What’s Zermatter? Nothing, if you’re visiting the Alpine resort town of Zermatt, Switzerland, located nearly a mile above sea level. All of the following hotels reside under the watchful eye of the one thing you probably came here to experience—the one-and-only, steep-faced, pyramidal, snowcapped Matterhorn. Best of all, these rooms all offer incredible views of that Mountain of Mountains, one of the Alps’ largest peaks.
Note: Several of these hotels, as well as others in Zermatt, open seasonally. May, June and November can be tricky months to book.
If you’re staying in Zermatt proper
Mont Cervin Palace is one of Zermatt’s oldest hotels. Located smack dab in the middle of town, the place has been classing up the area since the 1850s. The hotel has 150 rooms and suites in four different buildings. They are decorated in different styles, from rustic Alpine to luxurious contemporary, but all are comfy. While you’re there, head to the deluxe spa for a moisturizing facial to help counteract the dry mountain air.
Meanwhile, stepping inside the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof transports visitors into a world of luxury and timelessness. The hotel was built during the 1870s by the old families of Zermatt (whose guild—known as the Civic Community of Zermatt—still owns the hotel to this day). Half of the hotel’s rooms have views of the Matterhorn and the other half…well, those views aren’t too shabby, either. At the end of a day of activity, choose to eat in. The elegant Prato Borni calls its cuisine “Alpine gourmet.” Meanwhile, saycheese! is a cozy underground haven where you can dip into fondue.
Then there’s Hotel Matterhorn FOCUS, which is situated close to the cable car base station. The design hotel is light and airy, blending right in with the natural surroundings, which include, of course, ye olde Matterhorn. Spanning three connected buildings, the ultra-modern rooms feature bold, innovative design. No matter where you stay, you’ll have a private balcony or terrace from which to drink in the mountains.
If you’re going up in style
Looking to get high? Opt for Riffelhaus 1853 (so named for the year it originally opened) at 1.5 miles above sea level. Accessible via the Gornergrat Railway, the second-oldest hotel in Zermatt was reconstructed in 2014. Now a chic, cozy alpine mountainside retreat, its big selling points are its ski-in, ski-out (or hike-in, hike-out) facilities and close-up mountain vistas. Oh, did we mention that the outdoor hot tub has a full frontal view of the Matterhorn?
If that’s not lofty enough, how about joining the two-mile-high club? As the last train of the day heads down to Zermatt, the top of the mountain is the sole province of the privileged guests staying in one of 3100 Kulmhotel Gornergrat’s 22 rooms. Each bears the name of one of the region’s two-mile-plus-high peaks, and room numbers correspond to their altitudes. That can make finding your room a bit of a challenge! Another challenge—sleeping at high altitude. If that’s an issue, take advantage of the sleeplessness and head outside for a dramatic view of a thousand stars untouched by light pollution. Even if you don’t spend the night, come on up to the mountaintop for a refreshing lunch at the restaurant, and enjoy freshly-prepared cuisine inside or al fresco.