Hotel insider: B2 Boutique Hotel & Spa, Zurich, Switzerland

Checking in to the B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa in Zurich.

B2 Boutique Hotel’s library. Courtesy B2 Boutique Hotel & Spa Zurich
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The welcome

The hotel sits on a newly renovated, repurposed industrial complex called Hürlimann Areal, within a former brewery. At first glimpse, the Victorian-era hillside factory setting is imposing and slightly forbidding, but that’s part of its attraction. Staff at the lobby are very friendly and seize my bags, and I’m checked in without fuss.

The neighbourhood

The 60-room hotel overlooks Google Zurich, which boasts several large, modern blocks playing host engineers working in mostly open-plan offices filled with huge screens. Also part of the surrounding development is a handful of restaurants, cafes and boutique shops. It feels safe and prosperous, and a world away from the historic town centre, though that’s only about 10 minutes away by tram.

The scene

The hotel’s centrepiece is the “library”, which sits behind the lobby. It contains 33,000 books and has chandeliers made from bottles, designer armchairs and a bistro-type cafe. Because of its proximity to Google, it’s a popular meeting place for business travellers. The clientele is mostly male. There’s no loud music. and the variable choice of pop tunes in the background is less hip than expected. The hotel is also connected to a huge thermal-bath complex, built into the 100-year-old vaults of the brewery. Unexpectedly, there’s also a heated rooftop pool with spectacular views over the city. The spa is discounted for hotel guests, but is mostly frequented by outside guests, who seem to consist mainly of young couples (the detailed spa instructions are in German only).

The room

My first-floor standard room (one of 60) feels like a small individual loft apartment, with light wood floors, a long window to the double-height ceiling and a wood-and-glass fronted bathroom. There’s a comfortable designer armchair and desk space, tea-and-coffee-making facilities and fair-trade bath products. There’s a shower, but no bath. The air con doesn’t seem to be effective or allow me to control the temperature, but luckily the windows open.

The service

The reception staff are upbeat and responsive. On the night I have dinner in the restaurant, there’s one woman serving by herself. Though not crowded, I have to wave for attention at times. Food arrived quickly.

The food

The hotel has a limited menu, but food is available until 11pm in the restaurant. Such items available include beef tartare, salads and pasta. The house salad (7.50 Swiss francs [Dh29]) is fresh but nothing to write home about; the pumpkin ravioli (19.50 francs [Dh75]) is tasty but plain. The breakfast buffet consists of self-service juice, fruit salad, yogurt, breads and cheeses, and eggs to order. The coffee is good.


The industrial setting is well-preserved, with the pump room available for events, and other features worked into the fabric of the building. It makes a brilliant change from usual hotel choices. The spa makes it worth staying an extra day. Reception can arrange a visit to Schloss Sihlberg, a neighbouring villa that was once the Hürlimann family’s home. And the free minibar.


The shower cubicle flooded the rest of the bathroom and the Wi-Fi in my bedroom wasn’t as strong as in the public areas.

The verdict

An original and fun place to stay.

The bottom line

Double rooms at the B2 Boutique Hotel + Spa (; 0041 44 567 6767) cost from 310 francs (Dh1,214) per night, including taxes and breakfast.

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