Visitor reviews for Zermatt Ski Resort

Zermatt Ratings

Overall: 4.1. Based on 72 votes and 72 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 4.7

(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.

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.

Off-piste: 4.2

(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.

Scenery: 5.0

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 3.3

(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.

Accommodation: 4.5

(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: 3.0

(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.

Childcare: 3.8

(1) There are no child care facilities at Zermatt, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 4.3

(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.

Shelter: 3.3

(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.

Crowds/Queues: 3.8

(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: 4.8

(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.

Beginners: 3.6

(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.

Intermediates: 4.7

(1) No intermediate terrain at Zermatt, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.5

(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: 3.7

(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.

Cross-country: 3.3

(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.

Luge/Toboggan: 3.2

(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.

Eating: 4.8

(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.

Apres-Ski: 4.5

(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.

Entertainment: 4.2

(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: 4.5

(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): 3.9

(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.

Show all 35 ratings

April 27, 2011
Ian de Haan from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
My last week this season was from 26th March to 2nd April, staying once again at my favorite hotel. The train journey is spectacular and the views across lake Geneva always impress me. The snow capped mountains against the azure blue skies rising up form the southern shores of the lake are stunning. Once into Zermatt and having been collected from the station, I was on my way to Sunnegga, collected my skis from Tipee Sport and onto the funicular. My week started with a few hours on the Saturday afternoon, skiing from Sunnegga over to Trockenersteg and back down to Zermatt. The next day, with sunny weather, Valtournenche beckoned and off I went for an espresso at Enzo's cafe by the gondola station. The run to Valtournenche is the longest in the Alps and apart from a very short chair lift over the col, is a great fast run all the way down to the car park at the end. With the snow making facilities now all the way down, this run remains in great condition until late in the season. This run is highly recommended! We all ski form Klein Matterhorn, schussing to the border and over to Valtournenche, fastest time recorded so far is 17 minutes to the car park. See my previous report. Then off to ski the other runs in Valtournenche, before heading back over to Cervinia and ski Ceilo Alto, and then over to Bontadini before skiing back down to Cervinia for lunch. Many people now comment on how good the lifts are now and the ability to link all the areas up, maximising their skiing in all three areas. The new lifts are very efficient without covering the areas in lifts like the 3 Valleys. The off-piste opportunities are vast and the guides will take you to the otherwise inaccessible areas in safety. So long as you are fit enough, it is possible to ski 12,000 metres of vertical a day before 3.30pm. You can do even more than this if you ski to 5pm. If you were in the 3 Valleys, you could easily do far more as the runs are somewhat less challenging. Visitors from the USA all comment on how good the lift system is and better chairlifts than in their resorts, also the restaurants and the vertical. Everyday when the weather allows, I ski to Valtournenche for the first run, often being the first down from the col. When there is fresh snow, you can leave fresh tracks all the way down. This time though it was more fast, freshly prepared piste than fresh snow, but still possible to ski all the way down for the first four days. Glorious sunny weather too - how good is that ! Some people state the lifts take too long to get to the top, but if you are at the lifts by 8.15 am then it does not take long at all. However, like all other ski resorts, if you are there in peak season and stroll to the lifts between 9-10 am then you can find big lift queues. Zermatt is a traditional ski resort and not built on the slopes like some and yes, you do have to walk a short distance to the bus stops. There are little electric taxis too. Is Zermatt a great resort ? - Yes - and it has some of the most spectacular scenery and skiing too, with arguably the best restaurants too, though Bontadini is in my opinion the best in the whole area. Given the snow conditions all over the Alps this year, Zermatt, with Cervinia and Valtournenche has been one of the best. Why so few people ski to Cervinia and Valtournenche is something I never understand, but that just leaves more room for the rest of us! When I take people to Valtournenche and to restaurants in Cervinia, they are always surprised how attractive Cervinia is and just how big the whole area is too. To dismiss Zermatt as too easy and no ski-in ski-out is to not understand a traditional ski resort. Ski all the runs from the top to the bottom without stopping will let you see the resort in a whole new light, if you dare! I have already booked four weeks for next year and will be flying out to the USA to ski in Utah too - but I have been warned that the mountain restaurants are non existent and the chair lifts have no foot rests! It will certainly be most interesting to compare the differences!
