Why plan an incentive trip to Zermatt, Switzerland?
Bordering northern Italy, Zermatt, Switzerland is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise in the heart of the Swiss Alps. After receiving notoriety from the famous Matterhorn Mountain and those summitting it in 1865, this mountaineering and ski resort city has become a renowned bucket list destination. Boasting a wide array of winter and summer activities, traditional Swiss restaurants, fine dining, a large pedestrian shopping street, and iconic views of the Matterhorn, Zermatt is sure to not disappoint.
When you land, you’ll soon find that the journey to Zermatt is a beautiful part of the experience! Attendees can fly into Zurich International Airport (ZRH) or Geneva International Airport (GVA) and board one of the many high-speed trains available directly at each airport. Then, you’ll settle into private first-class seats and begin taking in the truly unique, jaw-dropping vistas. But, if you feel like taking a road trip, luxury sprinters (vans) could also be used to get you to your destination. However, you should be warned that Zermatt is a car-free village. While being car-free is part of its charm, it means attendees transferred by car will need to be dropped in the town of Tasch before continuing their journey via train to Zermatt.
Due to its elevation in the Alps, Zermatt boasts cold and snowy winters, with a sunny and mild spring and summer. We highly recommend visiting between late February and April for the best incentive travel experience. Ski conditions are still optimal, the days are longer, and the temperatures are mild, making it a perfect combination of ski fun and sun.
Zermatt Incentive-Quality Hotels
Built in 1960 and still family owned and operated, the Resort Hotel Alex offers a truly unique experience in Zermatt. This property is designed in the typical Swiss chalet style, with natural stone and wood found throughout. To set it apart, the original founders added creative flourishes such as hand-made furniture, exquisite carvings, and rich interiors. The décor alone will leave attendees captivated. The property has 84 rooms, 8 deluxe suites, and an expansive indoor spa with a heated indoor pool, three treatment rooms, and sauna facilities. They also have a large sporting complex that includes indoor squash courts, badminton, a full gym, and Zermatt’s only indoor tennis court.
And if that wasn’t enough, the hotel has four restaurants and bars on the property. This includes a cigar lounge, an outdoor terrace, and the expansive Alex Lounge. The Alex Grill offers a fine Swiss dining experience, while the private wine cellar, Bodega Bacchus, is the perfect fit for a group of 20 or fewer. Banquets and meetings can also be held in six function rooms found on the premises.
The Omnia, nestled atop a cliff near the village, offers a contemporary take on the traditional mountain lodge. Designed by late New York based architect Ali Tayar, the property offers a unique, modern option in Zermatt. The property has 30 rooms, 12 suites, a state-of-the-art wellness center, an indoor/outdoor pool, a Finnish sauna, a Turkish bath, a caldarium, a petal steam room, and two spa treatment rooms. It also has a gym that offers yoga and Pilates classes.
The hotel has three restaurants and bars on property. The Omnia Restaurant offers a la carte dining or a 4-course tasting menu with wine pairing. All ingredients are sourced locally, and the menu changes often. Directly off the Lounge Bar, the Board Room is an excellent choice for a small meeting location or cocktail hour for a group of 10.
Situated in the heart of the Bahnhofstrasse (the main shopping street in Zermatt), the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof boasts classic, Swiss elegance and modern comforts. The property was first opened in 1879, making it one of Zermatt’s oldest and most historic hotels. It has 77 guest rooms, with a mix of classic rooms and luxury suites. As far as opulent amenities, the hotel’s wellness zone, “Vita borni,” features a large pool, a sauna, multiple treatment rooms, and a gym.
You will find five restaurants and bars on property, offering a wide array of experiences and cuisine. The Michelin star nominated Prato Borni provides upscale, alpine gourmet dining, Brasserie Lusi offers cozy traditional Swiss cuisine, and saycheese provides the quintessential cheese fondue experience. If a business meeting is needed, the property has five banquet and conference rooms for 5-250 people.
