o g CHÂTEAU CROIX DE MAI MÉDOC –––– 2016 This excellent wine from the left bank has an unusually high proportion of Merlot at 90%. It is rich with ripe fruit and soft tannins. Ready to drink with reserves. CHF 28, smithandsmith.ch

R e l a t e d CHÂTEAU MOULIN RICHE ST. JULIEN –––– 2015 The owner of the famous Château LéovillePoyferré is behind this vineyard too. That can only mean good things for this deliciously medium-bodied and well-balanced wine, which has plenty of finesse and is easy to drink. CHF 45, martel.ch

E x t r o v e r t e d CHÂTEAU PETIT GRAVET AINÉ ST. EMILION –––– 2018 This is one of the few wines with Cabernet Franc accounting for 80% of the grapes. This high proportion gives rise to a standalone organic wine with complex flavours that could almost be confused for a Burgundy. CHF 45, gerstl.ch

U n k n o w n CHÂTEAU MONGIRON LA FLEUR BORDEAUX SUPÉRIEUR –––– 2018 There is no end of little-known vineyards in this particular appellation tier. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. And this complex, full-bodied and well-balanced find serves as perfect proof of that. CHF 38, bauraulacvins.ch


epic mont cervin © Seiler Hotels






HOTEL WITH A HEART I made my grand entrance in the hotel (or better, my dog Simba did, because he was pulling me on the leash) wobbling while following my nervous dog. I felt embarrassed, so I apologised for his behaviour and pretended to look at ease. Four women at reception smiled at me warmly and greeted Simba almost like he were human, then went back to work and checked us in so nonchalantly, that I thought they might have missed what happened. It didn’t take me long to understand that staff at Mont Cervin is always like that – nice, warm people that really want you to feel at ease. Then Petra, the Director of Sales, came to greet me. One of the first things she did was blowing a kiss to another arriving couple, that returns to Mont Cervin Palace every year. This isn’t something very common in a fivestar hotel in Switzerland, I tell you. It put me in a good mood. We had a fun conversation and, a short while after showing me to my suite, she sent me a Whatsapp video of herself, cross-country skiing in high heels and holding a cup of champagne. That made my day – she now denies it was her, but I know the truth!

ELEGANCE &  FREEDOM When you walk into the iconic Mont Cervin Palace, a veritable piece of history in Zermatt that has seen 150 years of dramatic evolvement and spectacular success you might bump into a Royal walking with a pair of skis on his/ her shoulders, or Phil Collins having his private birthday celebration, so you would hardly recognize them. That made me fear, when I booked it, that it could be stuffy or very formal, one of those places where you feel you are never good enough. Instead, I found an atmosphere I didn’t expect. Freedom! 162



Anyway, one of reasons why I chose Zermatt to enjoy a break with my dog was the wish of having some legendary walks. The best of the best of winter wonderland, and nothing less. Being a runner, I had already done Zermatt Marathon and some longer competitions (Ultraks, and Gigathlon), so I knew some of the landscapes. I also adore the iconic red trains with huge windows (the Gornergrat Railway) going to the top. Here, nobody looks at their phone. Even the coldest tourist or the most seasoned local ends up staring outside in awe. Whatever station you choose, you’ll be surrounded by truly dangerous mountains (38 peaks of 4,000 meters), you’ll see the mountain of mountains at every turn (the Matterhorn, of course), you’ll have the option of glacier caves, hiking trails, unspoiled nature, or simply of hearing the crack of snow under your feet. Since Zermatt shares part of its borders with Italy, you’ll also enjoy a mild climate with a lot of sunshine. Back down at Mont Cervin Palace, even a simple stroll in the alley just in front of the hotel, with its chalets dating back to 1715, is a picturesque experience that perfectly matches the Mont Cervin romantic horse carriage – the most photographed motif after the Matterhorn. And did you know that Zermatt is car-free? No roaring Ferrari or fancy Rolls-Royce around – they all stay down in the valley. Electric is already the way of transport here, so one sees locals of any age carrying big items like skis or grocery bags on taxis or dangerously tiny looking mountain bikes. I certainly didn’t dare. But electric transport means that I could always hear the calm tingling of bells of some Blacknose Sheep not too far away.

THREE WINTER HIGHLIGHTS Silence and fresh air: coming back “home” and opening the terrace door to look out at the twinkling lights quickly became a favorite ritual of mine. Simba did the same and even performed some yoga moves on the balcony. We soon discovered other highlights at Mont Cervin Palace: the restaurants, the different styles of rooms, and the inviting spa.




A constant stream of renovations keeps Mont Cervin fresh and updated. Rooms can be Alpine style, Chalet style, or Family style (more modern). They all have a view either over the Matterhorn or across the snow-capped four-thousanders. I had a tour while wearing my evening gown for a photo shooting, so, in order to avoid crossing the street, I used a kind of secret tunnel that links the hotel properties.



