Check in at: Hotel Alex, Lake Zurich

Serene views and spacious rooms are just part of the appeal at this idyllic getaway

Updated on 02 December 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

Check in at: Hotel Alex, Lake Zurich

It’s safe to say that the team at SquareMeal are not psychiatric experts, but if we had to put money on it, we’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that people who live on Lake Zurich don’t get stressed. At least, not as stressed as their UK counterparts. We’re also pretty convinced that the residents of the Alex Hotel are the least stressed of all. Why, we hear you ask? Well, we’ve just stayed there – and have never felt better.

Occupying a prime piece of real estate on the water’s edge (there are only two waterside hotels on the lake), Hotel Alex debuted in the summer of 2019 as part of the Campbell Gray Hotels collection.

Alex is found on the western shore and is best described as a luxury boutique hotel, set across only five floors and comprising just 44 studios and penthouses. While Alex more than impresses with its modern interiors and wealth of amenities (more on those later), the hotel’s biggest draw is undoubtedly the awe-inspiring views of Lake Zurich that can be seen from practically every window. Rooms are blessed with floor-to-ceiling windows or balconies, while the hotel restaurant is encased in a glass box that makes you feel like you’re floating on the water.

In fact, staying here feels like you are aboard a modern, frightfully chic cruise liner (thankfully without the motion sickness) and that is exactly the hotel’s intention. The Alex's aesthetic is the creation of British interior designers Brady Williams Studio, who have succeeded in employing neutral tones, clean finishes and airy spaces that have the same calm-inducing effect as those lakeside views.

Alex is a great for a weekend getaway, but some rooms are also available for short-term lease, should you be planning a Swiss sabbatical anytime soon. With those serene views of the Swiss Alps and the clear water hard to tear yourself away from, we may well find ourselves joining you.

Hotel Alex Lake Zurich: everything you need to know

What are the rooms like?

The spacious studios at Alex follow the same design brief as the hotel’s communal areas – think chic furnishings, plenty of natural light and access to all of the mod-cons. The rooms are residential in feel, with each one benefitting from a kitchenette (including a cocktail making set), dining and lounge area and an en-suite bathroom that comes complete with underfloor heating and toiletries made especially for the hotel. Alex is also unique in that each room boasts a view of the lake, whether that’s via a private balcony, outdoor terrace or French windows. We stayed in one of the Corner Suites, home to a balcony view on two sides and a bed that’s large enough to get lost in. 

What’s for breakfast?

Image: Chloe OnnTheGo

The hotel is home to a single flagship restaurant called The Boat House, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Boat House sits within a glass box that hangs over the water’s edge, and it’s certainly difficult to stay in your morning funk when you are enjoying breakfast against a backdrop as gorgeous as this one. To start your day, tuck into the buffet-style breakfast menu which features freshly-baked croissants and cinnamon buns. Those in need of stodge meanwhile can feast on bacon, sausages and egg.

How about lunch and dinner?

Image: Chloe OnnTheGo

Later in the day, The Boat House becomes a more formal affair, serving the same à la carte menu at lunch and dinner. The menu celebrates Swiss tradition and the produce of the sea, but there are some international flourishes too – sparklingly fresh tuna tataki is livened up with smears of smooth avocado and slightly bitter turmeric cream, while handmade tagliolini is an indulgent treat, resting in a rich cream sauce and topped with generous heap of black truffle shavings.

Is there a bar?

Image: Chloe OnnTheGo

The bar at Alex is small, but perfectly formed. Those who want to interact with the friendly knowledgeable staff can pull up a chair at the counter, while if you want to have a more intimate conversation, you can sneak off to the pink-hued lounge area which features a double-sided fireplace. On the drinks list, you’ll find a selection of twists on the classics, such as an Epresso Martini made with Pina Colada syrup, and a liquid dessert in the form of a White Elephant: Amarula, coffee vodka, aromatic bitters and a topping of banana-infused whipped cream.

What facilities are there?

In the basement, you’ll find Alex’s gym and spa. Both are relatively small spaces, but the spa is equipped with a treatment room, steam room and an intimate vitality pool that overlooks the lake. Head to the spa to receive a revitalising facial achieved with all-natural products, before relaxing on the hot stone counter in the centre of the room and cooling off in the pool.  

What can I do in the local area?

Image: Chloe OnnTheGo

Zurich’s city centre is just a short drive from The Alex, but we would recommend heading there via boat to enjoy the scenery. Once you’re on solid ground, you’ll be able to enjoy Zurich’s considerable clutch of attractions. In the summer, there are open-air pools and outdoor cinemas galore, while a plethora of Christmas markets, chocolate shops and fondue tasting opportunities are the obvious draw in the winter season.

Rooms from £265 per night. Eamonn was a guest of Hotel Alex.

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