Hotels in Zurich are no friend to the wallet, but for those of you with a bit of cash to spare, consider staying at the Widder Hotel. Located in the Old Town, this hotel takes the best of Zurich’s past and present. It is set in nine townhouses that have been converted into a single, modern, luxury hotel boasting great amenities.
The Union Bank of Switzerland undertook the renovation of these nine historic houses in the mid-1990’s. Swiss architect Tilla Theus (who is also responsible for designing the new FIFA headquarters in Zurich) was assigned the task of updating the interior while keeping the overall character of the houses intact. The result is thus an interesting amalgamation of styles and decors. No two rooms are the same – indeed, most are radically different from one another, in terms of layout, size and décor. You will also find tapestries, sculptures, paintings and murals from the original houses scattered around the hotel, and perhaps even in your room.
The hotel values privacy and comfort above all else, so the number of rooms is small – at a mere forty-two rooms and seven suites, you can certainly expect some peace and quiet. There is a roof terrace that suite guests can have access to. From here, you can enjoy the views of Zurich’s Old Town. For the crème de la crème of Swiss living, check out the penthouse suite, which offers a large living room complete with fireplace, separate bedroom, and a bathroom with a Jacuzzi.
For those with an eye for furniture, the hotel delivers the most exclusive pieces designed by only the best. The big names here include Miles van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. An interest in antiques will be best satiated at the hotel’s Zunftchammer Museum, which houses a permanent exhibition of a traditional Swiss butcher’s handicrafts.
No good hotel would be complete without dining options. The Widder Restaurant at the hotel provides nothing but the finest in Swiss dining. Winner of fifteen Gault-Millau points, this restaurant is renowned on the continent and around the globe for its exquisite food. There is an extensive (eighteen-page long) wine list, separate lunch and dinner menus as well as daily specials.
For a more low-key dining option in the morning, check out the Breakfast Pavilion, an area solely designated for the most important meal of the day. The glass roof opens up during the summer, so you can enjoy the fresh, crisp air over a cup of Switzerland’s finest hot chocolate.