TRIEDAND TESTED HOTELS
Hotel Atlantis, Zurich; 25 Hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse; Grand Central Hotel, Belfast; and The Palace Hotel, Lucerne
BACKGROUND Hotel Atlantis by Giardino, to use its full name, is part of the Swiss Giardino group, which also has hotels in Ascona, Lake Maggiore and Champfer. Owned by a Qatari investment group, it is also a member of Design Hotels. The original Hotel Atlantis was designed in the late 1960s and opened in 1970. It latterly became the Hotel Atlantis Sheraton, then shut in the early 2000s. It was renovated by Monoplan and reopened at the end of 2015.
WHERE IS IT? In Friesenberg, 14km from Zurich airport and 5km from the centre of the city. The rail and tram stations of Triemli are a five minute walk away (a 20-minute ride to the city centre), and the hotel has a free shuttle service running every 30 minutes to the main shopping street of Bahnhofstrasse.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The design of the fourstorey building takes advantage of its sloping position at the bottom of Zurich’s Uetliberg mountain for views and to catch the sun. ROOMS As part of the refurbishment the room count has been reduced from 149 to 95, although eight of these bedrooms are contained within the fourth-floor Penthouse suite, which is the biggest hotel suite in Europe and is completely different from the rest of the hotel.
In the rooms, you’ll find Italian manufacturer Molteni&C’s custom-made interiors, with furnishings and fabrics from names such as Pierre Frey, Altfield and Zimmer + Rohde. Tones are muted, but richness comes via texture. Walls are softened with fabric and suede; desks, tables and cabinets have curves, trimmed in antique brass; dark wood doors have contrasting fabric panels; and floor-toceiling marble in the bathrooms has been chosen for its striking veining.
Rooms at the back of the hotel look out on to the forested foothills of the Uetliberg mountain, while front-facing rooms enjoy panoramic views across the city of Zurich. A breakfast buffet, alcohol-free minibar, wifi, Dipiu Spa body care products, daily newspaper and Nespresso coffee machine are included in the room rates.
Entry-level Classic rooms measure 30-34 sqm. The majority of the Generous rooms (34-38 sqm) have glass-fronted balconies with cushioned seating, as do Luxe rooms (37-41 sqm). Junior suites (44 sqm) include a living/study/dressing area, with a sofa and coffee table, and desk with USB points and international power sockets.
FOOD AND DRINK The hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant called Ecco open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday, and for Sunday lunches. This fine dining venue also has a private dining room. The main restaurant, called Hide & Seek, is where breakfast is served – and is a large, glass-fronted space with panoramic views overlooking the city of Zurich. The centrepiece of the stylish bar is a wall made of brass safety-deposit boxes, a nod to Zurich’s financial history. In summer the Ocean Bar serves lunch by the pool.
MEETINGS There are three main meeting rooms: Tide, a boardroom-style space (accommodating eight to 22 people) that can be divided into two; Drift, a meeting and banqueting room for up to 40 people; and Wave, the main event hall holding up 200 people, with a large terrace area offering great views.
LEISURE There is a 25-metre outdoor pool, flanked on one side by large flat rocks for sunbathing. The indoor pool in the spa is perfect for bad weather days. There is a small gym in the basement, but a better option is to take your exercise outdoors. Paths behind the hotel lead to trails that criss-cross the mountain slopes, popular with runners, Nordic walkers and mountain bikers (bikes can be borrowed for free from reception). The spa would not be out of place in a wellness resort, with an Ayurvedic treatment menu and Aveda massages. You can book one-on-one personal training, plus Pilates and yoga sessions.
VERDICT A good choice if you want to combine business in Zurich with some quality downtime. Tom Otley
Paths behind the hotel lead to trails that criss-cross the mountain slopes