The Cervo

reinvented

Text Claude Hervé-Bazin / Photo Gian Giovanoli
Date of publication Winter 2019-2020

Leaning up against the heavily-wooded slopes, the Cervo looms over the village and the Sunnegga funicular station, the gateway to Zermatt’s skiable area. A distinguished member of Design Hotels™, the Cervo is celebrating its 10th anniversary by embarking on an ambitious transformation.

In 1839, Doctor Lauber opened the first lodge in Zermatt with just three beds on offer (the predecessor of the Hotel Monte Rosa). Today, one of his distant descendants, Daniel F. Lauber, is working at the helm of the most intimate Design Hotel™ in Zermatt: the Cervo. Made up of eight independent chalets that each house their own spa, this prestigious 5-star establishment has been patiently building a small luxurious empire, and now includes two restaurants (the iconic Cervo Puro and the Ferdinand), the Owner’s Lodge penthouse, the Overlook Lodge (made up of five large apartments), and the Schali Lago chalet located on the edge of the small Schalisee lake, near Täsch.

What do all these venues have in common? An exemplary appetite for alpine purity, brought to life through the use of warm and welcoming natural materials, and an assiduous quest for the best panoramic views, with the Matterhorn at the forefront. Leaning up against the heavily-wooded slopes, the Cervo looms over the village and the Sunnegga funicular station, the gateway to Zermatt’s skiable area. A distinguished member of Design Hotels™, the Cervo is celebrating its 10th anniversary by embarking on an ambitious transformation. In 1839, Doctor Lauber opened the first lodge in Zermatt with just three beds on offer (the predecessor of the Hotel Monte Rosa). Today, one of his distant descendants, Daniel F. Lauber, is working at the helm of the most intimate Design Hotel™ in Zermatt: the Cervo. Made up of eight independent chalets that each house their own spa, this prestigious 5-star establishment has been patiently building a small luxurious empire, and now includes two restaurants (the iconic Cervo Puro and the Ferdinand), the Owner’s Lodge penthouse, the Overlook Lodge (made up of five large apartments), and the Schali Lago chalet located on the edge of the small Schalisee lake, near Täsch. What do all these venues have in common? An exemplary appetite for alpine purity, brought to life through the use of warm and welcoming natural materials, and an assiduous quest for the best panoramic views, with the Matterhorn at the forefront.

(R)evolution at the Cervo
Summer 2020 promises big changes for the Cervo. The hotel will partially shut its doors as it undergoes a modernization. The driving force behind these changes is the idea to delicately bump the Cervo out of its alpine shell and open it up to the world. Nothing revolutionary: the hotel’s infamous alpine chic style (which may very well have been invented here), will not disappear, rather it will evolve in a way that integrates more transnational, cosmopolitan influences for today’s mobile world, with the added goal of becoming more eco-conscious.

The best concrete example of this? The lounge will become home to the 100% vegetarian Bazar restaurant, where Eastern specialities will sustainably be brought to life using the best local products from Valais. Meat-based diets are slowly falling to the wayside and raclette’s reign over mountain dishes has come to a end. Today’s reality is much more versatile; desires fluctuate in accordance with temptations. At Puro, the maison’s highly-rated restaurant that received 14 points from Gault&Millau, the menu leans towards the southern Alps, shining a spotlight on pasta and ravioli dishes with contemporary flair. Only the Ferdinand, forever tied to its alpine roots, will remain fully committed to its still-sacred manta: 100% pure, made in Switzerland.

A Remodelled Hotel
On a technological level, the Cervo is moving away from fading fossil fuel-based models towards clean energy. Once renovations are complete, 90% of the Cervo’s electricity and heating will be provided by a multi-source system that includes solar and geothermal heat pumps, which tap into deep subterranean waters some 150 m below the surface.

The psychology of the establishment is also evolving. A new swimming pool with a view of the iconic Matterhorn is being built in the spirit of onsen, Japanese baths, with updated wellness and massage spaces, and a yoga teacher will be on staff. The Cervo aims to break free of the restraining image of a simple “hotel venue” to become a true living destination, an incubator for ideas and desires, and a venue with a focus on personal development. The fitness centre will be transformed into a meditation room to encourage inner journeys, with Beyond Exploring as its new slogan.

The former spa will be redistributed into four future Spa Suites. A new chalet will be built with some 15 new, high-comfort rooms, complete with cosy contemporary decor at reasonable prices. The Owners Lodge, which is one of the most lavish options in Zermatt, will become more exclusive, as a way of extending the full range of offers available at the hotel.

The renovations will be overseen by the interior design firm Dreimeta d’Augsbourg, and are set to run from April-May through November 2020. In the interim, the Cervo will be partially closed without fully closing its doors. Some of the rooms and amenities will remain open from June 26-September 27 as part of the Ferdinand Pop-Up Hotel (which includes a room service breakfast), offering the perfect opportunity to experience this incredible place without breaking the bank.

www.cervo.ch
www.ferdinand.swiss

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