Visitor reviews for Zermatt Ski Resort
November 08, 2018
nigel from canada from Canada
We went to Zermatt in early November, since their website was advertising 16 lifts running. It was reasonable to assume this meant there would be some skiing, especially since we had just come from another glacial ski area, Hintertux, where we found pretty good snow for the time of year.
To be clear, Zermatt is staggeringly beautiful and deserves its fame. The valley beyond town defies description, so I won't try. I have done some mountaineering around the area and each time I come back I am astounded anew. However........
We paid $115 each for our passes and headed up the gondola to find that the reality was that there was exactly one (yes, one) lift with any skiing on it.
Whilst the resort didn't lie about the number of lifts which were running, it could easily be argued that they obscured the fact that only one of these lifts was open for skiing. The piste map does not name the lifts, which means you cannot cross reference from the light board to see exactly what is running, and what is not.
I do understand that we were there very early season and we did not expect to find much open. I also understand that it is not incorrect to say you have X number of lifts running, if X is the number of lifts running. But if someone comes to the ticket window with skis and asks how many lifts are open, I do think its reasonable to be expected to tell them how many lifts are available for skiing. Blame me if you like, for not being specific enough in my questioning, ......... we were not surprised, on figuring things out, to be refused when we asked to cancel our tickets and get a refund!
Of course, locals know the names of the lifts and know at a glance if it's worth going up that day. Our advice would be, if you don't know the resort and only some uplift is open, ask a local (not a ticket sales person) what is open, and then decide whether to splash out or not.
Everything else about Zermatt is awesome. Go there.
Overall: 4.1. Based on 62 votes and 69 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Zermatt.
Public Transport: 4.5
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Zermatt, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Zermatt, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 2.9
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 5.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Zermatt.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.6
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Zermatt, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Zermatt is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Zermatt relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.6
(1) There are no snow groomers at Zermatt, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Zermatt are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Zermatt is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Zermatt, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.4
(1) Zermatt usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.0
(1) The staff at Zermatt are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Zermatt are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.6
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.7
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Zermatt has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Zermatt, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.6
(1) Not even a kicker at Zermatt, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Zermatt, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Zermatt has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.7
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 4.0
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.4
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.8
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.8
(1) Overall, Zermatt is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.7
(1) Overall, Zermatt is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
March 06, 2015
Ben from Switzerland
Don't go for the skiing, go for the full experience!
If you want a ski, ski, ski holiday don't go to Zermatt.
If you want a balance between skiing and mountain town holiday do it! One of the best ski holidays you can have!
At the end of the day the overall ski experience is average in Zermatt itself. Notice how most of the positive reviews note that you should head over to Italy as much as you can! It is for a reason. If the link to Italy is shut, expect queues.
Management of lifts was poor. Open late regularly.
November 16, 2014
adambrau from United States
Zermatt is my favorite place in the world; I acknowledge I am biased. Skiing bumps on the Stockhorn, you will be virtually alone. If you get up early the on-piste grooming is phenomenal, your skis melt into the butter corduroy. Beautiful alpine village framed by the Matterhorn - even Disney (gulp) only imitated this stunning alpine landmark. Zermatt is tucked away in one of the furthest Swiss valleys, but you can take the train from Zurich in 3.5 hours and the scenery from Visp to the Zmatt Bahnhoff never fails to disappoint. Zermatt might not rank along Val d'Isere or Aspen in terms of expert skiing, but it posses a magical place in my heart. Once you know it like the back of your hand, all the cons that other people have listed below seem baseless. Even if my European friends complain it is too far for a long weekend, I would almost rather be alone in Zermatt than enjoy their company. Obviously, a subjective topic, but I am a disciple. Nothing matches the feeling of getting the first lift up the mountain, even if you only had two hours sleep the night before. Or better eight!
July 27, 2014
Ian de Haan from United Kingdom
I visit Zermatt at least four or five times each winter for at least a week each time. In the last five years I have always been able to ski great powder snow every time I have been out. It is one of the most snow sure resorts anywhere in the world and with the linked resorts of Cervinia, Vatlournenche and into the Monte Rosa areas, you have some of the most varied skiing anywhere.
Zermatt offers a huge choice of accommodation across ALL budget ranges and has plenty of one, two and three star hotels and of course four and five star hotels.
