Tim Firmager checks into Atlantis by Giardino for a luxury break in a design hotel and spa in Zurich, including airport transfer by Range Rover.
Atlantis by Giardino has recently become the top-rated hotel in Zurich, so at Vada we jetted off to the Swiss city to find out just what this five-star hotel has to offer that sets it apart from other luxury hotels.
Atlantis by Giardino is not actually located in the city centre, rather on the fringes of the south of Zurich, on the edge of a forest at the foot of the Üetliberg mountains. This immediately means more tranquility, space and greater privacy. At only 15 minutes by complimentary transfer (in a new Range Rover) to the main shopping area of Bahnhofstrasse means guests do not lack buzz of the city centre. Atlantis by Giardino is therefore ideal for those looking to escape the stresses of a hard-working day, and those travelling for leisure.
The Y-shaped hotel is where state-of-the-art technology meets modernist architecture, seamlessly linked through impeccable design, examples include the striking staircase designs. The hotel’s extensive grounds include two restaurants: Hide and Seek, and Ecco, the latter boasting two Michelin stars with outdoor terrace. The Dipiù spa facilities are a true oasis, but more on that later.
On arrival at Atlantis by Giardino, guests drive up under a 1920s style entrance glowing in turquoise lights, a modernist hint at the luxury within. Bell boys and check-in staff were immediately ready to take luggage and the check-in process was undertaken on sofas in the lobby by a glass-fronted log fire with a welcome drink and hot towel – queue-free, stress-free and effort-free. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a photo with the life-size metallic sculpture of a lion near the main entrance.
As new guests to Atlantis by Giardino, we were given a short introduction to the hotel’s amenities, confirmed our upcoming dinner and spa bookings and were shown the way to our room.
The hotel’s 95 rooms and suites all have Nespresso machines and a non-alcoholic minibar which is refilled daily and entirely complimentary, dipiù spa amenities in bathrooms, bathrobes & slippers, and most rooms have balconies. We stayed in a Luxe category room (number 101), the highest room category before a suite. Off the main hallway, there were separate doors for the bathroom and bedroom, which led onto a balcony with views across the city of Zurich.
The bathroom is finished almost entirely in marble, rainfall shower, separate bath and modern sink design, reflecting the futuristic design of the original post-way design of the hotel.
The bedroom is bountiful in space, with large wardrobe and minibar-cum-coffee making area at the far end of the room from the balcony. Adjacent to this is a writing desk area, then space for a two large beds facing a plush chest of drawers – no shortage of space. The beds were incredibly comfy and we had no problems falling asleep, with a turn-down service available. Further along is a sofa area with coffee table, ideal for a morning espresso before breakfast.
The rooms in Atlantis by Giardino boast extensive use of technology. The Bose wireless speaker means no fiddling with cables and adaptors, so almost any modern device can connect via Bluetooth – it worked easily with our laptops and phones. Touchscreen panels are placed throughout the room, which allow you to change the lighting to whatever mood you fancy, as well as a separate control within the bathroom. The writing desk also cradles a tablet, which allows guests immediate access to hotel information and to book services. Of course there were plenty of plug sockets and USB charging points near the bed.
Atlantis by Giardino offer breakfast and dinner at their Hide & Seek restaurant. An extensive breakfast buffet is available, with eggs cooked the way you want on request. Breakfast times are geared around leisure travellers, with service available up to 11:00am everyday, so ideal if you want a lay-in. We were impressed by the service of the breakfast staff, with small touches like remembering our room number and preferences, embracing a feeling of being part of a community. The Hide & Seek space also houses a lot of art that the hotel has curated, be sure to take some time some time to explore the space thoroughly.
In the evening, Hide & Seek offers casual dining, serving a contemporary take on international fusion cuisine. Embracing the hotel’s desire to implement state-of-the-art technology, the menu is provided on a tablet, and retains the full waiter service to answer any questions guests may have. The dining concept splits dishes into vegetarian, fish and meat sections, with each available in either a small or a large size. This means you can mix and match dishes to your mood with three small plates being broadly equivalent to a typical starter and larger main. Dishes that stood out for us were the beetroot consommé with apple celery and walnut (CHF 17), the Thai-Style salad with prawns (CHF 35) and the saddle of lamb “Ras el Hanout” (CHF 30), which was delicate in flavour and didn’t have the typical lamb odour that can be off-putting. Served with smoked aubergine, bulgur wheat and smoked red pepper purée, this is most certainly a dish to try for meat lovers.
Dessert was in the form of a chocolate soufflé for two (CHF 26), accompanied with two individual bowls of elegantly presented ginger-lime ice cream, spicy mango and a kaffir lime cream. This felt like true indulgence, not least because the chocolate soufflé was glittery and sparkling.
The Hide & Seek bar, lined with a vault-style wall offers a selection of Swiss beers, tasty snacks and a wide cocktail selection. Cocktails prices are from CHF 14, we found ours exquisitely executed although there was a rather long wait for our drink.
For those wanting to book an even more exceptional meal there is also the two Michelin starred restaurant, Ecco, at Atlantis by Giardino. This restaurant requires booking several weeks in advance, so make sure to book before arrival.
For us at Vada, the dipiù Spa was on of the main attractions, and not just because Rhianna was recently photographed enjoy the outdoor pool. The dipiù spa also boasts an indoor pool, jacuzzi, steam & sauna zone, relaxation areas, Technogym fitness centre, yoga/Pilates studio, and has a massage service including an offering of beauty treatments (including nail bar), using Aveda products.
The hotel’s partnering with watch manufacturer Hublot means that signature timepieces are dotted around the hotel, including the unmistakable Hublot clock near the indoor pool, which we used to keep track of our times as we caught up on some laps. The sauna, steam rooms and relaxation areas are elegantly presented, further finishes in marble through the shower area enhance an already luxurious space.
Alongside the spa facilities, we booked a 60 minute full-body massage. Our masseur, Franco, was able to apply pressure in the all the right places with warming hands. The massage was intense and relaxing simultaneously relieving tension all over the body. Albeit a 60 minute classic body massage is priced at CHF 150 (circa £120), Franco’s touch is worth the price. A full menu of spa treatments is available here.
Service at Atlantis by Giardino in Zurich was impeccable from the moment of our arrival to that of our departure. Staff were always friendly, helpful and professional, and continually showed examples of going the extra mile to ensure guests stays were as stress-free as possible. For example, we enquired about booking a taxi to the airport, and moments later we had a call to our room informing us there was a space in a Range Rover going out to the airport to pick-up new guests at a similar time, so we could use service to drop us off, rather than booking a separate service.
Simply put, the interior design, the room quality and amenities, restaurant offerings, spa and staff service were excellent. This five-star hotel truly offers faultless five-star service, so we can only give a (rare) rating of 5 out of 5. This is the hotel you should consider for a trip to Zurich, it is definitely where we will be staying on our next visit.
Of course this level of luxury does come at a specific price point, but with rates start from CHF 450 (circa £360) per room per night, including breakfast, wifi and (non-alcoholic) minibar drinks, and access to the spa, you will be hard pressed to find better value in Zurich.
The Atlantis by Giardino is located at Doltschiweg 234, 8055, Zurich, Switzerland.
For more information and to book, visit atlantisbygiardino.ch.