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Atlantis by Giardino, Zurich, a Member of Design Hotels [Master Thread]

Atlantis by Giardino, Zurich, a Member of Design Hotels [Master Thread]

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Old Jan 1, 18, 4:29 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by travelista View Post
Any recent Plat stays here? Any "chance" of getting an upgrade? I know it's a Design Hotel, and they're special...
Breakfast is still comp'd here for Plats, right?
Upgrade chance is absolutely 0 unless they over book. Even if they overbook I believe they would just give it to people that stay there regularly vs a platinum member.

As for Breakfast all rooms include 2 free breakfast if it's paid with $ not points. Points does not qualify for breakfast.

The only platinum benefit is free high speed internet

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Any update on the wifi speed issues here? Any other details I should know?

I am booked here with my mother for 2 nights in 2 SPG award Cosy rooms on our way back from Italy in Oct 2018.

This will be only my second Design Hotels stay, following immediately after the La Bandita Townhouse in Pienza (and St Regis Florence) while we're in Tuscany. It will be interesting to judge these very well regarded Design Hotels against such a lofty St Regis Florence service and luxury standard. But both the LBT and ABG properties also sound amazing. I can't wait.

Any suggestions for best things to do in town with my mother? I know we'll be dining at Ecco. Thanks!
Internet was fine. Harry from Concierge was very helpful when we were there. We went for 2 days and went shipping day 1 than Lucerne in day 2.
Design hotels is great for those without status tbh.
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Old Jan 1, 18, 4:48 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by TennisNoob View Post
Upgrade chance is absolutely 0 unless they over book. Even if they overbook I believe they would just give it to people that stay there regularly vs a platinum member.

As for Breakfast all rooms include 2 free breakfast if it's paid with $ not points. Points does not qualify for breakfast.

The only platinum benefit is free high speed internet

Internet was fine. Harry from Concierge was very helpful when we were there.

Design hotels is great for those without status tbh.
Thanks for the info! Much appreciated.

I’m Plat100 Ambassador status, but I’ll be traveling with my mother. So if we get no upgrade, it isn’t a big deal. Maybe they’ll get me a room category upgrade, which will be more than sufficient since I’ll be alone in my room. If not, no big deal.

And with the money I’ll save using points for the rooms, I’m happy to pay for breakfast. (If I were alone and they provided a restaurant breakfast benefit, I’d likely still pay for room service anyway!)

The irony is that I love that the Atlantis is such a great and surprising luxury option within the SPG Design portfolio—in a city that doesn’t have any other luxury option within SPG. I’d love it if were Luxury Collection, with proper SPG benefits, but I’d rather it be SPG Design with point earning and burning ability than not SPG at all. I will enjoy the amazing property, the great service, and the great food/beverage. The rest is just gravy to me!

I could have blown 30K points for the PH Zurich, but this Atlantis property seems so much more interesting to me. And the fact that it has 2* Ecco seals the deal for me. The Autograph Collection Kameha Grand Zurich looks nice, too, but is the same number of SPG/MR points—but it doesn’t look quite as luxurious.

Last edited by bhrubin; Jan 1, 18 at 4:59 pm
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Old Jan 1, 18, 7:01 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post


Thanks for the info! Much appreciated.

I’m Plat100 Ambassador status, but I’ll be traveling with my mother. So if we get no upgrade, it isn’t a big deal. Maybe they’ll get me a room category upgrade, which will be more than sufficient since I’ll be alone in my room. If not, no big deal.

And with the money I’ll save using points for the rooms, I’m happy to pay for breakfast. (If I were alone and they provided a restaurant breakfast benefit, I’d likely still pay for room service anyway!)

The irony is that I love that the Atlantis is such a great and surprising luxury option within the SPG Design portfolio—in a city that doesn’t have any other luxury option within SPG. I’d love it if were Luxury Collection, with proper SPG benefits, but I’d rather it be SPG Design with point earning and burning ability than not SPG at all. I will enjoy the amazing property, the great service, and the great food/beverage. The rest is just gravy to me!

