A Ritz-Carlton will be opening in Zermatt, Switzerland, and it’ll probably be the most luxurious ski resort in Europe that’s bookable with points.
Ritz-Carlton Zermatt opens 2026
Marriott has signed an agreement with Mario Julen to open a Ritz-Carlton in Zermatt, Switzerland. This will be Ritz-Carlton’s first ski resort in Europe, and the brand’s second property in the country, after the Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, in Geneva.
The catch is that the hotel will only open in 2026, so we’ll have to be patient. The hotel is expected to feature 69 guest rooms, so it will be boutique.
The property will feature unobstructed views of Matterhorn. Design plans show that the property will feature two restaurants and two bars, an outdoor terrace for alfresco dining, ski-in ski-out access to slopes, a spa and gym, and both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.
The property will be designed by Paris-based firm AW², led by partner architects Reda Amalou and Stéphanie Ledoux, with the architectural and interior design expected to offer a refined take on the classic mountain chalet.
Here are some renderings of the Ritz-Carlton Zermatt:
Ritz-Carlton Zermatt exterior
Ritz-Carlton Zermatt pool
Ritz-Carlton Zermatt spa
Here’s a video about the new hotel:
Why I’m excited about the Ritz-Carlton Zermatt
Personally I’m really excited about this property, as it should be an incredible opportunity to redeem points. I’ll try to control my excitement, though, given that we’ll have to wait five years.
No, I don’t ski — Ford is a skier and I’m an après skier. Once a year we try to go somewhere so he can ski, and I ultimately enjoy it. While I don’t love being in the cold, I sure do like sitting by a fireplace looking at snow. And I also enjoy the culture around skiing (namely sitting outside drinking alcohol with heaters).
The ski culture in Europe is so much more fun than in the US, though there aren’t many ski hotels you can book with points in Europe. For example, I’ve stayed at the W Verbier, which was lovely, though I’m not sure I need to return. Having another option that will likely be even nicer is something to look forward to.
W Hotel Verbier
Also being developed in Europe is the Alila La Gruyère, Switzerland, which will feature 85 guest rooms. As a World of Hyatt Globalist I can’t wait for this new property.
Alila La Gruyère rendering
I’d also love to go to the Park Hyatt Niseko (in Japan), as I’ve never experienced the skiing culture in Japan, though I’m sure it would be awesome (like almost everything else in Japan).
Park Hyatt Niseko
The Ritz-Carlton Zermatt is expected to open in 2026, and should be a great new option for skiers looking to redeem points in Europe. At just 69 rooms, this will be a boutique property, and I imagine cash rates will be steep.
Between this and the new Alila, there are some nice new European ski properties to look forward to.
Anyone else excited about the Ritz-Carlton Zermatt?
(Tip of the hat to JDP)
@Enel, thank you. I just looked it up (thanks google translate!). It looks like the hotel will be in the Zer Bännu section as you said and the chalet...on the mountain? Interesting!
@Jyoti, you can find an article on the Gault Millau page (in German) that says that there will be a "ski-in/ski-out" chalet off the Sunnega piste. But I just realize now that it says that the chalet will be part of the project so I guess they might shuttle people from that chalet to the resort.... But the article also mentions the "Zer Bännu" area, which is basically the area where the Alpenlodge is and...
@Jyoti, you can find an article on the Gault Millau page (in German) that says that there will be a "ski-in/ski-out" chalet off the Sunnega piste. But I just realize now that it says that the chalet will be part of the project so I guess they might shuttle people from that chalet to the resort.... But the article also mentions the "Zer Bännu" area, which is basically the area where the Alpenlodge is and matches the views that you see in the video at the 2:40 mark (though this could just be a setup for the video :)). There are big empty construcible parcels around it. But that's not far from the bottom of one of the Sunnega pistes. Not sure if i could post a link in here but if you look for Gault Millau et RC Zermatt, you'll find it easily. And as Roland Cule mentions above, the building permits can take forever to clear here...
