Tag: switzerland

Dorint Airport-Hotel Zürich

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My friends and I recently spent a night at the Dorint Airport-Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. It was an overall pleasant experience and I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a place to stay near the airport.

For the past week, I found myself traveling through Germany, Switzerland, Greece, and Russia.  Our flight home had a long layover in Zurich, Switzerland, so we decided to get a hotel for the night.  We were shocked at the insane prices.  This was the cheapest option at $325 USD per night.

We later found out from a cab driver that hotels in Zurich charge not by the room size like in most of the world, but per bed.  Since there were 3 of us, we could never find a thing for less than $300/night.  $100/bed (person).

This hotel was literally 90 seconds by cab from the airport.  However, the 90 second cab ride will cost you $26 USD.  The route is not walkable.  Cabs are required.

We walked into the Dorint Airport-Hotel Zürich and were instantly satisfied with our choice.  You could tell that this was a higher end establishment, and overall, well worth the $325 for one night.

The man working the front desk greeted us with a smile, and made check-in a quick and easy process.  He also gave us slips with logins for the free Wi-Fi…. ANYWHERE!  We had spent the past week paying obnoxious amounts of money for terrible quality Wi-Fi in our hotel lobby.  It was nice to get it anywhere for free.  In the room, bar, outside, anywhere.

We decided to head up to our room, and were pleasantly surprised.  This was one of the nicest hotel rooms I have ever seen in my travels around the world.  Since there were three of us, we had 2 rooms in one.  There was the big room with a king sized bed, and then a small room to the side with a roll away bed.  Since my flight departed very early in the morning, i took the roll away bed in the small room.

The bathroom was spotless and sparkling clean.  The shower was also very enjoyable.  The shower head was almost a feeling of being in a warm rain shower. It was cool.

We decided to head down to the hotel bar and enjoy a beer after the long frustrating day we had just had.  I was hungry and wanted to eat, but there was nothing around the hotel within walking distance.  The hotel bar offered a tiny ‘limited menu’.  These were basically peanuts, cheeses, and a microwaved pasta plate.  I opted for the pasta plate, as it was better than nothing.  I honestly don’t think I have ever spent $28 on re-heated noodles before in my life.  Either way, it was pretty darn good.

After my friends grabbed another beer, the bartender began cleaning up for the night.  We decided to go outside and sit on the couches.  We enjoyed the cool Swiss air for a while, and headed back inside to go to bed.

The next morning when I left to head back to the airport, a cab arrived within 2 minutes.  This time, the ride to the airport took almost twice as long.  3 whole minutes.  However, it was another $26 charge…

Overall, this hotel is great if you are looking for a place to stay near Zurich Airport (ZRH).  Be prepared to spend a lot of money, as Zurich is the most expensive city in the world.

Flight Review: Edelweiss – Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH) to Kos, Greece (KGS)

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Airline:  Edelweiss (WK 356)

Date:  Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Departure City:  Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)

Departure Time: 6:35 AM

Arrival City: Kos, Greece (KGS)

Arrival Time:  10:17 AM

Aircraft:  Airbus A-321

This flight was the fourth leg of a multi flight trip to Europe with my two friends named Matt.  Today’s flight would take us from Zurich, Switzerland, to Kos, Greece.  The purpose of this trip for my friends was to attend a wedding, but my trip had another purpose.  I wanted to visit my lovely fiancee (Olga) in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  I would later attend the wedding in Kos, but first, had to arrive in Greece, and then take another flight to Russia.  You can read about that in the next article.

We arrived at Zurich International Airport very early in the morning to check in for our flight.  I had spent a very frustrating 3 hours on the phone (international long distance) trying to sort out our flight arrangements for this day.  What happened was, back in Pittsburgh, our initial flight to Newark was delayed.  This in turn meant we would miss our connection to Zurich.  Once the agent had re-booked our flights, she forgot to re-confirm the segment on Edelweiss to Kos.  Therefore, it canceled out not only this segment, but the rest of the trip!  Long story short, I was able to get us back on this flight.  Whew!

My friends and I were very impressed with Edelweiss and the service they provided.  The seats were nice and spacious, and the in-flight map was a much needed tool to keep track of our progress.

Upon boarding the aircraft, I located my seat (14C), which was another aisle seat next to my friends.

We pushed back and took off on time.  Everything was going as planned!

Once airborne, the flight attendants served drinks, followed by a meal
service.  Our flight time today was about 2.5 hours.  The meal was actually pretty delicious!  We all enjoyed it.

To pass the time, we played cards and watched the plane move along down the Adriatic Coast, and then turn towards Kos.

Once we had landed in Kos, our flight parked at a remote stand at the airport.  Kos is a tiny airport, but very busy with flights from around Europe.  There are no jetways, and all passengers are bused to and from the terminal.

After deplaning onto a bus, and into the terminal, we had to figure out which of the three conveyor belts would contain our baggage.  There were no visible signs, so it was anyone’s guess.  Luckily, I needed to find a bathroom, which led me to a sign, far away, that said “Switzerland Flights” with an arrow.  I found my bag, and then shared this with my friends.

As we walked outside of the airport, we met an awesome taxi driver named Tony.  He would become our driver, and a sort of friend to me for the remainder of the trip.

Welcome to Greece!

Pros: 

  • Clean and spacious seats
  • On time departure / arrival
  • Meal service was very enjoyable
  • Semi-organized boarding process

Cons:

  • Lack of in-flight entertainment

Flight Review: Lufthansa – Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) to Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)

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Airline:  Lufthansa (Flight 1190)

Date:  Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Departure City:  Frankfurt Main Airport (FRA), Germany

Departure Time: 1:05 PM

Arrival City: Zurich (ZRH), Switzerland

Arrival Time:  2:00 PM

Aircraft:  Boeing 737-300

This very brief flight on Lufthansa would take us from Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) to Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH).  Prior to this flight, my friends and I were traveling on United Airlines Flight 932 – Washington Dulles (IAD) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA).  After landing, we rush through security as fast as we could, but the lines were terrible.  We were fortunate to make it to the gate just in time for boarding to begin.  We literally had to run from one end of Frankfurt to the exact opposite.

Once at the gate, my one buddy named Matt needed to pick up his boarding pass, as they were not able to generate it for us in Pittsburgh.  The gate agent told us that they were not sure if he could take this flight.  Our hearts fell.  We had to make this connection.

Luckily, the gate agent was able to get Matt on, and away we went!

I found my seat in the aisle (22C) and quickly sat down.  Push back was on time as well as our departure.

Due to the short duration of the flight, only water was served to passengers.

Upon arriving in Zurich, Switzerland, we could breathe a sigh of relief.  We had arrived at our main stopping point.  It was 2pm, and our flight the next day departed at 5:55am.  We had roughly 16 hours to kill in Zurich.  What to do?