Zurich : luxury hotels
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Top-end, extremely expensive accommodation is what Zürich does best, and there’s any number of chain- and private-owned palaces catering for executives and the brand of international glitterati willing to sign away Fr.1200 or more for a night in one of the many absurdly luxurious suites on offer. Ordinary mortals could get away with half that for a standard double in these places, but be aware that if you’re willing to part with such stratospheric amounts, you’d probably have a more memorable time in, say, St Moritz or on Lake Luzern.
Baur au Lac Hotel 
One of Zürich’s oldest hotels, in the same family since 1844, now luxuriating in top-to-bottom renovations completed in 1997. Set in a private park on the lakeshore adjacent to Bahnhofstrasse, it fairly shimmers with opulent grandeur; touches such as in-room hi-fi systems, jacuzzis and ISDN connections make all the difference.

Dolder Grand Hotel

An extraordinary nineteenth-century palace perched atop a hill overlooking the city and accessible only by private funicular. Towers, cupolas, spires and turrets sprout from all sides of the elegant building; inside, the high-ceilinged rooms are unsurpassable. Completing the picture are a private nine-hole golf course, a full-size pool with wave machine, one of Switzerland’s top haute cuisine restaurants, and plenty of walking trails into the parks and forest all around.

St Gotthard Hotel

Grandedame of the city-centre hotels, in the same family since 1889, with a perfect location and bags of charm. The understated elegance of the dark-wood-and-leather lobby, however, isn’t matched in the rooms, which are spacious and comfortable but have been done up in a rather cloying chintzy style. A bargain, considering the competition.

Widder Hotel

On a quiet Old Town street, a row of eight medieval houses has been gutted to make this stylish and innovative modern hotel, reeking of super-smooth class but without the merest whiff of hauteur. The bar’s array of several hundred single malts adds to the appeal.

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