Hotels aren’t just for sleeping anymore.
As the signs on the exterior of the 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse, a new hip lodging in central Zurich, tell you, they’re also about “Highball,” “Welcome,” “Hug,” and perhaps “Surprise.” And, yes, “Sleep,” too.
Here’s the scoop:
Hotel as Pawn Shop?
Part of a small hotel chain that currently has 10 European properties, 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse opened in April 2017. It’s the second 25hours hotel in Zurich; the other is located in the funky Zurich West district.
When I arrived, I was a bit puzzled by the design of the reception area, with its glass cases filled with miscellaneous odds and ends. Then I looked up the word “Leihaus,” which is displayed in bright neon letters over the front desk. It means “pawnshop.” Apparently, the hotel will consider offers from guests to pawn an item to pay for their stay. That’s a “Surprise” to me.
Artist in Residence
Another barter system is the hotel’s artist in residence program. The hotel welcomes an artist for a month-long residency providing studio space for them to work in an atelier next to the bar. At the end of the month, the artist leaves behind a work for the hotel to display and add to its permanent collection. A “Welcome” idea!
On the lobby level, lively Neni Restaurant serves a big breakfast buffet in the morning and middle eastern-inspired sharing plates — hummus, falafel, sabich, salads — later in the day.
Several of the 25hours hotels have a “Neni,” created by Israeli-born chef Haya Molcho. The restaurant takes its name from her four sons’ names: Nuriel, Elior, Nadiv and Ilan.
Like many modern hotels, the 25hours Hotel gives guests lots of space to hang out. At the Cinchona Bar, also in the lobby, you can linger over an espresso during the day and cocktails till the wee hours. Most Friday and Saturday nights, a DJ keeps things hopping. “Highball” – check.
Behind the bar is a living room-like space with a fireplace, where guests can mingle or get some work done. There’s another lounge/workspace for guests on the first floor, above the lobby.
On the seventh (top) floor, the “Trainspotting Sauna” has a window that opens to a view across the railroad tracks (another “Surprise”), and you can look out over the city from the outdoor terrace, too. The small fitness room, with several of cardio machines, also has a “trainspotting” view.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
The 170 guest rooms at 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse come in three styles and sizes: medium, large, and extra large. They’re modern and well designed for “Sleep” (and maybe for “Hug”) with bedside outlets, reading lamps, and crisp white duvets, but no extraneous frills. Rooms have safes, although, except in the extra large rooms and three suites, no coffeemakers.
In my room, the compact shower was tucked in next to the bed, and the toilet was in a separate tiny room, with the sink in the open space in between. Other rooms have free-standing, glass-enclosed, peek-a-boo showers (“Surprise” again!).
Rooms come with a shopping bag that you can borrow during your stay, made by Zurich-based Freitag, which crafts backpacks, messenger bags, and other carryalls from recycled materials. Freitag bags are also for sale in the hotel lobby.
The 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse is located in what was once the city’s red light district. While the area still has lots of nightclubs, it’s also part of the emerging Europeallee neighborhood where new boutiques, restaurants, and cafes are opening along the railroad corridor leading to Zurich’s Central Station.
Right next door to the hotel is the kind of cool spot I’d like in my neighborhood. Kulturhaus Kosmos is a restaurant, bar, event space, bookstore, movie theatre, and coffeehouse all under one roof.
The hotel is a 15-minute walk from Zurich’s Central Station and a similar distance from the Old City and the Bahnhofstrasse, central Zurich’s main shopping street. Buses and trams stop nearby that can take you all over the city.
It’s a great location, with plenty to do both in the area and at the hotel — whether you’re at the 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse for a “Highball,” its “Welcome,” a “Hug,” a “Surprise,” or even to get some “Sleep.”
Double room rates at the 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse start at US$175/night and include Wi-Fi. Packages with breakfast at Neni are also available. You can book directly with the hotel or try an OTA such as Expedia to compare rates.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. 25hours Hotel Zurich Langstrasse, along with Zurich Tourism and Switzerland Tourism, arranged my stay for review purposes.