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“A Beautiful Hotel and Resort” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riffelalp Resort 2222 m

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Riffelalp Resort 2222 m
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Zermatt 3920, Switzerland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #35 of 116 Hotels in Zermatt
Brighton
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“A Beautiful Hotel and Resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Well, I am sharing my experiences of my family and my holiday at the Riffelalp Resort as I had very much enjoyed reading others reviews prior to making our reservation. My family of 4, husband, 17yr and 15 yr old arrived into Zermatt on the train from Geneva and were immediately greeted by a Riffelalp Porter as we got off the train. He took our luggage enabling us to have a wonder through the village prior to catching the train up to the hotel. Once we got off the train at the Riffelalp stop we were guided to walk up to the hotel; a very pretty five minute walk through the snow. We were very warmly greeted at reception and shown to our interconnecting rooms even though we were 2 hours early than the check-in time. The rooms were absolutely beautiful; spacious, luxurious, bright and pristinely clean. The rooms were even better than we had expected as they were two separate rooms with our own front door and shared hallway making the rooms more like an apartment. There was complimentary fruit and plentiful bottles of either sparkling or still water and each day we came back to a lovely surprise present. The rooms were really quiet and our pillows were quickly changed for firmer pillows upon our request. The entire ambience of the hotel is relaxed with an elegant chic and we have never experienced such genuine warmth and impeccable service from everyone. We really enjoyed using the pools and spa each day as well as the great Bowling Alley a couple of times, although we were not advised there was a charge for the use of the Bowling Alley. We dined in the main restaurant most evenings which was exquisite in every way and tried Al Bosco one evening - we found this restaurant to be OK. Our only disappointment was not to have managed to dine in Walliser-Keller as it was fully booked and it looked so quaint, warm and charming. We would definitely recommend to make a reservation well in advance for this. I started to suffer with the altitude within the first 24 hours and only wished I had taken Aspirin earlier (and not 4 days later), as this cured it straight away. As others have said, we found the prices of drinks to be eye wateringly expensive which now makes London seem rather good value. All in all, a truly beautiful and luxurious hotel with an easy going and chic charm surrounded by the most stunning views and located with perfect ski in ski out, hidden well away from any hustle and bustle giving way to a truly relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: I felt the rooms were all of a similar standard, however I would recommend to make your reservation...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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161 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

ABOUT THE HOTEL:

We stayed in the Riffelalp Hotel for a week's skiing in Zermatt and absolutely loved it - everything about it was top notch. The hotel itself was very nice and I have to say, was even nicer than the impressions we got from their web site! The interior of the hotel is a nice balance of high end quality without being stuffy, Swiss chalet/ski lodge style without being cheesy and the room was finished to a very high standard - eg flexible reading lights above the bed; Bose DVD and sound system in the room and bathroom; jacuzzi bath tub; great shower that was powerful (a real plus as I am so sick of hotels having lovely bathrooms but showers that are not powerful or don't provide enough hot water!). Our room looked out to the Matterhorn and this must be one of the world's most scenic spots for a hotel. The spa and pool area is just fantastic. The indoor pool area is quite spacious compared to most ski hotels and is well heated so can you relax by the pool in your swimming gear and read your book/iPad etc without any discomfort but the real treat is going to the outdoor pool where you can lie in luxurious heated water with lots of jacuzzi massaging jets while admiring the snow and Matterhorn in front of you - you can't help but sit there and think 'this is the life'!! Unusally, the outdoor jacuzzi pool was also relativey large so none of the problems of 10 people trying to jump into a hot tub that you find elsewhere!
Most importantly however, is the level of service. We have tended to ski in the US in recent years rather than Europe because of better service but kudos to ALL the staff at the Riffelalp - they were all terrific. We found them to be very frendly and efficient, and unusually for Europe compared to the US, were more than happy to go the extra mile to meet your requests. I noticed that when a guest asked for Turkey meat for breakfast, they promised they would get it in and sure enough, it was there the next day. The food at all three restaurants was of a very high standard. We enjoyed eating at all three and in the end, did not down to Zermatt for dinner as originally planned as there was more than enough variety within the hotel restaurants. Look out for their special desert buffet on Friday nights - fabulous deserts and loads of chocalate! A quick tip, although we were on the half Board plan and the suggested set menus were typically of a high standard, the staff were very accommodating if you wanted to change elements of the set menu, order from the a la carte or indeed off menu - if it was physically possible to meet your requests, they would do so with an enthusiastic "but of course that is possible", none of the "let me check with the manager if we can do this" nonsense that you get at some places. I give them top marks for how well trained their staff were (they all seem to speak 3 languages to a high standard) and their fantastic freindly attitude. I should also note that they seemed intent on filling us up - if you finished your steak, grilled lobster(!) or cheese fondue, they would ask if you wanted another serving - no penny pinching over size of meals here! I noticed a few people on this site asked about dress code. I would say it is the usual ski resort code, ie no need for jackets etc and smart casual was fine. That said, there was probably a higher percentage of patrons who made an effort compared to the norm but don't worry if all you have is jeans and shirt because your bag was full of ski gear.
In terms of location, it is set half way up the mountain in a very scenic but isolated spot that is accessible only by train. So if you want to go into Zermatt itself, this is a pleasant 15-20 min train ride back down, but you then need to pay attention to the train timetable as it is not that that frequent and changes depending on time of day. In particular, there are only two trains in the evening back to the hotel (from memory it was about 7:20 pm and 9:50 pm) so this can be a bit restrictive. Zermatt itself we found to be a very nice village with a good variety of restaurants. I am not sure I would stay in a downtown hotel for skiing though as going to and from the lifts/hotels by bus was not fun. We got our timings wrong one day and skied too long thus missed our connecting gondola back to the hotel so had to ski into town and catch the bus back to the central train station. The queue for the bus service was long and the bus was packed. Might be ok if your hotel arranges complimentary shuttle service but even then you have the hassle of calling ahead to meet you when you finish etc.

