Faern Arosa Altein, Arosa, Switzerland
Designed as a sociable haven for guests returning from a busy day in the Swiss Alps, Faern Arosa Altein is a year-round wellness escape for nature lovers. Set in the national park of Graubünden, the hotel is ideally located for accessing 225km of ski slopes through the winter, as well as hundreds of biking and hiking trails in the summer.
The opening represents the completion of London-based design studio Run for the Hills’ first full hotel commission. The team worked with Faern to redesign the 126-key hotel. It restored the entrance lobby, concierge desk and breakfast buffet, and designed all the bars, restaurants, common areas and breakout spaces.
These include a cosy library cocktail bar plus a restaurant and bar on the fifth floor offering panoramic views of the beautiful surroundings. The building’s extensive refurbishment included a full renovation of the guest bedrooms and suites, as well as a range of communal areas such as a cinema, games room, kids’ playroom, and meeting space.
Faern is a new collection of striking lifestyle resorts in the Swiss Alps. Debuting with two hotels, Faern Arosa Altein and Faern Crans-Montana Valaisia, the brand is approaching each alpine destination with a fresh, new take inspired by the unforgettable vistas. The brand name is derived from the German ‘Feiern’, meaning ‘to celebrate’ and the English ‘fern’, an icon of mountain flora.
Holistic health and wellbeing, and mountainous enjoyment is pivotal to the brand’s ethos, which aims to bring people together to celebrate alpine living in a home away from home.
The contemporary alpine interiors feature tactile upholstery, sheepskins and cosy woollen armchairs. Tailored mesh panels, ribbed glass column lights and antique brass fittings add an urban twist to the hotel’s modern charm.
A Wes Anderson-inspired wooden reception desk nods to the hotel’s Belle Epoque heritage and complements the stunning architectural arches within the cosy-chic lounge-lobby hotel foyer. A sweeping dusky marble staircase encourages guests down to explore the hotel’s Zus Brasserie and inviting cocktail bar, Alchemilla Parlour.
The interiors palette is grounded in alpine neutrals, forest greens, burnt rusts, and golden ochres, warmed with characterful timber furniture and joinery. Tabletops feature light and dark terrazzo stones and berry-red marble swirls. The tailored joinery is softened by fluted banquettes and sofa-height dining set-ups, accessorised with rustic ceramics and scattered Slim Aarons’ artwork, a nod to the retro village of Arosa.
“The hotel is deeply atmospheric and steeped in history. Working closely with Faern Resorts CEO Romain Semmel, we developed our interior concept to honour its heritage, while also creating a fresh lifestyle escape for the next generation, channelling the spirit of chic millennial high-altitude living,” said Anna Burles, co-founder and creative director, Run For The Hills.
The hotel’s bedrooms are a mix of singles, doubles and larger deluxe corner suites for groups and families. Many have spacious balconies, with uninterrupted views over the valley and rooftops of Arosa. Inside, the guest room design concept is unashamedly boutique inspired. The soft curves of the custom headboards and contemporary joinery styles are punctuated with characterful lamps. The rooms are infused with alpine zig-zag textiles on the armchairs paired with statement Swiss green cross woollen bed blankets for extra warmth and cosiness. Suites are filled with retro mountain photography, including some from the Slim Aarons vintage collection.
The bathrooms are contemporary chic, featuring black-framed showers and brassware, washstand basin and terrazzo floors. The decorative palette is organic and rich, with a mix of timbers, woven panelling and rich clay paint colours creating a warm, elegant atmosphere. The final palette speaks to the hotel’s setting. Timeless tones from nature are accented by textural upholstery and sheepskin balcony seating to create a layered, modern mountain style.
Michael Smith, associate creative director, Run For The Hills, said: “We created a design language for guest rooms of differing sizes – a suite of joinery designs that could flex for the varying styles and orientations of rooms. Bed sizes and storage solutions may vary, but we looked to connect them with signature features and maximum guest comfort touches to make each room a relaxing retreat.”
The hotel has several distinct spaces for dining and drinking, including the stucco-ceilinged grand dining room Zus Brasserie. Surrounded by large windows, this spacious room provides exquisite mountain and village views. A wide selection of wines nestles in the softly lit, arched timber and mesh wine cabinet. The nature-inspired material palette features warm and organic, rich timbers, bouclé and wool upholstery fluted banquette sofas in forest greens, berry reds and bark browns, and structured dining chairs in angled forms and art deco-inspired curves. These are given a contemporary twist with graphic art and mirrors suspended from ironwork rails that reflect the stunning views beyond. Adjoining this, the Rustic Buffet offers self-service cuisine under a statement decorative tree that celebrates the full height of the beautiful arched space framed by the swirling marble staircase.
The hotel’s buzzy après ski rooftop restaurant and bar, Alpensand Panoramic Restaurant & Social Club, boasts breath-taking views of the Swiss Alps. The light-filled indoor space extends out to a magnificent balcony with uninterrupted views of the valley and village. Alpensand channels 1970s decor, updated with alpine-inspired wallpapers from Mind The Gap’s Tyrol collection, cosy Romo upholstery and a vintage collection of tongue-in-cheek mountain resort artworks by Slim Aarons. These are paired with cushy velvet sofas and deep, comfortable armchairs to provide a great spot to socialise and relax with friends. The bar is designed to host après ski DJ sets and is open to guests and non-residents alike.
Alchemilla Parlour Bar, the hotel’s lower ground level social lounge, is set within the historic panelled library, and provides evening drinks and small plates for guests and locals. The sumptuous space features richly upholstered cocktail armchairs, black veined stone drinks tables and group nook sofas. In keeping with Faern’s spirit of joyful celebration, creativity and playful rebellion, the art is full of personality, channelling the spirited style of 1970s alpine fashion photography and surreal collage.
During the winter season (December to April), guests have access to heated boot racks in the ski room, with close access to the main lifts and a large ski and snowboarding area with sledging, snowshoeing and cross-country trails. In summer (June to October), they can play tennis on the two outdoor courts or take a dip in the outdoor pool. Arosa is home to numerous lakes and picturesque hiking routes. Activities include mountain biking, parachuting and golf.
The hotel boasts the town’s largest spa destination, with pools, water jets, steam and sauna as well as pampering treatments.
AT A GLANCE
Owner: Faern Hotels & Resorts
Interior design: Run for the Hills
Lighting: Northern Lights, Chelsom
Bathroom fittings: Hansgrohe