NEW YORK -- Did somebody say McDonald's?
McDonald's Switzerland -- yes, that McDonald's -- is building
its first two hotels: the 211-room Golden Arch Hotel Zurich
Airport, opening in March 1.2 miles from the airport in Rumlang,
and the 80-room Golden Arch Hotel Lully near Estavayer-le-Lac,
opening in April between Lausanne and Bern on the highway A1.
Each guest room will be furnished with two Bico-brand
"sit'n'sleep" motorized beds which convert from a seated to a
sleeping position. The rooms measure 258 square feet and are
carpet-free, with parquet flooring in the living area and a
granulate floor in the bathroom.
Both hotels will also contain fitness rooms, Golden Arch Bars
and McDonald's restaurants, open from 6 a.m. until midnight.
Rates are posted on the Golden Arch Hotels Web site, at www.goldenarchhotel.com. Rates start at approximately
$97 for the Zurich Airport property $86 for the hotel in Lully.
Commission to agents for room bookings will be 10%, and the
hotels will be in all major CRSs, according to Mirjam van Zweden,
director of sales for Golden Arch Hotels Suisse.
The first McDonald's restaurant in Switzerland opened in 1976 in
Geneva. Today, there are 115 restaurants in the country.
A McDonald's Corp. spokesman countered the notion that
McDonald's represents everything Europeans dislike about
"McDonald's is in great demand all across Europe," he said. "You
couldn't have our popularity and success in Europe if McDonald's
was not in high demand.
"Sure, there are a few activist-types who try to create the idea
that McDonald's is American-owned and operated, which is absolutely
not true. We couldn't be successful if people didn't welcome us
into their neighborhoods."
Switzerland seems to be the hot bed of McDonald's maverick
ideas; witness the Vegie Mac, roving party restaurants, a
McDonald's train for children's birthday parties and two McDonald's
buses, one of which goes to seaside spots in Spain and Italy.
Guests staying at the Zurich Airport hotel are provided
real-time flight arrival and departure information. The daily fee
for underground parking at that property is $8.50.