A global invitation
“Cervo is really more than a hotel or a resort, it is an attitude to life,” comments Daniel F. Lauber. It is now 11 years since he and Seraina Lauber opened the Mountain Resort in the middle of the Zermatt mountains. Already ahead of its time Cervo not only offered Alpine chic in a modern vein but also spread the accommodation across several lodges. The charming chalets that are lined up on the slope have remained. As has the ski slope that conveniently ends right next to the main building. However, compared to the launch the concept is now new: For one thing the duo has become a trio: Lukas S. Meier came on board as manager. Together with mls Architekten and the interior designers at Dreimeta they used the worldwide standstill this year to create a new experience. The new guiding spirit that describes how Cervo operates is called ‘Beyond Exploring’ by Daniel F. Lauber: There are three lodge categories with 54 rooms and suites for guests to choose from. It is entirely up to them whether they reside in the ‘Huntsman Lodge’, in ‘Nomad’ or ‘Alpinist’.
Dreimeter met the challenge of creating a holistic image which involved adapting the existing building and fitting out new ones. “Regardless of their classification we see the rooms as places of retreat, as safe havens. Which is why their design is calm and pared back. The focus is on warm, earthy colors, wooden surfaces and natural materials. Bedspreads and curtains are made of linen and in most rooms the walls have a cladding of braided linen,” says Andrea Kraft-Hammerschall from Dreimeta. Be it timber from the region or the granite flooring from the Alps, the high-quality materials are thoughtfully deployed and convincing but without seeking to impress. Processed using craft skills from around the world such as the charred wood in the spa-, yoga- and meditation area that is treated using the Japanese shou sugi ban technique which underscores the mystic character of the rooms and also makes the timber fireproof. “The new concept is aimed at people who act and travel consciously. A central principle in Cervo is ecological responsibility and a strong environmental awareness,” explains Kraft-Hammerschall.
Sustainability is all well and good but there are also practical aspects to consider: “Especially in the 'Nomad' category rooms we have provided plenty of storage space and shelves,” the interior designer reports. Perfectly tailored to backpackers’ fittings include long hook rails while the rooms themselves have a spacious feel to them thanks to the combination of double and bunk beds. In the self-same building guests can test their mountaineering skills on the climbing wall extending over four storeys in the staircase of Lodge VI.
A holistic service such as the Cervo itself: mindfulness with regard to the environment, materials, other people and one’s health. In this context the resort offers unusual oases of calm in the Mountain Ashram Spa – these quite naturally induce the relaxation and deceleration that is praised so much but is usually a complicated process. Guests can choose from the hot springs or onsen as they are known in Japan, the outdoor sauna, the Bhutanese hot stone baths, the tea yurt or the ritual room. Add to that the advantages offered by the magnificent location of the Cervo: Fresh, clean air, close proximity to the forest and a panorama view of the Matterhorn that are always part and parcel of the deal when you stay in the Mountain Resort and can be enjoyed for example on the mountain path that begins directly behind the hotel. Feeling in harmony with nature, clearly distinct seasons, and the nearby mountain landscape all have a palpable influence on the inner rhythm, sharpen the senses and invigorate the mind.
Aside from wellness Cervo stands for discovery: “Massages and other spa treatments are available for those modern nomads looking for inner contemplation as a means perhaps of gaining a clearer view of the world around them,” explains Kraft-Hammerschall. A trip to foreign cultures and oneself. “If you don’t go forwards you go backwards,” says Daniel F. Lauber, who is a passionate traveler. Impressions from Morocco and Far Eastern countries like Bhutan, Tibet or Japan not to mention his own native Zermatt not only inform the interior of the Cervo, but also its cuisine and flair. For example, in the heart of the Mountain Resort guests can come together to experience the “Bazaar” with its feel of an oriental market and savor the vegetarian cuisine. In “Madre Nostra”, chef Davide Cretoni conjures up the finest of Italian specialties, while in the “Ferdinand” the focus is exclusively on Swiss products. Those wanting a nightcap will find 40 different types of gin and a large selection of wines in the “Grapes & Juniper Bar” 40. Another special feature: Most of the ingredients are locally sourced, come from 150 kilometers away at most, and where local sourcing is not feasible care preference is given to sustainable suppliers.
An exquisite offering and yet guests are allowed to simply “be”: The mood in the Mountain Resort is informal and relaxed, the employees are friendly and have an eye for detail. And since mindfulness is so important to the owner this also includes a sustainable handling of resources. For example, already all the waste heat is reused in operating the hotel. The aim is to achieve completely carbon-neutral energy production for heating and hot water and there is just a remaining five percent between now and achieving this goal. For its efforts so far the Cervo was honored with the sustainability label Ibex Fairstay in Gold.
Pioneers, those seeking peace and quiet, discoverers and adventurers they all find what they are looking for in Cervo Mountain Resort. A daring alternative to the traditional hotels in the region and for Daniel F. Lauber a childhood dream come true. “We are currently seeing a change in people’s values and in coming years the desire for sustainable, collaborative solutions is sure to become a key consideration,” he says. It is no coincidence that the hotel logo is a deer’s head; the deer is a strong animal that stands for gentle strength and daring – characteristics that the hotel’s owners have employed to transform the hotel into a very special experience.
Riedweg 156, CH-3920
Phone: +41 27 968 12 12