Zermatt is in the German speaking Canton of Valais in Switzerland, at the end of a valley called the Mattertal. At 5310 ft above sea level, it is nestled between the mountains at the foot of the Matterhorn, one of the most … Continue reading
I have just spent four days with friends in Verbier. I love skiing in Switzerland, it is just so easy to get everywhere by train, and the journey to Verbier is beautiful along the shores of Lake Geneva. It feels a lot less hassle than renting a car at Geneva Airport, which involves heaving luggage onto a bus for a short ride from the airport to the rental car, pick up and drop off. Taking the train does take about three and a half hours, so longer than driving which is two hours but it costs less and once you are in the resort, the buses which are free, run around the on a regular timetable so it is easy to get around. It takes about ten minutes to walk from the Place Centrale to the Médran where the main gondola is. Alternatively and less stressful, cutting down the journey time, take the train to Martigny which takes just under two hours and we can organise a car service from there which takes 40 minutes.
The skiing in Verbier is fantastic. It has about one hundred lifts and 400 kilometers of runs. The scenery is breathtaking, and on exiting the gondola at highest point of the resort on Mont Fort, you can see Mont Blanc and as far as the Matterhorn in Zermatt on a clear day. There is some awesome off piste skiing in Verbier and worth taking a private guide for on/off piste skiing. Make sure you contact École Fantastique, midway down the hill from the Médran and talk to Philippe Bruchez. They are well qualified and have the best private Swiss teachers for ski school for children/adults and fantastic guides. You will also receive a discount if you use them for your ski/boot hire only, in the ski shop opposite just next to the Fer à Cheval.
Verbier is not the best place for five star hotels, (it misses out on something like the Blizzard in Val d’Isère with its fantastic new Clarins spa), so we would recommend taking a chalet or apartment as it is full of really great ones to rent and we have a partnership with a very good agent based out in Verbier, so can help you find the best properties in the resort.
Here are my recommendations below for the best hotels in the resort.
Starwood Hotels opened the W Hotel in December 2013, which has three hundred bedrooms and is a welcome addition to a resort short on good hotel rooms. The W really is perfectly located by the Médran, so pretty much ski in/ski out give or take 50 metres. I am not a huge fan of W Hotels particularly but it is very new, still looks fresh, has a nice bar, good spa, great tapas restaurant downstairs and good bedrooms and bathrooms. Rates vary according to the season and they start at around CHF 400 per night in low season. It is definitely one of the best places to stay.
Chalet Adrian is a Relais Chateaux property that opened 12 years ago. It is a more traditional style hotel with a lovely sun terrace, Champagne Bar and very traditional bistro Le Grenier at the bottom of Savoleyres. Rooms in low season are from about CHF 336. The hotel is cosy but the rooms are a bit tired and could do with some updating, as could the spa. Even if you don’t stay it is worth having dinner at Le Grenier and lunch on the terrace. You can take the gondola back up after lunch.
Another good hotel is the four star La Cordée des Alpes. It is not the best location as it is at the bottom of the town, (it has regular shuttle buses to the Médran) and we have heard rumbles of poor service this year which will hopefully change. The hotel has 32 indiviudal rooms and serviced apartments which are ideal for families, a nice spa, lovely restaurant and rooms start at around CHF 290 per night.
Hotel le Vanessa is a firm favourite, located 50 metres off the Place Centrale. It is an excellent four star property, offering a good service, bedrooms that are simple but cosy and a great restaurant as well. It has a nice Wellness area with Jacuzzi. Rates start from CHF300 in low season for a deluxe room. It is worth going for a junior suite as they are spacious. Rates include wifi and breakfast.
W Hotel – right next to the Médran
Hotel le Vanessa – 50m from Place Centrale
Cordée des Alpes bottom of village with shuttle buses
Chalet Adrian, bottom of Savoleyres
Chez Dany – favourite although food can be a bit hit and miss
Carrefour – even bigger favourite with amazing food
Marmottes (and for dinner and sledge back down)
Cabane Mont Fort, rustic and with the best views of the mountain
Le Mouton Noir at Ruinettes, great terrace, good food, dj and dancing
Walk up to Marlenaz for lunch or dinner, it is the prettiest restaurant on the mountain
Coffee by Médran
Dinner in Village
Nevai – Asian Fusion dinner and sushi bar
Chalet Adrian – bistro very traditional
Le Caveau – cheese fondue and raclette are their specialty
L’etoiles rouges dinner dancing
Le Rouge Restaurant
Farm Club – super expensive but fun
Hire and Ski service opposite who give 10% off ski and boot hire if you book through École Fantastique
Heidi.com for t-shirts
W Bar at bottom of regular shuttles to the Médran (you can almost ski to the bar!)
W Bar/Living area
We would love to help you book your skiing holiday for the coming winter. Please contact us for hotel and private chalet bookings firstname.lastname@example.org