01. Introduction: I guess Edelweiss Air isn’t so expensive after all
02. Lufthansa A340-300 economy class San Diego to Frankfurt
03. Lufthansa A319 economy class Frankfurt to Zurich
04. Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity – Zurich
05. Three tips to make your first trip to Zurich better than mine was
06. Radisson Blu Zurich Airport
07. Edelweiss Air A340-300 economy class Zurich to San Diego
I’ve never officially come out and admitted this before, but I really like airport hotels. I’ve reviewed a lot of them here on the blog so far, and it’s getting to the point now where I actually look forward to my stay at an attached-to-the-terminal airport hotel more than I do a hotel located in the center of the city. Is that sick and twisted or what?
The main reason for this is sheer convenience. I love to travel more than anything else, but I’ll be honest when I say that it can be very stressful at times and it isn’t always as glamorous as they say it is. Travel is all about managing the pressure of being in the right place at the right time for many consecutive days in a row, and there are times when I’m just not in the mood to worry about how I’m going to get to the airport at 5 AM. Staying at a hotel attached directly to the airport completely eliminates this kind of pressure, and there’s no better feeling in the world than rolling out of bed and being inside the main terminal within minutes.
The other reason I like airport hotels so much is because life doesn’t get much better for an AvGeek than sitting in front of a big window (stuffing your face with overpriced food from the room service menu) while watching airplanes take off and land in the distance. Doing it wearing nothing but your favorite rocket ship underwear makes it an even more pleasurable experience. Trust me – you haven’t lived until you’ve stood nearly naked above O’Hare Airport, watching all that mesmerizing action below from your 8th floor room at the ORD Hilton while scarfing down a $10 danish that couldn’t have cost more than $0.15 to make.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to talk about the subject of this review: the Radisson Blu at Zurich airport. To be honest, it wasn’t totally necessary for me to stay at a hotel located adjacent to the airport on my last night here, since my flight home to San Diego wasn’t scheduled to depart until 1:25 p.m. the next afternoon. I could have very easily stayed one more night at the Four Points Sheraton in Sihlcity, but…well…I already explained how much fun it is to watch airplanes from my own little private hole in the wall, and this was an opportunity that I wasn’t going to pass up.
Location map of the Radisson Blu Zurich Airport. If you could zoom all the way in, you’d see me there smiling from ear to ear in approval of it’s excellent proximity to the main terminal.
I’m going to let the pics tell the story of my one night stay here at the Radisson blue ZRH, so here we go:
If you are as horrible with directions as I am, you might have some difficulty finding the entrance to the Radisson Blu here at ZRH. Don’t give up though, because this is a hotel worth finding!
The layout is essentially a hollowed-out cube, which is very similar to the Westin at DTW. BTW, this the main lobby, complete with the most obnoxiously-cool wine storage and retrieval device I have ever seen. I’m not much of a wine drinker, but if I was, I’m pretty darn sure that I would choose the bottle at the very top.
Fun fact: the style, design, and mood of the guestroom hallways is the exact opposite of the design, style, and mood of the rooms themselves. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see what I mean (and prepare yourself for an onslaught of color)!
They gave me room 525, which they promised would have an “airport view.”I paid extra for it, so it better be true.
*poof!* Any thoughts I had about airport views were obliterated as soon as I opened the door and saw the blue carpet.
Prior to this moment, if anyone would’ve told me that they thought that blue carpet was a good idea (anywhere), I would have assumed them to be bat-shit crazy. But you know what? As nuts as it sounds, it didn’t take long for me to think that this looked pretty darn cool. Perhaps it is I who is bat-shit crazy…
“Radisson Blu” is a totally appropriate name for this hotel.
Yes, I was totally disappointed that the bed wasn’t red. How cool (and gloriously tacky) would that have been?!
I’m willing to bet that the designers actually tried a version with a red bed, but laughed it off with the realization that they would be scaring people away at that point. You can only use so much red in such a confined space such as this before it starts getting scary!
Is it wrong that I really like this color combination?
Part of the reason why I like this color combo so much is the fact that it dares to be bold and SO much different than all of the other cookie-cutter airport hotels in this world (no offense to the IAH Marriott).
The only thing that concerns me about this decor is the fact that it doesn’t at all match the other Radisson Blu I stayed at several years ago. Maybe things have changed since then, but as of this moment I honestly couldn’t tell you what the Radisson Blu brand is all about.
It’s the weirdest piece of furniture that I’ve ever seen in any hotel room, but it ended up being the most practical. Not only is it a convenient place to unpack and pack a backpack (say that three times fast), you can sit there and think about whether or not it’s wise to publicly admit that you actually like blue carpet.
This complementary water must have felt really fancy to me at the time because…well…my raised pinky in the mirror tells all.
Looking at all these pics again as I upload them to this review is making me think that this is – by far – the most colorful hotel room that I have ever stayed in. And I liked it!
This little nugget of goodness was sitting on the desk upon my arrival.
“Get in my belly!”
There was also this fancy whiz-bang coffee machine which made me feel slightly disappointed that I’m not a coffee drinker.
Oh! I’ve been so distracted by the quirky colors and snacks that I completely forgot to mention one of the most important parts about this room: the view!
I didn’t have a direct line of sight to any of the gates attached to the main terminal, but…
The wind happened to be blowing just right and it was nice to watch a steady stream of departing aircraft like this one all evening.
And if you’re wondering, yes, even the bathroom was drenched in color.
This toilet though. While I appreciated all of it’s fancy electronic features, the way that it automatically raised and lowered the seat cover every time I walked into the bathroom started to get annoying and I was desperately looking for a way to turn it off. Having a little extra help in the bathroom is nice sometimes, but I swear it had a personality of it’s own and it was creepy as hell!
There was no tub in this room, but thankfully the shower made up for it by being large enough to walk around in.
Just be thankful that I was fully clothed when I took this picture. I haven’t been burned by any unnoticed “revealing” reflections in any of my trip report pics yet, but you know how obtuse I can be at times so I can’t promise that it’ll never happen.
So there you have it. Despite feeling a bit of shock and horror as I opened the door and saw that crazy neon blue carpet with all the daring red accents, it actually grew on me fairly quickly and I considered it to be one of the more stylish hotel rooms I’ve stayed at in a while. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it classy, but it was certainly stylish and edgy in a way that I quite liked. Remember though – I’m the guy who wears bright red shoes with the matching red watch (who has been tempted to dye my hair blue before), so when it comes right down to it this room and I were a match made in heaven.
This is an excellent airport hotel with really good plane spotting opportunities. If that’s your kind of thing, make sure you ask for an airport-facing room on the highest floor possible. Note that not all airport-facing rooms have views of the action though! Floors one through three will have you looking directly into the terminal building, so you’re going to need a room on the fourth floor or higher to be able to see anything. You’re also going to need to make sure that you bring your favorite rocket ship underwear and lots of cash for room service to get the full AvGeek experience.
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