A high-end bed and breakfast destination where you can get CBD massages and hemp oil scrambled egg for breakfast, in the electric car accessible mountain town of Zermatt in Switzerland
SchlossHotel in Zermatt Switzerland
Located in the mountain village of Zermatt, Switzerland, is SchlossHotel. First founded by a local artist, Lothar Stöpfer, as the Tenne guest house in 1964, it wasn’t until October 1984 that the Perren family would purchase the property and reopen it under the name, SchlossHotel. Since it has adapted significantly. To remain stagnant – according to Alex Perren, Director of SchlossHotel – is out of the question: «our focus is to continually keep improving and evolving».
Today, the property is a complex of on-site accommodation venues, and an apartment block on the far side of town. A town that sits at 1,600 meters above sea level and is accessible solely by electric vehicles. SchlossHotel’s newest development are SchlossHouse, SchlossSpa, and SchlossSport. A walkway to the hotel’s original building connects these elements, which exist in one single unit.
Italian architecture firm Aledolci&Co. developed the project, directed by the Perren family. «Our first meeting with the owners of SchlossHotel was in 2018. Construction began in March 2019, and work concluded in 2020», explains Alessandro Dolci of Aledolci&Co. «During our first meeting, they explained to us what they wanted from this construction project, which expands on the current hotel’s offering. It was an ambitious construction. We, as architects, began the planning before the construction broke ground. This gave us time to think and test ideas and to develop in a linear way. As a client, SchlossHotel was specific in their briefing. They, in fact, knew exactly what they wanted from this construction».
It was, says Dolci, the five-star Nana Princess in Crete that acted as the catalyst for this project. Its aesthetic drove Perren and his team to execute a spa of this standard in the alpine town of Zermatt. Alongside it, a sports hub and flexible accommodation set up, which is in contrast to the B&B located in the main house. «We initially agreed to use the Nana Princess as a primary source of inspiration for SchlossSpa, but it was not possible to recreate this ambiance based on its Swiss location: Zermatt. A huge part of any building’s design is based on its location», explains Dolci.
Lampoon review: SchlossHotel’s CBD spa
While it may not have been achievable to mimic a Mediterranean oasis in the heart of the alps, SchlossHotel succeeded in its pursuit to pioneer. SchlossHotel’s CBD spa is, in fact, the first of its kind in Switzerland. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of one-hundred-and-thirteen identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Its health benefits – including the reduction of pain, anxiety, and depression – are widely discussed today, and its usage is considered à la mode. «When we were developing the spa, we asked, how do we make ourselves stand out? We went to Aledolci&Co. and began choosing materials and gaining direction. That is when we, as a team, first explored the idea of a CBD spa», says Perren.
This element of SchlossHotel’s offering extends beyond in-spa experiences, such as the massages, facials as well as beauty treatments – which are conducted using CBD products. «We partnered with a company in Switzerland that delivers our CBD, including oil lotions. With their guidance and advice, we introduced a hemp sauna and CBD shower. We serve CBD muesli and scrambled eggs with hemp oil at the breakfast buffet each morning. This summer, we are also introducing a hemp-infused gin and tonic, and in the winter, we welcome our guests with hemp chocolates. We continue to expand on this, fully aware of the health benefits of these natural products», Perren goes on to say.
Yet this alignment with CBD does not define SchlossHotel. The property, in fact, does not strive to be the quintessential CBD destination. Instead, their mission is simple: stay active, stay well. For the development, led by Alessandro Dolci and his team at Aledolci&Co. – alongside the Italian interior contractor Concreta, based in Postalesio in Valtellina, a point of reference in the realization of customized hotel furniture and accommodation facilities – SchlossSpa is one of three equal components that makes up the construction.
Above SchlossSport and Spa is SchlossHouse, an alternative style of accommodation for guests visiting the property. «SchlossHouse is unlike other hotels in the area. It consists of one space: an apartment with a living room and kitchen. Moreover, it has a flexible layout, including a suite and two rooms. The hotel can also sell these beds as three separate rooms or as one entire apartment for a party traveling together. This flexibility suits operator and guest alike, and is uncommon», says Dolci.
With views over the Matterhorn – the most-photographed mountain in the world – SchlossHouse’s location is another talk-point for guests. «For SchlossHouse, we tried to stay away from cliché alpine styles, for example, wooden hearts and taxidermy. We were directed to stay closely connected with the rest of the hotel. At the same time, creative liberty was entrusted to us. To achieve the synergy between the established hotel and the new building, we utilized colors and shapes as inspiration and integrated them into SchlossHouse. Wood was one of the dominant materials used in its construction. It was, in fact, easy to transport to the site and it gives warmth and comfort to the setting. The wood used in SchlossHouse, SchlossSpa, and SchlossSport were varnished with natural wax oil. This varies from the classic varnish and is environmentally friendly», explains Dolci.
