Ski Switzerland

Zermatt Resort Reviews

Ski Switzerland

Zermatt Resort Reviews

Visitor reviews for Zermatt Ski Resort

Zermatt Ratings

Overall: 4.1. Based on 67 votes and 68 reviews. Vote

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: 4.6

(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.

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.

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.

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.

Snowmaking: 4.4

(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: 4.1

(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.

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.

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: 4.6

(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.

Off-piste: 4.3

(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.

Cross-country: 3.2

(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: 4.4

(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: 4.4

(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): 3.9

(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

February 27, 2010
Jon from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
What is it about human nature that means opinions must be polarised? Something is either heaven or the pits, and the writer alone must be right. So, by way of novelty, here is a balanced perspective on Zermatt from someone with 20 years experience of the resort, and many others across Europe. Connection. It takes a little under 4 hours from either Zurich or Geneva airports by train with one change, usually in Visp. I’d recommend Zurich as the trains are better, more regular, and the journey more spectacular. From our perspective, the journey is part of the holiday; recognise the Visp-Zermatt section is part of one of the world’s greatest train journeys – the Glacier Express. But then some people genuinely prefer the convenience of a 3 hour coach journey with a pee-stop at Moutier services. Snow. The skiing at Zermatt is exceptionally high which means it tends to hold its snow well. However, the horseshoe of 4,000m peaks surrounding the resort can often deflect snow fronts, meaning it is comparatively dry. Consequently the best skiing tends to be mid to late season, by which time not only are the pistes well covered, but enough snow has accumulated on the rocky bases of the itinerary and off-piste runs. The Triftji area, the Kumme-Tuftern link and the itinerary runs below Schwartzee tend not to open until later January. Note that most disgruntled reports are written just after New Year. Skiing. Zermatt is not a good choice for adult beginners, although for children the ski schools and beginner facilities have improved beyond recognition in recent years. There are a few serious black runs (particularly if Trifti-Stockhorn is open), but otherwise they tend to be short links between pistes. For intermediates through to advanced skiers who, like us, prefer speed to buttock clenching, it is up there with the best, especially if you throw in a couple of trips to Italy. We have never suffered particularly from queuing, although if the snow is incomplete and the resort full (ie Xmas / New Year) then it could be different. Location. Zermatt is a big resort, and the convenience & experience can vary greatly with location. The area around the main street is convenient but busy. Best to stay NW of the river (but not too high) or in Steinmatten. Winkelmatten is much more modern, but quite isolated (although the new Furi-Riffelberg lift has improved the ski connection). Essentially there is nowhere to ski from your chalet, and very few that you can ski directly back. This irritates those accustomed to the big French resorts. Personally, I prefer a few minutes walk to warm up in the morning, and the lure of a bar on the way back. Charm. True, the main street has been overdeveloped in places, but only yards either side there are some beautifully preserved quarters; check out Englischer Viertel, the area around the English church, and above the Church Square. Much of Steinmatten retains its charm. However, the fringes of the town are very modern, bordering on functional. Once in the mountains, there are some truly delightful mountain restaurants, particularly in Findeln, Zum See, Fluhalp and Stafelalp. Prices. Zermatt is not cheap, and there is plenty of scope for the careless or carefree to haemorrhage cash. With a bit of care, it can be reasonable, and from experience, far more so than the big French resorts. Ask around, check out review sites (eg tripadvisor.com), watch where the [value conscious] mountaineers go, read the menu before you enter, and avoid anywhere the clientele wear mink. There is a huge variety of excellent places to eat at UK prices or below. Among our favourites include (in rough price order) the Julen Schaeferstubli, Swiss Chalet, Stockhorn Grill, Pizza Roma, Sparky’s & the North Wall. In conclusion, you can find bigger resorts, more convenient, less developed, certainly cheaper and closer to the airport. But Zermatt’s combination just works for us, as it does for thousands of others, who come back year after year. Everyone is different (thank goodness), so see if it appeals and works for you. Oh, and there’s a pointy mountain I’ve run out of space to tell you about.
February 27, 2010
Bozorgzadegan Abbas from Ski Iran Iran
Is there anyone to invite me to Zermatt for alpine ski? I've read resort reviews and eagerly would like to see and skiing there! I am 63 years old and no more time for such an experience!!! [note from the editor: this post will stay on the site for a short period as it is not a resort review]
