If you’re looking for the ultimate mountain getaway, the Riffelalp Resort, a five-star luxury hotel at an altitude of 2222 metres above sea level, fits the bill. I stumbled upon this hotel by accident: I was hiking in the mountains above Zermatt and after two-and-a-half hours, came upon a plateau with stunning views of the Matterhorn. The hotel rests upon this plateau and gazes across the mountain range, secluded and serene.
To get to the hotel, you need to take the Gornergrat cogwheel train from the center of Zermatt, a trip that takes about 20 minutes and offers lovely views of the mountains and the valley. After you get off at the station closest to the hotel, you walk 5 minutes or if you have a lot of luggage, wait for the little red toy train that ferries hotel guests between the resort and the transit station. The toy train comes often so the wait isn’t long. There is no way to get to the hotel by car because there are no roads and that is exactly the strong point of this hotel: blissful isolation, absolute peace.
The hotel has 65 rooms, 5 suites and 2 apartments. Decor is traditional Swiss with comfortable beds and cozy rooms. If you are hungry and don’t want to go all the way down to Zermatt, you will find three restaurants on the premises: Ristorante Al Bosco, an Italian restaurant with lovely indoor and outdoor dining areas; Alexandre (elegant five star dining); and Walliser-Keller (regional cuisine by an open fire, winter only). I had lunch on the terrace of Ristorante Al Bosco last month (August) when they were serving delicious salads and pasta dishes, in the warm sun, gazing at the Matterhorn. Just below the hotel you will find a couple of small mountain restaurants that cater mostly to hikers (and skiers). The food is more simple and traditional.
After hiking or skiing, you will enjoy the hotel’s indoor pool (11.2 × 7.7 m, 1.38 m deep, heated to 30°C / 86°F) and its outdoor pool, the highest in Europe (8.4 × 4.2 m, heated to 35°C / 95°F), offering a superb view of the Matterhorn. The resort also has caves and grottoes with steam and saline baths, Finnish and steam saunas, a spa for beauty treatments and massages.
What I love about this hotel is the tranquility. You will not hear cars, buses and loud drunk people carousing at night, as you would in the center of Zermatt. Moreover, you have the Matterhorn before you in all its splendour and nothing else blocks your view. If you love hiking this is a perfect place to stay because from here, you have access to numerous trails around the area.
+41 27 966 05 55