While “business before pleasure” may well be the old adage, there is really very little separating the two when you fly to Switzerland’s financial capital of Zurich to do business. The Swiss are characterised as much by their steadfast efficiency as they are for their opulent and luxurious hotel suites. Switzerland’s economy has an established precedent of being strong and robust, much like the coffee, chocolate and wine that fills the cafe culture in a swirl of rich aromas. With great venue suggestions to take influential stakeholders to seal the deal, this is your go-to-guide for your next business travel to Zurich.
With its central location in Europe, Zurich Airport has become somewhat of a central European hub, with many arriving from long haul flights around the globe and often in the stark bleakness of night. Not surprisingly, this makes the Swiss International Airlines Arrivals Lounge of significant interest to a lot of travellers. As a first, business or elite frequent flyer member you are welcome to take advantage of the luxury lounge, designed with highly tasteful and modern fittings. Refresh and rejuvenate with breakfast and a shower, before making your way to the smoker’s bar for a smooth whiskey.
Arriving in Zurich in the middle of the night can be a daunting prospect, as there are limited options available to commute from the airport into the city. A highly easy and efficient transaction from the day before, can become a highly convenient and comfortable means of transportation at the time you arrive. Organise a car rental with Book Luxury Car, who are able to offer an eyebrow-raising variety of prestige and sportscar vehicles, with a premium service available that includes a choice of a one-way drive or a chauffeur service. Choose the Porsche Panamera with a chauffer drive and take full advantage of the champagne and crystal flutes located in the rear compartment.
On arrival into the city, there are a wealth of highly attractive luxury hotels to choose from. From the established business class hotels to newer establishments that appear to pop up out of nowhere, like dandelions. Each has much to offer in a promising experience of pure unadulterated luxury.
The luxury hotel giants in Zurich start with Baur au Lac, an established home of opulence in this sophisticated city. Baur au Lac boasts 120 suites, each of which are uniquely designed in different styles of Empire, Regency and Art Deco. The rooms are furnished with precise attention to detail and luxurious fittings, such as large marble bathrooms with heated floors.
The Dolder Grand may well be the iconic home of old wealth and established luxury in Zurich, carrying this mantle in the most prestigious fashion. Housed in the original Curhouse of Zurich, it majestically sits on elevated ground in a stunning atmosphere between the bustling city of Zurich, the quiet calm of Lake Zurich and the serene views of the Alps. The glamourous suites are masterfully designed to convey a palpable sense of history, doing so, with a most modern edge.
The beautifully maintained Storchen Zurich has been in perpetual operation for the past six centuries and you can easily see why the city of Zurich wouldn’t want to let this beauty go. Located in the heart of the old town, the hotel builds wonderfully on the surrounding historic charm. Conveniently located in just a short walk from the financial district and its glamorous promenade of Bahnhofstrasse, it has the perfect dynamism of luxurious charm and pure practicality.
For something more modern, less formal and where you can really let your hair down, consider a stay in the edgy and super cool 25hours Hotel Zurich. With a lively mixture of vibrant colours, it boasts the talents of local design with a homely atmosphere. It's a hotel that embraces a sense of fun and tongue-in-cheek humour, evident in its art and outlandish furnishings. Located in the West side of Zurich, the accommodation has conference room facilities for up to 120 people.
So, now to the bigger question - Where to meet and greet?
If seeking a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere than meeting in the office, Zurich offers some highly attractive alternative locations. As “Quality is the Best Business Plan”, there are many good reasons to meet out of the office. There is no better way to form or consolidate partnerships than whilst enjoying the highlights of fine dining, an excellent wine vintage or loosening those inhibitions in the avant garde atmosphere of a highly trendy bar.
Located in the heart of Zurich’s business district, in a busy downtown traffic square at the end of Bahnhofstrasse, call early to secure a table at the highly popular Aura. A three level emporium dedicated to the nightlife and having a great time. An excellent restaurant is situated on the ground floor, that boasts the best of Swiss cuisine. As a non-smoking environment, you’ll need to go upstairs to the bar and lounge to enjoy that rich scented cigar, the most elegant place to see, smoke and be seen.
Make a strong impression with that prospective high-tier stakeholder with a booking at Clouds, restaurant and lounge. Situated atop Zurich’s tallest building, the Prime Tower, it literally is a venue amidst the clouds, with sensational views of Zurich and beyond. From the warm contours of its sensual and yet rustic bistro interior, savour the tastes of marinated beef cubes over a bed of garlic infused risotto, or the sauteed pike perch with crispy potato wedges.
An off-the-clock venue and a “hang out” for Swiss bankers and executives alike is the Huerlimann Thermalbad and Spa. Located in a converted old brewery, guests soak in disused wooden beer vats, that filled with healing properties and bubbling spring water, are said to have restorative properties. Visit at sunset and get pickled whilst gazing out at the views on the open air terrace.
While the Swiss may have a reputation for being serious and highly punctual people known for dotting their ‘i’’s and crossing their ‘t’s, they also know how to live it up, hardly novices in the arts of indulgence. So, when in Zurich start your business venture on the right foot, making a good impression, looking fine and feeling even better.