The original incarnation of the Atlantis by Giardino, which opened in 1970 at the foot of Zurich’s Üetliberg mountain, hosted everyone from Freddie Mercury to Muhammad Ali. The Giardino group has brought its glamorous past and superior location back to life, hiring South African–born Inge Moore to inject the property with playful, stylish, and referential new touches like the vault-style wall in the bar (a reference to Zurich’s banking heritage) and 1970s-style marble floor in the lobby. The rooms and suites are equally eye-catching, thanks to the lashings of luxurious woods and stone, custom-made fabrics from manufacturers like Pierre Frey and Molteni, and individual furnishings. All rooms come with king-size beds and conveniences like flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms get a tub and shower, and most of the rooms have not one balcony but two. An ultra-modern spa (with two pools), a large and peaceful garden, and a couple of excellent restaurants seal the deal.
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The hotel is located in the district of Friesenberg, right between the foot of the Üetliberg mountain and Lake Zurich. Hiking and biking around the mountain, and boating and floating on the lake are the most obvious activities; but it’s also only a 15-minute drive to Zurich city center, where you can stroll the exclusive stores along Bahnhofstrasse, splash out on cafés and restaurants galore, or visit cultural institutions like the Zurich Museum of Art, which houses one of the most important art collections in Switzerland (if not Europe). The hotel offers free bikes—probably the best method of exploring the local area.
Need to Know
Rooms: 95 rooms. From $636. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: At Hide & Seek, head chef Bastian Mantey merges his passion for Asian food with his European roots to create international fusion cuisine that spans inventive fish and meat as well as Ayurvedic vegetarian dishes. Ecco Zürich, run by two-star Michelin chef Rolf Fliegauf, is where the culinary fireworks occur, and it draws many to this region. The Hide & Seek bar is a great place for pre- or post-dinner drinks (including locally brewed beers), and the poolside Ocean Bar serves up alfrescococktails. Spa and gym details: Built in stone and wood, the striking spa area contains an outdoor pool, indoor pool with Jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room areas, and a fitness and relaxation area with Technogym machines. Treatments revolve around the hotel’s signature Dipiù cosmetics line, complemented with products from Aveda. The hotel also works with an Ayurvedic doctor and therapist to arrange tailor-made programs, and guests have access to a yoga and Pilates studio.
Who it's for: As long as you can afford it, the hotel is open to everyone: families, couples, jet-setters, foodies, sports enthusiasts, business folks, and spa and nature lovers. Our favorite rooms: If you have the cash to splash, the Suite Metropol is peerless. Creature comforts range from one-off designer pieces to several balconies and loggias with panoramic views. You’ll also get a Rolls-Royce Phantom shuttle service upon arrival and departure. Alfresco fitness: Guests can do outdoor yoga in the hotel’s garden or arrange personalized outdoor fitness sessions within the hotel’s spacious surroundings.