The new year is here and with it tons of snow and winter travel ideas! Switzerland, land of mountains and ski resorts, makes it easy to get excited about winter activities. I never thought I would ever admit to that, especially coming from LaLa land where the sun shines all year-long and “palm trees sway” (Bing Crosby)! I have grown not only to appreciate winter but to look forward to my mountain escapades!
I just recently discovered Zermatt and absolutely fell in love with its cozy charm. Zermatt is known as one of the best winter destinations for very good reasons. People from around the world, including celebrities looking for privacy, go there to bask in total luxury. From five-star and exclusive chalet hotels to luxury boutiques and Michelin starred restaurants, it can all be found there. But do not worry, if you’re not into that lifestyle, there are plenty other options for more down-to-earth experiences.
Lucky me, I got invited by Mr Roman Haller, Director of Sales & Marketing of the Mattherhon Group to experience first hand one of their hotels, the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof as they were inaugurating the official opening of this year’s Ruinart Ice Bar. What a treat! Not only did I get to have a private tasting with Sommelier Peter Zimmermann but I also got to delight in the many other amazing features the hotel offered. First let’s talk about the Ruinart Ice Bar.
RUINART ICE BAR
A MUST-SEE and experience! The Zermatt Ruinart Ice Bar, sponsored by LVMH for the past eight years, is strategically placed in the middle of the most prominent and crowded Plaza, in front of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof – it cannot be missed! It was just launched before Christmas and will remain until it melts, probably around mid-February. The bar took about 2 days to be built-in Italy, cube by cube.
For our Champagne lovers and aficionados, the Ruinart Ice Bar is the ultimate hot spot before heading to dinner. If you get lucky maybe you will get your private tasting with Sommelier Peter Zimmermann!
Moet is the biggest Champagne brand in the world producing about 2 million bottles worldwide. Interestingly enough, they always manage to keep the quality top-notch, regardless of how many they produce (same with Dom Perignon). They always work with top Oenologists which normal vineyards cannot afford to employ. So whether you drink Dom Perignon in Hong Kong, Los Angeles or Paris, from years 1998 or 2006, you are guaranteed a great and consistent product.
INSTAGRAM CONTEST TO WIN A NIGHT FOR TWO
Ruinart and the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof are running a contest on Instagram. The person with the most creative picture will win a night for two at the fabulous Grand Hotel Zermatterhof! All you have to do is upload your photo to Instagram and tag using #RuinartRendezVous, #Ruinart, #RuinartIcebar and #Zermatterhof. The contest will end on February 28th, 2017 and you need to be at least 18 years of age to participate.
Now on to the hotel itself!
MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS
I left gloomy Zurich for the blue skies of Zermatt! Nothing like a beautiful weather to perk me up! To make it even more special, I got picked up by a fairy tale looking carriage led by two beautiful horses. At the hotel, the staff was welcoming and joyful. I immediately felt at ease and almost at home.
The history of the Grand Hotel is quite unique. Between 1876 and 1879, the old families of Zermatt called The Burghers, built the Grand Hotel without receiving payments from anyone, including banks. Since its beginning, the Grand Hotel has offered its many distinguished guests the five-star treatment in the most relaxing atmosphere.
Today, the Zermatterhof has 77 rooms, all newly renovated and designed to be lived in.
A spacious suite, along with wine, sweets and fresh seasonal fruits were waiting for me – total bliss right off the bat! The windows opened onto the scenic view of the Matterhorn!
MY DINNING EXPERIENCE
Dinner – Prato Borni
The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof offers six restaurants and bars and each comes with its own unique style. The one I got to experience was no other than 14 points GaultMillau Prato Borni – totally unexpected! The ambiance, interiors and service were exquisite and the food was not only a tease for the eyes but also a dream for the palate. Every bite told a different story. Executive Chef Ralph Busch creates dishes mixing traditional and regional with modern subtleties using mainly local products (from the Valais). A total treat!
I left feeling rejuvenated and rested!
Til next time….
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