If you’ve ever wanted to stay in an igloo then you’ve really gotta see this place in Switzerland. Nestled right next to the Matterhorn, the igloo in Zermatt is one unique experience you should try even if it’s just for one night!
Yes, the rooms can be a little frosty but you’ll warm up with lots of piping hot teas, soup and unlimited hot chocolate! 😋
Now, more than anything, staying in an igloo is an experience you won’t forget… especially when they have a hot tub too. There’s nothing quite as cool as staying warm and toasty in a hot tub, watching out for shooting stars over the Matterhorn.
Anyway, before I ramble on any more I wanted to share some of the details of our stay and answer some questions I wish I’d known before our visit. I promise you, it’s one experience you’ll love! 🇨🇭
What is an Igloo?
Okay, let’s start with the easy part that you might not know if you’re based in a warmer climate. An igloo is a pretty cool house/space carved totally out of ice to use as shelter, to sleep and traditionally for nomadic hunters. In this case (in Switzerland) they build igloo’s every year to make a little ice hotel right beneath the snowcapped mountains.
Where is the Igloo in Zermatt?
The Igloo in Zermatt is actually right next to the iconic (and totally incredible) Matterhorn… you know, that mountain that features on the logo of the Toblerone bar (yes, I’ve always got chocolate on my mind.) 🤣
Now, the easiest way to get to the Igloo is by train. Once you’ve arrived in Zermatt you can take the trip up the mountain with the Gornergrat railway.
The stop you’ll want to get off at is Riffelberg station (where you’ll meet with the organizing team at the Riffelhaus Hotel).
What can you do when you’re at the Igloo in Zermatt?
Once you arrive, you’ll be whisked off on a short 10-15 minute walk across the stunning snowcapped mountains to reach the igloos. For safety reasons, you cannot travel to the igloos alone and must be escorted with the team. After a quick safety briefing, you’ll have a free reign of this magical landscape.
Once inside, you can either pop into the bar for a little tipple. Yup, they serve lots of wine, plenty of hot drinks and soups which keep you nice and warm. After a little pick-me-up, you can head out with head-torches on a snowshoe trek of the area.
After this, you can pop into the hot tub that’s sooooooo hot and nice. Each igloo is slightly different and some have their very own hot tubs too.
Best of all, around 8 pm you’ll be served the tastiest fondue that is delicious. It’s so surreal sitting in the igloo and scoffing the best cheesy fondue – it just feels so magical (without trying to sound too cheesy). It’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
How is the sleeping?
Sleeping is actually really good in the igloo in Zermatt. I was a little apprehensive before we stayed. I kind of geared myself up to not sleep a wink. Thankfully, the sleeping bags keep you toasty down to a whopping -40! Once nestled in your sleeping bag, you’ll be as snug as a bug in a rug.
We stayed in an igloo without a toilet, which meant a very cold run to the heated toilet area outside. If you’re looking to book a stay, I’d definitely suggest one of the rooms with its own toilet so grab these if you can.
At 7 am, you’ll be woken up with a hot tea brought right to your sleeping bag.
What are the temperatures like?
Okay, so when we visited it was almost -20 degrees outside. It was COLD! ❄
I had three pairs of gloves on and still felt freezing. Thankfully, when you head inside the igloo the temperature rises to a rather pleasant 0 to -3. Now, I never thought I’d say that this temperature is pleasant but it makes a huge difference.
Don’t worry if you’re feeling too cold during your stay, they also have a warm room you can escape to.
How much does it cost?
Pricing is different depending on the day of the week you visit and the room you choose.
What should you pack?
Okay, so pack for freezing conditions but make sure you only take a rucksack full. You are not permitted to take a suitcase so pack wisely.
For clothing, make sure to take some waterproof and windproof jackets, warm clothing, some thermals, 2 x hats, a scarf, good gloves, extra layers. When packing shoes, take some good snow boots or waterproof boots that will also keep your feet warm. At -20, everything will feel cold.
Don’t forget to also pack extra socks, sunglasses, sunblock and a towel and swimwear for the hot tub.
Who should visit?
You! Unless you have a real hatred for snow – then you might wanna give this a miss! 🤣
What are the rooms like?
There are a number of different rooms that change slightly in design each year. Each year has a new art theme with 2017-2018 based on mythology.
The categories are; Standard Igloo, Romantic-Igloo, Romantic Igloo Plus, Romantic Family Plus, Romantic Suite (with its own hot tub).
When does it run?
Usually, every year from December until April.