Letters from subscribers published in April 1994
Zürich Airport Hotel
Re your quest for a hotel for a first or last night stay within easy driving distance of Zürich's Kloten Airport, I have a personal favorite which offers an interesting town for browsing as well as a quiet, comfortable, not overly expensive accommodation.
The Hotel Promenade in Schaffhausen is only 35 km from Kloten on uncongested back roads if you take the route that cuts across a small corner of Germany before returning to Switzerland. The hotel looks on the outside like a remodeled turn of the century grammar school (and perhaps it is) but inside the rooms are crisply modern and compact and the location on a quiet residential street is heaven if you arrive longing for a nap. It's easy to find and has its own large parking lot.
There is a charming street-side dining garden for relaxing in the fresh air and, when you're ready for a stroll, it is only a short walk along a park and over a pedestrian bridge into the heart of Altstadt, resplendent with decoratively painted buildings, oriel windows, a towering fortress and a large pedestrian zone.
Service at the Promenade may seem more efficient than personal which is not all bad if you are looking to avoid the tour group atmosphere. Michelin one-star dining is available at the Rheinhotel Fischerzunft but we enjoyed a more bürgerliches establishment owned by the local brewery and located on the main thoroughfare in the pedestrian zone. All this quiet and convenience is listed in the new Swiss Michelin at 105-180 Sfr. ($73-$126), breakfast included. Do give it a try.
Mary Ellen Hunter
Hotel in Meersburg
My wife and I recently visited the city of Meersburg on the Bodensee. We recommend Hotel Seehof, Unterstadstrasse 36, D-88709, Meersburg, telephone 07532/6041, Frau Sauter, standard double with WC and shower overlooking the lake, 180 DM/$103 (or 200 DM/$114 for the large double). Exceptionally clean, stocked refrigerator, clean towels daily, telephone and color TV. The breakfast was one of the best we had on our entire 21-day German holiday. Free samples of schnapps at the registration desk the hotel has its own vineyard and distillery. If you like music do not miss the Burgkeller up the street.
Being an annual visitor to Switzerland and familiar with many of the hotels mentioned, I would like to make some comments.
Neither the Schloss Hotel Castell in Zuoz nor the Cigogne in Geneva are listed in the Swiss Hotel Guide. This puzzles me since that guide is very complete and comprehensive.
Susi E. Kanuch
Van Nuys CA
(Ed. Note: The Swiss Hotel Guide contains listings of hotels which are members of the Swiss Hotel Association. No doubt the two hotels are not SHA members. Both these excellent hotels, by the way, are listed in the 1994 Michelin Red Guide for Switzerland.)
Sprechen Sie English?
One of your contributors commented in a letter to your publication that "English is spoken by nearly everyone (in Switzerland)."
This is a very misleading statement; there are many areas in Switzerland where our bad German and fractured French have definitely been an asset. The French parts of the country stick closely to the French language.
San Diego CA
(Ed. Note: Ms. Dreyfus is correct. English is not spoken by everyone in Switzerland. In small villages and hamlets, particularly where French is the main language, one comes across many who do not speak English and a little German or French is most helpful. On the other hand, we can't recall a hotel anywhere and only a couple of restaurants where someone didn't speak at least some English.)
Just a short note to thank you for the arrangements that you made for the Gemütlichkeit subscribers, at the Grand Victoria Jungfrau. As long time subscribers, we looked forward to taking our family to Interlaken. I can't begin to tell you how pleased we all were with our visit. From the beginning, the hotel staff was extraordinary in their attention to our needs. The Gemütlichkeit Special Package received world-class service just as all the guests of the hotel do.
In fact, even with the hotel fully booked we received a junior suite that was one of the finest accommodations we have stayed in since the Hirschgasse, in Heidelberg, Germany, another Gemütlichkeit recommendation.
Let us also recommend the hotel Des Balances, in Lucerne. This is the oldest hotel in Lucerne, situated in old town, on the river, with a view of the Pilatus Mountain. This recently renovated hotel has been a regular stop for us in the past few years, and at 250 Sfr. ($175) per night double, is a best buy in a very expensive city. Ask for a second-floor room overlooking the river and you will enjoy a wondrous view of the old bridge which is about to reopen after a tragic fire destroyed most of the structure.
Colin F McGowan