Our most recent European river cruise assignment has us embarking our riverboat in Basel, Switzerland. When we started researching hotels in Basel, we wanted a 4-star premium property within walking distance of the Old Town. What we found was the Swissôtel Le Plaza.
Even though not located in the heart of Old Town Basel, Swissôtel is less than a 10-minute walk from the Middle Bridge (the oldest bridge to span the Rhine River), and once you cross the Middle Bridge, you are in Old Town. We arrived at Swissôtel just before noon and were greeted by the hotel's concierge. Yes, Swissôtel Le Plaza has a concierge, something we don't always find at a 4-star property. Our luggage was removed from our hired minivan, loaded on a cart and taken to the lobby to await our check-in.
Swissôtel Le Plaza, Basel
To our surprise, our room was ready for us. A piece of luggage that we had shipped to the hotel from the USA had already been delivered to the room, a junior suite on the 6th floor. After a rapid and efficient check-in, we were on our way to our room. The junior suite was quite a bit larger than we were expecting, with a separate living room and bedroom.
In addition to being nicely furnished, the Junior Suite had two flat-screen televisions with lots of program choices. A cabinet in the living room revealed an iPad/iPhone docking sound system. A mini-bar with fridge is outfitted with an espresso machine, wine and water glassware. There is a large desk across from the king-sized bed which made for a nice workstation for my laptop and guests enjoy complimentary WiFi Internet throughout the hotel. There is an optional, higher-speed Internet available, but I found the complimentary WiFi to be sufficient. The bathroom was nicely outfitted with Purovel™ amenities of the same name as the hotel's spa. We found the products to be very high-quality.
There was plenty of closet space and storage throughout the room. The bed and bedding were very comfortable. We also had the opportunity to see one of the Classic rooms. Though smaller than the Junior Suite, the Classic Room is still quite roomy and comfortable.
As for dining options, we had lunch at Grill 25 located in the hotel lobby. Grill 25 offers a buffet breakfast each morning and an expansive salad bar for lunch along with an a' la carte menu. It was recommended that we try the "25" Signature Burger and claims were made that it was the best burger in Basel. At a price of 29.00 CHF (a little more than $29 US), it had better be! This was our first introduction to Switzerland prices. They are the highest is Europe! Nevertheless, the burger was definitely tasty, and probably big enough for two people to share.
Lunch menu at Grill 25
After lunch, we were ready for a short nap before heading out to explore Old Town Basel. Somewhat rested after a two-hour nap, we were told by the concierge to just walk out the front door, turn left at the corner and keep walking until we reached Middle Bridge. We took our time, checking out some shops along the way. The walk only took 10 minutes and was quite enjoyable. Of course, the Basel trams stop right across the street from Swissôtel, and guests benefit from a free Mobility Pass which lets you ride on the Basel trams for free! So, if you are not in the mood to walk to Old Town (or anywhere else in Basel), take the tram. The trams in Basel are very clean, safe and efficient.
Trams stop right across from the hotel
The location of Swissôtel Basel, great accommodations, proximity to Old Town, and top-notch service, make this hotel an excellent choice for anyone embarking or disembarking a river cruise in Basel. Basel is quite an interesting city with some great sights, so plan to spend at least a couple of days here at the beginning or end of your river cruise. And, consider a stay at Swissôtel Le Plaza. We highly recommend it!
For more information:
Swissotel Le Plaza
Messeplatz 25 ? 4005 Basel ? Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 555 3333 ? Fax: +41 61 555 3970 ? firstname.lastname@example.org