This review starts with a big high five to Shruti who made her first flight solo with three kids in tow. Here she shares her review of a quick trip to Zurich, Switzerland staying at the B2 Boutique Hotel & Spa...
This April I was incredibly proud of myself, travelling on my own with Arianna (6), Anushka (4) and Niam (6 months) to visit my husband who often works in Zurich.
How was the weather?
Changeable. When we arrived, it was freezing and miserable, but towards the end of the trip, the sky was blue and the sun was shining.
How did you book the trip?
I booked the flights and hotel separately I flew with Swiss Air from London City airport. Being by myself on the plane with 3 kids was less terrible than I was expecting, but flying from City definitely made it easier and the airport is so much easier to navigate that Heathrow or Gatwick.
How was the flight?
The flight was actually completely fine, despite the terrible adult to child ratio. The only slightly unhelpful food was that the meal was a random selection of bits that my children refused to eat. That aside, all went well.
How far was the hotel from the airport?
I took the train from the airport to our hotel and then walked from the station. Luckily, my husband had sent reinforcements (his secretary) to help me, but the Swiss public transport system is so slick that it was actually quite easy.
What did you think of the hotel?
The B2 is slightly out of town and more of a boutique hotel for people passing through on business than an obvious choice for families. That said, I can’t recommend it highly enough. We had a suite (which comprised of an adults bedroom on a mezzanine floor and the children’s bedroom with a small balcony and kitchenette below) which was plenty big enough for us all.
My daughter turned 6 while on holiday and they made a tremendous fuss of her (banners, balloons and a surprise cake at breakfast AND in the afternoon). The service is incredible and people can’t do enough to help.
The breakfast selection, although not huge, was fresh and tasty. The hotel has been converted from a brewery and it retains many of its original features (including the hall which is full of the original machinery). The dining area is simply beautiful – it houses over 30,000 books in floor to ceiling bookcases, and has beer bottle light chandeliers.
The most incredible feature, though, is that it is home to thermal baths, which means there is a beautiful rooftop pool affording views over Zurich and a plethora of other pools in the spa which is situated in the basement of the hotel. Although the thermal baths seemed to be full of couples in love, children are permitted and all three of mine had an incredible time swimming and seeing the views of Zurich.
How was your room?
As the hotel is not particularly aimed at families, they did not have all of the equipment that you may consider standard. For example, they didn’t have a steriliser. Having said that, they were more than happy to wash our bottles in their dishwasher so we were fine with that.
Did you do any trips/excursions?
We did a boat trip around the lake which lasted 1.5 hours and which gave the children a chance to see a bit of Zurich.
We visited Zurich Zoo which is vast and which has a number of really good playgrounds.
How was the food?
We went to Hiltl, which apparently is is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Switzerland. It is a weigh and pay system which means you can choose from a huge buffet but there seems to be minimum wastage. We also had a really nice brunch at Palavrion.
Shruti’s Tips For Visiting Zurich
I had been slightly dreading going to Zurich and having to look after all 3 kids by myself while my husband was working but we genuinely had an amazing time.
The trams are so easy to use that even I (who has no sense of direction at all) was happily able to go on them.
On the days that the sun shone, the city was really nice to walk around – the lake is huge and beautiful and there are plenty of parks.
The only negative is be prepared to spend a fortune. Zurich is ridiculously expensive. I needed an emergency pair of socks and somehow managed to spend £15 on them. If you can overlook that, Zurich is a lovely place to explore, easy to get around and perfect for those who enjoy the fresh air and outdoor activities.
Useful Websites For Visiting Zurich