Swish Swiss

With its hip bars, eateries and performing-arts spaces populating former industrial buildings, Zurich West is a neighbourhood on the up. Funky artisan stores and social projects occupy the arches of a former railway viaduct, with a bike path and walkway above leading to the city centre.

The design-led 25hours Hotel Zurich West, pictured, is the most noteworthy hotel arrival, from the fast-growing European group, which has properties in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Vienna. Beyond the simple exterior you'll find vibrant, quirky interiors by designer Alfredo Haberli, who's created every detail, from the eye-catching lobby, with its winged armchairs and light installations, to the carpets, laser-cut curtains and loo-paper holders.

Guest rooms in silver, gold and platinum categories (the latter with their own terrace and mountain views) are compact but uber comfy, with iPod docks, universal adapters, iPads for loan and windows that open - standard for all 25hours properties - for access to crisp, almost-at-the-mountains air.

Take a sauna with a rose-tinted view, explore the neighbourhood on a borrowed bike, or grab the keys to the hotel's Mini Cooper, exclusively for guest use. Freitag bags, made in Zurich from recycled truck materials, and covetable touring bikes are some of the items for sale in the lobby shop; by night the space morphs into a bar and restaurant with a DJ, 23 varieties of gin, and Middle East-inspired dishes from Austrian-Israeli chef Haya Molcho. Doubles from €160 ($222) . See 25hours-hotels.com/zuerich.