Interview by Zu Anjalika Kamis Gunnulfsen

Located in the heart of Switzerland, Andermatt is accessible from everywhere. It is only a 90-minute drive from Zurich, two hours from Milan, and four hours from Munich. If you prefer travelling by plane, you have your choice of Zurich, Basel, Lugano and Milan airports.

A true all year-round destination, Andermatt offers 180 km of groomed pistes, outstanding off-piste skiing, world-famous cycling, an award-winning 18-hole golf course and some 500km of marked hiking trails. A place for those in the know, residents enjoy an unmatched lifestyle with a 650 seat concert hall, the five-star deluxe hotel The Chedi Andermatt and the four-star superior Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen, three Michelin-starred restaurants and a selection of local and international retailers, all on hand.

Russell, tell us about Andermatt Swiss Alps.

Hidden within snowy mountain peaks, Andermatt Swiss Alps is a year-round destination offering guests a myriad of outdoor activities all year round from skiing in the winter to golf and trekking in the summer. A destination full of active adventures and opportunities, Andermatt Swiss Alps has a portfolio of beautiful apartments, two high-quality hotels The Chedi and Radisson Blu Hotel Reussen, premium wellness facilities, Alpine bars and a variety of restaurants cooking up a range of worldwide cuisines. Located in the heart of Switzerland, Andermatt is well connected and can be reached quickly by car or train. Trains run several times a day and Zurich, Basel and Milan airports are only two hours away ensuring hassle free travel to and from. 

The pandemic has caused a shift in global real estate buying patterns. Walk us through that.

As a result of the pandemic, real estate investors and tourists around the world are becoming more discerning in terms of needs and demands, particularly within health, wellness and connectivity. This has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic after months of lockdown as people are looking to purchase property or to visit for a holiday as its becoming increasingly important to have a full calendar of outdoor activities throughout the year in dream destinations. In a post-pandemic world we’re expecting that connectivity will be a driving trend for both buyers and holidaymakers. People will be looking for destinations where they can connect with each other, employees and colleagues back home, as well as with nature and Andermatt Swiss Alps caters to all of these. 

With COVID, people started to realise that they no longer need to work in the big cities. With working from home, our owners enjoy living in the alps, going to the mountains while remaining connected. So, all in all, the COVID situation puts a fresh perspective on alpine living, positively pushing property sales and tourism stays in Andermatt Swiss Alps.

Alongside active adventures, investors are looking for health and wellbeing factors which are and have always been of the upmost importance in Switzerland. As a well-renowned wellness hub, holistic approach to health is not just a philosophy but a lifestyle throughout the country. At Andermatt Swiss Alps, there are plenty of spa facilities and wellbeing amenities at resident hotels The Chedi and Radisson Blu. Each of the homes within Andermatt’s portfolio also feature communal, dedicated wellness areas for guests’ or residents’ rest and relaxation. Investors will also be looking for stringent COVID-19 measures for protection in a post-pandemic world. Switzerland offers good healthcare, constant health monitoring and contact tracing, prioritising health. 

Over the last few years and across the world, we’ve also seen a trend where buyers are getting more conscious on sustainability issues. Buyers are looking for more environmentally friendly properties and so they are often now asking information on the origins of building materials, and all our properties are built to the Minergie standards as well as energy sources. 

Sales wise, COVID-19 has had a positive impact on our property sales. In Andermatt Swiss Alps, we’ve sold more properties in 2020 than we did the year before (CHF76.6m – or over USD 83m – in 2020, 25% increase compared to 2019). 

What are the highlights of Andermatt Swiss Alps?

Much of the highlights of Andermatt Swiss Alps are included above. However, adding onto this, Andermatt Swiss Alps also places great importance on sustainability. Switzerland has been praised to be a global leader in sustainability and Andermatt Swiss Alps maintains this eco-friendly promise to protect and maintain the local surroundings and environment, implementing Andermatt Responsible with ongoing campaigns to ensure sustainable tourism and climate protection within the region. 