@Lucky worth correcting that Gruyère is not at all a ski resort.
For this hotel, it's also worth pointing out that Switzerland is very tough with building permits, notably that any citizen can openly oppose a construction for little to no reason. This can last for years, so 2026 might be possible just like it might be a pipe dream and 5-10 years later might be more realistic.
@Enel, how do you know it will be near Sunnega?
I am a Zermatt honorary citizen after over 25 years of winter visits. I am
ambivalent about this. Zermatt has already enough stellar properties, managed by competent, attentive, personable staff, and often family owned. Ski in-ski out is something akin to pre-packaged, custom-built US or French resorts, which I surely enjoy but Zermatt spirit is different. While i am a regular in the RC properties, I don’t think a RC will add more to...
I am a Zermatt honorary citizen after over 25 years of winter visits. I am
ambivalent about this. Zermatt has already enough stellar properties, managed by competent, attentive, personable staff, and often family owned. Ski in-ski out is something akin to pre-packaged, custom-built US or French resorts, which I surely enjoy but Zermatt spirit is different. While i am a regular in the RC properties, I don’t think a RC will add more to Zermatt; rather, would make it similar to other less attractive places. Maybe those in this forum that are familiar would understand what I mean if I say do not want Zermatt to become just another Verbier orBachelor Gulch. Having said that in the current state of affairs I’d accept a Super 8 motel on top of the matterhorn to be able to make it rhere!
I really wasted my first trip to Switzerland. I stayed in Zurich drank beer ate sausage and went to a football match. I need to hop on a train and get out to the countryside next time. And fly some Swiss first. It’s not Swiss air don’t you dare call it that.
Hmm...curious where in Zermatt this is? Not near the current Julen Hotel.....Zermatt is pretty, but skiing is only so-so with lots of walking in the mornings to get to different areas....There are several good hotels yes....restaurants not so great....
Nice, I love Zermatt. 2026 is a ways away, but at least travel restrictions should be gone by then. ;)
Zermatt is an alpine slice of heaven.Have been many times in summer to hike. Missed 2020 for the first time since 2005 and sadly believe 2021 will not happen.
There are so many different hikes you could spend weeks there without duplicating.
Found a quite fine restaurant Chez Max Julen which is located under the Beau Rivage hotel.
It combines good food, a beautiful atmosphere with a blazing fireplace, and very cordial wait staff.
I’m all for planning future travel but 2026, seriously! I love that Marriott is planning this in Zermatt but maybe let me know in 3 years.
Nice to see Tuomas on the video. Alumnus from the same school :) it's also quite an interesting location that they picked. At the bottom of the Sunnega slopes. Can't imagine how much a night is gonna cost.... It will be crazy haha.
@Bob, agreed. At least they will stay on the mountain and not ruin the town. Here come the points people....
I AM VERY EXCITED! I LOVE ZERMATT! Between this and the Aman in the Dolomites, I have a lot to look forward to!
@Peter - maybe because at RC elite recognition is cheaper than at StR. Think of breakfast, clubs, upgrades...
Excellent. Now all the Americans (especially the points redeeming kind) can be in one place in their beloved chain hotel leaving the special 5* small hotels for the rest of us
Curious as to why in a top luxury market, Marriott would choose to go with RC over St. Regis? Or is it not really Marriott's call?
@Lucky - LOL - love your definition of skiing culture being "sitting outside drinking alcohol with heaters". Count me in!
There are already plenty of top notch hotels in Zermatt, but the more the merrier I guess. While I agree with Andy about the inconsistency of hotels in Switzerland, I've always had better experiences with boutique hotels in Switzerland.
As I Swiss I strongly welcome more hotels belonging to international chains. Consistency has always been an issue even in independent five star hotels, you get anything from excellent to outright poor. Chains at least enforce some standards.