Many people choose the half board option, because the quality is so high. Mont Cervin has a Wine & Dine offer that allows a different – and absolutely excellent – choice for dinner every day. The bar, with the cracking fire of its round chimney, the bright colored velour, the live piano music and the Italian staff preparing any fancy cocktail you wish (virgin for me!) also offers food and is the most popular spot in the hotel. I am also a big fan of mountain cabins and follow different cabin accounts on Instagram. They are hidden gems that, particularly in Zermatt (whose cabin culture is unparalleled) prepare simple, home-made food that will surprise you for their quality. The concierge will help you discover some of those the mass doesn’t know, and that retain their original mountaineering spirit.


Spoiler alert: this is the best spa I have ever tried for at least one characteristic: the whirlpool. It is the strongest and most beneficial water jet I have ever experienced – and I have experienced many. I arrived with a backache and left completely healed, like after a proper massage. The natural light, the mirroring waters of the pool, and the outside pool surrounded by snow added a real pick up effect. I felt fully recharged and went back again and again during my stay. The spa also features spacious rooms decorated with mosaic tiles, a biosauna, steambaths, relaxing area with heated lounges, foot baths, fitness area, massage and beauty treatments with Nescens products, and the possibility of doing a bootcamp day in the invigorating mountain air.

THE PLEASURE OF GETTING TRAPPED Zermatt is snowed in at least once a year. When that happens, no money in the world will get you out. Before my arrival it had snowed so much, that I had to postpone my stay and almost didn’t make it back home on time. Well… I would have loved to stay longer, and I am sure Simba would have preferred that too. Mont Cervin Palace is the real thing: Swiss, deluxe, cozy, efficient, and with a fun, beating heart. In a world of short holidays and touch-and-go weekends, those, who discover its atmosphere, crew and surrounding nature end up coming back and back again. 165


Zermatt is car free, so it’s ideal for running. Clear, fresh, mountain air and no pollution make the whole area seriously jogger friendly. However, there are vehicles (electric ones) and they can be pretty fast. So pay attention while training! But you can definitely run outside the village, or in the center itself. Zermatt is an excellent introduction to mountain running, especially if you wish to try a competitive trail in full view of the Matterhorn throughout your run, and keep distance and altitude at a medium level. The Ultraks trail “Active” offers such an option, and a real taste of this mountain sport. The Ultraks Matterhorn is the most popular mountain race in the area. Jog and stop: for an easy jog mixed with outdoor gymnastic, visit the Zermatt Fitness Trail, along either side of the Zmuttbach river. It leads along footpaths through woods, over bridges and to pretty, secluded spots. Zermatt temperatures can be quite cold, so it’s possible you don’t feel that thirsty. But especially if you’re planning a run, make sure you start drinking already the day before: altitude has an impact on your body, and hydrating is key to prevent side stitches, cramps, and altitude sickness symptoms.








cows, comfort and five-star luxury WORDS MARTIN HOCH PHOTOS NICO SCHAERER

A man of the mountains through and through, Hans-Jörg Walther is not known for mincing his words. True to form, the General Manager of the Riffelalp Resort says that his hotel is one of a kind. You could say the same about him. He has been running the show here for 20 years now, meaning he has been in charge since the extension and revamp that gave this hotel its current five-star status. Holidaymakers heading to Zermatt have a journey and a half ahead of them. The village is nestled between the Dufour Peak, the Weisshorn and 30 other massive mountains towering over 4,000 metres high in the south of the Matter Valley. If you’re looking for a shortcut, you’ll have to charter a helicopter. Otherwise, you’ll need to branch off from the Rhône Valley and clatter through the barren Visp Valley on the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn railway line, marvelling at the stun172

ning scenery until you reach Zermatt – 1608 metres above sea level at the foot of the Matterhorn. But if you’re checking into the Riffelalp Resort, your journey still isn’t over. The next leg has to be on the Gornergrat mountain rack railway – even if you did manage to charter a helicopter. Prepare to be amazed as the train winds higher and higher up into the mountains, passing through tunnels along the way. When the train pulls into the station, you’re just a few steps in the sunshine away from the hotel set in the snow. At 2222 metres above sea level, the Riffelalp Resort is about as secluded as it gets. What makes the Riffelalp Resort so unique? “Most of our guests come to us from towns and cities,” says Hans-Jörg Walther. They’re used to all kinds of entertainment – culture, shopping and more. The hotelier explains that it just wouldn’t be possible to offer anything like that to their guests all the way up here. And






