Park Hyatt Zürich
Similarly to the Park Hyatt Tokyo or Paris Vendome, the Park Hyatt Zürich is one of the famous Hyatt hotels that all Hyatt aficionados would look forward to staying in. As a Park Hyatt in a European destination, the hotel is not cheap, but it is competitively priced for Switzerland. The hotel exudes understated sophistication and is a perfect fit for the high-end boutique brand of Park Hyatt. Throughout the hotel, a variety of materials are mixed (wood, bamboo, marble, cloth) to create a cool, boutique hotel feel. A number of artworks (91) are placed in the public areas of the hotel, based on a theme of classic modern, avoiding the aggressive moods often depicted in contemporary art.
To get to the hotel from the airport, we would recommend taking the train (first class is not expensive and is quiet and comfortable) to the main station and then taking a taxi. If you don't have much luggage, a cheaper option is the tram. We arrived on a Saturday and checked in at a quiet lobby. The check-in process was quick and professional - the agent was very friendly and our preferences were noted. We were impressed that the room was ready at noon, and shortly after checking in, a chilled bottle of white wine appeared as our diamond welcome amenity.
Park Executive Suite
The only other available room type we were able to view was the Executive Suite. Soon, the hotel will have a greater number of the smaller Park Suites after conversion of some of the existing guest rooms. However, suites are currently in high demand, so book early if you want to guarantee one.
The Executive Suite is a large room (108 square metres) which makes good use of its space. A large hallway leads past a wardrobe and guest cloakroom to a lounge with seating and dining space for 4. A separate study area with a good sized desk keeps work and leisure separate. The bedroom is spacious and leads to the highlight of the suite - a big bathroom with twin sinks, a huge walk-in rain-shower and a beautiful free-standing egg-shell bath, big enough for 2. The spaciousness of the bathroom felt a real luxury and like a wonderful place to relax.
In general, we felt that the suite had a masculine vibe in Autumnal colours, and it was a warm and comfortable home-from-home rather than a spectacular wow suite. However, this is to be expected for a non-signature suite. Although we were unable to view it, the Presidential Suite offers 180 square metres of luxury, decorated in paler colours, and comes complete with a kitchen and steam-shower.
For us, the only weak point of the hotel was the leisure facilities, although perhaps this is unsurprising for a hotel in a city which currently mainly attracts business travellers. Although the spa and gym were high-end, clean and reasonably well-equipped, we felt that the space could have been used better.
Currently, there are a couple of treatment rooms, two spa areas with sauna, steam room and experience showers (segregated by gender), a relaxation room and a gym, which is small but has a range of equipment. Whilst we were there, we didn't see anyone else in the spa area, so there is a good chance you can enjoy it in peace. In the gym area, bottled water, plentiful towels and sterilised ear phones area available to borrow.
However, it would have seemed sensible to have one slightly larger mixed spa area with sauna, steam room, showers, cold plunge and jacuzzi and a larger gym. It would also be a nice touch if there was a special treatment room, perhaps with a private spa bath, steam room and relaxation area, like the spa suites at the Adlon Spa in Berlin.
Park Executive Room
The hotel during our stay was pretty busy, so we were delighted to be upgraded to an Executive Room. These rooms are identical in size to the Park Room, but are in a quieter location. At 36 square metres, the smallest rooms in the hotel are still pretty big - the designers chose to have larger rooms instead of a larger spa or swimming pool. Even the standard rooms at the Park Hyatt have a walk-in wardrobe and all rooms come with a Nespresso coffee machine (complete with 9 capsules in 3 flavours). All rooms at the hotel come with complimentary water and a bowl of fresh fruit, which is refreshed daily.
The executive room has a desk area suitable for 2, a very comfortable lounging chair and plenty of floor space to set up an in-room dining table. Between the bedroom and bathroom are sliding doors, allowing you to lie in bath and talk to someone in the bedroom, or watch TV. The bathroom also has a wet-room style shower by the bath and plentiful supplies of Blaise Mautin toiletries, created exclusively for the hotel. We were impressed by the variety of toiletries, which included bath salts, mouthwash and a very exfoliating body mitt, in addition to all the normal suspects, such as rich body lotion, nourishing conditioner, shower gel and shampoo.
We made good use of the hotel's dining facilities, which were fairly priced for the location. Room service orders were tailored to our dietary requirements with no problems, and always delivered within the time specified.
Breakfast was a particular highlight and is provided on a complimentary basis for diamond members whether served in-room or taken in The Lounge. In particular, we would recommend the smoked salmon and the fresh fruit, which came beautifully presented and was perfectly ripe. If staying for 2 nights, we would recommend having in-room breakfast once and the buffet once, as both were fantastic and we can't choose a favourite.
The ONYX bar offers a wide variety of drinks, including our choice of the Prince of Wales cocktail (a bit like a classic champagne cocktail). Currently, the bar is a dark, atmospheric area but has recently undergone a refurbishment, so it will be interesting to see how it has changed on our next stay.
The parkhuus restaurant offers international fine dining and was the first restaurant of it's kind in Zürich. We ate here at lunchtime and had wonderful fresh fish and vegetable whilst we spoke to Jacques Morand, the hotel's GM at the time. The open show kitchens of parkhuus are wonderful to see, but the restaurant also offers 2 private dining rooms: our favourite was the 2-story wine library, where you can dine surrounded by 3000 bottles!
A word about Zürich
If you're coming to Zürich, chances are you are on business. However, Zürich has a great deal to offer the leisure tourist. Take a stroll along Bahnhofstrasse, turn up Augustinergasse and then lose yourself in a maze of mediaeval cobbled streets and alleyways full of bars and boutiques as well as the inevitable jewellery and watch shops. Pass through Lindenhof on a sunny afternoon and see friends and families playing pétanque under the trees. Pop into Fraumünster church, founded in the 9th Century to see the extraordinary stained glass.
Having visited Southern Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne) more than the North, we were surprised at how lively Zürich felt, particularly around the lakeside, which was busy with buskers, ice cream stalls and promenaders. It is easy to hire a pedalo (even one with a slide for the kids to slip into the water with) or a motorboat to go swimming or fishing. The water was incredibly clear.
There's a tram museum, folk museum, design museum, in fact more galleries and museums than I could count. It is also a good place for the gourmet, though not cheap.
Although externally it is an unprepossessing building, like much modern Swiss architecture, internally Park Hyatt Zürich is a very interesting property with a very boutique, art-hotel feel. We experienced absolutely perfect service - there was not a single service slip that we could refer to. Zürich is not a cheap destination for the leisure tourist but it is a great place for a short city-break in summer. If you stay at Park Hyatt Zürich you'll likely get great service. I strongly recommend you try a Prince of Wales in ONYX.