Skiing holidays - Gitaly contract


«..Break the ice»

Let’s talk about holidays in the snow, right? So how to start this article if not with “break the ice”?

I’ll break it. I know you were expecting some sort of “publicity” on which Hotel to choose for Christmas holidays. Maybe, you also expected a discount or a brochure with a series of activities to do. We see a lot of them these days. 

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not talking about that. 

Come on, I don’t think it’s the right place and it’s not our job.

I also add that for us our customers are all the same, or rather they are all unique; for this reason we would never favor one over another.

So what’s this article about? Simple no; how to be chosen by customers for the holidays.

How to be chosen? By doing good advertising. And how to make good advertising? Having a good “product” to advertise.

Yes, because everything starts from here, it’s useless to invest exorbitant amounts in the promotion, if the product or better the experience, because we are in 2021 and the word product seems a bit outdated, that “we sell” is not of quality and does not meet the customer’s needs.

So, today’s article talks about this, how to make the project of “Hotel in the Snow” a winning experience. 

To do this I will tell you about some Hotels, of this type, that we have realized.

«There is not a single way to do beautiful things»

As we always say, there is no right way to do things. Every Hotel we design is conceived as a unique and artistic gesture, dictated also and above all by the ideas, inspirations, feelings of the moment. 

Perhaps this is the beauty; everything takes shape spontaneously, because when you have the means, experience, knowledge, you do not need much reasoning. 

We come back concrete. Of course, when we think about a Hotel on the snow, where to spend the holidays, we immediately think of wood, a space with a warm, welcoming atmosphere, a characteristic style, and a fireplace.

You’re imagining it, right? Was I good at pitching you this set of images?

Surely, therefore, since we have to realize not only what you want but also what your guests want, the design of a Hotel of this type will have to take into account these elements, otherwise the guest will find it strange to open the door of your hotel and find bamboo walls, to understand. 

But it’s not enough to choose a little ‘wood, a little’ red, a little ‘faux leather printed cow to have a fantastic Hotel in the mountains. Of course it’s not enough. 

Also and especially for these projects the choice of materials is important. It has an intact influence on the style and atmosphere you want to recreate, for example a wood or an imitation wood of poor quality could give the space an artificial and artificial appearance. In addition, when using wood for projects, it is also important to consider wear and maintenance, and therefore the costs of the same. Especially if the wood, as often happens in these projects, is used in almost all the space. 

It is therefore necessary to find a solution that reduces these two aspects to the maximum. 

With characteristic style, of which I spoke before (are you following me true?) I don’t mean only the purely “typical”, come on, you understand which one.

In fact, in recent years, even for Hotels in the mountains, it’s increasingly using a language linked to modern architecture, which brings design at high altitude. 

A contemporary style, sometimes even futuristic avant-garde while maintaining the “somatic traits” typical of these structures. 

The last Hotel among the snows that we had the pleasure of realizing was designed in this sense.

Wait a minute, I’ll tell you about it. 

«No panic»

Sorry to keep you waiting, but the rules tell me not to make too long paragraphs. I don’t want you to get scared and not keep reading. I care about you, you know. 

Where were we? Ah yes, to the idea of designing a modern mountain Hotel for the holidays.

We abandon, for the moment, the idea of a usual mountain hut, with all due respect for the huts, and we embrace that of the last Hotel on snow that we have created: Villars Alpine Resort

This large complex in the heart of the Swiss Alps in Villars-sur-Ollon comprises three completely renovated Hotels: Villars Palace 5*, Victoria Hotel & Residence 4*, and Villar Lodge

The latter had already been restructured previously, so no renewals have been planned this year.

We took care of the other two. Villars Palace 5* works will end in 2022, so, for now, I won’t spoil anything for you (stay tuned). 

Today I want to talk to you about the Victoria Hotel & Residence 4* that will open soon. 

