Life is GRAND at Kameha Grand in Zurich

Posted on 17/09/2017 by Eileen Schuch
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Kameha Grand Zurich Rooftop

This year, I had the chance to stay two nights at Kameha Grand, Zurich’s newest Lifestyle Hotel. Two different occasions, two different suites, two different experiences, but always the same, singular signature: boldness and impeccable style.

What makes Kameha GRAND, are all the little details: surprising, subtle, humorous, playful, quirky and iconic… the level of thought that went into creating a truly outstanding experience is astonishing, the level of customization exquisite.

Here is a list of things that I picked up and that resonate with me.

The building: style and design

Not every day is fab, right? Running around like crazy, surviving more than thriving, feeling stuck… we all have days on which we question everything. In times like this it is important not to loose the view of the big picture: that is life. With all its struggles but also all its pleasures and successes, big and small… In the grand scheme of things, la vie est belle. It truly is. And it is yours. You shape it. You may be dealt a certain deck of cards but you decide the game. Sometimes it is enough to change the perspective. Suddenly, what seemed important is not. A big problem becomes just a small hurdle. And even a tiny success is a success nonetheless. Not everyday may be a reason for a big celebration, but in general life deserves to be celebrated. Every day we live, every day we get to get up and do what we do, merits if not celebration, then at least recognition of what a great thing it is to be alive. Sure, if you aim high, there is a risk to fall low. But still, even if you stumble, and even if you fall, it is in a forward motion and a sign of progression… and a hundred times better as if you hadn’t aimed at anything at all.

All this went through my mind, as I arrived at the sumptuous entry of Kameha Grand for the first time. There, in big letters LIFE IS GRAND sublimes the hotel’s front and sets the mood for your stay: positivity, energy, and panache.

The creative mind behind Kameha’s bold architecture is Sebastian Knorr in collaboration with his team at tecArchitecture. The design is contemporary with particular attention being paid to energy efficiency. Perfectly blending in with the streetscape the double-façade features a gently curving pattern that is made possible by custom horizontal mullion. It is meant to resemble an elegant dress flowing down the red carpet.

The interior design of the hotel is the brainchild of Marcel Wanders. Unconventional and flamboyant, with majestic and festive decors it celebrates the rich heritage of Switzerland. Matelassé white walls covered with golden hotel keys, exquisite rugs with Guilloches inspired drawings, a monumental handcrafted cow bell lamp, Swiss chocolate inspired wall paneling, mini-bars fashioned as bank vaults, and Toblerone-shaped sofas… Let’s take a closer look!

The reception: hi-tech and excellent service

Speaking of red carpets… As you step into the lobby, you are immediately taken in by the flamboyant interior: red curtains, red carpets, a glimmering staircase and giant cowbells hanging from the ceiling. Yes, it is quite impressive! And no, the Kameha is not quite like any other hotel. Nice touch: there is no pompous reception desk. Instead, guests are welcomed at individual reception islands by immaculately dressed, highly professional, multilingual personnel who, with youthful enthusiasm, embrace modern technology as if it were their second nature. All of that with a perfect, friendly smile, of course, iPad in hand.

Technology is woven into the design of the hotel as well as the customer experience like a red thread. From the lifts to the lightening, from the phone system to the TV station, everything is top notch.

Despite the gadgetry, the Kameha has what I would describe as a very human vibe. You can feel that everybody gives their best with the aim to provide an excellent service and a flawless experience to their guests.

Another detail that I picked up and that I think is a very nice touch: right at the check-in, but also in the restaurant, at check-out and so forth, you have the opportunity to donate to Fly & Help, a non-profit organization that promotes education in developing countries by building new schools.

You can put your donation in a piggy bank – in the shape of a Swiss cow. For just CHF 1 you can claim a button with a cool slogan in exchange. This may be a small detail, but one that can make a big change in somebody’s life. However you got here, in this luxurious 5-star hotel in Zurich, Switzerland’s global center for banking and finance, it is important to remember that there people out there whose life is not all that grand and the we have the responsibility to help make the world a better place for everyone. A wonderful parable, don’t you think?

The rooms: Diva and Fair Play Suite

So I stayed two times at Kameha Grand. The first time was just after the Moët Party Day and before the MICHELIN Switzerland Female Chef Award with Veuve Clicquot, followed by a visit of Baselworld with Ruinart. Literally floating into Zurich on this champagne supernova, my overnight stay at Kameha not only allowed me to channel my inner diva; it also procured maximum relaxation and a long overdue dose of profound, carefree sleep. I checked in at room N° 122, the Diva Suite, and it was amazing. A dream in white and pink, with plush carpets, a dressing table, a mannequin and a cozy seating corner complete with sofa, side table and magazines. I found fruits and water on the table, of which I took some to the bathroom with me about to run a bath.