I could have blown 30K points for the PH Zurich, but this Atlantis property seems so much more interesting to me. And the fact that it has 2* Ecco seals the deal for me. The Autograph Collection Kameha Grand Zurich looks nice, too, but is the same number of SPG/MR points—but it doesn’t look quite as luxurious.
No problem! However don't expect even a basic room upgrade. The basic rooms are still nice. I think they gave me an upgraded view, lots of hotels use that as a point to make you feel better even though all rooms face the lake or cliff, etc.
This property is a steal for points based on the Franc price it's usually offered under. It should be cat 7 but because it lacks revenue, it's a cat 6.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 2:15 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by bhrubin
And the fact that it has 2* Ecco seals the deal for me.
Ecco is not open very often and it is necessary to book well in advance.
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Old Jan 7, 18, 1:19 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by d'Yquem View Post
Ecco is not open very often and it is necessary to book well in advance.
Posted hours for Ecco are Wed-Sun from 7 pm - 12 am, with an additional Sun brunch service from 12-2 pm. We already are assured the booking in advance because we are hotel guests. But thanks! (I always book my fine dining restaurants well in advance.)
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Old Jan 7, 18, 2:24 pm
  #21  
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Bhrubin- our family has only had 2 Design Hotel experiences- my husband and my stay at the Grammercy Park and our son and his wife’s stay at Palazzina G in Venice. Both were special occasions and paid stays and in both instances we splurged for special suites. We loved each of the hotels and our rooms at each were amazing. And it was awesome to be able to earn SPG points at unique, boutique properties. But there seemed to be almost zero recognition of SPG Platinum status. I am very interested in hearing if this hotel (and Design hotels in general over time) has better elite recognition.

And for something casual but wonderful, we stumbled upon Trattoria da Fiorella in Pienza on our way back from a wine tasting. In late November there were few people there for lunch and we were served by the proprietor- I believe his mother was the chef. Our meal was really delicious and it almost seemed like dining at someone’s home.
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Old Jan 7, 18, 2:43 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by damon88 View Post
Bhrubin- our family has only had 2 Design Hotel experiences- my husband and my stay at the Grammercy Park and our son and his wife’s stay at Palazzina G in Venice. Both were special occasions and paid stays and in both instances we splurged for special suites. We loved each of the hotels and our rooms at each were amazing. And it was awesome to be able to earn SPG points at unique, boutique properties. But there seemed to be almost zero recognition of SPG Platinum status. I am very interested in hearing if this hotel (and Design hotels in general over time) has better elite recognition.
I'm expecting no upgrade here.

I certainly hope that the SPG Design Hotels eventually may come more into the SPG fold insofar as elite recognition and benefits, but that is subject to whatever happens with the new Marriott loyalty program next year. In the meantime, I'm just delighted to have the Design Hotels option. I'm almost always going to prefer the St Regis or Luxury Collection options that usually are "better" than the Design Hotels option. But in Zurich, which lacks either, I am delighted to try this Atlantis by Giardino Design Hotel as the only luxury option available. I may ask to pay more for an upgraded room category, since I am not expecting any complimentary upgrade.

I also am curious to see if my incredible Ambassador may yet be able to help secure an upgrade for me, despite there being no expectation nor guarantee.

I debated the Park Hyatt, but since I don't have any status any more with Hyatt, it seems more interesting to me to try this Atlantis property. It looks truly incredible, after all. And Park Hyatt hasn't always delivered in recent experience--I've heard and see too much about service disruptions and outsourcing of housekeeping and other services at Park Hyatt to try.

And for something casual but wonderful, we stumbled upon Trattoria da Fiorella in Pienza on our way back from a wine tasting. In late November there were few people there for lunch and we were served by the proprietor- I believe his mother was the chef. Our meal was really delicious and it almost seemed like dining at someone’s home.
Thanks for that! We have another FlyerTalk friend who lives only 15 minutes from Pienza who also is guiding our dining choices--and will join us for a dinner, too!
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Old Aug 31, 18, 6:36 pm
  #23  
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Any recent stays here?