April 26, 2011
Glenn from Ski Netherlands Netherlands
Yes, beautiful part of the world and the scenery is great but Zermatt, in my opinion, is overpriced and overrated as a skiing resort. I think it's best suited to intermediate skiers only, I can't really comment on the advanced stuff as I'm just a recreational level skier but I note that others that are have done so. We went as a family and I found it very poor for children that are beginner to intermediate level as there is not a lot between nursery slopes and some fairly difficult (in places) blues. Most of the runs in the resort are reds and many are quite narrow edge of the mountain type runs. Probably no problem for the better skiers but very difficult and daunting for others. Also, as most of the runs that link the valleys are reds it makes it very difficult for those of lesser ability to ski more than one area per day without going down and up again. Yes, you will also spend a lot of time carrying skis and walking, we went in Spring and it takes about 1 hour to get high enough to ski decent snow. That's if you don't get knocked down on the way to the lift by the stupid electric vehicles which are everywhere. Traffic free - you must be kidding! Also the cost, everything is expensive, ski hire, ski passes, food - 10 CHF just for a plate of fries?! If you are loaded again this is not a problem but for the rest of us it's painful. In summary, it's only worth going late season when other resorts are finished or once just to admire the Matterhorn and tick the box.
February 24, 2011
Ian de Haan from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I have just returned form another week's skiing in Zermatt. The third visit of the season so far. The journey out was great. The train journey form Geneva Airport to Zermatt around the lake has to be one of the best in the world. Very easy as the station is under the airport and only one change at Visp. You also get to ski all of the last day if you book the last flight out of Geneva, making 7 full days of skiing or 7.5 if you arrive early enough on the Saturday! Looking out over the lake to the mountains is second to none. As before, I stayed in the Beau Site hotel for one of their Ski Week packages. This includes ski hire, ski pass and half-board. I book my own holidays as you get far better deals than via a tour operator and the benefit of much better food than staying in chalet accommodation packages, especially if you are a single traveller and even better when as a couple or family. There is a large choice of accommodation form apartments through to five star hotels or even a six star hotel at Riffelalp. The choice will accommodate every budget. You can hire skis independently if you wish to and I can recommend the ski hire shop right by the Sunnegga lift station, run by English John. It is small, friendly and BIG on quality of service. The weather was perfect sunshine and temperatures that were not too cold or warm with the snow holding up well all the way down to Valtournenche car park. This longest run can be skied in 17 minutes from the exit of Klein Matterhorn to Valtournenche including the little chair lift, albeit in good conditions. Does it make your heart pump - undoubtedly ! but the exhilaration and the reward of the most perfect espresso at Enzo's cafe it is worth the effort. The whole resort was skiing well with plenty of long runs and the possibility to get into Italy, enjoy lunch and back to Sunnegga for plenty of afternoon skiing in the sunshine. Fresh snow arrived during the week, opening up powder skiing possibilities at high level. The best of which was in Cervinia, although we were too late to book a guide to ski under the cable car stations, we watched the lucky ones. The snow was so light when skied, large rooster tails flew up at each turn, visible from a long way away! By lunch time the whole of Cervinia's off-piste was completely skied out. Having made our own contributions to this we skied back to Zermatt after lunch at Bondadini. A great week? Certainly, and more snow than a lot of other resorts that week, certainly Leysin, which had so little snow, a report and photo appeared in a local paper, showing a lot of brown grass and a small patch of snow! Go again, absolutely! and I am, at the end of March - can't wait!
February 16, 2011
Geoff Gubb from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just returned (Feb 2011) from my first ski trip to Zermatt. Had superb weather and considering the lack of snow the pistes were v good. The blacks are easy peesy, or perhaps my skiing is getting better! Bit of a mission getting to the slopes but soon found our preferred way up, and down, and no complaints from me there. Yes, the lift pass is expensive but with hindsight consider it not bad. Stayed at the Matterhornblick Hotel which I'd recommend. It's a B+B but plenty of places to eat nearby and only yards (down a short stair case) from the bus stops to the lift stations and the main street. My single room was the biggest I've had anywhere, well equiped, very clean as was the hotel overall, and was just over stlg500 the week. Papperla Bar is mad and enjoyed it, though couldn't do every night, 2 was enough! The train transfer from Geneva was easy and a lovely trip. Booking well in advance, and without asking, we got up-graded to first class which added to the holiday. Would I go again? Yes.