Working with partners, guests and service providers, Andermatt Swiss Alps aims to facilitate operations in a way that preserves resources to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard the mountain environment. As a company, Andermatt Swiss Alps has implemented a number of sustainable initiatives across several areas including energy, outdoor, mobility, real estate, hospitality and gastronomy including:

· Remaining 100% Carbon Neutral– each of Andermatt Swiss Alps’ properties, lifts and gondolas are powered with 100% renewable energy including hydroelectric power stations and wind turbines. The wind turbines produce around one million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and the hydroelectric power stations 30 million.

· Becoming Plastic-free – Across the company, Andermatt Swiss Alps have significantly reduced the use of single-use plastics, utilising returnable bottles for guests to take up the mountain. All of the restaurants in the region also provide still and sparking water, fresh from the mountains, free of charge.

· Supporting Community Projects – Andermatt Swiss Alps support a variety of sustainable programmes within the region. Guests and staff are able to partake in projects such as an annual Clean-Up Day, with 263kg of waste collected on Clean-Up Day 2021. 

· Sustainably Designed Golf Course – The 18-hole par-72 championship course was designed to be sustainable, with ecological aspects in mind it is operated in an environmentally friendly manner and provides room for flora and fauna. As a result, the golf course was awarded the globally recognised GEO certification. 

· Andermatt Reuss – Passionate about sustainability and quality, at Andermatt Swiss Alps’ new village centre, Andermatt Reuss, all buildings have been constructed primarily with raw materials from the region and in strict compliance with Minergie®, the Swiss standard for low-energy houses. All properties are supplied with district heat from the Gotthard Heating Plant in Göschenen, where heat is generated in a CO2-neutral manner using wood chips. Electricity is generated from hydropower stations and wind turbines and is also CO2-neutral. In addition, the underground parking in Andermatt Reuss makes the district car-free.

What are the post-pandemic benefits for investors from Swiss real estate?

With its deep history, great food, and year-round activities – such as golf and hiking in summer, skiing and sledging in winter – the idyllic Alpine town of Andermatt Swiss Alps is a stunning location that is home to plenty of opportunities for homeowners and guests. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all re-evaluate our way of life, from where to work to how we live our lives or how we look after ourselves or our loved ones – Andermatt Swiss Alps not only features great activites, beautiful homes and a variety of spa and wellness treatments and facilities, it also located in some of the world’s most beautiful scenery.

Attractive to investors, Switzerland is one of the world’s most popular safe-haven investment destinations, and its luxurious real estate market is often likened to the hedge provided by gold in traditional portfolios. From its political neutrality to its banking secrecy and stringent healthcare, the country has a reputation for protecting investors in turbulent times.

Andermatt Swiss Alps is looking into Asia for investors. Why Asia, Russell?

Switzerland is an appealing country for Asians investors due to the stability of currency, tax advantages, good schools, government and the proximity to European capitals/cities. Health and safety are of the upmost importance in Switzerland in order to protect residents and guests from COVID-19 with stringent measures, good healthcare, high vaccination rates, constant health monitoring and contact tracing. 

Easily accessible, Andermatt Swiss Alps is well-connected to some of Europe’s main cities. For instance, it is only a 90-minute drive from Zurich, two hours from Milan, and four hours from Munich. At the moment, there are a number of different airlines flying direct from destinations across Asia to Switzerland including SWISS, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. There are a number of flights that include a stopover that are also available for holiday makers and property owners. 

What is unique of the location of Andermatt Swiss Alps?

The idyllic Alpine village of Andermatt is situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, in the Ursen Valley in Canton Uri. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Andermatt Swiss Alps’ exceptional location ensures that residents and guests enjoy breathtaking views and a plethora of outdoor adventures throughout the year. 

As previously mentioned, Andermatt Swiss Alps is well connected to some of Europe’s main cities including Milan, Zurich and Munich. With a variety of transport links, it is easy for homeowners and holidaymakers to visit from Asia and the rest of the world.

What are the perks for foreign investors in Switzerland?