February 22, 2010
Josage from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I’m glad some of the reviews of Zermatt here are so bad! Means the place is free of all you moaners so all the more space for me! As far as I’m concerned Zermatt is heaven. A few facts to counter what other negative reviewers have said: Expensive: yes, but no worse value for money than a dreadful chain coffee shop in a big city such as London. “50 – 60 SF for a mediocre plate of Pasta”. Sorry but that’s plain wrong. The main courses at several Zermatt restaurants are very tasty for around CHF 19 – 30. “surprisingly new and commercial touristy feel” . Maybe (partly because the place has quadrupled in size since 1950) but there is plenty of rustic old world charm if you go to the right places – and anyway I’m sure most of us want ‘modern’ in our hotel/chalet accommodation. You can’t have it both ways. As regards the slopes at Zermatt. Many of the ‘harder’ ski runs (eg Stockhorn) are closed until late season due to the climate which is quite specific to Zermatt. That is no fault of the Zermatt ski authorities. Most guidebooks do warn that the Stockhorn slopes are closed until later on in the season. One thing I do agree on is that signing and naming and the piste map are poor. “travel [transfer time] is obscene” That is totally subjective. The train connections from Geneva and Zurich are very efficient, and wonderfully scenic. The train up the valley from Visp can not be any faster. If it was the Swiss alpine mountain experience would not be what it is. I do agree that the buses (note spelling) could be better and the taxis can be a bit intrusive – but again you can’t have your cake and eat it.
February 18, 2010
Steve from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I've just spent two weeks in Zermatt. It's an odd place, on the one hand picturesque (the majority of buildings being wooden) and still true to its farming roots, on the other, a high street that gets as busy as the Champs-Élysées in spring, lined with expensive watch shops. Do people really spend £100,000 on a wrist-watch? But walk 25 metres off the high street and all the crowds disappear and you can find the charm that made Zermatt popular. The skiing is not for beginners. A good resort for good intermediates. Be prepared to put in some leg and stick work every now and again. Snow cover wasn't brilliant despite heavy snows in the Alps, some pistes were grassy and left open. At morning rush hour be prepared for a 30min + wait to go up the mountain. Get up early and avoid it. There is currently a problem with the Matterhorn gondola, it keeps breaking down, (sometimes it can be stationary for 20-30mins) still you can enjoy the scenery. The cable car that goes to the top station (Matterhorn Paradise & Cervinia) can be very busy. I waited for over an hour in a queue of hundreds of people to go to the top, it was highly unpleasant. The mountain restaurants are expensive but some of them are extremely good. £15-£20 for a single course with beer is the cheapest that I found. Try the restaurant at Stafel, red 52, for fine dining in sheepskin chairs. At village level try the Swiss Chalet for a traditional setting and great cooking. Eating fairly frugally but enjoying a three course meal every other day, I spent £400/wk, if you're a big drinker that figure could easily double. It can take a long, long time to get to where you want to be on the mountain; the Zermatt & Cervinia lifts are slow and there can be some lengthy walks to lifts on the Zermatt side. The multitude of electric taxis in Zermatt became annoying, and due to their silence, quite dangerous! Invest in a pair of the readily available studded rubber crampon type things that go over your boots, brilliant for getting about safely on the often extra-ordinarily icy roads and for mountain walks. There are some lovely winter walks at Zermatt with welcoming restaurants and hunters lodges to refresh you. I found the Swiss to be, without exception, extremely friendly, welcoming and helpful. There is a lot of investment taking place into improving the lift system and access across the mountain.The lift pass is very expensive probably for this reason. So, an amazing location but not the best skiing experience I've ever had. I returned home with mixed feelings. It's a very beautiful place and the people are lovely. I had one day of great skiing without lengthy queues, enjoying the long pistes either side of the Swiss/Italian border but for me the series of long delays getting up the hill fairly ruined the skiing experience. It was brilliant to have a good look at the Matterhorn and to be able to ski below three of its sides but some of my favourite memories are from the winter walking rather than the skiing. If they can speed up the lifts and do something about that terrible cable car to the top station it will be sensational.
February 16, 2010
Ken from Ski Australia Australia