For SchlossSpa and SchlossSport, the choice of material weighed heavily. «Our firm works with a lot of spas. These spaces place importance on the choice of materials used. Strong, durable, technical – these are critical qualities. This is because you have to clean spas every day and be confident that the quality of the chosen material will remain unaltered», says Dolci.
«Maximizing natural light for the spa was a challenge. The goal was to create an immersive space. The subtle use of natural light strives to give grounding to the guests, who need to be reminded of the connection with the outside world. Wood and glass in consecutive panels characterize the walls. This gives the illusion of being seen while hiding». In a spa, says Dolci, there are dramatic changes in energy, and the materials need to reckon with this. By implementing energy-saving solutions, Dolci and his team were able to reduce the energy consumption of these machines.
Concrete – a material notably found in Swiss architecture – characterizes SchlossSport. «There is a cave effect in SchlossSport that we achieved by scratching the concrete during construction. On completion, we directed blue lights on it to create an unusual atmosphere», explains Dolci.
A variety of guest experiences exist alongside each other at SchlossSport and SchlossSpa. In the gym, there could be a workout class going on in one room, and on the other side of the glass panel, there could be a yoga session or someone meditating. The rooms are soundproofed to enable this variety of atmospheres and allow them to co-exist.
For the entire unit, which includes SchlossHouse, SchlossSpa, and SchlossSport, most of the materials used in construction originated from Switzerland. Those that are not were sourced from Italy, where the interior contractor, Concreta, is based. While the use of natural materials was challenging in instances, Dolci relays that one of their core efforts was to source wood with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate.
Wellness and mindfulness at SchlossHotel
Today, guests can avail themselves of free in-house classes each day. Wellness – mindfulness, meditation as well as yoga – is at the center of morning sessions. Further, in the afternoon, guests can avail of complimentary high-intensity workouts, including dumbbell training and cardio.
SchlossHotel works with the local ski school and can orchestrate courses, daily lessons, and adventures with additional local activity providers. This novel development began construction in 2018, yet SchlossHotel’s dedication to wellness predates this.
There is a stainless steel swimming pool with an integrated hot tub and jacuzzi, which is part of the property’s 2012 development. There is a soft sauna, which is a child-friendly sauna that operates at a lower intensity. A playroom that features a snooker and tennis tables, and a play area for younger guests, are on-site and free for them to enjoy.
A high-end bed and breakfast
While the word hotel is in SchlossHotel’s name, it is vital to give space to this property’s core essence: a high-end bed and breakfast. «SchlossHotel is a B&B, so it solely offers breakfast – there is no restaurant on-site. The ingredients and foods featured in our breakfast are local to the region, from the dairy products to the meats. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free breakfasts are available. Ahead of each guest’s booking, we contact them directly and arrange dining reservations in restaurants in the surrounding area, in the mountains, and the lesser-known hidden gems», says Perren.
In addition, there is a bar on-site open daily, serving cocktails, wines, smoothies, and bar snacks. Afternoon tea in the lounge is well-suited for guests who have returned from a day of skiing or exploring the mountain landscape. DIY fondue kits are also available for guests on request. Unlike a typical B&B, SchlossHotel’s property consists of a myriad of buildings. SchlossHotel is the nexus. Here, eight bespoke rooms are on offer. They span a one-person single room to an eight-person penthouse suite.
SchlossCottage and Alex Lodge
Aside from the aforementioned SchlossHouse, there is also SchlossCottage. If seeking the Swiss alpine experience, says Perren, this is where to look. This property, in fact, consists of two renovated, authentic barns across three floors. Featured on-site for the sole use of the SchlossCottage’s guests is a private sauna and mini in-home cinema.
On the other side of town, you can find SchlossHotel’s final destination: Alex Lodge. In contrast to the other buildings, Alex Lodge is a high-end apartment block that comes equipped with a private spa, including a sauna, jacuzzi, and steam bath. It can accommodate up to twenty people and is available for private takeovers or smaller bookings.
Regardless of which SchlossHotel accommodation you opt for, full and free of charge use of the CBD spa and wellness amenities are available to guests. «Our philosophy at SchlossHotel is, and forever has been, to continue to expand and elevate our guest experience. When my father and mother took over the SchlossHotel they were always looking as to what was happening in the market and ensuring that our offering reflected this». A mentality of reinvesting in the hotel on an annual basis is consistent throughout the generations, and it promises to continue onwards in this thread, says Perren.
Bahnhofpl. 18, 3920 Zermatt, Switzerland
The Schlosshotel Zermatt is a four-star-property located just steps away from the train station and Gornergratbahn.