Your first impressions of Zermatt will be favourable, as you exit the station, you’ll notice the calm and the unhurried vibe around you. There’s no traffic, wonderful! There’s the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages, the echoing footfall, the clump of ski boots and the whir of the electric taxis. The delightful charm of this beautiful, world renown resort, will reveal itself to you as you make your way to your accommodation.
Like an onion, peeling away the layers, Zermatt doesn’t give up it’s hidden gems that easily. But hidden gems there are. There are luxury chalets here you’d barely believe. Of course there are! after all, Zermatt is Switzerland crowning glory and the sentinel like Matterhorn, standing guard over the village down the eons is it’s calling card, ensuring a year round trade which has bought vast wealth to this lovely town.
It stands to reason that there are going to be palatial and luxurious properties here, where there’s wealth, there’s accommodation for the wealthy. And none are more splendid than Zermatt Chalet Peak, Hollywood crossed with the Alps. Respect for the clients confidentiality forbids me to tell you who has graced the interior of this absolutely stunning residence but think high, no, higher.
Zermatt Chalet Peak is a location directors dream, that is if they are looking for contemporary spaciousness, decked in glitzy furnishings, with vast floor to ceiling windows, affording wonderful views of the mountains. This is Blofeld’s pad, the cat can’t be found. It could be anywhere in this cavernous accommodation, sleeping by the pool perhaps or maybe hiding behind the shelves in the wine cellar.
The dream like quality of this amazing property can only enhance the experience of all who stay here. And surely that’s the least you can expect, when no expense has been spared to provide luxury of the highest order. A little on the blingy side perhaps, Chalet Zermatt Peak certainly has the ‘film set’ quality, this is no traditional Heidi Alpine retreat. Love it or hate it, no one can fail to be impressed.
In stark contrast, Chalet Les Anges is the epitome of elegant restraint even though it drips luxury. The interiors are beautifully lit at night. The owners shipped in a top lighting expert to get it just right and I can say he did too. Luxury chalets are a different beast in the evening, you’re wanting a warm ambience to be able to enjoy the fine dining, the fine wines and the cosiness that candle light and the correct lighting can provide. The feel good factor in the evening is essential for a relaxing vacation. You’ve had your fun on the slopes in the day but at night, that’s where the work of a great chalet begins. Guests need to feel cosseted and comfortable. Les Anges pulls of this trick expertly. Even the grand piano that graces the beautiful, spacious lounge is in tune. This is a chalet you can feel at home in.
I watched the 7 Heavens project grow from a plot of land to a complex that realised its full potential and provided Zermatt with fabulous accommodation, raising the bar in the process. Already in a prime position it would have been a crime if the architects had squandered its location. I can report that they didn’t, they excelled. Chalet Killimanjaro is just one of the marvellous residencies in this truly remarkable complex. It’s everything you would expect of high end luxury. Spaciousness, an attention to detail second to none, an ambience to provide the wow factor and facilities to drool over. It’s one of those places you find reluctant to leave in the morning and look forward to returning to in the late afternoon when your day on the mountain is over. It’s enough to make you want to forgo the slopes and just stay for the duration. I dare say many will be tempted over the coming years.
You want something a little different and a little out of the ordinary from time to time, someone to sing a different song, someone who can provide a different flavour, Heinz Julen is your man. Zermatt’s favourite son and an architect, painter, sculptor, artist and all round visionary of world renown. He has crafted a wonderful home on the banks of the river that runs through the centre of Zermatt. Utilising a 500 year Stubli which he cleverly turned into a master suite. Where perhaps others would have baulked at the challenge he turned a potential stumbling block on it’s head and the conservation order placed on the Stubli was a wonderful opportunity for him to demonstrate his ability to think outside the box. The Backstage Loft is his latest and favourite project to grace Zermatt with his flair and artistry. For now, he already has plans to possibly go one better in his next attempt at redefining luxury. I’m looking forward to see where his creative mind will take him next.
Heinz has a way with materials and finishes that are original and refreshing. He makes much of the hardware himself in his craft shop, you won’t find simple things like door handles and grand pieces like his amazing chandeliers in any shop, anywhere in the world, they are one offs. They all contribute to making his interiors fascinating and original.
You’ll need pretty deep pockets to stay in the chalets I’ve mentioned here and there are more that I could easily have chosen to talk about. But suffice to say, Zermatt is graced with some of the finest properties anywhere in the Alps. If you should be lucky enough to stay in any of them for any length of time I can guarantee that you’ll be overwhelmed and mightily impressed with your choice. I’m a very lucky boy, I’ve had the opportunity to experience most of them first hand and what I’ve not mentioned so far is the top class service provided by the professional staff in each and every one of them that easily matches the splendour of the accommodation itself.