Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet has forayed into the world of hospitality with an impressively designed hotel that officially launched in June 2022. Hôtel des Horlogers is situated in the Swiss village of Le Brassus — the home of the watchmaker.
Designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels — the person behind the world-famous waste incinerator with a functional ski-slope in Copenhagen — the luxury hotel is hidden away from the street. It is next to the spiral-shaped Musee Atelier Audemars Piguet, or AP Museum, which, too, is Ingels’ creation.
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Architecture merges with the valley
The design of Hôtel des Horlogers reflects the topography of Vallée de Joux, of which Le Brassus is a part. The building appears almost invisible in the terrain due to its zigzagging, ramp-like architecture, which merges with its surroundings and the meadow it sits on.
The interiors of the hotel are also inspired by nature. Stripped tree roots hang from the lobby ceiling and huge glass panels let guests get an uninterrupted view of the exceedingly beautiful landscape outside.
Soft pastel colours dominate the interiors, helping enhance the sleekness of the design and highlighting the luxury it offers. Light fittings are designed like truffles and white elephant ears.
Places to eat and drink in the hotel
The most important attraction of Hôtel des Horlogers is perhaps the three dining establishments it houses, and all of them are headed by three-Michelin-star French chef Emmanuel Renaut.
Among these are the gourmet restaurant La Table des Horlogers and Bar des Horlogers, which serves signature cocktails and has an à la carte menu.
The most significant of the three is Le Gogant, located downstairs from the lobby. The restaurant has large bay windows which allow diners to soak in the view outside while they relish some of the finest cuisines on offer.
Hôtel des Horlogers has 50 rooms, including 12 suites, which are connected to restaurants, seminar room, lobby and spa by an internal walkway.
Ingels’s firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) worked with Swiss company CCHE Architecture on the hotel, which took four years to complete. The interiors are done by the French company AUM Pierre Minassian.
Le Brassus is itself a scenic destination. Its terrain is perfect for hiking, skiing and cycling. But its history as a hub of horology means there are museums, such as the ones belonging to legacy watchmakers Audemars Piguet and Jaeger-LeCoultre, in and around the village.
(Main and Featured images: CCHE)