Activities for Incentive Travel or President’s Club Trip in Zermatt
Named the Best Ski Resort in the Alps in 2020, Zermatt is one of only two ski resorts worldwide that offers 365 days of skiing and snowboarding. Also, it is one of the only ski resorts where attendees can ski in two countries in one day. In the morning, you can ski the Swiss Zermatt-Matterhorn area and trek into the Italian Breuil-Cervinia area in the afternoon. After stopping for a quick Italian lunch and espresso, you can go back to the Swiss side and ski into the village just in time to bring your group back together for après-ski (a French term meaning to socialize after a ski day).
With a total of 54 lifts and 148 slopes, and the highest international ski area at 3,899 meters above sea level, skiing in Zermatt is a must-do for attendees seeking snowy thrills.
The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is 3,883 meters above sea level. Accessible via gondola, this activity is great as a small group activity. After admiring the views from the gondola, attendees enjoy 360-degree scenes of the Matterhorn, the Breithorn, the Italian Alps, and on a clear day, Mont Blanc in France. After enjoying the wintery panoramas, they will descend 15 meters below the surface into the glacier to enjoy numerous ice sculptures, natural ice crystals, and a slide built out of ice.
For an enhanced experience, upgrade to the VIP Gondola. Sip champagne and ride in style to the Trockener Steg station before transferring to the final lift that will take you to the summit. The Star Lounge inside the Glacier Palace is available to host a small cocktail reception for 25 people or less.
The Gornergrat Bahn is Europe’s highest open-air cog railway. It departs directly from Zermatt and takes attendees to the summit of Gornergrat mountain. Along the way, attendees will enjoy some of the most beautiful views in the Swiss Alps, including larch forests, rocky ravines, and mountain lakes. The train ride also passes 29 mountains, including the Matterhorn and Dufourspitze (Switzerland’s highest peak). During the early spring season, a stop at the top could include ice sledding, a visit to the igloo village, and a delicious Swiss lunch before returning to town.
Hiking or Biking the Mountain Trails
Zermatt boasts hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, from beginner to advanced. Attendees can select their own adventure with this option and set out to explore. Mountain bike and e-bike rentals, along with trail maps, are readily available in the village. We highly recommend visiting one of the numerous chalets along your hike or bike to grab a local meal on your journey.
Off-Site Restaurants in Zermatt
Chez Vrony was transformed from a small mountain farmhouse to a Michelin-rated restaurant at 2100 meters above sea level. Its incredible views and delicious Swiss cuisine make it the perfect place to organize a small group lunch or après-ski for those skiing the slopes.
Named after Edward Whymper, the first person to ever ascend the Matterhorn, Whymper-Stube offers a cozy and rustic setting for a traditional Swiss fondue experience. Specializing in cheese fondue sessions with small groups, Whymper-Stube is an excellent option for an intimate group dinner. They also offer a selection of traditional starters, meat fondues, and raclette, all paired with local Swiss wines.
Located in the CERVO Mountain Resort, overlooking the village of Zermatt, Madre Nostra celebrates traditional Italian cuisine with a modern flair. The chef, who originates from Rome, creates hand-made pastas, fine fish and meat dishes, and offers a wide array of options for those with dietary restrictions (including gluten-free). Ingredients are all sourced locally to ensure freshness and to support the local agricultural industry.
Located in the Mont Cervin Palace, Grill Le Cervin is perfect for those that are meat or fish lovers. Indulge in classic grilled dishes prepared directly on an open grill in front of attendees. Plus, if you’re looking for an after-dinner coffee, pastry, or chocolate, the nearby Fuchs Bakery is something you won’t want to miss.
Looking for More Incentive Program Ideas?
When you want to focus on the beautiful Swiss vistas and not get lost in logistics, we can help you out. Our expertly trained personnel will guide you through the process and ask the right questions to ensure you create the experience of a lifetime. We’ll plan the perfect trip, so you do not have to stress over the details. Learn more about what we can do for you, or contact us today!