There are many different kinds of luxury catered chalets available to rent in the Alps, and with such a large amount, I wanted to shine the spotlight on some of the very best available and specifically in the resort of Zermatt. Zermatt has a large array of private ski chalets to rent, making it a […]
What can I say?!…..an absolutely magical end to a magical season!! The Ski In Luxury team visited Zermatt for our end of season tour and were thoroughly spoilt by the operators that we visited, suppliers in resort, and by the amazing weather conditions that we experienced! Take a read of the diary of our trip here!…
Sunday 15th April
We arrived into a beautiful and snowy Zermatt and were greeted at the train station by our host Hannah from the beautiful Zermatt Lodge which would be our base for the next four days. A five bedroom chalet located a few minutes walk from the main train station at the Petit Village end of town. Great views from the living room, terrace and hot tub, and master bedroom of the Matterhorn. Large bedrooms and well equipped, modern bathrooms. A luxurious and very comfortable chalet apartment that offers a great base for a group of friends or family.
We picked up our skis from Julen Sport, attached to the Mont Cervin Palace in the centre of town. A quick and efficient service in a well stocked and well presented ski shop. We were now ready for taking on all that Zermatt had to throw at us!
We settled in quickly and soon headed into town to experience Zermatt’s après-ski scene in the Papperla Pub, having come highly recommended as the place to party. Having taken a look at the weather forecast for Monday it seemed we were in for a white-out day so we decided to make the most of the evening out and stayed on for “Rock and Roll Sundays” in the Schneewitchen club below Papperla…..we were treated to an awesome band that played non-stop for hours on end and really got the party going! Definitely the après-place to be in Zermatt!
Monday 16th April
We rescheduled plans and visited a number of chalets in resort as we thought best to avoid conditions where you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face! We took a look around the Chalet Carmen which is in a great location close to the main Klein Matterhorn lift system and is perfect for a family group looking for a convenient location in a comfortable and homely chalet.
Located just above the Chalet Carmen are the Chalet Gemini, and the identical Chalets Castor and Pollux. Each of the chalets offer a contemporary style of living with good sized bedrooms and living areas, with hot tubs on the terraces with stunning views across the resort and to the majestic Matterhorn. The chalets can be used to accommodate large groups in close proximity, offering bed space for up to 26 people.
The last chalet visit was the brand new Chalet White Pearl in the Winkelmatten area of Zermatt. The chalet is still being built and is due to be completed in August so with plenty of time to spare before the start of next season! It will be truly ski in and out, which will prove to be a huge attraction in a resort that currently does not have any top end truly ski to door rental properties. It’s facilities include a huge indoor swimming pool, wellness area with steam room and sauna, a cinema and games room, and a 3m² outdoor hot tub! This chalet will undoubtedly be very popular so get booked quickly to secure your dates!!
Tuesday 17th April
This was our first ski day and conditions in Zermatt were pretty good with a good amount of fresh snow and some clear skies. We headed up the mountain via the Gornergrat train to the top station and were treated to some fantastic views of the Matterhorn and other surrounding peaks including the Monte Rosa and the Weisshorn. We worked our way over to Gant and then into the Sunnega area of the resort and had a good play around on the intermediate slopes in order to get the ski legs back on and warm ourselves up for the days ahead! Conditions were still good enough to enable us to ski all the way back down to resort.
That evening we headed out for a meal at the fantastic Pipe Restaurant where the food was to die for! Offering African Fusion specialities such as Springbok Biryani and Cape Malay Curry at a very reasonable price, this is definitely a restaurant worth considering on the staff night off…..just watch out for the jalapenos as they pack a serious punch!! We were then invited for a drink at the new Timeout Sports Bar where we met with Nikk Vaughan the owner and enjoyed a game of pool and I managed to catch the first half of Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich! The bar is packed full of TV’s and has the full Sky Sports package so if there is a game you must see when you are away, this is the place to do it!! Following this we met with the resort staff and headed to the Newton Faulkner gig at the Vernissage as part of the Zermatt Unplugged festival. A fantastic show and a great vibe in the venue too!
Wednesday 18th April
On Wednesday we headed over to Saas Fee with Donald Scott, the Gourmet Ski Guide. He showed us around a couple of chalets in resort including the catered and beautifully furnished Chalet Chloe. Saas Fee has a fantastic beginner area in the centre of resort and provides a great family ski holiday destination. A quaint and charming village with a ski area that offers something for everyone, although it’s a little limited for the hardcore, advanced skier. We headed up the mountain to experience the skiing but were unlucky with conditions being very close to a white-out so only managed a few runs before we needed to head back down to return to Zermatt.
Thursday 19th April
We took the day off of skiing and headed into town to view a number of chalets that we promote.
First up was the Chalet Chamois which is located in an apartment block directly beside the Matterhorn lift station. An ideal spot for a family that are looking for the convenience of easy access for the kids into ski school, or for those looking to get the first lifts for fresh tracks in the mornings! Offering four large bedrooms in a contemporary living environment.
We then visited the Chalet Zaphir next door to the Chalet Louise. These two properties offer large bedrooms and spacious and contemporary living rooms, perfect for groups wanting lots of space. Some of the bedrooms are located on floors below the main living/dining areas and to access them you need to use a communal staircase, so needs to be noted when thinking of accommodating young children. The chalets are situated just down the road from the Papperla Pub so for those seeking an après-ski scene they are ideally positioned.
