The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

DIS­TIN­GUISHED by a model stork’s nest on its roof, the 600-year-old Ho­tel zum Storchen is the only ho­tel on the banks of the Lim­mat River, an un­par­al­leled lo­ca­tion in the heart of Zurich’s Old Town. The striped awning over its out­door Ter­race Restau­rant shades din­ers gaz­ing at the 12th-cen­tury Gross­mun­ster church across the river.

For ef­fi­ciency, how­ever, the five-star Moven­pick Ho­tel Zurich-Air­port is hard to beat. Its new­ness, clean lines, red ex­te­rior and use of stain­less steel make it look, at first glance, more like an artist’s im­pres­sion than a real struc­ture.

Bed­rooms man­age to be cosy as well as func­tional. Mine, a stan­dard, sin­gle room, is fur­nished in sooth­ingly pale hues (re­fresh­ing af­ter a long flight) with a sep­a­rate sofa near the bed and a bath­room clad in Car­rara mar­ble.

As its name im­plies, the ho­tel is near the air­port — just 2km away— and is ser­viced by fre­quent shut­tle buses.

All rooms are equipped with high-speed in­ter­net, satel­lite television and tea and cof­fee-mak­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

The ho­tel’s restau­rants in­clude one spe­cial­is­ing in Can­tonese cui­sine, but if you pre­fer some­thing more Swiss, head for the Restau­rant Ap­pen­zeller Stube.

Here, chefs in tall hats serve hearty, meaty lo­cal fare (plus a few Mediter­ranean op­tions) with all the right back­drops: pol­ished wooden floors, white table­cloths, smil­ing wait­ers and wines of the day marked up on a black­board.

Walls are dec­o­rated with bu­colic scenes of farm­ers in na­tional dress tend­ing con­tented-look­ing cows and smok­ing alpine-style pipes. The ad­join­ing Sum­mer Ter­race is lovely for out­door din­ing on hot days (the right time to sam­ple the fa­mous Moven­pick ice cream).

I was back in Aus­tralia be­fore re­al­is­ing I had left a favourite shirt hang­ing in the wardrobe, but a few days later it turned up neatly folded and sent by ex­press air, at no charge.­even­pick-ho­

By the river­side: The Ho­tel zum Storchen

Five-star: Moven­pick Ho­tel Zurich-Air­port

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