Dreams do come true, after all!
During a gorgeous autumn hike in Zermatt, we decided that one winter, we would ski that glacier at the foot of the Matterhorn. Two months later, we are back with our ski gear to do just that! Thanks to a generous invite by the CERVO Mountain Boutique Resort, we will get to shred those slopes and indulge at a five-star resort.
What makes the CERVO Mountain Boutique Resort so unique
In short: the CERVO is unlike any other resort we have ever visited. Instead of a single hotel building, the three dozen rooms and suites are scattered among six chalets on a hillside above Zermatt. And depending on the room class and floor, there are fantastic Matterhorn views right from the balcony.
Each of the chalets has its own private spa on the ground floor, turning the wellness experience ever more intimate. Mere steps from our room, we find a Finish sauna, an herbal steam sauna, a relaxing room and an outdoor hot tub! With only a few guests sharing each spa area, this is among the most exclusive experiences we have had in Switzerland.
Back in our room, we marvel at the materials and textures used in the interior design. The plaid wall coverings made of fabric combined with white tiles and honest wood furniture make for a cozy atmosphere. High-end brands such as Swedish bath products from L:A BRUKET or Bose speakers add to the luxury.
So far, this resort feels perfect for modern travelers who appreciate a touch of alpine chic. (Us!)
A hipster walks into a hunters lodge...
Short of calling the CERVO an alpine hipster hotel, we do notice the mature selection of interesting magazine titles in our room - including my favorite MONOCLE magazine. (The lobby's library with its curated design books is quite a treasure trove for bookworms and aficionados, by the way.)
Given that the minibar and snacks are included in the room price, there is barely a reason to leave our little chalet. We did hear about the bar menu deserving its own star rating, though. So we bundle up and take the short stroll to the main building, a converted chalet from the 1950's that houses the lobby and the restaurants. There is no such thing as an underground tunnel. But then, having your very own chalet in this sanctuary is what makes a stay at the CERVO so different!
Aperitif drinks à gogo at the Grapes&Juniper speakeasy
It is only Friday night and our weekend is already in full swing. Daniel Lauber, the ingenious brain behind the CERVO Mountain Boutique Resort, has converted one of the buildings into a modern day speakeasy. The entrance door is small even for average sized folks like us - let alone for the tall host.
Inside this hidden space, there are rows upon rows of drawers for wine storage. Opposite, a wall of shelves with gin bottles of all shapes and sizes. The whole place reminds of a pharmacy, or rather of an alchemist's laboratory.
As we will find out, the gin menu is ginormous. From Swiss gins such as Deux Frères or Tschin to Brooklyn Small Batch, the CERVO knows how to please gin lovers. (Us!)
If gin doesn't ring your bell, ask for the (compelling) in-house brew: "The Huntsman" beer is the perfect refreshment after mountain activities such as skiing - or hunting!
Then, the CERVO kitchen wraps us around their little finger.
Dinner is served at the in-house Restaurant CERVO Puro with its 14 Gault-Millau points. We are hopelessly overwhelmed at the à la carte menu: there are lots of market fresh dishes with an Alpine touch, such as a winter salad with pumpkin and warm goat cheese. Or take the slowly cooked octopus in herbal oil with dried apricots from Valais, dried tomatoes, fermented garlic, mint and lime.
And what's a luxurious dinner without a bowl of sorbet to top it off? Mamiko is in heaven:
There's something to be said about the CERVO's breakfast buffet, too.
The next morning, we reconvene at the same restaurant with its eclectic hunting trophies. At the breakfast buffet, we see many familiar faces from dinner. Among the friendly staff is Daniel who is catching up with his guests. This familiar touch is the very essence of what a boutique resort like the CERVO can offer.
It definitely feels more like having breakfast at a friend's house than at a hotel. That's as long as this friend can prepare a poached egg sandwich with avocado as tasty as this:
Or Belgian waffles like these!
On today's program: skiing on the famous slopes of Zermatt-Matterhorn!
The CERVO is the only ski-in/ski-out hotel in the village of Zermatt. It has been a rather mild start to the winter, so we have to climb up to the glacier in order to hit the slopes. But someday, we want to return and ski straight to the entrance door of the CERVO...
Zermatt boasts no less than 360 kilometers of slopes. And with this being the start of the season, we pretty much own those powdery glacier runs.
And then there is the Italian side with yet more slopes! We will have to explore that another day because we are known to get into trouble by not doing our research beforehand... They're ski runs across an international border, after all!
That Matterhorn though. Can you ever have enough of it?
CERVO Mountain Boutique Resort
Phone +41 27 968 12 12
(As part of this research trip, the CERVO has generously invited us for two nights, including dinner.)