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Flying High in Chaplin’s World Balloon at Chateau d’Oex

Colour and Snow at the Chateau d’Oex Balloon Festival

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Flying High in Chaplin’s World Balloon at Chateau d’Oex

Colour and Snow at the Chateau d’Oex Balloon Festival

Chaplin’s World is a fabulous attraction located on the outskirts of Vevey in Switzerland. Celebrating the life of the famous actor, musician and all round hero of the stage and screen, Charlie Chaplin, the museum is a must-visit attraction and suitable for old and young alike.

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

The museum recently acquired a hot air balloon which is available for small ascents in the garden of Chaplin’s World. However, I was lucky enough to go for a ride in the Chaplin’s World balloon when it participated for the first time in the 40th International Balloon Festival in Chateau d’Oex.

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

A meeting point for hot air balloon enthusiasts (and their balloons) from all corners of the globe, the International Balloon Festival is a sight to behold. Located on a nursery ski slope in the quaint town of Chateau d’Oex – unfortunately, despite its name doesn’t have a castle, as the last one burned down many years ago and was never rebuilt.

Colour and Snow at the Chateau d’Oex Balloon Festival

The Chaplin’s World Balloon in vivid pink and black is hard to miss and really quite stunning. It also contrasted beautifully against the bright blue skies we enjoyed at the Festival.

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

I watched as it was carefully unfurled on the snow and gradually the balloon was assembled with judicious use of blowers and burners. As soon as it was ready the basket which had been lying on its side was turned upright and the pilot, Simon Drake, got in.

Colour and Snow at the Chateau d’Oex Balloon Festival

We then all jumped into the basket quickly and before we knew it we were drifting beautifully above the crowds below. Jean-Pierre Pigeon, the Managing Director of Chaplin’s World was on the same flight (see photo below) and was telling me how Chaplin’s World decided to invest in the balloon as an added attraction for the Museum and that it was proving very popular.

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

Having really enjoyed my recent visit to the Museum I was not surprised to learn that despite having just opened in 2016, Chaplin’s World is already surpassing its visitor targets and proving to be one of the most popular attractions in the area. If you haven’t yet visited you really must, as it is totally fascinating and they use a variety of media to tell the remarkable story of Charlie Chaplin.

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

Our flight was about an hour an a half to two hours (I was so mesmerised by the views I wasn’t really concentrating!) but as well as enjoying fabulous views of the surrounding mountains – we could see for miles – we also got a great view of many hang gliders and all the other balloons.

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

At the end of the flight Simon landed the beautiful pink and black Chaplin’s World hot air balloon (which was almost exactly the same colour as my jacket and snow pants!) safely in a nearby airfield. We then had to jump out onto the snow after experiencing a fabulous journey in the sky.

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex
Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

International Balloon Festival Chateau-d’Oex

Dates: 27th January – 4th February 2018

For more information on the International Balloon Festival at Chateau-d’Oex see here.

Flying High in Chaplin's World Balloon at Chateau d'Oex

For more information on Chaplin’s World see below:

Chaplin’s World

Address: Route de Fenil 2, 1804 Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland
Open: Every day except Christmas Day and 1st January

Visit the Chaplin’s World website here.

Google Map Coordinates for Chaplin’s World

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For more information about things to do in Zurich and beyond please see our What’s On Page or our News Articles or for regular updates subscribe to our blog.

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The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

 

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

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The Chedi Andermatt:

Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

 

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

Photo credit Chris Garside

As a multi award winning hotel and a member of the “Leading Hotels of the World” and “Swiss Deluxe Hotels” group, we knew that The Chedi Andermatt was going to be very special. However, what we didn’t expect is to feel so wonderfully at home. The hotel is warm and welcoming yet discreet, with the air of a cosy chalet and a touch of Asian zen; a remarkable mix of local and international, of warmth and unadulterated luxury.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

Luxurious Yet Cosy

The 123 room hotel built in 2013 was designed by Kuala Lumpur-based designer Jean-Michel Gathy and it certainly takes centre stage in the small Alpine village of Andermatt in the heart of the beautiful Swiss countryside of Canton Uri. Located directly opposite the train station, it is just a two hour (extremely scenic) journey from Zurich, and slightly less by car.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The interior is a mix of traditional chalet features and modern touches. It’s very spacious, with lots of wood, plenty of glass and local stone. The foyer has high ceilings, and is decorated with an abundance of fireplaces (there are more than 200 in the hotel altogether), comfy cushions and beautiful alcoves. It’s luxurious and plush, yet cosy at the same time and a world away from those anonymously large echoey hotel lobbies you sometimes find in top hotels.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The hotel is not small, but not too large either. It’s easy to get from your room to the spa or to the restaurant without getting lost. Everything is spacious and wide, from the corridors to the hotel bedrooms to the changing rooms and bathrooms.

