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Successful Zermatt

The main constant of course is the most obvious one. The Matterhorn, the tallest “free standing” mountain (whatever that is) in Europe. This is the biggest draw. Directly beneath it, in fact nursing from it, is the glacier.
The glacier is as old as time and-whether you appreciate this statement or not, it holds many secrets. Glaciers give up their secrets occasionally; sometimes they regurgitate a Roman warrior swallowed while trying to make his way home from the heat of battle.Or sometimes it throws some ancient coins or artifacts at you, and allows those that do this for a living to ponder on what may have been way back then. But mostly glaciers keep their secrets; they’re consistent at that.

Hotel Alpenhof

But the glacier at the Klein Matterhorn-that’s its stage name by the way-it’s consistent. It provides day in and day out, year in and year out, snow for skiers to ski on. Summer, winter, spring and fall, if you can’t ski on the glacier under the Matterhorn-you can’t ski at all. Sure some days are better than others, and some days the weather is so fierce you can’t ski even if you wanted to, but the snow is there.

And my bet is that it always will be, regardless what they say about global warming. So are you getting the picture? Consistent majestic beauty, consistent snow sports playground, jeez-what else is there? Well plenty as it turns out, and they too all have to do with the theme of consistency.

What about one of the main factors of any holiday, the hotels?  Are they too, consistent? You can bet your last Franc they are. You book into a Zermatt 3 star, and you have got, most likely, a family-run gem that’s going to give you a first time feeling like you are a seasoned and frequent visitor. If a taste of luxury is your idea of the perfect holiday, any of Zermatt’s countless, consistently excellent 4-star entries have pulled out all the stops. Never over the top mind you, just the right touch of glamour and luxury to make you feel at home, and at the same time, special.

And what about eating out? Chances are you’ll be doing plenty of that too. Is that consistent? You guessed it! It is this writer’s sincere opinion that they are. Rarely, very rarely, do you get a bad meal in Zermatt’s hotels or restaurants. Yes some are better than others, but few, if any are downright bad. The same holds true, again in my opinion, for such necessities as equipment rental in Zermatt’s sports shops. 

There is a high, consistent degree of quality that carries from the equipment to the professionals that sell it, or rent it, or fit it. You’ll see. And the theme goes on! But Zermatt cannot boast of being consistent if it is simply a ski resort. It’s not. Nor could it make that claim if it only provided activities in some seasons, for some people. It does not. It is a truly year round resort, and it truly provides a range of activities to appeal to everyone in your party, or family.

And although Zermatt provides accommodation that runs an entire price range, from camping, to youth hostel, to 5 star luxury, it is in no way consistently cheap. But consistency raises its head again in the value of the place. Nowhere in the Alps is the adage so true-you gets what you pay for.

Bill Fogarty

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