then shrugs his shoulder as if to say that they wouldn’t want to, even if they could. After all, this hotel has so much to offer people that they just can’t get at home. “Our hotel guests can open their window in the morning and hear nothing. Complete silence. What could be more luxurious than that?” Maybe an evening barbecue with the Matterhorn in the background? That is the type of experience guests here are after. The quiet setting surrounded by nature. The spectacular, unobstructed view of the Matterhorn. And all the perks of a five-star hotel are what makes this such a special place to stay. “During the summer, the reception staff often find deer staring at them through the window,” says the hotel manager with a smile. The local wildlife certainly comes out to play around the hotel in the evening. “If we’re not careful, a cow

could well come waltzing into the hotel or guests could be joined by a squirrel looking for a room.” The host with the most in the mountains Hans-Jörg Walther didn’t grow up in the canton of Valais. But he was born and raised a few mountains away in Grisons. With his family in the hotel trade, he learnt how to converse with guests at the Hotel Walther in Pontresina at an early age. “I’m the sort of person that needs things to be quiet,” he says. Yet this busy hotel manager knows that he has to stay calm on the inside whilst enjoying the quiet on the outside up in the mountains. “In my job, I’ve had to learn to observe, listen and think before taking action.” Rushing around and acting rashly doesn’t tend to end well here. The Riffelalp Resort is kind of like a little village. “If you make a change somewhere, 175

it can have consequences somewhere else entirely.” A little village? Hans-Jörg Walther mentions it more than once and compares the Riffelalp Resort to other similar hotels: “I have a completely different experience to other hotel managers.” Counting 140 guests, 130 members of staff and numerous day visitors, there are usually 300 or 400 people at the Riffelalp Resort every day. There are countless full villages with that many people in Switzerland. “We do everything here ourselves,” says the hotelier. Snow clearance, waste disposal, security and laundry. “That means things are more complicated, but it also makes life more interesting and exciting.” A man for all seasons Even a man like Hans-Jörg Walther is bound to need a little help with running a whole village. Luckily, he has his wife Claudia by his side. She has a good eye, and is responsible for making the resort look good, taking care of everything from the interior design to the uniforms and flower arrangements. She also runs the laundrette with the assistance of five employees. And we can safely assume that she balances out her husband’s strong personality in the background too. Hans-Jörg Walther is not the only born mountain dweller all the way up here in the Alps either. Beni Biner has been his trusty partner for 20 years. As the hotel’s Technical Director, work never stops for him and his team of three. They take care of the logistics. Food has to be brought up to the resort, whilst waste has to be sorted and taken down to the valley. Every day, they have to shift 2.5 tons up or down. And there’s no

access road. They clear snow from the pathways, complete all repair work and keep the whole hotel and its vehicles in check. “I’m a gardener too in the summer,” laughs Biner. You need people like Biner in a secluded spot like this. Hard workers that can do all the repairs and maintenance and stay calm in an emergency when there’s no help from the outside world. “A boiler once broke when guests were staying here.” Instead of letting the guests freeze, he cracked on with some welding. And the boiler lasted another good year after his repair job. If a fire breaks out, he’ll be the first on the scene to fight it. Even when there’s an emergency in the middle of the night in the depth of winter, he’ll walk all the way up to Riffelalp from his home in Zermatt. “I know the way in the dark without a torch,” he says. He used to play around here when he was a young boy. “The mountains and forests up here used to be our playground. I know this area like the back of my hand.” A slower pace If you ask HansJörg Walther, less is more when it comes to tourism in Switzerland. “Here in Switzerland, we don’t have to jump on every bandwagon and follow every new trend.” Quite the opposite. It’s all about being bold enough to say no and keep things authentic. “We will never be able to keep up with Singapore or Shanghai. Attempting to compete at that level will result in failure sooner or later.” Things are different in Switzerland. That’s just the way it is. Tourism here needs to be simpler, warmer and more down to earth. The Riffelalp Resort is there already. 176



© Danuser / Zermatterhof





If it weren’t for the buildings out in the historical centre of Zermatt, the steep slopes of the Valais Alps and the laid-back staff serving you with a smile, you could almost think you were sitting at a table in one of the famous Parisian brasseries. As we were admiring the spectacular glass ceiling and the sparkling chandeliers, a glass of Champagne appeared in front of us. The first course wasn’t far behind. An onion soup topped with crispy cheese. As French as the decor. A subtle acidity. Not too sweet and not too rich. Good job as we had ordered tête de veau to come before our next course. It came with a wonderful lukewarm vinaigrette with chives. Despite being beautifully light, it did have some substance to it. We would have loved to have tried the tripe with a tomato-based sauce, chorizo and smoked sturgeon too. It’s a shame we only have one stomach really! And so we moved straight onto a traditional Swiss dish – perch fillets in a light batter served with baby new potatoes and tartar sauce. We’ve already got our eye on the handcut steak tartare cooked in grass-fed butter for next time. The people on the table next to us seemed to really enjoy theirs. After indulging in a scoop of vanilla ice-cream coated in a tasty crumble and served with cherry compote, we were well and truly stuffed. There’s nothing better than a delicious meal lovingly prepared with care and attention without being overcomplicated. The biggest surprise on the wine menu is a Valais Sangiovese from Fernand Cina with a typical sour cherry flavour profile.

