Review: SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Review: SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH)

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NAME: SWISS Alpine Lounge
Airport: ZRH
DATE: June 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: The SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich has nice decor, lots of natural light, and a solid food & drink selection. Best of all, it's generally less crowded than other lounges at the airport.
25

After a lovely night at the Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport, it was time to fly SWISS A220 business class from Zurich to Sylt. While I won’t be reviewing the flight (since I’ve recently reviewed both SWISS’ A220 business class and SWISS’ A320 business class), I did want to review the SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH), which is one of SWISS’ newest lounges at its biggest hub.

This is a pretty impressive lounge with cool design, and it seems to get less crowded than other lounges at the airport.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich (ZRH) location & hours

The SWISS Alpine Lounge is located in Zurich Airport Terminal 1 Concourse A. We actually intended to visit the SWISS Senator & Business Lounges, but at the entrance we were informed the lounges were crowded, and it was recommend we instead check out the SWISS Alpine Lounge, so that’s exactly what we did.

Indeed, this lounge is much quieter than the other ones at the airport. That probably largely comes down to how hard it is to find. If you’re in the main stretch of the terminal between Concourse A & B, walk in the direction of Concourse A.

Zurich Airport (ZRH) terminal
Zurich Airport (ZRH) terminal

Pass the SWISS Senator & Business Lounge, and at the end of the concourse you’ll see an escalator on the right that leads down a level. Take that, and then you’ll see the transfer desks.

Zurich Airport (ZRH) transfer desks

When you’re facing the transfer desks, look to the left, and you should see a staircase leading up to the SWISS Alpine Lounge.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) entrance

The staircase has some monitors as you walk up, showing beautiful scenery of Switzerland.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) staircase

Seriously, it takes some effort to find this lounge, but you’ll be rewarded with a space that’s much quieter than the other lounges in the terminal.

The SWISS Alpine Lounge is currently open daily from 6AM until 6PM.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich (ZRH) entry requirements

The SWISS Alpine Lounge has unique entry requirements:

  • It’s open to business class passengers on Lufthansa Group airlines; that includes SWISS, Lufthansa, Austrian, and Brussels Airlines
  • It’s open to Star Alliance Gold members

As you can see, this isn’t your standard Star Alliance business class lounge, since non-Lufthansa Group Star Alliance business class passengers can’t access this lounge (unlike the main SWISS Business Lounge at the airport). In other words, you couldn’t use this lounge if flying Air Canada, TAP Air Portugal, United, etc.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich (ZRH) seating & layout

The SWISS Alpine Lounge is 500 square meters (~5,400 square feet) and has seating for 96 people. So it’s by no means a big lounge, but as mentioned above, it doesn’t tend to get too busy due to its hidden location and the lack of signage leading to it.

There are two main parts to the SWISS Alpine Lounge, and both have design that’s supposed to draw inspiration from the region. Inside and to the left is the dining area, which consists of a few large communal tables, plus half a dozen booths that overlook the tarmac.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating

We snagged a booth with two seats by the window, and found that to be a cozy place to hang out, especially with easy access to outlets.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating

The other side of the lounge had seating designed for relaxing, with more of a traditional lounge layout. There were a variety of seats in rows facing one another, a few tables, some nooks, and even some couches.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating

In the back section of this portion of the lounge were several more tables that could each seat two people, with stools and benches.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) seating

There were also three private workstations with doors, though I can’t say the stools were particularly comfortable for sitting. For that matter, much of the furniture in the lounge could’ve had a bit more padding.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) workstation

Overall I liked the design of the lounge. On the one hand all of the light wood made the lounge feel a bit sterile, but I appreciated the splashes of color, wall accents, etc., which gave the lounge personality.