ABOUT SKIING:
I should start by noting that while the Riffelalp is a ski in ski out hotel, it is situated next to a red run that is not easy for nervous intermediates. In particular, the run down to the gondola lift is on the steep and relatively narrow side which is not helped by being a bit icy/scrapey (sp?!) first thing in the morning as it is in the shade. For good intermediates, this is not a problem, but I think if you are going with nervous intermediates, this can be a bit daunting. I struggled to decide what to rate the ski resort as it has big pluses and big minuses but have decided to rate the skiing 3 out of 5, the scenery 5 out of 5 and the linkage/lifts/access 2 out of 5. The skiing is best for confident intermediates - I would definitey not bring a beginner as there are very few beginner slopes and the intermediate runs are on the harder side, and there is not a lot for experts (I did all the black runs and they were not interesting at all). The ski resort is vast (ie includes both Zermatt and Cervinia) so that is a big plus but the runs themselves are very mixed. I disliked the way most of the runs seemed to be widened tracks or roads rather than wide pistes that you could explore. A real frustration is that a lot of the runs do in fact become tracks or roads that you have to traverse to connect between runs or lifts. There also seems to be an inordinate amount of uphill parts that require you to ski downhill flat out as you approach them to ensure you can go up the other side! Not a major problem but it can be annoying if you are not looking ahead and fail to spot you have an uphill part coming up and have to pole/skate the last 30 yards! For the red runs, it is curious, they tend to be on the steep and relatively narrow side so nervous intermediates will not enjoy them like the wide groomed slopes of Courcheval or many US slopes but on the other hand, competent intermediates will also not find them that interesting as they are well groomed so there are no moguls or variations or wide pistes that you can go off to explore (without going off piste). So overall, 3 out 5 for skiing. The scenery does however, make up for this and you have to ski in Zermatt at least once just to see the glorious alpine scenery and having the Matterhorn constantly in the background is just amazing - plenty of Kodak moments (or should that be Samsung/iPhone moments?!). Finally, the lifts - I was told this has improved in recent years but this was a big bug bear of mine. The lift system is not well thought out and connecting between runs and mountains (ie Zermatt/Cervinia) is not smooth. To get to the top of mountains can require a lot of interchanging between lifts and gondolas which is really annoying. I think I spent more time on gondolas and taking my skis on and off on this trip than any other. Incredibly, on the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise side, they still have old T-bars for one of the more longer and critical routes - I really can't believe that for such a critical lift, they have not replaced this with a high speed chair lift and it is very frustrating to wait in long queues and then have an even longer slow T-Bar ride to the top - the owners should feel embarrased about this state of affairs. So a generous 2 out of 5 for lift access!

