When we booked two European river cruises back-to-back, it meant we would have one night in Basel[end], Switzerland, after disembarking the first cruise and before boarding our second cruise. After some research, we decided on Hotel Basel as our post-/pre-cruise hotel. Hotel Basel is located in the Oldtown, near the Marketplatz and is in an[end] excellent location for shopping, restaurants, and sightseeing. We arrived in Basel by train from Nuremberg and had a couple of options for getting from the train station to the hotel. The first choice was to hire a taxi (approx. 20 - 25 Swiss Franc (about the same $US). The other choice was the local tram, which is free if you have a hotel reservation. We decided to save the money and try the tram.
The hotel had previously emailed me instructions on which tram to take to get to the hotel. Basically, tram 8 or 11 will take you to Marketplatz, and the stop is within a couple of blocks of Hotel Basel. The trams are located just outside the train station (Basel SBB). Getting our luggage on the crowded tram was no easy task, but easier than getting off the tram at Marketplatz, which was packed with tourists lining up for the city's Christmas markets. Also, this was Saturday evening, which is even busier than normal. Nevertheless, we shoehorned our luggage through the crowd and found a local restaurant, where the host gladly showed me how to find Hotel Basel.
It was not hard to see the hotel from a distance with all the Christmas decorations on the outside. When we arrived, Receptionist, Michele, greeted us and checked us in. Our reservation included complimentary breakfast the next morning and we received vouchers for a free drink in the bar! We also received Mobility Tickets which allow for free use of the local trams or buses during our stay. Very nice.
After completing our check-in, we dropped our luggage off in our Classic Double room (107) before heading out on our own to explore Basel on foot. However, before we left the hotel, we stopped off at Sperber Bar for our free drink. We found a couple of empty stools in the crowded bar. It is Saturday evening and the place is buzzing with activity, a good sign. We gave the bartender our drink coupons and she happily poured two glasses of Proseco. Sperber Bar is a 60-seat restaurant/bar serving seasonal cuisine in a casual environment. The Brasserie Steiger is a bit dressier, upscale restaurant just off the lobby of the hotel. The Boulevard Terrace is a 100-seat venue with al fresco dining.
After enjoying our Proseco, we walked about three blocks from the hotel to the Basel Christmas market. The hotel is perfectly situated for exploring Basel on foot. The Christmas market here is one of the nicest we have seen during our European Christmas Market tour. The vendors offer a larger variety of products and food items than we have seen so far. On a Saturday night, the crowds can get quite large, but everyone is having a good time. If you plan to visit Basel during the Christmas market, Hotel Basel is an excellent choice.
We returned to Hotel Basel for a good night's sleep. The Classic Double room is a comfortable size for two people. All rooms are non-smoking, which is good. Every room has a safe, a flatscreen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a makeup mirror, an umbrella and something you don't often find, a free mini-bar! We found the hotel to be reasonably quiet with only a little outside noise from the street below occasionally sneaking in. The bed and pillows were comfortable and the desk was very usable. The only thing we wished for was a folding luggage stand to put our luggage on.
The next morning, I enjoyed the complimentary breakfast which is held on floor -1. The buffet breakfast was well stocked with anything you could possibly want and the waitress was very good about keeping my coffee refilled.
When we checked out of Hotel Basel we both agreed that it offers everything a traveler visiting Basel could possibly want: a comfortable room, a great location, and a friendly staff. We will definitely return to Hotel Basel on our next overnight visit to this dynamic city.
For more information on Hotel Basel, click here.