Basel is an elegant gem of exciting contrasts, where a young and dynamic art scene exists in the shadow of world-famous museums, and historical buildings stand proudly next to modern architecture. It is a city where a cosmopolitan vigour is complemented by lively traditions.
Basel’s exceptional location straddling the River Rhine brings a peaceful energy to its people, who are among Europe’s friendliest. Many smiles greet you as you stroll through the Old Town and visit its many antique bookshops, modern designers, and prominent landmarks.
Basel also boasts an eclectic hotel circuit, with accommodations ranging from arty boutiques to five-star luxury chains. Here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Basel, Switzerland (in no particular order)…
1. ART HOUSE Basel – Member of Design Hotels – a fun and trendy boutique art hotel offering an Insta-worthy design for the creative traveller
At Art House you will encounter a tremendous insight into urban art and architecture, in the company of many modern globetrotters.
Framed by high-quality design, the hotel is an open playground for creativity, and combines its vivid street art with a sense of simple functionality, bearing the signature of renowned Swiss and Italian architects.
The 33 rooms spread out across five floors offer spacious terraces and quirky furnishings, with a Japanese touch.
As a guest you will also gain access to the rooftop bar Mirador, where a team of trained bartenders are on hand to craft you the perfect cocktail.
- To book, check prices or availability for ART HOUSE Basel – Member of Design Hotels
2. Volkshaus Basel Hotel – a cool urban-chic boutique hotel located in the city’s historic Volkshaus concert hall building
Volkshaus is in a category of its own, and emanates a quintessential boutique atmosphere. The hotel harmonizes an urban setting with a relaxed ambiance, and brings a creative flair to the vitality of Basel’s liveliest district.
The hotel conveys a big city atmosphere whilst not lacking in cosiness, especially in the tree-lined inner courtyard where you can simply kick back and cherish life’s beautiful moments.
A careful revamp of a historical building has resulted in a blissful blend of luxury and simplicity, with contemporary art setting the tone for a charming city break.
The lobby area is doubled up as a coffee house and a bistro, and is adorned with hand-laid mosaic floors, hand-blown lamps, and walls full of modern artwork.
- To book, check prices or availability for Volkshaus Basel Hotel
3. Hotel Märthof Basel – a beautiful, elegant and chic boutique hotel with beautiful views over the rooftops in the Old Town
At Hotel Märthof you will feel the diversity and ‘joie de vivre’ that make Basel such a cultural melting pot. The interior design embodies the playful blend of tradition and modernity that gives the establishment its unique charm, with pretty details from bygone eras complemented by graceful boutique fittings.
Hotel Märthof is a place to bid farewell to the daily grind and indulge in a moment of luxury, and there is no better space for this than the stunning 6th-floor roof terrace.
From here you can relish a memorable view over the colourful rooftops of Basel’s old town, and embrace an open-air ambiance over a drink in the evening.
The on-site, hip-trendy Bohemia Restaurant is a favourite amongst locals and travellers, and offers open charcoal grill dishes, generous à-la-carte brunches, and café-style delights.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Märthof Basel
4. Nomad Design & Lifestyle Hotel – a cool, hip and trendy hotel in a central location with uniquely designed guestrooms
Central yet quiet, traditional yet refreshingly modern, Nomad Design & lifestyle Hotel is embellished with a predominantly concrete interior, softened by oak fittings, turquoise furnishings, and bulging vases.
Occupying Basel’s first 1950s apartment block as well as a new purpose-built structure, the property’s heritage is beautifully contrasted by an urban atmosphere.
Sumptuous box spring beds feature in the 65 guestrooms, which are graced by luxury bathrooms and comfy seating areas.
The on-site bar attracts a lively crowd in the evenings, and offers a thoughtfully curated selection of locally brewed beer and a menu of delicious bites. The restaurant, Eatery, is a vibrant spot to enjoy cosmopolitan dishes and crafted cocktails.
- To book, check prices or availability for Nomad Design & Lifestyle Hotel
5. Essential by Dorint Basel City – a bright and funky hotel with a beautiful garden and comfy seating areas for a buzzing outdoor atmosphere
This tranquil and charming hotel is situated close to the heart of Basel’s action. This allows you to totally immerse yourself into the ambience of the Rhine City while offering the peace and serenity of a bucolic oasis.