We will be staying 2 nights in early Oct. Thanks!
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Old Oct 9, 18, 1:48 pm
  #24  
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Amazing luxury hard product mixed with schizophrenic and uneven service

Atlantis by Giardino

1 Review | 100% Recommended

Atlantis by Giardino

Döltschiweg 234 Zurich, CH 8055

Amazing luxury hard product mixed with schizophrenic and uneven service (100 Photos)

Atlantis by Giardino

My husband and I, along with my mother, ended our European holiday with 2 nights in Zurich--as we all were flying home to the USA from there. Following our stays at the St Regis Florence and La Bandita Townhouse Pienza, a Design Hotel, Atlantis would be just the second Design Hotel I'd ever experienced.

I had booked both Generous rooms using 25K SPG points/night. I then had emailed to upgrade our room to a Luxe room for 40 CHF/night. 

We think the hard product at Atlantis is absolutely stellar. One of the best designed hotels we've seen, especially when you conisder that a decade ago it was a worn down Sheraton! The Giardino group renovated this property and reopened it in 2015, and it truly is a glorious luxury retreat in the foothill surrounding Zurich--but just a 10-15 min shuttle ride into the city center.

The soft product, especially the service, however, was a curious mix of very attentive and woefully inept. This being my first ever trip to Switzerland, however, I don't know if that is a byproduct of Giardino management or of it being Swiss. 

The hotel is a post-war modernist gem, showing an exterior softened brutalism and an interior inspired by Art Deco genius.

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The bar/lounge:

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Outdoor terrace seating was vast and extremely comfortable:

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The Hide and Seek restaurant:

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The 2* Michelin restaurant, Ecco:

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Ecco's private dining room, where we had our glorious dinner:

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Cigar smoking lounge off the main bar/lounge area:

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Steps from the main terrace to the outdoor pool area behind the hotel:

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The cows roaming nearby made for some amusing live theater:

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The weight room was small but decently equipped:

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The spa area was lovely:

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We were very impressed. This is one very nice hard product. 

Check In

Check in was where our experience saw its first concerns. We arrived to find a single front desk receptionist on the phone. We waited almost 5 minutes before he got off and welcomed us--coolly at best. 

From there, he seemed slightly dismissive. When asked about any upgrade for our Luxe room, he was quite noncholant in dismissing the idea. Knowing as Design Hotel doesn't upgrade in the same way as other Marriott properties, I moved on. 

He then tried to dismiss us again with a welcome drink, which we politely declined, indicating we were most interested in getting to our rooms. He didn't seemed pleased at that, asked for our passports, and took another 5 minutes before returning with them. The whole thing smacked of needless delay and insouciance to me. 

Finally, he offered to give us a tour of the property, which we accepted...but again it felt like a delay tactic. After touring around a bit, he took us to our rooms.

Despite asking him to take us to my mother's room first, he took us to our supposedly upgraded Luxe room. That was room 216, right next to the elevators. Really?

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We walked in and I felt it was smaller than expected, but I already was put off by an upgraded room being located adjacent to the elevators--something my SPG/Marriott profile clearly indicated I do not like. I apologized, knowing the current Marriott IT glitches may have caused the hotel to not know this, and indicated that I needed another room location.

He looked surprised and then took us to my mother's room...which was nicer and laid out better despite not being upgraded! I waited in my mother's room until he could find a better Luxe room for me. It took a good 30 min and a few calls before he returned to take me to my new room, 334.

Suffice to say, check in was not smooth nor particularly pleasant.

Room

OUR LUXE ROOM (Room 334)

Our new Luxe room was much nicer and far better located and had a view. The fact that the hotel assigned us first to 216 when this room was obviously available and was the same category was unimpressive to me.

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The bathroom was off the entry hallway and looked to be identical to my mother's room, though the sliding pocket door made it easier and less clumsy:

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Lighting and temperature controls in the hall:

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Small outdoor terrace off the living room:

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The closets had plenty of storage and the safe/minibar/Nespresso coffee maker:

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The bedroom area was pretty spacious:

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Small outdoor terrace from the bedroom:

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The control panel besides the bed behind the lamp also had 2 USB ports:

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There were controls that also lowered and raised the solar screens off the living and bedroom area balconies--a very nice touch since morning sun could be an issue. 

I really like the room, though I didn't think it was quite as well laid out as my mother's. Still, the pocket door for the bathroom, the Nespresso coffee maker, the balconies, and the view made the room infinitely better than both my mother's room and the previously assigned near-elevator room 216.

