Der Teufelhof Basel, Switzerland is the most interesting hotel property I have ever visited. At first glance you might think it’s just a hotel. But, in fact, it’s two hotels; an Art Hotel (Kunst Hotel) and what you would think of as a more standard hotel (Galerie Hotel). It’s also a cultural venue that includes a theater, a Michelin-starred restaurant, bistro, bar, brewery, coffee house, wine shop and archaeological museum.
Der Teufelhof Basel is minimalist and artistic. It’s urban yet historic. No two rooms are alike in the hotel and there is a story behind every room and every piece of art. It’s a fascinating piece of culture incorporating award winning food, cutting edge theater and local artists in a truly unique hotel experience.
Der Teufelhof Basel, The Hotels
Der Teufelhof Basel is a Switzerland Hotelier of the Year winner and for good reason. It doesn’t take long after arriving to realize you are in for a very special experience. Der Teufelhof Basel opened in 1989 and at that time it consisted of the Art hotel, a cafe, and the theater. Der Teufelhof is located in a quiet area just minutes by walking from the city’s historic city center, and by tram line No. 3 from the train station. The property is built upon the old Basel city walls that date to the 11th century. The hotel and culture venue are located in two 18th century historic townhouses that are interconnected.
Der Teufelhof Basel includes two hotels. The Art Hotel (Kunsthotel), which has eight rooms and one suite. Each of these rooms has been designed by a different artist. The rooms in the Art Hotel change every five years and are slated to be redesigned next in 2020. The Gallery Hotel has more than 20 rooms and are divided into four categories; easy, style, family, and junior suite. The rooms in the Gallery Hotel are changed every year.
Art Hotel (Kunst Hotel)
When you walk into the rooms in the Art Hotel, it’s as though you’ve walked into a piece of art or as though you have been given entrance into an artist’s private workroom or office. The intent of each of these room designs is to empower the guest to experience art in a new context. I stayed in room 2 which was designed by Dieter Meier.
Dieter Meier is a Swiss musician and conceptual artist. He is the frontman of the electronic music group Yello. You may not think you have heard of Dieter or the song, “Oh Yeah”, but I’m pretty sure 99.9% of you have and didn’t realize it. “Oh Yeah” is an ’80s one-hit wonder that was immortalized in the movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in the video scene below.
When I walked into room 2, I felt as though I had walked into Dieter’s office. There were photos, posters, and memorabilia from his art shows, plays, music, and personal life. The desk had a typewriter, pencil jar, postcards, and stamp as well as a cork board with pinned personal effects. The lampshade was signed by the artist as well. Every part of the room is the concept of the individual artist who is commissioned to create and decorate the room. The experience feels a bit like you’ve been given a glimpse into the life of the artist.
I was lucky to have a chance to see one of the other rooms at the Art Gallery while visiting. When I walked into the below room, I felt like I was inside an artist’s loft and gallery.
Rooms with a View
There are many views from the different hotel rooms. This was my view from the Dieter Meier room. This road has a convenient streetcar and is just a few blocks from the center of town.
Galerie Hotel (Gallery Hotel)
The Gallery Hotel is in a different building which acts as an exhibition space for art.
The breakfast which is included in your daily rate is generous, delicious and there is something for everyone from the vegetarian to the carnivore. There is a wonderful buffet with choices including freshly baked bread, juice, cheese and meats, yogurt and cereals as well as vegetables. In addition to the buffet, you can order eggs and coffee or tea to your liking. One of my favorite new breakfast dishes is inspired by the buffet, which is cottage cheese topped with freshly made pesto sauce and a side of sliced cucumber and tomato.
Restaurants & Bars
There are two restaurants at Der Teufelhof Basel; the gourmet, Michelin-starred Bel Etage restaurant headed by Chef Michael Baader as well as Restaurant Atelier. I had reservations for dinner at Bel Etage, but unfortunately, I had two flight delays and arrived after the kitchen had closed. I look forward to visiting Basel again and tasting Chef Baader’s food as all the reviews I have read leave my mouth watering!
On the property, you’ll also find Bar & Cafe Zum Tuefel. The atmosphere is meant to feel reminiscent of a Paris St.-Germain cafe. In addition to a full bar and a wonderful wine and coffee menu, you’ll also find housemade cakes and desserts.
The service at reception is exceptional and very helpful with everything from walking directions to town as well as helping me track down my delayed luggage from my flight. I was in Basel for the start of a Viking River Cruise, and the hotel reception arranged for my luggage to be delivered directly to the Viking ship. You’ll find the attention to details befitting a much more luxurious hotel. When you leave, they send you off with chilled bottled water.
Above the museum, you will find the wine shop, Falstaff. It’s open 24-hours a day and sells over 450 wines. You will also find a nice selection of olive oil as well.
Below Der Teufelhof Basel is a cellar where you can view the old Basel city walls dating from the 11th and 13th century. A labyrinthine walk runs between the two medieval city walls below Der Teufelhof Basel. The hotel and culture venue sit on Basel’s history and is a museum open to the public.
The archaeological site includes the inner city walls to what was the fortified tower built in 1070. In 1995, during excavations, a drainage shaft was uncovered which had a medieval Jewish tombstone. The tombstone belonged to a woman named Abigail who died between 1280 and 1286.
This is a fascinating museum as well as a history lesson that teaches more about Switzerland’s ancient past.
What You Need to Know
Due to the monument conservation, the hotel is not allowed to install AC in the rooms. I visited in December, so this was not an issue. When visiting in summer, I’ve been told the rooms on the Eastern side of the building are cooler in the summer afternoons. A little lack of air conditioning is no reason to pass up the experience of this truly unique hotel!
Address: Der Teufelhof Basel
Phone +41 61 261 10 10
I loved this hotel. I only stayed one night before my Viking Cruise on the Rhine River, and wish I had arranged for at least two nights to enjoy the hotel and the city of Basel. There is so much to explore and experience at Der Teufelhof Basel. When you visit, make sure you have enough time to explore the city of Basel as well as enjoy everything Der Teufelhof has to experience.
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5 Indispensable Items to Pack for a trip to Basel, Switzerland
- Get the Basel & Northern Switzerland
- Bring a good quality mirrorless camera for getting those beautiful city and landscape shots. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- It can be sunny, even in winter, so make sure to bring Neutrogena Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 45
- A great cross body travel bag. Cross body bags prevent theft and are much easier to access.
- Don’t forget sunglasses for the beautiful summer days in Austin. A.J. Morgan Unisex Sunglasses are a great choice and very affordable!
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A huge thank you to Der Teufelhof Basel for their generous hospitality. I was a guest at the hotel, but as always, all opinions are my own.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
Thinking about visiting Basel or taking a Viking Rhine River Cruise? Ask your questions in the comments below!
Alexa Meisler is the editorial director of 52 Perfect Days. Born in Paris, France she has since lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring California and Mexico.
Travel has always been a part of her life; traveling to such places as Morocco, Tangiers and Spain as a young child as well as taking many road trips to Mexico with her grandparents as a young girl. Since then, she has traveled abroad to locations such as Russia, Taiwan and throughout Europe.
Prior to working at 52 Perfect Days she was a freelance travel writer; focusing on family and women’s adventure experiences.