The first Ritz-Carlton ski resort in Europe will be in Zermatt, Switzerland.
Marriott International has signed an agreement with Mario Julen to bring the brand to the renowned town in the Swiss Alps. Based in Zermatt, Julen is an alpinist, certified IVBC mountain guide, helicopter pilot and hotelier. His real estate development company, Matterhorn Peak AG, has developed a number of luxury properties in the area, including 7 Heavens and Hotel Mama.
The Ritz-Carlton, Zermatt will be designed by award-winning Paris-based firm AW² led by partner architects Reda Amalou and Stéphanie Ledoux. The architecture of the 69-room property is expected to be a refined take on the classic mountain chalet.
Design plans feature two restaurants and two bars, an outdoor terrace for alfresco dining, and a private dining room. Recreational activities at the property will include ski-in ski-out access to the slopes, a spa with a gym, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The resort is also expected to offer meeting and event facilities.
“We are thrilled to announce this milestone signing with Mario Julen who has a fantastic vision for the project,” said Satya Anand, president, Marriott International Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Zermatt is synonymous with outstanding skiing, mountaineering and jaw-dropping scenery. As the epitome of modern luxury, this landmark development and stunning destination will enhance our portfolio of iconic Ritz-Carlton properties across the globe, offering guests an exciting opportunity to experience Zermatt’s year-round snowy peaks, world-class ski slopes, and the iconic Matterhorn mountain.”
Julen says it is an emotional project for him. “I have worked passionately for many years to bring it to life. It is not only a declaration of love to my hometown of Zermatt, but also to the luxury hotel business and its ability to inspire travel,” he explained. “As the first major, international brand in Zermatt, my wish is that this project will bring a new level of hospitality to the Swiss Alps.
In addition to being the first Ritz-Carlton ski resort in Europe, when it opens the property will be the second Ritz-Carlton hotel in Switzerland, joining The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva.