RITZ CARLTON TO OPEN FIRST SKI RESORT IN EUROPE
Marriott International have signed an agreement with Mario Julen to bring The Ritz-Carlton brand to Zermatt, debuting the first Ritz-Carlton ski resort in Europe ...
A Ritz-Carlton will be opening in Zermatt, Switzerland, with all expectations that it will probably be the most luxurious ski resort in Europe. Scheduled to open in 2026, the 69-guest room property will bring the brand’s legendary service and elegant design to the world-famous Swiss resort destination. Once open, the property will serve as the second Ritz-Carlton hotel in Switzerland, joining The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva.
“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. Today’s signing reflects the heightened demand for our luxury hospitality brands across Europe, Middle East and Africa.”
The Ritz-Carlton, Zermatt will be designed by award-winning Paris-based firm AW² led by partner architects Reda Amalou and Stéphanie Ledoux, with the architectural and interior design expected to offer a refined take on the classic mountain chalet.
The design will play with natural materials and light filtered to create a sense of retreat and respite. Inspired by the nomadic origins of the region’s Walser community, the hotel’s design aims to connect people with nature and celebrate the mountain location. The building façades will be finished with locally-sourced natural materials, such as wood and stone to reflect the rustic and authentic lifestyle of the Walser people.
The hotel ground floor is expected to include lounge areas, meeting and multi-function rooms, a lounge bar, a main restaurant and a large fireplace which are all positioned to frame the view of the mountains. Plans for the hotel include an indoor and heated outdoor pool which are connected through a window bringing filtered natural light into the indoor pool. The design utilizes large openings and windows to remove the barrier between indoor and outdoor spaces and uses stone interiors to merge with the natural environment outside. An array of recreational activities such as ‘ski-in ski-out’ access to the slopes, a tranquil spa with a gym and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools are part of the vision for guests to enjoy. The resort is also expected to offer meeting and event facilities.
“This is an emotional project for me as 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. 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,” said Mario Julien.
Zermatt affords unrivaled skiing for all levels, climbing across the Matterhorn peak as well as easy access to Cervinia in Italy for off-piste, heli-skiing and glacier skiing in the summer months. The town is well renowned for its après-ski activities offering outstanding restaurants and luxurious retail. Visitors can travel to Zermatt from Geneva and Zurich international airports in under four hours by train through enchanting Alpine scenery, or via private helicopter.