After a friendly and efficient welcome, we were greeted with hot tea and a small brownie before being taken to our room. We were staying in a deluxe suite which was gorgeous. Super spacious, modern and beautiful it offered so much space we could have held a party!

Downstairs, a really lovely feature of The Chedi’s numerous lounges and alcoves, is its extensive book collection. They even have a separate library/fumoir – the perfect place to sit down after dinner, with a drink or a cigar, and chat to your companions or tuck into a new book.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The Chedi also offers dog friendly rooms and additional services for guests who would like to stay with their dog.

The Spacious Bedrooms

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

In the bedrooms, everything from the temperature, air-conditioning, blinds and even the fireplace, is operated by room’s iPad. We had a lounge area with comfortable distressed leather armchairs, a long dining table with plenty of seating, a fridge full of drinks (all non-alcoholic drinks were complimentary), a coffee machine and a fireplace. The bathroom was spacious and equipped with a free standing tub and a large shower room with a powerful shower. A writing desk and a low table with cushions and a super luxurious bed from the Swedish company Hästens completed the look.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

A relaxed, ambient feel is created with low lighting and a colour scheme of muted tones of browns, greys and golds. The bathroom is exquisite with beautiful stone and wood and lovely Aqua di Parma toiletries offering a pop of colour.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

It’s all super relaxing and restful. It’s just as well that the views from the bedroom across the mountains are so stunning they beckon us to get out of bed to visit the ski butlers and hit the slopes.

If you’re a large family or a group of friends the Furka Suite (below) is almost like a self contained chalet with the hotel. It offers generous and luxurious accommodation with three double rooms, a kitchen and a private spa and is situated across two floors.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The Ski Butlers and Skiing at the Chedi

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

We had sent our details ahead of our stay and the Ski Butlers had prepared the latest Head boots and skis all ready for us. It was just a question of trying on the boots to check the fit and off we went. The ski passes are very reasonable here in comparison to many ski resorts and The Chedi’s Ski Butlers prepared our passes and whisked us off in their bus to the Gemstock gondola to take us up the mountain where we spent the whole afternoon.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

Despite arriving at a time of huge snowfall (nearby resort Zermatt was closed due to the extreme conditions) we enjoyed a fabulous afternoon on the well groomed slopes.

Dressed for the snow in Columbia Ski wear and Sorel boots at The Chedi Andermatt

We stopped off at a local restaurant close to the gondola station for a late lunch of soup and salad before ending in time to enjoy the spa facilities back at the hotel.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

By the way don’t be put off by the black run back onto the village – though steep in parts it was wide and enjoyable with great views of the village of Andermatt in the valley below.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The Spa and Wellness

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

Inside The Spa it was warm and blissful. The 2,400-square-metre wellness area is sleek and stunning with turquoise blue waters. What I really enjoyed was the ability to swim both inside and outside with the lovely views of the mountains and the snow.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

After a quick swim and a long lounge on the super comfy day beds around the pool with complimentary nibbles and juices, we decided to head for the adults only Hydrotherapy pools. Here you’ll find an assortment of pools from 38 degrees down to a plunge pool of just 18 degrees.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

There’s a Finnish sauna, a brine sauna and a steam room as well. A range of first class massages and treatments can be booked if you’re feeling indulgent or you could head to the gym for a work out on the range of state of the art equipment. The ambient temperature around these pools is really warm so it’s the perfect place to read or simply lie down and relax.

Restaurants

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

We were so relaxed after our visit to The Spa that we changed our dinner reservation at The Restaurant to a little later than planned and enjoyed a fabulous meal. Modern and open in design with stunning chandeliers and views out to the snow clad garden outside, there is a variety of cuisine on offer.

The restaurant staff were efficient (without being obsequious) and very friendly, as they helpfully explained all the different options on the menu to us. We plumped for some of the Asian inspired dishes – a soft shelled crab dish which transported us straight back to Singapore and marinated hamachi for starters and Yam Nuea and an Angus steak for mains.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

All were delicious but the Asian inspired options really stole our heart.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

There is even a 5 metre glass cheese tower with over 40 local cheeses situated in the centre of the restaurant from which you can choose a cheese course or opt as we did for one of the tempting desserts.

