There are certain things the Swiss are known for. Chocolate, ski resorts, and pocket knives, for instance, have all been revolutionised after Switzerland put its stamp on them. And hospitality, of course. In both high-altitude après ski locations and larger urban settings, the Swiss have achieved legendary status. In my travels around the world, I often find myself comparing the hotels I stay in to what I’ve experienced in Switzerland. Rarely do they stack up – and I’m stuck wondering when the rest of the world will figure out what they’ve been missing.
The brand’s success, built around sustainable operations and classic Swiss hospitality, isn’t much of a surprise. Their legacy is in redeveloping everything we think we know about a hotel and how it plays a part in the life of a traveller. Swissotel has brought their modern take across the world, with destination hotels across Europe, Asia, and the recent opening of its first US location in Chicago.
In classic Swiss tradition, Swissotel delivers an optimized guest experience from the moment you walk in the door thru checkout. Theirs is an all-day approach to customer service. I cannot recommend a stay with them highly enough. Check it out:
1. Waking up with wellness in mind
I found that the brand’s approach to beginning each day with mindfulness. In my earlier days of travel, I wasn’t nearly as conscious of whether or not I set myself up for a successful trip. No one wants to get sick on the road!
The first thing I noticed about Swissotel is their emphasis on welcoming the day with wellness in mind. When staying in a bustling metropolis like Singapore, the ability to escape into your hotel, actually wanting to be there, is an experience like no other.
They’ve come up with an entirely fresh take on hotel room design, which they call the Vitality Room. This concept is built around the health needs of the guest. Here’s a bit of what they’ve done:
- Out with the hackneyed hotel gym room, in with the ability to follow your fitness routine in-room. Equipment, professional guidance, and climate control built for comfortable fitness.
- Out with wasted space and boring design, in with what I can only describe as ‘optimised minimalism’. The design discards stale room design in favour finding a productive purpose for every bit of space – especially focused on openness and relaxation.
- Aroma and light therapy. Floor design that is raised in certain spaces while lowered in others. Shelving that serves a purpose, and furniture that is as comforting as it is practical. It’s as though your old hotel room went through a hot-cold spa treatment.
2. Staying mindful throughout the day
I’ve become quite accustomed to the word ‘vitality’ as I’ve gotten to know Swissotel. It’s their mantra of sorts, and the concept extends into their dining. How often have you found yourself unable to stick to a routine of healthy eating while travelling?
This is another concept I’ve slowly improved at over the years. Swissotel is making the process easier with Vitality dishes. Their hotels offer dining built around specific nutritional needs and dietary restrictions. This in itself is impressive, but here’s the real kicker: they serve healthy, delicious meals that actually satisfy! You can be mindful in your dining choice without feeling as though you’re missing out, and be happy with choosing to dine in at the hotel and still have memorable experience.
3. Resting easy: Swissotel’s take on sustainability
As an active traveller, I’ve come to recognize the importance of minimising my footprint. I’ve also learnt that this task can be extremely hard to do on the road. Swissotel noticed this too, and did something about it.
The brand is ISO certified and recognised for the steps they’ve taken to build a global brand with minimal impact on the environment. Take their emphasis on upcycling and recycling, for instance. Whenever possible, they upcycle old products into new ones, and host an extensive recycling program in each of their hotels.
Swissotel recognises that change starts with education. In that light, they’ve stocked their website full of tips and tricks for travellers to reduce their carbon footprint. You can even learn how to turn used plastic bottles into an awesome planter garden for your home – how’s that for informative travel?