Welcome back to Beautiful Spaces—a series of posts in which I talk about the places where I stay during my travels. It all started in 2013 when I realized that my contentment on the road is directly connected to how much I love where I’m living…and so made a commitment to find beautiful spaces to call home along the way. This is one such space.
I was offered a complimentary stay in exchange for this review. Opinions, as always, are my own.
This winter, en route to sunnier Malta, Luna and I spent a couple days exploring Zurich. I’ve been there before, of course, but I’d only seen the well-traveled tourist path. This time, I had the unique pleasure of staying in the old industrial part of town in one of the quirkiest, most wonderful hotels I’ve ever been in.
The hotel–25hours Hotel Zürich West–charmed me completely from the moment I walked through the door. It’s full of fun, light-hearted art, like the pillows that read “let’s spend the night together” and the plush dog bed with “this is a no cat area” written on the front.
It was tiny details like those that kept delighting me at every turn. Art hidden behind doors. Golden gleaming bathroom tiles. Humorous post cards in bright colors. Environmental friendliness reminders on the soap dispensers. The whole hotel was clearly carefully crafted by someone who cares about every single detail.
25Hours Zurich West also has a great little restaurant called NENI with an excellent breakfast buffet (everything from French toast to puff pastries to eggs and sausage) and Mediterranean food (think hummus and falafel) in the evenings. My favorite thing there was the homemade ice cream with rosemary. Strange and wonderful.
The hotel also has free (and reliable) Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, a free tea area for guests, a shared workspace, and some spa facilities. It’s a bit far from the train station and the center, but there’s a tram station right outside and they’ve got free bikes you can borrow (I took one out and it only took me about five minutes to get into the center). And honestly, I liked this neighborhood more than the center, with its nearby aqueduct converted into a market and shops and all its little ethnic restaurants and tiny eateries.
It’s easy to say this is my absolute favorite place to stay in Zurich (the other places I’ve stayed have been so unremarkable that they haven’t even stuck with me). But the truth is that it’s not just my favorite hotel in Zurich…it’s my favorite hotel anywhere in Switzerland, one of my top two favorite hotels in Europe (the other is in Seville, Spain), and still top five if you add in B&Bs and apartment rentals I’ve loved.
With all the traveling Luna and I do, that is really saying something.
And so I am proud to introduce you to one of my all-time favorite places to stay in Europe. If you’re going to Zurich, book it. You can thank me later.
Going to Zurich? Grab a copy of my Switzerland guide: Switzerland: 100 Locals Tell You Where to Go, What to Hike, & How to Fit In. You’ll find more quirky, wonderful Zurich inside.
Planning a trip to Europe? You can see all the beautiful spaces I’ve stayed in here.