The five-star Resort Riffelalp is situated 2,222 metres above sea level on the south side of the Gorner plateau with a direct view of the Matterhorn. The resort relies on the Gornergrat Railway to handle the logistics high above the valley. In this interview, Hans-Jörg Walther, Riffelalp Resort hut warden, talks about the challenges of creating a luxury experience for guests in high Alpine conditions.
Hans-Jörg Walther, how many people do you host on average on the Riffelalp?
Hans-Jörg Walther: “On average, we have 150 guests as well as 140 employees in winter and 100 employees in summer. We are almost a small village, so to speak. And that naturally entails a great deal of logistical effort.”
How do you manage logistics?
Hans-Jörg Walther: “All our guests, including their luggage, travel to us on the Gornergrat Railway and 80% of our employees live in Zermatt. That makes daily connections until midnight essential for passenger transport. In addition, there is material transport and disposal for the accommodation of hotel guests and day trippers. In order to maintain guest comfort in high Alpine conditions, we also carry out ongoing maintenance work on the buildings. The entire transport for this is carried out by Alpin-Cargo and the Gornergrat Railway.”
Europe’s highest outdoor pool
A favourable microclimate influences the high plateau, with the Riffelalp Resort on its south side. In summer, Europe’s highest tramway waits at Riffelalp station to take guests to the resort. In winter, the porter waits with the Ski-Doo for those arriving.
At an altitude of 2,222 metres, visitors can enjoy Europe’s highest outdoor pool with 84 cubic metres of mountain water. The pool, which measures 10 x 6 metres and is 1.4 metres deep, offers the most beautiful view of the Matterhorn and other four-thousand-metre peaks.