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The Riffelalp Resort is 2222 metres above sea level. All that mountain air is enough to make your tummy rumble, so we found ourselves ordering the four-course Alpine menu at Ristorante Al Bosco as we gazed out appreciatively at the Matterhorn. The starter of lightly smoked trout, thyme-flavoured cheese and raspberries was lovely and light. The fresh berries and coulis complemented the delicate slices of fish perfectly. Our next mouthful packed more of a punch with its flavours. A creamy Alpine herb cappuccino with a rye bread crumble and bottoni, tiny ravioli with a beetroot filling. Our main course was a love letter to the Swiss pine, which is known as the “Queen of the Alps”. Pine needles added a delicious flavour to the jus accompanying the veal steak served with a tender veal cheek braised in locally brewed beer, mashed potato and carrots. We finished up with a house special – a limoncello baba with a vanilla cream, fresh fruit and lemon granita. The rum traditionally used to soak these fluffy little cakes is replaced by limoncello in this twist on a classic. And it was so much more elegant and fresh. Although it’s a good 250 kilometres away from the city, the Riffelalp Resort 2222 m is known far and wide for its take on traditional “Zurich-style” veal with a white wine and mushroom sauce served with golden-brown potato rösti. Fans of fish and seafood will be spoilt for choice here thanks to the menu of light dishes with a focus on fresh produce. How about Canadian lobster with peach carpaccio, almonds and nettles? Or maybe turbot and octopus with green beans, tomato confit and potato foam?

GRILL LE CERVIN There is no question that the charcoal grill takes centre stage at Grill Le Cervin at Hotel Mont Cervin Palace. Racks of lamb, veal cutlets, ribeye steaks and Alpstein chicken sizzle away here until they are cooked to perfection. Diners in the cosy restaurant stare longingly at the meat against the backdrop of the wooden interior. There is a different special every day. When we visited, it was a Heritage Angus ribeye from Canada. Beautifully marbled and packed with flavour. The chef cut two tender slices, drizzled over a mushroom sauce and added potato gratin and root vegetables on the side. A generous portion and a meal guaranteed to make you smile. The starters have a traditional twist too. We decided to try the deliciously rich and frothy lobster bisque with a hint of tonka bean. The friendly waiter poured it straight out of the polished silver jug at our table and into our soup bowls with North Sea shrimp and a garnish of caviar. It’s little finishing touches like this that keep the grand hotel experience alive. Good old Valais apricots had to make an appearance on the menu too, of course. We savoured them as part of our ravioli dish along with chanterelle mushrooms, black pepper from the Valle Maggia and chervil. And again in our elaborate dessert of pavlova with peach and passion fruit that starred the apricots in stewed form and as a delightful sorbet infused with thyme. The selection of wines from the Valais region here is nothing short of impressive. With Fendant from Marie-Thérèse Chappaz, Riesling from Gérald Besse and Cornalin from Denis Mercier alongside the usual big global names, your wine glass should never run dry here.






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from swimming pool to pool table WORDS AND PHOTOS OLIVER SCHMUKI

Whether you are relaxing in the spa, indulging in fondue outdoors, having fun at the Krönchen Kids’ Club or dining in style in the Arven-stube, the whole family will be entertained by everything the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina has to offer. 184


covered with a dusting of what looks like icing sugar. The kids go on a full tour of the pool area, give the water slide a go and press the button on the jacuzzi. It bubbles into life and their faces light up. My daughter proceeds to comment on the interior design: “That long, slanty column there looks just like a parsnip.” I don’t think even an architecture critic could have put it better than that. We slip into our fluffy bathrobes and slippers ready to shuffle off back to our suite. The Krönchen kids club itinerary awaits us. And very exciting it is too… A treasure hunt followed by flower arranging, glitter tattoos and a giant pillow fight. When I ask my daughter what she fancies doing, she immediately cries, “Everything!” She even wants to stay at the Krönchen for her dinner this evening. The last thing I want to do this weekend is stand in the way of her hopes and dreams. Her little eyes are just so alive with excitement.

t’s dark by the time we pull up to the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina. I open the car door and freeze on the spot. The air on this January evening is almost too cold to breathe in. I swiftly shut the door again and turn to my trusty little sidekicks. Time for us to come up with a plan for how we are going to make it in one piece to the hotel entrance a mere five metres away. We decide to make a run for it and we are inside before we know it. It’s warm enough to make you forget those minus temperatures outside in an instant. The full hotel and room inspection will have to wait for now. What we really need after our long journey is a hot meal and a warm bed. Am I just dreaming or is it the next morning already? It’s hard to tell… Either way, I suddenly find myself standing at the edge of an empty swimming pool. I stare out of the huge windows. Outside, the sun is shining and the conifers are 185


