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Zermatt at Christmas

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thinking about Xmas 2019 as I like to get flights sorted and accommodation asap as we have to do school holidays.
Thinking about heading to Zermatt. We have been to SaaS Fee twice, but at Easter. Like Switzerland and know about the prices!
We have a 9 year old who does face training here and likes a bit of boarding too. We are happy on blues and gentle reds. Not crazy about skiing first lift to last! So like a bit of 'alpine atmosphere' .

We don't kind self catering noticeably don't want to be carrying gear too far.

Any tips on accommodation and is it a sensible idea?

Thanks in advance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It’s a great idea, Zermatt's a lovely place at Christmas. Last time we were there we stayed at the Couronne which was excellent.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Cheers @telford_mike. It does look lovely. We have done Scandinavia for Xmas (doing Finland this year again)so thought a change of place for next year. Probably look at flights to Zurich rather than Geneva then train.
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Pick the accommodation very carefully.

Zermatt is a town with a ski area.

The base is not skier-friendly and there is a lot of bussing or walking.

Pick a hotel near a big lift.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The Couronne is excellent value as Mike says. It is on the river and 150 yards to the bus stop. You do not need to be near a lift, just a bus stop. Amazingly if you have a town, all accomodation is not on the slopes. This is sometimes difficult to grasp, especially for our last poster.
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It's pretty hard to go wrong in Zermatt accommodation wise. Three star hotels are often as good quality as four stars elsewhere. Often the only reason they don't have four stars is because there is no pool on site, for example. If that matters to you many of the hotels with pools allow access to non residents for a small fee. You don't mention your general budget and you are clearly aware it's not cheap. However if you are keen to be near a lift station then a selection near the Sunnegga lift station include the Alpenhof, The Admiral, the Schonegg The Perren and the Parnass.
The Couronne, Bellerive, Rex, Julen and Daniela are more 'central' not near any lift in particular but close to bars, restaurants etc and near bus stops. There are a number up by the Klein Matterhorn lift which are convenient for quick access to that bubble in the morning but our own preference is to be more central or close to the Sunnegga lift station with east access to shops, apres ski bars cafes etc.
Another factor is if you do decide to self cater then being up by the Klein Matterhorn base station puts you furthest away from supermarkets and a long walk with shopping...
If you do want an apartment, there is an extensive list on the Zermatt.ch website at all price ranges. There are some very nice new buildings up in Winkelmatten but that is probably the longest walk (uphill!) from the centre, though it is very peaceful.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'd echo the comments about location. Zermatt's appeal is that it's a real historic town. That's also its Achilles heel - real towns aren't designed for skiing convenience.

We stayed in a lovely hotel few years ago that was 5 minutes' walk from the lift. That was five minutes in sensible shoes without skis and with no ice on the path, though. Carrying skis and wearing ski boots, the steep walk down to the lift was a dangerous nightmare with children each morning.

Unless things have changed, I wouldn't rely in the bus: beware of massive queues and even more massive overcrowding. On the couple of occasions where we ended the day at the wrong end of town, we took an outrageously priced taxi rather than face the scrum for the bus with exhausted kids.

So I'd study the location of any hotel pretty carefully, and look for contour lines crossing any footpath between you and the lifts. If you can avoid the buses and walking, you'll have a great time.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@lpsmc1, Zermatt is superb at Xmas. It has a fantastic feel to it. Mind you a lot of that comes from it being blanketed in snow. While the ski area is in very good shape the town has lost all of its snow to the damn rain. Plenty of time for that to be put right.