This Hotel, as already said to you, is somewhat detached from the conventional idea of the Mountain Hotel and wanted to stand out for its commitment to sustainability.

The design is totally inspired by nature, to create a connection between exterior and interior. We have tried to give life to the refined and innovative concept signed by the artistic director Ottavio Di Chio

Just think, the lobby will have a vertical garden that recalls the green and the surrounding woods, the seats of the sofas are made of wood from the nearby woods while the stone tables of Dranse give that extra touch to the environment.

If those above are not enough examples to make you understand the uniqueness that will have this environment, I also tell you that we have created, always for the lobby, a “BONSAI vase”, if so we can define it, size 2200x1000x1000 mm, which contains a large bonsai. 

The rooms, in total 150, with a contemporary design, are distinguished by the cement and greige shades that are perfectly connected with minimalist and futuristic elements.

I’m not telling you about the hard work we did to find the right wood finish that respected the timing, Samuel already told you about it.

The restaurant Peppino, a gastronomic restaurant, perfectly embraces the same style.

Which you probably don’t know, since you already knew about the search to find the right finish (have you read the article?), that all the materials used are sustainable and respect the codes of Swiss interior design.

So? Therefore, for example, no plastics were used and thanks to major investments in the renovation of the building, to solve the insulation problems, the overall energy impact of the Hotel was also reduced. 

Ah, another thing, the spaces have been made functional and flexible and therefore suitable for nomadic workers and coworking, because you know, work does not go on holiday. 


You don’t necessarily need to have a vertical garden in your lobby to be modern and offer a sensational experience to your guests. Just admit it’s brilliant. 

You can also do this by finding the right mix and combining high standards of craftsmanship and iconic design pieces.

That’s what we did for the Crans Montana Chalet. Yes, I know it’s a chalet, but who said it can’t be replicated in a Hotel?

And then maybe you own one and you’re thinking of renewing it, we can do it (the only advertising in the article).

For this project, we focused on the choice of quality materials, used in different environments: from the absolute black granite and glass in the bathrooms to the bois streets carefully worked by specialized artisans to create all the furniture made to measure (and this is where the devil hides). 

I once told you “that you have to be in two to dance the tango, sometimes two, three, four”, and also for this project the dancers were many. 

We have in fact made use of our consolidated network of artisans and prestigious design brands with whom we have been working for years in order to combine design elements and craftsmanship. We also searched for a new craftsman for the treatment of the wood present. 

The result? A luxurious Chalet for relaxing moments. 

Crans montana chalet - Skiing holidays - Gitaly contract

«But what did the typical do to you?»

I answer the above question: nothing. In fact, for a Hotel in the snow, where guests can spend beautiful holidays, you can also opt for a typical mountain style, come on, I guess there is it in your mind. Did you do that?

We did it when we designed the Edenarc 1800. This Hotel is a true hymn to history, the decorations recall the typical style of Savoy and evoke in a suggestive way the history of this region. We used warm and noble materials such as wood, stone, rich woven fabrics, able to immerse the guests in a traditional and sober atmosphere. 

Just think, we specifically designed the “feet” of the coffee table and set them in an iron cross. Also in this case I don’t tell you about the amount of drawings that we had to realize to make the architect’s project real, instead I tell you; so many.

«I'II tell you a secret»

Not necessarily to propose a good “product” or better a good experience (we said that the word product is not corrected), it’s necessary to twist its structure. 

In fact, just a few touches are enough to improve the existing one. We did it for the Hotel Edelweiss, opting for a soft and non-invasive renewal. We have given a touch of modernity, distorting the color of the wood in the colors of gray. All furniture was changed with more modern shapes. All rooms and public areas are decorated with black and white photos of the Swiss Alps.

Today, the hotel is called “the most Swiss in Geneva”.

Materials for Hotel project - Gitaly contract



by Samuele Tordini - Technical and Manager Director

«A stitch in time saves nine»

Yeah, I came back. I came back to do one of the things I do best, talk about my job, after doing it, of course. 