And the memories of my children refusing to go to a kids club without at least one parent in sight are still too fresh for me. Thankfully, there is room in the children’s jam-packed schedule for a hearty breakfast. As we sit down at our table in the dining room, our eyes are immediately drawn to the angels adorning the ceiling. They are the handiwork of Otto Haberer, who depicted the four seasons on the neo-baroque vaulted ceiling here back in 1901. We can’t seem to stop looking up. But suddenly all our attention is focused back on what we came here for: Our crêpes are served! With a drizzling of melted chocolate and a sprinkling of Smarties. Sweet enough, you might think. Apparently, my son disagrees. “Can I have a mountain milkshake, please?”, he asks. What a brilliant way to ask for even more sugar. I can’t help but smile. Now that we’ve refuelled, it’s time to explore the local area a little further. Once we’ve completed a full tour of the huge, historical hotel complex, we plod along happily to Lake Staz. We had no idea that we were heading off on an adventure in a real-life winter wonderland. But boy were we happy to have the warm and toasty Kronenhof waiting to welcome us again with arms wide open (or doors, respectively). Both kids are keen to take part in the treasure hunt, giving their dad a bit of a breather. Moments like this, away from the busy to-do lists of real life, are made for sitting in the lobby of a grand hotel and pondering on life’s big questions: Darjeeling or Oolong? Facial or hot stone massage? Grand Restaurant or Kronenstübli? As it turns out, the decision about where to eat that evening is taken care of by my son. When I tell him that they serve a traditional homard à la presse lobster dish in the Arvenholzstube at this time of year, he doesn’t have to think twice. That’s my boy! So, whilst his younger sister is tucking into her special kids club meal with a group of youngsters, the meat from the

head of the lobster and its roe are flambéed in Armagnac right in front of my son and I at our table. The hungry boy has just about enough time to clear his plate before his sister comes rushing over to announce that the pillow fight is about to begin. Dad too feels like he’s up for some physical activity so he decides that after all this sitting, moving to another table sounds like the perfect solution: the pool table that is! Soon after the cue is properly chalked, I am joined by my sweaty kids. A Virgin Mary and an embarassing defeat (don’t ask!) later, I am ready to call it a night. On our last day, we hang around for as long as we possibly can. What better way to delay our departure than trying out the hotel’s own ice rink? After we’ve skated round a good few times, we realise that we need to indulge in some fondue. It’s tradition after all. As we dunk our bread into the melted cheese, a couple of other kids show off their loop and edge jumps on the ice in front of us. It’s like something out of a movie. “Can I take one of those many pretty peacock feathers home with me?” My daughter summons all her courage to ask this question at checkout.” This little florist in the making has been admiring all the arrangements in the hotel’s neverending corridors ever since we arrived. The receptionist is more than happy to grant her this last wish – just as all the staff have made all our wishes come true during our stay, constantly smiling (even with face masks in the way).” As we drive away, we glance back at the Grand Hotel one last time. The crown sitting on top of the stunning building structure stands proud above the tops of the fir trees, illuminated in the dark sky. Quite literally the crowning moment of a stay we won’t be forgetting any time soon.

´Outside, the sun is shining and the conifers are covered with a dusting of what looks like icing sugar.´






St. Moritz is one of the best-known and oldest winter sports resorts in the world. With its “Vision 2025”, the destination is now striving for another superlative: St. Moritz wants to use exclusively recycled water for snowmaking on its slopes – this will be a world premiere.




he first water reservoir was a successful operation, now a second one is to be built. This will be accompanied by the removal of the pumping stations that used to transport water from the valley to the mountain. The savings in resources are enormous. Electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of 400 households of four people will be saved. The groundwater is saved by 280 million litres, which corresponds to 500 swimming pools or Switzerland’s wine consumption in one year. Financially, operating costs will be reduced by 700,000 francs a year. This 10 million Swiss francs project is not alone. Complex models decide how much snow should be made. These are based on the structure of the terrain, the orientation and the inclination. In steep passages, the edging of skis and snowboards removes far more snow than in flatter terrain; this results in a necessary snow cover of 70 and 40 cm respectively. To make the preparation as efficient as possible, the groomers already have technical support. Strictly speaking, their cabin is an absolute high-tech cockpit. The “Snowsat” system works by means of satellite data. The survey from the summer months is compared in real time with the position of the vehicle. The resulting difference provides the driver with information about the thickness of the snow cover – accurate to 3 cm. Despite sophisticated technology, the correct interpretation remains with the driver. He uses the finest impulses to move the clearing blade at the front via a kind of joystick in twelve directions of movement. So the pilots have an immense influence on how much energy, fuel and financial resources have to be spent. And if some technical snow is still needed at a corner at the beginning of the season, the reservoir is tapped. By the way, the start button for the snow guns is not on the machine or in the snow groomer, but in the driver’s pocket! On a smartphone.

