There was a time when people lamented the fact that Christmas came too early. Retailers were criticized for installing festive windows while there were still leaves on the trees. Local governments such as Geneva were chastised for hanging lights too soon. Mail order companies were censured for having the audacity to send out their Christmas catalogues when people were still in short sleeves in Zurich and Lausanne. Today, some wonder whether Christmas will ever come.
As we approach the close of this year, our editorial team presents a festive collection of topics to peruse as you sip your holiday buttered rum.
In this issue, we take a look at some enticing options for an Alpine getaway with Swiss Style’s Resort Report, featuring Helvetia’s four more popular luxury resorts of Gstaad, Zermatt, St. Moritz, and Verbier. And while you decide, why not consider adding a little adrenalin to the trip with a luxury helicopter transfer with Heli-Alps, or be whisked away for a glacier picnic among friends. We tell you how, with stunning agility, your pilot will skirt monumental cliffs and swoop over twisted ice formations jutting from the icy blue of a glacier below. And if the high altitude is not your cup of eggnog, we’ve handpicked a selection of Switzerland’s most romantic Christmas markets just for you.
Editor in Chief, Allison Zurfluh, travelled to Torino with Genevan photographer, Michel Juvet, to meet in-studio with a team of globally acclaimed international artists in the throes of bringing an inédit Venetian opera to life. The 400-year-old masterpiece will see its international premiere at Spoleto Festival USA next year.
We have also chosen this time of year to speak with decision makers at companies that produce some of the gifts you may find under the Christmas tree. The expansive watchmaker par excellence, Jean Claude Biver for Hublot, explains how the brand has just named the Israeli model, Bar Refaeli, as brand ambassador, while Chief Designer at Porsche, Michael Mauer, gives us an inside perspective on luxury car design.
Of high altitude interest is our interview with Egyptian billionaire, Samih Sawaris, who expanded on his vision of plucking Andermatt, a sleepy, nine-lift ski town, from obscurity and catapulting it to global fame as Switzerland’s most significant luxury hospitality and property development.
Finally, only a few months after Apple announced the arrival of the Apple Watch, Senior Editor Peter Carson talks about the Swiss business climate in an interview with the Chief Operating Officer of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, Martin Naville.
It is my wish that these holidays will be a time of joy for all.
John François Béguin