When you think of Switzerland you immediately think of fine chocolate, precision watches and an image of super banks that are untouchable to mere mortals. However, luxury hotels should certainly be added to that list, especially when the Kameha Grand Zurich hotel is involved.
Recently we were invited to sample the delights of this brilliant new hotel and the beautiful city that it resides in. Having never had the fortune of visiting Switzerland, we were unaware of what to expect with SWISS Air we had a great start to our trip, thanks to their staff pulling out all the stops to ensure our luggage arrived at the other side, having missed the check-in time!
With our bags safely delivered to the other side, we were met by our driver who promptly showed us to our car but not just any automobile, a gorgeous Maserati that oozed class and luxury, with an extra delicious touch of Swiss chocolates waiting for us inside. Now that’s the sort of details we love!
Encased inside the large outer shell of the Kameha Grand, are 224 rooms, with 11 unique themed Suites, the show-stopper being the recently introduced Space Suite, which was conceived by the artist Michael Najjar. Architecture and design are in a perfect marriage here. The award-winning Dutch interior designer Marcel Wanders – praised as the “Lady Gaga of design” by The New York Times – is behind the innovative concept of colour and structural design. His creativity is reflected throughout the entire hotel in an attractive mixture of materials and techniques. With wall panelling that brings to mind Swiss chocolate and minibars that look like the legendary safes of Swiss banks. It’s truly a feast for the eyes, spotting all the subtle details hidden amongst the grand interiors.
There are more hidden gems found inside the hotel in the form of two restaurants. The first being, Restaurant L’Unico, which offers a wide variety of homemade pasta, complemented by delicate sauces and select ingredients & fresh herbs. Our favourite being the Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Tagliatelle Pasta and a Chilli Garlic Oil, followed by their superb Panna Cotta!
The second restaurant, YU NIJYO, is the crowning jewel of Kameha though, having only been awarded 1 Michelin star the week before we flew in. YU NIJYO deals in French cuisine based on regional products with influences from the Far East. We were taken on a culinary journey through a 7 course tasting menu, paired with beautiful wines from across the European continent. From start to finish you are wowed with flavour pairings that you think can not be topped, until the next dish arrives and the wonderment begins allover again. Dishes such as the Scallop with Pumpkin Three Ways, Bread Dough & Curry Oil; the Sous Vide Veal Neck with Sweet Potato, Shitaki Mushroom & Kirin Beer-Jus and the Forest Berries with Sour Cream Ice Cream, Purple Mustard & Yeast left us slumped in our chairs wearing huge grins awaiting the onset of our inevitable food comas.
The food isn’t the only thing to sing about at YU NIJYO though. If there’s one thing a restaurant needs, it’s a great sommelier and that’s exactly what we found here. Each dish was accompanied by a beautiful glass of wine from the region, offering us a taste of some of Switzerland’s finest bottles. This was the first time we had encountered Swiss wine and having tasted a total of seven varieties we couldn’t understand why these aren’t more popular back home in London. Whether it’s the 2013 Pinot Noir Barrique or even the delightful little Pinot Spirito dessert wine, we simply couldn’t fault their place amongst the tasting menu.
Once you have finished gorging on YU NIJYO’s exquisite tasting menu, you may feel like a spot of pampering is required? For this there is the hotel’s very own spa and treatment rooms. Or if you’re like us and you’re feeling like a spot of adventure, you can travel to Zurich centre to unlock the beauty of this great city. Some of our top spots to visit are the brilliant Viadukt District; the views from the FREITAG flagship store; drinks in the sun at Frau Gerolds Garten; rooftop Thermal Baths & Spa; a stroll through the old town; chocolate tasting in Laeckerli Huus and finally the train ride and view from Uetliberg!
It really is a beautiful city with such a vibrant culture, much like London, with it’s charming historic architecture mixed with a new wave of design and style and Kameha Grand Zurich is the perfect base to explore it all from, even more so as we enter the winter months.
For those traveling to Zurich in the near future be sure to send us your thoughts, Tweets or Instagrams and if you fancy a slice of our trip, book your stay here at www.kamehagrandzuerich.com and travel with the brilliant www.SWISSAir.com too!
We The Food Snobs x