Friday, 16 September 2016

Our Ski Expert Abi Visits Zermatt!

Our return to Zermatt starts in the most beautiful way; the stunning train journey around Lake Geneva and up through the Alps. Even from landing at Geneva, the riot of colour is evident; the icy, bright blues of the rivers winding through the rich greens of the forests and farmland – Switzerland must be one of the most beautiful countries in the world!

Wending its way out of Geneva, the train line skirts the very edge of the lake for what seems like an impossibly long time, while mountains ringing the edge of it gradually increase in height. Changing to the Matterhorn Gotthardbahn in Visp, the train winds along the valley, climbing all the way, until the lifts at Klein Matterhorn and Gornergrat come into view, glittering in the summer sun.

Zermatt itself is exceptionally beautiful in both summer and winter. In winter, the dark woods of the traditional buildings contrast with the white snow and crisp blue skies, and outside bars and restaurants fur-covered seats are invitingly cosy while inside log fires burn. In the summer, the balconies overflow with flowers in every colour, and the green of the mountain sides and forests is complemented by warm sunshine. Always the Matterhorn looms above, so striking a view that it almost doesn’t look real.

On our brief stay this time, we crammed in some fantastic experiences; our second day began with a trip to the very top of the ski area – from 1600m to 3,883m in 45 minutes. Getting on to the Matterhorn Express lift, the bubble takes you up through Furi and up to Trockner Steg, where you switch to the cable car to the very top. Currently a new lift is being built to run alongside the cable car and increase capacity dramatically –this should be open for 2017/18, which is great news for skiers, and will make heading over into Italy a lot easier.

The top of the lift is the highest lift station in Europe; from the panoramic viewing platform you can see the Alps stretching in every direction, the clouds hugging the mountains way below you. Down in one direction you can see the chocolate box village of Zermatt, and to the other Cervinia is just visible. All around are glaciers with the tracks of hikers criss-crossing them.  An unmissable stop here is the Glacier Palace – carved into the glacier itself, the network of tunnels are home to ice sculptures lit by multi-coloured lights, and even an ice slide carved into the glacier. If you prefer the sun outside, take the option of the ice slide outside in a rubber tube!

From here we took the lift back to Furi, where we spent an enjoyable few hours learning to clay pigeon shoot. With bright coloured clays and guns converted to laser rather than real bullets, it’s an activity for all year round, and for all levels. The stunning backdrop is distractingly lovely, but nevertheless we managed a very successful competition!

A short walk through sun drenched paths between chocolate box houses brings you to Restaurant Zum See – an absolute gem in a village renowned for its gourmet food. Local homemade dishes and Swiss wine, set amongst the green of the meadows with the Matterhorn above you – it’s a must-visit. In the winter you can ski to and from it, making it a fabulous lunch stop. In the summer, it is an easy and wonderful downhill walk to the village.

Zermatt’s nightlife is also not to be missed – bars dotted along the main street feature live music, unique and delicious cocktails, Swiss wines and beers and a huge range of spirits. Whether you prefer bars or clubs, there’s a selection of both – if you feel up to if after apres at Hennu Stall and a sumptuous dinner in your chalet that is!

No matter when you come in the year, and whether or not you love to ski, hike, climb or simply love to enjoy the ambiance of the mountains, Zermatt has something for every person. There is something truly special about it. It is undoubtedly one of the finest ski resorts in the world, and my absolute favourite place!

Blog written by our award-winning ski specialists, Abigail who has lived in Zermatt previously whilst working a season there. 
If you are interested in visiting the region, or any other European resorts, Abigail would be delighted to talk with you! - Contact her today

Friday, 9 September 2016

Research to Zermatt

For my first trip to Zermatt and Switzerland itself, Chalets Les Anges, Chalet Grace and Chalet Maurice were certainly impressive properties to start with. Little did I know what fabulous service, food and all round opulence was awaiting me!

Setback from the main town in Petit Village, the three properties are all within a short walk of each other making them perfect for large parties looking for peace and tranquility yet easy access to all the many amenities Zermatt has to offer. All the chalets boast the most stunning views of Zermatt below, with the majestic Matterhorn as an impressive backdrop. Whether you wish to lounge on the terrace with a glass of champagne or unwind in the outdoor hot tub, these impressive chalets offer you that unforgettable view that is impossible to ignore.
Chalet Grace's stunning living room with views of the Matterhorn
During my visit, I had the privilege of staying at Chalet Grace. With soft and elegant furnishings, grand open fireplace, wonderful spa facilitates and games room, this chalet is simply a dream. After a fun-filled day on the slopes, this is the perfect property to come home to and relax with an afternoon tea of delicious pastries, cakes, arrays of exotic fruits and every kind of tea imaginable! As I settled into my impossibly soft bed, I do not think I had ever felt so content.

