Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Over Easter, J and I visited the storied little Alpine town of Zermatt and stayed at The Omnia for three nights. The Omnia was actually a hotel recommended by one of my IG followers - and yeah I’m definitely taking way more recs from you guys from now on because this was honestly one of the best hotel experiences of my life. I didn’t even know where Zermatt was on a map before this, I just wanted to check out the hype surrounding this hotel. But getting there is a bit of a trek. Let me explain below, and skip it if you’re a Swiss transport expert.
Transportation: Geneva to Zermatt by train
The Swiss Rail website is a pain in the ass to maneuver for people who don’t speak German. I screwed up a few times on the booking site because there were a few things I wasn’t aware of. Keep the below in mind:
The half-fare discount option when booking tickets is absolutely too good to be true. Do not tick it unless you are planning on multiple train journeys other than the round trip between Geneva – Zermatt because otherwise it probably won’t be worth it. The reason for this is because you actually need to buy SEPARATE half-fare cards (109 euros per person) at https://www.swiss-pass.ch/de/swiss-half-fare-card-halbtax/.
Geneve Aeroport refers to the airport (obviously). Geneve refers to the city center stop, address is Place de Cornavin 7, 1201 Genève, Switzerland.
The train station is only about 2 minutes away from the arrivals hall in Geneva airport. Don’t worry about having to rush to catch a train, because it’s literally connected to the airport.
The train ticket is valid for a day or two, so also don’t worry about catching the exact train you booked for.
First class tickets are worth it. Very empty and cosy, especially since you’re looking at a four-hour journey.
No food or drinks served on the train. Make sure to stock up on snacks and water at the many food shops in the station.
If you’re all aware of the above, which took me a good few days to figure out on my own, then the rest is pretty easy. Hop on the train from the airport, switch trains at Visp to a more scenic train with open windows and amazing views, and you’re in Zermatt in no time.
I’d been emailing the hotel reception for a few weeks prior to our arrival to secure restaurant bookings and snowboarding lessons for J. The staff were extremely helpful and responsive, and even gave me a list of restaurants nearby with their descriptions to refer to. Each and every booking turned out fantastic, by the way, and I only wish I’d tried out Zum See (open for dinner only), which I found out about too late from chef friends. Places I tried include cheese fondue specialist & local gem Zermatterstubli, beautiful alfresco terrace restaurant Cervo Terrasse and the hotel’s own fine dining restaurant, The Omnia.
Upon arrival at Zermatt train station, an electric car from The Omnia picked us up and transported us to the hotel (~5 mins ride). For the first time in my life, I didn’t care much about the room being ready (which it was) and wanted to hang out on the hotel grounds first because it was that beautiful. We sipped some bubbly and sat on the terrace overlooking the town and the snow-capped mountains in the back. I even had a casual schnitzel to snack on, and it tasted (can I say this) even better than the ones I had in Austria. Now more about this hotel.
The Vibe: Rustic Elegance
Think cosy yet refined Swiss mountain lodge. When you step into the lobby, there’s a roaring fireplace that comes to life in the evenings, and a social living room area with a chic little library in the back with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. There’s always someone at the front desk to greet you on your way in or out, and to provide oh so helpful tips on your itinerary. The hotel is designed by New York architect Ali Tayar, known for his American modernist style. Room are denoted by alphabetical letters instead of numbers, as there are no discernible ‘floors’ due to the architecture of the hotel – you’ll see what I mean when you get there.
The Room: Corner Suite
We stayed in Room S, a corner suite with a living room, two bathrooms, two terraces, and master bedroom. The balconies overlook stunning views of the Alps and the surrounding town (note that The Omnia is situated on a rock 45m above the town). Sadly no view of the Matterhorn, but you can view that from the terrace next to the lobby while sipping on a cocktail ;) The bathroom amenities are by Aesop, no less, and there’s also a dining table perfect for a romantic night in with room service. I’m not sure if the hard-ish foam mattress is for everyone, but I personally prefer a firmer bed and had a five star snooze. I’ll let the pics do the talking now.
The Restaurant: Breakfast to Fine Dining
The breakfast includes a simple spread of bread, pastries, cold cuts, cheeses and yogurt. You can also order eggs and the like off the a la carte menu. For dinner, the restaurant serves up fine Swiss gastronomy, which is available via chef’s tasting menu or a la carte. Since it was pretty late when we arrived to the restaurant and I had stuffed myself with schnitzel and potatoes a few hours before, we opted for the a la carte meal. Every dish was fab, from the delicate seasonal amuse-bouche to the Thai-influenced lobster bisque starter and my main of truffle tagliolini made with fresh, homemade pasta. I have to admit the flavour-packed richness of Swiss cuisine ended up getting to me (and my sensitive stomach) by the end of our trip.
I spent maybe 30% of my stay at The Omnia at the beautiful indoor pool, steam room, sauna and outdoor Jacuzzi. The pool is surrounded by torches that are lit up at night -- see the last pic below. I also did one of the aromatherapy oil massages offered at the hotel (avg 220CHF) while J was snowboarding. The masseuse was very good, and I fell into a state of total bliss after the hour and 20 minutes were up. I would highly recommend the Lomi Lomi massage while you’re there.
For more info, feel free to DM me on Instagram @furellie.
Tel: +41 27 966 71 71
Address: Auf dem Fels, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
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