Unfortunately, the air conditioning was tragic. After a half hour, it was abundantly clear that the one small vent wasn't pushing enough air or cold enough air to remotely cool the room. I had been guaranteed in writing in advance (at the time of booking almost 6 months prior) that the room could be cooled to 18 C, but the room never cooled below 21 C. After a nighmare of back and forth that took over an hour, and my husband finally having to speak with the GM, they installed a portable air con unit while we were at Ecco for dinner that first night. Otherwise, I already had confirmed both availability and the ability to properly cool a room to 15 C at the Park Hyatt Zurich in the city center. 

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This was a newer portable system than we have at home in case of air con emergencies, and it worked like a charm. We kept the room at 16-17 F at night to sleep and at 18-19 C during the day for my husband's sanity. It solved the problem, but I was extremely disappointed in how long it took for the hotel to recognize and to resolve the mess. 

 

MY MOTHER'S GENEROUS ROOM (Room 224)

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The living area and bedroom area were separated by a console wall:

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The bath was small but felt larger due to the glass, but the door opened against the tub:

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My mother thought her room was very spacious and comfortable. Her air con worked more than sufficiently for her. 

Service

Service was a very mixed bag. We had a few good moments spread amiss a ton of things handled very poorly. As good as the hard product is, the service needs a lot of work IMO.

(1) As previously noted, the check in process was painful and not handled well. The fact that the hotel assigned me a supposedly better Luxe room that was smaller and so poorly located by the elevators was extremely disappointing.

(2) The fact that it took almost 30 min to find me another room was disappointing. 

(3) The fact that the air con wasn't turned on in either room ahead of time despite my requests in advance was also very disappointing.

(4) The fact that the hotel seemed unaware of its written guarantee of my room achieving 18 C was very unimpressive. 

(5) The fact that the hotel had to know that its thermostats went down to 18 C and yet didn't come close to achieving that (21C, really?) is further evidence of a big problem. 

(6) It took a ridiculous number of calls back and forth, even with the front office manager, and still nothing was resolved with my room air con. She managed to send an engineer to the room who didn't even know what the problem was bdefore arriving! The engineer also seemed woefully out of his depth in trying to resolve the issue. 

Ultimately, the air con problem was only resolved when the GM offered to install a portable air con unit while we were at dinner. That did solve the problem...but it never should have taken so long in the first place. I had to call the Park Hyatt Zurich to be sure I had another hotel option with proper air con if the Atlantis hadn't resolved the situation--something I've done only twice in my life up to this point.

I was pretty disappointed also that no other gesture was made by the hotel by way of apology for the whole mishap. The GM did check in with us at breakfast to make sure the air con was working--that's all. He apologized to my husband but never to me. We deserved a free round of drinks, a free breakfast, or a comp'd night's stay or something, I think. We didn't even get a written note of apology for the whole mess. NOT IMPRESSIVE AT ALL.

(7) The service at the Hide and Seek breakfast was a bit tone deaf. Everyone was friendly, but we were brought the wrong orders, two of the same order, and had other orders completely forgotten--all in the same breakfast. My mother got her eggs first, then about 7 minutes later my husband got his french toast. I waited another 10 minutes before asking for my waffle and egg whites...which came a few minutes later...and then again 10 minutes later for a second order which I never ordered. My husband ordered ham but got bacon instead--despite being clear. It took another 15 min for his ham to arrive. For 45 CHF per person, this was unacceptable. Despite my complaint, they never credited anything on our hotel bill. 

(8) Service at the Hide and Seek dinner on our second night was a lot better, though a few things still got missed. 

(9) Service at Ecco was fabulous. A true gem and certainly worthy of its 2* ranking. They gave us the private dining room so they could open the doors to make it cooler than the regular restaurant space so I could be more comfortable. VERY NICE TOUCH. 

(10) Service in the bar/loung and outdoor terrace lounges was wonderful. They were pretty prompt and kept checking on us. 

(11) My husband called on Saturday morning for the shuttle to the city center. The note in the room indicates it leaves every 30 min, but the concierge informed my husband the next shuttle wasn't for another hour or more. After a few calls and transfers, suddenly someone called back to let us know they'd arranged a shuttle for us immediately. VERY POORLY HANDLED AGAIN.

