If you are visiting Zurich and only looking for accommodation right within the old town, you are missing out on one of the real gems out here. Located within walking distance or a few tram stops outside central old town, you will find B2 Hotel Zurich.
Sitting on top of a small hill, this unique accommodation is a hotel and spa which occupies what was the former Hürlimann brewery. This not only means you can get stunning panoramic views here but the historic building set the foundation for some incredible settings.
You will see the juxtaposition of history and modernity thoughtfully woven throughout the intricate details of this special place.
Techies might also be pleased to know that Google’s Zurich office is right beside it.
Overall Hotel Vibes
B2 hotel felt like an immediate winner from the moment I stepped through the door
At first sight, I already spotted 2 of the biggest features that attracted me to the hotel and we’ll talk about them later. What was a pleasant surprise is that these features were not the only standout parts of the hotel.
Despite having a relatively spacious lobby, the tone felt warm and comfy, particularly on a cold winter night. And the service of the staff just adds on to the coziness.
Having stayed in my fair share of hotels around the world, one thing about the service here is that it’s not just professional but also sincere, which is not commonly experienced.
Sure, the check in process is just an administrative process, but when the receptionist starts showing genuine interest about your trip and wellbeing, it quickly builds on that connection. For me, it hit the right balance of both polished service and friendly charm that brings a homey vibe.
This actually also happens to be the first hotel on this trip where the staff offered to bring my bags to the room.
Hotel Room Review
I checked into a corner double room on the 4th floor of the hotel which overlooks Google’s office. A large space right upon entry that makes it extremely welcoming and spacious.
There is a huge TV with a screen that can swerve around, and the whole TV is also rather portable to move around if need be. Most importantly, you can cast your device to the screen, which in my opinion, is the key feature for hotel TVs these days.
There is also good control over different lighting which makes it easy to adjust the mood to suit if you are working or toning down.
Personally, I really enjoyed the bathroom. It had a luxurious amount of space, particularly since I was just one person. The semi open bathroom concept made the whole room seem even larger than it already was.
The room is equipped with a Nespresso machine to satisfy my coffee indulgence. And the mini bar is stocked with local brands, which you know I just love. I always see it as a chance to sample a piece of local culture.
Of course, this included 2 bottles of Hürlimann beer! In addition, you have your still and sparkling water, a bag of Brewbee chips, as well as bottles of Michel Orange juice and Vivi Kola (This is a traditional Swiss Cola brand, established since 1938)
Hürlimannbad & Spa
The spa is one of the biggest perks of staying at the B2 Hotel. It is open to the public but hotel guests enjoy discounted entry prices and for certain additional packages like massages etc.
In addition, there is a direct entrance right from within the hotel. So you don’t have to head out to the regular spa entrance.
Even if you are not staying in the hotel, I would highly recommend coming for the Spa. It’s a superb evening activity particularly if you are traveling as a couple.
Despite staying 2 nights, I visited the spa three times. Twice at night and once in the morning; that shows just how much I enjoyed it.
Even though the place and views are extremely stunning, there’s a strict no camera/photos policy so you can fully relax and stop worrying about getting a perfect shot.
The spa consists of 3 major segments.
The Rooftop Outdoor Pool
When I heard about a rooftop pool, I had envisioned maybe a regular swimming pool that is sort of sheltered from the winter cold.
Let’s say it exceeded expectations… drastically. This was an outdoor heated infinity pool with different jet streams throughout the pool. The best thing here got to be the views. You get a close to 360 view of the surrounding, and even the imposing big chimney which is part of the historic brewery.
The day view is amazing, particularly if the sky is really clear. But at night, that’s when it gets magical. Steamy heated pool, romantic city lights, comfy heated waters, there is no better place for some couple relaxation and bonding.
But hey, if you are traveling alone like me, it is an equally impeccable experience.
I personally recommend you start with the rooftop pool. Then move on to the thermal baths which are underground.
Roman & Irish Baths
After a dip (…a long dip) in the outdoor pool, take a lift down. The thermal baths are separated into 2 main segments.
On one side you will find the Irish and Roman baths. Here you can go through a series of steam rooms and different temperature pools. Don’t worry if you are not familiar, there’s a whole route including suggested time for you to just follow. Your job? It’s just to relax and enjoy the most out of it.
At the end of it all, you can further tone down at several comfy lounge areas with some warm tea.
Alternatively, head over to the other end where there’s a steam room, rainfall shower, emerald pool and a huge thermal pool on the backdrop of beer barrels.
It’s immensely soothing with a nice vibe. There are these lounge chair structures built right into the pool.
Right below this area, you will also find changing rooms and lockers if you need them. The lockers are activated with your spa entry bracelet. Everything is pretty convenient.
I did not anticipate spending that much time at the spa, but I stayed till closing time on both night visits.
Apart from the steam rooms and pools, you can add on extra services like massages or body wrapping if you like. As mentioned, hotel guests even enjoy discounted prices for them.
