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Reviewed 3 October 2010

I am not a great fan of hotels -- the older I get the worse they get. (Or is it my perception?)

But here's a hotel where I could, quite happily, move in.

We had an awful flight to Zurich on Air France -- missed our impossible connection in De Gaulle 2, which must be the most passenger-unfriendly terminal on earth. We were tired and grumpy when we arrived in Zurich.

Imagine our delight to find the gentleman from the Baur au Lac waiting for us in the luggage claim area (airside of Swiss Customs) with our bags on a cart! He walked us to a clean and comfortable BMW and then whisked us, with quiet efficiency, to the hotel. Twenty-five minutes from luggage carousel to hotel front desk.

We'd stayed at the Baur au Lac once before and loved it so much that we took photographs of the bathroom and gave them to our architect. Our bathroom at home was largely based upon what we'd experienced at the Baur au Lac in 1992 or 1993.

If anything the hotel has grown better. Our City View suite had been recently re-furbished. It was comfortable, spotlessly clean, with free WiFi (fastest I've experienced in a hotel) and a free mini-bar. One of the most comfortable king size beds I've slept in. A marble bathroom so spotless that it felt like we were the first people to use it.

The concierge was wonderful -- none of the arrogant attitude that you find with a concierge at a lesser hotel. Greeted us each time we returned to the hotel like we were long-lost friends.

We stayed two nights, and had dinner in the two restaurants. The food was excellent (although the service in the Rive Gauche was a little slow). The Pavillion was world-class -- with prices to match. Some of the best food, and best service, I've had. And in a room with lots of space, and gorgeous orchids.

Even the location is great -- at the base of the Bahnhofstrasse, and overlooking the lake. Room service remembered what we liked, was incredibly fast, and they made the best vanilla milk shake I've had -- complete with a sugared vanilla bean on top.

At the end of our stay the BMW whisked us back. The driver parked right in front of the terminal, walked us to check-in, and then took us to passport control. I think he'd have walked us to our seat and would have buckled our seat belts if that were possible.

The hotel staff made this all look effortless. This hotel is -- well, perfect.

(I find it interesting that nobody has written a review of this hotel since 2007. Does this mean that somehow the great hotels, like Baur au Lac, have lower scores on Trip Advisor because their guests don't share the good news with others?)

Date of stay: September 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Craig_Walsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2010

Just back from Zurich where I took our 10 year old daughter and 74 year old aunt for 4 days. We stayed at the Baur Au Lac, after looking into the Widder (too masculine) and the Kindli (we needed serious concierge help). The Baur Au Lac was ideal for us:
* Hotel is just off the Bahnstrasse. We were close to everything, but didn't have the hustle and bustle of cars and people swooshing past. It fees like a petit park, which is what the property boasts. The hotel is just across the street from the Lake, so we could walk easily in the mornings. If you have deep pockets, you can get a room with a view. We did not, but our room was nice.
* Our Double Room was comfortable for two. The decor is tailored feminine, thick drapes, high ceilings, internet, polished bar glasses, unlimited mini-bar (which my daughter loved since it comes with a Toblerone Bar.) It isn't gauche fancy, or that intimidating cold design that sometimes happens in Switzerland. It feels a bit English, if anything.
* Concierges are the best I have ever encountered in all my travels in Europe. After we checked in, we never had to tell them our name or room number again. They arranged for nice excursions that appealed to both my 74 year old aunt, and 10 year old daughter. They got our tickets, provided me with maps, addresses, phone numbers. It was so easy for me to be a good tour guide. The Concierge even managed to get us an outside table for brunch at the Dolder Grand when the maitre d' said they could only accommodate us inside. Big Thanks to All of them. If you like flowers, be sure to order some for your room. Ours were spectacular. Envision butterflies floating above the arrangement that looked like a bridal bouquet. Of all the things we spent money on, these seemed like a real deal at 80 francs.
* Breakfast in the hotel's glass dining room is a luxury, but worth doing once. The room is sunny and bright, flowers fragrant. The food is elegantly set out, and there are nice healthy options. The other guests are so calm and elegant. A nice way to start your morning.
*Children? I was traveling with my 10 year old, who was the only child in the hotel, as far as we could tell. The staff was gracious and warm with her, as I would imagine they would be with all their guests, but I do think it helps that she is a very seasoned traveler with polished manners, 'traveler's French" and a propensity to dress up. Out of respect for the other guests who are paying a lot for their rooms, I would opt for another hotel if you are traveling with smaller, noisier children. This hotel is really good for a honeymoon, special girls trip, business.
*Other things we did that I would recommend: 2 hour Trolly Tour, 90 minute ferry boat ride. Kindli for dinner, Hitl for dinner, Sprugli for lunch, Café Schober for tea, Dolder Grand for Brunch.

