Historic Hotel Rochat in Basel Switzerland caters to the modern traveler

by Nov 2, 2022Switzerland

Front View Of Hotel Rochat In Basel Switzerland

Built in 1899, Hotel Rochat in Basel manages to maintain its historic charm while catering to the needs of a modern traveler with air conditioning and supremely comfortable rooms all walkable to so many Basel sights.

Staying at the historic Hotel Rochat in Basel, Switzerland, puts you right in the center of Basel’s stunningly beautiful old town. Step out the front door, and in minutes you’ll be wandering through narrow alleyways, hidden squares, and past many of the city’s hundreds of fountains. Less than a mile from the front entrance, you’ll find famous historic sites such as the cathedral overlooking the Rhine River, Tinguely Fountain, and the Swiss Architecture Museum. The hotel is also a mere 2-minute stroll from the closest tram station. A location that can’t be beat!

Understated, clean lines at Hotel Rochat

The hotel is somewhat understated in appearance. Easy to miss as you walk by, but completely memorable once you stay there. Build in 1899, the hotel maintains its historic brick façade, but inside it has been completely modernized with an emphasis on sleek function without frou-frou. The Hotel Rochat has 55 rooms, all with free Wi-Fi, flat screen televisions, minibars, and exquisitely appointed ensuite bathrooms. Some of the rooms also have sitting areas and exposed beams and a few also have lofts for a grand space.


The loft bedroom of a “Bel Etage” luxury room at Basel’s Hotel Rochat.

One thing that struck us during our stay was how incredibly quiet the Hotel Rochat was, which also made for a most restful stay while touring Basel – perhaps a nod to thick walls and ancient architecture. And speaking of the breakfast: Let’s just say it is a bountiful buffet with plenty of meats, cheeses, breads, rolls, fruit, yogurt, juice, and cereal to keep you going for many hours.

Hotel Rochat Basel Breakfast Room

The breakfast room in the Hotel Rochat in Basel, Switzerland.

Modern rooms behind the historic hotel facade

We stayed in one of the hotel’s “luxury rooms” – the Bel Etage. While the room certainly elicited an “oh my” response from us when we stepped inside, we do need to set the record straight: This is not a luxury hotel; such a grand room offers modern beauty, a great shower, plenty of amenities and, mostly, a huge space to spread out. This means of course that if you expect a concierge or room service, this is not your hotel. The Hotel Rochat is all about great sleep, comfort, and a prime old town location.

About our room: It was huge and boasted a loft with very comfortable European-style bed and bedding and a downstairs sitting area. The loft is also where the bathroom is, so if going up and down stairs is not your preference, this would not be a good room for you. The window in the room was a huge floor-to-ceiling affair letting in loads of light when the curtains were open, and thankfully also darkened well for a great night’s sleep. The spaciousness offered was a real treat since many European hotel rooms at this price are on the smaller size – we could even both sit at the desk for a little work.


The downstairs of the “Bel Etage” loft rooms. The sofas are also beds so this grand room can sleep four.

The room’s downstairs offered the sitting area with two pull-out sofa beds – this room would be a very good choice for a family since it sleeps four, although there are also family rooms at the Hotel Rochat. The individually controlled air conditioning — often a rarity in older European hotels — was blissfully efficient and very quiet as our visit to Basel coincided with a bit of a heat wave.

Thoughtful modern touches such as USB charging ports next to the bed are just some of the numerous features the Hotel Rochat offers to cater to modern travelers. Fast and free Wi-Fi is also always appreciated. Per the norm at Basel hotels, you also get a Basel Card to use during your stay for free public transportation, discounts at many sights, museums, and for tours.


A cozy fireplace room sits just off the breakfast area at Hotel Rochat. Of course, the fire wasn’t roaring during the summer hot spell when we were there.

Although this centrally located, three-star hotel does not feature a spacious lobby, there are multiple areas to sit with a group — or on your own — if you want to get out of your room: There is a TV room and sitting area inside the rear entrance with plenty of light (see below). Go up those stairs and there is a rear entrance with a small patio and garden. There is also a cozy fireplace room just off the breakfast area for a comfy place to curl up with a book (photo above). Any of these spaces can accommodate guests who want to just hang out, work, chat, or have a take-out meal rather than spending their stay on a non-stop exploration of the often overlooked city of Basel.


Behind the breakfast room a small foyer area offers more seating — and opens onto a garden area with a small patio up the stairs.

One thing visitors might not notice is there are no alcoholic drinks in the room minibars. This is a nod to the founding of the hotel by the Blue Cross, an association created in Switzerland by Louis Lucien Rochat – get the tie? – with the goal to “protect people from being harmed by alcohol and drugs.”

All-in-all we loved our stay at the Hotel Rochat. Only one night, but one we won’t soon forget for all the right reasons. And we’d be happy to repeat it.


Disclosure: Our stay was fully hosted at the Hotel Rochat. The review, opinions and ratings here are our own, and are not approved, provided, or otherwise endorsed or influenced by the hotel.

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1 Comment

  1. oneearth

    Amazing place! Love to go anytime soon. Thanks for sharing

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Rating the Hotel Rochat


Our Rating Our hotel ratings will tell you what we think of an individual property and are not a comparison to other hotels in the area. They are valid at the time of our visit. We frequently pay for our hotel stays and will disclose whenever we receive discounts or comped room nights as a part of a hotel stay. Our ratings are a percent, with 100% being perfect and 0% someplace not even a rat would stay. We rate cleanliness/upkeep (e.g. dust on the windows, dirt under the beds, unclean bathroom fixtures, need of repairs/maintenance, etc.), comfort (e.g. taking into account quiet, how comfy the bed is, if there is a nice robe, a comfy chair, etc.), amenities (e.g. free parking, breakfast included and its quality, free Wi-Fi, free bikes, fitness gear, workout room, pool, etc. -- and we are not fans of hotels that say they include things, but then charge a facilities fee!), location (e.g. how easy is it to get around by foot, bike, and car or how perfectly situated a hotel is for a quiet getaway), and value (e.g. how much we feel we got in return for the amount charged).