The resort is easily reached form Geneva or Zurich airports by train and you can be on the slopes for an afternoon skiing on your first day if you travel independently.
The Matterhorn Ski Weeks offer one of the best packages you can get anywhere and their Top Class off-piste with a guide is astonishingly good value.
For the last few years the powder skiing has been truly fantastic and in the ski weeks, we have skied just about everywhere you can see with a guide.
The lift system is one of the most efficient anywhere and to go from resort to top lift stations takes less time than in other resorts that do not offer the same vertical height from resort to top lift station. After all - you are ascending over 2,200metre of vertical!
The skiing, over on the Italian side, is quite different, but huge fun and offers some challenging off-piste runs as well as the longest pisted run in Europe. The golden rule is "go straight over to Italy first thing in the morning and every day when the weather allows".
There are three or more of the best restaurants in the area, on the Italian side; worth the effort to get there but book ahead to be sure of a table.
Hotels also offer their own ski week packages, which usually include lift pass and ski hire, and are often better value than chalet companies offerings. Book direct with hotels and be treated as a valued guest with great food and accommodation.
Pricey ? It certainly does not have to be.
Crowded ? Not if you are at the bottom lift stations early. If you go late, it may well be crowded in high season.
Zermatt = the best skiing you will get anywhere in the world!
March 21, 2014
andrew ford from United Kingdom
Returned from Zermatt 15/3/2014. Great place to ski if you are at least a confident intermediate as piste widths can be unnecessarily narrow. It takes a minimum of 50 minutes to get from village to top of mountain so be prepared for that from one side of resort. Transfer to Geneva is minimum of 3 and half hours.
January 17, 2014
MS from United Kingdom
If you want the ultimate Alpine Winter Wonderland then Zermatt is your place. I think everyone deserves to visit this magnificent place at least once. Yes, it has drawbacks like mentioned by another reviewer but there is something magical about this place that you would make you forgive or not even notice the drawbacks. Zermatt was my first ever skiing experience in the Alps and I have since skied in many more resorts including Chamonix, Mayrhofen and recently Morzine. Chamonix came close (with Mont Blanc and fantastic range of pistes) but there is still something about Zermatt which has reserved it a permanent spot in my heart :)
March 08, 2012
David Jedeikin from United States
Having grown up in eastern Canada and now making my home in California, I've been all over the U.S. and Canada as a snowboarder (and sometime skier), but really nothing can quite prepare you for the majesty that is Zermatt: a totally authentic, walkable alpine village; jaw-dropping views (including the iconic Matterhorn); every conceivable type of ski lift on Earth; and miles and miles and miles of pistes. As a lifelong fan of long, intermediate "cruiser runs," Zermatt has to rank way up at the top for me. Amazing mountain restaurants further enhance the experience.
Only drawbacks? Yes, it's pricey... but then so are high-tone ski resorts in North America (Aspen, Vail)... and Zermatt seems to offer a less-snooty vibe than those ritzy resorts Stateside. Although many snowboarders may lament the lack of those insane "steep powder" runs, for an intermediate like myself it's pure heaven. Go for the experience of a lifetime.
February 07, 2012
Ian de Haan from United Kingdom
So much powder skiing!
I was in Zermatt for nine days in mid January this year. The first few days were brilliant sunshine, blue skies and perfect piste skiing! All the runs were open including the itineraries - something I have not seen in years! Simply amazing skiing on the yellow marked runs.
Fast skiing to Valtournenche and Cervinia and great lunches in Bontadini too. I personally think this is the best restaurant in the whole area of Zermatt and Valtournenche / Cervini, with the best views, best wines most certainly and unbelievably good food with service to match.
Then the snow arrived - lots of lifts closed and runs too but for those who got up early and waited - some of the best powder skiing ever. On some runs - Kelle - the snow was thigh deep and just a blast! The same on the other runs that you could access - not always so deep but there was a plentitude of areas of fresh snow to ski and leave your own tracks in.
This season has been without doubt one of the best I have ever experienced in Zermatt. No queues at the lifts but then I get there early at 08.30am and keep ahead of the crowds.
Did it matter if a lot of lifts were closed due to the amount of snow that fell - NO! There was so much to ski on piste and just off the edge too that it did not matter. Some of the itineraries were opened and were covered in deep fresh snow. Then to top that, we had even better the next day with even more snow - some time the visibility was very poor but so what, just keep those poles planted and keep skiing !