Why do I have to talk to you about this? Simply, because “a stitch in time saves nine”. 

For those of us who speak Italian the most pertinent idiomatic expression is “prevenire è meglio che curare”. In French we would say “mieux vaut prévenir que guérir.”

And in German? Well, I’m sorry, no offense, but I don’t know German. 

Back to where we belong. What should we prevent? The failure of a project, of course. 

How to do that? The components for a successful project are a lot, one of these, as we told you in another article concerns the choice of materials.

Yes, this stage is very delicate. It goes without saying that the choice of one material over another will affect the duration and maintenance costs, but it does not end there.

In fact, even the character and style of an environment will depend to a large extent on the choice of these elements, but it does not end here either.

Yes, because the use of suitable and quality materials influences the well-being and emotions that the guest lives within the spaces and arouses pleasant sensations that involve the senses: sight, touch, smell and sometimes even hearing. 

Not surprisingly, we usually use moquette for rooms and corridors of the Hotels, this material that better absorbs the noise of walking or luggage passing. Even for offices, for the same reason, the choice falls on the moquette, although in this case we opt for a more technical moquette, short hair, easier to clean. 

And you will see that your hearing will be repaid. 

But how to make the best choice?

«Like riding a bicycle»

Immediately, to the question above I would answer you, relying on the right people and adding “one precisely to us”, but I would be too self-referential, and we are not. We always leave the final judgment to our customers.

But I can tell you about the things I have learned over the years about materials, how to choose the right ones for a project and I can add that you must always rely on someone who has a vast knowledge of them.

Why? Because it’s necessary that the materials identified are compatible with the function they will have to perform.

Let me get this straight. We often propose alternative materials that are more functional than those chosen by customers or architects.

For example, if an architect/client wants marble in the design of a bar, knowing that this material is very delicate and therefore not compatible with this type of space, we look for and propose alternative solutions, equal from the aesthetic point of view, but more performing. 

So it’s important to consider when choosing the function of the materials and type of project in which they will be used.

It goes without saying that, for restaurant projects or public areas of hotels we always choose for upholstery, washable and stain-resistant fabrics, velvets and eco-leather.

This allows the guest to be completely free to live the space, without worrying too much about what happens if the coffee falls in a seat.

Surely, this affects your well-being and that of your guests and, of course, your wallet.

Another issue concerns wood. Ah, how beautiful the parquet is. But is it a wise decision to use it in a Hotel or in a public space?

I would say no. In fact we recommend this material for private residential use, and we have often included it in projects of this type.

This is because the parquet is very delicate, requires great maintenance, is easily damaged and therefore is not suitable for an environment used every day by many people. We can’t ask the guests to wear slippers, no?

Therefore, when we are required to use this material we recommend using another. Today, in fact, wood is replicated with many materials, suitable for different uses and able to guarantee the same type of design and the same final effect.

An example? Tiles or PVC that really look like parquet. 

We used them at the Crowne Plaza Geneva, to ensure that the final effect is that of a parquet, able to stimulate positive feelings in the guest, recreating a welcoming atmosphere, but at the same time allows to reduce both the initial cost and those for maintenance and cleaning.

Even for furniture, wood, difficult to manage even in these cases, is sometimes replaced with laminates. The latter are reaching a very high level and are often mistaken for real wood. For example, we often use the Kaindl brand.

Of course, we must also take into account the budget. Marble, for example, is a highly fashionable comeback finish. However, it is expensive and often the budget does not allow you to use it.

Don’t panic. In many projects, to meet all the needs of the customer both aesthetically and economically, we have researched and opted for excellent tiles that look like real marble.

Look at the picture, did you ever think that this isn’t real marble? I don’t think so.

Or, for worktops, there are highly performing compounds suitable to replace marble. 

I could go on and on, but I want to tell you about something else, too. 

