A chic spa retreat, surrounded by Alpine scenery that inspired a literary legend, is a perfect stay to clear the mind
Cocooned in matching fleece robes, couples doze on cushioned loungers, drinking in the warm mist of the spa around them. I tread carefully past them until I’m in the dim chamber of the coldest plunge pool – a chilly 65 degrees. Holding my breath, I dunk myself in, before hotfooting it to a steaming pool nearby, welcoming the flush of warmth through my body.
I’m making the most of the spa at the Chedi Andermatt, an alpine resort in Switzerland’s Urseren valley. Over the weekend, I’ve popped down at least twice a day, be it to roast in a sauna, loll on a daybed or swim a few lengths in one of its many pools. Spanning 26,000 square feet, no one could blame you for losing a few days here.
Chief among the spa’s attractions is the hydrotherapy wing, home to two steam rooms, a biosauna, a Finnish sauna and three plunge pools of graduating heat. At reception, a therapist encourages me to alternate between the hot rooms and cold pools – a technique designed to assault the body’s thermostat, improving circulation, releasing endorphins and rumored to burn fat. After a few sessions, and several pints of water, I flop in a daze onto one of the loungers. The process is exhausting, but also invigorating – like the feeling after a long run, without any of the pain or exertion.
Surrounded by lush bottle-green mountains, guests seeking a few more endorphins can try the 12-meter outdoor pool or the 35-meter indoor pool on the spa’s upper level. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning vistas of the valley, while in winter the glass roof can be heated to melt off any snow that might hamper a clear view of the sky.
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