(12) But the shuttle driver was a real gem--very nice and very helpful with information about where we should go, what we should do, etc. if only the rest of the staff could be so warm and genuinely helpful.

Service is not this hotel's strong suit. I loved the hard product, but the service would give me serious pause before ever returning. 

Dining

Dining was pretty good overall, though the service at Hide and Seek breakfast and dinner was mixed. But dinner at 2* Ecco was truly incredibe.

 

BREAKFAST AND BUFFET:

The breakfast buffet was quite impressive and delicious.

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The cooked to order breakfast was also good, except for my waffle which was was undercooked inside:

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The service for our cooked food was also problematic. My mother got her eggs first, then about 7 minutes later my husband got his french toast. I waited another 10 minutes before asking for my waffle and egg whites...which came a few minutes later...and then again 10 minutes later for a second order which I never ordered. My husband ordered ham but got bacon instead--despite being clear. It took another 15 min for his ham to arrive.

 

2* ECCO DINNER

Dinner at 2* Ecco, however, was phenomenal. A true dining gem, indeed!

They gave us the private dining room so they could open the doors to make it colder for me--after my room air con fiasco had left me overheated and very uncomfortable. We had them close the doors as soon as we were seated, though, so my dinner companions wouldn't freeze! I wore a short sleeve shirt, and they even offered to let me wear shorts to be more comfortable. But the gay man in me couldn't do that!

We were most surprised that Ecco allows every diner to choose their own menu irrelevant to those others at the table. Most generous. Everyone else ordered the 5 courses, while I ordered 7 courses. My husband and I also did the wine pairings--which, with one exception, were excellent.

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My husband's venison is undoubtedly the best we've ever tried:

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DINNER AT HIDE AND SEEK:

Dinner at Hide and Seek was pretty good. And very tasty on the eyes!

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Location

The location was actually quite lovely, right in the foothills only about a 10-15 min drive or 15 min train ride into town. The train stops right below the hotel and is a quick 5-10 min walk from the station. It was about a 30 min drive to and from the airport. 

The hotel has a shuttle, previously mentioned, which runs right to the center of town. We took it to town. On calling to get it to return, we again were told it would take an hour, so we took a taxi. They clearly don't offer the shuttle very well or quite as advertised, so be forewarned. 

Overall

We love the hard product of this hotel--it's luxurious, beautifully designed and maintained, and with a really sophisticated and genuinely impressive Art Deco aesthetic. It's supremely beautiful, and the surroundings make you feel like you're in a park far away from any urban center, despite being so close to Zurich.

Yet the soft product and service really let you down. The hotel team often seem tone deaf, and the service issues are prevalent throughout the hotel departments. Only at Ecco and at the bar/lounge did we have excellent service; everywhere else, we constanly were being told mixed messages, being served the wrong thing, told the wrong thing, or brought the wrong thing. And the fact that the air con is not working is unacceptable for any hotel at this price point.

We aren't sure we can recommend the Atlantis unless you like a warm room and prefer only a great hard product. The service here needs serious work. 

Amazing luxury hard product mixed with schizophrenic and uneven service

Would you like to write a review on the Atlantis by Giardino?

No, thank you.
Yes
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Old Oct 9, 18, 4:13 pm
  #25  
 
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Thanks for the pictures and detailed review.

The hard product looks excellent. I am surprised, however, regarding the service issues. I find Swiss management is usually very service and detail oriented.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 4:25 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Thanks for the pictures and detailed review.

The hard product looks excellent. I am surprised, however, regarding the service issues. I find Swiss management is usually very service and detail oriented.
As always, I’m happy to share. Especially for hotels such as these that have so little information here on FlyerTalk.

I also was pretty suprised, though it was my first visit to Switzerland. Other reviews put this hotel among the best in Zurich, and it certainly looked the part of a proper 5* luxury resort. But the number of staff and managers who bungled things was pretty mind-boggling. The front office manager and the restaurant manager had pretty big fails. The front office manager was pretty useless with the air con issue. The engineer was almost incompetent. The front desk agent was surly at best, though he did get nicer once I got assigned the second room. The food staff made too many mistakes. It added up to a comedy of errors. Even the GM, who ultimately solved the problem, never apologized to me or made any gesture by way of apology for the whole unfortunate episode.

