Your journey to the hotel powered by electric energy
The village of Zermatt is only accessible by train. Then, to get from the Zermatt train station to the hotel, guests must take the electrically powered Gornergrat train. From the "Riffelalp" station, guests can reach the hotel either by foot, or by electric snowmobile in winter / with our small electric train in summer.
The hotel is in the middle of the ski slopes and trails. Access by helicopter is prohibited. The area is therefore free from the noise of any motors.
Charging stations for electric cars
In the public parking lot in Täsch, where guests take the train to the Zermatt station, there are three charging stations for electric vehicles.
The hotel has signed a contract with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With the help of the AEnEC agency, the hotel's management and technical team continuously implement measures to improve energy efficiency. This commitment is monitored and audited every three years.
The hotel's electricity is 100% powered by renewable hydraulic energy. It is produced by the Grande Dixence dam.
Heat recovery systems
Several heat recovery systems are installed in the hotel in the following areas: kitchen ventilation, laundry, wellness, public areas of the hotel. Heat is also recovered from the circulation of the swimming pool water (a technique developed specifically in Zermatt). The recovered heat is used to preheat the water that is used in the hot water production of the entire hotel.
The hotel has its own in-house laundry service for towels, sheets, uniforms and other items. This thus avoids the transportation of linen. An economical washing program is also used to reduce the temperature of the water used & the length of the cycle.
Traceability of our products
Our chefs pay particular attention to the products they use, insisting on their traceability. We know exactly where each ingredient we use in our dishes comes from.
When purchasing food or other materials, our teams go by the motto "local first", i.e. favoring products from the Zermatt region, the canton of Valais and northern Italy. This promotes the local market and allows our clients to discover local products. The Alpine cheese and yogurts served at breakfast come from Zermatt’s local store « Horu-Käserei » and the breakfast bread comes directly from the « Matterhorn Bäckerei », a bakery in Zermatt. In addition, our cooks produce the bread that is served in our restaurants in the evening in-house, as well as some cured meats, ice cream and homemade pasta. To produce our dried meat, sausages and “carne salad”, we work together with the local butcher’s shop "Matterhorn Fleisch".
Our own trout
Our chef Luigi LaFranco and his team breed a small number of trout in the small lake in front of the hotel.
Wild herb picking
Chef Luigi Lafranco and his team, in accordance with the gastronomic concept of the hotel, attach great importance to the flavors, herbs and traditions of the Riffelalp region. In fact, in the vicinity of the hotel there are unique endemic plants, such as the snowdrop, the rampion, the rock clover or the umbellifer. They go herb picking and gather these unique herbs from the region to offer our guests surprising taste experiences in their cuisine, such as in their dandelion sorbet.
The water served in the restaurants and rooms is bottled directly at the hotel. It comes from Zermatt springs and is enriched with ozone (still water) or with CO2 (sparkling water). This eliminates the need to transport over 280 L of water per day to the hotel and bring the empty bottles back down to the village.
An exemplary mountain hotel
The hotel has put considerable effort in implementing a strong waste management system. After all, organizing the disposal of the hotel’s waste from the property all the way to the valley, via the Riffelalp and Zermatt train stations, is no small task. Our hotel is cited as an exemplary business in Zermatt in this regard.
Recycling our soaps
Unused shampoo and soaps collected in the rooms are reused by the staff.
Converting our food waste into renewable energy
All kitchen waste is collected and converted into energy, namely biogas and fertilizer, through a methanation process. The biogas is then converted into electrical and thermal energy simultaneously in a cogeneration engine.
We use Steinfels Swiss cleaning solutions, which are easily biodegradable products that are free of toxic substances. This company has been "CO2 neutral" since 1988.
Irrigation & water for the cows and garden
The water that comes from the hotel's own spring is used to water the gardens and as drinking water for the cows.
Support of the Alpine cooperative of the Riffelalp region
The hotel supports the "Alpgenossenschaft Riffelalp" through the following actions:
- We co-own about 50 cows
- We offer accommodation, food and infrastructure to local shepherds so that they may carry out their work. We also allow their own cows to graze on the rich alpine meadows surrounding the hotel
These actions allow us to receive a part of their milk and meat production every year (after the cows are slaughtered in autumn). The meat is prepared by Chef Luigi Lafranco and his teams and served to our guests. The fresh raw milk is given to the Zermatt cheese shop and is used to produce cheese. And if the quantity allows it, the hotel also uses it to create desserts and ice cream, respecting strict hygiene regulations.
Art to raise awareness of the need for environmental protection
In front of the hotel we have exposed a work of art by the Zurich artist André Becchio: a yellow rubber duck. The purpose is to attract attention and to encourage reflection. Indeed, the artist explains: "A rubber duck lives in warm regions, often in bathrooms. At 2'222M, it takes you by surprise, because with its yellow plumage, it shines in the snow and, even in summer, it is difficult to miss in the middle of a green environment.” A question remains: How do we perceive something familiar in a foreign and inappropriate environment?
We want to highlight the beauty of our region. To this end, we offer guests local activities organized by our mountain guide Yann, who invites them to discover the surrounding nature and the benefits it can provide to their health. Other local guides are also available for mountain walks during the summer and ski lessons during the winter.
Accommodation and meals
Employees can take advantage of preferential rates for accommodation in dedicated staff residences and on meals in the staff restaurant. Accommodation includes weekly cleaning and linen changes, a private bathroom and a personal refrigerator.
The hotel offers the Zermatt - Riffelalp train ride to all of its employees. As this route is included in the annual ski pass, it allows them to benefit from a discount on annual ski passes.