With year round glacier skiing and the highest skiing in the Alps, Zermatt is blessed with guaranteed snow. But you’ll probably be able to work on your panda eyes as well: Zermatt is bathed in sunshine for three hundred days of the year.
You’ll need the good weather. With over 360km of pistes in the winter, Zermatt is a vast skiing area and even gives you the option of skiing in 2 different countries on the same day. The run down into Cervinia, Italy, is as charming as the rest of the resort and can be accessed on the whole area lift pass.
Zermatt perhaps doesn’t offer the beginner the easiest of portals into skiing – though there are a number of gentle slopes ideal for those first slides (on skis or bum!).
No doubt the steep learning curve will only stand them in good stead, however, when they progress to Zermatt’s almost endless, fantastic piste skiing (the 13km run from the Klein-Matterhorn, descending 2200m to Zermatt is perhaps the most spectacular). The more experienced skier won’t be disappointed either: the yellow itinerary routes on offer present some challenging and engaging skiing and, if the budget stretches, the opportunities for heli-skiing are magnificent.
If snow sports aren’t your bag, have no fear: Zermatt offers plenty more besides. From shopping to the cinema in the winter, and paragliding to golf in the summer, Zermatt also has a number of galleries and museums to visit for those more Herman Melville than Herman Maier.
Even if you are firmly slicing through the powder, there is plenty to distract you. As they say locally, at some point ‘you may need to leave the slopes to be, well, just slopes for a little while’ as you settle into the finest cuisine a skiing resort could have to offer.
The Gault-Millau guide rates Zermatt as the most concentrated area of gourmet restaurants in Europe and many visitors come back for the quality of the restaurants alone. There is no end to the choice available: from experimental cooking to the most traditional of local recipes.
With the mandatory fondue and raclette along the way, electing where to eat will be some of the most difficult decisions you make. Pop into Restaurant Alm for a locally prepared trout caught in their own pond or if skiing has taken its toll for the day, recline on the Mark Twain Sun lounge as the afternoon slips past.
Zermatt’s après-ski will similarly spoil you for choice. Pour your own beer from the self-service tap at Papperla Pub (you still have to pay unfortunately) before heading downstairs to the Schneewittchen nightclub or go for some live music at the Hennu Stall before retiring to the Alex Bar for a cocktail. Whatever you’re looking for, Zermatt’s got it.
As well as having an exhausting assortment of Restaurants and Late Venues, Zermatt has an extensive range of Hotels. Below, The Hotel Guru has singled out the choicest pickings from this overflowing fruit basket as the best places to stay in Zermatt.
Getting up the mountain quickly in the morning can lead to the best, empty-piste skiing. The following pick of the best places to stay in Zermatt will allow you to slither straight from your slippers to your ski boots.
Hotel Pheonix could not be more ideally suited. Its situation in a quiet neighbourhood doesn’t mean you can’t be last to bed as well as first up. Just a couple of minutes from the main lifts Hotel Pheonix represents excellent value for money and will dazzle you with its views of the Matterhorn.
The après-ski in Zermatt is of the highest quality. While almost all the hotels on the Hotel Guru are centrally located, these hotels are sure to lead to some wild nights.
Zermatt frequently plays host to many of Europe’s elite and, as you might expect, has the best places to stay to match.
Have a peek at our list below of the best places to stay in Zermatt. Not sure you’ve found quite the right one? Why not check out The Hotel Guru’s other skiing destinations: Les Trois Valees, Val d’Isere, Verbier and St Anton.
Friendly family-run hotel with stunning views of Matterhorn. Warm and homely, wood clad rooms with crisp white linen and cosy living areas. Excellent five course dinners are served in the dining room or garden. Exceptional value for money makes this an ideal choice for families and groups.
Traditional Alpine mountain inn accessible only on skis or by foot. Great value for money and perfect for groups - you can choose between four bed rooms or dormitories. Ideal as an overnight stop off on your way to another peak, Fluhalp is perfectly suited for the outdoor enthusiasts.
An excellent choice for a three-star, centrally placed hotel. A traditionally decorated chalet providing comfort and mountain views, as well as a sociable lounge, restaurant and bar. The larger 'deluxe' rooms make an excellent choice for families. A small gym and sauna available for guest use.
