Zurich’s Widder Hotel offers more than individually-styled, first-rate hotel rooms in lavishly renovated Augustine-era houses. We gave it a good look:
The picturesque row of townhouses on the upper Rennweg dates from the 16th century. The five-star Widder Hotel today occupies nine attached medieval residences that Zurich architect Tilla Theus restored with utmost care. The antique interior decor of the Augustine townhouses with their rich murals and stucco work was refashioned in 2012 in keeping with the Widder Hotel’s unconventional design aesthetic.
James Bond would cock an eyebrow not just at the glass elevator but also the electrical outlets recessed into his desk. Before staging any eventual escape across the hot roofs of Zurich, he could amuse himself under a rain shower in the spa-like bathroom, with Q briefing him on the latest mission via the mirror-embedded TV.
Furniture classics by prominent architects like Le Corbusier, Charles Eames, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto or Eileen Gray are skillfully juxtaposed with pieces custom designed by architect Tilla Theus. Her unornamented glass tables and bed headboards cohabit artfully with these 20th century design icons in the historic rooms of the Augustine houses.
The bed as recharging station clearly received special attention. The custom designed night table lamps configured as halogen lights with makeup mirror, the remotely adjustable bed sections and mattresses with varying degrees of firmness (!) do their combined best to provide a good night’s rest…
To anyone tempted to pigeon-hole the Widder Hotel, a bit cavalierly perhaps, into the historical category while professing an interest in something pretend modern, let the highly modern stairwell with its glass elevator designed 20 years ago be a hint: Tilla Theus can do it all…
Or, put it another way: who would have thought that one would be in Zurich’s Old Town rather than a trendy loft in New York’s Meatpacking District when lodging in the Widder penthouse suite?
Or in an artist’s loft with the latest design features?
Man, what a study in contrasts!
Anyone who, just before sitting down to a meal with a significant other, wants to get his or her act together and mentally outline how to inspire the beloved during the impending tête-à-tête had better first retreat to the picturesque Library.
An appetite-stimulating Isle of Jura whisky there will be highly conducive to musing how the architect Tilla Theus managed to have the wooden ceiling raised in order to carve out a continuous space above it for connecting the different parts of the building.
And just how did she manage to persuade the historic preservation authorities to let her add so many modern features to the protected structure standing where once there was a Roman draw well? Several round design elements let into the floors of the erstwhile individual buildings are subtle reminders of this historic legacy.
Anyone who, after so much inspiration or individualized lodging, still makes it to the restaurant then will not mind the short walk…
The hotel restaurants and bar
The Widder Hotel is also a cool place to stay from a culinary standpoint: just recently opened, owing much to a butcher heritage is the Boucherie “AuGust”. Just a few days after opening, this restaurant dedicated to carnivorous joys is heavily booked. Hardly surprising, really, since the price/quality ratio rises to unexpectedly stratospheric heights.
In addition, there is Café Schtund, which is accessible from the Augustinergasse, and, in summer months, the Al Fresco Lounge in the hotel’s inner courtyard.
But the establishment runs to true top form in the Turmstübli Restaurant and the Widder Restaurant by Dietmar Sawyere, decorated holder of 15 Gault-Millau points.
Not only do the fresh ingredients flatter the palate, but the Chef here also draws on unlimited epicurean riches.
And those still ready for more can mix with the beautiful people and others in the famous Widder Bar.
Just for these selfsame locals, the Widder Hotel provides an exclusive car service: Guests dining in either of the two gourmet restaurants will be picked up at home in Zurich and immediate vicinity and safely conveyed back home afterwards. Fittingly, the ride is in a Maserati Quattroporte…
It’s not quite James Bond, but then it is a slightly more comfortable ride than in his very latest Aston Martin flounder.
Rates and availability
Check out rates and availability here.
Sure, it’s more fun when you can easily shake the necessary change loose. But, go ahead, spoil yourself just this once…