January 27, 2011
Fred from Ski Australia Australia
The first time I went to Zermatt was as a boy in 1968. We started going back there 10 years ago; we'll be there again in February. Zermatt has come a long way in that time. It's one of my favourite places in the world. This will be my 6th time there. So quiet, so peaceful. I love the resort and adore the Matterhorn side of the piste. Up there with St Moritz and Aspen for world's best.
January 18, 2011
Andy from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Well, it's interesting to read so many conflicting reports, having been to Zermatt for the first time! I would say I agree with many of them - good and bad! I have skied all of the "big" European resorts and a heck of a lot of little ones and also in Utah. I feel I have a better frame of reference than someone who solely returns to Zermatt every year and has done since they started skiing! Firstly the bad: -The lift-links to the top of the Klein Matterhorn area are a little outdated, I'm sorry to say, and a bit of a joke. In a resort where the ski pass costs approx 30-50% more than a lot of other major resorts, I would not expect to wait over an hour at a middle station for a cable car that kept breaking down. -For the price (approx £300 for 6 days) I expect more than I got. I feel that at least £120 of the pass must have been for the view of the Matterhorn, as it certainly wasn't for the quality of the lift system! -If you want to ski to Cervinia (one of the big selling points, as it opens up the area massively) you have two choices: either a cable car (with huge queues) or two painfully long and slow T-bar lifts from Trockener Steg. Not good enough, frankly, for the price of the lift pass. -Another bad point is the "car free" aspect of the village. It isn't "car free" at all, it's full of annoying little electric taxis and delivery vans that drive dangerously close to pedestrians on sheet ice. Keep a close eye on yourselves and your children, as they are hard to hear coming! -Also, for anyone who likes lively apres-ski, stick to Austria. They know how to party! Zermatt was good fun and relaxed for apres, but I prefer the germanic mental-ness of Austria to be honest (Although the gluhwein in Zermatt is better than Austria!). -My final bad point are the runs to the village. They are mostly little more than ski-ways and often get congested and full of toboggans. There are vast flat areas to get through and they are frankly just irritating at the end of a day's skiing. Now for the good: -The off-piste is easily accessible and good for intermediates. However, the yellow routes are over-used and can be fairly flat. Get there early after fresh snow. -The fOOD! Everything we ate was excellent quality and surprisingly good value. There are a few truly excellent mountain restaurants and it's worth booking in at Chez Vrony, Zum See and Chalet Etoile (Cervinia) as they are all excellent eateries. -The village: absolutely beautiful. -The views: fantastic. Overall, I wouldn't put anybody off going to Zermatt (indeed, I'm going back in a few weeks, hoping for a bit more off-piste when it's quieter). But, please, don't expect to get there and be greeted with perfect lifts and the "perfect" resort.
January 05, 2011
Ian de Haan from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I have been skiing in Zermatt since 1988, when I first learnt to ski. Since then the lifts have improved to the point where they are probably the best in the world. The mountain restaurant certainly are the best and there are a lot of them. he Trockenersteg has been fully refurbished and offers excellent self service food of the highest quality, whilst adjacent there is the superb Italian restaurant. The yellow marked runs are a delight to ski, but it helps if you are fit and capable of skiing varied snow conditions, but when there has been fresh snow, you can have the most amazing deep snow under your skis. On fresh snow days, I have skied from the Furggsatttel chair to town in fresh untracked snow, also to Cervinia in fresh unpisted snow, in fact, just about everywhere in untracked snow, sometimes up to your waist in fresh snow. The skiing area is vast, when you ski into Valtournenche. Try skiing the run without stopping except for the little chair lift over the col and then all the way to the bottom without a break ! When you go with a guide and start to ski the off piste, the whole area changes again and becomes far larger still, with routes into the Monte Rosa a must. Even in other more purpose built resorts, the lifts take a long time to get anywhere - The Three Valleys for comparison - so to say that the lifts to get to Klein Matterhorn take too long is a misconception and like any other resort, a little organization goes a long way. It is certainly one of the more stunningly beautiful resorts to ski in and when you cross over into Cervinia and Valtournenche, the scenery is completely different but still stunning. Food in Cervinia or Valtournenche is wonderful and what you would expect form the best Italian restaurants, whether on the mountain or in the village. The