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Reviewed 18 August 2009

Alright, where to even start... We booked this hotel hearing from friends that it was the best place to stay. We usually stay in 5 star hotels, so the expense was not something that bothered us. We arrived around 4pm and we had to wait 30 minutes for our room to be ready. We stayed in a Jr. Suite, before we had booked we recieved an email about construction that was going on and how room view facing the lake would be blocked. Upon getting this email, I started emailing the hotel to ensure we would have a room with some sort of view. When we entered the room it was totally outdated. I understand trying to make a hotel room look antique, but this room look just ran down. Sure enough, we had a room that was not facing any views, it was on the canal, with a huge crane blocking any views that would have been there. I asked if our room could be switched, and they didn't have any other rooms for us. It made me very upset that I took the time to verify that our room would have a view, and it didn't. I understand construction, but really?!?! It turns out that the crane was blocking the lake views 3 weeks before our stay, but had been placed outside our windows afterwards.

Not only was the room run down, but we had to take 2 elevators to get to the room. The 2nd elevator was so small that to take our luggage down took 2 trips. The room was not well cleaned, there were cobwebs on the lamps, windows and corners of the room.

Having not been to Zurich before, we were told by the hotel it was a great location. The location was right by the dock, which made it nice to walk around, however for shopping and sightseeing it was out of the way. The resturant was totally overpriced for what was offered... I have had much better dining.

I am not big on complaining, but I really feel that this hotel should not have a 5 star rating.

There are much much better places to stay within Zurich. For the price of what you are paying, you expect quality and I certainly did not find that here.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank DeCecco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2009

Being one of the oldest hotels in Zurich, Baur au Lac is just great. Right in the middle of the city, situated by the lake and close to the famous Bahnhofstrasse, it stands up to its reputation. Each and every one of the guest is a VIP for the staff.

The hotel is privately owned, small with about 124 rooms, 2 restaurants and a lounge bar. They have a fitness facility on the top floor with the beautiful view of the lake. The hotel building is about 170 years old. The rooms have a good view as well, some overlooking the hotel gardens and the lake while others with the city view. The rooms are big, beds comfortable and elaborate bathrooms with free WiFi access. All the guests are welcomed with a plate of fruits and water, which are changed everyday.

The staff at the hotel are really very friendly and courteous. The front desk walks to your room and explains everything in there and are always smiling. If you want to go around the city, the concierge helps you out with all the arrangements. Want to go for a picnic by the lake, they will arrange a picnic basket for you as well.

Baur au Lac offers 24 hour room service, a different menu after midnight. They also have their own garage where the cars are also given the VIP treatment.

The 2 restaurants are worth going. Excellent service, good food. One of the restaurants, Le Francais, is just shy of a Michelin Star! It offers great french cuisine with exceptional taste. In the summer, this restaurant moves to the hotel gardens. The other casual dining restaurant and bar is called Rive Gauche is the place to be for all the bankers and others working around that area. One might be able to see a VIP and can have a drink with him or her.

Overall this hotel is great and it caters to business and casual travelers. Its central location is an advantage and in spite of that, the hotel has a feel of a resort in the countryside. If you like to be treated as a VIP, Baur au Lac is the place.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Amdya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2009

Great location, attentive service from the staffs.
I e-mailed the hotel and booked the room with them directly, responses were replied promptly and efficiently.
Our flight arrived in the morning, and they arranged early check in to get us in our room in the morning, which is a really nice touch, I really appreciate it.
The building itself is nice and elegant, but part of it were under construction, it's a shame not being able to get the canal view room.
The lobby is comfy but a bit small, and I can see some wear and tear in the lobby though.
Room is very clean and spacious, and the marble bathroom is very nice. Soundproof of the room is very good, definitely exceeds my expectation on an old hotel like this.
Everyone from the hotel is friendly and helpful. The concierge took care of our requests in a blink, which is amazing.
They also serve afternoon fruits and a selection of turndown desserts, nice touch.
Internet access and mini bar are both included in the room rate, which is nice.

Two minor problems though:
breakfast is not good value, very few selection, and the service in the dining room missed details here and there.
also, we had lunch on the nearby mountain one day, I noticed that there are bus routes and lifts on the map, but the concierge told us it wouldn't be possible to reach there by public transportation and told us to take a cab instead. But we noticed that there is public transportation steps from our restaurant !

