The sun was setting as we came into Zurich airport and the air had a hint of early summer warmth. Usually I dread the onward journey from the airport but in Zurich the connection couldn’t be simpler, a 10 minute train ride and a few stops on the tram. I asked the airport information officer for orientation help, explaining I was trying to get to the Baur au Lac hotel. She looked up, eyes alight, ‘the Baur au Lac is amazing, the best hotel in the city’. This reaction was repeated every time I mentioned the hotel and I soon realised the iconic status of this Zurich institution. Most cities have a few top luxury hotels to choose from, in Zurich there is one hotel which impresses locals and tourists alike, and I was staying there for the weekend. Walking through the quiet clean streets to Baur au Lac, I was nervous with anticipation.
Celebrating its 170th birthday this year, Baur au Lac has spent almost two centuries charming visitors to Zurich. Discreet and understated on the exterior but lovely and lavish inside, the property has a sophisticated allure. The hotel enjoys an advantageous position on the edge of the lake overlooking a scene of natural beauty with the Alps dazzling in the distance, but not far from the favourite designer shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse.
Service at Baur au Lac is second to none, every member of staff is alert and caring at every opportunity – it felt so comfortable but so special simultaneously. We were in an elegant second floor double deluxe room, newly refurbished and spacious with an abundance of natural light. The décor is a perfect balance of antique tradition, modern luxury and stylish creativity. I loved the decadent plush red chairs and the expressive Miro print which hung next to the giant bed. The heavy curtains ensure you fall into an immersive sleep until morning. On the desk a selection of delicate and delectable cakes were freshly made for us by the highly accomplished pastry chef.
The bathroom is another world of wonders, extra shiny marble and granite covered surfaces, delicious smelling Baur au Lac toiletries and fluffy towels and bathrobes. A power shower and a big deep bathtub are both on hand for a quick refresh or a longer relaxing soak.
In the morning it is tempting to just lounge around in the bedroom, it seems too beautiful to leave but downstairs breakfast awaits. Served in the immaculate Pavillon dining room, Baur au Lac breakfast is truly fit for a queen. The room is adorned with bouquets of flowers on pastel green tables and looks out onto Baur au Lac’s lush private garden, it is heavenly. An array of Parisian style pastries, fruit, yoghurt, meat and cheese are all available from the buffet. We chose French toast with maple syrup from the a la carte, which arrived covered in crunchy cornflakes and dusted in icing sugar. Accompanied by ruby red strawberries and a dollop of thick cream, it was absolutely divine. Strong cappuccino and freshly squeezed orange juice completed our morning feast.
There is so much to discover and explore in Zurich but guests who wish to rest, relax and recuperate from their busy lives could not do better than Baur au Lac. Michelin star restaurant Pavillon serves wonderful fine dishes, whilst bar and restaurant Rive Gauche offers a more casual option. Shopping needs can be met within the hotel at the design boutique or at the unique wine cellar and shop, whilst working visitors can use the 24 hour business centre and indoor or outdoor spaces for meetings and receptions.
Quite simply, this place has everything, but best of all this historic, family-owned property has personality and soul ensuring every guest will remember their stay and dream of a return visit to Baur au Lac.
Book a stay at Baur au Lac here: www.bauraulac.ch
Many thanks to the Swiss Tourist Office for their help with this trip, more information here.