CHECK IT OUT KAMEHA GRAND ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
Zurich’s newest hotel lies on a busy road just six minutes from the airport, but that’s the only dull thing to say about the extremely diverting Kameha Grand.
The property features chocolate-box interiors courtesy of Dutch design maestro Marcel Wanders (think giant cowbell lobby lights), themed suites and Maserati airport transfers. It sits at the heart of a rapidly developing business precinct, yet guests are only moments from forest, lake and meadows and 15 minutes on a tram from downtown. There are even alpine views from the rooftop spa terrace.
Wanders has had a lot of fun with the hotel’s 245 guestrooms and suites, taking every Swiss cliche you can think of — chocolate, those cowbells, and even the arcane art of scherenschnitte (paper cut out) — and giving them a contemporary twist.
The dark, leather-upholstered sliding door separating king bed from bathtub resembles a block of chocolate, the mini bar and coffee machine are hidden in a bank vault, the desk lamp is a cowbell while the back of the gold-flecked sofa is so like a Toblerone you might be tempted to have a nibble.
Sounds naff but it’s not. The moody rooms, dubbed neo baroque by the hotel’s marketing pundits, are stylish, incredibly quiet and high tech with pushbutton blinds, massive wall-mounted television (readily viewable from the bath in the deluxe category rooms) and free and fast Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are large and well designed with loads of shelf space, good lighting and full-sized Molton Brown toiletries (but let’s lose the mirrored walls in the loo please).
Upstairs you’ll find a state of the art gym, outdoor terrace and an all-white day spa featuring four treatment rooms and a slick relaxation lounge dominated by a wall of fire. Downstairs, smokers are well served with a club-style cigar lounge and an exotic shisha parlour. Meeting facilities include a dramatic plenary hall that might have been dressed by Lady Gaga.
DON’T MISS: A drink in PureGold, where the walls are lined with shiny lucre and you can charge your phone via induction on the bar top. There’s a DJ Thursdays and Fridays and pretty cupcakes and other goodies from the in-house pastry chef every afternoon. DINING IN: In the groovy L’Unico with its open kitchen and tiled tables you’ll find house-made pasta and Italian-style tapas from chef Igino Bruni. The tiny Yu Nijyo is fine dining and bookings are recommended.
DINING OUT: Drop by Hiltl in the city, the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. Try the no-meat tartare.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: Both hotel restaurants (and most of Switzerland) are closed Sunday nights so if you’re staying in, you’ll need to grab a bar snack or order room service. And if it’s the surf ’n’ turf burger you’re after (wagyu, lobster and truffle mayo) you might need to break into that mini bank vault to find the CHF79 ($107) required.
CHECKING IN: Opening rates from CHF199 ($270) to August 15. More: kamehagrandzuerich.com.
ALSO TRY: The Mira Hong Kong; Andaz Amsterdam, Prinsengracht; Mondrian South Beach Miami.