I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from this hotel before I even arrived; for, in similar fashion to a Swiss cuckoo clock, a small man popped out in front of me as I approached the luggage carousel in Zurich airport, armed with my name. A minute later he had whisked my case off the belt and propelled me to a glossy black Mercedes waiting right outside.
Thinking back to this pre-Covid arrival seems another world away now, free of face masks and social distancing, but Switzerland is emerging out the other side, bar a few clusters, making this a tempting proposition in which to immerse yourself in that particularly civilised way of life that the Swiss excel in. And that is before we get on to the breezy lake views.
As I walked through the entrance of this little Belle Époque jewel, the newest member of the seriously loved La Réserve Hotel group, which has long charmed Paris and Geneva with its informal luxury, it was the rough (in contrast to my smooth arrival) that caught my eye: exposed red brick on the walls with occasional breaks for smooth wood or dramatic black-and-white tiger marble. While the Paris and Geneva outposts are visibly the opulent hand of Jacques Garcia, here it is Philippe Starck who weaves the story.
The Eden au Lac Hotel, bordering Lake Zurich, has been a city landmark since its arrival in 1909. Its renowned service and position on the edge of the