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“Wonderful Experience with Swissotel Basel”

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Swissotel Le Plaza Basel
Ranked #15 of 51 Hotels in Basel
Certificate of Excellence
romatomatoes
1 review
“Wonderful Experience with Swissotel Basel”
Reviewed April 10, 2008

I arrived in Switzerland on March 20th, traveling from Wisconsin to attend a conference, the World Psychedelic Forum. The WPF conference was hosted at the Congress Centel of Basel, which is right next to/ attached to the Swissotel le Plaza Basel, making it an obvious choice for accommodations.

Check-in was efficient and they took care of retrieving my luggage from the train station, as I had it checked through to the station and it arrived four hours after I did. The hotel staff were very friendly upon my arrival.

I had originally booked a Classic Room online, and then called and asked if they could change it to the Advantage, the larger and pricier version of the single room, as I wanted to have more space and a desk to work at. The upgrade was accommodated, and I'm glad I decided to request it, as it was well worth it. The room was gorgeous, and the services included in the Advantage bookings make up for the increase in price- a varied and elegant breakfast spread is included, buffet or room service style, as is free wireless (in the form of 24-hour access cards, of which they give you several upon check-in and/or upon request), and a public transport pass (which is, I believe, included for all guests regardless of room type).

The staff was very prompt and thorough with cleaning the room- perhaps too prompt, as once or twice they walked in when I was still in bed or getting dressed- but I learned to utilize the door sign for "privacy please" or "please make up room." The turn down service was also excellent, with a Sudoku puzzle, a card with the weather forecast for the following day, bottled water and Toblerone chocolate, although there were two nights out of my five night stay which this was not done, so I wonder if it is supposed to be requested, or what happened.. That was a little frustrating, but a minor incident.

The bed was one of the more comfortable beds I've ever slept in, and while the pillows were too soft for my liking, they do offer several types, so I was able to call and have firmer ones sent up.

The concierge was just great about things like giving directions, recommendations for restaurants, and helpful with requests like taxis and posting mail. They also provided me with a CD/DVD player upon my request- when it was brought up, the gentleman made sure it worked and showed me how to use it, but when I tried to use it the following evening it would not turn on. They did come up and attempt to fix the problem, but could not, determining the cord was broken and not getting power to the device. They didn't have another one available at the time, but it wasn't a big deal, as I realized I could just use my laptop to play music, and didn't have much extra time for music and movies as is, with the busy conference schedule.

The food was amazing- huge portions, gorgeous preparation and aesthetics, and an extensive menu with many choices. As a vegetarian, I was not able to take advantage of all the choices, but still dined well- they offered many styles of pasta and several sauces, including marinara, alfredo, and pesto; an elegantly presented cheese and fruit platter served with delicious crusty bread rolls or baguettes (told they were baked fresh each day); pastries including croissants, cake, and other sugary delicacies; and fresh-squeezed juices, fruits, salads, etc. Everything I ate was excellent. They also take special requests not on the menu, and were able to provide soymilk when I asked for it. The room service is 24 hour, so you can squeeze in meals when needed if running on a hectic schedule.

I didn't spend much time in the bar area, but one evening stopped down there with a couple friends to have a drink before retiring to our rooms. It was around 12:30 am, and it wasn't packed or full by any means, but I'd say about half of the fifteen or so tables in the lobby/bar area were occupied, plus some people directly seated at the bar itself. Things were pretty calm and there didn't appear to be any problems, but when a woman/staff member came up to us, she took the drink menu. I didn't want a drink other than water, but the two gents I was with were planning to each order a beer. She picked up the menu, and said something like "I take." My friend politely asked if he could order something, and she said curtly, No, and walked off. It was a good hour and a half before closing, and there were still others around us. We were quite perplexed.

