The Aristella in Zermatt

This item appears on page 54 of the November 2011 issue.

Starting in Geneva, our small group of six took a train to Visp, then rode the Glacier Express for an hour through breathtaking Alpine valleys to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn. The mountain was awesome, but our most lingering memory is most likely to be Hotel Aristella (Steinmattweg 7, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland; phone +41 0 27 967 20 41).

For a night’s stay there on July 10, 2011, the hotel had been selected for us by the travel agency my wife, Linnea, and I used, Adventures in Travel (220 West State St., Algona, IA; 515/295-7726).

The Aristella is within walking distance of the downtown train station and the cogwheel train that will allow you to ascend to Gornergrat at 10,000 feet to view multiple peaks.

Bernard and Katja Perren-Tenisch are the owners and managers. A second-generation family business, the original property was largely torn down and replaced with a stunningly attractive and efficient hotel and restaurant in 2010. Each of the Aristella’s four stories is done in a different style, and the rooms are spotless, compact and inviting. Our room cost $264.

Our group ate at the attached Spycher restaurant and grill, enjoying a four-course set meal ($54 each) that was a delight to the eye as well as the palate. Carrot-ginger soup was first, followed by a delicious mushroom risotto. The third course was Wiener schnitzel, French fries and cauliflower. Dessert was crêpes with fruit.

If you are looking for a great place to stay for a night or two in Zermatt, we highly recommend the Aristella. Our stay proved remarkable.

Algona, IA