Riffelalp Resort

Today is the day I finally get to share with you about how 2017 ended for us. If I told you we spent a couple days of our holidays bathing in Europe’s highest outdoor pool, surrounded by snow, would you believe me? And what if the pool had a direct view of the Matterhorn, one of Switzerland’s most famous mountain peaks?

Thanks to the historic and recently completely renovated Riffelalp Resort in Zermatt, Switzerland we could enjoy some of the best things about Switzerland. I was able to surprise my husband at the end of his last semester of university, with this unforgettable holiday getaway in the Swiss Alps.

While 2017 had its pretty major ups and downs, our couple of days on Riffelalp were a gift of time and beauty. Definitely, it’s safe to say the year ended on a high. 2,222 meters (over 7,000 feet) high, to be exact at Europe’s highest 5 star hotel!

My only complaint is it’s impossible to do the resort justice in either word or photograph. Photographs will mostly have to do because I’m going to quickly run out of adjectives or find myself using way too many exclamation marks.

Arriving to Riffelalp Resort

Greeted by a friendly luggage courier at the train station in Zermatt, Switzerland, we were given tickets for the mountain climbing train called the Gornergrat Bahn.

Believe me when I say, as we took the Gornergrat up the mountain from Zermatt, our excitement escalated with every meter it climbed. The view from both sides of the window kept me hopping from this side to that side. First looking down on the village of Zermatt nestled in snow like a magazine picture, then face to face with frozen waterfalls. And then up, up and we were in the mountains, more than I ever was in the mountains before.

Stepping off at the Riffelalp station and following the path through the trees to Riffelalp Resort, it felt like with every step we were stepping further away from life’s tough realities and into nature’s retreat.

Our very own room

Another friendly person checked us in and personally showed us to our room where our luggage had already been delivered. The best thing about the rooms in this hotel, are their cabin vibe. Every modern comfort is within your reach, but the history and cabin-in-the-woods-feeling is preserved.

I lied. The best thing about the room was the coffee maker and endless supply of coffee. I maxed out my coffee intake while there.

Not a coffeedrinker, Ber’s favorite thing was the stereo system in the bathroom. Laying on the bed one evening, I heard him jamming in the shower to Christmas songs like I’d never heard him or anyone else jam in the shower before. The room was fit for luxury mountain-dwellers, but the bathroom was fit for a king. A huge shower, separate bathtub, and yes, the surround sound speakers for jam sessions.

As we stepped out on our balcony, this is what we saw. In fact, we didn’t even need to step out to see it. We could push a button to open what I liked to call the “stage curtains” and lay there watching the sun come up over the Matterhorn. There’s nothing to describe this level of beauty.

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Breakfast and Dining

There was a large selection for breakfast. One would need to stay for weeks to try everything. It was fresh (not a small feat when you’re in the mountains where food must be delivered by train or helicopter!), and the dining room was beautiful as was the food itself. I was so glad I decided to ask for french toast, if only because of the colorful garnish.

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Riffelalp Resort

Let’s all take a moment to marvel that almost no matter where you are at the Riffelalp Resort, you can glance up and see the Matterhorn! It adds a priceless element to the experience and I could not stop taking pictures of all the ways the light through out the day was highlighting another element of its beauty. I’m a fan for life.

There are three restaurants on site. Restaurant Alexandre, Gourmet food and elegant dining; The Italian Ristorante Al Bosco; and Restaurant Walliserkeller where we ourselves enjoyed fabulous Swiss dining. Our choice was the cheese fondue accompanied by a glass of Swiss chardonnay. For dessert, chocolate fondue made of Toblerone chocolate, which has something in common with Riffelalp Resort by the way: a view of the Matterhorn!

Riffelalp Resort

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St. Trop Spa and THE Pool

Like many five stars the resort is outfitted for swimming, massage, and sauna. Unlike other five stars, Riffelalp Resort boasts Europe’s highest outdoor pool, heated in winter and surrounded by snow. While the spectacular view of the Matterhorn is definitely a main attraction for staying on Riffelalp, the pool has got to be a close second. It would not, however, be so amazing without the Matterhorn. Though I dare to say the Matterhorn would not be so amazing without THIS POOL! Let’s get into the warm water now and go for a swim…

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Indoors there is another large pool and multiple saunas including organic and Finnish. We especially enjoyed the cave for two where you follow stone steps down into a cave where there’s both a jacuzzi and a sauna. Spa and beauty treatments are also available, as well as complimentary fruit, fruit juices, and tea as refreshment.

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Lobby and Lounges

For all the feels of a cozy mountain chalet, one could visit The Bar and enjoy drinks by the fire, live music, and a card game.

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I joked that the beautiful lighting in the smoke lounge (pictured above) almost made me want to be a smoker to sit in there and soak it up. In addition to these, there is also the Wine Cellar and the Mark Twain Lounge, which was named for the famous author thought to have climbed Riffelalp himself before writing a travel report called, The Tramp Abroad.

Sheep, sheep, and more sheep. Much to the delight of my ever-sheep-loving heart these animals were all over the place. I even began counting them, but lost count at 50. If I were to decorate a hotel I would also want so many sheep all around. The assistant director described to us the day they were loaded off the truck during the renovation and her amazement and confusion as to what one could possibly do with so many sheep. But she admitted, they and the real sheep which show up outside during the warmer months, are an adorable and much loved trademark of the Riffelalp Resort.