Chalet Maurice jacuzzi deck looking out to a snowy Matterhorn in Winter

Chalet Maurice, with its private funicular for those looking to enter their chalet in style, is the epitome of modern luxury. Boasting six bedrooms over four floors with an internal elevator, this fantastic property would certainly not disappoint. With sauna, sunken jacuzzi and separate cinema room, you have everything you need for evening entertainment!

Chalet Les Anges looking stunning lit up at night!
Last, but by no means least, is Chalet Les Anges. There is no way you cannot be wowed as you walk into this beautiful chalet, with its unique and dramatic style. I was lucky enough to experience a magnificent 7 course dinner at Les Anges during my stay; with every course just as amazing as the last along with the outstanding service of our hosts who attend to your every need with no trouble at all. The most impressive part of the chalet has to be the wellness centre, with its spa, hammam, and sauna that opens onto the outdoor plunge jet pool. Even the water feature has been presented to the highest standard.

Whether you choose Maurice, Grace or Les Anges for your escape to Zermatt, you are guaranteed to have a stay you will never forget....

Written by one of our award-winning ski experts after her trip this September, Sophie Dobson

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Top 6 activities for non-skiers in ski resorts

So you’ve booked your dream stay in the Alps and can’t wait to hit the slopes to shred the snow…But when there are some members of your party who do not ski. It can be a stressful thought to try and come up with ways to keep them occupied whilst you make the most of your time in the mountains.
Don’t worry! There are plenty of activities to keep even the most discerning traveler entertained and occupied...Especially with the help of our award-winning ski specialist team and concierge! To get an idea of the wonderful things that you can enjoy without skies strapped to your feet; we have compiled a list of our top six activity recommendations for non-skiers whilst staying in the resort.

Dog Sledging

Explore the mountains and plough through fresh powdery snow with a team of incredible Alaskan huskies. Whether you prefer to wrap up warm in a cosy blanket snuggled up to a love one on a sled, or taking control and standing up to drive and mush your powerful pups through the alpine countryside. Dog sledging is a fantastic experience for all ages and there is no experience necessary! 

Horse drawn carriage

Feel like you are living in a fairy-tale as you snuggle down under a cosy rug, riding through the beautiful, snowy countryside of St Moritz on a romantic horse drawn carriage ride. This is the perfect way to spend some quality time with your loved one, taking the breathtaking views of the mountains and alpine scenery whilst cuddled up and warm whilst listening to the gentle tap of the majestic horses feet in the snow.

Snow mobiling

Looking for something a little more fast paced? Discover a different side to the mountains by exploring the terrain by snow mobile. Take advantage of the emptying evening slopes and open space in Morzine by taking a tour at dusk to adventure into the valley. Great activity to do with friends, family or even by yourself!

Snow shoeing

Not the most stylish of ski wear on the slopes but this is a fun, active way to explore the mountains! Simply strap on two tennis racket like shoes and walk, run and jump around in the snow till your hearts content. You can book an off-piste a nature tour or just follow the signs and make snowy trails as you adventure around the white, powdery countryside.

Helicopter ride

One of the most incredible activities to experience and enjoy whether you are a skier or not! Take in the sensational, birds’ eye view of snow-capped mountains, glaciers and alpine forests as you fly elegantly across the Alps. For those a little more adventurous or wanting to celebrate a special occasion, why not stop off on top of a mountain for a bespoke luxury lunch on a table carved from the fresh snow? We highly recommend a helicopter ride in Verbier, Switzerland.

Spa Day

Annnnd relax! Take a break from outdoor activities and spend a well-earned lazy day in the spa. The perfect cure to relieve all of the stress from everyday life, heel sore muscles or just indulge in a fabulous pamper session. The French and Swiss Alps have some of the best spas and wellness areas in the World. Treat yourself to a range of luxury treatments, experience a traditional Turkish hammam and lounge in the Jacuzzi for a day of pure relaxation. One of our favourite spas is La Prairie spa in Le K2 5* hotel in Courchevel.  

At Elegant Address Ski, we are dedicated to finding your perfect, luxury ski chalet and creating your dream ski holiday experience. We are able organise and book a large range of incredible activities to make sure every member of your party has the most amazing holiday in the mountains. Get in touch today to talk to a ski expert to discuss how we can make your ski trip truly unforgettable.