Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Zurich
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At the end of a trip to Europe during the festive Christmas market season, TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Nick Ewen enjoyed a stay at the posh Park Hyatt Zurich. Read on for his impressions.
After a terrific week at an Airbnb in Colmar, France (just steps from the town's fantastic Christmas markets), my wife and I decided to swap practicality for luxury and booked the final two nights of our November vacation at the Park Hyatt Zurich. Evy (our daughter) would wake up on her first birthday in France and fall asleep in Switzerland, and given our terrific past experiences with the Park Hyatt brand, we were incredibly excited to visit Zurich. Fortunately, the hotel did not disappoint.
The Park Hyatt Zurich is a top-tier Category 7 property, requiring 30,000 points for a free night. At the time of booking, revenue rates for standard rooms were 650 CHF per night (approximately $653 with current exchange rates), though they did drop to 490 CHF (~$492) as the check-in date approached. Even with the lower rate, I was still looking at a redemption value of 1.66 cents per point. Though this is slightly below TPG's most recent valuations, which peg Hyatt Gold Passport points at 1.8 cents apiece, I still felt like it was a solid redemption. I'd also be able to enjoy some terrific on-property benefits as a result of my Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status, though sadly the program doesn't allow you to use Suite Upgrade Awards on award stays.
My Gold Passport account wasn't quite full enough for a two-night award stay, so I transferred points from my Chase Ultimate Rewards account (earned with my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card), and they posted immediately. I then went through the booking process, though it's important to note that the standard rooms (Park King and Park Twin) only allow a maximum of two guests and no rollaways. As a result, searching for two adults and one child will automatically push you into Deluxe rooms. However, if you're traveling with an infant, the standard rooms do allow cribs:
It's also worth noting that this property has fantastic Points + Cash availability (now that this award option is bookable online). However, I still felt like the straight award redemption was a better option, as it kept a significant chunk of cash in my wallet, which is a great thing in Switzerland!
The icing on the cake came about two weeks before arrival. I had reached out to the concierge with a question about city tours and to make sure that our crib request (or "Very Important Baby" service) was on the room. I also politely inquired about the possibility of a room upgrade to surprise my wife, pointing out that I know these upgrades are completely based on availability at check-in. However, a couple of days later, I heard back from a manager who indicated that they had upgraded us to a Park Deluxe room in advance. Score!
We arrived on the train from Basel around 11:30am and hopped in cab right outside the main train station. The taxi took less than 10 minutes and cost about 15 CHF. However, if you're traveling lightly, it's much easier to head out the south exit of the station and walk a block on Bahnhofstrasse to catch Tram 6, 7, 13 or 17. There are automatic ticket machines at the stop, and for just 2.20 CHF, you can ride it three stops to Stockerstrasse, where you'll be a short block-and-a-half walk down Beethovenstrasse from the hotel.
The property is located in a relatively quiet area of the city, and the main entrance doesn't scream opulence or luxury. However, as soon as you're greeted by the friendly bellmen and step through the automatic doors, the warmth of the property washes over you, leaving the cold winter air and unassuming exterior behind.
We were helped immediately and despite our early arrival (just before noon), the friendly associate confirmed that our room was indeed ready. She also briefly reviewed the Diamond benefits we would receive, which included free breakfast, complimentary premium internet and a late check-out. We were also given a free drink coupon for the on-site ONYX Bar, though sadly we completely forgot to use it. Most importantly, another associate was immediately charmed with our daughter and quickly ducked behind the desk to provide her with "Heartbreaker," a stuffed bear that quickly became Evy's favorite souvenir from the trip.
After completing the check-in process, the front desk associate walked us to the room, a nice touch that appears to be a standard offering at this particular property.
As mentioned above, we had been upgraded to a Park Deluxe room in advance and were assigned Room 514, but based on the pictures online, it appears that we were actually upgraded again into a suite. The entryway immediately opened up into a spacious living room with a quirky mixture of beige, brown and green furniture that somehow seemed to all go together.
The vaulted ceilings and large windows helped give the room an airy feel, and the double pocket doors separating the living room from the bedroom ensured that the floor plan felt open yet still offered an easy way to create two distinct rooms.
Opposite the floor-to-ceiling windows was a shelving unit built into the wall, which featured a Nespresso maker, a kettle for heating tea and a mini-bar.
There was yet another sitting area in the bedroom, and the crib had been pre-placed at the foot of the King-size bed.