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Skiing is the most popular activity at the Riffelalp Resort, which is offically a ski-in-ski-out accommodation. Not only can you buy your ski passes and rent your skis from there, but you can also ski all the way down from the hotel, down to the village of Zermatt. We enjoyed exploring the two chapels and the rest of the grounds. And, believe it or not I also put on a pair of skis for the very first time in my life!

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Maybe there’s already enough here that makes you dream of your own holiday getaway at the Riffelalp Resort. To be honest, there’s only so much that Ber and I can say about it having been there only a couple of days. What speaks much louder is that many people come here year after year, often bringing the entire family with them. While we can attest it’s worth going once for a once-in-a-lifetime jaw-dropping experience, some are able to go anywhere in the world they choose to, and they return here time and time again. This is not only a compliment to the natural beauty of the location, but a huge compliment to the staff who has cultured an atmosphere of friendliness, down-to-earth hospitality, and personal connection. We heard people greeting each other over breakfast as old friends, and even members of the staff greeting guests they more than remembered from previous years. It was the kind of warm hospitality it’s hard to put a price to.

If you’re going to tuck yourself away on a mountain and away from society for a little bit, there’s no better place than Riffelalp Resort, 2222 m, Zermatt, Switzerland. Ber and I definitely think of it as an experience rather than just a hotel stay, and we’re grateful for the memories. Hopefully you could experience it a bit as well through these pictures.

If you would like more information or to book your own stay, you can visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. I also have shared more pictures of our stay there on my Instagram which you can find here.

I would like to thank the Riffelalp Resort for their invitation in exchange for this review. As always, the thoughts and opinions are my own and I’m happy to talk more with anyone about our personal experience there! The pictures are taken by me, with the exceptions of the ones of me which were taken by my faithful sidekick, Ber, and the picture of us in the cheese cellar, which was taken by a friendly waiter.

Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which help support my writing and photography by giving a kickback when you click on them or book your trip through their service.

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Riffelalp Resort 2222 m Zermatt Switzerland


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Wow, Kaylene!!! What a place! But you didn’t write much about your skiing experience… 🙂


Eeeek! We’ve actually been there. To Zermatt. I don’t remember the name of our hotel, though. But SO many of your pictures brought back sweet memories for me! So beautiful!


I’m green with envy! This is gorgeous! definitely on my bucket list.

Katie | Hospitable Homemaker

Absolutely gorgeous!!! Looks like an amazing trip!


Oh my word everything about this place looks incredible! 🙂


Lovely post and trip. The Swiss Alps are one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Gonçalo Cruz

I was just talking with my girlfriend about your post and your website. We fell in love with all these places. Thank you for such writing an amazing article!


What a freaking dream trip! I am going to Switzerland in April but I was going to kind of bypass the Matterhorn but now I just want to go see it again.


I absolutely love the view! And definitely THE POOL. Wow, I’m blown away by the picture! I’ve got to visit someday!!


Beautiful post and gorgeous photographs! Putting this one on the list!

Love your blog and looking forward to reading more adventures.


This looks positively dreamy! Would love to have my breakfast there at least a couple of mornings<3


This looks like such a luxurious experience! I am in love with Riffelalp resort for being so cozy and lovely. Your photos are gorgeous.


This resort looks simply STUNNING!!! (There’s no such thing as too many exclamation marks with a pool like that!) How amazing to see the Matterhorn just peaking through all the windows. Felt like I was there too!


Wow, this hotel looks unreal! Ugh, so cozy with incredible views! You captured it beautifully. I have wanted to travel to Switzerland since I was a kid. It looks like I dreamed it would!


There is probably no better view in winter than that Matterhorn view. Wow. I cannot even imagine what it must look like in person if you have me here jealous with open jaw. Such a special stay to close out the year. Cheers!

Portia Jones
Portia Jones

OMG this looks amazing. I love a good outdoor pool and this one looks spectacular. I haven’t been to Switzerland in years so I will definitely look to visit here on my next trip! xx

Michelle Joy
Michelle Joy

Wow, this place looks incredible! I can’t get over the views of the Matterhorn!!


This looks amazing! Putting this on our list for next winter ❤️❤️❤️


The photos are amazing! Make me wanna go there right now! Great post.


That resort looks so perfect to be in the wintertime! So gorgeous 🙂

Jillian Michelle

Oh, man, this place is gorgeous!!! Is it difficult to breathe at that high of an altitude? I’ve heard stories of tourists from beach towns struggling a bit when they visit mountain cities. Switzerland is my dream destination though, so I hope I’d adjust well. This hotel is freaking gorgeous!! The pool makes it even better. I probably won’t be able to afford this place anytime soon haha, but I’m definitely adding it to the bucket list! Future goals!!


No, no difficulty breathing except for when the view took my breath 😀 This is definitely a dream destination and if you ever save up for that once-in-a-lifetime getaway, it’s worthy of being on the list of consideration! I hope you at least are able to make it to Switzerland someday! Hit me up if you do and I’ll try to give you some pointers for the best deals 🙂


Far out is there anything NOT to love about this magical place?! I was wondering how one would get there in the snow – have never experienced snow so the idea of a mountain-climbing train is new to me and just blows my mind. Definitely want to experience this now!


Magical indeed!! I actually find the process of getting there fascinating and so much fun. First you have to take a train that goes straight up the Alp (Okay, not STRAIGHT up, but very steep) and the view is just incredible. Then from the train station you can either walk back to the resort on the path through the trees, or you can ride their snowmobile! So much fun! We were also told that they receive supplies via helicopter! :O


That looks so lovely, especially the food and the spa area! Would love to spend a few days there!


Maybe someday? It is definitely very lovely, so I hope some day you might be able to visit!