I should mention that the lounge doesn’t seem to have air conditioning. That’s not going to be an issue most of the year, but it was definitely on the warm side during our visit, and there were fans throughout the lounge that at least helped with airflow.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) fans

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich (ZRH) food & drinks

The SWISS Alpine Lounge had a pretty good food and drink selection. The main buffet was in the dining area.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet

The buffet consisted of fresh fruit, endless containers with cereal, snack mix, and candy, some salads, a couple of soups, and a variety of bread.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet

There was a coffee machine, and I was impressed by just how many drink choices there were. I couldn’t help but try to make an iced macchiato, since I hadn’t seen that option before from a machine like this. I’d say it was more like a lukewarm macchiato (there wasn’t really room to add ice cubes, as you can see), but it was still quite good.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) coffee machine

There was a separate buffet with drinks, including self serve beer, wine, soft drinks, juice, water, and more.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet

There was also a live cooking station, which is a great concept. The annoying thing is that there was a single thing available there, which was an eggplant casserole with ham and basil. You’d think they could at least have some sort of a vegetarian option as well.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) cooking station
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) cooking station

The other side of the lounge also had a drink station with a coffee machine and some water.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) buffet

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich (ZRH) bathrooms

The SWISS Alpine Lounge had a pretty basic bathroom setup. The bathrooms were clean but small, but that wasn’t an issue based on how empty the lounge was when I visited. The Alpine Lounge doesn’t have showers, so if you want a shower you’ll have to visit one of the other lounges.

SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) bathroom
SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich Airport (ZRH) bathroom

Bottom line

I had been curious to check out the SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich ever since it opened, and it didn’t disappoint. The lounge has nice decor, lots of natural light, and a solid food & drink selection (especially compared to other SWISS lounges). Best of all, it’s my understanding that this is generally the least crowded SWISS lounge at the airport, which makes it all the better.

I’d definitely check out this lounge if you’re flying SWISS in a premium cabin and have time to spare at Zurich Airprot.

If you’ve visited the SWISS Alpine Lounge Zurich, what was your experience like?

Conversations (25)
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  1. Malcolm Guest

    Alpine is my favourite Zürich lounge and is located where the old first class A lounge was. I actually had access to the new first class A lounge, which is connected to the Alpine by a corridor that runs behind the business/Senator lounges past the transfer service. After I took a shower I went into the Alpine lounge as it was less crowded than first A, and the large sofas are very comfortable for crashing...

    Alpine is my favourite Zürich lounge and is located where the old first class A lounge was. I actually had access to the new first class A lounge, which is connected to the Alpine by a corridor that runs behind the business/Senator lounges past the transfer service. After I took a shower I went into the Alpine lounge as it was less crowded than first A, and the large sofas are very comfortable for crashing out on. I wasn't very impressed with the First Class A lounge, it doesn't feel much better than Senator. E first is much nicer and less crowded

  2. Nora Guest

    It was closed when we flew out at the end of May

  3. Jan ZRH Guest

    Hi Ben

    I'd be happy to tell you briefly why the lounging seems so "hidden".
    This lounge was the old SWISS first class lounge before the renovation.
    Today, the first class security leads via escalator directly into the lounge from Checkin 1.
    Previously, however, the first class security was separate and directly in the "transfer" area. So it was easy to find, as First Class and Hon Circle passengers came from the...

    Hi Ben

    I'd be happy to tell you briefly why the lounging seems so "hidden".
    This lounge was the old SWISS first class lounge before the renovation.
    Today, the first class security leads via escalator directly into the lounge from Checkin 1.
    Previously, however, the first class security was separate and directly in the "transfer" area. So it was easy to find, as First Class and Hon Circle passengers came from the former security straight through the transfer hall into the lounges.

    So hard to find, but good of Swiss that the lounge was not simply closed, but added as a more exclusive offer to the crowded Business / Senators lounges.

  4. Alain Guest

    This is the space where the old First Class lounge used to be.
    It is indeed a good option when the main lounge is crowded.

  5. Phil Guest

    Is this in the location the old Swiss F lounge was between A&B gates?

  6. Super Member

    The picture with the eggplant casserole menu... looks like if you're Italian you can get yours with potato instead of ham and basil?

    Also - seems very shortsighted to not build a new lounge with central air. Europe needs to get used to the fact that summers are hitting new highs every year and central AC is needed.

    1. Andy Diamond

      @Super: I'm pretty sure the building is equipped with central AC and so is the lounge. But I agree, it's always very hot in there, even in winter. One possible explanation is the large oven, they use to prepare the hot food. However, it's not much cooler further away from the oven ... So I really wonder what is wrong with the AC.

