Logistics: flight and hotel
As you know, milesopedia community, Zurich is a destination often used by points hunters.
That’s because Swiss, a Star Alliance airline (and therefore a friend of Air Canada), allows us to fly there with little surcharge when we use our Aeroplan Miles and from there we can fly to far away places.
I enjoyed this permit stop on my way to South Africa.
I went there in business class, like many members of the Milesopedian herd, and this, as part of an MTM. Not a big MTM like the Jedi in the group are so good at, but a general practice during a vacation of about three weeks, which allowed me to go to my far away land afterwards.
In addition, I could stay with points in a Marriott “sweet spot“: in Capetown, Knysna and Johannesburg.
What a great deal.
My flight from Montreal to Zurich with Swiss
Several reviews have already been done on the services provided by Swiss in business class:
- Review of the Swiss A340 business class (Jean-Maximilien’s last review of Swiss in 2020)
- Review of the flight Swiss LX86 Zurich – Montreal (Matthieu’s review on board the B777)
- Review of the flight Swiss LX87 Montreal – Zurich (Jean-Maximilien’s first review on Swiss in 2015 on board the A333)
Here’s my take on this flight and the shows first.
To summarize: still pleasant for 150,000 Aeroplan miles and $172 in taxes, to be offered:
- a glass of champagne/water/orange juice as soon as you sit down,
- a rolled up hot water washcloth,
- a small toiletry kit signed Victorinox,
- the massage function on its seat,
- plenty of space for your feet,
- the possibility during the flight to sleep flat or at the inclination of your choice,
- excellent food and wine and then finish it all off with a local chocolate.
I took two.
Remember, we are with a Swiss company.
Arrival in Zurich
A two-day stop in Zurich where I was going to meet a friend who lives in the canton of Vaud and whom I had met during a house exchange a few years ago.
On landing, we head for the arrivals lounge. There is more than one. I chose the one near the exit, in the customs area of terminal B. Included with the business class ticket. Shower and rest on the rocking chairs. Buffet for those who want it but the lunches on the flight are good and copious.
At the exit of the airport, among the various hotel shuttles, there is one with the inscription “all hotels“. It is obviously intended for accommodations without transportation services, which was the case with the chosen “Marriott”. It was very special that there was no set rate and that I was able to negotiate with the driver for 35 CHF.
The trip takes at most 25 minutes from the airport and I was alone in the shuttle. The hotel clerk will confirm the good deal because the agreement with their own driver is more expensive.
It would also have been possible to take the train and then the streetcar for much less, which I did on the way back. I then paid with my Scotiabank Gold American Express card to avoid the conversion fee.
Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity Hotel Zurich
I chose the Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity – Zurich hotel out of the three category 4 hotel options because it was the closest to the city center. You can get there on foot or by streetcar # 13 which stops a few meters from the hotel.
25,000 points per night and a 10 CHF fee for the stay in late January. The cash price was 250 CHF per night, which was equivalent to $700 Canadian dollars for the two nights. Interesting return!
I also inherited 250 points on my Marriott Bonvoy account, having chosen not to have the room cleaned during those two days of occupancy.
It is a five-story hotel that caters mainly to business clients. We will see her spawning at the end of the day in the pretty bar of the place which is called the Lover.
The Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity – Zurich hotel is conveniently located on a pedestrian street lined with pleasant shops and leading to a shopping center.
On Fridays, there is a small market in front of the hotel between 9:00 and 13:00.
The CO-OP grocery store is located in the mall next door and we were able to go there to get what we needed for our breakfasts, which were not included with our Gold status.
However, I was able to have an early arrival at noon and a late departure at 2:00 pm thanks to this status.
The room itself met our needs: on the dedicated Marriott (formerly SPG) floor.
Two single beds and all the hotel amenities you would expect.
The bathroom consisted of a shower, with terry cloth robes.
The Nespresso coffee machine was particularly appreciated!
On the fourth floor, the meeting/conference room and on the fifth, a small gym.
A downside concerning the view from the windows of the rooms: the hotel mentions “view on the pedestrian street” or “view on the river”. We forget about it. These are views of the cement wall of the buildings along the pedestrian street or the cement pillars in the small river that support the highway.
Honestly, we didn’t mind. To visit, we left the hotel. But the information is false.
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Visits in Zurich
End of January 2020. The weather is mild and rainy. But this will only be temporary. We will walk these two days in the old town and along the river Limatt and the lake Zurich.
A short trip to the street of the rich designer stores, the Bahnhofstrasse, and a stop at the protestant Grossmünster church.
The Swiss National Museum
Located in front of the main train station for 10 CHF, we visited the Swiss national museum.
I particularly remember the little story of the origin of the country’s political neutrality, which began with the status quo of the leaders of the time regarding the wars between Protestants and Catholics.
The police station at Bahnhofquai 3
At the police station at Bahnhofquai 3, we stop to see the frescoes of Augusto Giacometti, cousin of the famous artist. It’s worth the stop.
To warm up, we will stop at several cafés to drink an ovomaltine, a malt drink prepared with milk and drunk cold or hot.
Surprised to see Swiss people of all ages ordering this beverage.
The Swiss Chuchi restaurant
Finally, a stop must be made at the famous restaurant “Swiss Chuchi” for a cheese fondue accompanied by a white wine “Fendant” from the Valais. Suggestion from my Swiss friend.
Finally, a little disappointment. While we consider our beloved American Express CobaltTM Card to be the “Swiss Army knife” of cards for the discerning points hunter, it has received less recognition than hoped for in its “mother country.
Indeed that X1 at the grocery store and X2 at the restaurant which passed under the hotel category. But X5 at the bar. Phew!
Jean-Maximilien will tell me that the restaurant was in fact dependent on the hotel and that the grocery store was badly coded. Too bad!
In short, it was an excellent two days of transition in good company, between the time zone of North America and Europe.
And a very good use of my collected points.
Thank you milesopedia.