There’s also a cafe within the spa where you can purchase food and beverages, or take a break in between dips. So you can literally spend hours in the spa if you want to.
Of course, I took advantage of my in-room mini bar which is just one level down, that’s why there’s a real perk to staying in the B2 hotel.
Remote Work Features
B2 Hotel boosts an extremely fast wifi speed of over 200+ both upload and download. There is great coverage throughout the hotel, so you can be sure internet is not going to be an issue.
The room is well set up for work purposes with a spacious desk at the corner and power sockets nearby. There’s a tall lamp right by it and the room gets a good amount of natural light during the day.
There is also a cushy sofa chair that is great for doing some reading, brainstorming or even if you want to switch up your sitting posture.
That said, I did not actually spend much time working in the room because personally I LOVED the two common areas and spent most of my time in the hotel between the two. And the spa, obviously.
This is actually a relatively new space that the hotel set up as they cater to more bleisure travelers and remote workers. Zurich is also, after all, a capital city with plenty of economic and international business activities.
The coworking area is charming, tastefully decorated and not distracting. It is extremely cozy at night, so much so I spent 3-4 hours working well into the wee hours there. Superb for productivity!
Despite not being a huge space, there’s plenty of seatings and also a different variety of them so you can take your pick. My favourite is the long desk.
All the seats have good access to power sockets and there’s also extra desk lighting at some of them if you need it.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. Even if you don’t stay in the hotel, you are welcome to use that space as well. You can even grab a coffee or drink from the bar and get productive. Then maybe treat yourself to a nice spa session at the end of the day – perfect!
Library Lounge (Bar)
Speaking of the bar, this is THE masterpiece of the hotel. An exquisitely decorated dining area that looks like an infinite library featuring 33,000 books. It’s not just extremely photogenic but really has the vibes in presence.
These books were all acquired from an old second hand bookstore that was closing down. The hotel owner bought up all of those books and set up this incredible, incredible common area that is now a standout piece.
If you look closely at the “chandeliers”, these are all made out of beer bottles that used to be from the factory. Remember when we said, it’s where history means modernity? You will find pieces of that theme all throughout the hotel.
Needless to say, this is a great spot for working as well. With all that books around you, you can’t help but get inspired. And if you’re a snack while working kind of person (which I sometimes am), you will be well taken care of by the hotel bar/restaurant.
The power sockets in this area are nicely hidden under the floor so it doesn’t look messy. Access points are scattered around so just look to the ground if you need one.
Refreshments & Fitness
One of the best things about breakfast is that it is held in this exquisite surrounding that I just cannot get enough of.
For the hotel breakfast buffet, you are treated to a good range of cold plates, from your cured meats and salmons to cheeses and vegetables. There’s also a nice muesli and yoghurt selection.
For hot food, you can get freshly made eggs of your choice, and even choose from a variety of toppings. The portion is very generous so you want to save some space for the eggs.
At the bread and pastries section, I loved that they provided bread baskets for you to carry your bread, so they are not just stacked on your plate. Small things like this show an attention to detail and customer experience.
I always look out for anything special and unique about the breakfast spread in a hotel since they tend to be more or less the same. A standout item here, which was perfect for the winter season, is their ginger booster.
It was flavorful and strong, hitting the right spot every morning! I down a couple of these each morning to get an energetic start to the day.
A Gym Like No Other
Now B2 Hotel might not have the biggest hotel gym I’ve seen, but it certainly has the most unique personality to it. Why? Because it is nested within the historic beer factory settings.
You can be on the bike machine, and right across you are looking at an engine of some sort from the old days. Above the rowing machine, you see a panel of craftsmen tools that are vintage looking.
It’s just incredibly interesting with all that rustic vibes merged within modern fitness equipments.
Right at the back, you will find a wide open space with even more grandeur apparatus and equipment from past days. It is like a “mini” museum, and the hotel uses this area to host events.
This whole portion of the hotel is actually protected under some form of historic building act. So you literally get to, not just visit, but even work out in a historic zone. How cool is that?
Since this area is a protected zone, the hotel cannot make huge modifications to it (That’s how you know you are getting an authentic feel). Therefore, the gym is not as well heated here during winter compared to other parts of the hotel.
You can consider bringing along a jacket although I did not need one when I’m working out. In addition, you can also get yoga mats and other items like stretch bands etc to your room as well. I had ample space in mine to do some stretching and mobility work.
A Home Away From Home
Amongst all the hotels I have stayed in, B2 Hotel definitely has one of the best work and leisure balance. This is huge credit to both the exceptional spa, and an incredibly well designed lobby area.
After visiting the city, you know you have easy access to extreme relaxation at the spa, or a productive environment for work in the room or at the lobby. The only problem I have with it – is that I literally contemplated just staying in the hotel all day and enjoying the facilities.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of B2 Hotel Zurich. All opinions are my own.