Design and architecture enthusiasts should make sure Basel is top of their list of places to visit in 2022. With renowned architectural firm, Herzog and de Meuron headquartered in Basel, you wouldn’t expect anything less than a city populated with imaginative modern structures intertwined with historic sites. And of course, they famously designed the Tate Modern as well as the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. The centrally located Nomad is the ideal launching pad for you to explore the embarrassment of riches the city has to offer.
The hotel embraces design and urban culture with effortless ease. As soon as you walk into reception, you feel more like walking into a close friend’s living space, with home-made iced tea being offered straight away. Trendy design pieces are dotted throughout the room which you can purchase, but it’s arranged in an incredibly homely manner. A bright red SMEG fridge with a sign above declaring ‘honesty bar’ encapsulates their chilled vibes.
It might be a boutique hotel, but they have some rare gems that you will not discover even at the finest of hotels, including a contemporary sauna area with a relaxation zone and a state-of-the-art gym section. They’ve also smartly launched leisure as well as work packages, to target a wider demographic, and to help you explore the city, they offer complimentary bicycles for you to use.
We stayed in their urban club room and immediately you appreciate how well-thought-out the design is. The lavatory is on the opposite side to the shower and washbasin and they offer luxury L’Occitane care products in a bathroom with a rain shower. The king-size bed is one of the most cloud-like structures you will ever encounter, while there is a pillow and blanket menu to guarantee a perfect night’s sleep.
Coffee, tea, water, and fruits are available on each floor and it’s a great idea to put them in the communal hallway, which is a great way to encourage people to speak with each other.
Food and drink
The hotel’s eatery is one of the coolest hangout spots in town. They have after-work DJs Thursdays and Fridays from 6pm and offer an innovative menu with food and cocktail pairings, and their Sunday brunch includes live music performances.
Once you get over the disappointment of not having hot savoury food for breakfast, you do appreciate the quality of their cold buffet offering. Smoked salmon was suitably fatty and oil-rich, the charcuterie board had a mouth-watering selection of local meat options. We also sampled their extensive drinks menu including local Swiss gin.
There is a multitude of choices if you want to dine at restaurants nearby. The proximity of Basel to France and Germany results in it being one of the most multicultural cities in Switzerland. You can find a funky kaiten sushi restaurant (conveyor belt serving fresh sushi) within a short walking distance away or head to Markthalle where you can find exotic cuisine ranging from Kurdish to Abyssinian
For more European fare, you can visit Volkshaus, where you can sample modern Swiss cuisine and enjoy the likes of giant Swiss prawns. With the influence of their French neighbours, the citizens of Basel are far keener on seafood dishes than citizens of other Swiss cities. And you can sample the best Italian food in town by visiting restaurant Fiorentina overlooking the Rhine next to the iconic Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois.
Museums are undoubtedly a real highlight of Basel with around 40 dotted throughout the city. The two must-visit museums are Kunstmuseum Basel and Foundation Beyeler, which held blockbuster exhibitions in the form of a retrospective on Pissarro and Goya recently. The latter is the most visited museum in Switzerland despite only opening around 25 years ago, and is privately funded.
For something off the beaten track and if you are visiting during the colder months, do try Sauna am Rhy. It’s a sauna and reflective pop-up experience situated on the Rhine river, where you can enjoy the comforting warmth of a traditional Swiss sauna and then awaken yourself in the refreshing Rhine river. There are no prudish attitudes in Basel, so, naturally, both experiences are enjoyed naked.
In a nutshell
Whether you want a cultural city break, a gastronomic escape, a shopping weekend trip, Basel has it all. And Nomad Design and Lifestyle Hotel offers the ideal launching pad for you to explore the city.