WHAT’S IT LIKE? Radisson’s Zurich airport hotel was the first of the chain to be rebranded, in February, from Radisson SAS to Radisson Blu, after parent company Rezidor’s links with the SAS group came to an end. All Radisson SAS properties will gradually follow. The modern glass building feels like an oasis of calm after the airport. The large airy atrium, with striking design features such as extravagant lighting in bold primary colours, is immediately inviting, while the soundproofing means that little noise comes through from the busy runway outside.
WHERE IS IT? Open since August last year, the hotel is situated opposite Terminal 1 at Zurich airport. It is the only hotel with direct access to the facility, via an underground shopping centre – you can walk from your plane to your room in a matter of minutes, without ever having to go outside. Zurich city centre is ten minutes away by train from the airport station, which is also connected to the hotel.
ROOM FACILITIES Rooms either face into the six-storey atrium or out on to the airport. Standard rooms and Business Class rooms are decorated in three different styles: Chic (warm shades of brown, beige and white), At Home (dark reds and browns) and Fresh (blue, gold and orange). I stayed in one of the designer suites, which had a great view of the runway. All suites have a separate bedroom and living area, and a large bathroom – mine had a roll-top bath set in the middle of a tiled floor.
The décor in my room was fantastic, mixing fifties and seventies styles with lime green and slate-grey carpet, cream pleated lampshades and hot pink and turquoise furniture. But my favourite touch was the collage of picture postcards above the desk, showing scenes from all over Switzerland.
All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, free wifi internet access, an LCD flatscreen television, kettle, iron and ironing board, laptop safe, hairdryer, and Anne Sémonin toiletries. Business Class rooms also come with a Nespresso machine, and a free daily paper and breakfast.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS The hotel recently opened a magnificent 16-metre wine tower, one of the tallest in the world, complete with resident “wine angels” – trapeze artists who collect your bottle of choice from the 4,000 on offer. (The Radisson SAS at London Stansted airport also has one.) The Angels’ Wine Tower Bar offers drinks and light snacks, while the Angels’ Wine Tower Grill, overlooking the bar, specialises in meat and fish – I can recommend the steak.
Filini restaurant serves breakfast between 6am and 10am in the week (if you have an early flight, grab-and-run breakfast packs are available from 4.30am-6am) and Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES On the first and seventh floors are 23 light-flooded function rooms covering 2,400 sqm. The largest space, at 620 sqm, is the Zurich Hall with a capacity of up to 550 delegates. An additional conference floor with 22 meeting rooms is due to open later this year.
LEISURE FACILITIES The Pace fitness club has a gym open 24 hours, with cardiovascular equipment looking out on to the atrium, free weights, a sauna, steam bath, a choice of rain or massage showers and a relaxation area.
VERDICT An airport hotel for the more discerning traveller, with unique design features, welcoming staff and excellent food. The bar is ideal for an informal meeting.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 330, including six suites (57 sqm) and a Presidential suite (90 sqm).
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS Having the choice of three different styles means you can choose something to suit your mood – go “fresh” if you’re feeling chirpy, or stay somewhere “chic” if you mean business.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in May started from Fr 292 (£174).
CONTACT Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport; tel +41 44 800 4040; radissonblu.com