The SWISS First Class Lounge in E-Gate area at ZRH is beautiful. Truly beautiful.
It is also well-guarded. When we presented ourselves for admission holding only a business class boarding pass to Rome and coming from Frankfurt, we were met with initial skepticism. But upon checking our full itinerary (our trip began in Los Angeles and we connected directly to Zurich, and finally Rome) we were granted admission.
Did I deliberately route through Zurich rather than fly Frankfurt to Rome nonstop?
It gave me the chance to fly the CS100 and access this lounge.
The lounge is stunning…it’s exactly my style. As you enter you’ll see rich wood in two tones, fresh cut flowers, and plenty of natural light. Champagne is on ice and a display case showcases hundreds of bottles of wine. There is not any clutter.
SWISS First Class Lounge Day Rooms
If your stay is more than a couple hours (our stay was five hours), request a day room. There are three of them and they are like mini-hotel rooms. They cannot be reserved in advance and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
The best part about the rooms is the bedding from Hastens. I have never slept in a more comfortable bed. A mattress pad from Hastens approaches the cost of my Los Angeles mortgage, but I’m still considering it: it was amazing.
The room also features a bathroom with private shower and fully-stocked amenities, including SWISS-made toothbrushes and toothpaste. It was great to take a nap.
A placard reminds guests to be courteous and draw the drapes when occupying the room. For good reason too, as passengers sitting on the terrace outside can look directly in.
Swiss cholate and two bottles of water were also present in the room along with several universal power ports.
I’ve had sleeping rooms in other lounges (Lufthansa, Malaysia, Qatar) but this was my favorite.
SWISS First Class Lounge Terrace
When the weather is nice, you can sit on a beautiful terrace overlooking the tarmac. The wooden deck not only offers great aircraft views, but the green bushes and purple stones make for the sort of patio I’d like to emulate in my own home.
SWISS First Class Lounge Seating
The lounge is not small, but it is also not too large. I’d estimate there is seating for as much as 70-80 if every single seat (including all dining and bar tables) was occupied.
Seating is arranged in smaller alcoves of 6-8 seats, allowing privacy for groups traveling together. Newspapers and magazines are available.
SWISS First Class Lounge Dining
The dining area is beautiful, with black leather booths on the bar side and a long black leather couch with 1970’s style chairs on the other side of the table along with a row of tables looking out onto the terrace.
The glassware and cutlery is top-quality and so is the menu.
I chose the “Pure SWISS menu”, a tasting course, and could not have been happier. In fact, I’d rate it as the best meal I’ve ever had in an airport lounge.
The meal began with a small amuse-bouche of roast beef sprinkled with olive oil.
My first course was smoked char: blini, caviar, sour cream, and herb salad with lime vinaigrette.
Next came an amazing clear tomato soup with goat cream cheese ravioli and basil. It was poured tableside and delicious.
A cantaloupe sorbet serving as a palate cleanser followed.
The main course was veal meatloaf served with chanterrelles sauce, curd spaezeli, and beans with bacon. The veal had pine nuts in it and was so, so, so good.
And dessert. Oh, it was great. A “symphony” of cherries and chocolate, including white chocolate ice cream.
Finally, a cappuccino to finish.
Hand-chosen Swiss wine was offered with each course and I once again underscore I’ve never had a better lounge meal.
SWISS does not release award space except to its own Miles & More members who hold HON or Senator status. Thus, for most the only way to visit this lounge is if you are flying or arriving same-day in Lufthansa First Class.