The one caveat is because you have been to Saas Fee at Easter. Zermatt, for obvious reasons of geographical proximity and similar height, is fairly similar to Saas Fee. It is high and mainly north facing. While that is good in getting the season started early and lasting a long time, it can mean that at Xmas time it can feel cold and dark. That is not a problem for sitting in bars and restaurants or wandering the streets with other festive people. But it does mean the time up on the pistes might not be as enjoyable as an Easter break.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Adding onto location, there are 3 lifts up. The train, which leaves by the main railway station at the northern end of the main street, Sunnegga, which is around 400 metres away, and Matterhorn Gondola which is around 1km south of Sunnegga. The Le Couronne Hotel is pretty much equidistant away from all of them but next to a bus stop. You may have to wait for 2 buses max in the morning if busy (never been at half term though). Coming back from the Matterhorn end late on is problematic, and busy. The Taxis take 6 with skis (cosy though) and have a flat fare of 12 Francs. If you base yourself near to the train station and Sunnegga lift, and then budget for a couple of taxis in the week if coming down from the Matterhorn end -sorted. It is a holiday, and 12 francs after you have seen the price of wine in restaurants will seem like nothing! Or like me go as far away from all the lifts but next to a Bus stop, and the best bar (Papperla), and this is your other option. Maps available, so its easy to sort yourself, but that's what I did. Worth saying that Taxis to and from lifts morning and night would be 144 francs. This is door to door for up to 6 people- possibly could be considered acceptable value if at least 4 of you. You should not need this as with a small amount of planning you can come down to the Sunnegga lift end, or the Matterhorn end, or indeed take a small train ride down (against the grain for me unless knackered) right into the centre. Either way Zermatt is just magical as far as I'm concerened, so I would heartily recommend it. snowHead
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Cheers for all your replies. Looking like a definitely! SaaS Fee is quite spread out as again it's a village, not purpose built ski resort (don't fancy that, funny we love France for summer hols but don't fancy it for skiing though Isola might i tweet me). North facing is fine, used to cold and dark in Finland!
The options were zermatt for Xmas or look at trip over to Canada but not sure the travel is worth it. As I say we like our skiing but like the alpine holiday element too so Zermatt seems to tick all boxes.
Sorry about another question but I assume plenty of ski schools? We usually book junior some private lessons and let instructor take him where we won't venture!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Edit, this machine! I mean Isola might tempt me!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Cant help re Ski Schools I'm afraid. Hopefully someone will, or use the search facility, - bound to have been covered relatively recently
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
For the family members who want on piste lessons we generally use Summitt. They tend to be Brits or from English speaking countries. That has advantages and disadvantages. For us the former outweighs the latter (we are Brits)

https://www.summitskischool.com
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
twoodwar wrote:
The Couronne is excellent value as Mike says. It is on the river and 150 yards to the bus stop. You do not need to be near a lift, just a bus stop. Amazingly if you have a town, all accomodation is not on the slopes. This is sometimes difficult to grasp, especially for our last poster.


Ditto - Stayed here over Christmas about 6 years ago. Great staff. Close walk to shuttle and the ski valet and shop are very convenient. Excellent breakfast as well! And we ended up with some of the best ski conditions pre-Christmas that Zermatt had seen in decades. The slopes are not crowded until after Dec 25th. So if you can swing it to be there a few days before, then you might find yourself all by yourself on some of the piste runs. Will definitely go back some day....

Link to an older thread on my Christmas in Zermatt back in 2012.

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2177358&highlight=zermatt#2177358
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@twoodwar, you're right about the taxis. They may seem expensive when you're fumbling in your wallet, but, if you budget for them from the start as a necessary part of enjoying your non-slopeside Zermatt accommodation, the overall cost spread across a party pales into insignificance compared with the rest of a holiday. We certainly figured that the per-person cost of taxis was much better than the alternative of watching multiple overfull buses go past while we froze. A skiing holiday should be fun, and, to me, waiting for a bus is not fun.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
lpsmc1 wrote:
Sorry about another question but I assume plenty of ski schools? We usually book junior some private lessons and let instructor take him where we won't venture!
Another recommendation for a ski school: www.matterhorn-diamonds.com Newish ski school, run by a friend, very strong customer service ethos.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
JohnMo wrote:
For the family members who want on piste lessons we generally use Summitt. They tend to be Brits or from English speaking countries. That has advantages and disadvantages. For us the former outweighs the latter (we are Brits)

https://www.summitskischool.com


+1 for Summit
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