Andermatt is one of Switzerland’s only regions that is open to foreign investors without any restrictions, i.e. foreigners have the same rights to owning and holding a property like a Swiss resident. There is no stamp duty on purchase of property; the buying costs is only 0.3% which covers the notary public fees and land title deed registration fees. Lastly, all properties in Andermatt are freehold.

Homeowners at Andermatt Swiss Alps have complete flexibility to stay in their apartments whenever they want, there is no restriction on the duration of their stay. The remaining time that they are not using their apartments, they can utilise our rental program with a 65%-35% (owner-management) split on the net revenue (gross revenue less operating costs). We have a fair rotating system which allows every apartment to have equal chance to be rented out. A quarterly income statement is provided to the owner on the performance of their unit.

For those who are keen to know more about this property, where can they go to?

9. What other properties does Andermatt Swiss Alps have in your portfolio.?

Andermatt Swiss Alps’ property portfolio includes:

Altera – Set on the Reuss River with an impressive view of Bäzberg mountain, Andermatt Swiss Alps’ Altera showcases a unique perspective of Alpine splendour. With twelve intimate residences, Altera’s portfolio ranges from a penthouse, duplex or single level home. Continuing bringing the outdoors inside, owners can enjoy breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps through panoramic windows – including a double-height window – and each apartment is flooded with natural light. The property design merges elegance with drama and is built with the finest materials from the region. Altera is furnished luxuriously to ensure rest and relaxation for residents and/or guests, it also includes a dedicated spa area.

Gotthard Residences – The new Gotthard Residences are located in the centre of the holiday village Andermatt Reuss, nestled with a beautiful landscape of Andermatt Swiss Alps. As the village’s newest concept of “hotel serviced apartments”, Gotthard Residences are comprised of 100 units that are currently being built in the new, free-standing residence building – next to the Radisson Blu. Ranging from practical studios to spacious family-sized apartments or luxurious penthouses, the residences are in a separate wing of the the Radisson Blu hotel. Owners can use all the hotel services and benefit from the extensive wellness and fitness facilities, enjoy the ski slopes and golf course, as well as receive exclusive extra benefits like preferred treatment for reservations, invitations to selected events and much more. The façade of the Gotthard Residences building rests on a base course of stone, and that of the hotel building on a base of stacked concrete elements. The façades features various types of timber cladding and are fittingly crowned with great overhanging roofs. The interiors are finished to the highest standards in terms of materials and design. 

The Chedi Residences & Penthouses – Located within the award-winning hotel, The Chedi Residences and Penthouses are private apartments within the luxury 5 star hotel in Andermatt Swiss Alps. Having launched in 2013, The Chedi stands for luxury, quality and outstanding personalised service. With 119 Residences – 64 hotel residences and 42 apartment residences and 13 Penthouses – for sale owners can purchase either one or two-bedroom homes, ranging from 95 to 240 square metres of living space.

Combining the exclusivity of a private home with the service of a luxury hotel, The Chedi Residences have been stylishly designed to perfection by the renowned architect Jean-Michel Gathy – who has designed many luxury hotels including Marina Bay Sands and Capella Sanya – from DENNISTON architectural firm. All of The Chedi Residences are lavishly presented, combining traditional alpine living with contemporary design, showcasing the beautiful surroundings. 

The Chedi Penthouses offer real estate investors fine living with the opportunity for owners to create their dream home in the Alps. Showcasing the highest calibre of quality, design and comfort, the Penthouses can be purchased as a core-shell and designers will work alongside owners to  shape the space to their needs and desires, with every aspect tailored to the individual or family.  

Offering a distinctive lifestyle experience, owners of The Chedi Residences and Penthouses can enjoy all the hotel facilities and services including the extensive wellness facilities, award-winning restaurants including Michelin-starred The Japanese, the state-of-the-art gym as well as the 24-hour concierge service which includes a dedicated Ski/Sports Butler who will look after all sporting equipment and supply tips for the day’s conditions.

Gotthard Residences

The Chedi Residences