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Intercontinental Zurich
(now Crowne Plaza Zurich)

The Intercontinental Hotel is located a little bit outside of the centre of Zurich. One can reach the hotel by the shuttle service, which leaves the airport every 30 minutes at (.00 or .30); it is 19,00 CHF / person. The driver asks to pay to him directly, but you also can advice him to take a voucher at the hotel and the hotel will charge the shuttle to the room. I advise to do so, if you have no CHF with you, the exchange rate to EUR is terrible (something like 19,00 CHF = 15 EUR). The Hotel on the other side could be reached by public transportation easily.

The hotel has two restaurant: The restaurant “LetziLeu”, which is open  from 6.30 to 10.30 for breakfast and from 11.00 to 23.30 for dining. Here you can have a informal dining, they offer some sort of buffet. The other restaurant “Relais des Arts” is open for 11.30 to 14.00 and 18.30 to 22.30; on the weekend only in the evening. This restaurant is more formal than the “LetziLeu”.

The Bar, just opposite the reception, is open from 7.00 to 2.00, sometimes there is live music. During my visit in January, the Bar was not very full and so was the “LetziLeu” restaurant.

A Business Center is left hand side if you enter the hotel.

In the souterrain is the health club located. As guest staying in the hotel you get a voucher for an entry (during my stay in January, I got one voucher for two nights, n September I got two vouchers for two nights and was told for the use of the pool in the morning I did not need a voucher, but had to hand it to the staff in the morning). The health club is large with Sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish Bath. The Equipment of the health club contains of treadmill, step machine, rowing machine, etc. The pool is temporarily closed due to renovation and will reopen in late April. The treadmills and some steppers are placed in a small atrium with a glass roof, so you could do your workout in some fresh air. There a some TV screens, but you could only see the picture, no sound. All in all a nice area, but I was a little bit disappointed about the closed pool.

The lobby is nice and about a mid size. The are some tables and lounge chairs if you wait for someone.

The reception is of normal size, two or three persons could be checked in or out in the same tine.

The hotel has two building, one facing the street and another one backyard, connected by the lobby in the ground floor. I do not know if there is any difference between the room types in the two buildings, I was in the building facing the yard and this was a quiet place.

Stays: 08 January 2005, 04 September 2005

Arrival Date: 6 January 2005
Departure Date: 8 January 2005
Room type booked: Standard (got Club Floor Room)
Rate Plan: Weekend Breaks
Room Number: 2422
Room Rate: 160 CHF (including breakfast for two) / night

Status of Guest Program: Gold / Ambassador

This was my first stay as Ambassador and I was looking about the benefits of Ambassador status. The check in was efficient and very fast. I did not get any information about the room – I do not know, but if a benefit of your status is an somehow better room than the room you booked, it would be nice, if one gets an information about the room type.

The room was large, but the furniture was old and some stains in the carpet and some damages at the cupboard in the floor. The lamp on the working desk could no turned off, you have to put the plug out of the socket. The control panel for the light has also some sort of malfunction, as one could sometimes not turn off the light in the room in the floor. By the way, there was like many other hotels a central unit where you have to put your keycard in to get power.

The minibar has a separate key one get during check in, the door of the minibar was partly broken, but it was not a bad damage, you only have to open the door to the fridge manually. The sofa was large, but I would not call it modern styled. There was a bottle of mineral water and a fruit plate with some chocolate waiting in the room and the hotel offers also a turn down service with another nice chocolate gift on your pillow. Every day, I got a new fruit plate and also some new chocolate, which was nice and the fruit tasted very good.

The bathroom looked very dated, the style of the early 80’s. The were some stain at the wall, and at the wash basin. The shower curtain has also seen better days. The shower head was broken and water was splashing to the wall. I told this malfunction to the front desk, but they could not change it during the weekend.

I requested a late check out and got it as Ambassador without problem, in the elevator was a information about late check out times and how much it cost and with status you need to get if for free. Just curious, the cleaned my room the day I checked out in the morning and I even got a new bottle of water.

The breakfast was – as mentioned above – in the restaurant LetziLeu. It was a small American one, with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, rösti. Beside this, fried eggs or omelette were also available on request. Bread, rolls and croissant , fresh toast were offered, a small selection of cheese and cold meat and a wider selection of marmalade and jam and some fresh juice and yoghurt.

All in all a stay where I get a conflicting impression. On the one side, the staff was friendly and the service okay; the hotel itself is in the public areas nice, but the rooms are dated and need an renovation in the nearby future. As this hotel is (as far as I know) a franchise (owned by Park Plaza Hotel AG – Park Plaza was the name of the hotel before it became an Intercontinental.). I doubt, I will stay there again, at least not, if the pool is closed. There are some nicer hotels which offer a better value for money (e.g. Novotel, Marriott), but the hotels in Zurich a very expensive, so the price of my room was – to be honest – okay.


