During my trip to Zurich last month I had the opportunity to spend two nights at Marktgasse Hotel, an award-winning boutique hotel which combines modern features and minimalistic design inside a historic townhouse. The contemporary interiors, paired with a friendly and warm service, made me feel at home at the Marktgasse.
Marktgasse Hotel is housed in one of Zurich’s oldest inns in the district of Niederdorf, on the eastern bank of the Limmat river.
The 15th century building (originally made of three distinct houses) was extensively renovated. In December 2015 it re-opened as a trendy boutique hotel.
Niederdorf is a lovely neighbourhood to spend a few days in Zurich, whether you are coming here for work or for leisure. The streets are lively during the day and in the evening, yet quiet at night. There are independent boutiques, galleries, restaurants and bars within walking distance from the hotel.
The main train station is about 10 minutes’ walk, while Zurich Airport is 35-40 minutes by tram and train.
The lobby of Marktgasse Hotel is located on the first floor of the building and features an original stucco ceiling, ancient columns and historical paintings. The reception counter is a the centre of large room. On both sides of it, there are tables, chairs and sofas for the hotel guests to rest on. There is also a counter with complimentary coffee, tea and water.
Guests looking for a more private area to relax, perhaps with a good book to read, can use the library room on the mezzanine floor. It’s a lovely space to wind down, though it is sometimes closed for private events.
On each floor of the hotel you will find water fountains and carafes with glasses for guests to fill up and take to their rooms. There is nothing I hate more than arriving in a hotel room after a long journey only to find that there’s no complimentary water, but only over-priced water bottles in the minibar.
Great quality tap water is something that people in Zurich are proud of, so it’s nice to see that Marktgasse Hotel actually makes it easier for guests to drink this free water. It’s all about those little things, right…?
There are 39 rooms and suites. Due to the history of the building, each room has a different layout, sometimes even different floors. The floor in my suite was slightly slanted and so the legs of my double-bed were of slightly different lengths to counteract the uneven pavement!
I stayed in two different rooms: a single bedroom and a junior suite. Naturally, I preferred the larger room, which had oak wood parquet, windows overlooking Marktgasse street, a desk, Nespresso coffee machine, a sofa and even a small Smeg fridge.
Many rooms of Marktgasse Hotel have original period details, such as stucco, wall panelling, tiled stoves or columns, which add charm and personality to the space.
My bathroom was quite large, with a window and a comfortable rain shower. I wish there were more amenities (vanity kit or shower cap, for example), thought I was very excited to find Aesop products (hand wash + balm by the sink, body wash + shampoo in the shower).
In comparison to the junior suite, the single room I stayed in the first night was tiny, with very little space to keep my bags and clothes.
This room is good if you are looking for a no-frills room to spend a good night at a reasonable price (compared to other Zurich hotels), but if you are planning to spend a lot time at the hotel during your trip, it’s worth paying a little bit more for the comforts of the suite.
There are two dining venues and a bar on the ground floor of Marktgasse Hotel: Baltho, a stylish restaurant with open kitchen; Baltho Bar, an intimate speakeasy-style bar; Delish café and deli.
These venues have their own style and identity, completely different from the hotel itself. You know how hotel restaurants can sometimes feel a bit sad and boring? You certainly won’t get that feeling at Baltho or Delish, which are busy and lively with both hotel guests and outside patrons.
Delish offers breakfast, hot drinks and light lunches (healthy sandwiches and salads available to eat in or take away). The coffee is good and I loved the breakfast at Delish. I tried the yoghurt with a tasty and crunchy granola and berry compote; poached eggs with smoked salmon and baked tomatoes; freshly-baked pastries; and what was possible the softest cinnamon roll with sugar icing I’ve ever tasted.
I didn’t try the lunch menu at Delish; instead I ate at Baltho Kitchen twice for lunch and for dinner. I enjoyed the food, service and ambience on both occasions.
The pared-down menu at Baltho Kitchen features Swiss classics and European modern dishes (eg. Caesar salad, beef tartare, burger) with daily specials created by Chef Lukas Ruefenacht.
I loved the Swiss veal goulash, mushrooms, braised carrots and sautéed Schupfnudeln (finger-shaped potato dumplings) that I had for dinner, paired with a lager by brewed in Zurich by sBier.
I would have loved to go for a nightcap at Baltho Bar, but as I was travelling on my own and had a packed schedule of activities during the day, I opted for quiet nights in my room instead. I took this photo during the day, but imagine this Art-deco space in the evenings: packed full of people having an aperitif or sipping cocktails after dinner.
I loved my stay at Marktgasse Hotel and I would definitely recommend it if you love a hotel with a unique character. The Marktgasse is cosy, homely and located in a great neighbourhood at the heart of Zurich.
Top tip: book your stay during the weekend, when rooms rates are lower. Since Zurich is a financial capital, hotels are generally more expensive during business days (Monday to Thursday) and cheaper on weekends. Time to book your next city break in Zurich!
Rates at the Marktgasse Hotel start from CHF 234 per room on a double occupancy basis. Breakfast at Delish Café is CHF 19 per person.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the hotel. All opinions are my own.