The groundwater is saved by 280 million litres, which corresponds to 500 swimming pools or Switzerland’s wine consumption in one year. Financially, operating costs will be reduced by 700,000 Swiss francs a year.




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. n i z a g a M s a D . a Caminad . e l y t s e f i L . r u t l u Köche. K und mit Glück (zwei Ausgaben) .– 30 F H C t at st 24.– iv» Zürich ein. hresabo für CHF Freunde ins «Ign re Ih e Für Geniesser: Ja Si n de La in.ch/abo ur» gewinnen. caminadamagaz ein «Dinner for fo 191

22 locations


Basel Zurich

39 36




Lucerne Vitznau




25 7




Interlaken Lausanne 19


Le Mont-Pèlerin 21 31


Andermatt 1

Gstaad 14

15 16





11 12






4 33





100 km

City Hotel Resort Hotel

40 miles 192



13 Mandarin Oriental Genève 14 Gstaad Palace Gstaad 15 Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad 16 Park Gstaad Gstaad


17 The Alpina Gstaad Gstaad 18 Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa Interlaken 19 Lausanne Palace Lausanne 20 Beau-Rivage Palace Lausanne-Ouchy

Bad Ragaz 5


Le Mirador Resort & Spa Le Mont-Pèlerin

22 Hotel Splendide Royal Lugano 23 Mandarin Oriental Palace Luzern



24 Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Montreux


25 Beau-Rivage Hotel Neuchâtel

28 29


St. Moritz

26 Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina



27 Badrutt’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz 28 Carlton Hotel St. Moritz St. Moritz 29 Kulm Hotel St. Moritz St. Moritz 30 Suvretta House St. Moritz


31 Grand Hôtel du Lac Vevey 32 Park Hotel Vitznau Vitznau 22



The Chedi Andermatt Andermatt

7 Bellevue Palace Bern

2 Tschuggen Grand Hotel Arosa

8 Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa Bern

3 Castello del Sole Ascona


4 Hotel Eden Roc Ascona

10 LeCrans Hotel & Spa Crans-Montana


11 Beau-Rivage Genève

Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites Bad Ragaz

6 Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois Basel


Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences Crans-Montana

Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Genève


33 Grand Hotel Zermatterhof Zermatt 34 Mont Cervin Palace Zermatt 35 Riffelalp Resort 2222 m Zermatt 36 Baur au Lac Zürich 37 La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich Zürich 38 The Dolder Grand Zürich 39 Widder Hotel Zürich



