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“Disappointing, and HOT” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Helvetia

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Hotel Helvetia
Ranked #95 of 138 Hotels in Zurich
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Disappointing, and HOT”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2011

Yet another disappointing boutique hotel experience. Booked this hotel largely because of its location and following a positive review in the Guardian. The location is central but that is the only positive thing about this hotel. On arrival, staff were uninterested - check in staff also run the bar so they find it an inconvenience if you are checking in. Arrived at 4 pm and asked if I could have anything to eat. The bar staff pointed to one remaining sandwich wrapped in cellophane on the bar and said that the kitchen was closed until 6.30 pm. There was no one to help with luggage. The room was clean, but very basic. Most disappointing of all was the fact that there was no air conditioning. Zurich was experiencing a heatwave when I visited. Although the hotel supplied a fan, it was still baking hot, and as the hotel is on a busy intersection, the traffic is noisy if you have the windows open. A very disappointing experience - don't stay here in the summer as no rooms have air conditioning. In fact, come to think of it, dont stay here at all.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chesham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    25
    42
    17
    9
    2
See reviews for
9
39
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32
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Chippenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2011

I stayed in the Hotel Helvetia on my recent trip to Zurich, it's located perfectly in the center of Zurich and has a very nice bar downstairs which has a great atmosphere and a nice range of drinks.

The room are modern, upmarket and clean - they were pretty warm when I stayed and there's no air-con but fans are provided. Opening the windows solves the problem but the trams make a lot of noise even early in the morning so it's best to close them.

Breakfast was really nice and the staff reasonably friendly although a few were a little awkward to deal with over breakfast.

Beware that that they stop serving food after 9pm, we couldn't get a meal when we arrived but the barman rustled something up from the kitchen which was a nice tough.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a fan and a view over the river
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank darrenj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2011

Beautifully decorated, modern hotel with a lot of flaws for a place with 300-dollar-a-night rooms. I spent one night there and it was an unseasonably hot spring day in Zurich, 30 degrees Celsius. There was no air conditioned in the room, and when I went to the reception to ask - the people in charge of the reception seemed to be the restaurant waiters- first they told me there was nothing to do, and after checking with some manager-looking person on the other side of the bar they told me to look for a fan in the room and plug it in. No fan was to be found.
The TV had no channels other than German-speaking channels, not even the Swiss TV channels in French or Italian, nothing in English. This, according to the reception, was also normal. The shower was temperamental to say the least, with the water going from scalding hot to freezing cold for no apparent reason. When all of this was pointed to the woman at the reception the following morning, she was not even able to offer an apology. Really a pity, as the place is beautiful and in a fantastic location.

Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank Popitamoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2010

I'm fond of 'design' hotels so the look and feel of the helvetia website really appealed to me, nice design, nice decoration and lovely boutique feel. the bar/restaurant is really lovely, we arrived early and had breakfast whilst our room was being prepared but we were disappointed when we got into the room. i know we booked just a double room rather than a large room but i quite literally couldn't have swung round the proverbial cat if I'd stood in the middle of the room. When you open the door it pretty much touches the bed so moving around the room is a jigsaw puzzle of shuffling yourself and suitcases around to be able to get in and out! the design of the room is lovely and the bathroom was lovely and minimalistic with a fab power shower (check out the pictures) but the size of the room was a MASSIVE disappointment, particularly considering it cost us £170 to stay there!!!!! For the same money in London we'd be getting ourselves something really pretty special.

I'm not sure what happened with the price of the room as at the time of booking the room was £150....the currency conversion when we paid in zurich brought it to £170, so that was irritating!

so high points - beautiful bar, grab yourself a drink there in the evening. lovely interior design and great bathroom. also about a 10min walk from the centre of zurich so nicely located. but the size of the room for the cost of the room really didn't add up - and they couldn't provide us with extra pillows or even tea and coffee making facilities! oh and neither is breakfast included in the cost.

it feels like someone has done a brilliant job of making a bar and then added on some hotel rooms as an after thought. disappointing and we wont be staying there again.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Londoner1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2010

As frequent travelers in Zurich from NY, we know the area well- wanted to try something different. Location- best thing about the hotel. If your goal is to see-feel the city= good choice. The rooms are modern and have nice touches (better showers than at home). If parking a car, system with key is very complicated -no place to park car to drop key off. Smaller room over looking the river MUCH more quiet than larger room overlooking busy intersection.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SwissAmerican_2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2010

This is a wonderful little boutique hotel in a very convenient location in downtown Zurich. However the downside of a great location is often noise and this hotel has it in spades. It sits right on a major intersection with both traffic and trams going by on the front two sides of the building. I would highly reccomend asking for a room facing the river before you arrive - we asked but they were all full - they did move us to a higher floor but even with the windows closed you can hear the noise from the street all night.

