We recently holidayed at Chalet Lani in Zermatt, Switzerland. We have holidayed in Zermatt as a large family group, on a number of occasions, but not with this particular company.
This company was less than professional, inefficient and inhospitable. Zermatt Holiday Aparments was certainly left wanting.
Our train was half an hour late on arrival, highly unusual for Swiss transport, but our welcoming host was no where to be seen. We telephoned and received very short shrift as if it was our fault. We where then taxied to our chalet. We were shown in and everyone got their bearings. Our host suddenly shouted across the room "Is anyone going to listen to me?" diligently, and suitably chastised, I sat down and listened to her explain some things to us, or rahter command things! There will be no showers of baths after 9pm FULL STOP, the pipes make too much noise for the elderly couple upstairs (sorry but this is a chalet for potentially 12 guests and not everyone can be showered etc before 9pm, if this is a problem for the upstairs inhabitants, then the chalet should not be let out for rent) as it turned out it needen't have mattered as there was no hot water much after 6pm!!!
All waste is now recycled and we were shown the three bags in which to put metal, plastic and paper. These, we were told, would be emptied by the maid. We filled these as requested and when they were overflowing, attempted to recycle in the nearest bins to our chalet-unfortunately, the infrastructure seems to be in its infancy and there were no bins available for metal or plastic - only paper, card and glass in the entire village (to our knowledge). No maid visited during our week stay, therefore, we had three overflowing bags and one other of food waste - that had nowhere to go! We never ever leave an untidy chalet but this time, and due to our treatment whilst there, we decided, reluctantly, to leave it.
The advert on the website for Chalet Lani states that;
1. Bed linen will be provided - I'm sure 6 of our party were pleased to see that that meant sleeping bags.
2. Toaster/Kettle in Kitchen - A 2 slice toaster that went out with the ark and a small embarassing kettle! Great for such a "small" party as ours! It meant making breakfast a time keepers nightmare.
3. Washing Machine/Laundry facilities - Cellar door locked, so we texted requesting access - not allowed, but we were told the door would be opened shortly that day and will be locked again in the evening. What do think we'd do with it?
4. Central Heating - Intermittant and not controllable - so some rooms were freezing and others roasting.
5. Kithen Utensils - We had to buy our own can opener, which we consider to be an essential.
6. Microwave Oven - So micro there wasn't one!
7. Hairdryer - When we phone to ask its location - There are two came the surly reply. We searched hi and lo, without success. Eventually we had one delivered to us, circa 1960!
In the middle of the week, we had a phonecall from the owner/rental company informing us that apparently our deposit had not gone into their bank account - in October!!!!! Why on earth this wasn't discovered by them before we arrived in Switzerland 2 months later is a mystery, it could have been resolved with very little fuss. So numerous phonecalls back to our UK bank until it was sorted. The owner certainly needs a few courtesy lessons on how to be hospitable. Surely a visit to us and maybe a statement i.e. "Sorry to bother you, but there seems to be a discrepency with the deposit, do you think you might look into it at your earliest convenience - not just as we all step out the chalet to go skiing at 8;30am!
The day before our very early morning departure, we confirmed by text that we required two taxis at 5am. At 4;50am one taxi arrived. We put some of the luggage and group in the first taxi. At 5am, we asked where the second taxi was and were told that all 9 of us, plus luggage were going in the one taxi - unbelievable - not unlike a sardine tin. Then when we were dropped off at the station the driver asked for the fare. we told him to get it from the owner, in no uncertain terms.
Would we recommend this company to any of our friends - no - definitely not. The owner is probably the only unpleasant person we have ever met in this beautiful mountain village and we have been visiting here for the past 30 years, culminating in 12 or so stays. However, one gentleman at the company office, who answered the phone, was very helpful and polite. Unfortunately we didn't get his name.
On the bighter side - Zermatt never falls to intoxicate you with its beautiful vistas, magnificant Matterhorn, fabulous restaurants and bars, amazing skiing and apres ski. Welcoming people and the overwhelming feeling of actually being in a Christmas card. A truly magical place to visit. We love it.