We booked a week of skiing through Inghams and had the best stay ever on a half board basis from Birmingham. We are seasoned skiers and have stayed (and put up with) some really basic establishments - we have even come to expect minute bedrooms with a tiny hanging wardrobe (useless for the layers needed to keep warm), no drawers, a study in twisting and balancing gymnastics for a bathroom, cold and/or very meagre breakfast, very filling dinner but not particularly adventurous, etc., etc. Most skiing families will nod resignedly at this description, I think. However, The Alex was absolutely the opposite! The rooms were modern and huge, the bathrooms contained a bath and separate shower, there was plenty of wardrobe space with SHELVES, curtains closed properly and were very pretty and lined, the bed linen was delightful and changed every day (as were the towels, if left on the floor), the rooms were cleaned daily, and the beds were turned down in the evenings. As for the food: outstanding! A four or usually five course meal served every evening (no night off) and prepared and cooked to the highest culinary standards. Examples include (i) snails in asparagus soup (ii) Swiss Beef Wellington - beef fillet and mushrooms wrapped in bread, instead of pastry (iii) an enormous salad bar on alternate nights with different themes (fish, cold meats, cheeses, smoked fish and meat). There was so much delicious food offered on the set menu - and if you don't eat something, they seemed always willing to supply a plainer alternative at no extra cost. There was an a la carte menu too, which non-residents seemed to be enjoying (at a price, of course). Nothing in Zermatt is cheap, and neither was this hotel, but it certainly was worth every penny, we felt.
The decor was beautiful: wooden carved ceilings, hundreds of artifacts everywhere in different nooks and crannies for guests to stand and admire or even just talk about. The furniture was plush and comfortable, arranged in lots of horseshoes and circles throughout the large lounge area. Big comfy cushions were scattered everywhere and there was a very contented atmosphere in the evenings emanating from tired but happy skiers.
The boot room must be mentioned: you could hold a party in it!! You can actually bend down without knocking into someone or something! The lockers are room numbered and have heated boot racks inside. The door for access to the outside is movement-sensitive, no combination of numbers nor a free hand required - yay!
The hotel is about a three minute walk from the station, but they do send an electric taxi to collect you and your luggage when arriving and departing.
The indoor pool is wonderful - if a little chilly. There is a big jacuzzi right next to it, however, which is lovely and warm. The tennis court is underground, and despite all of us taking our kit in case the snow conditions prohibited skiing one day, we never did more than just check it out (looked great). The two younger children (20 and 23) played squash on two evenings and loved it, whilst the rest of us (husband and 25 year old) lounged about "recovering" after a hard day on the slopes...
Yes, the cost of this holiday, per person, was about double the usual base amount - but really, really worth it! Can't sing the hotel's praises loudly enough!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Popular Valais Hotel in 5-story chalet built of stone & natural wood, with side courtyard & abstract-art mural on front. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Alex Hotel Zermatt