Rumors are spreading in the Swiss community of cigar aficionados that The Chedi Andermatt is hosting an exclusive event series for cigar-lovers. The problem? It is by invite only! We had the honor of participating in the 4th edition and we are happy to share our impressions with you. Are you ready to dive into the fascinating world of The Chedi Cigar Circle?
Oasis in the Swiss Alps
When arriving at The Chedi Andermatt, one instantly feels like entering an oasis. After a scenic drive up the winding roads along steep mountain faces, the driveway to The Chedi is like a portal to another world. Guests get often greeted by a fleet of sports cars waiting to be driven up the many scenic mountain passes.
In summer, the hotel is very popular because of its courtyard. Here, guests can enjoy a drink while warming up in the gentle sunlight of the Swiss Alps. While we enjoy sitting outside a lot, we are drawn inside by the iconic walk-in humidor in the Cigar Library. It holds over 400 brands and formats of cigars originating from 15 different countries. In addition, there is a selection of certain cigar rarities that cannot be bought anywhere. Furthermore, The Chedi employs expert staff, who provide excellent advice to the guests and manage the perfectly maintained walk-in humidor with its almost 5 meter high ceiling. We are happy that cigars are the reason why we are here. For now, we wait with smoking because there will be plenty of that in the evening. Instead we head downstairs to the spa to unwind before the much anticipated night.
The Chedi Cigar Circle
Finally it is time to enter the wonderfully spacious Furka Suite and dive into the magical world of The Chedi Cigar Circle, an event shrouded in legend. We get greeted with a cocktail created by the talented bar crew of The Chedi. It is prepared with the relatively new and exclusive Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23 Years Single Malt Whisky. What a way to start into a classy evening! Now, according to Tim-Martin Weber, Executive Assistant Manager, the goal is to enjoy different cigars, pair them with fine drinks, exclusive food and spend a grand time getting to know new people.
And that is exactly what we will do! First off, Dietmar Sawyere, Executive Chef of The Japanese Restaurant (1 Michelin star, 16 GaultMillau points) and The Japanese by The Chedi Andermatt on the Gütsch, serves carefully prepared delicacies. A succulent array of Japanese dishes including sushi, summer rolls and oysters get paired with Rosé Champagne, Swiss Chardonnay and, of course, cigars.
We quickly realize how exclusive and special it is to be here. The cigar events at The Chedi Andermatt are always held in small groups of about 15 to 20 people. Selected guests get to enjoy an extraordinary event with a novelty being presented at each event. For this occasion, a top-shot from the cigar scene is always present on site. This year, Marcel Knobel of ADVentura Cigars, is presenting an exclusive Vitola, which is only available at The Chedi Cigar Circle.
While we talk about the captivating world of cigars, we get to enjoy another course of mouth-watering food. This time, Armin Egli, Chef de Cuisine The Restaurant (14 GaultMillau points), serves several dishes of contemporary fusion cuisine.
A Reason to Celebrate
The highlight of the event comes suddenly and was not anticipated by anyone. While The Cigar Circle usually does not allow speeches, it is Michael from the Les Connaisseurs Club who gets the attention. He surprises Marie Gerber, hostess of The Cigar Library, to award her an honorary membership of the club. The occasion is properly celebrated with some glasses of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne and, you guessed it, more cigars!
Throughout the evening we get to taste different cigars from a variety of countries in Central- and South America. It is exciting to pair them with various wines, whiskies and dishes. Also, we enjoy exchanging thoughts with industry professionals like Rouven Bähr from Importadora Corazza. He loves to share his passion for cigars with fellow aficionados and beginners alike.
As the evening progresses, the talented chefs of The Chedi start to prepare the dessert directly in the kitchen of the suite. Additionally, carefully replicated cigars made of fine Swiss chocolate are brought in. A true delight for both eyes and stomach! For us it is another great occasion to pair cigars with dark chocolate, red wine and a rare Glenfiddich 27 Years Exclusive Cask Edition Single Malt.
Way past midnight, we decide to call it a night. While many others still stay to enjoy the remainder of the evening, we fall asleep in the very comfortable beds of The Chedi. What an unforgettable night it was!
The beautiful Way Home
After a good night sleep we start the day with a delicious breakfast before checking out and taking a little detour on our way home. We decide to drive down the iconic Tremola from the Ospizio San Gottardo. What a wise decision that was! We are overwhelmed by the spectacular scenery. The winding road made with pebble stones takes us back to a long gone time when traveling used to be an adventure. Back then, merchants took risks to bring exotic goods, like cigars, to places like Switzerland. With this in mind, we appreciate the past night at the Chedi Cigar Circle even more.
If you want to know more about The Chedi Andermatt, please click here to read about our overall hotel experience.