The cheese Tower at the Chedi Andermatt

If you’re planning a private meal or celebration they also have a private dining room available .

Michelin Starred Japanese Restaurant

Another draw at The Chedi is The Japanese Restaurant (one of only 2 Japanese restaurants in the whole of Switzerland to have been awarded a Michelin star) which is very authentic and which seats 46 people. Make sure to reserve in advance if you fancy eating here as it is always very popular.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

Breakfasts

In the morning you can have breakfast anytime between 7am and 11am. There are so many options on offer there is something for everyone and the choice and quality is fantastic. There is a range of fully cooked breakfast items with oodles of choice – then cold meats, cheese from the cheese tower, as well as fresh fruit, home made muesli, warm pastries, breads, pancakes and homemade jams.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

The Chedi Andermatt

Address: Gotthardstrasse 4, CH-6490, Andermatt, Switzerland.

Tel: +41 41 888 74 77 or

You can visit their The Chedi Andermatt Website here  for more information.

The Chedi Andermatt was named Hotel of the Year 2017 by GaultMillau. You might also be interested to know that next to the hotel are The Chedi Residences where a variety of ownership options are available.

Mountain Bootcamps for 2018

The Chedi Andermatt is running three 5 day mountain boot camps with the intensive training and wellbeing specialist TOP HILL Retreats. The Mountain Bootcamps cost from CHF 2’920 per person and are taking place from 18th to 23rd March 2018, 8th to 13th July 2018 and 14th to 19th October 2018. For more information see here.

The Chedi Andermatt: Swiss Alpine Luxury And Asian Zen

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All photos by NewInZurich except for the top photo by The Chedi Andermatt and the snowboard photo by Chris Garside

We stayed as guests of The Chedi Andermatt but all opinions and views are totally our own.

For more information about events and things to do in Zurich and beyond please see our What’s On Page or our News Articles or for regular updates subscribe to our blog.

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Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

With Club Med Grand Massif Samoens France

Ever had the chance to go snowshoeing? It’s great fun, easy to do and surprisingly energetic! I can’t wait to give it another go after having the opportunity to try it out at Sixt Fer à Cheval in France the other week. I was staying at the brand new Club Med Grand Massif Samoens, and this was one of the fabulous excursions that you can book through the hotel when staying there.

First of all we got our Snow Shoes fitted at the Club Med on site rental shop which was really straightforward – basically you just give your shoe size and they adjust the snow shoe to fit. Then we took the gondola which is situated on the slopes directly outside the hotel, to the bottom where a bus whisked us along snowy country roads to the little town of Sixt Fer à Cheval.

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

Along the route we saw such beautiful picturesque scenery – a true Winter Wonderland!

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

When we arrived we were met by our friendly guide and it was time to buckle our snow shoes on and get going.

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

In French snow shoes are known as “raquettes” and it’s a great name for them as it really does feel as if you are strapping a tennis racket to the base of your shoe.

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

Talking of shoes it’s really important to be wearing waterproof hiking shoes or snow boots such as these snow shoes by Sorel which are waterproof and keep you really warm too. The snow is really deep in places so it’s important to keep dry.

Sorel Snow shoes at Sixt Fer à Cheval

Our guide led the way on a very pleasant hike through the snow in this very scenic area.

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

We walked alongside the river, through the trees and then he decided he wanted to test out our skills in walking downhill in snow shoes. It looked quite challenging (as the snow was really quite deep) but in fact there was nothing too it. You just take long strides and wait until your first foot is firmly planted in the snow and bent at a kneeling angle, before making the next step. It does look quite weird though when you watch people doing it as they look as if they’re tipsy as the lurch from side to side!

At the end of the snow walk we had a wonderful reviving hot “vin chaud” – a perfect finale to a morning in the snow! We then went back to Club Med Grand Massif Samoens for lunch.

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

For more information on Snow Shoeing in Sixt Fer à Cheval please contact the Tourism Agency here.

For more information on the newly opened Club Med Grand Massif Samoens see here.

Watch out for our article on the hotel to follow shortly!

Meanwhile take a look at our short video of the Snow Shoeing trip here.

Club Med Grand Massif Samoens is approximately one and a quarter hours from Geneva. See map below:

Snowshoeing in a Winter Wonderland at Sixt Fer à Cheval

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For more information about events and things to do in Zurich and beyond please see our What’s On Page or our News Articles or for regular updates subscribe to our blog.

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