Review: Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich

Introduction
Virgin Atlantic 207 787-9 Economy Class Hong Kong to London Heathrow
Swissport Lounge London Heathrow
Virgin Atlantic 206 787-9 Premium Economy Class London Heathrow to Hong Kong
Plaza Premium Lounge Hong Kong
United Club Hong Kong
Swiss 139 777-300ER Business Class Hong Kong to Zurich
Swiss Arrivals Lounge Zurich
Glacier Express 902 Zermatt to Andermatt
Hotel Victoria Jungfraujoch
Touring the Hotel Schynige Platte
Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich
Swiss Senator Lounge Terminal A
Swiss Panorama Business Class Lounge Terminal E
Swiss 138 777-300ER Business Class Zurich to Hong Kong


While I was skeptical about the first two accommodations we were staying in, I was really looking forward to the Baur au Lac. An entry level room here retails at ~HK$5,500, and a junior suite retails at ~HK$7,900. Each room allows a maximum of three people, so at a discount rate we took a junior suite and a deluxe double room. For five nights, no way – but for a night, my mom was ready to splurge for our last night in Switzerland. After all, it wasn’t like our other choices were cheap at all.

The entrance of the Baur au Lac reflected the prices. It looked stunning, while still being quaint – almost like the White House.

img_1558 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Exterior

It looked even better by sunset – I mean, look at this!

img_1694Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Exterior

img_1693Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Exterior Signage

Before entering the hotel there was a little bit of seating, on a hallway – one side led out, and the other side led to the hotel’s restaurant, The Pavillon (more on that later).

img_1522 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Exterior Seating

The lobby was dainty and partitioned into two sections. On one hand it was decorated in rather antique decorations and not my style, but on the other hand it was in mint condition.

The reception area featured a few couches, though on the whole was pretty cosy.

img_1523 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Lobby

img_1557Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Lobby

img_1524 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Lobby

To get to the rooms you walked into the common area, which was much airier. There’s WiFi at the lobby, so after we checked out I managed to spend a little work done here.

img_1526 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Lobby

img_1527 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Lobby

img_1528 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Lobby

There was also a convention area – while I didn’t visit in detail, it looked really nice.

img_1525Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Convention Area

The friendly associate checked us in, however she said one of the rooms would take a bit longer. We decided to go up to our room, leave all our stuff there, then go on the city tour we’d arranged, before getting back that night. She gave us our WiFi codes, which were included in our key card pocket. It’s worth noting that for Switzerland WiFi, the hotel’s WiFi was incredibly fast.

The hotel has one lift, though we didn’t have any problems waiting for it, given that the hotel has just five floors. We were on the fourth floor, and assigned rooms 429 and 431, the former of which was the deluxe double room, and the latter of which was a junior suite.

The hallways were bright – on one hand it did feel a little cruise ship-y, though on the other hand the walls were completely clean. You wouldn’t be able to find a speck of yellow or a stain whatsoever.

img_1556Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Hallways

I did like how the doors protruded into the hallways – it made the hallways looks sleeker.

img_1697 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Hallways

Our rooms were towards the end of the hallway.

img_1695Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Entrance

img_1708Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Floorplan

Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich
Check-in: Friday, July 29, 2016
Room Type: Deluxe Double Room
Room Number: 429
Stay duration: 1 night
Check-out: Saturday, July 30, 2016

The room featured a partitioned entryway, where you could hang your coat. There was a door between the entryway and the room.

img_1727Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Entryway

img_1726Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Coat Hook

The room was standard, a decent size for European properties. It featured a really comfortable bed, two comfortable chairs, a desk, and a flatscreen TV.

I appreciated that the bed had two duvets, as it’d avoid duvet tugging wars in the middle of the night – furthermore, I don’t really enjoy sleeping with Dad, so I took my duvet and headed to the sofa in the junior suite.

img_1534 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Bed

img_1535 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Chairs

img_1536 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Desk

img_1537 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Flatscreen TV

The blackout blinds and drapes were electronically controlled, which is always nice.

img_1553Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Drape Controls

The most impressive aspect of the room was the toilet, which was massive. It featured double sinks, a separate shower/tub, and an enclosed bathroom, as well as a ton of open space.

img_1538Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Bathroom

img_1539Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Bathroom Tub

img_1540Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Bathroom

The shower had excellent water pressure, though it came out of a top showerhead instead of a rainforest shower. For a HK$5,500 hotel, that’s kinda cheap, in my opinion.

img_1541 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Bathroom Shower

img_1544Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Bathroom Enclosed Toilet

img_1710Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Bathroom Tub

I always find it convenient to have double sinks, though these days I find myself associating double sinks only with luxury hotels. Single sinks work perfectly fine for me, though.

