There's something about old buildings that hypnotizes me.
Maybe it's the uneven walls, the ornate patterns, or the earthy materials, architecture from the bygone era oozes a familiar aura that draws me inside to explore, to appreciate details created by bare human hands and minds before the world's collective reliance on technology.
I like to create opportunities to cross path with unique structures that catch my eyes. In Zurich, that building is a 19th-century Swiss brewery converted into a hotel, called B2 Boutique Hotel & Spa.
Once crowned the largest brewery in Switzerland, the Hürlimann brewery shut down in 1996 after 130 years of operation.
16 years later, after undergoing a painstaking renovation (as documented in this wonderful video), it was reintroduced to the public as a modern boutique hotel, with a green conscience, homely feel, and Zurich's first thermal bath fed by an existing spring (a must visit!)
It's also here that you'll find the city's only rooftop thermal pool, offering an expansive view of Zurich's skyline.
With large cathedral-style windows and walls covered with more than 33,000 books (all available to hotel guests), it's an inviting space to enjoy a meal anytime of the day.
Glance up and you'll be rewarded with a spellbinding view of glittery chandeliers cleverly constructed with Hürlimann's very own beer bottles.
It's little bit Potteresque, with the dark woods and high ceilings and all, a proper hideout from the real world.
The Wine Library ，顧名思義，是品酒與閱讀的地方，提供全天餐飲。
Centrally located, B2 is a scenic 15-minute walk from Lake Zurich and the old town, 8-minute walk to the closest train station (Enge), and a 10-minute taxi ride from the main train station, Zurich HB.
The hotel's on-site spa attracts many outdoorsy types looking for some R&R at the end of an active day.
Our two-night stay coincides with Zurich's annual Ironman triathlon, so the hotel is booked to capacity, but you wouldn't know it from the smooth and attentive service.
Just by interacting with the hotel staff, one can't help but admire the Swiss and their cosmopolitan way of life. The multilingual staff are friendly to a fault and will happily share all they know about the city if you ask. One casual request for restaurant recommendations leads to enough information to fill a Top 10 list of #GoodEats in Zurich, for which we are very grateful!
We've checked out two of the places recommended by the hotel staff -- the legendary, artsy Kronenhall for rustic Swiss food, and Hiltl, the so-called first vegetarian restaurant in the world -- both are outstanding.
It feature a warehouse-sized window that lets in plenty of light and looks out onto the hills and the Google office below.
Small design touches pay tribute to the building's past, and the minibar is filled with complimentary water, juices and two bottles of -- what else? - cold Hürlimann beer.
The semi-open plan bathroom is on the small side, with a standing shower and a separate toilet. But it comes with everything you need, including a powerful hairdryer and nice toiletries by FAIR CosmEthics. I especially like its shampoo, which adds incredible fullness to my hair and leaves it touchably soft. But the conditioner is a bit too watery and doesn't do much for me.
Breakfast @ The Wine Library
The hotel is keen to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and my stay has opened my eyes to how self-sufficient Switzerland is as a country, especially when it comes to food production.
早餐 @ 葡萄酒圖書館
Breakfast is served at the Wine Library, and the buffet - with all kinds of fruits, yogurts, specialty cheeses and dried meats - is a proud display of #GoodEats, Swiss style.
he coffee -- however -- is from Italy. Rightfully so.
酒店裡所使用的東西幾乎都是國產的，早餐 buffet 有多樣化的新鮮水果，優格，起司和風乾肉，全都插著紅底白十字旗，標示出產地。
Important Information: When in Switzerland, drink Swiss wine, because it's so good that hardly any of it gets exported!
Hence Zurich wine is a big selling point at the Wine Library, a perfect accompaniment to Swiss delicacies available throughout the day.
因為瑞士酒的品質優良產量又不多，在國內就被消耗掉了，所以幾乎沒有外銷的機會。因此蘇黎世葡萄酒是B2酒店 Wine Library 的一大賣點。
Thermal Baths & Spa
The hotel is located right above the Thermalbad & Spa, well-known for its Irish-Roman bath fed by the Aqui spring. For a fee of 25 CHF, B2 guests can have direct access to the spa's private facilities via the hotel lift.
The spa looks like a secret underground oasis out of an ancient Rome movie, where turquoise water shimmers in the grotto in the vaulted stone walls of the old brewery, with flowy curtains shielding heated stone lounger from prying eyes.
The self-guided Roman-Irish spa ritual lasts about two hours, and after 10 steps of wet and dry procedures, you're guaranteed to feel soft and relaxed.
The rooftop thermal pool is beautiful too, although it can get crowded in the evening when lovebirds tend to congregate for the spectacular sunset over Zurich.
Back in our room, with a bottle of Hürlimann in hand, we look out from the window and admire this hardworking, environmentally conscious, perfectly kept city that has an eye for the future, and a foot in the past.
Now we understand why time and time again, Zurich has been voted one of the best places to live in the world.
MY RATING: 9.5 / 10
The thermal spa alone would be good enough a reason to stay at B2 Boutique Hotel & Spa. But here the therapeutic energy comes from more places than one: comfortable room, nostalgia design, locally sourced foods, and the incredible staff.
It is truly an all-star hotel.
我的評價：9.5 / 10