An elegant lakeside hotel in Zurich
Author: Kendall Hill
Every August in Zürich, the arts move outdoors for a month packed with events, most centred on the city's storybook lake. Highlights include the 18-day international theatre Spektakel, the Openair music festival, and Street Parade, a huge outdoor dance party. Next month, the focus turns to food at the 11-day Food Zürich festival, much of it served in newly fashionable Zürich West.
The most prized spot to soak up Zürich's summer vibe is the elegant Baur au Lac hotel, which has its own lakeside parklands in the city's heart. The 119-room Neoclassical palace looks as fresh today as when it opened in 1844, thanks to its "virtuous cycle" of constant renovation that has seen more than 210 million Swiss francs lavished on its interiors in the past 18 years.
The Junior Suite at Baur au Lac.
Some suites are just a few months old, with custom French and English carpets designed to create residential spaces suitable for monarchs and mere mortals.
The venerable Baur au Lac lobby, which has hosted the likes of Marc Chagall, has also been completely remodelled at a cost of almost 5 million Swiss francs. Its latest incarnation restores the original glass ceiling, adds a flamboyant chandelier and artworks by Pat Steir and Fernando Botero.
The Rive Gauche Terrace.
The chic Rive Gauche Terrace, set in the park shaded by centenarian sequoia and ginkgo trees, is also freshly made over. Its signature navy colour theme contrasts smartly with potted olives, rosemary and white hydrangeas. Apéritif in hand, there's no finer spot to soak up the Zürich summer. Rooms from 870 Swiss francs.