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Hotel recommendation in Zurich for elderly parents

Hotel recommendation in Zurich for elderly parents

Old Jan 14th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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Hotel recommendation in Zurich for elderly parents

I'm helping my elderly parents make some reservations for trip this May. Can you please recommend a hotel. Need centrally located, full service hotel with restaurant. Room w/ walk in shower would be best, but I know that's sometimes hard to find. Elevator or ground floor mandatory. Accomodating staff who will help w/ taxi, reservations, etc. Spa services not really necessary. $300-400, preferably. Thanks, annie
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 06:25 AM
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for topping Ira. I need the same recommendations for Vienna, Rome, and Madrid. I'll post these separately as well.

Thanks, annie
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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The elevator part may be one of the hardest actually, but in that price range you may be OK, as it is the more budget hotels which tend to lack elevators. I agree that a stall shower will be hard, you will have to check with the hotel once you make a choice based on location and elevator.

Right off the bat for Zurich I can think of two hotels which are literally yards from the main train station (Hautbahnhof) which would probably work in terms of having all that you have asked for and they should have some rooms in that price range, the Hotel Schweizerhof (hotelschweizerhof.com) and the Hotel St Gotthard (http://www.summithotels.com). You might also try the Central Plaza (www.central.ch) this is about 200-300 yards from the main train station across the little river but certainly an easy walk even with some luggage. Some of their rooms have balconies with nice river and/or lake and Alp views. These hotels have restaurants and are within walking distance of others, and are also be in walking distance of many sights on the left or right banks of the old town as well. I can give more reccos based on my questions below.

Are they flying into and out of Zurich or going on by train to their next destination? That might make a difference as to what part of town they stay in, as there are actually 4 train stations in town and they can get to the airport train station without changing from several of them, but if they are going to say Vienna by train then they probably want to be near the main train station for that to avoid having to change trains right away.

What time of year is the trip, that would help to.

Would they be able to take a tram, this would require going UP two steps onto the tram (same in Vienna).

How much baggage do they have and how long will they be in Zurich (i.e. they can store baggage at the train station or at the airport if just for overnight, this would make it easier than lugging bags).

If they are flying in and out of Zurich, is a taxi from the airport at all an option for them, this would be in the US$60 range to get to hotels in the Zurich downtown area. But certainly easier for elderly people and may broaden the range of hotels to hotels in more charming parts of the old town. There is also a hotel shuttle bus that goes to a limited number of hotels, I think it is about US$18-25 a person. Would that be something they would consider.

The Summit group which operates the St Gotthard hotel mentioned above has other hotels in Zurich which might work, the Ascot is located very near the Zurich Enge train station, not quite as charming a part of town but near one end of the lake. The Zum Storchen which they operate is a lovely hotel but above the budget and requires a walk or a taxi to get to. Please check on room size, as the rooms could be quite small, you want at least 28 square meters unless it is just for one night, IMO 30 is better.

I will think about Rome, Vienna and Madrid. I lived in Zurich so have more immediate reccos with your limitations in mind.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 03:24 AM
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They are only traveling by plane, taxi, and the occasional hired car. They won't rent a car this time, and definitely no train. He has very limited mobility, but they travel extensively.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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sweetannie,

I stayed at the above mentioned Hotel Schweizerhof and can recommend it for excellent services, fantastic breakfast, nice but expensive restaurant, elevator and close to train. Not sure it will be in your price range (it's been 2 years since I was there). Also, we had a shower in tub there... perhaps they will have other options.

I believe there are a few steps up from street level when you first enter to the reception desk - but there is always someone on duty who can help your father.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 04:34 AM
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Earlier this week I stayed at the Sofitel in Zurich. It is a very pleasant hotel (and well reviewed on Trip Advisor) with comfortable, spacious rooms, helpful staff (they booked taxis for me and helped me out with other info), and a good on-site restaurant and bar. Elevators of course. I don't know about the walk-in shower; my room had a combo bath.
Should easily be in your stated price range.
A very short walk (1 minute) from the #11 tram stop, which runs along the Bahnhofstrasse main shopping street (taking the tram going towards Rehalp). Also close to the train station (one tram stop).
http://www.sofitel.com/sofitel/fiche...he_hotel.shtml
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 04:42 AM
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Based on the photo gallery included on the Zurich Sofitel's web site, they do indeed have walk-in showers in some of the rooms.

When I took my 70-something parents to Vienna for their 50th anniversary, we stayed at the Kaiserin Elisabeth. My parents had a large, very comfortable room. Again, elevators and helpful staff. It's in an unbeatable location, just steps from the Karntnerstrasse pedestrian street and St. Stephan's.
However, this is a VERY popular hotel and is often fully booked...if you are interested in it, contact them ASAP.
http://www.sofitel.com/sofitel/fiche...he_hotel.shtml
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 04:44 AM
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sorry, wrong link:
http://www.kaiserinelisabeth.at/defa...me.philosophie
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 05:57 PM
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If I understand your message correctly, your parents are OK with taking taxis from the airports to hotels and don't want to bother with using trains to get to hotels, even in cities like Zurich where the 10 minute taxi ride from the airport can be quite expensive. As I said, that may broaden their choice of hotels, although I do still think my original 3 are a good choice in terms of location and ease of access to the old town areas which they will want to see. I also think they will want to stick with hotels in newish buildings which will have less chance of stairs and "cut up" buildings where they may find stairs within the building. I can't tell from your message how much trouble they may have with going up and down even something like flights of 4-5 stairs, which you can find in hotels like the Widder which are a series of old buildings put together (extremely beautifully) and require some stairs within the building when you are passing between the buildings.

