The Marktgasse Hotel is situated on Zurich’s Marktgasse (market street), funnily enough, once the main road of the city in Roman times. Its old cobbled street undulates up and down and round, giving it an old-world charm that immediately strikes you as you drive up to the hotel. Being an old street, the buildings are pretty close together and at one point our rather large taxi had to squeeze through a tiny gap left by a parked car.
You know you’re staying in the right area of town when you arrive at your hotel and find that it is opposite the most successful COS in Europe. This combination of old town and contemporary design sums up the hotel and its decor too, it fits perfectly into its surroundings.
Ascending the stairs to the first floor you walk into a light-filled reception area furnished with some lovely pieces of furniture, all contemporary in design, and then you look up to find a beautiful ornate restored ceiling. Once an old inn, it was renovated at the end of 2015. The two buildings that form the hotel date back to 1291 and century-old columns, stucco work and wall panelling have all been preserved. Furniture and lighting from brands like &tradition, Flos and Vitra help create the perfect balance between old and new, offering a luxury hotel that is both comfortable and modern. The 39 rooms were designed with Scandinavian and Japanese influences. With its minimalist pared-down luxury style the Marktgasse stands apart from Zurich’s other hotels.
The ground floor is mostly given up to the hotel’s restaurant, bar and café, each of which have their own look and feel, all beautifully designed with quite a minimalist style but each with a very different mood. The café, Delish serves yummy healthy food throughout the day, including rather impressive poached eggs and avocado on toast at breakfast, and their Portuguese custard tarts which come straight from the oven are divine. The hotel’s restaurant, Baltho is a smart brasserie with an art installation by Zurich-based artist Stefan Burger. The menu covers most tastes, from the more exotic like tuna tataki with banana to classic dishes like moules marinière and burgers. Everything I ate was very good, making it hard to venture elsewhere. And dare I mention the cocktails? The bartenders in the Baltho Bar take their cocktails very seriously, using the best ingredients. Aside from making me an amazing cocktail they also allowed me to taste and sniff some of the more unusual ingredients. Which leads me nicely onto the fact that the staff at the hotel are some of the friendliest I’ve come across during my travels, professional but very approachable. Nothing was a problem.
I had an amazing room on the fourth floor of the hotel, it was decorated mostly in monochrome with highlights of orangey-red dotted about. A good hotel room should make you feel like it’s your home-from-home, only better, and the Marktgasse certainly did that. It was heavenly to return to in the evenings and jump into my squidgy bed, to be absorbed by the memory foam mattress and snuggle up under the thick cosy duvet. My room was a rather special one, a spiral staircase outside my cool black and white bathroom, led up to the roof. My suite was the only one with a roof terrace, with great views over Zurich. I spent quite a lot of time up there, taking in the view both in the morning and early evening. The bells tolled all around me as I stood up there on the Sunday morning.
I just wish I could have stayed longer.