In addition to the small half-bathroom immediately off the main entryway of the room, the full bathroom was quite large and featured a separate tub and rain shower. The bathroom was quite open to the bedroom but included sliding wood doors to close off the tub from the rest of the room.
The bath amenities were Laura Tonatto-branded and were quite nice.
I was especially impressed with the baby amenities that had been placed in the room ahead of our arrival. The crib included another "Heartbreaker" bear, along with adorable baby slippers and a bunny-themed hot water bottle.
There was also a small tub with baby shampoo, body wash and a yellow rubber ducky, which Evy quickly discovered and began investigating (with Heartbreaker #1 in tow).
We were also given a pack of wipes, baby oil, baby lotion, baby creme and — most incredibly — a diaper pail for discarding dirty diapers.
The room as a whole was incredibly comfortable and furnished with all of the amenities you'd expect. It also featured some unique elements that I'd never encountered before. The large windows were fixed and unable to be opened, but if you wanted fresh air, you could open two different doors (one in the bedroom, one in the living room) that cooled the room but provided some blockage of street noise that wouldn't have been possible with a simple open window.
The main bathroom also featured an automatic toilet lid complete with full European bidet functions, though to be honest, I felt more confused than impressed with that particular aspect of the room.
Despite having just 139 guest rooms and suites, the Park Hyatt Zurich has an impressive array of amenities. After a wet morning of city touring on an eTukTuk (which I highly recommend), we wanted nothing more than a warm meal and bottle of wine served in a relaxing environment. The Lounge was happy to oblige. Though it blends effortlessly into the lobby of the property, the Lobby Lounge was actually a full-service restaurant with breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. We were enthralled with the Brain, Beauty and Moodfood menus and enjoyed a terrific two-course meal.
The best part about The Lounge was the variety of seating options, which ranged from standard restaurant tables (where we dined) to comfortable lounge chairs in front of the fire. Evy naturally was fascinated by the gas-powered fireplace.
The hotel also includes a full-service spa, though be forewarned that the menu in the book in your room may not match the treatments available. My wife booked a package that was unavailable when she arrived, though she was quite impressed with the massage and body scrub that she wound up getting.
In addition to The Lounge, the Park Hyatt Zurich also serves more elegant food in parkhuus, the property's main restaurant that serves weekday lunch and dinner six nights a week (it's closed on Sundays). What's even more impressive is that the room service menu, which we utilized our last night, actually includes the full menu from both The Lounge and parkhuus.
Speaking of room service, we were also able to utilize this for breakfast our first morning (an early flight prevented us from doing so again) as a complimentary Diamond benefit. The Swiss Breakfast, which usually costs 49 CHF per person, included your choice of beverages, muesli, made-to-order eggs, sides, a pastry basket and charcuterie, which was a great way to fill up before a day of exploring Zurich.
I honestly can't say enough positive things about this hotel. Sure, it was wonderful being upgraded to a full suite and we appreciated all the baby amenities, but what really stood out to me was the warmth that each and every staff member showed us throughout the stay. This began from the moment we checked in (with Heartbreaker #1) and continued through our 5am departure (when the bellman assisting us with our luggage brought Evy yet another Heartbreaker, all three of whom now reside in our South Florida home).
Some other examples of the above-and-beyond service include:
- Lunch recommendations — After we checked in, I went down to the front desk to inquire about a spot for lunch within walking distance of the hotel. They not only found a place but pulled up the menu online to make sure it suited, and even called to make sure they would be able to get me, my wife and the baby in.
- Fondue — After a much-needed nap after arrival, I took another trip down to the front desk to ask about a place for fondue that evening (figuring it would be a great way to celebrate Evy's first birthday). Of course, I didn't think about the fact that I was making this request around 5pm on a Saturday. The concierge wasn't hopeful but agreed to call some local spots. As I was walking back into the room, he called and said that he was able to get us into a traditional restaurant just an hour later. When we made it back down to the lobby, he had a map already prepared with detailed instructions on how to get there.
To me, these two things are small yet incredibly significant examples of why this property is completely deserving of its top-tier status in the Hyatt Gold Passport program. Providing guests with luxurious amenities is just one part of what makes for a memorable stay. The rest is intangible; that feeling you get when you find a hotel that welcomes you as if you were a member of the family. That captures the essence of our stay at the Park Hyatt Zurich perfectly.
Have any of you stayed in the Park Hyatt Zurich? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!