Schweizerhof — Zermatt, Switzerland
While the charming village of Zermatt in the Swiss Alps is a peaceful year-round destination with everything on offer from skiing in the winter to summer hiking and an excellent food culture to boot, discerning travellers have always had to look that little bit harder for fresh, modern and upmarket places to stay.
Now the hotelier Michel Reybier – the Frenchman behind the discreetly luxurious La Réserve properties in Geneva, Paris, Ramatuelle and St Estèphe – has added a new and entirely refreshing place to the mix. With his unique sensitivity to design, Reybier has transformed the historic Schweizerhof from a tired, lacklustre hotel to a thoroughly modern place offering luxury in the shape of extreme simplicity.
He worked with Paris-based designers and architects Kristian Gavoille and Valérie Garcia to overhaul the property and reimagine the 95 rooms and suites. Oak-clad walls and marble bathrooms create cosy and elegant spaces that are peppered with Swiss-inspired objects from cow bells to hiking sticks and local vintage photographs (many of the Matterhorn).
Reybier’s innovative thinking has led to a concept that merges the lobby with Le Schweizerhof Kitchen, the hotel’s signature restaurant, resulting in a vast space from which crowd-pleasing dishes from croque-monsieur to pizzas and meats grilled on request, are churned out from a spectacular open show kitchen. It makes for a convivial free-flowing environment full of the buzz of a place making its mark.
Elsewhere, Zermatt’s gastronomy has been raised a few notches with La Muña, the hotel’s Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant that takes its name from the ubiquitous mint-like Peruvian herb. Don’t miss out on the deliciously rich black cod marinated in miso or the tart yuzu lemon meringue pie – certainly a satisfying end to a day spent on the slopes. §