Essential by Dorint is beautified by a lush, manicured garden peppered with colourful plants and comfy seating areas, evoking a quaint, outdoor atmosphere.
The insides however exude intimacy and cosiness, topped with a boutique flair. As you awaken to the sounds of nature and head to the in-house restaurant Côté Jardin, you can savour a rich and balanced breakfast buffet.
You can return here in the evening for local and international delicacies in the gorgeous garden.
- To book, check prices or availability for Essential by Dorint Basel City
6. Ariv Coliving – an exclusive community living concept for a chic one-of-a-kind experience
Ariv invites you to an exclusive community of travellers with its one-of-a-kind co-living concept. It is an inexpensive alternative to many of Basel’s serviced apartments, and its focus on social connection and well-being captivates you as soon as you kick back in one of the relaxation areas.
Each communal space is designed for a specific purpose, and is themed around the hotel’s core value of ‘community life’. Here, authentic Swiss values of quality, innovation, and closeness to nature are embodied perfectly, with a keen eye on sustainability.
Ariv is set in the immediate vicinity of the restaurants, boutiques, and cafés that surround the thriving Life Science hub ‘Stücki Park’.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ariv Coliving
7. Hotel Basel – Da wohnen, wo Basel lebt! – a popular, chic and modern hotel which makes a great base for exploring the city
Here we have the ultimate starting point for exploring the wonderful city of Basel. Surrounded by quaint streets sprinkled with many charming boutiques and popular restaurants, Hotel Basel offers 73 well-appointed guestrooms graced by lots of light, oak wood, and visual accents.
The result is a vibrant synthesis of urban tradition and modernity. In the corridors, lobby, and the rooms, you can gain an insight into the hotel’s storied past through vivid artwork.
Inspired by the 3-country corner of Switzerland, France, and Germany, the on-site brasserie keeps the balance between classics and new creations, based on the region’s seasonal supply.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Basel – Da wohnen, wo Basel lebt!
8. Krafft Basel – an elegant, charming and unique boutique hotel offering amazing views across the Rhine
Brimming with storybook charm, Krafft offers some of Basel’s most jaw-dropping views across the Rhine. From the creaky floorboards to the echoing hallways, there’s a mystical, fabled appeal to this unique hotel, amplified by antique grandfather clocks, gilded mirrors, and a spiral staircase.
A fresh look is however brought in by Vitra furniture and laptop stations on each floor, and the 60 neutral-toned guestrooms are modern, stylish and bright.
The elegant on-site restaurant opens onto a riverside terrace embodying a true alfresco flair, and serves seasonal menus utilizing local produce. Meanwhile, the hotel’s bar Consum offers an extensive wine list to complement its platters of cheese and cured meat.
- To book, check prices or availability for Krafft Basel
9. The Passage – Urban Retreat – a cool and contemporary hotel with a chic urban design
The Passage is a cool, somewhat edgy alternative to your typical city break bolthole, and its design is placed somewhere between Scandi chic and space age.
Its central location on the periphery of the Old Town and at the gateway to the new area means a step outside takes you onto graceful, leafy alleyways, surrounded by architectural masterpieces.
Artful fabrics and idiosyncratic lighting give the hotel a distinctive flair, while the pale oak flooring and the lattice-framed windows bring in a sense of tradition.
The guestrooms feature high ceilings and expansive windows to allow natural light to beam through, and are complemented by mosaic-tiled bathrooms and Italian rain showers.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Passage – Urban Retreat
10. SET Hotel.Residence by Teufelhof Basel – a unique and trendy art hotel where work from local artists adorns the walls
Here we have an inner-city haven offering a unique, fresh art concept. SET Hotel is graced by a charming lobby which welcomes visitors into a world of playful designs, boutique glamour, and hip sophistication.
Thousands of works from local artists adorn the property, bringing an intimate connection with the community and an individual style to the hotel. Whether you choose a spacious Urban Attic Suite, a Courtyard Design Studio, or an elegant apartment, your stay will be enhanced with state-of-the-art amenities, plush linens, and sweeping city views.
