One day very soon it will go without saying that Zürich is much more than chocolate bars and fancy watches, but for now a whimsical, high-concept design hotel geared toward the creative class is still something of an outlier, both figuratively and literally.
25hours is located in Zurich West, which, though only ten minutes by public transit from the city center, feels a world away from the old city, habitat of the bankers and the tourists.
The neighbourhood’s backstory is familiar: a former industrial area where, in the mid-‘90s, the manufacturers moved out and the galleries, design shops and performance spaces moved in, along with their staff and patrons. These days it’s full of many of the city’s hottest restaurants, bars and clubs, and home to an increasing number of hotels like 25hours.
But still, 25hours is a place all its own. This first Swiss outpost of the mostly German 25hours group is also the first full-scale hotel project by the beloved local designer Alfredo Häberli, best known for his novel re-makings of everyday objects like chairs and coat hangers and cutlery.
In another context, one such object would be merely a pleasant novelty, but cumulatively, their effect at 25hours is to pull guests into a world conjured by the sort of person who genuinely believes the coat hanger can be improved upon, both in form and function — and who turns out to be right.
It’s also clear that Häberli loves his adopted hometown, and the hotel’s conceit is that its interiors are a stylized Zürich in miniature. This plays out in whimsical allusions to the designer’s favorite local spots and to low-tech replicas of some of the city’s famous landmarks.
The room categories are silver, gold and platinum, a play on the city’s banking tradition, though you’re a lot more likely to find a turf-green carpet or a big egg-shaped bathtub than any precious metals.
As at 25hours’ other outposts, the prices here are lower than the local standard. Zürich’s hotels are infamously expensive, but if you’re willing to forgo nightly shoe-shines in favor of complimentary bike rentals and the like, 25hours offers an excellent value — not cheap in any sense of the word, but a steal by local standards.
Main text (above) via Tablet Hotels.