Arrival Date: 02nd September 2005
Departure Date: 4th September 2005
Room type booked: Standard (got Grand Room)
Rate Plan: Luxury Weekends
Room Number: 2506
Room Rate: 176.00 CHF (including breakfast for two) / night

Status of Guest Program: Platinum/ Ambassador

The Exhibiton “AIRWORLD” at Zurich Airport and the Zurich Mini-Do let me decided to fly for a short weekend to Zurich. As I still had the Ambassador Voucher to use, which would expire Ende of September, I booked a room for two night in the Zurich Intercontinental; this was the last chance to use the voucher. Having had a conflicting impression during my first stay in January 2005, I decided to gave the hotel a second try.

Also, this was my first stay as PC Platinum and I was looking forward about the benefits of the combination Platinum / Ambassador status.

This time I use the S-Bahn to Hardbrücke and changed to the bus to Albisriederplatz instead of the expensive airport shuttle. Travelling time was less than 20 minutes (just a side note the 24h ticket is available by choosing round trip at the ticker vendor machines at Zurich Airport Station)

The check in was again efficient and very fast. This time, I got information about the room upgrade as I was told I got an Grand Room on the fifth floor of the Garden wing building. The staff at the check in also mentioned, this time the pool is open and gave me two vouchers for the fitness facilities in the basement. They were aware of my last stay in January, which was a little bit surprising to me after such a long time.

The room was very large, but the furniture was again old and some small stains in the carpet and some damages at the wall, but in better conditions than the room I had in January. This time you have had to look after it, they were not visible at a first time impression (exception a damage in the wall above the bed).

You enter the room through a long corridor, there was also the entry to the bathroom. The bathroom was larger and in much better condition than in the Executive Room I had in January. It seems this room was renovated some time ago, a nice large tube, two washbasin and a toilet. The shower was okay so was the shower curtain. The bathroom amenities were the usual stuff, but you got a plenty of them and it was refilled every day. A hairdryer was available, towels for three person were available and two bathrobes.

The rooms itself consists of so to say three parts, the living room part left hand side, the bed as second part and a working part in the rear part of the room on the right side.

The first part consists of a sofa with table and two lounge chairs, old in style, but okay. Beside this was the TV (16:9) and the HiFi system with 3 CD’s with light classical music. Unfortunately the tv screen was not on a rotating table, so is was not possible to see from the sofa neither from the bed.

Opposite was the bed with a telephone on one bedside table and the Telefax on the other. Both bedside tables were very small and due to the telecommunication placed on them barely usable.

Beside the bed in the rear part of the room was the working desk with an TFT Internet screen and a LAN Connection (Modem and High Speed), a lamp and another telephone. Behind the desk was the huge cupboard. In the middle of this cupboard was the Minibar and an Espresso System by Nespresso with 12 espresso / cappuccino pads (stocked daily).

The Ambassador Gift was a luggage tag and a basket with crisps, some fruit and a bar of chocolate and two bottles of water. The basket and the water were stocked daily, again an improvement to the stay in January.

I requested a late check out and got it as Ambassador without problem, the key cards was still coded for a late check out as I was told by the staff at the reception desk. Check out was fast and efficient and I was asked if I was satisfied with the stay.

The breakfast was in the restaurant LetziLeu. It was a an extended continental breakfast buffet (in comparison with other hotels, I only would rate this as extended continental breakfast anymore). Available were scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, rösti. Beside this, fried eggs or omelette were also available on request. Bread, rolls and croissant , fresh toast were offered, a small selection of cheese and cold meat and a wider selection of marmalade and jam and some fresh juice and yoghurt. The staff at the restaurant was sometimes a little bit slow, but both times it was very full in the restaurant.

All in all a stay this time I had a better impression of this hotel. Service of check in staff was excellent, service in the restaurant could have been better. The room was nicer than in January but again the furniture seems dated and is out of style. The pool area is nice and the pool is large, but the voucher system is somehow stupid. It seems, there is no regulation how many voucher to hand out to a guest and the staff at the (outsourced) fitness center does not know how many vouchers one need (Friday evening, one voucher per 24 hours, Saturday morning one voucher per entry); this could be improved. The hotel is still not my first choice in Zürich, but if the ArabellaSheraton is more expensive and the rate at the Novotel are not significant cheaper, I will stay here again (Priceline is another option for Zurich, I was told). The Hyatt is very expensive and the Hilton is far away.