Swiss Deluxe Hotels




Jean-Yves Blatt, General Manager

Stefan Noll, General Manager

Simon V. & Gabriela Jenny, General Managers




T +41 (0)41 888 74 88

T +41 (0)81 378 99 99

T +41 (0)91 791 02 02




Simon Spiller, General Manager

Marco R. Zanolari, General Manager

Tanja Wegmann, General Manager




T +41 (0)91 785 71 71

T +41 (0)81 303 30 30

T +41 (0)61 260 50 50




Urs Bührer, General Manager

Maximilian von Reden, General Manager

Nati Felli, Owner & General Manager




T +41 (0)31 320 45 45

T +41 (0)31 326 80 80

T +41 (0)27 486 20 00















Cornelia Destouches, General Manager

Robert Herr, General Manager

Martin Rhomberg, General Manager




T +41 (0)27 486 60 60

T +41 (0)22 716 66 66

T +41 (0)22 908 70 00




David Collas, General Manager

Andrea Scherz, Owner & General Manager

Daniel Koetser, Owner & Managing Director




T +41 (0)22 909 00 00

T +41 (0)33 748 50 00

T +41 (0)33 748 00 00




François Grohens, Hotel Manager

Tim Weiland, General Manager

Peter Kämpfer, General Manager




T +41 (0)33 748 98 00

+41 (0)33 888 98 88

T +41 (0)33 828 28 28




Isabelle von Burg, General Manager

Nathalie Seiler-Hayez, General Manager

Benjamin Müller-Rappart, General Manager




T +41 (0)21 331 31 31

T +41 (0)21 613 33 33

T +41 (0)21 925 11 11
















Swiss Deluxe Hotels




Giuseppe Rossi, General Manager

Will open in 2022

Michael Smithuis, General Manager


Christian Wildhaber, General Manager


T +41 (0)91 985 77 11

palace-luzern.ch, T +41 (0)41 220 22 12

T +41 (0)21 962 12 12




Marc Landert, Maître de maison

Marc Eichenberger, Managing Director

Richard Leuenberger, Managing Director




T +41 (0)32 723 15 15

T +41 (0)81 830 30 30

T +41 (0)81 837 10 00




Stephanie & Michael Lehnort, General Managers

Heinz E. & Jenny Hunkeler, General Managers

Esther & Peter Egli, General Managers




T +41 (0)81 836 70 00

T +41 (0)81 836 80 00

T +41 (0)81 836 36 36















Luc Califano, General Manager

Urs Langenegger, General Manager

Rafael Biner, General Manager




T +41 (0)21 925 06 06

T +41 (0)41 399 60 60

T +41 (0)27 966 66 00









André & Simone Seiler, General Managers

Hans-Jörg & Claudia Walther, Keepers of the Hut

Wilhelm Luxem, General Manager




T +41 (0)27 966 88 88

T +41 (0)27 966 05 55

T +41 (0)44 220 50 20




Thomas Maechler, General Manager

Markus Granelli, General Manager

Jörg Arnold, General Manager




T +41 (0)44 266 25 25

T +41 (0)44 456 60 00

T +41 (0)44 224 25 26







AAAAA GLM General Limousine

Falstaff Schweiz AG

NetJets Management Ltd

Fideco AG

Newby Teas (Suisse) SA

Fredy’s AG


ADA Cosmetics International GmbH

Garpa Garten & Park Einrichtungen GmbH

Oona Caviar – Echter Schweizer Alpen

Al Lago Interiors AG

Geberit Vertriebs AG

AMAG Import AG

GK Media GmbH

Orakei Ltd

Globalwine AG

Pakka AG

Gmür AG

Parmigiani Fleurier SA

Good Taste Imports GmbH

Patiswiss AG

Apostroph Luzern AG

Grohe Switzerland SA

Positioner SA

ARYZTA Food Solutions Schweiz AG

Groupe GM Exklusive Amenities


Baur au Lac Vins

G. Bianchi AG

Prowema GmbH

Berndorf Luzern AG

Heineken Switzerland AG

P. F. Timmermans AG



Audi Schweiz Andros (Suisse) SA

Bonne Maman

Berner Blumenbörsen Genossenschaft




Ramseier Suisse AG Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG

Bindella Weinbau-Weinhandel AG

Hofmann Swiss Prime Menue AG

Biner IT Consulting GmbH

Hotelis SA

Royal Fish Sàrl

b & n Service AG

Hugo Dubno AG

Schwob AG

Caratello Weine

Igeeks AG

Smith & Smith Wine Compagny

Cash Hôtel Service SA

IRF Reputations AG

Sola Switzerland AG

CeCo Ltd.

Jeroboam SA

Straumann Hüppen

Sknife CFD SA (Culturefood)

