Exterior View
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Earlier in late October, I made a getaway to Zurich, Switzerland. Without knowing which hotel to pick, I picked Baur au Lac Hotel because of all the reviews and the location. Situated right in front of Lake Zurich, slightly hidden behind it’s own garden, the hotel cannot be any more peaceful.  The view from the rooftop of the hotel is breathtaking. I was very lucky to have a beautiful few days which was so clear that I could see the Alps from the hotel.

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Being in Zurich calms me down. The city is so peaceful, quiet, safe, clean and it is such a happy place to be at. Upon arrival Baur au Lac, the surprises just kept coming! First of all they upgraded me to a city suite, and the room was already ready when I arrived early in the morning. Greeted by the friendly and helpful concierge, I forgot that I had only 2 hours sleep the night before my flight.

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Secondly, when I was brought to my room, it was just beautiful. Big windows with lots of natural sunlight, and a comfy bed that I immediately wanted to jump onto.. I couldn’t be any happier. It was a combination of contemporary design and technology within a traditional high ceiling setting, I had been staying in the hotel room way longer than I usually do simply because it’s too comfortable to leave! There is also a pillow menu on the bed side, which on the second night I asked for a more supporting pillow..I think it is safe to say the nights I spent there were the most peaceful long nights I have had since a while ago..I slept like a baby and woke up feeling completely like a new person..!!

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What has touched me most was how sweet the hotel staff has been, they had prepared the most personal welcoming treats for me- 3 carefully chosen chinese tea, with a ceramic chinese teacup and a note in chinese explaining which tea is best for when; a box of Baur au Lac’s homemade chocolates, and some sweets (which obviously I finished within minutes). There were also 2 beautifully hand written cards from the hotel manager and director, which is very rare to find in luxury hotels nowadays. (now we’re talking about surprises # 3& 4! – all within 30mins of checking in!)

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And then, of course it’s food time! Michelin Star Restaurant Pavillon is a mesmerizing place to eat. Seriously I spend at least an hour having breakfast there every morning, just because the view and the daylight that came in through the panoramic windows are too beautiful. Services are again impeccable, the staff there can remember exactly what I ordered, where I sat and what was I drinking the day before!

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Food at The Pavillon was really good.. I had eggs benedict and crepes ” my way” (meaning they ask you how you want it done) for breakfast, and of course, the delicious traditional birchermuesli… I even asked for a recipe and by the end of the night, I saw a print out of the secret recipe on my desk in my room! (surprise #5..alongside with some Swiss pralines….surprise #6!)

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The Pavillon is on the right hand side of the photo, from the roof top of the hotel. Right in the middle is the Terrasse, where they will transform its setting according to seasons. I’m not surprised that lots of weddings and private parties were held here because of the beautiful setting. Lake facing, open space with a panoramic Michelin star restaurant and a private little park, what else do you want?

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Other than the Michelin Star restaurant, Baur au Lac also has a more contemporary and stylish bar and restaurant that appeals to more younger or casual customers. Being the hottest place in town, Rive Gauche is a very stylish place to dine and have a martini. It is just surprising that the moment I stepped in, a beautiful staff greeted me by my surname. (surprise #7!!)  This is how amazing the hotel service is, I have never been to one single hotel that all the staff recognizes you and greet you by your surname. (May I remind you that the hotel has 120 rooms and suites, how can you not appreciate the effort the hotel staff made to remember you within one hour of checking in?!) Just next to the restaurant on the corner, the hotel has its own shop that stocks their homemade chocolates and wine, having their own cellar, more than 100 producers are exclusively distributed within Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

 

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One can see the very very traditional details of a luxury hotel (think the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel), the concierge service, the heavy traditional key (combined with a very high tech lock with changeable code), the double doors of each room, original staircases and lifts….

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and this, this is something I have really never seen before :

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Hidden in a tiny room next to the lobby and the concierge there is a desk, where a very friendly lady is busy picking up phones, because the hotel still offer an operator service!! and the photo above, is a very traditional way of tourists information provided by the hotel. A tray full of the early business cards of some locations tourists may want to find. On each card there is a map and details of the venue. That is something I really have never seen and found it so amazing.

 

The luxury of hospitality is the personal touch and the effort that the staff is willing to make, as a welcoming gesture and to make everyone feeling at ease like home without being too intimidating. Baur au Lac has been able to keep this fine service to an impeccable level where I absolutely cannot think of one tiny suggestion for improvement. This is what I truly believe as a real luxury that defines the quality of service and hospitality- it is all about the people. Baur au Lac being a traditional hotel for 170 years since 1844, a favourite spot for Kings and Queens and Hollywood stars to stay, the architecture and decoration are one of the finest, and with such world class hospitality and service, one can quite easily understand why it has been a favourite and still being one of the best hotels in Zurich. I will definitely return when I revisit Zurich, after my stay there, I just cannot think of any other better places to stay…

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Thank you so much Baur au Lac for being such a beautiful holiday home.

 

Baur au Lac
Talstrasse 1. CH-8001 Zurich, Switzerland
www.bauraulac.ch