My husband used to work in Switzerland, and he said it can be quite the insular nation. The GM trying to explain how all top hotels in Europe use 2 separate duvets on a king bed was a good hint at what my husband meant. After all, that may be true in Switzerland, but we all know it is not true at top luxury hotels throughout Europe—as it was the first time I’d ever had 2 separate duvets on a bed at any luxury hotel anywhere!

I think Atlantis by Giardino is a Design Hotel and not part of the Luxury Collection for a reason (aside from not wanting to pay more to Marriott). It looks like luxury but doesn’t provide service and/or service recovery like a proper luxury hotel. My guess is that it serves the Swiss market more than a global market and is therefore luxury by Swiss standards more than global luxury standards.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post

My husband used to work in Switzerland, and he said it can be quite the insular nation.


I think Atlantis by Giardino is a Design Hotel and not part of the Luxury Collection for a reason (aside from not wanting to pay more to Marriott). It looks like luxury but doesn’t provide service and/or service recovery like a proper luxury hotel. My guess is that it serves the Swiss market more than a global market and is therefore luxury by Swiss standards more than global luxury standards.
Your husband certainly understands better than I do but that may be it. The location is more likely to attract Germans and Swiss, and perhaps some other Europeans than a global audience.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 12:13 am
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@bhrubin, thanks for the detailed review. I have never stayed at this property so I found your post informative.

I lived in Zurich for a few years so I would add the following comments. In some ways I am less negative than you about this hotel (service), and in other ways I am more negative than you about this hotel (location). I am not Swiss myself so perhaps some Swiss FTers here can correct me if I am wrong but this is the way I see it:

- As someone who had never travelled to Switzerland before, I can understand that you might be taken aback by the service style. Some service issues were not acceptable such as what you experienced during breakfast, but generally speaking this is not a country with warm & fuzzy service, therefore I would not knock down this hotel as much as you did, after all it's relative to what you can get in a certain local market. You are likely to bump into a similar attitude elsewhere in the city, and not only for hotels. This is not meant to be an insult to Swiss people as I loved my few years there and have friends there, but for first timers we cannot confuse the service style in Zurich with Thailand for example.

- Switzerland is very peculiar in terms of AC, so I can see that inherently you are at risk of being dissatisfied about AC-related issues in many places in Switzerland so it might not be the best fit with your personal preferences. The Swiss are environment-friendly and are not big fans of AC. At all. Several luxury apartments do not have AC. Several offices in the city do not have AC, including some in prime locations at very high corporate rents. Not that I have been everywhere in the world, but Switzerland is one of the most AC-averse countries I have been to. So once again it's all relative to what you get in a local market - I would not hold the hotel's AC attitude against them to as high a degree as you. I can understand that AC is one of the areas where a hotel would be the least prepared and perhaps dare I say, the least willing to go above and beyond to accommodate a guest. For other kinds of special requests they would be more bound to meet or exceed your expectations than for AC.

- Triemli might have worked fine for you, but personally I do not think the location is that great. While it's close to a train station, almost every location in Zurich is next to a public transit stop. Triemli is quite a bit away from the center and the transit from the airport is not so direct because it's on the other side of town. For transportation during a stay, you can get to most places within 20-30 minutes by train and then transferring to a tram which is the case for almost any hotel in the city, but you do not have much within walking distance of this hotel. Of course if you take the taxi no big deal but personally in Switzerland I always use public transit because it's efficient. I would not pick this property based on location unless you have something to do in the immediate viscinity.

Your comments about Park Hyatt bring me to another subject. There are always some places in the world where one chain is strong and another is not. I do not know how many nights you spend in hotels so perhaps my comments are not applicable to you, but personally I think it's better to split between SPG/Marriott and Hyatt to get top status at both rather than focus exclusively on SPG/Marriott and exceed 100 nights by a large margin. Sounds like if you had dual status, you would have booked at Park Hyatt without any second thoughts and this hotel would not have been a consideration.
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