Five Things We Love: The Dolder Grand

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The Dolder Grand

Five Things We Love About Zurich's Fairy-Tale Hotel.

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An original Andy Warhol above the reception desk.
The indoor pool at the spa.

The Dolder Grand seemed like a soft landing pad for my family to get over our jet lag on a recent trip to Switzerland. What I didn’t count on was feeling like we’d walked into a modern fairy tale. From the Zurich airport, our driver cruised past bright green pastures where brown-and-white cattle grazed (the Swiss love to talk about their “happy cows”), up a wooded hillside, and around a bend at the crest, where the Dolder’s rotunda and spires appeared.
 
The Dolder smooths the rough edges off life. The entry doors glide apart as you approach; our room’s blinds swished open with the touch of an iPad button; and a woman toting a giant Chanel handbag ordered a bowl of water for her Maltese while she and her husband sipped Champagne in the Lobby Bar. There’s a sense of having arrived at the pinnacle – not just topographically, but of hospitality and elegance, too.
 
Here are five more things I loved about the Dolder Grand:
 
1. The spa. At 43,000 square feet, the Dolder’s spa feels like a small city populated with robed, relaxed citizens. A walled meditation spiral leads you to a nook that looks like the inside of a Gaudí disco ball. There’s a “snow room” for the masochistic stimulating circulation, a black-tiled infinity pool with views of the Alps, a spa café with fresh juices and salads, and more. You could easily lose an entire afternoon here even if you hadn’t booked a spa treatment – but take my word for it and get a facial.

2. Zurich’s best private art collection. Yes, a Warhol the length of a school bus hangs over the reception desk, but the scope of the Dolder’s collection emerges bit by bit as you explore the hotel. The head-high anime-style mushroom sculpture by the Golf Wing’s elevator is a Murakami, a Dalí decorates in the entryway of Michelin two-starred The Restaurant (with a Man Ray sculpture just casually placed on the credenza below it), and even an original Sylvester Stallone in the gallery outside the more casual Saltz restaurant. From Botero to Haring, I loved that the art was part of the decor – with no nameplates or velvet ropes. (If you want to know more about the 120-plus-piece collection, borrow the art iPad from reception.)

3. The trails. The Dolder looks southwest toward Lake Zurich, the city, and the Alps. A swath of green surrounds it, including 43 miles of nature trails. Borrow one of the hotel’s electric bikes for a spin around the area.

4. You can party like it’s 1899 or the twenty-first century. During the hotel’s massive four-year renovation, architect Norman Foster tore down all the buildings on the site built after 1899 and added two new wings. Our junior suite in the new Golf Wing had a curved window bank and balcony, a white leather lounger, and a Bang & Olufsen TV that swiveled electronically. But the six historically protected rooms in the original hotel buildinghave traditional wallpaper and handsome dark wood furnishings.

5. The Maestro Suite’s rotunda room. The two-bedroom suite at the top of the Dolder has a grand piano in the foyer, two expansive bedrooms, a library, and an outdoor terrace. The capper is the relaxation room at the tip-top of the dwelling, with gleaming red oak beams, comfy chairs, sheepskin throws and all-around views of Zurich and environs. The $15,100-per-night space only recently became available again following a two-year occupation.

Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, an upgrade if available, and a $100 spa credit.  

Posted by Marika Cain on June 21, 2016.

Marika Cain is Virtuoso Life’s managing editor.  
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