I can only add, to close this point, that for me to use the right materials “is like riding a bicycle”, once you have learned, you can no longer fall, and then fail.

«Aesthetics or functionality? This is the dilemma»

You’re right, Shakespeare said “to be or not to be” is the dilemma. But also choosing between functionality and aesthetics is the dilemma.

And so I ask you, why do I have to choose? It is unthinkable. Or at least that’s how we work.

In every project, we never penalize aesthetics or functionality. We try to find the right mix. 

The desire, and the ability to choose and insert functional materials in each project comes from our experience as a company. We feel a kind of responsibility both present and future towards the customer, a responsibility that pushes us to focus on this aspect. We would never want that after a year an element is to be changed because you have not chosen a material compatible with the function of use that had to perform, for example. 

On the other hand, however, precisely because our team is formed by architects, designers, technicians, then by a plurality of people with different visions and focused on different aspects, we know how to grasp every aspect of the project, understanding that in addition to functionality there is aesthetics. 

We understand that for the client or for an architect a material must certainly be functional, but also beautiful, able to fascinate guests.

So, when a project is entrusted to us, to choose the right materials, me along with the technical department, focus more on finding something that is functional and performing, while for example Elisabetta and the design office take more into consideration the aesthetic aspects.

We compensate perfectly, we are two halves of an apple (too romantic?), and together we find a solution that perfectly encloses the two aspects.

«Like riding a bicycle...or rather»

Do you remember? I told you that for me knowing how to choose the right materials is like riding a bike, once you understand how to do it you can not go wrong. However, there may be obstacles, and we must try not to fall and therefore to remain in balance.

What obstacles can we encounter and how do we dodge them?

I already told you about the budget. Often the materials requested by the client or by the architect don’t respect the budget. For this reason, we propose alternative solutions that have the same effect from the aesthetic point of view but that are cheaper and therefore respect the budget better. 

Another obstacle is supply. It happens sometimes that the materials chosen and approved have higher delivery times than those provided in the planning.

It happened to us recently, in one of the latest projects we’re completing. In fact, for the Villars Palace Resort, although there isn’t a great variety of materials required, there was a real challenge against time. 

This is because we had to carry out a thorough research to identify the wood finish for the rooms that respected the timing and that allowed us to deliver the Hotel to the customer on the agreed date. 

Then put that this year the wood is practically unavailable, given also the world pandemic, and the game becomes even more difficult.

To overcome this challenge, in addition to careful research, we also turned to our consistent network of national and international suppliers, and we did it.

Often the obstacles in identifying and choosing the right materials are related to the nature of the project. Hotel N’Vy, for example, is a concentration of finishes and customizations of artistic gestures of the architect Patrick Ribes. This has made inevitable for us the implementation of a deep search for alternative solutions capable of making the architect’s idea real.

Last, but obviously not the last (there are plenty of them), an important aspect that I want to talk about is the availability of materials. 

This is also an important obstacle, I have to say.

It can happen that the materials of a project are chosen by the architect and/or customer and they are available only in the country or region of origin of the latter, and maybe the country in question is on the other side of the world.

Given, often, the impossibility of finding these materials, it’s necessary to find a solution.

That’s what we did for the ground floor project and the seventh and eighth floors of the Crowne Plaza Geneva.

Celia Chu, architect of this project, and her team, had in fact chosen and given to us as a reference, materials that were only commercially available in the geographic area where the architectural firm was located – Taiwan. Impossible therefore to find. 

But by using our network of suppliers and through relentless research by our team of designers supported by the purchasing department, we could meet all the architect’s requirements, finding alternative materials similar to those initially proposed but easier to find.

All the alternatives have been strictly evaluated by Celia Chu and her staff who have come to both Italy and Geneva for this purpose. 

We’re at the end of this article. I think you’ll agree with me that the subject is too broad to be described in a single article. 

And then, I can not tell you all the tricks of the trade, but I can use them for your project, if you entrust 🙂