Award-winning London-based design studio Run for the Hills has completed its first full- hotel commission, Faern Arosa Altein. Set in the snow-clad mountains of Switzerland, the team has worked with Faern to redesign the picturesque 126-key hotel. Run For The Hills restored the entrance lobby, concierge desk and breakfast buffet, and designed all its bars, restaurants, common areas and breakout spaces. These include the half-board restaurant, Zus Brasserie, a cosy library cocktail bar, Alchemilla Parlour, as well as the property’s signature Alpensand Panoramic Social Club, a panoramic restaurant and bar located on the fifth floor. The building’s extensive refurbishment included a full renovation of the guest rooms and suites, as well as a range of communal areas such as a cinema, games room, kids’ playroom, and meeting space.
Standing on a hillside within the beautiful national park resort of Arosa, the hotel is the brainchild of Faern Resorts, a collection of resorts in the Swiss Alps dedicated to creating high altitude living wellness destinations, with innovative food and beverage concepts in some of the most loved Swiss mountain resorts.
Designed as a sociable haven for guests returning from a busy day on the mountain, 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 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 sun 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. We felt privileged to fashion its next chapter. Working closely with Faern Resorts CEO Romain Semmel, we developed our interior concept to honour its heritage, whilst also creating a fresh lifestyle escape for the next generation, channelling the spirit of chic millennial high-altitude living,” says Anna Burles, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Run For The Hills.
The hotel’s guest rooms offer a mix of comfort 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, Run for The Hills’ 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 which are paired with statement Swiss green cross woollen bed blankets for extra warmth and cosiness. The suites 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.
“We created a design language for guest rooms of differing sizes; a suite of joinery designs which 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,” says Michael Smith, Associate Creative Director, Run For The Hills.
The hotel has several distinct spaces for both dining and drinking, including the stucco ceiling Grand Dining Room Zus Brasserie. Surrounded by large windows, this spacious room provides exquisite mountain and village views. The space is utilised to serve healthy and hearty breakfasts ahead of a day’s skiing, and upon nightfall transforms into a sophisticated restaurant offering candle-lit dinners for half-board guests. Zus Brasserie also offers a wide selection of wines nestled in the softly lit, arched timber and mesh wine cabinet. The nature-inspired material palette features warm and organic, rich timbers, boucle? and wool upholstery fluted banquette sofas in forest greens, berry reds and bark browns, and structured dining chairs in angled forms and Deco-inspired curves. These are given a contemporary twist with graphic art and mirrors suspended from ironwork rails that reflect the stunning views beyond.
The Rustic Buffet adjoins Zus Brasserie, offering plentiful self-serve 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 apre?s ski rooftop restaurant and bar, Alpensand Panoramic Restaurant & Social Club, boasts breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps; sun-drenched by day, twinkling clear views by night. Offering an all-day aÌ la carte menu, the light-filled indoor drinks and dining space extends out onto a magnificent balcony with uninterrupted views of the valley and village. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a refreshment in the sun, and an unrivalled location for apre?s-ski sundown aperitifs and winter warmer cocktails. 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 apre?s ski DJ sets to accompany the exquisite cocktails, craft beers, sharing platters, artisan pastries and warming drinks. This space is open to guests and non-residents alike.
Alchemilla Parlour Bar, the hotel’s lower ground level social lounge set within the historic panelled Library Room, provides evening drinks, inventive cocktails and small plates for guests and locals. A beckoning, sumptuous space with richly upholstered cocktail armchairs, black veined stone drinks tables and group nook sofas, Alchemilla is the perfect spot for retiring after dinner. 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.