Zen in Zermatt

Written by Dena Roché

November 17, 2023
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Nestled in the mountains, THE OMNIA is a luxurious mountain ski chalet in the Swiss Alps. With stelllar views, it’s Zermatt at its best.

After arriving in car-less Zermatt by train, my husband and I are picked up in a vehicle that I joke looks like a tuk-tuk station wagon. We’re whisked through the crowded streets before turning down a small side road and barreling towards a glass door that opens at the last minute and deposits us in THE OMNIA hotel’s cave-like entrance. I must say I felt like Batman returning to the Bat Cave. A cooler arrival at a hotel I have not had.

An elevator quickly sent us up to the hotel’s lobby that sits 5,400 feet above sea level, and we were greeted with a big smile and led to the terrace to enjoy a glass of Champagne and drink in the view of the Matterhorn to one side and the town center to the other. The hotel has an enviable location above the touristy town, making it more private and quiet, but thanks to the elevator, it only takes about two minutes to be in the thick of it.

Alpine Architecture

Unlike many cute Swiss chalet-style hotels, the 30-room OMNIA is a sophisticated update to the traditional style, marrying wood, steel, and contemporary furnishings. Designed by New York-based architect Ali Tayar, the hotel brings a touch of the modern luxurious American mountain lodge to the Swiss Alps.

The hotel’s interior is a warm, modern, minimalistic style. Furnishings were inspired by the rich traditions of the Valais canton, where Zermatt is located. Tayar designed most of the pieces, which were handcrafted by Swiss artisans in the region. The result is a space that brings the Zen to Zermatt.

Exterior shot in summer of the Omnia

Tradition and Modern combine to create an American-style mountain lodge in the Alps. Photo courtesy of THE OMNIA

The Suite Life

After we finished our bubbles on the terrace, we were escorted to our room—the Tower Suite. Opening the door and being met with a perfectly framed view of the Matterhorn, I wondered how much time I would want to spend outside this sanctuary.

While the view out the window is iconic, the view inside isn’t bad either. The focal point of the two-room suite is a circular living room with floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the scenery from a fantastic semi-circle sofa. There’s even a telescope in the living room to have a bullseye view of the Matterhorn.

In the bedroom, more full-length windows let in the view of the mountain, and I can’t wait to wake up to the sun rising over the Matterhorn. A chaise lounge nestled by the window will be the perfect viewing spot.

The suite boasts two bathrooms and a closet dressing area. Like the hotel’s public space, the décor is modern, neutral, and almost Scandinavian.

Tower Suite at Omnia

Beautiful interiors and views in the Tower Suite. Photo courtesy of THE OMNIA

Mountain Wellness

One of my favorite things about Swiss hotels are pools that let you effortlessly swim from inside to out. Thankfully, it was a surprisingly warm September day, and the weather was summer-like as we relaxed in the pool and hot tub, enjoying the view. Guests can also enjoy a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, flower steam room, and caldarium.

While THE OMNIA’s spa is small, you shouldn’t miss booking the signature massage with Sondra as your therapist. The treatment incorporates stones retrieved from the top of the Matterhorn by Sondra’s friend and polished to perfection to use in the service. Sondra told me the stones have special energy from the mountain and will release any blocked energy in me.

As a trained reflexologist, Sondra starts the massage by doing a full-body scan based on what she feels in my feet. She tells me my kidneys are sluggish because I ate and drank too much the night before (gulp, guilty as charged), my right knee might be acting up (yep), and my back is a nightmare of knots (correct again). Based on what she found, she tailored the massage to alleviate pain and promote detoxification.

Swimming pool at The Omnia

A wellness sanctuary at THE OMNIA. Photo courtesy of THE OMNIA

Gourmet Eats

The detoxification doesn’t last long with Chef Tony Rudolph in the kitchen. The first time we went to the restaurant, we were met with an enthusiastic “Good Evening” and asked if we wanted to unwind by the fire with a drink before starting the meal. It made it feel like we were dining in a friend’s home, and is a nice touch. As more guests arrived, I noticed the staff seemed to know everyone and effortlessly greeted them in English, French, or German, depending on their native language.

Unlike many restaurants, OMNIA focuses on local vegetables, with proteins as side dishes. The menu changes often, but if the Valais mushroom dumplings are on the menu, you must order them. Classics like Raclette and Wiener Schnitzel are signature items. Usually, I try to avoid filling up on bread, but it was hard to resist when it came piping hot, served with an intriguing smoked butter and a lentil carrot spread that I liked despite hating carrots.

If you’re unfamiliar with Swiss wine, here’s your chance to try it. Petite Arvine is always a great choice, but for something even more daring, try the Heida Glacierwine, made from grapes from the highest vineyard in Switzerland.

Breakfasts in the restaurant are also a treat with local cheeses, homemade Nutella with an array of bread to spread it on, made-to-order eggs, and the best pain au chocolat I had in Switzerland.

The restaurant at The Omnia

A home-like atmosphere at the restaurant at OMNIA. Photo courtesy of THE OMNIA

A Day in Nature

To burn off all the food we ate at THE OMNIA, we decided to spend the day hiking, not at the Matterhorn because we’re not sadists, but at Sunnegga. It’s the ideal hike because we took the Sunnegga funicular, which costs about $30 roundtrip, as opposed to other hikes where we would need to take a train that somehow costs $200!

We don’t think we missed anything by opting for the cheaper option. The views of the Matterhorn were fantastic as we spread out our picnic supplies to enjoy it as we fueled up for the hike that took us to two mountain lakes.

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Finding Your Zen in Zermatt

Zermatt and its Matterhorn are iconic symbols of Switzerland, and there’s no better base to explore the area from than THE OMNIA. We invite you to explore Wander With Wonder for more things to do in Switzerland and our favorite places for skiing and hiking. We also share some of our favorite luxury hotels around the world.

Nestled in the mountains, THE OMNIA is a luxurious mountain ski chalet in the Swiss Alps. With stelllar views, it's Zermatt at its best. | Places to Ski in Switzerland | Luxury Hotels in Switzerland | Where to Stay in Zermatt | Luxury Hotels Near the Matterhorn | Best Hotels in Switzerland | Ski Chalets in Switzerland

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Zen in Zermatt

Written by Dena Roché

Dena Roché is an experienced travel journalist who focuses on wine, wellness, and luxury travel. She’s published with BBC, American Way, United Hemispheres, Marriott, Trivago, and more. You can find her on Instagram @denaroche

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