Starting with the positives, the chalet is very modern and the rooms and facilities are very good. The lounge is perhaps a little on the small side to get all 8 people in, but it can be done at a squeeze. Bedrooms are decent sized with good storage room, and the bathrooms are also very well fitted out.
In terms of the location, it is a bit of a hike to the lifts, but that is pretty much the norm for Zermatt. The Matterhorn Express is the closest at around a ten minute walk, although in ski boots this could obviously take a lot longer. There is a bus stop close to the chalet, and this takes around 15 minutes to the Matterhorn lift or 20 minutes to the centre of town and the funicular.
The chalet host, Alex, was very good and we could certainly have no complaints in that respect. Food was usually good, sometimes a bit lower but sometimes excellent, the overall standard was certainly above what was expected.
Where it all went wrong was the service from Ski Total, who run this chalet. Or rather their service when it comes to airport to resort transfers. On arrival at Geneva we were left waiting around for over 30 minutes because there was no coach, not that this particularly bothered us. Then the coach arrived and we were told that we had to sit on it for an hour to wait for an incoming flight. This wasn't a late flight, but rather they seem to have a problem in co-ordinating flight arrivals with coach departures.
When we arrived at Zermatt station we were left waiting in the freezing cold for around 45 minutes whilst the stressed out rep tried to get taxis for us. Annoyingly there was a huge rank of taxis waiting, and indeed trying to tap us up for custom, but Ski Total couldn't use them as they only had a contract with one company. This meant that taxis had to take customers for the closest chalets first, then come back and get the intermediate distance customers, then again come back and get the ones furthest away. Given that everyone had arrived on the same train this was hugely frustrating.
Then on the Friday evening we were told that we would be picked up by a taxi from the chalet at 04:45 on Sunday to get the 05:30 shuttle train from Zermatt and the 06:15 coach from Tasch. The resort representative was extremely apologetic about this, and said that customers always complained that it was far too early. He explained that this is because they only have three taxis available, because of the contracts they have negotiated, to pick up from around 15 chalets, and therefore they have to do it as a shuttle run. He advised that we were free to book our own taxi at 05:45 to get the 06:00 shuttle instead, but that we would have to pay for it. He also actively encouraged us to complain to Ski Total about this as the same complaints were raised every single week and that management refused to do anything about it. So we got an extra hour in bed but had to pay for it.
This is where I have a big problem - the lack of a decent taxi contract is not the customer's problem. Indeed, the rep actually booked us a taxi with an alternate company (on the basis that we had to pay for it), so availability of taxis is absolutely not the issue. The local reps are getting beaten up about this every single week, so why haven't the Ski Total management done anything about it?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This lovely chalet was built brand new for Ski Total guests in a quiet area of Zermatt between Winkelmatten and Steinmatten, and only approx. five minutes walk from the resort centre and was hugely popular during its first season last winter. ... more less
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