Hotel Helvetia, a boutique hotel in Zurich

Like I said, I didn’t see much of Zurich during my work trip. What I did see a lot of was my room at the Hotel Helvetia. After days of waking up at 4am to reply to emails from my clients working on Singapore time zone, then working fast under high pressure on the day of the shoot itself, I just went back to my hotel room and crashed. I think I must have gone to bed before 9.

It’s a good thing the hotel room was nice, because I spent so much time in it. It was on a sunny corner overlooking the Sylt river and the hills of Zurich. OMG WOW HILLS! said the girl who lives in flat-as-a-pannekoek Holland.

Hotel Helvetia Zurich view from hotel room

A stylish hotel room is such a treat! To have it all to myself, even better.

Hotel Helvetia Zurich bedside

I didn’t make it to nearby Lake Zurich, but my closet doors gave me a tiny glimpse.

Hotel Helvetia Zurich interior

Kiehl’s toiletries in the pristine, white subway-tiled bathroom? Yes please! I was totally Pinoy and took them all home. These are my new favorite travel toiletries, and you can bet I’ll be refilling them for future trips.

Hotel Helvetia Zurich Kiehl's toiletries

I’ve come to appreciate a modern design hotel that doesn’t scream “MODERN DESIGN HOTEL!” The design details at the Hotel Helvetia were on the quiet side of modern, just the restful welcome I needed.

Hotel Helvetia Zurich design details

On the ground floor of the hotel is a bar and restaurant that seems popular with the nearby business crowd for lunch and evening drinks. On the morning I left, though, I enjoyed a quiet breakfast here all to myself.

Hotel Helvetia Zurich bar and restaurant

En route to Confiserie Sprungli for my chocolatey reward, I saw the first signs of spring as I crossed the Sylt. Spring came to Amsterdam much later, but I remember feeling reassured that it indeed was on its way.

Hotel Helvetia Zurich river view

And that’s how I zipped through Zurich in less than 36 hours. Next week, I’ll be back to share some news about the blog, plus some highlights from our week in New York (finally!). Till then, have a wonderful weekend!

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Work trip to Zurich

About a month ago, I traveled to Zurich for work. I spent most of the overnight trip at my hotel (which I’ll show you tomorrow) and at my work location, the palatial Dolder Grand Hotel overlooking the city.

Zurich Dolder Grand Hotel

Let me digress a bit. You might be wondering: what does she do for work, anyway? I rarely blog about work, so this might be a good time to talk a little about what I do.

I work in on-air promotions for television, a niche industry that’s always a bit hard to explain. On-air promotion is what you see on TV that isn’t a commercial or a TV show: trailers (called plugs in the Philippines, or promos everywhere else), branding, and other bits and bobs that tell you about a channel and its shows.

As a writer and producer, I come up with ideas for promos and promo campaigns, write them up into script form, and get them made. That means managing a host of other people and processes—from casting to location scouting, filming to graphics, editing to scheduling—until my 30- or 60-second promo gets aired on TV.

Still with me?

I worked for an agency in Singapore before going freelance. Since moving to Amsterdam, I still work for Singapore-based companies, but my role has evolved. These days, I mostly write promos to help my client (a large international media network based in Singapore) create branded content for companies that advertise on their channels—exclusive, customized promos that are tailor-fit to a brand.

I suppose I’m kind of a matchmaker between brands and audiences. I get to decide where and how they meet, and what kind of experience they’re going to have on their date—a date that takes place in 30, 60 or 90 seconds on television.

I write at home and send my work to Singapore, where it gets produced. But this time, a project involved a shoot in Zurich—all hush-hush, quick, and very last minute. When I got the call from my client asking me to fly in and be a producer for a day, I immediately said yes!

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Let’s do brunch in… Zurich

One of my most memorable conversations with my friends (the Glee Club “kiddies”) was back when we were starting out in our careers and excited for life to take us on vastly different paths. We fantasized about how, someday, we’d be living our dreams in different places around the world. When we wanted to meet up, we would pick a city, fly in for lunch (!), and fly back to our regular lives.

Yes, this was pure fantasy, but what a fun idea! That concept of picking a random city and meeting friends there has stayed with me ever since. Recently, it’s met a few other ideas: how much I enjoy a weekend brunch, how rare good brunch places are in Amsterdam, and the many fun, interesting people I’ve connected with through blogging (particularly at The Hive and Blogging Your Way).

So I thought: if a good brunch is hard to find in this city, who says we have to stay here? And why not ask friends (new and old) to take us there?

This is why I’m starting a brand new series on this blog called Let’s Do Brunch! 

The idea is to “travel” to a new city each month via a guest blogger, who takes us to his or her favorite brunch place in that city. On the last Sunday of each month, we all meet here and set out together to feed our wanderlust, indulge our appetite for brunch, and meet a new blogger in the process. Does that sound like fun?

So, it’s time to kick off our brunching around the world. Our first stop: Zurich, Switzerland!

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