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The Baur au Lac is one of the finest hotels in Switzerland and is still run by the sixth generation of the same - founding - family since it opened in 1844. Located in the centre of Zürich, but set within in its own beautiful garden oasis, this hotel offers 119 rooms including 27 junior suites and 18 suites, four restaurants and bars including the two-Michelin starred Le Pavillon, a wine shop and a rooftop fitness centre.
Originally a large, elegant villa serving as a discreet residence for guests travelling incognito, the space was constantly enlarged until it reached its present size in 1898 and the great and the good were soon drawn to its doors, then and now.
Baur au Lac is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
Located in the heart of Zürich, the Baur au Lac sits in its own private landscaped park with views over Lake Zürich and the Alps. Just a few steps away lies the lake, with its paddle wheeled sightseeing boats and public beaches. The property occupies a prime location in the city with the upscale shopping district of Bahnhofstrasse on its doorstep. The city’s financial district at Paradeplatz is similarly close. Indeed, many of Zürich's cultural and historic attractions are just a stretch of the legs away.
Thanks to the hotel’s exclusive partnership with Zürich Airport VIP service, when time is at a premium, guests can choose to be met by a personal VIP agent directly at the aircraft with a limousine transfer to passport control and then to the exclusive VIP Lounge. This seamless service allows the luggage to be taken care of by the private chauffeur who will then drive the guest onto the hotel. It takes around 30 minutes’ drive time from Zürich Airport.
The Baur au Lac features 119 spacious rooms including 27 junior suites and 18 suites and every one of them is unique, designed with an unfailing sense of style. The décor is inspired by Art Deco, English Regency and Louis XVI with a pinch of the contemporary skillfully interwoven giving an eclectic, always elegant feel to the rooms. Even the smallest single rooms feel roomy due to the custom-made furniture to make use of every spare foot including a working desk and a seating area. They look out on a quiet inner courtyard or the city.
The next category up – the Deluxe Double Rooms – are extremely comfortable and spacious with similar views whilst the Junior Suites offer an abundance of space with furnishings, textiles and materials of the highest quality. These rooms look out onto either the inner courtyard or the Schanzengraben – the canal which abuts the hotel, a legacy of the city’s Baroque defenses.
The 18 luxury suites offer dazzling views of Lake Zürich or of the Schanzengraben canal with the furniture unique, commissioned especially for the hotel. The City Suites are particularly known for their luxurious bathrooms, all the furniture and carpets for the River Suite Zürich were created by designer Frederic d’Haufayt, commissioned from the finest ateliers across Europe and the USA and although offering uncompromising quality and workmanship, have been created with sustainability in mind.
The Deluxe Suites Zürich perfectly complement the beautiful views of lush green Baur au Lac Park and the shimmering blue of Lake Zürich. The Deluxe Corner Suites mix exquisite Art Deco pieces with period French furniture with a modern twist. They offer perfect views out over the park and Lake Zürich but also the canal.
All the necessary luxuries of modern life are there, the technology hardly visible - flat-screen televisions with multi-satellite-channels, iPod docking stations, Bose sound systems, coffee and tea making facilities, heated floors, CD and DVD players, fresh flower arrangements and the hotel’s own brand of toiletries. The mini bars are complimentary, refilled daily whilst the turndown service even includes a gift of the hotel’s own proprietary brand of Swiss chocolate.
The rooms on the first floor are wheelchair accessible via a lift for those with disabilities. Several guest rooms inter-connect, ideal for families.
The most important facility at the Baur au Lac is without doubt its private park and gardens, a facility much prized by its clientele and unusual in a city location where real estate is at a premium. The Park overlooks Lake Zürich and the Alps beyond – a perfect backdrop for an outdoor sculpture gallery. Gigi Kracht, wife of the sixth-generation owner of the hotel, curates an annual contemporary sculpture exhibition in the hotel’s grounds which has become an integral part of Zurich’s cultural life.
Since 2016, the Baur au Lac Park has been home to 80,000 gentle honeybees. These black and yellow hotel employees live in their own beehive - which is a miniature version of the hotel. The resulting honey can be enjoyed at the hotel’s breakfast buffet.