There were a couple other occasions where women staff members seemed either rude or curt when interacting with me and others, and sometimes I found the language barrier compounded this. All the male staff (it was a mostly male staff, it seemed) were extremely friendly, and most everyone spoke excellent English, but I also know enough German to get by, so either way was not a problem. I don't know if it was a gender thing, a cultural thing (American is not the most popular country right now, understandably so, but I wouldn't expect to be discriminated against based on that personally) or what, but it did seem to happen several times. That said, there were some women on the staff who were extremely friendly and helpful, so I don't mean to imply that I was ill treated all or even most of the time- it was just two or three isolated instances, but I did hear someone else mention that the women seemed unfriendly to him.

The televisions had a feature where you could see your hotel bill and additional charges on the screen in real time, which was convenient, and the binder with the hotel info, in both German and English, was extremely thorough and provided information on everything from car rentals, babysitting services, massage, dining, navigation, etc. Anything you would want, you could probably get at this hotel.

The location was also convenient, right across from a tram stop and within a block or two of shops, pharmacies, an ATM, etc. The river was also not far, and made for some beautiful scenic walks.

I would definitely recommend the Swissotel le Plaza in Basel to anyone traveling to Basel. Whether you are traveling for pleasure and prefer a more leisurely pace, or are attending a fast paced business meeting or academic conference, the hotel seems to be able to accommodate every conceivable need and exceed expectations in the process.

  • Liked — Beautiful facilities and rooms, prompt and helpful staff/service, excellent dining options, and convenient location- congress/conference center, across from tram stop, walking distance to many other businesses
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank romatomatoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2007

Booked rooms at this hotel due to a conference. Found the staff friendly, but that was about the only thing positive I could say. The rooms were "run down" looking, only the lobby of the hotel was nice. The food was very expensive, not worth the price. I would not go back.

  • Liked — staff
  • Disliked — hotel
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank loveuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2007

I am an event planner by profession and was sent to the Swissotel in Basel on business. The hotel is well situated, a short tram ride from the train station and about 15 minutes by cab from Basel Airport. Many business travelers fly into Zurich and take a train at the airport to Basel (about an hour twenty minutes, purchase a first class train ticket).

I found the hotel to be an excellent business traveler's facility. Rooms are spacious and very clean. The decor, while fairly hotel generic, was functional. The small Swiss chocolate placed on pillows at night is a nice touch (OK, a very nice touch).

High marks for the hotel staff, friendly and professional. The hotel offers two lobby computers with free Internet access (a life-saver in my case as I misplaced my eticket and simply printed out a replacement).

For fellow meeting planners, the hotel has a small pool/gym, both fine. The meeting space was also fine and I would recommend the hotel for a conference or congress.

I don't want to oversell the property--it is by U.S. standards a solid four-star and the equivalent of a nicer Marriott. The only negative is the very high cost of breakfast (about $30 U.S.) but that's what expense accounts are all about and nothing prevents you from buying a less expensive continental breakfast elsewhere. There is also a grocery store, COOP, just around the corner which is a good source for low cost chocolate (I brought back a suitcase full!). Overall, I recommend the hotel for business purposes.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank dcaruba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
165 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2007

We stayed in a Junior Suite (room 501) which was very comfortable and equipped with the usual fittings of a businesshotel. Breakfast is good, eggs to order and the lot. In a small lobby on 5th floor was a desk with internet access all day round and free. The location is convenient to the towncenter, several tramlines stop at the hotel. We would stay there again. Tramline No. 2 will bring you directly from the Railwaystation to the Hotel(stop Messeplatz ). We had Dinner twice at the bistrostyle Restaurant Au Violon (french cuisine) which is reasonable priced and offers good quality. It was crowded and reservation in advance seems to be mandatory. For tea, the lobby of the hotel Trois Rois at the Rhine is a fine option.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank Hans-Joachim P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edina, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2007

Wonderful stay in Basel! Excellent staff and breakfast; nice clean rooms and the location was very good, too. Free tram tickets made traveling very easy to manage. Our kids also loved the pool as well.

