We recently headed to Baur au Lac in Zurich for a weekend of culture, art, and fine dining. Baur au Lac is the iconic lakeside luxury hotel of Zurich. The lobby and rooms are adorned with fine art owned by the sixth-generation family owners, and the hotel has had a long history with art, hosting artists like Marc Chagall. In fact, Richard Wagner celebrated the world premiere for his Valkyrie opera at Baur au Lac.
The hotel has its own landscaped park with beehives modeled after the hotel, and it’s an easy walk to the old town or the Bahnhofstrasse for some of the best shopping in Switzerland. Sommelier Marc Almert leads the exceptional wine program and wine shops in the hotel and at the Zurich Hauptbahnhof.
This summer, Baur au Lac is partnering with the Kunsthaus art museum, Switzerland’s most important art museum. To celebrate the new Landscape exhibit featuring the works of Gerhard Richter, Baur au Lac, and Kunsthaus, are offering their new Artful Vibes package. It includes a night in a junior suite, private transfers and visit to the Richter exhibition, and the opportunity to experience the new fine-dining Artful Vibes menu inspired by the exhibit.
We visited on a holiday weekend, and it was pouring rain most of the time, so it was perfect for spending part of the day in our spacious room and for a museum visit. It was hard to get out of the plush bed. Our junior suite overlooked the water, with three sets of gorgeous french doors and window boxes of red geraniums lining the iron balconies. It was the perfect place to have our breakfast in our room, and we had the french doors thrown open the entire time so we could hear the rain while staying cozy, reading, and sipping coffee in bed.
Each night, we headed down to Baur’s — the hotel’s opulent bar — before dinner. It’s like walking into a French brasserie, but with walls filled with art from Hauser + Wirth, rows of lavish glass chandeliers, elegant wallpaper, and green painted walls and molding. Be sure to order the house-made olives with your cocktails. They make a fabulous dry martini with a large selection of gins, and they also have an exciting list of house cocktails. One of our favorites was an astonishingly simple Japanese whisky highball. It’s made with house carbonated soda water filtered through Japanese charcoal and served with a nearly invisible rectangle of hand-cut Swiss ice as clear as glass.
We started our visit to the Baur au Lac with an evening at Au Pavillion, their acclaimed fine dining restaurant. Chef Laurent Eperon has created a seven-course menu inspired by the artworks of Gerhard Richter. (see more from our experience)
On our second night, we had dinner at Baur’s, which included seasonal dishes like white asparagus with bearnaise sauce, creamy asparagus soup, and grilled langoustines. The main course was a sliced chateaubriand served with french fries, green beans, and other seasonal vegetables and an assortment of classic sauces. We finished with profiteroles topped with warm chocolate sauce. We also had the opportunity to try an excellent Merlot wine from Ticino crafted for Baur au Lac.
At the end of our visit, Baur au Lac’s house Bentley whisked us away to the Kunsthaus for a day of art. We began our day walking through the Gerhard Richter Landscape exhibit. Then spent a few hours wandering through the permanent collection, which includes works by old masters Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Marc Chagall. They even have the most comprehensive collection of works by Alberto Giacometti. Learn more about the Artful Vibes by Gerhard Richter Package.
Baur au Lac, Talstrasse 1 8001 Zurich
Note: Baur au Lac and the Swiss Tourism Board provided support for the reporting of this story.