Arriving at the Atlantis by Giardino won’t evoke sighs of amazement. The hotel’s emotionless seventies exterior, with its Y-shape form and three wings, offers an example of Brutalist architecture. A step inside reveals its treasure. The hotel, which opened in 1970, was originally designed in the 1960s by Annmarie and Hans Hubacher and Peter Issler. It was the primary spot for a hosting a variety of world-class musicians, including Frank Zappa, ABBA, The Who and Freddie Mercury. Some of its former character remains and is revealed through dim-lit, cosy settings reflective of a time gone by when crowds would frequently huddle together to listen to intoxicating songs and sounds.
A view of the hotel's luscious exterior grounds
Located at the foot of the Üetliberg Mountain, Atlantis by Giardino offers panoramic views over Zürich. Situated within easy walking distance of the forest of Üetliberg and no more than a 15 minutes' drive from the city centre, the hotel is ideally placed. It’s also not far from the city’s famous shopping avenue, Bahnhofstrasse.
The hotel's fine dining restaurant Ecco
A view of the hotel's sleek interiors designed by The Gallery HBA
Aptly titled for its bucolic location, London design company The Gallery HBA drew heavily on the use of natural materials for its renovation. Wood and marble can be found throughout the hotel, a nod to the same materials once used to surround the remarkable spiral staircase, which twists upward throughout the storeys, evoking feelings of vastness and amplitude. The London design form have recaptured the hotel’s previous glamour through injections of muted colour palettes; plush materials, including parquet flooring and rich leather detailings; high ceilings; and large glass windows through which to view the natural landscape and cityscape vistas in the distance. A nice touch are the wooden balconies in each of the hotel’s 95 rooms. Cocooned here in comfort and elegance, they come complete with a comfy lounge chair – perfect for the summer or the winter, just make sure you bring a blanket for the cooler months!
A room with a view
Out of the hotel’s 12 suites, there’s the unforgettable Hublot Suite, “Hublot 107”. Designed by Swiss company, Studioforma, it is aligned with mirrors as well as pop art-style Hublot watches that decorate the walls. The bronze and aluminum ceiling lamp in the center of the room gives a warm touch. Akin to what we might imagine a luxurious spaceship to look like, the Hublot Suite celebrates the brand’s Art of Fusion motto, melding art, design and watches into the specially crafted space.
Atlantis by Giardino Suite
The lobby lounge
True to its name, the Giardino group has brought nothing but nature to the hotel’s new look – infiltrating healthy eating and wellness to its grandiose demeanor. There’s a rose garden, a shadow garden and an herb garden as well as fruit trees. Fresh produce is cultivated from each and used in the hotel’s two-Michelin-starred chef Rolf Fliegauf’s eight-course menu at Ecco and at chef Bastian Mantey’s Asian-inspired restaurant where Ayurveda-influenced vegetarian dishes are in the spotlight. Or you might, like I did, opt beforehand to perch at the elegantly designed bar where you can sip a drink before your elaborate meal.
A luxurious bathroom
The terrace restaurant and outdoor lounge
Then there’s the spa. A welcome sight if you’ve been on-the-go at Zurich’s many cultural hotspots and art galleries as I had during my stay. It offers an outdoor and indoor pool, the latter located in the large dipiù Spa. There indulge in products from Aveda and! QMS Medicosmetics as well as restorative Ayurvedic treatments. There’s also an Aveda hair salon, a Technogym fitness studio (open 24 hours a day), and a barber. What’s missing? Not much. From natural beauty abound to sleek contemporary furnishings, and I should not forget to mention a very cool Cigar lounge – an undeniable favorite for its intimate setting aligned with wood paneling, mirrors, dim lighting and splashes of yellow and orange – colours that find their way in little touches throughout Atlantis by Giardino. This is an epicurean hotel high on life.
Rooms from Dhs1,680