To reenergize, you can take advantage of the 24-hour fitness centre, which is bedecked with modern equipment from the LifeFitness brand.
- To book, check prices or availability for SET Hotel.Residence by Teufelhof Basel
11. Hyperion Hotel Basel – an elegant hotel brimming with sophistication and some quirky touches
Standing tall at 105 metres, Hyperion Hotel is housed in one of Basel’s most spectacular buildings and is located in the beating heart of the city.
Complementing its shiny, impressive exterior is an elegantly decorated indoor space, brimming with eccentricity and sophistication. Here, you can revel in scintillating city views from the 30th-floor business lounge or the Sky Garden, and savour bountiful delights in the cosy and friendly Checkpoint café bar in the lobby.
To unwind, you can take advantage of the hotel’s spa area, which features a Finnish sauna, a gym, and a solarium. Regional and international delicacies are on offer in the Gaumenfreund restaurant, which impresses with glass walls and opulent décor.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hyperion Hotel Basel
12. Royal Hotel – Urban Living – a trendy and contemporary hotel which provides elegance for the budget-conscious traveller
True to its motto of ‘Urban Living’, Royal Hotel is centrally located and invites you to revel in a modern, eclectic ambiance. A 2-minute walk will land you directly at the Badischer Bahnhof and the MCH Swiss Exhibition Centre.
This contemporary chic hotel offers an air of elegance to the budget-conscious traveller, through functional, minimalist guestrooms topped with lavish materials and comfy beds.
The en-suite bathrooms are both spacious and modern, and boast a wall-sized mirror and large, walk-in showers. Located on-site is the sleek and friendly Minamoto Restaurant, which offers a unique dining concept which harmonizes with nature.
- To book, check prices or availability for Royal Hotel – Urban Living
13. Pullman Basel Europe – an upscale boutique hotel with an elegant and sophisticated vibe
Sleek sophistication and boutique glamour combine at this relaxing urban retreat, situated in close proximity to the Old Town and the Rhine River.
Whether you’re here for leisure or business, you will find the ultimate bliss within The Pullman, as elegance emanates from every nook and cranny. Bespoke décor, vivid wall embellishments, and exemplary craftmanship furnish the lobby area, giving it a unique, idiosyncratic look.
After a delicious meal in the on-site bistro or a drink in the well-stocked bar, your cosy guestroom awaits you with plush, high-quality Pullman beds, scintillating views, and high-end amenities. Further offerings include a fitness studio and a serene courtyard garden.
- To book, check prices or availability for Pullman Basel Europe
14. Hotel D – Design Hotel – an eco-friendly upscale hotel in a convenient central location featuring a state-of-the-art sauna and a fitness studio
Hotel D is conveniently located to allow you to stroll the streets of Basel’s eclectic centre within a few steps from your front door.
A smooth interior paves the way for the black-and-white artwork to set a tone of old-world elegance, an essence beautifully juxtaposed by the modernity of the en-suite bathrooms. The guestrooms offer a perfect mixture of aesthetics and well-being and come with LED-backlit LCD TV’s with a laptop connection.
In these secluded sanctuaries, sustainable materials and luxurious bedding promote a blissful night of requiescence, before you awaken once again to a delicious, continental breakfast. The wellness area offers a state-of-the-art sauna and a fitness studio with trailblazing equipment at your disposal.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel D – Design Hotel
15. GAIA Hotel Basel – the sustainable 4-star hotel – a classic fully-organic family-run hotel hotel
Conveniently located opposite Basel’s main station, GAIA Hotel is a cheerful, family-run abode which puts guests’ wellbeing at the forefront.
Gaia means ‘Mother Earth’ in Greek, an appellation reflected in the zen-minimalist ambiance that suffuses the property. Set with cherry red chairs and Kashmir rugs, the lobby is designed to enhance the mood even on the greyest of days, and its bright, abstract art complements the clean brass lines and geometric shapes.
A sunshine yellow palette with playful details sets the tone for a joyful stay in the 86 guestrooms, which offer state-of-the-amenities and cream-toned bathrooms with large rain shower.
- To book, check prices or availability for GAIA Hotel Basel – the sustainable 4-star hotel
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.