"RIFFELALP RESORT REVIEWER'S NOTES"
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Random notes and tips
Roland Imboden, director of the Zermatt
Tourist Office, inherited the athletic gene in the family (the one that
passed me by). I have it on good authority from a British ski writer that
Herr Imboden "is a man who likes to ski really fast."
Hans-Jörg Walther, who manages the Riffelalp
Resort with his wife Claudia, has a flair for the ceremonial: At the
dinner for journalists following the press conference at the hotel's
opening, I found myself marching into the dining room, cotillion-style, with
a pretty young partner from the German waitstaff.
Amadé Perrig, general secretary of the Best
of the Alps resort consortium and marketing director of the Furka-Oberalp
Railway, showed that language needn't be a barrier at multinational press
conferences. Jumping up on a snowbank outside the hotel, he addressed
journalists from half a dozen countries in "the language of the mountains"--yodelling. (He
also plays the organ, I'm told.)
The Riffelalp Resort caters to small groups (up to 100 or
so) for incentive trips, corporate retreats, academic conferences, and the
like. The best times for such events are early or late in the the season, which runs from mid-December to mid-April (winter) and mid-June to
If I were visiting the Riffelalp Resort on my own timetable,
I'd choose a week in mid- to late June, right before the summer high season.
The setting is hard to beat, with a forest on one side and spectacular
mountain views--along with fresh air, hiking trails, a car-free environment,
and the Gornergrat railway a short distance away on foot or via an antique
electric tram. September is a nice time to visit if you don't have to worry
about children's school schedules.
- Durant Imboden,
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