“Sometimes for Swiss Efficiency money is well spent
Last November just before the ski season was about to kick start the heavens opened and the snow began to fall. A sigh of relief could be heard from the ski industry as we knew this meant we were on track for opening weeks. What we did not expect however was for it to continue snowing, dump after dump, night after night, until higher resorts such as the all famous Zermatt were literally bursting with snow.
It was mid-January and I was due to travel to resort for preparation prior to our guest’s arrival in Zermatt. (A Swiss resort known for its elegance, charm, unrivalled skiing under the almighty Matterhorn and hefty price tag!) Accessible only by a beautiful train ride up the side of the mountain the picturesque streets of the village are completely car-free.
The only problem was that due to avalanche risk from the huge amounts of snowfall the trains were unable to run. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard on the radio that people were literally snowed in, with no access in or out of Zermatt. Not a situation I ever thought we would face, in fact it had been decades since something similar had happened. Careful what you wish for I found myself repeating in my head, we were praying for snow and in the truck load we got it!
I decided to consult one of my Swiss–German friends who frequently travel to Zermatt where her family have a chalet, part of our role within Corporate Peaks includes preparing and implementing potential contingency plans for our guests who were due to arrive in a couple of days. Don’t worry she assured me, this is Zermatt and after all this is Switzerland, it will be sorted in no time.
“It was my first time in a helicopter”
The next day after completing three quarters of my journey via train from Geneva to Täsch I found myself being quietly whisked with minimum fuss into a helicopter and flown directly into the centre of Zermatt. I couldn’t quite believe it, it was my first time in a helicopter and I didn’t quite have time to think about it. A friendly man simply asked where my luggage was, loaded it on and asked me to hop in. “Quickly please there are a lot of people waiting.”
km Ski Run
At that moment I realised that sometimes for Swiss efficiency money is well spent and what had the potential to cause panic, remained effectual and un-complicated.
The resort itself is one of the most expensive in Europe if not the world, and yet at no point did I ever feel as though it was not money well spent. More “You get what you pay for” as Zermatt impresses every step of the way. I can’t imagine many other traditional villages providing a fleet of helicopters to shuttle tourists back and forth due to extreme weather.
Our guests preceded me the next day also arriving via helicopter and non-surprisingly were equally as impressed. So if you are thinking about your next Corporate ski trip and have been toying with the idea of increasing the budget and destination; we recommend this exclusive Resort undoubtedly.
Corporate Peaks Resort Guide:
Zermatt (1,620 m) pulses with life. Shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants offer wide variety, with everything in walking distance.
Best for intermediate and advanced skiers, Zermatt’s interconnected ski areas – Rothorn, Gornergrat, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise and Schwarzsee – are also connected by lift to the Breuil-Cervinia-Valtournenche ski area and to the Val d’Aosta. The longest ski run extends over a distance of 21 km and 2,279 vertical metres from the Klein Matterhorn.
Zermatt is known for its wide array of high-standard cuisine and has the highest concentration of gourmet restaurants of any ski resort, with no less than 17 restaurants that have been awarded Gault Millau points. There are over 100 restaurants in Zermatt as well as 60 bars to have a bit of Alpine fun in; but what really makes dining in this resort so special is the 50+ restaurants it has located up on the mountain. If stopping for lunch is the highlight of your day, then Zermatt will not disappoint. You’ll be spoilt for choice!
- Restaurants: It is imperative to make a reservation in any of Zermatt’s top eateries avoid disappointment.
- Après-ski: Hennu Stall is the wildest après-ski shack on Klein Matterhorn, conveniently situated on the slope on the way back to town. THE PLACE TO BE. Hennu has a live band on most days, as well as a DJ and outdoor and indoor dancing.
- Nightlife: Traveling with a mixed group? Fear not, for Hotel Post has it all. A pub, a classy wine bar with a balcony view of the village, a restaurant, and a nightclub. Based on 4 floors, this venue really does have something for everyone.
- Get the App: Download the Zermatt Skiguide app on your smartphone as a digital companion for skiing. The intuitive route finder shows the user how to go from any location in the ski area to his or her favourite mountain restaurant and how much time that would require taking the current opened lifts and pistes while considering the entered skiing style.