Mary Gostelow finds the classic Baur au Lac is seamlessly spot-on today

Girlahead explores one of Zurich's Leading Hotels of the World

There’s a breath of fresh air at Zurich’s Baur au Lac, which would be a traditional capital city hotel except Bern is Switzerland’s capital. Baur au Lac stands proud, however, as the nation’s icon.

Well, it goes back to 1844 and long-time Chairman Andrea Kracht is sixth generation to hold the reins. But now he’s gradually handing over to his stylish daughter Marguita. On another tack, last Friday, Wilhelm Luxem, after a decade in charge, retired to his French retreat to commune with nature. Similarly without so much as a hiccup, GM is today Christian von Rechenberg, already a well-integrated leader of the Baur au Lac team.

Christian von Rechenberg, GM, Baur Au Lac

And, as always, things are evolving everywhere at this 119-key Leading Hotel of the World, literally just across one road from Lake Zurich. Through this month there’s a pop-up front desk while a new-look concept is finalised. Of course the Reception staff – the females immaculate groomed and in couture suits with Ferragamo-type silk lapel corsages – are as impressive as ever. The gold-key wearers, led by Jérémie Varry, epitomise the Swiss concierge vision. A partnership with Rimowa’s repair centre 20 minutes away means they can even get a wheelie’s wheels back as new in under an hour.

The gorgeous garden’s tiled terrace has been redone, with enormous umbrellas so it’s influencers’ choice from outdoor breakfasts through to late-night suppers. Notably, afternoon tea time seems to include ice-cold Rosé, perfectly complementing blue hydrangea planters and the white of table linens, and guests’ summer frocks.

Gaze across immaculate green grass at the hotel’s 20th annual Art in The Park sculpture exhibition, chosen by Andrea Kracht’s wife Gigi with the help of the Baur au Lac’s neighbour, gallerists Hauser & Wirth. Pair a short lakeside perambulation with a visit to Hauser & Wirth’s own show, currently featuring breathtaking Giacomettis and Picassos.

Dine in the Baur au Lac’s two-Michelin-starred Pavillon, a conservatory-feel Rochon design. Wines suggested by 2019’s world-best sommelier. Tomorrow, wake up, say in lake view room 114, and head down 27 carpetted stairs to breakfast, in or out. Berries and ginger juice. Spelt bread cut with Laguiole. When it’s Baur au Lac achieving the best, some things never need to change.

The Pavillon

Mary Gostelow publishes the daily and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.

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