Lava lamps, a disco ball, and a tacky Christmas tree: if there was ever a place to travel back in time, it's at Hotel Noël in Zürich.
During the advent season leading up to Christmas, ten hotels in Zürich have collaborated on a clever pop-up concept. Each hotel has designated a single room to the project, allowing an artist with ties to Zürich to decorate it for Christmas. The result is Hotel Noël, a pop-up hotel offering bookable rooms across Zürich.
The 1970s-inspired Hotel Noël Zürich room by schoenstaub
Among the ten artists selected for Hotel Noël are illustrators, mixed media designers, or sculptors. The organizers have asked us to make a pick: "Where do you want to spend a night before Hotel Noël opens to the public?"
We considered our options among the ten pop-up hotel rooms, and we quickly decided on the 25hours Hotel Langstrasse.
There, designer Nadja Stäubli and her schoenstaub studio have transformed a room into a tacky 1970s American Christmas experience. At the check-in, we not only receive a welcome note and two drink vouchers, but also a Zürich Card City Pass. The latter is good for all public transportation within city limits, and it provides free or reduced admissions to museums and experiences.
We unlock the second-floor room of Hotel Noël at 25hours Hotel Langstrasse, and we cannot believe our eyes! We have just entered a time tunnel that is taking us some 50 years into the past. We're talking Gladys Knight, Diana Ross, and Superfly...
Surrounded by all these design objects and vintage color schemes, we feel immersed in this parallel world. The specialty of Schoenstaub are custom carpets, rugs, and fabrics.
And let's just say the artist went to town in this hotel room: from round rugs to seating cushions and retro throw pillows, each detail sits. We wonder if the wallpaper with its giraffe contour is Nadja's, too?
For the full experience, there is a Polaroid camera - and a record player! We put on Harry Belafonte, and the music inspires us to wrap those Christmas gifts we have picked up on the way to the hotel. Is this what Christmas must have felt like for Americans in the 1970s?
The fake Christmas tree and the vintage lava lamps all add to the atmosphere. Hotel Noël has awakened us to the magical season. It is a unique pop-up Christmas experience we can recommend to anyone traveling to Zürich before December 26, 2021.
The perks of staying at 25hours Hotel Zürich Langstrasse
Back in the lobby of the fairly new 25hours Hotel Zürich Langstrasse, we start to explore the rest of the house. The decor here is colorful and eclectic, creating the atmosphere of a hotel with a long history. The check-in counter is a miniature second-hand shop; it is stacked with yesteryear's objects on consignment from a local antique shop.
The small boutique is a magnet in its own right. The shelves display a curated collection of design objects, fun gifts, and must-have books. From Freitag bags to issues of the Monocle magazine, it offers everything a hipster heart desires.
The lobby sets the tone for the rest of the hotel. Without realizing it, we spend the better part of an hour in one of those airy lounges overgrown with wild plants. One floor up, we walk past the pinball machine to find yet another space for hotel guests. This lounge has designer sofas, more plants, and a collection of mix-tapes to write home about.
Finally, we zip to the seventh floor to have a look at the roof-top spa and gym. The self-proclaimed "trainspotting sauna" does offer views of the train tracks below - a reminder of how close we are from the Zürich main station. There are lawnchairs indoors and out, showers, and various excercise equipment. For a four-star city hotel, the amenities are very generous.
Our advice: make a dinner reservation at the in-house NENI Zürich Restaurant. The Mediterranean kitchen provides an escape from wintry Switzerland to places like Lebanon (Babaganoush) or Tel Aviv, Israel (Sabich). We particularly liked the organic BBQ prawns, as well as the Maghreb kebab with its juicy charcoaled beef and lamb meatballs.