When you are booking a hotel and your regular is not available, it feels like things are already going badly. Last time in Zurich we’d stayed at The Hotel Continental, which used to be a Sofitel and has the trappings to reflect that. It was, however, full on the night in question and so I found myself investigating the options.
All of them are expensive. Some of them are horribly expensive. Probably the best value is to be had in West Zurich, a few kms from the centre of things, but that depends, I guess, on what sort of action you want. A friend said that this area was like Paquis. Uggh. Paquis is so scungy. West Zurich has grubby sex shops and hookers on the streets if that’s what you want. But it also has interesting innovative places like Viadukt and Frau Gerold’s Garten.
A big drawcard for me was Cafe New Zealand, which has zoomed to the top of cafes in Zurich in no time. I imagined staying nearby and partaking of breakfast there. But then I thought about having to pick my way over the dregs of Friday night sleeze on Saturday morning and kept looking. It’s not even like you get a big discount for the experience, you pay 200CHF instead of 250.
Sheraton have two hotels in Zurich. One is a typical Sheraton, large, highrise, modern. The other, Sheraton Zurich Neues Schloss Hotel couldn’t be more different. It’s in a lovely old building, think boutique hotel. The room was a delight in colour, light, facilities, large picture windows looking out at a beautiful building opposite. It was a short walk to the lake, to the main shopping area, and if it comes to that, a pleasant walk of 10-15 minutes across the bridge to the old town. Food and drinks were nicely presented in the cozy bar area. I had a good pot of tea here and getting fresh milk on the side was not an issue. Sheraton make a point of public computers being available which had encouraged me to travel light and leave my laptop at home. The hotel was kind enough to check me in some four hours early and could let us stay a bit later than check out time too. The only negative was the bathroom was very small. For us it was okay, but I’m guessing there’d be lots of people who just wouldn’t be able to hold their stomachs in enough to squeeze through to the loo.
Best of all, it had one proper bed with one set of linen, one doona. I wish there was some sort of site where you could check out this aspect of staying in hotels in Europe. Last weekend I booked a hotel in Fribourg and stressed in an online message that we wanted one bed. But despite this, and despite getting one bed, we got two small doonas. Arrgggh! They just don’t get it!
That was the NH Hotel in Fribourg. The rooms are extremely basic and run down. However, the location is convenient and the staff were helpful. Personally, if I am staying overnight in Fribourg again, I will be looking to try somewhere else.