Matterhorn restaurant in Cervinia is certainly one of the best there. Coffee here is an absolute must ! Contrary to other comments, the pistes are well marked, and very well maintained. If they close the top lifts, it is because it has become far too cold to be safe, just as they do in any other ski resort. Swiss ski resorts are different to most others it is true, they are simply the best. I go to Zermatt three or four times a year and i have never been disappointed even in seasons when there has been poor snow conditions due to the snow making they have being so good. Prices, well no more costly in fact than skiing in France, unless you want to spend a lot of money and then you can certainly do this with ease, just as you can in any other ski resort in the world, but they don't have the mighty Matterhorn towering over you the whole time either ! If you like stunning skiing, stunning scenery, the worlds best restaurants and the worlds best skiing, go to Zermatt at least once in your life to see what you are missing for the rest of your life !
November 27, 2010
millsy from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Anyone who doesn't like this place (Zermatt) isn't a skier, more a 'punter' who considers skiing to and from the door as essential. All the ski in/out convenience in the world doesn't compensate for Zermatt's huge lift served vertical (nothing like it in North America), fabulous fuel stops, reliable snow (+ huge glacier) and variety and extent of terrain. Couple this with a picture postcard village and the Matterhorn looking at you for the duration of your stay and it makes an attractive proposition. Yes, it has become huge business over the last decade and some of the 'cutesiness' is a little contrived but put this to one side and be objective. If convenience is a priority, stay stateside and enjoy your great snow and limited vert and short runs, if you want to visit a real mountaineering/ski town where summer is taken as seriously as winter, check out Zermatt!
November 01, 2010
Sarah Buxton from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
So the visitors from North America didn't take to Zermatt. Dare I suggest that this is a ski culture thing? I have skied in Europe and North America. Zermatt has history, a quirky lift layout (because there's a lot of big mountains around it -doh!), nice restaurants on and off the mountain, fab hotels and high prices. It's a proper town. It takes a long time to get there, but there isn't room for an airport any closer! The train is part of the trip. It runs to the nanosecond. We go for the ski testing weeks in November. A great way to limber up for the season for a couple of days. No queues, cheaper room rates too! Don't go if you like the Tesco/Walmart version of skiing. Me? I love ski-in ski-out accommodation, reasonable prices and all the convenience of French purpose built resorts, but that still leaves room for the pleasures of a trip to Zermatt.
March 28, 2010
Graeme Dunbar from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Have just returned from Zermatt. We are a family of 3 advanced intermediate skiers. Agree that all resorts have good and bad points and Zermatt is no different. Also, didn't have best of conditions with over-warm weather interspersed with low cloud and high winds. This always influences one's opinion to a degree. The ski area is large if you include the slopes of Cervinia, not so much if you don't. Wasn't blown away by any of the reds and blacks we did, but some have a large vertical (if flat in parts). The yellow ski itineraries were either closed or had very poor snow coverage, so can't comment on them. Piste signage is appalling, with no on-piste indicators of piste number, and only very occasional directional indicators (should be much better considering price of lift pass!). Some views of course are spectacular, with great photo opportunities. But, at the risk of being controversial, I wonder how much the presence of the Matterhorn persuades people that the on-piste skiing is actually better than it really is? Biggest downside of the resort (Zermatt) is getting to the slopes then up the hill, especially if you need to get high for good snow. This seriously eats into your skiing day, even with the decent electric ski bus service and the modern and recently improved lift system. Getting into Italy is torturously long unless you are at the lift before 8.45am, difficult with youngsters who need their sleep. Also seemed very quick to close lifts in bad weather, more so than in other resorts we've skied, so this can create serious congestion on Gornegrat train and on accessible pistes. Don't think the resort or the mountain restaurants are excessively expensive. Drinks are cheaper than in the big French resorts and food, though comparable in price, is of better quality overall. Chalet Etoile, in Italy, was superb and great value. Chez Vrony is an institution and the food we had there lived up to reputation (expensive but very good). We liked Zermatt centre, had quite a buzz about it, and good for a stroll after skiing or after dinner. The old town area is fascinating, with many wooden buildings several centuries old. We stayed at the Beau-Site Hotel, excellent in every respect and strongly recommended. Would we go back to Zermatt? Probably, but not in a hurry. As I said, better conditions would have meant better skiing, but even allowing for that, overall the resort didn't 'hook' us as it seems to do others.