Those were minor problems, but I wish they can improve that.
Other than those, everything else is smooth and wonderful, we had a really pleasant stay. Thank you again to the lovely staffs at Baur Au Lac !
This is definitely THE place to stay in Zurich

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank babygenius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2008

The Baur au Lac has got to be one of the best hotels that I stay at. The service is second to none, both in the hotel, and in the conference & banqueting department.

I've stayed here a couple of nights every year for the past 15 years. It's just a great place. Yes, the staff can be a little snooty, but what do you expect. They aren't the most technologically advanced rooms, but anyone who is that advanced nowadays has wireless internet on a handheld device anyway!

I particularly like the way that they've renovated the place over the past couple of years. (Although it does seem as though they've been renovating continuously for the past 5 years!)

The rooms are all good, the Pavillion is excellent, and the Rive Gauche bar is relatively "happening", for a Zurich hotel bar.

However, the reason I like this hotel best of all is simply the service. You really can't get better.

If you need to do an event in Zurich, while the rooms aren't all that flexible, if you do end up at the hotel, the banqueting staff are just great.

  • Stayed: September 2008
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Thank TravellerBEurope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2008

I have to say, when we pulled up to the hotel, I had some doubts. It seemed a little quiet and I was concerned that it might be a bit stuffy. And I was travelling with my two teenaged sons, so I live in fear of stuffy!!!! Added to that, there was noticeable construction noise when we entered the lobby. There is a construction project which will last for the next year or so, and it is extensive!!!

However, we were really charmed by the gentleman at the front desk. He couldn't have been more welcoming. We loved our junior suite, with its Colefax and Fowler fabrics. It looked and felt fresh and clean. The bath was in top shape with lovely hotel-branded amenities. And there was an extensive assortment of candies left for my sons, along with the free mini-bar, which was well-stocked with sodas, and a Toblerone bar (the minibar was also restocked reliably on a daily basis).

In addition, the other hotel staff were genuinely pleasant to a person. Every concierge we dealt with was helpful and friendly and efficient. The doormen always made us feel welcome, and helped us in any way we needed. We enjoyed the charming newstand in the lobby and the kind ladies who worked there. So, we were really pleased with the staff.

Also, I should mention that the housekeeping staff were superb. They always managed to thoroughly clean our room while we were at breakfast. It was so nice to come back to tidy room before we went out for the day.

Breakfast at the hotel was great. I am generally not a big breakfast person, so will sometimes pass on the pricey hotel breakfast in favor of a roll and coffee somewhere else. The breakfast at the Baur au Lac is not to be missed. At 40 CHF (or so) per adult, I found it a good value, especially when you are travelling with hungry teenaged boys. It was an extensive buffet, with pretty much every concevable offering: pastries, bread, cheese, Swiss air-dried meats, assorted unusual juices, great fruit, eggs, sausage, yogurt, etc. All items were of very high quality. A nice touch at breakfast was the hotel's complimentary offering of a juice of the day -- mango passionfruit one day, watermelon, and strawberry on other days. In addition, the summer breakfast room is absolutely charming, bright and cheerful. Loved the coffee and hot chocolate as well.

I used the gym at the hotel several times and it is quite large and fairly well-equipped. Two treadmills and one elliptical machine, two bikes and various weight machines. Oh, and a rowing machine. The gym was in pretty good order but was quite stuffy. No way to open the windows, and the AC was minimal (by the way, the AC in our room worked well so we had quite a different experience in this regard than the previous poster). There was no attendant in the gym, so no one to ask to correct the problem. Also, it did take me a while to find the water in the gym, but I finally found lots of chilled Hildon water, one of my favorites. In fact, Hildon water is freely given out in the rooms as well.

So we really enjoyed our stay and plan on coming back next year. The construction noise didn't end up being a big issue for us this year, but it will be nice to see the hotel in a more peaceful state.

Oh, would also recommend the hotel's limo service to the Zurich airport. Our driver was very friendly and interesting. He took great care of us, and as mentioned somewhere else, Zurich cabs are very pricey and definitely nothing special, unlike the rest of Zurich, which we loved. So, kudos to the Baur au Lac and Zurich!!! A lovely stop on our vacation.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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3  Thank kingsroadgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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