img_1709Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Double Sinks

The toiletries were hotel-branded and were very good.

img_1543Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Bathroom Toiletries

It’s worth noting that the entire minibar is free. Someone came up every once in a while to stock up on the minibar. The Fanta was also German-style, in which it had a more complex orange flavour compared to anything we get here in Hong Kong, so props to that.

img_1551Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Minibar

The room faced one of the Zurich canals – definitely not the best view you can get of Zurich, but it certainly wasn’t bad (more on that in a bit, when I talk about the adjacent junior suite).

img_1554Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room View

I headed over to the junior suite, which my mom and my sister were staying in. It was partitioned from the deluxe double room by a door.

img_1529 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite 

Apart from all the amenities of the deluxe double room, the junior suite featured much more open space, as well as some extra seating, including a sofa (which I ended up sleeping on).

img_1531 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Bed

img_1532 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Sofa

If I could change one thing, with this much open space the desk could face towards the room so other people staying with you wouldn’t have to look at your screen…though I guess with my screen facing my parents, I was much more productive.

img_1533 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Desk

The toilet was also revamped, if not much different. It featured basically the same amenities – separate shower/tub, sinks and an enclosed toilet. If anything, I would’ve preferred the setup in the deluxe double room as there was “platform area” for me to put my amenities, as much as I understand how much nicer this looks.

img_1545 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Bathroom Double Sinks

img_1546 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Bathroom Tub

img_1547 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Bathroom Shower

img_1548 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Bathroom Shower

img_1549Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Bathroom Toiletries

The highlight of the room, though, had to be the porch. It was engraved in flowers, and while it also faced the canal, in the distance you could see Zurich on one side and the lake on the other. It also helped that the weather was amazing all throughout our stay.

img_1555 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Porch

img_1707 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Porch

The views were especially good during sunset – look at this.

img_1702 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Porch View

img_1703 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Porch View

img_1705 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Porch View

img_1706Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Porch View

Both rooms featured a tablet where you could find out more about the hotel and Zurich, though I guess it’s not really necessary given how fast hotel WiFi is. As far as I know the tablet could surf, too, but I’m not too sure.

img_1552Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Tablets

The hotel provided extensive turndown service at night, with peanut/normal M&Ms, vegetable juice, a nice little card and the actual beds turned down as well.

img_1698 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Turndown Service

img_1701 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Turndown Service

img_1699 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Deluxe Double Room Turndown Service

img_1700Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Junior Suite Turndown Service

As I mentioned earlier, breakfast at the hotel was served at The Pavillon, which was close to the entrance of the hotel.

img_1711Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Hallway

The actual restaurant was rather sterile, though in the most beautiful way possible. It was white themed, and decorated with flowers. On one hand it’s stunning, but on the other hand, I’d expect to see the colour tones at a luxury rehab center. On the whole I liked it, though.

img_1719Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon

The spread was continental – while everything was ultra high quality, there’s only so much you can do with a cold food spread.

img_1712 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Food Spread

img_1713 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Food Spread

img_1714 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Food Spread

img_1715 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Food Spread

img_1716 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Food Spread

img_1717 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Food Spread

img_1718Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Food Spread

Each table featured butter, and had freshly squeezed orange juice at their disposal. I also ordered a hot chocolate to go with my breakfast.

img_1720 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Butter

img_1723 Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Orange Juice

img_1721Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Hot Chocolate

The Pavillon also features custom-order eggs – I chose a poached egg with a couple strips of bacon, which sounded like heaven to me (I remember it being a little firm in the center, but overall still really nice).

img_1722Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Poached Egg with Bacon

My mom went with the full eggs benedict, which was well seasoned.

img_1724Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich The Pavillon Eggs Benedict

The other restaurant at the Baur au Lac is the Rive Gauche, with an indoor area and an outdoor Terrasse. We had dinner at the Terrasse on our last night – while I couldn’t get photos of the food in time, I did get a picture of the menu. The food was spectacular…and priced accordingly.

img_1740Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich Rive Gauche Menu

In terms of the hotel’s other amenities, I wish I could report back on them, though I didn’t have time to visit any. It’s worth noting that the hotel’s service is also great. Each interaction with staff was well-intentioned, there wasn’t too much of a language barrier, and when I ran out of battery after I checked out and was working in the lobby after dinner at the Rive Gauche, waiting for the airport transfer we’d booked, the front desk was kind enough to lend me an adapter.

Bottom Line on Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich

The Baur au Lac is definitely one of the best hotels in Zurich, though it’s also priced accordingly. I would splurge for a night if I had the money, but looking at my future plans, if I’m really looking for Swiss luxury I might redeem points at the Park Hyatt.

The Baur au Lac is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, a hotel chain I started relations with during the trip, in case that impacts your travel choices.

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