Now the bathroom merits special focus. It is of minimalistic design but composed of materials of the highest quality. It contains all the amenities you could wish for: free standing, deep-soaking bathtub, his-and-hers sinks, walk-in rain shower, mirror doors that separate the toilet from the shower, Molton Brown toiletries, hair dryer and, of course, all the tech you need to dim the lights, close the shutters and play soft music. On the board that is posed across the bathtub you will find a candle, matches and incense sticks. True diva feels guaranteed!

The bathroom is more or less the same for all the Suites and all the room as far as I have seen. In the Fair Play Suite it was, that I know because it was in this room that I stayed the second time round at Kameha.

Quite like yin and yang, like moon and sun, the Diva and the Fair Play Suite are diametric opposites. One is extremely feminine, the other very masculine. As the name suggests, the Fair Play Suite is all about sports references: dartboard, punching bag, boxing gloves, table football, a selection of board games and sports magazines on the table… There is no room for boredom in this bedroom; no matter what game you play!

All in all, there are 245 rooms and suites: 105 Premium and 119 Deluxe Suites, 2 Executive Suites, 6 Business Suites and 13 Theme Suites. We have the Diva, Princess, Watchmaker, Gentleman, Burlesque, Oriental, Fair Play, Serenity, Workout, Poker Face and Ghostwriter Suite to choose from. So whatever your fancy, you will find a room that suits your mood! Beyond those, there is the Space Suite by visual artist and future astronaut Michael Najjar. An experience, I am sure, that will be out of this world! And the cream of the crop, the top of the top: the King Kameha Suite that, from the looks of it, is simply mind blowing!

There is a thing about the mini bar that I noticed during my first stay apart from that it is designed like a bank safe. It is actually NOT filled with beverages and nibbles. You rather find a note inside that tells you to order one of different packages: power package, business package etc. that is then brought to you by room service. I found that surprising but in a good way. It changes from the boring old Pringles, nuts, Red Bull and Coke. I ordered the business package if I remember correctly and got a heap of nuts, fresh fruit, water and smoothies that I then took to the bath with me. The lot for CHF 22, which I thought is a sweet deal!

The food: day and night, a true delight!

In the evening, I went to eat at L’Unico, the Kameha’s Italian style restaurant. They serve homemade pasta and pizza, an awesome buffalo mozzarella, dry-aged meat, fish and fresh herbs. With its ample terrace and great selection of wines it is an oasis of dolce vita in the busy metropolis that is Zurich. A thing I didn’t notice at night but only at breakfast is the design. Lots of pasta references from top to bottom. For example, there is a giant pasta bowl hanging from the ceiling and the walls and tables are composed of tiles that feature different pasta shapes. If you look closely, you can distinguish farfalle, penne and Co. I love this! It put me in a fabulous mood in the morning. That, and the buffet, the open kitchen, the friendly staff and a great Latte Macchiato I received upon request with lactose free milk!

I also heard that their Sunday brunch is quite something! Every first Sunday of the month and on certain public holidays you can indulge in a culinary experience that seeks its equal. Diverse and exclusive, it features oysters, a Dim Sum buffet, Champagne, Live Cooking, freshly baked, still warm bread, exotic fruits, tea, coffee and pastry as much as you can eat. For a mere CHF 89, I think it merits a try!

There is one more restaurant at Kameha, an award-winning fine dining restaurant called YOU. Neither the first time nor the second I managed to eat there, but it is definitely on my bucket list! Where I did manage to take a sip, however, is at the Puregold Bar. The back wall of it features golden coins that move with the airflow and provide a fabulous sparkling effect. For those seeking to continue the indulgence beyond dinner, there is a Shisha Lounge and a Smoker’s Lounge.

The conference facilities: spacious and special

One more thing I picked up during my short stay is the conference facilities. When you walk out the lift you can look down on them. They seem a-mazing. If I had a corporate event to organize or maybe even a wedding, it would be here I guess. Drama, drama, drama, red curtains, chandeliers… there is everything to make a grand entrance and leave a big impression!

To sum this up: I L.O.V.E. the Kameha and what I saw until now encourages me to explore it even more. There are 11 other Suites I still need to discover, a restaurant, the Shisha and Smokers Lounges, the SPA, the Sunday Brunch… Guess last time was NOT the last time I stayed there. As for location, it is super close to the airport which I consider I huge plus. Not so close to the City, but nothing an Uber or the very near Tram could not solve. I think it as a great destination for business travellers, lovers and singles. Not so sure if families would rate this a 10. My recommendation is, see, touch, taste for yourself. It definitely is worth a visit!

Picture credit: Kameha Grand

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