Zurich’s Widder Hotel: Perfection In A Butcher’s House

a quiet corner in Widder’s penthouse suite

A Remarkable Property Blends Old With Very New

Never seen one like this before.  On the outside, it looks like a simple establishment.  On the inside, it is simply superb.  From the polished floors to the polished staff, Zurich’s Widder Hotel is likely to be remembered by guests long after their visits have finished.  In a city known for its wealth in a country known for its hospitality, Widder stands out as a truly unique place.  Every one of the forty-two rooms and seven suites is different in size and shape, totally dismissing the standard found at more corporate properties. 

one of the sumptuous suites at Widder Hotel

A series of nine former homes in Zurich’s Old Town, every aspect of the property was given full attention in the creation of the hotel.  Tilla Theus is the Swiss designer behind the ingenious touches such as magnifying-glass lamps and stone-tile floors meant to resemble rugs in the public areas.  No detail is overlooked; from leather bedspreads to intricate woodwork, Widder is an artisan’s delight, meaning it is also a guest’s delight.  But don’t think it’s only old fashioned around here; quite the contrary.  The ultramodern touches, funnily enough, enhance the appreciation of Widder’s historic aspect.  Glass elevators right out of Willa Wonka’s chocolate factory were lowered by helicopter into what was a courtyard between the buildings, which still retain their original colours.  In one space, the walls of four buildings (and four colours) meet, with a sky painted above to recall the previously open space now linking the various houses.  A glass atrium, where exotic trees and works of modern art add accents of colour, serves as a breakfast room.  Widder means ram in German and is the symbol of the butchers’ guild that used to hold its meetings in these very buildings on Widder Street.  The ram pops up everywhere in the hotel, from door handles to statuary to graffito on the side of the building. 

Widder is full of artistic detail creating a unique environment

One of the most popular guest rooms happens to be one of the smallest, a single room reminiscent of a cosy European home right down to the porcelain stove embedded in the wall.  Such old-fashioned details are matched by high-tech counterparts such as the hydraulic coffee table that rises to become a dining table for staying in to enjoy room service. 

Even among a hotel full of individually styled suites, special mention must be made of the magnificent penthouse suite.  Gorgeous is the word.  One can easily imagine Brangelina enjoying the white leather sofas in front of the fireplace, though the private, rooftop terrace does seem a bit too exposed for paparazzi avoidance; lesser mortals, however, are able to enjoy the splendid views to their fullest.  Grab the white mink blanket and get cosy watching the sun set over Lake Zurich.

view over Zurich from Widder’s penthouse suite private terrace

With so many appealing destinations in Switzerland, Zurich is often given only a few days before travellers move on, but the city is well worth an extended visit.  Packed with museums and Old World charm, Zurich is also home to Europe’s highest number of nightclubs per capita.  It’s as quiet as you want to be by day and as raucous as you want to be by night.  With Widder’s privileged location right in the heart of Zurich’s Old Town, just a few metres away from the fabled shopping of Bahnhofstrasse on one side and the chic eateries and drinking establishments of the Old Town on the other, European atmosphere is one step out the door, one peek out the window—and all around you in the hotel itself.  Check the Switzerland Tourism and Zurich Tourism websites for insight into the possibilities.

Widder’s breakfast atrium is a lovely place to start the day
From the Asia-Pacific region, SWISS can take you nonstop to Zurich from Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, or Shanghai; from North America, there are nonstop flights to both Zurich and Geneva.
Source = Mr. eTraveller
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