ENTERTAINMENT

Travel: go skiing in 2019? Here is the hotel you should book


The historic Hotel Schweizerhof in Zermatt was reopened in December 2018 after an intensive six-month upgrade – and the results are great.

The site

The mountain village of Zermatt

The magnificent Matterhorn towers over the mountain village of Zermatt, one of the oldest and most popular ski areas in Switzerland, which attracts enthusiastic skiers, gourmets and mini-breakers alike – and you will find all of its best pieces in the Hotel Schweizerhof.

Meters from the mountain station (the car-free city is best reached by train) and set back behind a blazing fire in its own enclave of a pulsating thoroughfare (the action focuses on a main street), the hotel is warmly welcomed and cozy in design immediately to complete relaxation.

The style

Hotel Schweizerhof rooms

Hotel Schweizerhof rooms

Absolute ski luxury and ultimate comfort – everything you could wish for after a hard day on the 360 ​​km of slopes in Zermatt. The new look, which is managed by the renowned hotelier Michel Reybier, turns the traditional mountain style upside down and is a mixture of Alpine-meets-cosmo-coolness.

The open communal areas, where the lobby, bar and gigantic show kitchen are brought together (don't miss the grill), are littered with faux fur, marble tables, soft lighting, vintage frills and French literature (Zola, anyone?) And gold and copper edging, with evenings from six by a local après-ski DJ. In short, there is no better place to sit back with a glass of white wine.

The mood is very focused on making sure that people are not just sitting in their rooms, explains Andreas, Marketing Director, since the goal is to encourage people to be part of the atmosphere, which is why the team undoubtedly focuses if you do the hotel's spacious terrace for spring and summer parties, the “flowability” is promoted between the lounges and terraces on the ground floor.

But if you feel wiped out by a day on the slopes and want to retreat to the top, it is of course just as lush. An elevator littered with plants takes you to one of the 95 rooms and suites, which range from cozy to cave-like attic suites with fire. It's all about a wooden base with cream-colored accents and soft accents – I love the burnt orange velvet seating in my double room, where a balcony with twinkling lights echoes with the clatter of horse's hooves from the carriages below (it could be) a better car-free one Alternative?). It is also technical; Every room can be controlled by an iPad by the bed, and it is planned to introduce robot room service.

The facilities

Hotel Schweizerhof restaurant

Hotel Schweizerhof restaurant

Ingeniously, the hotel offers pretty much everything a tired skier could wish for, in slippers (next to your bathrobe in your room), from an in-house ski rental (so no dragging through icy streets with shoes and skis) to the most ginormous shoes Room I've ever seen, complete with boot warmers, a coffee maker, and strewn cozy chairs where you can take off tight boots.

Down in the hallway is the spa, where things are a little more mixed. Let yourself be enchanted by the brand new 12 ½ m pool in the basement of the hotel. A cavernous, backlit hiding place with James Bond baddy hiding place on its white couches. But around the corner, the spa, with two saunas, a steam room, and foaming whirlpools, feels more spartan and is sure to meet Swiss standards (be prepared to strip for the saunas) lined with giant palm fronds. Beauty therapists also offer special treatments, including massages, reflexology and anti-aging procedures – ideal for relieving tired limbs and tight muscles. There's also a gym and kids' club.

The food

cheese

cheese

The Hotel Schweizerhof is rightly proud of its three extremely diverse on-site restaurants. You can choose between Swiss fondue in the wood-lined cheese dairy (complete with waitresses in traditional mountain clothing), try the Peruvian-Asian sushi fusions in the typical La Muna restaurant (try the miso aubergine) or try great Americana flavors in the Cuisine of the Schweizerhof (the organic truffle pizza is unbeatable). Breakfast is a good choice: a generous selection of local delicacies from meat and cheese as well as a cooked breakfast. I can only recommend the fresh juices for a morning pick-me-up.

The hotel is also proud of its wine – the aforementioned hotelier Michel Reybier is known as an oenophile and his Bordeaux and champagne are on the menu (try the Cos d & # 39; Estournel Blanc) as well as delicate Swiss wines that tend to stay in the wine National borders (the Swiss have no export need due to the high demand at home).

Sip a carefully prepared cocktail at the statement bar in the lobby or – if you don't mind Swiss preference for a cigarette – with the cool kids in the specially designed fumoir with filled cigar cellars, in which the waiters serve whiskeys and cigars from one Confessional bar and snooker games are a breeze.

The Activities

To ski

To ski

During the winter breaks in Zermatt, everything revolves around the snow. Surrounded by 38 peaks over 4,000 m, the resort has 200 km of slopes around the Matterhorn (each stop requires a picture) and is connected to neighboring Italy via slopes and lifts. The Italian Cervinia offers another 160 km for skiing. The hotel can connect you with an experienced ski guide if you want to explore the area.

If you are not that ski bunny, you can still enjoy the mountain with a ride on the Zermatt-Matterhorn cable car, which winds over waterfalls and tree-lined slopes to the top of the Gornergrat (3,089 m). , one of the most famous observation points in Switzerland, or hike on one of the many hiking trails that meander through the city – a popular summer sport, together with mountain biking.

In the city, the Matterhorn Museum was highly recommended by another guest to depict the history of the mountain and the triumphs (and tragedies) associated with the first ascent of this 4,478m icon. Music festivals also take place throughout the year – in April this year, Boy George and Jessie J. will perform at the Zermatt Unplugged.

How to get there

Fun in the snow

Fun in the snow

British visitors can fly to Zurich or Geneva before taking a direct train to Visp (three and a half hours from Zurich, four from Geneva-Cointrin) and changing to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to take a scenic journey over 1,000 m.

Stay at the Schweizerhof Zermatt from CHF 490 (approx. £ 371) per night, based on two people including breakfast: https://www.schweizerhofzermatt.ch/en

The Swiss Travel System offers a special selection of passports and tickets exclusively for visitors from abroad. For the ultimate Swiss rail specialist, call the Switzerland Travel Center on 00800 100 200 30 or visit www.swisstravelsystem.co.uk

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