The next chalet was the stunning Heinz Julen Loft. Sleeping 6 people in double beds it is an ideal couples retreat, with indoor hot tub, sauna, and a dining table that can be raised up to provide you with entertaining or dancefloor space for parties! The chalet is a favourite of Robbie Williams and even has an abstract portrait of the man himself in the living room!
Above the Loft is the Heinz Julen Penthouse. Very contemporary accommodation sleeping 8 people and offering fantastic views across the resort. There is a sauna and small workout room, along with a large Jacuzzi bath in the master bedroom.
Last on the list for the day was the absolutely awe-inspiring Chalet Zermatt Peak. The chalet has already been rented by an abundance of celebrities and VIP’s. All have been blown away by the quality of the chalet and the standards of service. The property has everything you could wish for including sauna, steam room, gym, a large indoor and outdoor swim-spa, sufficient mod-cons to keep James Bond happy, and even their own branded skis for use by clients! The views from the chalet are exceptional and it is easy to see why the property is so sought after amongst the rich and famous as it provides a truly private, secluded and luxurious retreat in a world class resort.
After all of the chalet viewings we had definitely worked up an appetite and were invited to try out the “taster menu” in the Snowboat. The owner Gee sat us down, poured us a beer and advised that we would be served four “secret” courses. We were then treated to a gastronomic delight! First course consisted of Water Buffalo carpaccio with home-made guacamole and a tasty gazpacho soup. This was swiftly followed by an Asian salad with lemon sole, tingling the taste buds with hints of chilli and citrus. The main course was a fillet of veal with purple polenta and asparagus, and then a finale of Rhubarb crumble with strawberry sorbet! Washed down with a few glasses of Sancere, it couldn’t have been a better meal and was a very memorable part of our stay! Needless to say, the Snowboat comes very highly recommended by us!
We moved into the Chalet Zen that afternoon and were welcomed with freshly baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and a glass of bubbly! The salopettes were starting to become a wee bit too tight to ski in!
Chalet Zen is a beautiful homely chalet situated opposite the Matterhorn lift station and at the very end of the ski run back in Zermatt so that from Dec to Mar you can almost ski to door. Privately owned and operated, every care is taken to ensure that guests have a wonderful time and are truly spoilt during their stay. Two separate living areas enable adults and children to enjoy their own space in which to watch TV, films, or catch up on the day’s events. The bedrooms are all immaculately presented and offer a good amount of space. There are also two dining areas meaning that breakfasts and evening meals can be taken in rooms of differing ambience. There is a steam room and an outdoor hot tub for 6 people.
The chef in Chalet Zen is first class and for dinner that evening we were treated to scallops on parsnip puree, followed by fillet of venison with blackberry risotto and chocolate jus. Exceptional service standards and some stunning house wines to accompany the meal!
Friday 20th April
We woke up, opened the curtains, and looked out to a blue sky day with the sun shining on the Matterhorn! It was a mad rush to get through breakfast and head up the mountain to experience the amazing conditions we were blessed with! We headed up the Matterhorn Express to Trockener Steg and enjoyed a day of blasting through the powder from here down to Schwarzsee, all the way down to Furi and into resort. Some fantastic intermediate cruisy skiing to be had here, along with an abundance of off piste to keep the hardcore fanatics entertained!
We had lunch in the Ice Pizzeria at Trockener Steg lift station and enjoyed some of the best pizzas I have had the pleasure to eat! And believe me, I have eaten a LOT of pizza, so this is a major compliment!! Definitely worth a visit but only for the very hungry!!
After a hard day’s skiing we enjoyed a pampering session in the chalet’s massage room by Lara from the Zermatt Massage Centre. An hour of pure relaxation before yet another gastro evening meal and another unhealthy supply of fine wine….more research for our clients’ benefit, to ensure we know the products inside and out! It is all part of skiing after all isn’t it?!
Saturday 21st April
Another perfect blue sky day and this time we decided to head up the Klein Matterhorn cable car to the top station to ski over into the Italian side and into Cervinia. The sun was shining but the wind was blowing a gale and this caused temperatures to drop significantly and in the shade and wind it was brutal! However, once we had made it down from the top station and into the sunnier and more sheltered climes at Plan Maison above Cervinia, we were in store for some magical skiing! Wide, cruising pistes offering something for everyone and in perfect condition….this was the epitome of a perfect ski day! Run after run we pushed ourselves faster and harder until the legs were burning and the tummy was grumbling! We then made it back to the top of the mountain to then ski all the way back down to the picture postcard hamlet of Zum See where the namesake restaurant is located. We met with the owner of Chalet Zen in the restaurant and had yet another meal to remember! Zum See serves a huge variety of top notch food including seafood soup, homemade pastas and salads, carpaccio of tuna and beef, local lamb fillet with potato Rosti, and deserts to die for! The ambience of the restaurant is relaxed and informal and yet the food served could be coming from the kitchens of The Dorchester! A thoroughly enjoyable and recommended place to enjoy a mountain lunch, but make sure you book in advance!!
We headed back to the chalet and enjoyed some champagne and canapés before heading out for one of the last gigs of the Zermatt Unplugged festival. We headed into the main marquee tent to see Aloe Blacc perform with an acoustic string quintet and he then proceeded to rock the tent by bringing out his band to accompany him on a more funky set! Putting his own spin on the likes of “Billie Jean” and “California Dreaming”, alongside of the inevitable “I Need a Dollar” made this a great end to a wonderful week in Zermatt!
We hope to be back very soon to experience more of what this beautiful resort has to offer! We love Zermatt, the people and the chalets and will recommend to our clients that they try it out too! You seriously won’t be disappointed!!
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