Charming, rustic, chalet style hotel, close to Sunnegga lift and easy access to the heart of Zermatt. Comfortable and great value without all the bells and whistles.
A stylish contemporary hotel - both functional and characterful, rustic and peaceful. Deluxe rooms overlook the Matterhorn. Enjoy an apres ski drink in the attractive bar with quarrystone, rustic wood, and lots of natural light. Great value for money.
Located in the centre of Zermatt, Le Petit Hotel is a fantastic base just 150m from the main street. A rooftop terrace gives fantastic mountain views. Comfortable beds and cosy bedrooms. Ideal for those who spend most of the day on the slopes and the evenings out. A good value sleeping spot.
Romantic family-run hotel full of personality. Large wooden-clad rooms and suites with romantic decorations and splashes of bright colour. Sheepskins, flowers, and antlers adorn the public rooms. Lovely restaurant and bar, and a three-storey spa, pool and gym. A cosy Alpine base.
Zermatt (Riedstrasse 3)
A chic and charming hotel in central Zermatt right next to cable car stations offers contemporary décor, opulent furnishings and all modern comforts. Rooms are luxurious with private hot tubs and views of the Matterhorn peak. A lounge bar has comfortable seating by a fireplace. Very sumptuous.
Historic and quirky family-run hotel with bags of character. Modern bedrooms and luxury suites with hand-turned furniture and exquisite wood carvings whirl-pool baths. Sociable bar, large pool, and a children's playground. The perfect choice for families.
Zermatt (P.O. Box 388)
Luxury ski resort places intimacy and enjoyment as top priorities. Each chalet comes with own wellness centre - sauna, jacuzzi, massage room - and ski-to-door access is available. Chalets can be rented by room or as a whole; ideal for large groups to enjoy spectacular views and great skiing.
Glamour and intimacy combine to create this scintillatingly contemporary chalet. An impressive lobby with a glass floor that reveals the swimming pool underneath. Bedazzling designs - glass, wood, stone, steel, and chandeliers make up the rooms, suites and lofts. A grown up mountain escape.
Zermatt’s oldest, most historic hotel. Delightful private balconies and classically styled rooms in neutral tones. A cosy drawing room and sumptuous fine dining room with gorgeous chandeliers. An excellent family-friendly choice for a destination with old world charm.
Zermatt (Hofmattstrasse 4)
In a superb location at the centre of Zermatt, this boutique hotel offers chic glass rooms with free standing bath tubs, wonderful views, fabulous furnishings, great lighting and an exclusive spa experience. A bar with a terrace, an art gallery and design studio on site. Very unique.
Zermatt (Matterstrasse 43)
A family run hotel in a great location. Next door to the train station yet very peaceful. Rooms with wooden floors, furnishings in natural earthy tones, and spacious bathrooms. Gourmet food, a wellness spa and outdoor and indoor pools. Alpine chic.
Accessible only by mountain rail or path, the Riffelalp is Europe's highest five star resort. Traditionally styled rooms feature pine clad walls and large glass windows. Expect a unique and breathtaking panorama facing the Matterhorn, plus three restaurants, spa and luxury as standard.
Zermatt (Bahnhofstrasse 55)
This grand hotel has been welcoming guests since 1879. It boasts tastefully designed rooms with five star services. The Alpine Gourmet Prato Borni restaurant has won 14 points from Gault Millau. The Alpine Spa offers luxury treatments. A fine experience guaranteed.
Zermatt (Auf dem Fels)
Beautifully constructed contemporary mountain lodge, perched up high overlooking Zermatt. Stunning views of the Matterhorn. Gourmet cuisine, cosy library, elegant bar, spa with outside plunge pool, turkish bath and yoga classes. Luxurious suites come with logs fires, a private jacuzzi or sauna.
Fifteen suites at the foot of the Matterhorn, each built to reflect one of the elements: fire, earth, water and air. Truly modern interiors infused with an authentic Alpine feel with wood flooring, leather furniture and open fires. Suites have kitchens, granite baths and astonishing mountain views.
Zermatt (Bahnhofstrasse 31)
A 5 star hotel offering great views of the beautiful Matterhorn peak. Rooms are elegant and cosy and come with fireplaces and hot tubs. Fine dining in four different restaurants, a soothing luxury spa and wide selection of wines make this one of the most upscale hotels in town. Chic and grand.