The Sofitel is nice hotel, my concern would be that it is just outside what I would call a comfortable walking distance to the old town, and I am not sure based on your message that your folks want to take the tram which would otherwise put this hotel in a fine location. My mother is 80 and has no issue walking on the flat, but would not want to be going up even 2 steps onto a tram, and more so in the rush of the few moments that the doors are open and with other people waiting behind her making her feel rushed to get on or off the tram. The Sofitel is otherwise a bit of a walk down and up a small incline of a hill to get to the old town areas and the main shopping street (Bahnhofstrasse).

Based on being able to take a taxi to the hotel from the airport, one other place to consider for Zurich would be the Steigenberger Bellerive au Lac (www.zuerich.steigenberger.ch) which is a nice hotel in a good location on the lake (across the street), a few blocks from the southern edge of the old town area. Some of the rooms have balconies with lake views. This would put them near the old town and also give them some great lake and hill views. There are good restaurants in the hotel and nearby, the Opera House is around the corner and the ferry peir is a short distance away for ferry rides on the lake.

You might also look at the Sheraton Neues Schloss. While not really in the charming part of town (it is in a more business area), it is a flat walk to the left bank part of it, and it is quite near the lake. This hotel would also have the full service aspects you are looking for (good concierge, several on-site restaurants, etc) and most likely has some shower stall rooms. (I would not reccco the Sheraton Sihlcity as this is probably too far out any interesting area for them.) The Park Hyatt is in this same area and you could look there, although I believe this will be over your budget.

You should also look at the Marriott, as it again would have all the full service features you want, and should have some shower stalls (with all these chain-type hotels, especially US chains, you should ask about handicapped rooms, as many US chains will have 1 or 2 of them and they should include shower stalls). This is again not in the old town and is somewhat of a longish walk to parts of it, but is close to the history museum and the very top portion of the old town. It does have some nice Alp views from some of its rooms. It also has an indoor pool if that is any consideration.

The Flurohof is very charming, and I believe it has some ground floor rooms, but as with the Sofitel, it may be just a bit outside the best location. While it is perfect for the Kunsthaus museum and some of the higher portions of the old town, it otherwise involves either taking a tram or walking up a pretty good hill to get to or from the hotel. But take a look at http://www.florhof.ch

While your parents could take cabs to restaurants and hotels, note that cabs even for short distances in Zurich are just ridiculously expensive, about US$12 for a ride of under 5 minutes. Also much of the old town is car-free, so a cab could not take them on any kind of "tour" of Zurich, as the best and most scenic bits must be walked, a cab could only take them from point to point. In May, however, ferries are running so they can plan on taking some nice ferry rides along the lake to get some good views of the Alps and the local towns.

For Rome I see you have been given some good recoos, I would also recommend the Via Veneto area and in that area, either the Westin or the Marriott Grand Flora. Both are "full service" hotels with concierges to provide assistance, a number of on-site restaurants and should have rooms with shower stalls. This area has lots of restaurants for the evening and lunches and some shopping as well, and is near the Borghese gardens. Rome is so spread out that if you are near one thing you are not going to be walkable to another, so IMO it's hard to find a really perfect location, but as they seem to not be able to walk distances it may not be that big an issue. The Marriott has a lovely, lovely view from their rooftop of all the hills of Rome. There is a short flight of stairs at the entrance to the Marriott but I beleive there is a side entrance by which yuo can avoid the stairs, it's to the left of the main entrance.

I see for Madrid the Westin has already been recommend to you, which would have been my recco, and someone has also mentioned that there are stairs in the lobby which hopefully should not be a problem for your parents. I do believe that most of their bathrooms are "four fixture" which means that there is a separate shower stall and a bathtub, but do make sure to ask for a room of this type (or ask about handicapped rooms as Westin is a US chain). The Ritz would be another good choice, but this may be above the budget. Both are very well-located for the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums which are mere blocks away. There is also a hop-on-hop off bus of Madrid that hopefully they will be able to use that will give them an opportunity to see most of the other neighbourhoods of the city.

I am not coming up with anything on Vienna, but I see you have some reccos.
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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Cicerone, how kind of you to write with so much good information. My papa is 87 and can only walk with the aid of a walker, 80 year old step mom is quite spry! A few stairs here and there he can manage, but, for instance, I wouldn't want him to have to walk up and down a stair or two just to get to his bathroom in his room. His ability to get around has declined, but his desire to keep on traveling continues. 30 years of traveling to Europe, and he just doesn't want to stop. Price really isn't much of an issue, he just wants to see what he can see, and if he can't go see it, he just wants to be in the vicinity to smell, taste, and look at all that is around him. I'll review all the kind suggestions you have made, and I'll be back I'm sure with other questions. warmly, annie
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