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Zurich now has a La Réserve luxury hotel

La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich is now open after  a massive restoration by Philippe Starck (owner Michel Reybier’s also has La Réserve hotels in Geneva, Paris and Ramatuelle). In 2005 he bought the dowdy 1909-vintage Eden au Lac as part of the Victoria-Jungfrau Collection and he closed it 2017. Now it re-opens as the 40-room La Réserve Eden au Lac, with ongoing GM. B Michael Stuehler. Best rooms are the lake-view Eden Suites – or choose anything with a lake view, as above.

All guest rooms make the most of the space, with glass walls separating the living area from the bathroom and natural light pouring in from the large windows. Quirky nautical touches include wooden oars, paintings of sailboats and room numbers printed as if they were on a racing sail. The lobby’s original wooden staircase and iron elevator have been preserved; the latter re-imagined with a glass enclosure for a mix of modernity and timelessness that epitomizes the property’s new look and feel. Another focal point are stained-glass windows by Ara Starck (daughter of Philippe) depicting landscapes that evolve throughout the day as the sunlight streams through them.

The ground-floor Eden Kitchen & Bar features an open kitchen and large bay windows overlooking the lake and serves globally inspired dishes and Swiss classics like sautéed veal and potato rosti. The sixth-floor rooftop restaurant, La Muña, has a Peruvian-Japanese menu in an eclectic space that resembles the interior of the hull of a ship. Come spring, dine and have drinks on the rooftop terrace, which offers 360-degree views of the city and the Alps in the distance.

La Réserve’s central location is within walking distance of Pavillon Le Corbusier, his last completed project that reopened in Fall 2019; and the Old Town, the medieval heart of the city full of guildhalls, churches and romantic cobblestone streets lined with independent shops and galleries selling antiques, rare books and musical instruments.  Lakeside beaches with terraces and lawns are a popular place to picnic, play beach volleyball and go for a swim in the crystal-clear water. By night, many of these spots turn into badi-bars, or outdoor clubs.

Why Zurich, you might ask?  In early 2021, a David Chipperfield-designed extension to the Kunsthaus art museum – home to the world’s largest collection of Dada art opens. The project is part of a development plan for the city to create an ‘education mile’ where museums, together with the Schauspielhaus theatre, will create a gateway to a trail of cultural buildings through the city.

Zurich has two new daily flights from the USA, Swiss’ new direct flight from Washington DC and United’s first nonstop flight from Chicago-O’Hare.