  7. Kent Guest

    Walked by the lounge over a dozen times and just thought it was a smoking area or some additional terminal seating. Who knew?

  8. Kevin Sanft Guest

    I just love the Jean Prouvé furniture in the lounges! Such high quality which is of course Swiss made.

  9. Michael Guest

    Good day,
    Since I manage that Lounge, I would like to clarify the access policy. It is NOT correct that star business class has access to it. Entry requirements are same as Star Gold Lounge and LHG Business class. BR

  10. Doug DeNunzio Guest

    A beautiful lounge would love to go there!

  11. Pk Guest

    I was here in March when the weather outside was cold and it was BOILING in the lounge. Great design but man they need a/c or just to not crank the heat

  12. Creditcrunch Diamond

    This space was the old F lounge, I always wondered if they would make this a dedicated F lounge following it’s refurbishment.

  13. Leigh Gold

    Gorgeous aesthetic!! But I can see how the seating may not be the most comfortable.

    Also, sorry for not knowing ZRH airport well, but is this lounge accessible only for Schengen area flights?

  14. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Please tell me if I have this right: You take an escalator down to access the stairs going up?

    1. Matt B Guest

      I guess the Swiss get used to going down 1 mountain and up the next they wanted to give you that experience in the airport....

  15. Cedric Guest

    The old F lounge used to be in that space.

  16. OneAlphaTwo Guest

    Hi Ben! Been a loyal reader for many years now, but finally posting. Question regarding this (and other Swiss) lounge entry requirements at ZRH. You stated up top that all Star Alliance J pax have access, however Swiss' website seems to imply it's only "Lufthansa Group" J customers or Star Alliance Gold. Which lounge(s) can I use if I'm flying United J back to the States?

    Also like to say, your posts have helped...

    Hi Ben! Been a loyal reader for many years now, but finally posting. Question regarding this (and other Swiss) lounge entry requirements at ZRH. You stated up top that all Star Alliance J pax have access, however Swiss' website seems to imply it's only "Lufthansa Group" J customers or Star Alliance Gold. Which lounge(s) can I use if I'm flying United J back to the States?

    Also like to say, your posts have helped me plan countless amazing vacations over the years including my wedding and honeymoon so thanks! Keep up the great work.

    1. Jesper Guest

      It is defined as a Star Alliance Gold lounge, so if not flying Lufthansa Group, you would indeed need to be Star Alliance Gold.

    2. OneAlphaTwo New Member

      @Jesper: Thanks for the clarification.

      @Ben: Thanks for updating the article.

    3. Andy Diamond

      That's correct - except if you are flying TP, you can also use the Aspire lounge, at least at the moment. TP contracted them, when Swiss was keeping their lounges closed for a much longer period than the Aspire lounge.

  17. Chacoun Guest

    I've passed this entrance maybe 50 times and always thought it was some special place for skiers to...I'm not sure...check on their skis? Something Swiss that I don't understand? Anyway I'm clearly a fool but I now look forward to checking it out soon! The Senator Lounge is indeed always overcrowded.

  18. betterbub Member

    No/not enough air conditioning necessitating the use of fans is a little rough

  19. Bgriff Guest

    I have to say, the furniture looks stylish in a modern Nordic kind of way but it sure doesn't look very comfortable. Maybe that will be the next thing that overcrowded US lounges try to bring demand down a little...

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

TravelinWilly Diamond

Please tell me if I have this right: You take an escalator down to access the stairs going up?

4
Michael Guest

Good day, Since I manage that Lounge, I would like to clarify the access policy. It is NOT correct that star business class has access to it. Entry requirements are same as Star Gold Lounge and LHG Business class. BR

3
OneAlphaTwo Guest

Hi Ben! Been a loyal reader for many years now, but finally posting. Question regarding this (and other Swiss) lounge entry requirements at ZRH. You stated up top that all Star Alliance J pax have access, however Swiss' website seems to imply it's only "Lufthansa Group" J customers or Star Alliance Gold. Which lounge(s) can I use if I'm flying United J back to the States? Also like to say, your posts have helped me plan countless amazing vacations over the years including my wedding and honeymoon so thanks! Keep up the great work.

3
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