La Reserve Eden Au Lac – Zurich

I have never been to Zurich and it must be said that the opening of La Reserve’s latest addition was long awaited, but with the dawn of a new decade came the opening of this much anticipated property.
Those of you who have been to Zurich will know that the airport is vast and so when my driver appeared right beside the luggage carousel it was a very much appreciated and he whisked me off to the super luxury limo parked literally outside the terminal door. A special licence is required apparently but this is La Reserve so I wouldn’t expect anything less!

After a short ride, we arrived at this newly renovated hotel which dates back over one hundred years. Whilst the stately heritage exterior remains, the interior has been completely redesigned by Philippe Starck. He was inspired to recreate the hotel in the spirit of a yacht club, a tribute to his and Michel Reybier’s love of sailing.

Throughout the property there are small subtle details like the regatta photos adorning corridor walls, the odd oar, postcards in the rooms and my favourite, the in-room panama hats for warm sunny days. The most striking thing as I walked through the bright spaces was the cool vibe created by the fusion of contemporary elements like blown glass lighting and modern pieces from around the world with the original brick walls of the former baroque building. Inspired stained glass windows by Ara Starck, Philippe’s daughter, are a talking point on each floor of the historic staircase.

Each of the 40 rooms and suites, like all La Reserve rooms, provide ultimate comfort and have clearly been imagined by two masters of travel. From the lead-in deluxe city room to the super-spacious Eden Suite, everything is well thought out and the majority have stand-alone roll top baths. The lake is of course a key feature and never far from view.

Having never been to the city, I decided to take a wander to the Old Town which is not far away. Guests can also avail of the courtesy car which will take them around town. My first stop (and on recommendation of the General Manager Michael Stuhler) was Sprungli, a famous chocolaterie dating back to the mid-19th-century. It might have been dry January but that doesn’t mean one can’t indulge in a few truffles, right….

Feeling a little unhealthy, I strolled around the pretty Old Town window shopping in the bespoke boutiques and galleries ending up at the famous Bahnhofstrasse. All the luxury brands are here and people watching is great fun; I loved seeing all the middle-aged ladies taking their dogs for a walk all dressed up in fur coats, stylish ski boots and the latest sunglasses. No doubt they had come straight from the gym (and not Sprungli!) and I was reminded just how chic Switzerland is.

I did of course pop into a few of the other 5* hotels in Zurich – it would be rude not to – and came to the conclusion that La Reserve must be causing quite a stir as it is so different from anything else on offer. Of course, there will be guests who want the more traditional, dare I say “old fashioned” service and style of a city like Zurich, but Eden au Lac seemed to me to offer a refreshing alternative for those looking for somewhere more lively and hip.

I headed back for dinner at the hotel’s much talked about roof-top restaurant, La Muna, which takes pride of place on the 6th floor with 360-degree views of the city, lake and Alps in the distance. Muna is a Peruvian plant historically used to alleviate altitude sickness, a nod to the surroundings and really creating a sense of place.

As I entered the restaurant I was struck by the design – the interiors were not what I was expecting. The attic style space beneath the hotel’s spectacular dome has been decked out like the “harbour master’s office” with wooden beams, original brick features and an eclectic mix of worn leather chairs, floral cushions and rugs apparently sourced on Starck’s many trips to Asia and Persia. Wow – it is amazing and I can imagine in summer the outdoor roof terraces, which by-the-way can be privatised for up to 40 people, will be THE place to hang out in the city.

For some people dining alone is not enjoyable but I travel so much I really do not mind. However, the charming Olivia who had reserved a discreet table for me was absolutely brilliant in terms of efficiency, professional friendliness and making me feel at ease asking if I’d like any magazines and sharing the history of the building etc.

The concept at La Muna is Peruvian /Japanese sharing specialities with most dishes combining raw and marinated elements created by Chef Miya Gunji. As it was late, I chose the vegan Ceviche which I will not forget for a long time, seaweed like I‘ve never tasted before and followed it with a delicious chicken teriyaki. It was a treat for the taste buds but beware if you’ve got a small appetite as portions are really quite generous.

It was only the third week of opening but service was great and the place was buzzing on a Tuesday evening in January with locals coming to see what all the fuss is about.

The next morning, I woke up early and opened the curtains to view the sunrise over the lake, packed my bag and headed down to the Eden Kitchen Restaurant, an open-plan concept on the ground floor with an enthusiastic, young friendly team headed up by Italian chef Marco Ortolani. The menu caters for health-conscious guests and diners and again the dining room had a great vibe. Adjacent is the Eden Bar which seemed busy for the duration of my stay and a DJ plays in the lobby just outside from early evening.
I LOVED the whole place, from the rooms and staff to the dining experiences. I know my “kids” would love it too and I could definitely up my cool-mum credentials if I brought them here for a weekend on the lake.

Outside the hotel, if not heading up to the mountains for skiing, you can enjoy boat tours on the lake during summer months, hiking tours, visit Zurich West to meet local cheese and wine artisans, go to the opera and of course visit the watch and jewellery ateliers, including a private workshop with Bucherer which sadly (and probably just as well!) I didn’t have time for on this trip. I will be back and maybe next time I’ll combine it with a spa weekend to La Reserve Geneva, less than one hour’s train ride away. Now there’s a thought…

Special Offers & Packages

Discover La Réserve Zurich
Package includes:
– Guaranteed upgrade at time of booking
– Welcome cocktails and tapas at the Eden Kitchen & Bar
– American breakfast
– VIP welcome amenities
– Guaranteed 12 am early check-in and 2 pm late check-out (at time of booking)
– Wireless internet high-speed connection
– Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages from the private bar
– Free access to Pressreader
– VAT & service charges
Offer valid until end of April 2020

Valentine’s Day at La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich
Package includes:
– Room upgrade upon availability at time of booking
– 12am Early check-in and 2pm late check-out upon availability at time of booking
– 6 course dinner at Eden Kitchen & Bar
– American Breakfast
– Romantic welcome amenity
– Wireless internet high-speed connection
– Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages from the private bar
– Free access to Pressreader
– VAT & service charges
Offer valid until 14th February 2020

To make a booking please contact reservations quoting Highlife at:
t. +41 44 266 25 25