We just returned from skiing with friends in Zermatt. We flew to Zurich and took the train to Zermatt. A few hints to make your trip easier.
You will need to change trains in Visp and will only have about 10 minutes to drag all you bags from one platform to the next and load your bags. Then since the seats on this leg of your trip are not reserved one of you will need to find seats while the others load the bags. We purchased our tickets on line before we left home so we knew we would have reserved seats from Zurich to Visp.
Upon arriving in Zurich we were pickup by our hotel shuttle and were happy to see the wonderful lobby at our hotel Alpenhof, 41-27-96655-55. The hotel is located half a block from the lifts so the start of each day was made easier. The Alpenhof is a small boutique hotel with a nice spa, large indoor pool and efficient staff. We reserved a suite and enjoyed the comfort of two bathrooms and plenty of space to store all our ski gear.
The lobby bar had a piano and a large smoking room where my husband enjoyed his nightly cigar. The first night our group of 9 had dinner in the hotel dining room, they had a very nice menu offering a 5 course meal with several choices. The next morning we all met for a breakfast with beautiful fresh squeezed orange juice and selection of fruit and breads.
Time to ski, we hired 2 local guides to give us the grand tour of the many different runs. The mountain is well groomed with assorted lifts from 6 seated heated chair lifts to huge trams taking over 125 people to the highest peaks. The guides not only knew the mountain but all the best restaurants on the hill, including the far side into Italy.
You realize that in Europe the big meal is at lunch time. I will just give a list of all the amazing places we were lucky enough to have lunch:
Our first lunch was Vrony, reservations a must–41-27-967-25-52, we were served huge platters of homemade meats and local cheeses, followed by perfect pasta topped with black truffles. Lunch with wine and desert was about $80.00 a day so be prepared.
The next day we had lunch at “Findlerhof,” you must have the the veal chop and quiche with salad big enough to share. Info@findlerhof.ch. we enjoyed our lunch so much we came back a second time. Great wine list, but remember you have to ski down after a hour and half lunch.
On Wednesday we made our way though the trees to a hidden farm house with a tiny kitchen serving a lunch to remember, ZUM SEE, is written up as one of the best restaurants in Zermatt and we believe that is true. Be sure to make reservations, 0279672045. The octopus salad was a perfect starter followed by pasta or mussels in broth.
As the week went on we wondered what was left since each day seemed to top the day before. Our guides took us to a new restaurant called “Stafelalp”, owned by a young couple that we’re serving some creative dishes. We shared an herb fondue with fresh cubes of bread. One of the group was served a white wine soup that was brought to the table in a glass jar with sealed lid. Info@stafelalp
Our guides from Zermatt ski and snowboard school were great and made our week on their mountain one to remember. You can contact Peter Zurniwein direct—firstname.lastname@example.org and you will have the best skiing Zermatt has to offer and eat at some of the best restaurants on any mountain in Europe.
I did not write much about our dinner because after such grand lunches we usually ate lighter in the evening. Couple of high lights we great burgers at a small place called Bubble. Burgers were $30.00 each but worth every penny. Hand cut French fries like you try to make at home, soft sesame buns and all the toppings.
If you want a great steak or lamb chops go to Chez Max Julen famous for grilled meats served with choice of side sauces, love the peppercorn sauce. Chezmaxjulen@hotmail.com
Our last dinner after returning our skies packing our bags we treated ourselves to dinner at CERVO at the mountain boutique hotel, http://www.cervo.ch, if you don’t go for dinner at least try and stop at the bar on your way home off the mountain, it is at the bottom of the run before you step into the elevator for the ride down to the down below.
Zermatt is a beautiful village with no car, great skiing terrain and top notch restaurants. Expensive but worth the price.