A new player on the Zurich hotel market revived an iconic hotel, we went to the Atlantis by Giardino to find out what it is like. Located on the foot of the Uetliberg – Zurich’s home mountain – the hotel has views of the city on one side and gives you the feeling you are in a forest on the other side.
The Atlantis hotel first opened in 1970 and was long considered one of the best hotels in Zurich. But after a period of decline it was closed in 2004. After a turbulent period during which the building provided shelter to students and squatters and a 3.5 year renovation it reopened as a luxury hotel in December 2015.
Upon arrival the friendly doormen take care of our luggage and park our car. Inside we are welcomed with a hot towel and a welcome drink before check-in. Already in the first few minutes following our arrival we have the feeling the Giardino group does things a little bit different than many other luxury hotels in Zurich and Switzerland in general, but more on that later.
Our room was located on the second floor and to get there we walked past the beautiful monumental staircase that is one of the elements retained from the original Atlantis hotel. The Atlantis by Giardino has a strong emphasis on design and around the building we found plenty of marble in different shapes and colors as well as eye catching art pieces like the full size lion sculpture in the lobby.
The rooms are what we would call modern luxury. Lights, blinds and the do not disturb sign can be controlled from the panel next to the beds. Our room was a Luxe room with a separate sitting area, two large flat screen televisions, Bose audio system, spacious bathroom with separate bath and walk-in shower. The mini bar is free of charge, as is the wifi, city shuttle, bicycle rental and the spa usage. With this the Atlantis forms a very pleasant exception to many Swiss luxury hotels where sometimes even borrowing a power adapter or ordering an egg at breakfast is charged extra.
In total there are six types of rooms and suites. The 107 Hublot suite is worth a special mention; in cooperation with Hublot, Giardino created this unique suite in the Hublot style. Ideal for both fans as owners of Hublot watches.
The Atlantis by Giardino has two restaurants; the Hide & Seek restaurant, which also serves breakfast, and Ecco. Hide & Seek offers Asian and Middle Eastern dishes in an intimate setting.
Ecco is the hotel’s signature restaurant specialized in aroma kitchen. A concept for which two other Giardino restaurants in sister properties in Ascona and St Moritz have been awarded two Michelin stars. Between the two restaurants located on the first floor you can also find the bar and cigar lounge.
The Spa is a great place to unwind and offers 6 treatment rooms, a pool, jacuzzi and several sauna and steam rooms. The design is consistent throughout and the double cocoon-like showers in the dressing rooms are pure works of art. The only thing I didn’t particularly like are the Spa slippers which are a bit uncomfortable in comparison to the soft white spa slippers we are used to find in other five star hotels. The outdoor pool is still under construction but will open with a lounge area, poolside bar and teppanyaki station.
Overall the Atlantis by Giardino is a worthy addition to the Zurich hotel scene and offers a pleasant and value alternative for the city hotels. The location is a bit outside the center but the direct access to the Uetliberg mountain biking trails and complimentary amenities make more than up for it.