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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 mid-October (summer).

  • 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, Europe for Visitors

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For other information on the resort and Zermatt, click these links:

Riffelalp articles: Photo galleries: Zermatt articles:
Riffelalp Resort Historical photos Zermatt (Winter)
Historical overview The new hotel Gornergrat Railway
Reviewer's notes Zermatt skiing Matterhorn
Related Web links Zermatt village Glacier Express