KERNenergie GmbH

Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz AG

Kessler & Co AG

Fusetea Nestea

Kimberly-Clark GmbH


kukui GmbH


La Bottega

Suter Viandes SA


Boucherie du Palais Swisscom (Schweiz) AG Swiss Top Events Sygama SA

Cornèr Banca SA

Läderach (Schweiz) AG

Cornèr Bank AG, Zweigniederlassung

Laurent-Perrier Suisse SA

Swiss Mountain Spring Tam Plenus GmbH

Celergen – Cell Therapy

Lyreco Switzerland AG

Teehaus Ronnefeldt

Marc WHO? GmbH

The Bespoke Company

MASI – Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana

The Tini Factory

CWS-boco Suisse SA

Maura Wasescha AG

Tonhalle Zürich

Daniel M. Kahn & Partner AG

MBR Switzerland




Designeer GmbH

Mérat & Cie AG


Cher-Mignon SA

Prodega / Growa

BonusCard (Zürich) Curaden AG swiss smile

Dettling & Marmot AG


Hendrick’s Gin

MK Illumination AG

The Macallan

Moët Hennessy (Suisse) SA

GaultMillau - Channel

Swisscard AECS AG

Kaldewei Schweiz GmbH


Valentin Gastro Traveller’s World Verlag GmbH

Diction AG

Dom Pérignon

Uehlinger AG

Diversey Europe B.V. Utrecht

Moët & Chandon

vality GmbH


Vergani + Co AG

Taski Druckerei Bloch AG

Molton Brown

Vinoa GmbH

DynaSphere – DEM GmbH

Minibar World SA

Weishaupt Innenausbau AG

Ecolab (Schweiz) GmbH

Mövenpick Wein AG

Weita AG

Ecotel Suisse AG

Musketier Blumen GmbH

Worldline Schweiz AG

Edel & Stark AG

Narimpex AG


Editorial Media AG

Nestlé Nespresso Suisse SA

Zamba Fruchtsäfte AG

Nestlé Waters Suisse SA

Zermatt IT AG

Prestige Elite SA

Acqua Panna

Erwin Müller Group Lusini Schweiz GmbH

Granini Fruchtsäfte

Esprit Gourmand

Henniez SA

E. Weber & Cie AG / Webstar

San Pellegrino

Zweifel Pomy-Chips AG







“H” MAGAZINE THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF SWISS DELUXE HOTELS DISTRIBUTION “H” Magazine is distributed across the Swiss Deluxe Hotels member network, reaching a combined 1.5 million guests per year. Additionally, the magazine is available at selected retailers and bookstores in Germany and the country’s airport hubs of Munich, Frankfurt and Heidelberg, First and Business Class Lounges in Switzerland, Germany and Austria and is available at Globus Stores throughout Switzerland. It reaches an additional 40,000 readers through its online platforms. “H” Magazine is further distributed at the World Economic Forum in Davos and is available as an E-Reader App version to guests in properties across Switzerland. PUBLICATION “H” Magazine is published twice a year, in July and December PUBLISHER Swiss Deluxe Hotels | Augustinergasse 30 | 8001 Zürich


The Matterhorn – Taken by Swiss photographer Nico Schaerer – is Zermatt’s landmark and the magnet that attracts countless people from all over the world every year.

EDITOR & CREATION Evelyn Gorgos | gorgos@swissdeluxehotels.com DESIGN DD COM AG | Seefeldstrasse 301 | 8008 Zürich | info@ddcom.ch ADVERTISING MANAGEMENT Swiss Deluxe Hotels | gorgos@swissdeluxehotels.com TRANSLATIONS  Apostroph Group


Fascinating and informative stories, interviews, and theme features on gastronomy, lifestyle, luxury, trend, and business topics, as well as interesting long reads. “H” Magazine conveys Swiss flair, savoir vivre, and the well-established world of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and their sophisticated guests. All texts are written by renowned Swiss journalists. They offer guest experiences and glances behind hotel scenes. “H” Magazine is aimed at readers who love exquisite service and are interested in learning more about the passion and work of inspiring people who contribute to the success of Swiss Deluxe Hotels. The magazine would like to both surprise and fascinate readers – in an elegant fashion.

CONTRIBUTORS Alex Kuehn | a.kuehn@marmite.ch Beatrice Lessi | beatrice@askthemonsters.com Claudio del Principe | claudio@delprincipe.ch Clifford Lilley | clifford@clifford-lilley.com Dimitri & Mamiko Burkhard | info@newlyswissed.com Enno Kapitza | contact@ennokapitza.de Jasmin Brunner | jasmin@roguesagency.com Kathia Baltisberger | kathia.baltisberger@ringieraxelspringer.ch Mark van Huisseling | info@markvanhuisseling.ch Martin Hoch | martin@nuvu.ch Oliver Schmuki | oschmuki@gmail.com Patricia Bröhm | patricia.broehm@t-online.de Peter Keller | peter.keller@nzz.ch Stefan Hottinger-Behmer | stefan@thediscerningnomad.com Steffi Hidber | steffi@heypretty.ch Switzerland Tourism | info@myswitzerland.com Thomas Hauer | thomashauer@web.de Titus Arnu | titusarnu@mac.com PRINTED BY Prowema GmbH | Im Rebenacker 2 | 8332 Russikon WEBSITE swissdeluxehotels.com “H” MAGAZINE ONLINE swissdeluxehotels.com/en/magazine “H” MAGAZINE BLOG swissdeluxehotels.com/en/blog DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS BonusCard.ch AG, Gold Key Media Germany GmbH, Globus AG COOPERATION PARTNERS Traveller’s World Verlag GmbH, Falstaff Schweiz AG, Editorial Media Group AG Would you like to sell our “H” Magazine in your book shop? Please write to: gorgos@swissdeluxehotels.com


welcome to a world of privileges THE NEW SWISS DELUXE HOTELS VISA PRESTIGE CARD. YOUR KEY TO UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS. Take advantage of the all-round carefree package which is included in the card and enjoy an attractive bonus programme.


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The region around Lake Geneva has for long been a popular vacation spot and a magnet for big names such as Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel or Charlie Chaplin. In this next issue, we’ll explore the vineyards and wineries around Lausanne on the lake’s northern shore, and head to Montreux for a healthy dose of Belle Epoque architecture. In Geneva, we will go on a boat tour and for a swim at the Pâquis Baths. There will be chic water taxi services, the Jet d’Eau and some amazing gastronomic highlights in a summer edition jam-packed with the best the sunny season has to offer.




´I like to be the Captain of the Hotel Beau-Rivage –because leading means to bring people together and inspiring them.´

In Lausanne we met a parfumeur, a designer and a dynamic-duo who run a small, fine boutique.



Thanks to our deep market knowledge and our tight network in and around Switzerland, we facilitate highest quality production — the magazine you are holding in your hands is our business card.

Contact us at prowema.ch +41 44 950 28 21


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