I know, I know! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. But here’s a fresh, new post from my recent travels to Europe.
The first thing we learned as we drove out of the Zurich Airport was that “Ausfahrt” is the German equivalent of exit. A short 30-minute drive from the airport, quite simple really, the Crowne Plaza Zurich is a great, affordable hotel if you want to spend some time in Zurich.
Near the Letzigrund Stadium known for hosting football matches and concerts, the four-star Crowne Plaza Zurich is located a little outside the tourist zones. With ample underground parking, the hotel was ideal for us as we had a special wheelchair car to get around Switzerland.
We had landed in Zurich around 8AM so we arrived at the hotel mid-morning. Friendly, welcoming staff and comfortable sofas for lounging in a pleasant modern lobby greeted us as we proceeded to check in. And I know what you want to know; yes, they offer the 21st-century juice for millennials – free Wi-Fi that is relatively fast and quite reliable.
Since we checked in a little earlier than they normally allow, they gave us one room but at an extra charge.
Functional and well-furnished, the rooms at Crowne Plaza Zurich were basic. In my opinion, the room views were nothing worth writing about, but each room had a double bed and Mom’s room had an extra bed. By the window was a writing desk with an accompanying chair. In one corner, a tiny closet housed space for clothing, a safe and a mini fridge. Also, to ensure that we could have hot drinks whenever we liked, there was an electric kettle with some tea bags, instant coffee and Swiss hot chocolate packets. Sidebar: I have never drunk as much hot chocolate as I did in Switzerland. It’s just so delicious! Each room also had a thermostat. Of course, my room was always nice and warm.The bathrooms were a little tiny but modern and minimalistic. While the hotel had three wheelchair-accessible rooms, mine wasn’t but I managed. Since the bathrooms were long, thin and narrow, I had to squeeze in to use them, but no complaints here.Without a doubt, my favorite part of the room were the chocolates left on our pillows and fragrant sleep sprays that aimed at helping us get a restful night of sleep.Crowne Plaza Zurich has two restaurants and one bar. The Hotel Bar was inviting and they even offered guests a chance to brew a liter of their own beer, which can then last a month if they wanted to take it home. It sounded so cool, and perhaps, if we were more enthusiastic beer drinkers, we would have taken up the offer.
Breakfast and lunch were served in buffet-style Restaurant LetziLeu where a rich variety of delicacies awaited us. We hadn’t originally included breakfast in our booking, but this quickly changed after a sneak peek at the buffet selection. With a range of cereal, fruit, bread, eggs as you like them and other breakfast dishes, there was everything a continental breakfast comprised of.
The Swiss milk, heavily advertised to us by my cousin, was indeed the first thing I tried in Switzerland. Creamy and exquisite, he wasn’t exaggerating about the milk at all.One of my favorite breakfast dishes was the poached egg paired with a crispy potato hash brown, followed by a fresh cup of coffee or hot chocolate made in their in-house coffee machine (Sorry, I was too hungry to wait for Diva to take a picture).
But what really caught my eye was the butter dispenser. A little machine that, upon pressing a button, dispensed a round disc of butter to spread onto hot slices of toast.Crowne Plaza Zurich also had another restaurant: Relais des Arts adjacent to the hotel bar that served a variety of foods al a carte. The hotel had a pool too. However, with all our sightseeing, I never managed to check them out.
Just walking distance away from the hotel, the tram stop is easily accessible to quickly get to the city center. We had initially planned to go downtown, but it started raining and the room just seemed cozier.
While I didn’t have the time, it is recommended to check out Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s Fifth Avenue for shopping and restaurants, and the City West, a former industrial area that’s now a trendy district filled with the coolest food and art scenes in the city. For opera lovers, there is the Zurich Opera House and of course, there’s the local zoo.
Other things to do include visiting the nearby Uetliberg Mountain to see stunning views of the city or check out the architecture and stained glass windows at the Fraumünster Church. Or if you’re into history, Zurich has a huge range of museums to check out such as the Swiss National Museum and the Uhrenmuesum Beyer to see the history of clocks and watches. Or pay a visit to Old Town (Altstadt) to see a little bit of Zurich’s rich past and make sure to pop into the famous 12th-century Grossmünster cathedral.
With our limited time, we checked out the Rhine Falls, a little over an hour’s drive away, and the Lindt & Sprüngli factory shop in Zurich. We also went to the Lake Zurich to soak in some of Switzerland’s renowned fresh air.
If you are heading to Zurich soon, I highly recommend Crowne Plaza Zurich because there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby and the main tourist attractions are accessible from the hotel. And if you need to snack constantly like us, there are two supermarkets nearby too where you’ll find plenty to choose from.
Photos, unless stated otherwise, are courtesy of Diva Shah