Nearest train station
High in the hills of Crans-Montana, Switzerland, an abandoned gondola station has been transformed into the striking hotel Chetzeron. The commitment to environmental responsibility began with that very idea: to breathe life into an abandoned gondola station rather than build anew. The materials were carefully and consciously chosen. The stone that covers the structure was sourced from a ski slope less than three kilometers from the property. Wild oak from the other side of the mountain, Bernese Oberland, was used. The furniture that comprises the cozy interiors was designed with the help of local Valaisan artisans. And energy-efficient systems were installed—including solar panels, natural ventilation, and a heat recovery system—eventually earning Chetzeron the Swiss Minergie certification, which honors buildings with very low energy consumption.
The building was recovered and renovated, the exterior stone was recovered from three kilometers away, and the materials were sourced from local companies.
The hotel limits food waste and the use of plastic, PET, paper, cardboard, etc. In the rooms, there are no coffee machines, kettles, tea sachets, or coffee capsules.
The building is equipped with solar panels, pellet heating, heat recovery, and highly efficient glass wool insulation. Chetzeron has Minergie certification for buildings with very low energy consumption.
Water is taken from a dam a few kilometers from Chetzeron, stored in a tank, and filtered on-site. It is considered a precious commodity that is conserved as much as possible.
Food is sourced from local producers only. Materials in the rooms are also sourced locally, such as bedding and furniture. The Kaaita slippers are made from plastic bottles and can be recycled.
The hotel works with regional artisans, exhibits the work of local artists, participates in cultural events such as the Vision Art Festival, and more.
Chetzeron promotes eco-friendly recreation via such labels as Food, Slow Food Travel, Swisstainable from Switzerland Tourism, Label Fait Maison, and more.
Guests are encouraged to use the Crans-Montana ski lifts to get to the hotel. When the lifts are not working, 4x4 vehicles must be arranged. Journeys are limited and a hybrid vehicle is used.
The hotel favors year-round contracts, though it is a seasonal establishment. Leadership encourages internal promotions.
We spoke with the team at Chetzeron to learn the latest on the hotel’s conscious journey.
With our construction, energy use, and proximity to our suppliers, Chetzeron is environmentally friendly and dedicated to promoting sustainability. This process began at the genesis of the project, as rehabilitating a disused building is already a commitment. The founding partners wanted local artisans to carry out the work to avoid unnecessary transportation and involve local businesses in this beautiful project. The desire to protect the environment, reduce our ecological footprint, and keep our carbon dioxide emissions low has been present since the beginning. Today, this desire is reflected in the choice of our suppliers, the dishes we offer, and our internal processes that aim to respect our planet as best as we can.
We work exclusively with local artisans, producers, and winemakers. We know them and establish a relationship of trust with them. In addition, we participate in local life and support events such as the “Vision Art Festival” or “Cirque au Sommet,” as well as local media such as “La Vie à Crans-Montana” for example. Finally, many of our customers are local residents and we engage in dialogue and establish personal relationships with them. Coming to Chetzeron allows them to escape from everyday life just a few steps from home.
The biggest challenge is to meet our customers’ expectations while respecting our ecological commitment. It is a real challenge to find the right balance. Also, communicating and explaining our choices is not always easy. Customers who are not aware of our commitment sometimes have misunderstandings. In fact, the biggest obstacle is the current mentality, which has not yet fully evolved. Even so, we are optimistic that the generations are evolving and moving in the right direction.