From the Mediterranean to the mountains – a Q&A with the founders of Cotton Club Andermatt
Married for 26 years this year, 18 of those spent working together, Norwegian entrepreneurs Christian and Merete Marstander are the visionaries behind the hugely successful Cotton Lifestyle brand.
Having moved from their native home of Oslo to Copenhagen, Luxembourg, and then Ibiza, the world has always been Christian and Merete’s workplace. Before launching the exceptional Cotton Beach Club in Ibiza, which has earned them global media acclaim, the couple enjoyed a thriving career in hospitality managing exclusive shows, concerts, and events across Europe, in addition to running online music stores, communities and high-end concierge services from Beijing to Cape Town.
Cotton Lifestyle has become an exceptional brand, grown around a core team of loyal and talented individuals: experienced waitstaff, hostesses, skilled bartenders, resident DJs, gifted musicians and more, who have been a part of this remarkable journey since the beginning.
Andermatt Swiss Alps caught up with the duo to learn about their first-ever Alpine destination: Cotton Club Andermatt.
How did Cotton Lifestyle start?
The Cotton Lifestyle concept and brand have been under development for over a decade. Cotton Club Ibiza, our first venue, came into existence following three years of research and drawing board thinking after arriving in Ibiza. We launched the project in the autumn of 2013 and opened our doors in May 2014.
Tell us about the brand’s evolution.
From the start, we had a clear vision for expanding and building Cotton Lifestyle as an easily recognisable and quality brand. This commitment to brand development has been central to our growth and success over the years.
What has been the key to your success?
To us, Cotton Lifestyle is a dream of new hospitality. It’s a way of thinking and an approach to life that’s hopeful, confident, and giving – a creative lifestyle product with an identity and a DNA that is authentic but cosmopolitan. We can attribute Cotton’s success to a strong focus on our goals, hard work, and a deep understanding of the constantly evolving food and beverage industry. Understanding and meeting the desires of our clientele has been pivotal to our achievements.
What drew you to the Swiss Alps?
We’ve been dreaming about a Cotton Club in the Swiss Alps since 2014, when we first started Cotton Club Ibiza. As individuals, we share a love of the intense heat of summer, the colours of the sea and sky, sand, the sound of rolling waves, and the mix of people drawn to the Mediterranean lifestyle. But being Norwegian, we also love snow and the cold, the blinding mountain sun, the clean, fresh air, and that special, indescribable feeling of calm, quiet happiness you experience only at high altitudes surrounded by white powdered peaks. In 2023 – nine years after opening Cotton Beach Club Ibiza – we’re thrilled to bring these two opposites together as Cotton Lifestyle adds its first Alpine venue, Cotton Club Andermatt, to the Cotton family.
What is your vision for Cotton Club Andermatt?
Cotton Club Andermatt is a happy marriage of mountain scenery and a Mediterranean mindset. We look forward to bringing Cotton’s appreciation of healthy, fresh food, great wines, and a special sense of the beauty of ‘living in the moment’ to Andermatt.
Like what we’ve done in Ibiza, Mallorca, and Zakynthos, we’re excited to source local produce and delicacies and experiment with food culture to create a cuisine that’s recognisable but distinctly Cotton. Our vision for Cotton Club Andermatt is to build on our success. We aim to attract a loyal customer base to Andermatt and offer a mountain-themed version of Cotton.
Andermatt’s unique transformation into a boutique ski resort, coupled with the visionary plans of investor and constructor Samih Sawiris, made it an attractive destination for us.
How are you feeling about opening this new venture?
We are incredibly excited about the potential of Andermatt as a destination. Given how we work, we hope to see investors, operators, and the local community collaborating and working towards our shared goal of putting Andermatt on the map and making it one of Europe’s most exclusive and attractive winter and summer destinations. We plan to create special events that offer unique and memorable experiences for our guests and residents all year round.
What key dates should we know about?
We plan to open our doors in mid-December in time for some special Christmas and New Year celebrations. We encourage everyone to follow our Instagram account, @COTTONCLUBANDERMATT, for updates and announcements on events and offers or contact Cotton directly at email@example.com for further information.