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Published on : Thursday, December 17, 2015
It is a Grand Dame of Swiss hospitality and a bonafide legend among Zurich society. A firm favorite with international celebrities during its heyday, the storied Atlantis hotel has lent more than a little glamor to the foot of the Üetliberg mountain. After a long period of neglect, the third Design Hotels’ member by the Giardino Group has experienced a renaissance thanks to Daniela and Philippe Frutiger, who have breathed new life into the 95 rooms and suites. With loving attention to detail and a deep respect for the history of the building, the hotel looks to the future with a renewed splendour.
Modern Design: Future meets Tradition
One of Switzerland’s most important post-war modernist buildings,the striking, heritage-listed structure has undergone a complete transformation. The Y-shaped urban retreat strikes a harmonious balance between cosmopolitan city and blissful nature, located within easy reach of Zurich’s city center and its world-class cultural landmarks and boutiques.
For the design concept, Atlantis by Giardino collaborated with London-based design studio The Gallery HBA. Creative director Inge Moore is renowned for her innovative designs, which combine local influences with a sense of timelessness, and of course luxurious comfort. An elegant atmosphere greets guests as they enter the hotel. Light grey marble and walnut details form an exquisite tableau for the curated collection of classic furniture from the 1960s and 1970s, interspersed with modern pieces such as the Patricia Urquiola Origami Table. Features taken from the former hotel have been thoughtfully integrated into the new aesthetic and restored to their original place where possible. Acrylic framed photographs of the hotel’s glory days are scattered around the walls, and opposite the reception the 1970s spiral staircase has been repurposed to whisk guests up to the first floor once more.
As well as celebrating the hotel’s past, Moore’s design concept for Atlantis by Giardino draws inspiration from its location. The first floor Hide & Seek Bar showcases a replica vault on one wall, reminiscent of Zurich’s rich banking heritage, while the adjoining restaurant boasts a hand-picked collection of novels and photo journals curated by a local bookseller.
With views over the city, woodland, or both, the 95 rooms and suites are defined by a neutral color palette of cream, taupe and grey. Guestrooms are divided into two separate room categories and three suite categories, sizes ranging from 34 to 250 square meters. Dark parquet flooring, fabric covered, suede-look walls, and wood accents create a chic elegance only heightened by marble and natural stone bathrooms.
A Gourmand’s Destination
More than an exquisite addition to the Zurich hotel landscape, two new restaurants are set to cause a stir in the discerning city. The Hide & Seek Bar & Restaurant offers sublime views, quality drinks, and fusion cuisine at its finest. Here, the culinary traditions of Europe meet flavor combinations from Asia and the Middle East under the careful eye of Head Chef Bastian Mantey who represents a new generation of innovative, young chefs making waves in the industry.
Gourmands will certainly get their money’s worth at Ecco Zurich, which has internationally acclaimed Chef Rolf Fliegauf at the helm. Formerly head chef at two-Michelin-starred restaurants (Ecco St. Moritz and Ecco Ascona at the Giardino Hotels in the Swiss Alps), Fliegauf has ensured that the name Ecco is synonymous with fine dining of the highest order. Joining Chef Fliegauf in Zurich is his long-time Sous Chef, Stefan Heilemann.
The Height of Relaxation
The hotel’s spa dipiù (Italian for more) prides itself on offering “more”, in the truest sense of the word. Inge Moore once again looked to the surrounding Swiss landscape to shape the interiors of the 1500-square-meter spa, where the use of natural stone gives the space the appearance of being carved out of the mountain itself. Gently undulating walls and layered stone create a polished serenity. The spa features saunas and a steam room, a spa suite with hot tub, a fitness center with Technogym equipment, a yoga and pilates studio, and hair salon and barber shop. The crowning glory is the indoor pool with Jacuzzi and the 25-meter-long outdoor pool, complete with pool bar for the warm summer days in the mountains. An extensive massage and beauty treatment menu offers the hotel’s signature skin-care range dipiù cosmetics, Aveda and QMS.