Five theses on the good life
The heart of Andreas Caminada’s enterprise is Fürstenau in the Swiss canton of Grisons. In just under 20 years, the 45-year-old has turned the town into a destination for lovers of the good life who get to enjoy the Casa Caminada guesthouse, a bakery, coffee roastery, vegetarian fine dining at Oz and the crown jewel – Schloss Schauenstein, a multi-award-winning star restaurant and boutique hotel in a manor house (andreascaminada.com, in German only). “We’ve given this small town a new lease of life,” says Caminada, who grew up in a neighbouring valley. At his other establishments – IGNIV by Andreas Caminada in Bad Ragaz, Zurich, St. Moritz and Bangkok – the entrepreneur gives young chefs whom he has taken under his wing a chance to develop their own signature styles based on a shared culinary philosophy. “They bring those restaurants to life in keeping with the vision and passion we share. I belong at the manor house. That’s where you’ll find me and where I intend to stay.” Andreas Caminada sums up his take on what constitutes the pleasures of the good life in five theses.
1. The good life has an address.
“People who want to treat themselves can come to us, leave their cares behind, relax and indulge their senses. Here in my hometown, they can savour life’s little pleasures – a warm welcome with a distinct regional flavour, history and new beginnings. For me, my team and our guests, it’s our happy place.”
2. The good life is simplicity itself.
“We don’t make a big song and dance about things. Whether visitors stop by the castle, Oz or the guesthouse, they’ll enjoy an authentic experience and good food – without any distractions. It’s not only what they look forward to but also what opens their eyes to new things. Enjoyment means focusing all your senses on the experience.”
3. The good life is a culture.
“The good life arises out of a culture of hospitality. When guests visit us and take an interest in what we offer, delighting them is not just a job, it’s a passion. When you minister to people’s personal needs, they are more willing to fully immerse themselves in your world.”
4. The good life is the human touch.
“While we give guests their space, we’re always right at hand. Each and every employee puts their heart, soul and personality into the job. And the guests pick up on that. The result is an ambience whose signature intimacy is tinged with a perfectly understated, subtle coolness.”
5. The good life is inspiring.
“We strive to create lasting memories of phenomenal food and an incredible ambience shaped by a distinctive style, so that the time spent here and the people whom they shared it with are never forgotten. When our guests surrender to the sensual spell this place casts, it stays with them and the pleasure of the experience proves inspiring.”
Conversations on Progress: Henrik Wenders meets Andreas Caminada