Even when the horsepower was still primarily in front of rather than under a bonnet, the Baur au Lac has offered a secure sanctuary for automobiles with the Baur au Lac Garage. Today, the garage still houses guest cars and will hand wash them, repair them, replace tyres and will refuel them either with petrol or charge them at an e-charging station.
Thanks to the exclusive partnership with Zürich Airport VIP service, the Baur au Lac can ease airport stresses, deal with luggage and priority security and passport control, and offer a safe haven in the form of an exclusive VIP lounge. The Baur au Lac is the only Zürich hotel allowed to collect luggage from the carousel.
For fitness enthusiasts keen to keep up their routine when travelling, the Baur au Lac offers a light-filled fitness club, high above the rooftops of Zürich where exercisers can look out over Lake Zürich and the Alps on top-of-the-line equipment.
The Baur au Lac also offers a wine boutique on site.
The best hotels around the world have always attracted the powerful elite for three key reasons – the location (normally central), the service (attentive yet unobtrusive) and thirdly, and the most importantly, for their discretion. The property is also reassuringly luxurious, its staff are long-term and comfortable in their roles and the property has a continuity in ownership: it feels safe and secure.
Perhaps this is why the Nobel Peace Prize was conceived in one of the hotel’s salons by Baroness Bertha von Suttner in conversation with industrialist Alfred Nobel. Or why it was here that the composer Wagner premiered the first act of his new work Die Walküre to his friends, singing himself and accompanied on the piano by his father-in-law, Franz Liszt. Major treaties have been signed here and the guest roster reads like a Who’s Who – the last Russian Tsarina, Austria’s Empress Elisabeth, Wilhelm II of Germany, Placido Domingo, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró - to name but a few. Countless anecdotes could no doubt be relayed were it not for that famous discretion.
A family-owned, independent hotel, the Baur au Lac has constantly refreshed its offering to stay ahead of the field and has done so right from the start. Indeed, the property offered one of the first garages in Zürich three years before Henry Ford introduced the Model T, a service continued to this day.
The premier restaurant at Baur au Lac is the two-Michelin starred Le Pavillon under the toque of Head Chef Laurent Eperon. The restaurant space was designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon with his understanding of how to create serene modernity in an historic space. The result is a touch of Art Deco style - a light filled space with a rotunda, stunning beautiful flower arrangements, vintage Lalique chandeliers and glass walls that look out onto the hotel’s gardens, the Schanzengraben canal and beyond that, Lake Zürichand the Alps. Chef Eperon takes his inspiration from Haute Cuisine classics, updating them with seasonal ingredients and a modern interpretation earning him a formidable reputation in Zürich and beyond. His gastronomic offerings are complemented with a 3,000 plus wine list.
Baur’s Brasserie & Bar is a perfect recreation of an Art Deco gem by designer Martin Brudnizki with lacquered walls, mirrored surfaces, muted tones, modern art, bar and banquette seating and stunning Murano glass chandeliers. A less formal space, the menu features the classics of European cuisine, vegetarian and vegan dishes. The Baur’s team are – at the time of writing – offering a delivery service Baur’s@Home and holds the reputation as one the best delivery services in Switzerland.
The Baur au Lac Terrace comes alive in the summer months, a true oasis in the heart of Zürich. Thanks to its privileged position, the Terrace Restaurant and adjacent bar offer views out over Lake Zürich and the Alps. Serving lighter and seasonal fare, the finest pastries and ice-cream sundaes, the vibe is one of relaxed conviviality.
Le Hall is often referred to as “Zürich’s living room”. Set at the heart of the hotel, this is the perfect place for impromptu meetings, afternoon tea or a restorative aperitif in a contemporary reminiscence of the past, perfectly conjured up by Pierre-Yves Rochon. A central winter garden lights the space under which a crystal chandelier reigns supreme. Large trees bring life into the space which is awash with private nooks and crannies for those seeking a private corner.
Sustainability and astute environmentalism are at the heart of the Baur au Lac. The restaurants buy organic-quality seasonal ingredients from local farmers and place great emphasis on economic and environmental sustainability. The hotel is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy use per overnight stay and the property’s technology is designed to conserve energy and reduce CO2 emissions. Even the hotel’s most recent suite renovations took sustainability into its thought process when designing the spaces, both with the materials used and the custom furnishings ordered.
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