Our family spent a week in Zermatt in the first week of February. It was our first visit and we were overwhelmed by the size of the resort and the fantastic network of lifts and pistes. We rented an apartment with views of the Matterhorn and therefore were able to self cater. There are a number of supermarkets in Zermatt and their prices were reasonable and appeared no more expensive than in other parts of Switzerland, except meat from the local butcher was quite expensive. It snowed the day before we arrived, so the conditions were quite good, and you could find lots of powder stashes on either side of the highway width pistes. We had blue sky days 5 out of 6 which provided great visibility and excellent views of the Matterhorn and surrounding peaks. Conditions did get a bit icy on some runs late afternoon towards the end of the week, but, overall, given the cold temperatures the snow condition remained very good throughout the week. Lift prices by Australian standards are quite reasonable - adult, including Cervina, is about 405 franks for 6 days and even 16 year olds attract the child rate which is about half this amount. Sure the restaurants and cafe's were expensive, although we did find a cafe above a bakery in the main street where you could get pasta and other light meals for about 10 franks, together with great coffee and service. Zermatt is a picture postcard Swiss village and is what we imagined a Swiss ski resort would be like. Our family enjoyed our week immensely and would definitely return.
February 14, 2010
Sam from Ski Singapore Singapore
Zermatt is an unbelievable experience. Not many place in the world have a vertical of 2200m that you can ski in one go. Then after a couple of those, retire to one of the outstanding mountain restaurants for the best mountain food. It may be on the expensive side, but certainly better value for money than some of the other European ski resorts. The scenery is also exceptional. Arriving by train in early afternoon certainly makes up for the time it takes to get here. Zermatt is also a great place for a non-skier or on storm days. You can walk around town and discover the hidden parts or take one of the forest walks that will take you through the forest to one of the mountain restaurants. We were here twice when there was a big dump and ski lifts were closed. We still enjoyed it and had a great time. We have skied all over the world: in France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, US West Coast and have been coming to Zermatt on and off for the last 12 years. We always look forward to returning.
February 08, 2010
Jo from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Having just returned from our week in Zermatt I felt it imperative to leave a review here after all the awful reviews left by other people. I've been skiing since age 2, raced since age 12 and started teaching/coaching from age 20, so with over 26 years skiing under my belt, I've got loads of experience and skiied all over Europe and also in North America. So, what I can't understand is all the bad reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed the skiing. Yes, Gornograt and Klein Matterhorn areas have a lot of easy runs, but there were some good reds and blacks. We loved skiing around Rothorn and Sunegga areas and were always first up the mountain in the mornings. We didn't experience huge queues or crowded slopes, which surprised us after the reviews we'd read. Our hotel was great, lovely staff and wonderful food. Yes it was expensive, but then where isn't in the Alps? We found it to be no more expensive than anywhere else we'd skied in Europe. We mainly used the ski bus to get around, we did use a taxi once and between 7 of us it cost 21CHF to get from Matterhorn Gondola to town. It was a shame that there hadn't been a lot of snow before we went, but there was plenty of snow on the pistes and some good moguls over on Stockhorn and Trifji. The pistes were well maintained, most if not all the lifts were open during the week. We found the best place for Apple Strudel, at Alpitta on the red coming down from Gornograt to Furi - yum!!! We found the Gornograt train to be a very long trek up the mountain and only did it once for novelty, the Sunegga underground train is the best and fastest way to go. We wouldn't take our daughter to Zermatt until she is about 6/7 years old as we didn't feel it was very easy to get children from the hotel to the lifts and up the mountain to the ski schools. We recommend Zermatt for everyone as there is plenty to offer. Only thing different that we'd do is rather than take the coach transfer from Geneva we'd take the train as we think this would be easier and quicker. We'd definitely go back.
January 23, 2010
Rupert from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I am genuinely surprised at the negative reviews of Zermatt below. As an experienced skier (skied from the age of 5, at least twice a year for past 25 years) who has skied in just about every top resort in Europe, USA and Canada and avoids piste skiing for steep and deep whenever conditions allow, I love Zermatt. It has fantastic off-piste providing you know where to go. If you don't have good back-country experience/avalanche qualifications and the right equipment then hire a guide - skiing on the glacier without one is just plain stupid. Zermatt has plenty of English speaking guides that are not prohibitively expensive if there are a few of you going. They will provide transceivers, shovels and probes for your party. As for food - Zermatt is a gastronomic delight - whether it be lunch as Zum See or a simple evening meal at the Post (recently refurbished and uber cool). Nothing is cheap in Zermatt - don't expect burger bars! - but you get what you pay for - taxi's are extremely expensive - but fit five and work out cheap if you are a group - budget an extra £40 for a week's taxi journeys whenever you need them and your holiday will be transformed. I don't recommed Zermatt for beginners as the beginner slope is half way up the mountain - and there is not a lot of really easy stuff. Intermediates, however, will love it. Advanced - there aren't many blacks - you'd be better of leaving the piste altogether. If you don't ski at all - the village is picture-postcard and very atmospheric. As a package for a mixed group, I would give Zermatt 4/5 stars.