Inside the hotel is lovely, there is a very cool bar and restaurant and the rooms are very nice - though i do not love the Swiss take on bedding which is to provide two single duvets for a double bed. It was very odd having to try and stretch one over our top halves and another over our legs!

I would definately reccomend this hotel because it is very difficult to get a nice hotel for any knid of a decent price in Zurich - make sure you ask for a quiet room when you book though!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SookieLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
59 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2010

The Swiss hotel star rating system is heavily slanted towards service. However, service requirements differ from guest to guest and you do pay for access to all that hands on service. Helvetia has the bar staff cover the front desk, at least on the weekend when I was there. They accommodated us quickly and efficiently since we arrived before lunch but it could get tough if you arrived during meal hours. They allowed us to store our bags in the room while it was being made up and provided accurate information regarding our options. Being an independent traveler I was completely satisfied with the service and the price which was chf200 a night discounted from the list of chf250 for the room. Just don't expect a full service hotel with staff awaiting your request. They get the job done and do it well while balancing their other duties which I kind of like.

So reception is a corner of the bar just in front of the door that leads to the elevator to the rooms. The rooms are nicely decorated and have a design feel to them which I really enjoyed. It feels like an artsy space just outside the tourist drone which hit the right cord for me. Chill music playing in the bar as we checked in, a stocked minibar featuring Amboss Beer, a Zurich microbrew and a warm bathroom floor and nice shower. The place just has a vibe to it that captures Zurich's other than private banking side.

Hotel Helvetia strengths lie in it's interesting location just across the Sihl river from the financial center. It is an attractive building well renovated while retaining it's charms. The room was small (I reserved the middle category) but functional and well insulated from street noise. The wifi only extends to the third floor and we were on the fourth floor but don't worry they had an ethernet cable in the room with blazing 20mb/s speed included. Too bad if you just have an iPhone or wifi only device but that gives you an excuse to have a Amboss beer in the bar. The linens were first rate and the bed new and comfortable. The windows could be opened manually to let the fresh air in but street noise then becomes an issue.

The restaurant-bar attracts a nice crowd in the evening but the ever present smoke general found in drinking establishments sends us off to Hiltl for a smoke free space.
No breakfast included and we didn't eat in the restaurant.

The Selnau Bahnhof provides a quick connection to the main station on SBahn S4 or S10 and is only steps from the hotel. Easy to get your bags from the airport or main station with little trouble. There is a tram connection less than a block away at Staufacherstrasse. Your also just a short 5 block walk down Sihlstrasse to Bahnhofstrasse.

So I would recommend this hotel to someone looking for a reasonably priced design hotel in a cool location with a edgy and trendy vibe. This is not a tourist hotel so if you need a lot of help another place may be better for you. This is the kind of place a travel section hopes to find and in fact I read about it in a NY Times article about Zurich so there you go!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hammersb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Helvetia

Property: Hotel Helvetia
Address: Stauffacherquai 1, Zurich 8004, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Canton of Zurich > Zurich
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #95 of 138 Hotels in Zurich
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Helvetia 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Restaurant Helvetia - the name says it all! Nestled in the heart of Zurich, in one of the most elegant buildings in the city centre, our hotel offers its guests authentic Swiss-style hospitality. Our boutique hotel with its 14 charming rooms and two luxury business apartments in the attic floor is a real jewel nestled in the heart of the city. With a great love for detail, classic art nouveau elements have been combined with a modern interior to create a unique living ambiance. The family-run and individual Helvetia hotel offers a home from home in a globalised world to busy business travellers, city explorers and Zurich lovers alike. The hotel interior was designed by the renowned Zurich interior designers Atelier Zurich. ... more   less 
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