The snow whips vertically against the windshield of my vehicle and lets me respectfully shift down a gear. Only in thought, of course, because today everything is automatic. Everything must flow, run, merge perfectly into each other. The trip to Zermatt, on the other hand, is not a walk in the park this Friday, as winter shows its teeth and checkmates many road users in no time at all. I wind myself past everything, reflect only briefly, stay focused, because nothing will stop me today. I will return to The OMNIA Mountain Lodge in Zermatt, where I will finally leave the glass lift 9 hours later and enter the brightly lit lobby of the hotel. „Welcome to the OMNIA. The Director is already waiting for you“ I am greeted with a friendly smile. But there is no need for words, because Christian Eckert, Managing Director of the OMNIA, is already coming towards me and gives me a feeling of homecoming. „It’s nice to have you back, a glass of champagne to welcome you?“ „Yes, with pleasure“ I bring forth and think to myself how beautiful it is that some things never change. That people and places remain true to each other and pass on the fire and passion in their hearts.
If you want to do justice to the architecture of The OMNIA, you shouldn’t lose a single line about it, because architect and designer Ali Tayar created a true work of understatement here in 2006. The result is a timelessly elegant lodge concept that is shaped by American modernism and with its reduced forms and furniture leaves plenty of room for one’s own thoughts and experiences. None of the rooms has a number and so Christian Eckert personally takes me to my OMNIA Tower Suite, which serves me Zermatt with its famous Matterhorn on a silver platter.
A rounded sofa describes a semicircle and forms the theatre for the stage of the Valais mountains. The telescope is always aimed at the mountain of the mountains, while in the background the flames blaze in the open fireplace. A bottle of champagne lies as a matter of course on a mountain of ice cubes, while two pralines trace the shape of the Matterhorn. In addition to the spacious living area, there is a stylish bedroom, a dressing room and two fully equipped bathrooms. Nothing is overloaded, everything serves a certain function, the design is to the point. I am speechless and would like to thank Christian Eckert for this wonderful room and the Christmas present, which was sent last year in the form of its own perfume fragrance. „Well,“ smiles the director, „Actually, there are even five fragrances. According to the letters in our name. I’ll see what we can do“. And of course, the next morning the letters O. M. N. I. and A. are in the form of puristic flacons on my dining room table. You don’t need to know more about Christian Eckert and his team, because they can read wishes from your eyes.
Executive Chef Hauke Pohl focuses on creative cuisine with little taste explosions, which are best tasted with the Gourmet Menu. According to the menu, the five to seven courses sound quite classic and promise a duck liver, a brill, the mountain potato or the beef. However, the preparation is so sophisticated that every course is a culinary surprise. The art of serving alone would be worth an entrance fee. If you get a dinner for two, both dishes are put on the table in the same second by two service employees. One looks into one’s eyes in order to pour a sauce over the respective arrangement at the same time. No guest has a head start, no one has to wait, both can fully concentrate on the subsequent story of ingredients and preparation.
But not only in the evening does The OMNIA set standards, because breakfast also shows how you can conjure style into a small buffet. All dishes such as ham, cheese, salmon or yoghurt are displayed in small appetizing portions. Bircher Muesli is even available as an appetizer in a high-quality glass, so that nothing resembles a typical hotel buffet. Everything has class and gives the staff the chance to fulfil special wishes with fresh egg dishes, pancakes and crêpes.
There is no gigantism with countless sauna landscapes and relaxation rooms that could overtax the guest. Just a beautifully illuminated indoor pool that should win every “Cool Pool Contest” and an outdoor Jacuzzi with a view of the Matterhorn. What else do you need after a sporty skiing day? So, I regenerate outside at 38 degrees Celsius, count the snowflakes on the swirling surface, while in the village the lights turn on and the scent of chimneys blows through the evening sky. Those who need a few more degrees of warmth can enjoy the sauna infusion or generate their own energy in the gym. Everything is completely relaxed and natural.
The phrase epic day was once invented by marketing colleagues in the American luxury ski resort of Vail to argue for the rather sporty $180 day ski pass. One day for the history books is available in Zermatt for about 75 Euro and this includes the whole ski area from Rothorn, Sunnegga, Gornergrat up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. And while on Saturday, due to winds and snowfalls, most slopes remain closed, on Sunday nothing stands in the way of a picture-book day. For me, the panorama is simply the most beautiful in the world, the snow is as soft as powder and the lifts are not very busy. It’s simply fun to ski down the kilometres of pistes into the valley and to look again and again at the Matterhorn, which looks different from every perspective.
The first rays of sunlight concentrate on the summit of the Matterhorn and ignite a fire in me. This will be a special day, because The OMNIA is a special hotel with very special people. They are the ones who give their hearts to the clear architecture, fulfil wishes and pass on their passion, their fire to me. And when a fire burns in your heart, don´t let it go out.
This article was written at the invitation of The OMNIA Mountain Lodge in Zermatt. My thanks go to the wonderful team around director Christian Eckert. Time may pass, summer may follow winter, but the memories will remain in my heart. Forever.
Here you can find the article about my first visit at the OMNIA Mountain Lodge.