The art and life of the Cervo

A hotel ingrained in tradition and commitment

Claude Hervé-Bazin
Cervo Mountain Resort
Winter 2022-2023

Firmly rooted in Alpine timelessness, the Cervo – the only Design Hotels property in Zermatt – has embarked on a journey to be more conscious and more cosmopolitan than ever, in constant contact with its natural surroundings.

One would swear it’s another small mountain hamlet tucked in amongst the lofty fir trees. Located on a large hill just outside the village centre, with views of the Matterhorn, the Cervo Mountain Resort regroups a handful of large Alpine chalets. Beneath the snow-covered roofs, the hotel’s commitment to “the extraordinary, the highest quality and authentic hospitality” comes to life through relaxed luxury – which is both warm and modern – and locally sourced natural building materials.

The best of all worlds
Built a little more than a decade ago around a hunting lodge concept, the Cervo has evolved over time and now embraces a philosophy of integration and mindful awareness, all while remaining true to its core identity. Here, instead of being lost within the tasteless mishmash of homogonous globalization, the Cervo reaffirms its strong commitment to “glocalisation” – gracefully merging local and global influences. On one hand, the hotel embodies and respects traditional Alpine values, history, and environmental sustainability, striving for the timelessness and inviolability that permeates Zermatt’s history. On the other hand, there’s a constant need to evolve with the times in order to satisfy the needs and desires of their clientele (many of whom are digital nomads) to ensure functionality, efficiency, and visibility in a world that is more interconnected than ever. Being “glocal” allows the Cervo to enjoy the best of both worlds, and in doing so, it has come to the forefront of the movement.
The head of the establishment, Daniel F. Lauber, said it best: “The Cervo is not just a hotel, it is a lifestyle. It is a melting pot that embraces traditional values and the culture of the Alps, while offering leeway for modern and international influences. It is a place where guests, staff and locals interact, contributing to shaping the Zermatt community in its culture, tradition, and values.”

A new paradigm
These days, being at the forefront also means being conscious of our natural surroundings. “Nature is essential to our project, so everything we do must be sustainable and respect authenticity,” specified Daniel Lauber. That’s why the Cervo implemented a sustainable energy concept that revolves around a recently installed geothermal heating system, which meets 95% of its energy needs (the other 5% will soon be met by biogas). To further minimize impact, the waste heat from commercial refrigeration and grey water is reused, and geothermal probes serve as energy sources and energy storage, which helps keep consumption to a bare minimum.
The Cervo’s high level of ecological awareness goes hand-in-hand with a heightened sense of social responsibility and a “responsible attitude towards life,” affirmed Daniel Lauber. The hotel is comitted to upholding these standards and has been awarded Sustainable Living and Ibex Fairstay labels, in addition to being a founding member of the groups Green Pearls and Responsible Hotels of Switzerland. The establishment also supports multiple ecological and social responsibility associations. In all cases, their leitmotiv is to always forge a strong sense of community.