The Omnia

Design from Head to Toe

Text Valérie Perren / Photo The Omnia
Date of publication Winter 2018-2019

As a contemporary refuge that looks down over the snow-covered rooftops of Zermatt, the Omnia Hotel seems to float above the heart of the village on a hill surrounded by pine trees. Its unique panoramic location is paired with unrivalled tranquility. Nothing is left to be desired at the Omnia, as its Latin-based name (which means “everything”) implies perfectly. So it should come as no surprise that this luxurious establishment was crowned (for the second time in 2018) by the World Travel Awards as Switzerland’s Leading Boutique Hotel.

The Omnia is perched on a natural pedestal that provides panoramic views of Zermatt and the surrounding mountains from the terrace, while one pampers oneself to the fullest (draped in faux-fur blankets, of course). Push open the doors and what do you see? It may be a lobby or it may be a library… or perhaps it’s a bit of both. Either way one thing is certain: hours can easily fly by here before the crackling fireplace. The interior decor of granite and leather, in shades of oak, taupe, grey and black, creates a sensual aesthetic where nothing was left to chance. Every material, every element, and every detail come together in an alchemy that is the very essence of the space.
The Omnia’s design also reflects an authentic cultural dialogue. New York City-based architect Ali Tayar (who passed away in 2016) created the space to be a happy union between an American-style mountain lodge and a (very) classically minimalist Alpine chalet. Even if the chosen materials have their roots in Valais traditions, the interior space here is largely defined by a modern American aesthetic. Most of the interior’s furniture was specially designed by the architect for the hotel, embracing an elegantly demure style that’s reminiscent of Mies van der Rohe’s Bauhaus influence or the modular constructions of USM (a family-owned Swiss company, founded in Munisenges (BE) in 1885, whose iconic contemporary designs are still on display in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art). Like any timelessly great Swiss product, these designs are known for a quality, precision, and reliability that elegantly combines with refined materials and clean, uncluttered lines — all fundamental values that make up the Omnia identity.
Numbers cannot do the space justice: 18 rooms (ranging from 24 to 45m2) and 12 suites (70-110 m2) each assume their own unique personality and disposition. Every room has a different size and layout. Some revolve around an open fireplace, while for others the star is the kitchen, the private sauna, an all-glass bathroom that faces the mountains, or a balcony that embraces the Matterhorn.
The restaurant goes by the same name as the hotel and champions the local spirit of stone walls and a roaring, open fireplace, complete with its neatly-piled wood reserves always within arm’s reach. The restaurant’s French-trained chef, Hauke Pohl, is known for his contemporary cuisine that features both regional and cosmopolitan accents, along with seasonally-inspired menus.
And where does one even begin when it comes to wellness? The Finnish sauna, Turkish baths, and the caldarium all represent the best of the world’s wellness options present at the Omnia. The long pool seems to spill out onto the mountains, overlooking the panoramic terrace through immense windows that also shelter a secret... anyone looking for fresh air needs only dive beneath the divider to find themselves surrounded by the mountains with the Matterhorn as company for a dip in the Jacuzzi.