Widder Hotel is nestled down one of the prettiest streets of Zurich’s old town. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this hotel, as all the luxury hotels in Zurich seem to have a unique and individual personality, much like the Swiss themselves.
Of course, a 5-star luxury hotel in Zurich is bound to be good. Zurich is renowned for being a wealthy city full of flash cars, fur coats, jewels, and international bankers. In fact, there are so many bankers in Zurich that they have their own slang term for a Swiss banker, a “Gnome of Zurich”. The downside of this is the prices. Zurich isn’t cheap but it is good!
This wealth means that streets are spotless, the shopfronts, like the hotels, are lavish and house the best designer brands. Zurich even has it’s an Apple store in the center of the main street.
Zurich city center is vibrant with people lunching in streetside cafes and there is an exciting nightlife too. All the bars are busy whatever night you decide to go out. As you would expect, there are many suited men in Zurich’s restaurants, but the locals are funky and unique. The pianist in the Widder Hotel bar must have been in his 60’s, but his snow-white hair reached his waist. In fact, if you just take a snapshot of the locals walking the streets, most seemed extremely well presented with the latest fashions, unafraid to mix colors and with “just stepped out of the salon” hairdos. Both the men and the women here seemed happy to experiment with unusual styles, colors, and lengths that you won’t find anywhere else.
Yes, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Zurich is a funky town and the Widder hotel is a suitably unique luxury establishment to help you fit right into this whacky place.
Book the Widder Hotel with our luxury travel concierge and get the following free benefits for FREE:
- Room upgrade from Design Double Room to a Lifestyle Junior Suite subject to availability at time of arrival
- Full Buffet Breakfast for up to two in-room guests served in Brasserie Boucherie AuGust
- Zurich card, a 24-hour pass offering free transportation and entrance to all the 43 museums in Zurich (for 2 persons)
- A bottle of wine from the Zurich region
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- For Lifestyle Junior Suites: Guaranteed room upgrade to a Lifestyle Suite at time of booking, or $50 value credit valid toward food and beverage or laundry services (if upgrade unavailable)
Why We Love This Hotel
We love the Widder Hotel for its perfect location, right in the center of Old Town, where you can follow the cobbled streets down to the lake. A great feature of this hotel is that their bistro restaurant and bar look out and spill out onto the street, so you can people watch to your heart’s content, whilst sat out on or next to these largely pedestrianized streets.
As outlined above, you are in the center of Zurich’s Old Town, around a 5-minute walk to the station, around a 2-minute walk to the lakeside and about a 1-minute walk to the Apple store on Bahnhofstrasse, which also houses all the designer shops. You are also convenient for the financial district which is around the corner.
Best Time To Visit
Zurich is a busy year-round destination. I like it in the summer when you can sit out in one of the many cafes in the Old Town and watch the world go by. I also love it around Christmas time when the snow is falling and carol singers line the streets. They really do here. We were in Zurich a few Christmases ago and an entire kids choir were singling in the street as the snow was falling. Magic.
How To Get There
The Widder Hotel is around a 20-minute drive from Zurich airport if you are flying in and you can get to the hotel by grabbing a taxi or hopping on the train which will take you into Zurich’s main station.
Style & Character
This design hotel is found within nine historic townhouses, which have been joined up by some quite incredible architecture. Archaic stone walled libraries are connected by cathedrals of glass and steel with visible lift shafts and clear glass ceilings. The mix of old and new is enthralling, mixing the 1490’s with the 1990s and 2000s.
Service & Facilities
Facilities include a stone-walled library with comfy leather sofas which was being used by business people holding intimate meetings during our stay. There is also a gym, and a leafy, cobbled outside terrace with stylish seating, which looked like it would be a great place to spend a summer evening.
There are 49 rooms and suites. Each is completely unique. Ours must have been in one of the oldest buildings with walls that were partially painted and partially revealed old murals from the past. The floor was red stone and there was a separate, smaller room to the side for our boy to sleep in. An attic hideaway overlooking the rooftops.
Our bathroom was black marble with the most enormous shower, you could have had a party in there! The Widder-branded toiletries were particularly special, they smelled completely delicious and included a night cream and a foot cream as well as a lip balm and day cream.
Top-floor suites are apparently spacious with terraces and sun loungers- perfect for relaxing under the sun.
Food & Drink
The hotel has two restaurants, “Widder” a fine dining venue and boucherie, brasserie, and bistro “AuGust”, the more casual eaterie. It also has a funky bar with live piano playing. While we didn’t try the “Widder”, we had a completely delicious breakfast “AuGust”.
“AuGust” is hugely popular with locals throughout the day. This is also where hotel guests enjoy a generous breakfast. We enjoyed a delicious buffet that included excellent Bircher muesli along with fruit, pastries, pancakes, cereals, meats, smoked salmon and cheese, etc. Everything you could wish for. The a la carte was very special too. I ordered my usual eggs florentine and it was delivered with perfectly cooked almost liquid spinach. That may not sound as appealing as it tasted, but it meant the spinach wasn’t chewy and the dish was truly delicious. If you do order this, make sure you take a mirror with you. Unbeknownst to me, the minuscule bits of spinach had wedged themselves between each of my teeth, so when I thanked the staff as we left, my grin must have been truly frightening!
We noticed that “AuGust” was also packed for lunch and dinner, partially due to the wonderful seating outside on the cobbled street or perhaps because the window seats are the perfect place to grab a bite and watch the world go by, next to the almost floor to ceiling windows, or perhaps it’s just the delicious Bistro food that draws in the crowds. Either way, this is truly a great place to while away hours, whether you are staying at the Widder or not!
We actually ate our evening meal at the Widder’s sister hotel, the newly renovated Storchen. Their La Rotisserie restaurant offers some of the best food we have ever eaten in Zurich. Sea Bass that melts in your mouth, Lamb that tastes rudely fresh, the desserts include crème brulee, cherry trifle and a chocolate delight which was a spherical chocolate construction over a crumble-style dish which was melted in front of us. Completely mad but what fun! Chef Cyrille Anizan and his team will are geniuses when it comes to creating culinary masterpieces. This is not my favorite restaurant in Zurich to celebrate a special occasion
Our stay at the Widder was short, just one night, but even for one night, I felt that I was able to absorb the soul of Zurich from this hotel. It’s location, right in the center of Zurich’s Old Town, meant that we could feel the character of the town from the moment we woke. The streetside views from the “AuGust” absorb you into Zurich’s street life right from breakfast. Just touch the walls of the Widder and you can feel the history of the buildings that make up this hotel and if you can stretch to a suite with a roof terrace, there is no better place to enjoy the sunshine with views over the higgledy-piggledy rooftops.
*benefits offered were correct as of 2019 but may be amended at the hotel’s discretion.
Disclosure: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.