January 08, 2010
James from Ski United States United States
Today is my last day at Zermatt and I am excited to be leaving. Over the past 6 days the conditions have been horrible and the entire resort disappointing. The food and lodging is ridiculously expensive. I don't mind paying a premium for location but the markup here is about 100-150% with most restaurant entrees ranging from $30-45 for mediocre food. Zermatt has a surprisingly new and commercial touristy feel and not the old world charm I was hoping for. Also, the car-free claims are not really true since you're likely to be run over by the multitude of small electric taxis or big buses weaving around pedestrians. I consider myself an advanced intermediate skier who spends most of the day on US slopes; on blacks with the occasional double diamond on a powder day. I have skied Whistler, Taos, Tahoe, and Utah. By comparison, the slopes at Zermatt are EASY - there are about 3 blacks at Zermatt and a few orange (although most were closed due to lack of snow). All the blacks I did were very simple, boring and groomed. Beware: The entire resort was icy and had very poor snow cover - the base now is from 6" to 40" Turns out Zermatt only gets about 300 inches a year and 60% of the resort uses man-made snow (that should say something)!! Zermatt's guarantee of snow due to the glaciers is misleading, because the glacier skiing is flat and lame. Most pistes look about the same, narrow, smooth and groomed with few or no signs; many of the runs just seem like roads. No trails have names marked, only numbers, if you're lucky enough to even find a sign. I've heard there are challenging pistes, but it looks like they are only accessible with a guide and a helicopter at a cost of $400 per person with a 3 person minimum for a couple hours - such a waste when there are many resorts with challenging blacks, double and triple diamonds that are in-bounds and included in the lift ticket!! The quality of skiers here was also amazingly bad - I had anticipated there being amazing skiers since this is Supposedly the #1 resort in Europe, but maybe it is overrun with rich tourists that can't ski. The few steep slopes were cluttered with poor skiers weaving across the entire slope and stopping every 50 feet. There are also extensive transport systems across the resorts - trams, trains, lifts, gondolas and buses - but they often take an indirect route with many stops (the Matterhorn Express has two mid-mountain stops and a transfer!). From my hotel near the village center I took a bus, and then the Matterhorn Express - all this took at least 45 min to 1 hour before I even touched the slopes. Getting from one side of the resort to another, or to Cervinia, is also very time consuming, aside from the fact that once you get off a transport you often have to walk down hallways, down stairs or take elevators all in your ski boots. The transport systems seem unnecessarily inefficient and time consuming. I have never spent so much time getting around and not skiing!! As for the views of the Alps and the Matterhorn, Cervinia easily has Zermatt beat with much more striking slopes and mountains. Cervinia is not demanding, but it is somewhat easier to get around and cheaper to eat. I have also been to the Austrian Alps at Axamer Lizum and the Stubai Glacier and I enjoyed both much more than my time at Zermatt, although not challenging both had better snow, better views, better signage and more efficient transport. This has been a most disappointing ski experience and I will be happy to return to Whistler and Utah for future ski trips knowing that I am not missing too much in the Swiss Alps. I have no idea why this resort is rated so high. All I can think of is that it's frequented by Brits and locals that have never skied at a real world-class resort with actual natural snow and interesting runs!
January 05, 2010
Eric from Ski United States United States
Expensive, very expensive. Nothing is inexpensive here: beer, food, room. Expect to pay 50-60 SF for a mediocre plate of pasta. Coke 6 SF, beer start at 6 and go up. Same beverages and food over in Cervina 1/3 the cost. Lift passes rival Vail or Aspen in terms of cost, without the flexibility. Better places to ski cheaper. The snow reports were less than factual over the last 2 weeks. Zermatt needs 200+ real centimeters to be even barely skiable. 400 for great skiing, have been here during those periods. When snow is at his depth here (400+), sell your children and come here. Oh yeah, that is what it will cost. The crew here is 2 expert, one advanced skier. We found the new lift layouts her and in Cernvina not an improvement on the old setup. You are forced into more limited skiing area with more people. Close works in shaves and dancing, not on the ski slope. If you like skiing with rude drunk Brits, go to Austria: same ambiance, same drunk Brits, cheaper cost. Chamonix, Val D' Isere, Lech-Zurs offer comparable skiing at a lower cost. If you must come here stay in Cervina with lower costs and similar acces to the slopes. Since one cannot forecast when fantastic conditions occur, save your cash. Oh, travel time to get here is obscene for the experience. The Hotel Bristol is a good hotel so consider it if you must come, however, get the half board option.