The Queen of Lake Zurich
The long-established Baur Au Lac has been welcoming its guests in an exclusive setting direct on lake Zurich for 174 years.
No country can look back on more traditional and impressive grand hotels than Switzerland. Their charm, magic and patina convey the feeling of former times to hotel guests and revive the past with panache and style. Several of them have been family-run for generations. Authenticity, ambiance and not least the host’s heart and soul make them living icons of the Swiss hotel industry. Most notably the Baur au Lac in Zurich.
THE FIRST HOUSE ON THE LAKE
For generations the hotel has been regarded by discerning travellers from all over the world as one of the top addresses in Switzerland. Elegance and comfort have shaped its reputation just as much as the proverbial service and the excellent gastronomy. In its own park, on the banks of Lake Zurich – and still a stone’s throw from the bustling bank centre, the hotel icon also enjoys a privileged location. Johannes Baur wrote hotel history with the Baur au Lac: He was the first to run the risk of building his hotel directly on the banks of Lake Zurich. As early as 1854 the Leipziger Illustrierte Zeitung reported on the hotel that was only ten-years old with these words: “The exterior is very promising, more than very promising. However, when you view the inside, wander through the luxurious salons and bedrooms, all your expectations will be surpassed.” This still applies today, 170 years later, because the Baur dynasty and subsequently the Kracht family, related by marriage, always set new standards in the Swiss luxury hotel industry. Consequently Emperors and Kings spend the night under the roof of the hotel icon. Today presidents and Excellencies stay at Baur au Lac and as always the most famous artists of their time.
ILLUSTRIOUS GUESTS OF DISTINCTION
Richard Wagner completed and premiered the first act of his Valkyrie here. Marc Chagall worked on the designs for the windows of the Fraumünster church. The foundation of the Nobel Peace Prize was concluded within the walls of the grand hotel. Thomas Mann spent many weeks in the Baur au Lac. After the war Christina Onassis, Gina Lollobrigida, presidents, business tycoons, chancellors, oil moguls from the Middle East, composers and major conductors came to the hotel and still do to date. However, names are not mentioned, as uncompromising discretion is traditionally given a high priority at Baur au Lac. And when Baur au Lac invites guests to events such as “Art in the Park” or the traditional Rive Gauche Summer party, the Swiss VIPs turn out in force.
BOUND TO TRADITION
The founding family in its sixth generation provides the hotel with uninterrupted continuity and direction. Today the Baur au Lac ranks worldwide as one of the oldest 5-star hotels that are still owned by the founding family. Tradition is lived here and the hotel never assumes a museum feel, because thanks to continuous dedication the contemporary challenges are fulfilled with the right service offer and modern technology; that is the hotel’s recipe for success. And to ensure that Baur au Lac continues to shine in its full splendour; over 150 million Swiss francs have been invested in the hotel in the last 20 years.
The hotel has a highly motivated staff base, consisting of a good mix of experienced professionals and dynamic, dedicated young people. Several members of staff have worked for Baur au Lac for over 40 years – a popular feature with the regular guests, as it gives them the feeling of “coming home to Baur au Lac”.
Photos Copyrights: © Baur au Lac