The last few years I'm afraid I have changed my mind about staying at hotels for extended periods of time. The main reason is that there's nothing compared to the intimacy of your own place. Then there's this thing about checking in, checking out, availabilities, rates, it's not that I'm a millionaire and I don't care at all about the money issue, and it's much cheaper either way when you're in the "renting business" than in the "long stay business"...
Nevertheless, there are sometimes when you simply can't resist staying at a hotel, even when you'd probably say that it's not worth doing it anymore. It depends on the hotel itself of course, certainly the destination and there's always that other unnegotiable factor, the people, a hotel after all is not an entity which is run by its own, it's sometimes the people who can turn a very good stay into a unique one.
When it comes to the Unique Hotel Post in Zermatt, Switzerland, that's undoubtedly the case. As for the hotel, both the accommodation and the food & beverage facilities look pretty much the way they look at the hotel's website (www.hotelpost.ch), absolutely stunning. Wouldn't be there a chance that things might have been different, after all it's one of the best hotels in Zermatt, a small village nestled in the upper part of the Matter valley in southwestern Switzerland, under the watchful eye of the iconic Matterhorn, famous for its high hospitality industry standards. In Zermatt people are so friendly and helpful than in any other place I've visited, they're "for better and for worse" literally, I witnessed it firsthand after the almost lethal attack I suffered in Geneva last summer.
And it all started when I was still in Geneva, I had arranged everything a few hours earlier, but unfortunately after what happened I had no choice but to postpone everything. But I had to go to the police station because time was ticking quite unfairly, so I asked the receptionist at the hotel I was staying to call them and inform them about my intention to cancel my reservation.
When I returned she told me that everything was taken care of, like it always does... The first time I stayed at the Unique Hotel Post was when I first visited Zermatt, three years ago, two days in July and another two in August. Everything couldn't have been better, it wasn't only the hotel of course, it was also those unforgettable experiences during those four days up in the mountains, but it was also the people at the hotel who made those experiences grand, and first of all Mac, the night manager with whom I had a conversation for more or less an hour about whether it would have been a good idea to attempt the Breithorn, the easiest fourthousander in the area, that day. According to the weather forecast, the weather was going to be a mess, and so it was, I hadn't hired a mountain guide and wouldn't have had the time in the morning so I would have had to go by myself, and so I did, Mac gave me the right advice and it was a lifetime's experience.
Two years later I was back again, I remember arriving from Milan at midnight, and guess who was there to welcome me and to inform me that I had received a complementary room upgrade; I was going to pay for a single room which cost 179CHF but instead was going to stay in a double room whose rate would have been otherwise 229CHF. My friend Mac of course. And that was not the only suprise that night. The double room they had me upgraded to, room 203, how can I forget it, I stayed 8 memorable days there, not only has its own balcony right over the central Bahnofstrasse, but it also shares a small terrace with another room that has a magnificent view of the Matterhorn itself! At one point I recall, the front office manager told me that they wouldn't give the room next to mine if they had other empty rooms so I could have the terrace for myself. And Marina Gelmi, the vice-director and HR manager was very helpful when I asked to alter my reservation I had made through "booking.com" so I could stay a little more.
Last year was also when I met for the first time the hotel owner and director Mr Martin Perren, a very friendly and understanding gentleman who, when I finally made it to Zermatt last summer, offered me any assistance I needed. And so it happened, all the people working at the hotel, I'd rather not use the word "stuff" because not only it does not express my feelings towards them but it also undermines them, were there for me, regardless of the fact that the first five days I had been staying at a friend's and at the Hörnli hut. And of course I saw Mac again, he was very supporting I'd have to add and so he has been the following months, after I returned home. A month ago I sent Mr Perren a mail regarding the possibility of renting one of their studios and of course Mr Perren was very kind and helpful like he has always been. I have postponed this trip for the time being but if there's one thing that holds my broken heart from tearing into peaces, that's the knowledge that sooner or later I'll be returning there.
For another set of unique experiences, in unique company at a unique place, the Unique Hotel Post.