Convenient, high-class luxury
By Don Heimburger
Photos by Don Heimburger and courtesy Schweizerfhof Hotel
Especially if you’re traveling by train to Zurich, finding the famous five-star Schweizerhof Hotel isn’t hard. It’s right across the street from the ornate Neo-renaissance Hauptbahnhof, and a 12-minute ride from Zurich’s airport. A few steps out of the station, the hotel’s beckoning facade looms before you.
Not only is the Schweizerhof convenient, it’s highly rated. Trip Adviser, for example, shows it to be the third-rated hotel in Zurich, out of 124 hotels.
One Trip Advisor reviewer said, “I was very impressed with the outstanding service from all the staff, in particular the reception girls Carmen and Dominique, Michael (a porter) and Hans, who provided us with a private butler service and free champagne and chocolates! Okay, I did say we were on honeymoon, but it did not cut much ice anywhere else!”
He added, “This hotel is out to impress (you) and wants you to go back.”
CLOSE TO THE BAHNHOFSTRASSE
The six-story stone-front hotel is also only a few steps away from the famous Bahnhofstrasse, that mile-long elegant street dating from 1864 that’s a combination of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, New York’s 5th Avenue and Los Angeles’s Rodeo Drive.
In good weather, locals gather early in the morning at the sidewalk cafe in front of the hotel to read their newspapers, talk about politics or the day’s happenings and order coffee and pastries.
With 114 rooms and suites, the Schweizerhof can provide an economy single room with a bath, a moderate single room with a shower or bath, or a standard-plus room, which affords a bit more space.
At a higher price, double rooms with a queen-size bed are offered, as are twin-bed rooms, corner rooms, a junior suite, and a premium deluxe suite. The rooms are decorated with Italian designer furniture, and bathrooms feature Italian granite.
The rooms are comfortable, with firm mattresses, plenty of lighting around the room, and the entire hotel is air conditioned. One great feature also is the triple-glazed windows: noise from the street below never was a problem when I was there.
The hotel offers high-speed internet service, flat screen televisions, beds are electrically adjustable and all rooms have a handy make-up and razor mirror. A mini-bar, hairdryers, trouser press, umbrella, safe, complimentary fruit plate, and pickup service from the railway station is also included.
In the morning, guests can enjoy a complimentary champagne breakfast buffet which includes a personal pitcher of fresh squeezed orange juice, assorted juices,various breads, croissants, assorted jams and jellies, cold meats, fruits, yogurt, coffee to order, including expresso, and there is a menu card just for tea.
In addition, assorted cereals, crepes, Nutella, made-to-order eggs, including eggs benedict if desired, bacon and sausage are available. A special Japanese breakfast of miso soup, salmon, vegetables and fried potatoes is offered.
As an added touch of ambiance, little stools are available just to hold ladies’ handbags next to the table.
The staff is attentive to special requests and diets, and they make notes of special needs for the guest’s next stay. I was told that if I came back next year for breakfast, the staff would remember what my breakfast preferences were. Breakfast is served in a room on the mezzanine, with pleasant surroundings and a cheerful waitstaff.
While restaurants abound in Zurich, the hotel offers Restaurant La Soupiere, a traditional French-style restaurant serving seasonal, market-fresh cuisine and Swiss specialities. The Cafe Gourmet et sa Boutique du Caviar is a cozy, small cafe serving snacks, salads and caviar.
For meetings and business travelers, the hotel offers a number of meeting rooms and banquet facilities.
With style, this Zurich hotel serves a clientele that expects a little bit more, and they get it.
Jörg Rudolf von Rohr is the managing director of the hotel.
More more information, go to www.hotelschweizerhof.com.
Hotel Schweizerhof Zürich
8021 Zürich / Schweiz
Tel. +41 44 218 88 88
Fax +41 44 218 81 81
To learn more about Zurich, go to www.zuerich.com, or www.myswitzerland.com/en/zurich.html