ES Operates in five of the the world’s best and most well-known ski resorts: Verbier, Zermatt, St Moritz, Nendaz and Chamonix. But which ski resort is right for you?
For families learning to ski, the sunny slopes of Verbier are an excellent choice. The main ski area is fairly concentrated meaning it is easy to meet up for lunch or a coffee break. The progression of the terrain can be a little challenging for some first time skiers, so perhaps a better choice for the sporty family!
With its car free streets and range of off-snow activities, Zermatt is a great choice for families who perhaps aren’t only interested in the skiing. Its wide open, gentle pistes are perfect for working on turns and building confidence. The expansive ski area, does mean meeting up for lunch can take a bit of organising, however many of the mountain restaurants can be accessed via cable cars and trains, so a nice option for non-skiers in the group
Verbier – Sunny, fun, lots and lots of skiing
Zermatt – Car-free lots to do on and off snow for the whole party
Chamonix – A bit too hardcore for most families! There are some gentler slopes in Les Houches, but the slopes are limited in other areas for kids. Short transfer time from Geneva, though!
St. Moritz – Nice wide slopes, classic big hotels, but a long transfer.
Nendaz – Two great beginner areas with quieter slopes but easy Four Valleys access.
Verbier is great for the young and sporty who want to be challenged in their skiing, however this might not suit couples where one person is a better skier. Having to talk your other half down a black run is not most peoples’ idea of romance!
Zermatt could be a better choice for couples; the resort has a lovely atmosphere with small rickety streets lined with mazots and cute, cosy bars and restaurants. A morning ske over the border to Italy for a romantic lunch in one of many family-run mountain restaurants is a great way to escape the crowds. For a kids-free weekend I’d go for St. Moritz; very glam, some great bars, epic wide valley scenery, crazy shopping, its a proper escape.
Chamonix also has it’s romantic appeal, but it’s different. Come here if your other half likes hiking and gets turned on by a Patagonia shop or a rack of crampons!
Verbier – Young banking types seeking to impress and party.
Zermatt – The anniversary or the proposal, classic, old “romantic”.
Chamonix – Spectacular, but be prepared to encounter the odd stag weekend.
St. Moritz – Splash the cash, be beautiful, if he or she can’t see the beauty of this valley then run a mile.
Nendaz – Amazing views combined with cute, quaint bars and coffee shops with a local feel.
Corporate team building weekend
Chamonix is a great choice for the corporate weekend on a budget; you can splash the cash on lavish, impressive dinners for your team for a fraction of the cost of the Swiss resorts. However, the skiing is challenging and some of the team might chose to duck it.
Verbier is also awesome; great night life, good skiing, easy transfer, cool chalets and boutique hotels. The classic work weekend.
St. Moritz is unique. We can organise, at a price, an entire train for your party, branded for your company. That’s right, a branded train. You can also fly your team in direct to the resort in a chartered plane and the nightlife is impressive.
Zermatt takes longer to get to unless you go by helicopter. But it’s a fun alternative for the work weekend, with excellent mountain restaurants for a boozy lunch. Spend two nights to make the most of it.
Chamonix – Team Building on a budget.
Verbier – Take your best customers or your top brokers.
Zermatt – longer weekend, lots of good team building activities.
St. Moritz – After the merger, the blow-out celebration, we mean, err… “the strategy training weekend”.
Nendaz – A bit quieter on the nightlife front but offers access to a massive range of terrain to suit everyone.
On a budget
St. Moritz’s reputation as a destination exclusively for the rich and famous must be brutally contradicted! It is possible to stay in or near St. Moritz on a budget, while St. Moritz itself is expensive, there are small family run hotels that are affordable. St. Moritz is the name of one village but in reality (and this cant be said of any other satellite resort agglomerations) the other connecting resorts are equally luxurious: Pontrasina, Sill Maria, Corvatch… In these lesser known spots are some of the Alps’ finest 5 * hotels and are the most authentic alpine villages. They also you’ll find smaller self catering options and family run hotels.
Chamonix – it’s in France! Obviously, with the strong Swiss Franc, Chamonix will always be the cheaper option. There are also a range of hostels and Auberges along the Chamonix Valley enabling access to the amazing terrain and scenery without breaking the bank.
For skiing on a budget, Verbier then Zermatt bring up the rear. However, even in Zermatt it is possible, in low season, to get a hotel room for as little as 70 CHF a night B&B. The lift pass is expensive and ancillary purchases like hot chocolates, shopping add up, but if you’re willing to forgo some comforts, you can still experience skiing under the Matterhorn on a budget.
Zermatt – small cheap hotels in low season.
St Moritz – lots of options the outlying resorts are more affordable.
Chamonix – great prices, France, Eurozone enough said.
Nendaz – Our best-value Swiss ES resort. The Printze sector lift pass is also cheaper and offers access to the quieter side of the Four Valleys.
1st St. Moritz – unrivalled 5 * hotels such as Suvretta House with history views and service is unbeatable. The Kennedy boys went there as kids.
2nd Zermatt, glory in the old style, stay where queen, Queen Victoria Wympa, Churchill and Roosevelt stayed.
3rd Chamonix. faded glory meets French modernism.
4th Nendaz. Offers everything from four-star hotel and spa deals to cosy, chalet-style hotels.
5th Verbier. Everything is very swanky.
Modern Hotel Wonders
1st Verbier the W Verbier possible the coolest hotel in the Alps.
2nd Zermatt Anything designed by Heinz Julen and there are a few, including hotels with Jacuzzi that pop out of the roof above your beds.
3rd St. Moritz, some of the modern Annexes of the classic hotels are a lesson in architectural refinement and interior luxury.
4th Nendaz. The 4* Hotel Nendaz 4 Vallées and Spa wins most luxurious hotel in Nendaz.
5th Chamonix. Rather tired 5*s with a few boutiques on the cheap.
1st Chamonix, French food will always win when it comes to value and quality. Sorry Switzerland.
2nd Nendaz. A much cheaper, quieter alternative to Verbier.
3rd Verbier, The word “Cheap” and pretty much anything in Switzerland don’t always go hand-in-hand, but explore and you will find. Le Bec is the restaurant in our host shop Mountain Air is surprisingly good value and healthy too.
4th Zermatt. Home to a pizza delivery company with it’s own electro vehicle for the car-free resort famous for it’s expense. Or try the pizza factory in the Post Hotel.
5th St Moritz.. The word cheap doesn’t exist this far east but the fish restaurant Murtaröl is worth a visit.