Prix Bienvenu: Zermatt friendliness as a lifestyle
Zermatt hotels are top. In the prize awards for the 100 most friendly hotels in Switzerland, as many as 11 Zermatt hotels are included. Although they did not win first place, the broad foundations of hospitality of the Zermatt hotel business is a super result. The Hotel Sonne shone in second place as the best Zermatt hotel in the “large holiday hotels” category.
At the end of May 2013 Switzerland Tourism, the marketing organisation of Swiss Tourism, awarded the Prix Bienvenu for the first time. This prize is awarded to 100 hotels in four categories that positively impress guests on an ongoing basis through their friendliness. The categories are: small holiday hotels (up to 40 rooms), large holiday hotels (over 40 rooms), luxury hotels and city hotels. In fact eleven Zermatt hotels were placed among the 100, although Zermatt locations only came into question in three of the four categories, as by definition the village cannot feature city hotels. The evaluation was based on the positive appeal to the guest. The performance of the assessments on the Internet platforms was also taken into consideration in the ranking. The Prix Bienvenu is awarded annually, and is intended to motivate hotels to cultivate hospitality in a targeted fashion.
Hotel Sonne in second place
“That’s tremendous. When you see that the renowned four-star Hotel Hof Weissbad is number one, second place is sensational for us”, exults hotelier Leo Forster of the Hotel Sonne. His small hotel with 43 rooms earns the following description in the magazine Schweizer Illustrierte: “Friendliness has a name: the Forster family!” But while celebrating Forster hastens to add: “We rejoice together with our staff – this is a thank-you to all of them. They have all contributed to this success – that’s their great merit”. Praise also goes to son Fabian Forster, receptionist Yannik Dubosson and all other frontline staff. For his part Yannik Dubosson says modestly: “The bosses are our models.”
Friendly hotels enjoy a long tradition in Zermatt. Nearly 80 per cent of the hotels are family owned and managed. The hoteliers together with their frontline staff are the best ambassadors for the Matterhorn village. They provide tips, suggestions and service with pleasure and dedication, so they are the best insiders and the most competent hosts. No wonder that in summer Zermatt has 70 per cent regular guests – and in winter as many as 80 per cent.
Zermatt has 109 hotels, of which 10 per cent rank among the 100 friendliest hotels in Switzerland. The country as a whole has a total of about 5000 hotels. No other Swiss village offers the same concentration of hotel friendliness.
The friendliest hotels in Zermatt
Large holiday hotels (over 40 rooms):
1. Hof Weissbad (canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden)
2. Sonne, Zermatt
11. Sunstar Style Hotel, Zermatt
14. Monte Rosa, Zermatt
18. Beau Site, Zermatt
Small holiday hotels (up to 40 rooms):
1. Beau-Séjour, Campéry (canton of Valais)
6. Dufour, Zermatt
17. Bella Vista, Zermatt
23. Europe, Zermatt
34. Albatros, Zermatt
35. Bellerive, Zermatt
38. Alpenblick, Zermatt
40. Excelsior, Zermatt