Last month, the Art de Vivre team were hosted by Elysian in their beautiful chalets in Zermatt (1,620m). From the stunning mountain range to the quiet valley town and to the immaculately presented chalets, the visit gave us the chance to explore the exclusive destination of Zermatt and discover more exciting opportunities for our clients.
Breath-taking views of the majestic Matterhorn
When one thinks of Zermatt, they imagine the Matterhorn first and it’s easy to understand why. The positioning of the valley makes the Matterhorn most impressive from Zermatt and during our stay, the mountain was always catching our eye. It was visible from the train station, the bedroom balcony, the bathroom, the dining room and the restaurants. It impresses at all times of day, whether it’s in the soft pinkish glow of the morning, shining brilliantly as the sun hits the snow or the star-studded sky when the way of the first ascenders is illuminated with lights.
It is only natural that the mountains host the main attractions to Zermatt. The most obvious is the skiing and the numerous mountain lifts in Zermatt, which take one to Europe’s highest-altitude ski area at 3,883m. A paradise for hikers and skiers, here you can find stunning slopes for all levels of expertise and enough space to ski in larger groups.
These heights also host the stunning Matterhorn Glacier Palace, a carved tunnel of ice decorated with lit ice-sculptures and slides that you can interact with; a particular favourite amongst children. The main heights are Gornergrat (3,089 m), the previously mentioned Matterhorn glacier paradise (3,883 m) and the Rothorn (3,103 m). All of these provide a breath-taking view of the majestic mountain world around the Matterhorn, with lifts operating 365 days a year.
The untouched nature of the valley
Lower down the valley, between the towering mountains and the town, beautiful natural sights can be found. Footpaths carve their way down into the valley; past glistening rivers and untouched nature. More traditional buildings are spread sporadically around the outskirts of Zermatt around which you can find the best restaurants the region has to offer. ‘Zum See’ is a popular restaurant that hosts the best traditional dishes with in-season game and local organic herbs and vegetables. The chef came out to meet us personally on our visit, and the whole meal tingled our tastebuds and left us keen for more local flavours.
These open areas are also perfect for hosting fantastic entertainment and Zermatt’s pioneering clay pigeon shooting was one that we were keen to try out with our guide Kirk Tinham. The guns are laser-based and feature no ammunition, making them lighter and more accessible for those new to the hobby. The laser sensors detect whether your shot would have hit and the scoreboard and gun gives appropriate feedback based on hits and misses. This approach is not only safer and easier for large groups but is used by professionals to increase accuracy, as the gunman doesn’t need to resist recoil. We played a few rounds, and are proud to say the winner was one of our directors.
There are plenty of other activities that can host groups of all sizes in the region, and another that we are keen to try another time is fly fishing (July-September). Kirk offers clients the opportunity to privately fly fish the most exclusive lake in the Swiss Alps, with the iconic Matterhorn as a backdrop. This is particularly popular amongst businessmen, who have been known to host meetings during the activity.
Unwinding in the designer alpine chalets
As we retreated further away from the glorious Matterhorn, we came to the chalets at the opposite end of the valley. Chalet Grace is full of personality and the personal touches to interior design are hard to miss. We were delighted to be hosted in this chalet and to have the opportunity to explore its almost “Alice in Wonderland” style interior design of substantial mirrors and a “coffee table” which had been a door from a ruined Tibetan monastery, collected by the owner and repurposed into a stunning table.
The charming games room was decorated with signed movie posters from Martin Scorsese, David Finch and Ridley Scott, and hosted a pool table, roulette table and a stunning cinema room. The wellness facilities, as with the other chalets, featured a hand-crafted sauna, a range of showers, a hot Jacuzzi (which is perfect for spending time on the balcony during the colder nights) and fitness machines.
Les Anges is a larger chalet with a darker wood forming its aesthetic, and the interiors feel more muted but stylish. The Jacuzzi here is built into the stone balcony, and the larger wellness facilities make it ideal for larger groups and business trips. Finally, Chalet Maurice features a stunning funicular that tunnels its way up the mountainside to reach the chalets’ underground floor - the experience reminded us of a Bond film. This facility means private clients who wish to remain anonymous can reach the chalet without passing through the town.
All the chalets have exceptional staff that can cater for every need, and offer a friendly and genuine service. Our chef that also cooks for the guests of these chalets was extremely professional, providing a seven course gala dinner and a more casual five course dinner for our large group of 15. The food was exquisite and was one of the highlights of the whole trip which is often the same for our guests.
As we tasted our way through the delicious menus, it was clear our talented chef had crafted the dishes with great skill and thought. In Chalet Grace the kitchen was open-plan and viewable from the dining table, meaning we could see our meals prepared right in front of us, an experience that every guest should try.
Our stay in Zermatt will stay with us for a long time and we thank Angeline, Joanne and the Elysian chalet team for our wonderful stay. We look forward to future visits to experience first-hand the authentic chalet experience in our alpine chalet collection.
If you are looking to stay in a designer chalet in Zermatt or in another resort in the Alps, do send us an enquiry and we'd be happy to offer you some suggestions for your stay.