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Breaking Travel News investigates: Hotel Atlantis by Giardino, Switzerland

Hotel Atlantis by Giardino, with its special ‘Y’ shape architecture, reopened to guests in December 2015.

Originally dating back to the 1970s, over the years it has welcomed everybody from Steve McQueen and Freddie Mercury, who gave an impromptu performance in the bar, to Shirley MacLaine and Muhammad Ali.

Now fully restored, the property sits at the foot of Üetliberg, a famous destination for tourists and Swiss locals alike.

The mountain can be reached either by foot or by train, and is only a stone’s throw away from the hotel. Indeed, this location is just one of the things that makes this hotel a very special place.

On one side you can feel the urban vibe of close by Zürich and on the other you are right in the middle of the relaxing countryside. 

Hotel Atlantis is only a ten minute walk away from the nearby train station at Triemli, and from there it is only another ten minutes into Zürich main station - Hauptbahnhof.

A comfortable option however is to use the transfer service at the hotel, with two sleek Range Rovers on offer for that purpose.

Arriving on Friday afternoon, I was struck by the feeling of elegance, with comfortable sofas, stylish chairs and a roaring fire place greeting guests.

It as though one had walked through the front door back into the 1970s.

Staff are discreet, polite and efficient, while hotel manager Martin Vossen took the time to welcome us personally.

Up in the room we had a great view over Zürich and everything you would expected is present and correct.

A comfortable bed, sofa with huge cosy cushions, chairs, two tables, non-alcoholic mini bar, two televisions, a Bluetooth speaker and coffee machine all await.

During the renovations of the property some walls were taken out to make the rooms bigger, leaving guests with a glorious impression of space, as though you have both a bedroom and a living room.

There were also two small balconies allowing us to take in the fresh air.

A welcome card stood on the table from Mr Vossen next to orchids, fresh fruit and chocolate – a nice touch.

One of the highlights of the hotel is the spacious spa.

Offering both Ayurvedic and modern treatments, recovery and indulgence are key words in the 1,500 square metre space.

On offer are a sauna and steam rooms (with quiet zones), relaxation areas, a Pilates and yoga studio, a gym, and four spacious treatment rooms (where therapists will use Aveda products as well as Giardino Group’s own spa range called dipiù) and one luxury spa suite with private Jacuzzi and steam room.

At the entrance staff are welcoming, happy to talk new guests through the different possibilities, while the fresh fruit and refreshing drinks were excellent and always available.

Indeed the atmosphere was so pleasant I visited each of the three days of my stay, indulging in a relaxing, professional deep tissue massage.

While I was astonished that there were never too many people using the facilities, the spa is not a prim hideaway, with the pool also used by children, which created a lively atmosphere, without disturbing people. 

The hotel has two in house restaurants, the casual dining Hide & Seek and fine dining Ecco Zürich.

The food at the restaurant Hide & Seek was excellent.

Guests can choose their dishes on the tablets as well as a wide variety of wine and other drinks.

On Good Friday, we were treated to a special fish menu for dinner in line with Catholic tradition, with delicious appetisers served between courses.

The dessert was fittingly decorated with an egg shaped ice cream, with a white circle made out of candyfloss added as a final flourish.

All dishes were delicious, a feast for the eye, with chef Rolf Fliegeauf having created his usual magic.

More Information

Built between 1968 and 1970, Atlantis by Giardino is recognised as an important example of post-war Modernist architecture.

From its construction till October 2004, it functioned as a hotel before closing and becoming a popular venue for Zurich’s artistic community.

It was bought by the existing owners in 2012 and they appointed London-based HBA, the world’s lead-ing hospitality design firm, to oversee its extensive refurbishment programme.

Find out more on the official website.

Mona Marti