Overall, I would highly recommend the Riffealp resourt - one of the best hotels/service we have enjoyed. I would also say that on balance, it is worth going to Zermatt for the skiing if only once for the scenery. But until they sort out the lifts situation, I am unlikely to return for skiing which is sad because the resort deserves better than that given how pretty it is and how good the service is. I would however, return in summer as the hotel is great and the walks would be amazing.

Room Tip: Definitely ask for a room that faces the Matterhorn and if necessary, pay the premium that might be...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London UK
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

For me to give this five stars it has to be good. It is VERY expensive. But it is worth every penny.

Location is excellent (for views, ambiance and for skiing), service is superb (without being obsequious), food very good, facilities are excellent…I could go on.

How about a boot room with leather sofas and someone to help you put on your boots? Or a well heated outdoor pool with view of Matterhorn? Or a fitness centre with 3 different saunas and a steam room? Or three different restaurants, all serving good food?

But mortgage the house first. Did I mention it was expensive?

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Riffelalp with two other families and a total of 14 Adults and children. The arrival on the gornergratbahn and then the hotels proprietary mini-train set the mood and stage for the spectacular setting and view of the Matterhorn. The rooms were all terrific, but the two suites overlooking the Matterhorn were among the best hotel rooms we'd ever seen (large, bright, incredible views and balconies, modern baths, traditional furnishings, etc). The restaurants were very good, if a little expensive, and they even invited us into the kitchen to see how certain Swiss dishes were prepared. The kids could run around by themselves without any fear of getting lost in this quiet location, which we could never have allowed in the town of zermatt. The hiking trails are at the front door of the hotel, which was another great plus. The kids also loved the bowling alley in the basement, complete with bar service. In all, the hotel is a great way to do zermatt away from the craziness of town. The dependence on the cog wheel train forces you to plan any evenings in town, especially with kids, but that's not a big deal.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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florida
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

What a fantastic place? 2222 meters altitude above Zermatt, with outrageous views of the Matterhorn. Staff were all great. Restaurant was delicious. Sheep were grazing on the hotel lawn. Sitting outside at the bar after a great hike, sipping a cold drink, listening to the deafening silence, while staring a the Matterhorn, was like heaven.

Room Tip: Going up and down to Zermatt on the train is expensive. The room rate includes this journey on check...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

I made a unintentional mistake during the booking - and immediately tried to cancel - but the hotel wouldn't allow any changes and charged me the full nightly rate (over the christmas/NYE period) even though i am sure they were able to rebook the room to someone else immediately.

A single bad experience with the service has put me off ever staying here, although i understand there are two sides to every street and it was my mistake.

Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ballyshannon, Ireland
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012 via mobile

Located well above Zermatt, with access to town basically only by the Gornergrat cog Train. Wonderfully secluded 5 star hotel on a small plateau, with stunning views of The Matternhorn and the surrounding peaks. Go there if you like nature, peace & quiet, hiking (summer) or skiing (winter, although you can glacier ski in summer), and a luxury hotel with excellent service, good albeit expensive food, an outdoor pool, spa, and even an indoor bowling alley! We've been there three summers in a row, loving it each time. Tips: (1) stay in the Chalet, and get a room overlooking the Matterhorn. (2) Eat lunch at a small restaurant just outside the hotel called Alphitta -- less expensive & cosy. (3) After arrival at the hotel, purchase from the railway station there a multiday pass for all the Zermatt lifts & trains as this will payout instantly if you want to go to the top of the Klein Matterhorn even once. (4) Bring binocs and watch the Matterhorn climbers set off climbing as of 0400 or so. (5) If you like hiking, after breakfast walk up to the Gornergrat via Mark Twain Trail, a good 3 hr walk. Enjoy the top, take the train back to the hotel, eat lunch at Alphitta, relax the rest of the day in the spa and outdoor pool.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riffelalp Resort 2222 m

Address: Zermatt 3920, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Swiss Alps > Valais > Zermatt
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Ski-In / Ski-Out Hotel in Zermatt
#17 Family Hotel in Zermatt
#22 Luxury Hotel in Zermatt
#36 Romantic Hotel in Zermatt
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Riffelalp Resort 2222 m 5*
Number of rooms: 72
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riffelalp Hotel Zermatt

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