Hotel insider: Park Hyatt Zurich, Switzerland
I’m collected at the airport by a hotel driver, who’s waiting at the baggage carousel with a sign. It’s then a smooth 15-minute drive into central Zurich and the smartly low-key financial district, where the stylish, five-storey building sits on Beethoven-Strasse. The hotel entrance is slick and businesslike, and the lobby, filled with natural light, modern art, bamboo and an inviting lounge, manages to be both cosy and visually impressive.
The 10-year-old building fits well into the neighbourhood, which is a mix of modern, low-rise office blocks and historic residential apartments. It’s 300 metres from the lake (Zürichsee) and just steps away from Bahnhofstrasse, the city’s busiest shopping street. It’s about a five-minute walk to the old town (Altstadt).
The lobby lounge is busy during the week with (mostly male) investment bankers of all ages; weekends see local families. There’s an informal but slightly hushed air to this space, which I like. On Friday and Saturday nights, the hotel’s attractive, ground-floor Onyx Bar, which is accessed from the street, can be crowded with a mixed clientele. Elsewhere, the hotel is peppered with a total of 70 pieces of original modern art by artists such as Sol LeWitt, Heinz Mack, Serge Poliakoff and Ossip Zadkine.
I’m in a standard king room on the fourth floor overlooking Beethoven-Strasse. It’s blissfully quiet thanks to effective double glazing, and I love the built-in, double-glazed air shaft that can be opened by those wanting fresh air in their rooms. The 36-square-metre space is very well designed, and feels much bigger. I love the full-sized desk, as well as the bathroom, which can open out to the bedroom. In all, the hotel has 142 rooms.
Swiss service is less rushed than you would imagine, the idea apparently being that guests should not feel pressured. Once you’ve grasped the idea that while things may not arrive immediately, they will come along without having to be chased, you get used to it and factor in, say, half an hour for extra bath salts or a pillow to arrive from housekeeping.
The hotel has three food outlets. At Parkhuus, its flagship restaurant, the Canadian tenderloin (56 Swiss francs [Dh208]) is delicious even well-done, accompanied by great sautéed spinach with garlic, pine nuts and mashed potatoes (8 francs [Dh30] each). The Lounge offers a “Beauty, Brain and Moodfood” menu, with two courses, such as salad or soup and a main dish, for 49 francs (Dh182). I loved the mille-feuille of smoked halibut and cod, with spicy pumpkin and potato mash. The breakfast buffet (39 francs [Dh145], including taxes) is an attractive spread of local yogurts, cheeses, smoked salmon, croissants, fruit and cereals; juices and coffee are also high-quality.
The lounge and the hotel’s overall design, and the jet-lag-relieving massage that took place in a hotel room while the spa was being renovated.
There’s no pool; I was also surprised that such a luxury hotel didn’t offer a pillow menu.
A well-located luxury retreat.
The bottom line
Double rooms at the Park Hyatt Zurich (www.zurich.park.hyatt.com; 0041 43 883 1234) cost from 580 francs (Dh2,150) per night, including taxes.
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Published: December 31, 2014 04:00 AM