Have you ever visited a new place, and considered not even leaving your hotel?! I can’t say that we have, but we came very close when we visited Zurich for the first time this summer and stayed at Atlantis by Giardino. Yes we were there during a heat wave, but my family and I never allow the weather to dampen our time when traveling. We always manage to get out and see as much as possible of each location we visit, even if we have do it in small increments. This time in Zurich it was different.
Our home base, the Atlantis by Giardino, was just that good! We had so many plans for activities and restaurants in Zurich, but the amenities, the service, and the cuisine at the hotel were too enticing. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that we only went into Zurich once, and allow me to explain why.
The Atlantis by Giardino exudes elegance and sophistication, while maintaining a comfortable and unpretentious vibe. It is a 1970s vintage hotel that has welcomed the likes of legends such as Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones. Completely renovated with the utmost care and attention to detail, it reopened in December 2015.
Set just outside of the city-center and a stone’s throw away from the Uetliberg forest, it offers a fine balance between city and nature. We loved waking up to views of nature trails and llamas on the backside of the property, and then heading to breakfast to sip our coffee with stunning views overlooking Zurich.
Normally when we visit cities as a family, we try and stay in the city-center for easier access to sights and activities, so I must admit that I was a bit worried initially about staying outside of Zurich. However, our time at Atlantis has made me re-evaluate our travel habits. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle that takes you into Zurich proper and runs every hour, so the city is easily accessible. And having the ability to go for a hike and be in nature by simply stepping outside of the property is priceless, especially when traveling with little ones. You really can have the best of both worlds at Atlantis, that is if you can pull yourself away from the comforts of your room!
Your Client’s Haven
Understated elegance would be the phrase that best describes the rooms and suites at the Atlantis. They are stylish and luxurious, cozy enough to make you feel at home, but with details that pamper even the most discerning traveler. The plush bedding and fine linens make for a wonderful night’s rest, and most rooms have a balcony and separate sitting area where one can relax. We had interconnecting rooms to accommodate our party of five with room to spare, which was wonderful for the children. And I especially appreciated the smaller creative touches, such as the beautiful orchid on the side table and the lights and solar screens that are all easily adjusted from a central control panel.
Flavors that Entice
The Atlantis boasts two restaurants on property, Hide and Seek and Ecco. Hide and Seek serves international, Ayurveda-inspired cuisine with locally sourced ingredients, and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will find unique dishes such as banana soup, octopus carpaccio, and my personal favorite Patagonian king prawn curry.
If it’s more fine dining your clients desire, then tell them to reserve a table at Ecco. Awarded not one, but two Michelin stars, Ecco is sure to please even the most discerning of palates. Unfortunately, we were not able to dine at Ecco, since it was closed and the staff was on holiday during our stay. Nonetheless, we thoroughly enjoyed the cuisine at the hotel and actually found it difficult to choose with so many enticing options.
One can also enjoy a light lunch in the lounge area or by the pool. We were surprised to find authentic steamed dumplings on the menu there, and the large variety of meticulously prepared cocktails cannot go without mention. Our favorite was the traditional Moscow Mule.
Amenities for All
The Atlantis by Giardino has something to offer everyone! Whether your clients are looking for adventure, culture, or relaxation, they are sure to enjoy their stay. The hotel offers complimentary bicycles, and they can also pack a picnic lunch for your clients to take, if they choose to enjoy a longer ride, go for a full day of hiking, or see Lake Zurich by paddle board. For those who prefer staying on property, they are in for a treat with the gorgeous pool that spans 25 meters in length. It is the largest of all hotel pools in Zurich, and it boasts large boulders of Lucerne stone that protrude into the water—simply stunning! The spa and indoor pool are equally enjoyable. The gym is on the smaller side, but well equipped for a full body workout. And for total relaxation tell clients to head to the steam, jacuzzi, and/or sauna after their workout for a fully invigorating experience. There is a wide array of spa treatments to choose and salon on site as well.
For families with little ones, there is also a small, shaded wading pool, which was a hit with our almost 3 year old. The hotel is very accommodating for families, offering baby cots in the rooms, a baby phone that allows you to listen to your little one if you step out, and they can arrange for babysitting upon request. They don’t have a kid’s menu per se, but they will tailor the menu to accommodate the kid’s palate.
The Details are to Die For
Oh the details! I could write an entire article, specifically on the intricate details that can be found throughout the hotel. From the luxurious staircase in the lobby, to various accent walls in the lounge and dining areas which are made to look like bookshelves and safety deposit boxes, one can appreciate the amount of time and thought that went into the restoration of this beautiful hotel property. However, the most special detail of all is the staff and thus the service. The hotel staff exudes genuine happiness. They are willing and wanting to help with whatever your needs may be, and no request is too big. Traveling with little ones can have its stressful moments, and it was truly refreshing to feel cared for in such a warm and welcoming way!
I can honestly say that the Atlantis by Giardino is one of those places I considered keeping to myself, because again, it’s just that good! But now that the cat is out of the bag, if you’re headed to Zurich with or without little ones, don’t think twice, and stay at Atlantis.
For more information, visit atlantisbygiardino.ch/en.
This story originally appeared in worldstompers.com, a family travel website created to inspire families with kids to expand their idea of adventures. You can follow the adventures of the Bazavilvazo family @worldstompers on Instagram and The Worldstompers on Facebook.