Having been to Zermatt before, I was looking forward to this stay as I would try a different hotel. Since I was alone, there was availability at the Resort Hotel Alex in Zermatt with the single rooms that are so common throughout Europe. This lowered the cost for me and the fact that the hotel was close to the train station made it even better.
With the maps on my mobile phone, I managed to find the hotel after making a return trip as I missed the turn into the side street. Resort Hotel Alex is situated on a side street and thus has no direct entry on the Bahnhofstrasse. It is located slightly uphill so guests with luggage might have to walk around the front entrance with the ramp. The side entrance is by stairs only, though guests could also request for a pick up from the hotel for no additional charge.
Arriving slightly before noon, I was surprised that the reception already have a room prepared for me. First impressions of the service and reception was that it felt like a traditional hotel with less formality for check-in. Guests staying at the hotel could also help themselves to mini-sized Toblerone chocolates by the reception desk. A very fitting chocolate since its logo shows the Matterhorn, the same mountain that visitors to Zermatt look forward to see.
And the tradition continues with classic style room keys that comes with a heavy key chain to prevent it from getting lost. Should guests leave the hotel premises, they could place the key on the rack and take a smaller key with them. This also indicates which rooms are occupied and which would be ready for cleaning, creating a logical key-board.
The warm and cosy reception continued with a bellboy helping with my luggage as he showed me to the room. First we had to take the slow elevator and because my room was situated in between floors by the staircase, we need to walk down a small flight of stairs. It was a bit embarrassing as my luggage was quite heavy since there was my ski boots and apparel, but I was extremely grateful for the assistance. I should also note that the hotel has a maze-like layout that might confuse visitors and that is probably why the bellboy assisted me.
Room No: 211 Category: Classic Single Room
On entering the room, the room has a similar layout like the Hotel in Visperhof. There is a bathroom on the left beside the door. The bathroom was furnished in luxurious marble and has the heated towel rack common in many cold-weather towns. Marble finishings continued into the toilet bowl as well and it was one of the few instances where you can still find a whole toilet bowl made from marble, indicating how old it was when the hotel was last conceived.
Being a small room and quite old in decor, there was a bathtub and shower combo but it did have the glass partition that I prefer to shower curtains. The bathtub was also an old design though it did at least feature a modern shower head with a nice water pressure.
What attracted me the most was the room was equipped with Molton Brown amenities, adding a touch of luxury to the whole shower experience. It certainly add points to the otherwise dated bathroom design.
Back at the room, there was a single bed as I expected, with a bedside table. There were more pillows in this bedroom though which made it more plush.
Across from the bed, there was a work desk with a flatscreen TV mounted over it. The desk is of a moderate size and was comfortable enough to use with a laptop when I need it.
At the end of the room by the window, there was an armchair with a circular cocktail table. A large wardrobe is placed at the end of the bed, and it was large enough to store my ski gear like helmet, gloves, camera and backpack at the end of the day. With the luggage rack provided, there was enough space in the room for one person and all the ski gear they bring with them.
The bedroom has a nice view from the window too as it faces the valley. Though as my last stay in Zermatt shows, there really is no lack of nice views all around in Zermatt.
As a resort hotel, it actually has quite a few facilities to offer its guests. The major attraction here is perhaps the indoor swimming pool that has a cavern look and feel to it. Getting to the pool is a bit tricky as guests have to go through staircases and the locker rooms. But it does have a large indoor pool that is mostly empty during the winter. There is also a hot tub that comfortably seats up to 6 people in the same indoor complex. Even if guests do not swim, they should check out the cavern detail since it is a unique space that really ties in to the whole decor of this hotel. Families should take note that there are no staff within the pool premises so they should care for their kids.
Resort Hotel Alex is furnished in an eclectic style fused with traditional chateau elements and while probably not my preferred type of decor, it was alright for a couple of days of stay. The chateau style design is featured throughout the hotel’s facilities including the main restaurant Alex Grill where the half board dinner is served at. The restaurant itself is large and should have no problem seating all the guests in the hotel. Other than that, there is a separate floor where breakfast is served at.
In addition to the restaurant, there is a large lounge space for guests to congregate and socialize at after dinner. The options for socializing range from a cocktail bar, a TV lounge where guests can watch soccer matches on the big screen, a games room for the young adults with a foosball table and a billiard table.
There is also a reading lounge right beside the reception with several English and German newspapers provided for guests. At the end of the lounge, there is a library for those who prefer some downtime or a nice quiet place to chat.
With my stay, I had a half board yet again and this includes breakfast and dinner at the hotel which I found to be very good value since a meal in Zermatt is not cheap especially when it is a 3-course meal. I would write about the half board program at the next segment but on the whole, the room rate was CHF240 (~$250) per night inclusive of taxes and that was a pretty good value with the dinner which I would value at around $50, meaning the room rate was $200 for peak season skiing accommodation that was comfortable and luxurious in its own way.