10 questions for blogger Daniel Carter
Always on the road and at home on the Internet – bloggers are a phenomenon of our time. Atlantis by Giardino has become a hot spot for these new bellwethers. Their take on our hotel is always of interest. Daniel Carter, of dancarternow.com, recently stayed here for two nights. The 22-year-old Londoner writes about travel, and is always on the lookout for the best coffee in town. His photographer, Elan Schnider, who also took the photo of the spiral staircase, is never far from his side. In this interview, Daniel tells us why Zurich is so special, and reveals the wonders a friendly greeting in the morning can work.
1. What mood were you in when you took
the picture? We were both absolutely blown away when we saw the spiral staircase. For me, it’s the most stunning spectacle of the entire hotel. There’s so much history built into that staircase, and when you take the stairs, you can’t help but think of the hundreds of people who have walked down those same steps. It’s visually striking but there’s more to it than that.
2. Which part of Atlantis by Giardino did you like best? I think my favourite part of Atlantis would be the staff. Their attention to detail and “nothing is too much” attitude made our stay even more special. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in many hotels for work over the past few years but never have I experienced such genuine care and affection for the well-being of guests. At Atlantis I experienced all the enthusiasm and intimacy of a boutique hotel, without the pretentiousness often found in five-star hotels.
3. Is there anything about Atlantis by Giardino that is particularly bloggable? Yes! I could write for days about the architecture and interior design of Atlantis. It’s all in the detail, the little touches that must go unnoticed by many – such as the incredibly detailed wall behind the bar, which looks like it contains imprints of safety deposit boxes. From the spiral staircase to the balcony views of Zurich, there’s an awful lot to write home about.
4. Legends such as Freddie Mercury and Grace Jones have made history at Atlantis by Giardino. What mark have you left?Wow, we are in good company! To be honest, it’s more about what mark the hotel has left on me rather than the other way round. Atlantis has proved that it is possible to experience the highest of quality without compromising on personality and charm.
5. What do you like most about Zurich?Zurich has a certain elegance about it. It reminds me of London quite a lot, actually. For me, the best thing about Zurich (other than Sprüngli) is how brilliantly the neighbourhoods are connected. The transport systems: trains, metros, gondolas are all so fast, easy and efficient. That’s the impression I got from Zurich in general: stylish and super efficient. I really like that.
6. As a blogger, you’ve chosen to specialise in travelling and coffee. Where did you enjoy the best coffee during your stay at Atlantis by Giardino? My favourite spot for coffee was actually a café called Spheres in Hardturmstrasse, downtown Zurich. The coffee there is great and you can sit encompassed by a library of books. There’s a really good vibe and atmosphere about the place and I’d definitely go back next time I’m in Zurich.
7. Club sandwich or five-course meal?Five-course menu, easily! I was absolutely blown away by the meal we had at Hide & Seek. I don’t like my food to be too complicated and I am all about healthy, quality meals. Saying that, I’m not sure how healthy the forest chocolate dessert was, but it was probably the best dessert I’ve ever tasted!
8. A drink at the bar or a treatment in the spa?Can I say both? If not, I can’t lie, I’d have to go for the spa. After a long morning run on the trails, there’s nothing I want more than a quick sauna and swim.
9. Early bird or late riser?Early bird! Switzerland is just incredible for trail running and there is no way I’d rather spend my morning than exploring in the mountains, be it frosty, snowy or muddy (followed by a pretty sizeable breakfast).
10. A good hotel should … … be high-quality without being pretentious. Be personable without being pushy. For me, a good hotel isn’t just about the frills of fresh flowers or luxurious robes (as nice as they are). It’s about having good, happy people working there because, after all, you don’t remember the fresh orchid but you’ll remember that smile and “Morning, Mr Carter” at 4 a.m. on your way to the airport.
The hotel for the story:
Hotel Atlantis by Giardino, Zurich