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Widder Hotel 5.0

Zurich, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Prime location in swanky central district
  • Historic property dating back to the 12th century
  • Superb blend of period and modern features in rooms and common areas
  • Uniquely designed rooms with high-end TVs and stereos
  • Marble bathrooms with robes and slippers
  • Bright breakfast room with opening roof
  • Impressive bar with extensive whiskey selection
  • Pleasant terrace for al fresco eating and drinking
  • Fine-dining restaurant and smoking room
  • Free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • No spa or fitness facilities
  • Breakfast is overpriced
  • Some rooms are only accessible via stairs

Bottom Line

The Widder Hotel is a superbly renovated luxury property with medieval heritage located right in the center of Zurich. Chic rooms feature a mix of historic decor features and contemporary touches, and all have high-end stereos and TVs. There's also an excellent on-site restaurant with a huge selection of single malt whiskies. While rates are high even for a Zurich luxury hotel, especially given the lack of spa or fitness facilities (consider the similarly priced Park Hyatt Zurich for these), the Widder is among the most unusual and special hotels you'll find in Zurich, if not in all of Switzerland. 

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Scene

Luxury hotel blending outstanding medieval heritage with contemporary design

The Widder Hotel is certainly among the most impressive historic hotels Zurich, if not all of Switzerland. The property comprises nine protected buildings that date as far back as the 12th century. It took over four years of careful building work and restoration to merge the separate houses while retaining as much as possible of the original period detail and character, including medieval wooden beams and even murals from the Middle Ages. Interior design and furnishings, however, draw heavily on 20th-century modern design influences; there are furniture pieces here from the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, while the property's art collection includes works by Rauschenberg and Warhol. The immaculately finished lounges, hallways, and stairwells are spread across 11 floors and there are nine glass elevators that connect the various levels and structures. Still, some rooms are only accessible by stairs. 

Location

In central Zurich's the picturesque, upscale Augustiner district

The hotel is located in the prestigious and picturesque Augustiner neighborhood in the center of Zurich. The famous Bahnhofstrasse -- one of the world's most expensive and exclusive shopping streets -- is just around the corner, while the charming Old Town (Altstadt) riverfront is a few blocks away. Local trams connect to the main train station -- Hauptbahnhof -- in a few minutes from where travelers can reach Zurich Airport in about 10 minutes.

Rooms

High-design rooms with original period features 

The hotel has 49 rooms in all (including 15 suites), each of which is a uniquely designed mixture of fresh contemporary decor, mid-century modern furnishings, and original period features -- some rooms even feature original murals and thick, gorgeous wood beams. In-room amenities are suitably swanky, and include free high-speed Wi-Fi, high-end stereo systems, and Bang & Olufsen TVs, while free mineral water and fresh fruit are replaced daily. Spacious bathrooms are finished in marble and come with robes and slippers; entry-level categories have shower/tub combos (partial glass partitions mean bathroom floors can get wet) and some suites have walk-in showers and standalone soaking tubs. Although the hotel offers a range of room types, the Duplex Suites are particularly impressive and are decorated with either cozy old-style interiors or bright, super-modern styling. Some rooms are only accessible via short staircases -- making them a poor choice for guests with limited mobility, while others have less-than-impressive views of a neighboring building. 

Features

Bar with dizzying whisky selection and live jazz plus smoking room with cigar menu

The hotel's bright and (sometimes) sunny breakfast room has a glass roof that can be opened in the summer. There's an excellent and extensive morning buffet, though it's not included in room rates and is quite expensive. The Widder's small, traditionally styled restaurant offers fine dining for lunch and dinner, while an attractive bar features a selection of over 250 single malt whiskies and hosts regular live jazz performances. There is also an elegant smoking room that offers a choice of cigars, as well as a snug library room and a pleasant outdoor terrace for al fresco eating and drinking. Note that there's no gym or spa on-site. 

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Address

Rennweg 7, Zurich 8001, Switzerland

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