Recently renovated and home to the 2 Michelin starred restaurant Ecco, the Atlantis by Giardino Hotel has a star-studded history with stunning views of Zürich, Switzerland.
What comes to mind when you think of Switzerland? For us, it's picturesque lakes ringed by awe-inspiring mountains, and charming old cities filed with history and culture. We never expected to have both a beautiful natural setting, and that urban vibe all in one place. However we managed to get the best of both worlds at Atlantis by Giardino in Zürich.
Located at the base of Zürich’s famed Üetilberg Mountain, the hotel is situated in a quiet and beautiful part of the city. And it's location near the mountains provides it with expansive views over the entire Zürich region. As if the views weren't enough, the natural scenery of the area immediately surrounding the hotel is peaceful and relaxing, with a nearby dairy farm, hiking paths, and lush forests. But don't let the country setting fool you — it’s a modern and unique property just on the edge of Zürich, literally a short 10 minute ride from the city centre.
Atlantis by Giardino is a hotel you stay at when you want the convenience of a big city — but the laid back vibe of a mountain retreat. It’s the kind of place where you spend the morning leisurely having coffee on your balcony while marveling at the city skyline, then head into the city to explore the winding streets of the old town, all before heading back to the hotel in the evening to indulge in a 2 Michelin starred dinner at the hotel's signature restaurant, Ecco Zürich.
I love a hotel with a good story, and Atlantis by Giardino does not disappoint! The hotel first opened in 1970 and celebrities from around the world came to appreciate its gorgeous location and trendy atmosphere. Stars like; Steve McQueen, Muhammad Ali, Elton John and Frank Zappa, along with dozens of other politicians, athletes and actors all frequented the hotel, turning it into one of the most fashionable spots in Zürich. And it's not hard to understand why; just one look at the building and you can see how much consideration was put into it.
Originally designed by Swiss architects Annemarie and Hans Hubacher and Peter Issler, the hotel took almost 10 years to complete — and it’s a shining example of post-war modernism. The buildings Y-shaped layout and curving exteriors were designed to catch the sun at any time of day, and provide wonderful views of the city, lake, and mountains.
After some time, the hotel eventually closed. In 2015, the hotel re-opened, but with careful consideration for its history. While the hotel was completely refurbished from top to bottom — many of its original details were maintained. Everywhere, the design nods at the hotel's history. The walls are lined with photographs from the 1970s and beautifully refurbished furniture finds its way into the lobby areas. There are even re-claimed chairs from the original bar! This is a hotel where you literally feel like you are stepping back 50 years in time — but in a really stylish and well done way.
As we arrived in our room, we were pleasantly surprised not just by the size of the space and quality of the furnishings, but also by the care that went into making sure we would have a comfortable stay. Since traveling with a small child, we've learned that no matter how much we pack, we always seem to forget "something". Yet here at the hotel, staff thoughtfully pre-stocked our room with everything we might need for Axel — including a changing mat, a bathtub, diaper wipes, diaper pail and even body wash and baby lotion from their spa. Talk about making a little boy feel pampered!
And Axel wasn't the only one who felt special; our room not only provided us with beautiful views of Zürich, but had a separate sitting area alongside a spacious bedroom, that the three of us had ample room to spread out and relax during our stay.
If you're looking for something a little more extravagant, the Atlantis by Giardino can handle that as well. With 95 rooms and suites and choose from, there is something for every taste — and budget. Whether it's a themed room, such as the Hublot Suite, which was inspired by the Hublot Swiss watchmaker, or an over the top penthouse for yourself, they have you covered. The penthouse suite is one of the largest in Europe and is decorated lavishly with beautiful furniture and art all carefully curated from around the globe. Resembling a classic 18th Century Rococo palace, it takes up the entire top floor of the hotel.
We're not going to lie, but the dining options at the Atlantis by Giardino is what originally attracted us to this hotel. If you've been following our adventures for a while, you'll know that we will travel to the ends of the earth for a good meal — and the hotel is home to not just one -- but two incredible restaurants; Hide & Seek, and the 2 Michelin star, Ecco Zürich.
Hide & Seek offers guests a refined, yet casual dining experience. With a beautifully decorated interior, and an expansive outdoor patio when the weather is good — It makes an amazing spot to pass away the afternoon with a glass of wine in hand. Our lunch at Hide & Seek mostly consisted of vegetarian dishes like refreshing watermelon gazpacho with sweet and sour flavours accompanied by a basil sorbet and lemon balm. Another favourite was their beet salad, which blew us away with the quality of the fresh produce. For our main, we settled on a delicious stonebaked ricotta and couscous salad. But don't worry, if your more of a meat eater, there is plenty on the menu for you as well!
As much as we love traveling with Axel, it's also fun (and important) for us to get out and act like adults when we travel — especially in the evenings. That's why we were thrilled that the Atlantis by Giardino was able to arrange a nanny to come to our room to watch Axel so we could have a night out together. Being able to leave Axel in the care of a professional sitter allowed us to have some much needed quality time together. And even though we could have used the time to go out and explore the city on our own, we decided to stay at the hotel and treat ourselves to some fun, craft cocktails at the bar, before sitting down to an extravagant tasting menu at Ecco Zürich.
Located inside the Atlantis by Giardino is Ecco Zürich, a fine dining restaurant that was recently awarded 2 Michelin stars. Headed up by Chef Stefan Heilemann, Ecco Zürich offers guests an elegant dinning experience that eschews the pretentiousness often associated with fine dining and instead invites guest to come as they are and relax while indulging in the chefs seasonal creations, that are heavily influenced by Thai flavors.
From beautifully presented dishes like carabiniero prawn, served with tomato, coriander and Thai salsa to incredibly tender Japanese wagyu entrecote Kagoshima, served with grilled carpaccio, onion and sour cream - Chef Heilemann prepares creative and delicious bites that appeal to all of your senses.
There are no shortages of things to do at Atlantis by Giardino. Given its close location to Zürich city centre (and their free hourly shuttle) we strongly suggest that you take some time to go and explore Zürich, with its water front buildings and beautiful lake. Or, do like we did and get lost in its charming old town, lined with colourful old buildings and adorned with Swiss flags.
If you would prefer to kick back and enjoy the hotel for the afternoon, you can easily grab a sun chair and enjoy the quiet mountain scenery alongside the hotels 25 meter outdoor pool — preferably with a cocktail from their pool bar in hand. However, if the weather is not in your favor during your stay, or if you’re visiting during the Winter, don't worry because the hotel is also home to a lovely indoor pool, a full service spa, hair salon, and even a cigar lounge.
We honestly can't say enough good things about the Atlantis by Giardino. It had everything that we look for in a hotel; great service (without being pretentious), good design, a casual vibe, and fantastic dining options. Mix that up with a beautiful location just minutes from Zürich city centre, and you've got the perfect combination.
For more information about this hotel please follow the link below