Just 1 hour from Zurich, let’s escape to Basel for a cultural getaway. Some paths are meant to be crossed and it was an honor to stay in the special «big blue hotel» as old as the Basel Bahnhof with a Swiss legend that simply must be shared.
Built in 1865 and renovated in 2008, the iconic Hotel Euler has welcomed European royalty, international actors, singers and orchestras. Just steps outside the Basel train station, the famous blue building has an inviting terrace – popular amongst the commuter, lunch and after-work crowd.
Coming from a hospitality background, it was an absolute pleasure to personally connect with the inspirational history of Manz Privacy Hotels. While staying at the Hotel Euler, the second property added to the collection, the General Manager generously suggested we read these two books. Turning the pages of the Ljuba Manz biography, Reaching for the Stars, was heart warming, tear wrenching and sparkling with tales of famous escapades. Once a poor girl who never had a bed of her own to sleep in, Ljuba Gruber attended business school in Basel and rose to fame as an innovative woman dominating the male-centric industry of seafood wholesale suppliers. She won over the accounts from top chefs and was fixed on winning over the account of Caspar E. Manz, the well-respected hotelier with a seafood restaurant in Zurich.
Not only did she win his account…she captured his heart over an oyster platter at Zurich’s finest seafood restaurant at the time, the Hummerbar (Lobster Bar) located within the St. Gotthard. The widower was spellbound over a charming story you simply need to read yourself (beginning on page 50 of the book).
In short, Caspar could not imagine living life without the charming Ljuba by his side, so he asked her to marry him. Meanwhile, she continued to grow her business into the millions, but she never forgot an episode when she was mistreated by a highly-acclaimed chef at the five-star hotel Euler who said he would agree to enter into a business agreement with her under “certain” circumstances. A true lady, she politely declined and vowed to purchase the hotel when she ever had the money. Many years later, as Caspar’s wife, she was gleefully delighted when the Hotel Euler was facing financial misfortune, so it was swiftly purchased by the Manz family in 1981, soon giving birth to Manz Privacy Hotels. Today, the group is owns the Hotel St. Gotthard Zurich, Hotel Euler Basel, Hotel City Inn Basel, Hotel Continental Lausanne and the Hotel De la Paix in Geneva, now crowned a Ritz-Carlton.
We unofficially named Basel the Cultural Capital of Switzerland! From Museum Tinguely to Fondation Beyeler and the Vitra Design House (bring your passports as it’s just across the German border), there is so much to discover…not to mention the hundreds of independent art installations and pop-ups scattered all throughout the city. The Hotel Euler is just a short walk to the Basel Zoo and Basler Münster, and just steps away from transportation that will take you to all the cultural highlights the city has to offer.
If you have ever exited the Basel Bahnhof station, you have definitely walked by the famous Euler Terrace and next time you are in Basel we invite you to stop for a refreshing drink, elegant lunch that will ensure you will be in and out in under 45 minutes, or a colorful antipasti while watching the “Dräämli” (trams) go by as part of the hushed bustle of the city.
While there, it was a wonderful place to sit and work on the computer mid-afternoon while enjoying a Mövenpick eiscafé, particularly since there were convenient charging outlets located along the wall. When it was time for dinner, enjoying the chef’s famous beefsteak tartare on the terrace was complimented by a well procured wine list…and the next morning, breakfast on the terrace was an invigorating way to start the day.
For those looking for a restful overnight experience in an iconic property, the 66 guest rooms are spacious, classically appointed and comfortable. A few highlights include a well-appointed bathroom with a refreshing rain shower, air conditioning and in-room coffee…as well as inviting treats for your 4-legged family members! The junior-suite is recommended upon booking and very well priced for an overnight or weekend getaway from Zurich.
Caspar Manz was definitely the hotel king of Switzerland, and his legacy lives on in each of his properties. For an exquisite meal at a surprisingly convenient address, Caspar’s restaurant is home to a chef with heart and soul poured into every meal. The gastronomy offered is beyond expectations and if, for some reason, you are unable to stay overnight at the property…please plan to have a very enjoyable meal on the terrace or within the restaurant after your cultural explorations. The property is also a wonderful address to host a company meeting or elegant birthday party. Have a look at their decorative banquet rooms adorned with a private art collection.
Wishing you the opportunity to experience the Hotel Euler like a queen!
The overnight accommodation was graciously provided by Swiss Hospitality Collection and Hotel Euler Basel allowing us to highlight the wonderful advantages the city of Basel has for Zurich residents to visit overnight for a cultural getaway just one hour from Zurich.
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