Growing up very fond of the Matterhorn Ride at Disneyland, it was quite something to see this mountain in person. Adding this location to our itinerary through Europe was something of a whim because we wanted to spend some time in the alps and have a bit of a spa weekend. This was our second to last stop of our three week trip and when we arrived we were exhausted. Zermatt provided the best opportunity to relax and indulge in a true Swiss spa experience.
Zermatt, Switzerland is a unique high-end ski town that has a bit of it's own culture. The entire town has no cars but only golf carts to help carry luggage up to your chalet. The small village is filled with luxury boutiques like Montcler and Louis Vuitton and enough chocolate shops to last a week. The entire village is ski-in ski-out because of its location at the base of the Matterhorn Peak. Debating on whether or not to stay at one of the iconic hotels, we decided to go to a boutique chalet called the Hotel Alpen Lodge. Our ski-in lodge was located up on the hill and overlooked the entire town of Zermatt and the stunning Matterhorn Mountain. When we arrived we were warmly greeted by the owner and a table full of fresh snacks and coffee. Our "taxi" transfer from the train station was included in our stay which made getting to the lodge very easy. (When you arrive at the train station there is a phone booth with all of the hundreds of hotels/lodges in which you can dial and they send their taxi cart.)
Our room was stunning. Brand new furniture, wood floors and very modern appliances. The chalet came with free wifi and a full breakfast every morning (eggs and everything). It had a cozy feeling because it was only around 30 rooms, so you got to dine with the same people every morning. From the chalet you could walk down into town and explore Zermatt. Because we were here during the summer, there was no snow at the base but you could go to the summit and ski if you wanted. One of the unique experiences of Zermatt is that there is literally year round skiing because of their elevation.
Our first half-day we spent walking through this village and scoping out the dining options. We opted for one of the more well known restaurants and had a peppered fondue. Being exhausted, we went straight back to the chalet and called it a night. The next day we decided to do a spa day. Doing our research, we landed upon the Mont Cervin Palace which has a stunning spa. The spa was 3 levels with all of the different water temperature pools and a full Swiss steam bath circuit. We arrived right when it opened and left when it closed. The steam bath circuit on the bottom floor is an "adult-only" area and clothing is not permitted. For those who do not feel comfortable with a co-ed all nude area, this may not be the spa for you. Everyone does wear towels to sit on but that is it. After spending a relaxing day at the pool and eating enough chocolates from Läderach we went home and changed for dinner. Indulging again in fondue, we had another lovely dinner. After, we headed back over to the Mont Cervin Palace to watch a piano player and have some traditional Swiss hot chocolate.
Overall Zermatt is a place for skiing, relaxing and indulging. This village has made a name for itself in luxury and it surely lives up to it. I would suggest coming here during the winter when the entire village is covered in snow. Adding a stop for relaxing and rejuvenating is a great way to finish off a trip in Europe.