Family-Run Hotels in Europe: Zürich, Switzerland

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Enjoy the view from the deluxe corner suite balcony.

Swiss Perfection

Baur au Lac in Zürich, Switzerland.

Baur au Lac sits in its own park along Lake Zürich.
Enjoy a meal in Michelin-starred Restaurant Pavillion.

By Larry Olmsted
Since 1844, when Johannes Baur built this lakeside villa hotel in its own private park, six generations of family hoteliers have run the property, and a seventh is at work today. The 120-room hotel is a Zürich icon, but doesn’t rest on its laurels: Its fine-dining restaurant, Pavillon, was awarded its first Michelin star last year.
Family Tree
Owner Andrea Kracht took over from his father, like his father before him, and hopes that his daughter Muki will take over from him. “As a family owned hotel, we value our team, take care of them like family, and have a long tradition of employees who start out in their teens and retire here,” he says.
Don’t Miss
Kracht’s wife, Gigi, curates Art in the Park, now in its second decade, a major outdoor sculpture exhibition held on the Baur au Lac’s grounds each June through August. For many collectors, it has become a prelude to Art Basel, and last year Gigi expanded options for visitors by adding a second exhibition, Art Inside, within the hotel. Art Inside runs from fall into winter and focuses on photography, prints, and paintings.
Personal Touch
Andrea developed and launched the Chocolat 1844 brand in honor of the year the Baur au Lac opened. The hotel’s signature chocolate bars are 70 percent cacao and are also used in desserts and cocktails.

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Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, May 2014.