from the gondola arrival station to the design hotel

the gondola arrival station

built at the beginning of the 60s when winter sports developed and skiing became an economic engine with crans-montana, the chetseron gondola arrival station closed definitively in 2003. from then on, the modernised and fast notched cry d’er line served the whole western part of the estate, leaving the abandoned chetseron high altitude railway station behind.

project genesis

that same year, the idea of transforming the railway station into a hotel and renovating the old-fashioned but historically rich restaurant came to Sami Lamaa. indeed, its unique location at an altitude of 2112 m, its 360° view and the strong positive energy of the place seduce him. he thought about it, wrote his business plan throughout 2003 and at the beginning of 2004. the basic idea and to create a stylish and uncluttered establishment for the 21stcentury clientele. a clientele that has travelled a lot, that has seen a lot, that has lived a lot of expectations. It was therefore necessary to offer the customer a unique, privileged and offbeat moment. the warm and friendly atmosphere of a mountain hut in an industrial wasteland with a refined and timeless design.

the pillars are :

  1. the kitchen, the lung of the establishment
  2. space, undisputed luxury
  3. silence, rare and appreciable
  4. architecture and design

an intense collaboration

in 2004, Mr. Lamaa teamed up with a crans-montana lover, Louis Bégault, and their respective wives, Napa and Christine, also took part in the project. an intense collaboration begins and in 2005, the first applications for authorisation to transform the infrastructure into a restaurant are made to the state of Valais. Once accepted, the partners contact the architect Ambroise Bonvin of the actescollectifs office and begin the architectural and design project directly. the building permit was issued in September 2008 and work began almost immediately, i.e. two months later.

extreme conditions

in December 2008, work began in sometimes extreme winter conditions. in fact, despite the snow and the cold, the construction site must move forward and respect the deadlines. between seismic reinforcement of the walls, formwork for the new terrace, insulation of the façades and installation of the windows, everything needs to be renovated, including the initial structure of the building. thanks to an extremely close-knit and motivated team, the restaurant welcomed its first customers in December 2009.

the second stage of the project

the administrative procedures for assigning the station to accommodation already started in 2006, but the building permit is issued in 2012. major interior demolition work is undertaken and then, little by little, the rooms take shape, as does the lobby, dining room, smoking room and seminar room. the large, symbolic chetzeron bay window is installed in May 2014 and the hotel opens its doors seven months later, in December 2014.

from 2015 to today

in 2015 the swimming pool as well as the sauna and hammam will arrive. in 2016, the chalet will become the relaxation area where our masseuse offers privileged moments. this chalet was in 1987 the starting point for the women’s world cup downhill race.

in 2015, chetzeron becomes a finalist for the “european hotel design awards” in the “adaptive architecture reuse” category. in 2016, the hotel will become part of the marketing design hotels chain, which promotes exceptional independent establishments. in 2018, chetzeron enters another collection of extraordinary hotels hip hotels and in 2020, in the top selection of the world’s 1,000 exceptional hotels., mr & mrs smith.

today, the restaurant and its terraces welcome hikers, bikers and e-bikers, skiers and nature lovers during the day in a warm atmosphere. at lunchtime, a menu of alpine dishes as well as a small menu for those with a small appetite is offered. in the evening, chetzeron is transformed into a fairy-tale atmosphere, where silence and tranquillity reign. the hotel offers bedrooms with a pure design that invites you to contemplation.

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