by Rich Rubin
The Little Big City as Zürich,
Switzerland is affectionately called, offers a wonderful
combination of old world charm and modern attractions
that appeal to a diverse group of international travelers.
When planning your next trip, keep in mind that there
are a couple of new projects in the city that will delight
both first time and frequent visitors.
The biggest of these, Sihlcity (http://www.sihlcity.ch)
is located in a former industrial area in the citys
south. Here youll find a new Four Points by Sheraton
(Kalandergasse 1. Tel: 800-368-7764. Doubles $172$336.
occupying an old paper factory, and a mall filled with
restaurants and many shopping options. The entire project
opened on March 22 of this year, so its a little
early to say whether it will be a major tourist draw or
mainly for Zürichers. Our local sources feel it will
be the latter, though Sheratons presence (with their
Asia Spa opening in early June) obviously indicates a
belief that this new development, a five-minute tram ride
from the heart of the city, will attract visitors as well.
Meanwhile, West Zürich continues to grow as a mecca
for cool connoisseurs and hip scenesters. With over 500
bars and restaurants, the majority of which stay open
till the wee hours, Zürichs SoHo
is becoming a late-night gathering place.
Its here youll find such
popular venues for the local GLBT community as Labor
Bar (Schiffbaustrasse 3. Tel: +41-44-272-4402. http://www.laborbar.ch),
which is mixed during the week but really comes alive
with Sunday Trash (http://www.sundaytrash.ch),
a weekly gay event with resident DJs that attracts a
gay/lesbian crowd of partiers. Labor Bar also hosts
the lesbian party Lady Bumb (http://www.rainbow-chixx.ch)
on Thursday nights two to three times a month.
In a new space a bit on the outskirts of the district,
popular gay club Labyrinth (Hohlstrasse 452.
Tel: +41-44-440-5980. http://www.labyrinth.ch)
is still THE place to go on Saturday nights. Gay men
flock to this erotic dance palace, which
features a large dance floor and a balcony to watch
the action below. (While hormones fly as freely as gyrating
bodies, theres nothing else particularly erotic
about the place except the slogan.)
Practically across the street, Club Labtizke
(Albulastrasse 40. Tel: +41-44-201-0404. http://www.labitzke.ch),
a huge space in a former factory, hosts the immensely
popular and testosterone-filled monthly gay party Shaft
In Labyrinths former locale, the new Club Lotus
(Pfingsweidstrasse 70. Tel: +41-43-366-9824. http://www.lotusclub.ch)
is the scene for popular party gods Johann and Götterbotes
monthly gay event that locals report is sensational.
great cocktails, fun music and videos, and a nice mix
of gay men and lesbians, head to Cranberry Bar
(Metzgergasse 3. Tel: +41-44-261-2772. http://www.cranberry.ch)
where they pour the best drinks in the city. The bar
staff is the friendliest in Zürich, and the owner,
Jvan, goes out of his way to make sure everyone feels
at home here.
Another popular Old Town spot (just up the street from
Cranberry), T&M (Marktgasse 14. Tel: +41-44-266-1818.
is a bar, cabaret, dance club, and infamous backroom
that continues to attract residents and visitors on
a nightly basis.
Its second-floor club Aaah (Marktgasse 14. Tel: +41-44-253-2060.
provides a high-energy techno beat for an energetic
On the hotel scene, Park Hyatt Zürich
(Beethovenstrasse 21. Tel: +41-43-883-1234. Doubles
provides high-style with a modern look that appeals
to both business and leisure travelers. The hotel is
ideally situated just a short walk from the designer
boutiques along the Bahnhofstrasse, the outdoor pleasures
found on Lake Zürich, and the bars and restaurants
of Zürichs Old Town. Same-sex couples will
find a warm welcome here, and the oversized suites and
24-hour room service will make you never want to leave.