  • Liked — Breakfast
  • Disliked — Trouble with the heating
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank leadfingers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergamo, Italy
Level Contributor
130 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2006

It really depends on what you want.
My room was modern, absolutely clean and with
all the facilities you expect - ironing, tea/coffee machines...
But this is really the only nice thing I can say about this
hotel, because:
- 200 euro per night is overpriced. This hotel is nice,
but luxury is something else.
-the hall and the lounge bar are both very small,
cold and very unwelcoming.
-the spa area is in a bad shape. I guess in some American
villa the Jacuzzi is big than the pool of this hotel.
-breakfast is barely OK. Quantity and choice are good
but I found the quality not so good. Moreover I had to
wait in line for a seat two times out of four days.
-they do not have a parking inside the building
but they use the one of the "Messe", which is closed, yes,
but anyway it is another building.

Summing up, a nice business hotel if you
find a good rate, definitely not a romantic or
luxurious hotel

  • Liked — the room
  • Disliked — the hall
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank bridgerobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2006

Just came back from a week-end in Le Plaza and I have to say that it's not a 5* hotel.A nice 4* business hotel - yes, but from a 5* I do expect a certain "wow-factor" and here it's totally missing.
Rooms are clean but very simple, uninspiring and not luxurious at all.There are several very old things in the room - the hairdryer is a 20 years old box on the wall,air conditioning control box is the same...
The hotel itself have this typical swiss feeling - very clean, but without a soul, feels more like an office then a hotel.On the good side - the service was excellent, everybody very helpful and kind.
The pool is quite bad - small and located in the basement.The SPA is a joke - I have tried to book a massage, but them do not have the people on site, them need to call them from outside and, in my case, after 30 minutes wait I got a call back saying that nobody was available.The breakfast is quite bad - I have seen much better breakfasts in Holiday Inn Express hotels ! The choice was very limited, and as soon as something was finished it was not replaced, so a lot of guests was going around with the empty plates and sad faces, looking for something to eat....
So if you need a clean business hotel in this area and can find a good rate ( no more then 100 euros, I would say ) - it's a good choice. But if you are on holiday - treat yourself to something more memorable,there are alternatives in Basel ( not very interesting place to visit anyway ).

  • Liked — Very good and attentive service
  • Disliked — Lack of character,not a 5* hotel - a plain 4* it is.
  • Tips/Secrets — Pizzeria Rome that concierge will recommend to you is not that good, maybe for someone who never been in Italy it can pass for an Italian pizza, but trust me, it's not as nearly as good as it should be.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JohnGoodman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Swissotel Le Plaza Basel

Property: Swissotel Le Plaza Basel
Address: Messeplatz 25 | 4058 CH-Basel, Basel 4058, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Canton of Basel > Basel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Basel
#9 Luxury Hotel in Basel
#13 Family Hotel in Basel
#14 Romantic Hotel in Basel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Swissotel Le Plaza Basel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 238
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Basel is not only a Swiss City with a big heart, with a smile on their face people from Basel proudly declare it a major city in pocket size format and they are right. The city by the Rhine offers everything you could wish for in a city trip. Culture and Business go hand in hand and only the sky is the limit. The same holds true should you decide to stay at the Swissotel Basel. No matter if you are traveling to the border triangle, the old town, the Rhine, the musical theatre or to other numerous sightseeing spots in Basel, all of which are in walking distance. Centrally located you will not only enjoy our elegant guest rooms but also real Swiss hospitality. Swissotel Basel provides 238 spacious rooms and suites with satellite LCD TV. Start your day right with a sumptuous breakfast at our Grill 25 restaurant or room service, make use of the complimentary newspaper, free wifi, complimentary use of our Puerovel Sport with a sauna and a steam room. Our concierge team would be delighted to assist in planning a day trip or assist in getting tickets to numerous Events and shows. Additionally our gusts truly value our pillow menu in the guestrooms as well as the espresso machine. Should you feel the need to discover even more of Basel and its surroundings, you can make use of your complimentary mobility ticket, which is provided to you for the duration of your stay to use the public transportation system, even for the day of your arrival and departure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swissotel Le Plaza Basel Hotel Basel
Swissotel Le Plaza Hotel Basel
Basel Swissotel Le Plaza

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