For a weekend in Zurich we booked ourselves into the 25hours hotel, a small chain with spots in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna and Zurich. Their locations don't seem to be in the expensive, chic parts of town but they are close and easily accessible by public transport. The location is right next to the ZHdK in what seems a very cold and urban surrounding with views on roads and train tracks. There is new housing being built right behind the hotel which might be a nuisance on weekdays.
What I did love about this hotels (which seems to be true to the chain) is you can tell that some designer(s) out there had a truly fun time setting these places up! A definite must for those who like a little fun eye candy. Upon arrival we snacked on some Lebanese falafel and houmous at their funky open-space restaurant to gather energy and spent a little time discovering the place itself; ping pong table; bicycles; gym; books for sale; random designer items and more.
The staff were all very hospitable, spoke several languages, and were young, fun and very approachable. Oh and dogs are allowed. If the lack of trees doesn't bother you, I highly recommended this hotel for a fresh experience.