Some people want to just moan about Zermatt - Please! Where will you ever be happy? - if you want some really exhilarating skiing then book yourself a guide and go for some of the steepest skiing you can ever experience and then you will see why Zermatt has so much to offer.
When the lifts are closed, it is for safety reasons. If you want inexpensive food, then there is Trockener Steg, Gornergrat, Riffelberg and Sunnegga which are all owned by the Matterhorn Group and offer good food at sensible prices. For amazing coffee at one Euro, Cervinia or Valtournenche is a must.
For inexpensive accommodation, look on the web site and try the 1 or 2 star hotels, these are the equivalent of English Chalet holidays and actually much better. Especially when they include ski pass and lift hire on their specials, plus their food is a whole lot better.
Once again I stayed in the Beau Site and was spoilt rotten but am always amazed that other English visitors book via tour operators and are surprised to hear of the ski weeks where lift pass and ski hire are included but not with their bookings - book direct - it is always worth checking as all the hotels offer specials!
I am returning in February and again in March - will I go to the USA this season - No - this is as good as it gets anywhere in the world and hopefully will be off to Saint Jacques, plus Zermatt, Cervinia and Valtournenche with the Monte Rosa, has better scenery too!
Bring it on!
February 04, 2012
Pat from Switzerland
• If you are looking for an easy to reach ski destination, don’t go as you need about an extra four hours by train from the nearest airport.
• If you are looking for in & out ski from your hotel, don’t go as you need to walk and/or take an electric ski bus to reach the nearby ski lift and it often takes time.
• If you are travelling with young children, don’t go the walking, the often cold temperatures due the altitude, you ski mostly from 2,000 to 3,800 meters, the lack of sun in the village from December to February makes it not an easy destination for family.
• If you are looking for the best ski in the World don’t go, as despite the excellent skiing, you will find better place like the 3 Valley in France.
• If you are on budget, don’t go, Zermatt is an expensive place.
•If you are young crowds that are looking for a party place, don’t go you will find better place in Austria and some ski resorts in France.
So why Zermatt is often rated as number one ski resort in the World?
Well that’s probably because if you are from your late twenties, with a comfortable wallet, who appreciate not only excellent skiing (with the Italian slopes), but extraordinary scenery, fantastic food restaurants on the slopes and in the village, very good hotels, great village atmosphere, good shopping, great après-ski, bars and night party not only with under 20 people, Zermatt is the place.
Then one advice take your gear and run, run to Zermatt you will have the best time of your life.
For the ones who complain about the electric cars and particularly the taxi, yes you are right they drive like mad and are dangerous……..but think just one second what it would be with petrol cars, then sorry guys I love the electric cars.
January 29, 2012
Andy from United Kingdom
We spent the second week of January here. Plenty of snow, sun all day every day, a picnic each day with a view of the Matterhorn and many other 4000m peaks.
The skiing was very varied and good, especially going across to Italy and descending to Valtournenche and Cervinia. Many pistes were very quiet, especially some in Italy. On piste the skiing was not too difficult; the blacks were relatively easy. On some runs you have to use the poles. For instance, run 52 via Stafel was very pretty, but there are a couple of uphill bits, so we only did it once.
At almost £300 for 6 days, the lift pass was significantly more than we've spent elsewhere. Considering the high price, the piste management was very poor; piste marking was generally better on the cheaper Italian side. I've never known a chair lift on a popular slope to close as early as 2.50. The lifts on the Zermatt side seemed more prone to closure than those on the Italian side, although it was generally windier on the Italian side. This led us to suspect that the Zermatt lift company pays the Italian ones fees depending on how much the Italian side is used. Zermatt is also the only place where we've needed the lift pass to get off as well as on lifts.
We stayed on the hill in Petit Village and managed to ski back home, as well as down the road in the morning. This meant coming back via Sunnegga each evening. To do this we needed to be down from the Italian side at Furi by about 2.30, in order to safely catch the last lift from Gant at 3.40. The Findeln lift runs later, but the key run 25 down to this was kept closed and unpisted, although snowmaking was running.
Overall, with the snow, sun, views and varied skiing, one of our very best skiing holidays. We didn't spend too much time and money in the mountain restaurants, because the weather and skiing was so good, and also because we often had a last lift to think about.