Date of stay: September 2010
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank Allymac87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2010

Before coming here I had read reviews raving about the hotel itself and yet being less than impressed with management and the food. On the plus side, I did not find mold on my berries, as another guest did and the support staff is wonderful, not the least of which is one of the members of the concierge staff, Jeremy, who was excellent professionally and personally. However, I had a BLAST of rudeness from the General Manager that was surreal.

Specifically, my confirmation listed items included in the rate, one of which was breakfast. On the first day I was presented with a bill and when I inquired of the reservations person, I was told it was not included. From there I was asked to present the written confirmation, which I did. At that juncture I had assumed that the issue was a language difference and rather than belabor the point, I suggested they remove the cost of breakfast for that one day and the rest of my stay I would understand they had not intended to include breakfast, which I felt was more than reasonable.

What happened from there was that I was transferred to the on duty manager, Isabel, who insisted I was wrong, until I literally diagramed the sentence for her. This cyclical conversation went on far too long for a purported 5 star hotel, including her stating that the confirmation was not sent by the hotel but by Leading Hotels of the World and therefore it was their mistake and not Baur au Lac's. At long last she finally said that she did not have the authority to issue a credit and would speak with the General Manager in the morning.

15 minutes later, Leading Hotels called me and their representative wanted, based on a message he had received from the hotel, me to diagram sentences yet again and then he wanted me to hold so I could convey the same to his supervisor. At this point enough was enough.

I asked to speak with Baur au Lac's General Manager. When Marcus returned my call, I explained how ridiculous the situation had become, that I had offered to forego what I had been guaranteed, I assumed a misunderstanding and that I had no ill will, but the situation was now ridiculous.

Marcus' statements included "if I could not afford the breakfast", "You are a guest, act like one", "I have better things to do this evening" etc. In short, his manner was rude, degrading, pompous, and dismissive. He began almost every sentence with some type of diminishing message, and when I told him so and that he owed me an apology, he repeated multiple times that he would not apologize.

The only thing that gave him the least pause, was when I told him I was posting his comments and rude behavior on this site, but take heart, for he quickly regained his obnoxious attitude and insulted the other postings regarding rude management based on his delusion that "they didn't know all the facts". I guess the fact that these guests were present at the time when the incidences of rudeness occurred was not sufficient for Marcus.

Whoever owns this hotel should strongly consider employing management that is polite and professional.

Date of stay: September 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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14  Thank BRNR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2010

For years I have been told that BAUR AU LAC is a must.... but unfortunately we found that the hotel is a great disappointment... even so it is clean, the staff friendly, THE HOTEL IS DISAPPOINTING.

The corridors feel like being in an institution rather than in a 5* de Luxe Hotel...

The Television is set in a way that you have to crank your head, the room itself which was recommended as one of their best was simply dull and with NO VIEW ... in a 5* de Luxe you expect more ...a WOW effect but not that you have to ask first to have a surplus bed removed which was still there from a previous guest.

the only true pleasure is the Garden Lounge/Bar where one sits in comfort....

will the Hotel see us again... NO!!!

Date of stay: August 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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12  Thank pinkypoo2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2010

Recently spent two nights in Zurich while on a family vacation (2 adults, 2 children). We had two conencting rooms. The hotel experience for the family was excellent. The staff were warm and friendly. Treats were sent up for the kids, each room had a bowl of fresh fruit along with complimentary use of the mini-bar. Both of our rooms were recently remodeled and were of the caliber befitting a five star hotel. The only surprising item were the bath amenities. The Baur Au Lac uses their own brand but we did not find them consistent with a five star experience. I would like to recognize the concierges. They were excellent. Friendly, accommodating and always on top of the little details. The only area of the hotel that I would question are the restaurants. Breakfast was very good but I found dinner on the terrace to be average food at an expensive price. Bottom line, this is a great hotel and I would definitely go back.

Date of stay: July 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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Thank SurLeNil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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