I stopped mid conversation with my Uber driver as the Dolder Grand came into sight. Unable to look away, my eyes widened. I had seen the photographs and even a walk-through video on the website, but nothing quite compared to seeing the Dolder Grand in real life. Their motto is ‘be our guest’. And from the moment I walked in I felt like the only guest in the hotel. The warmth and genuine desire to make you feel welcome is truly refreshing. Living up to its name the Dolder Grand is grand in every sense of the word.
History and Art
The Dolder Grand is situated close to the lively city centre of Zurich. However, its elevation not only offers spectacular views of the city, lake and the Alps but also a sense of serenity and exclusivity. The hotel originally known as The Dolder Grand Hotel and Curhaus, dates back to 1899. Over the years, the hotel has undergone numerous renovations, been a safe haven for European royals during WWII and a popular destination for celebrities.
In 2001, Urs E. Schwarzenbach became the majority shareholder of the Dolder Grand. Working with Renowned London architects Foster and Partners the hotel that has provided over 100 years of refined hospitality was transported back to 1899… well, with a few modern adjustments. Everything built after 1899 was removed. The restoration of the 1899 main building was a focus point for the architects, whose vision to bring together the old and the new has been realised in a mastery of balance between modern accoutrements and the architectural history of The Dolder Grand. Alongside the main building, two new wings were designed – the Spa Wing and the Golf Wing. The wings are interconnected with the main building and designed to portray the link between the hotel’s past and its future. In April 2008, the hotel reopened. In those initial days of opening, over 12,000 people came to see the stunning renovations at The Dolder Grand.
The Dolder Grand has focused on refinement, relaxation and exclusivity from its conception. Today is no different, with 175 luxury rooms and suites, two restaurants with Michelin Star affiliations, a 4,000 square metre spa, an outstanding art collection including pieces by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and Sylvester Stallone and first class service, it is the embodiment of luxury at its highest level.
The Suite Life
A stay at The Dolder Grand is one to remember and to savour. The 175 rooms are broken up across the main building and the two wings with the rooms ranging from Double Rooms, Junior Suites, Suite Deluxe, all the way to the hotel’s Top Suites – which, let me tell you, are the definition of ultimate luxury.
Architecturally, the Main Building is noticeably different to the Golf and Spa Wings. The lines are clean, long and straight, there is a simplicity to them which is accentuated by the lavish furnishings, including oak parquet flooring and marble bathrooms. The Wings have an organic flow to them, featuring long curved lines. They present a beautiful comparison to the historical architecture of the Main Building.
My stay was in the Golf Wing in a Junior Suite. The first impression I had was one of peace and utter relaxation – I could literally feel my body start to melt and all life’s worries slip away as I crossed the threshold. Whether that can be attributed to the thick wooden doors, the soft colour palette of purples and white or the view, I knew the moment I stepped into the room that it was a space to be enjoyed wholeheartedly.
Each of the Junior Suites offer floor-to-ceiling windows with an unrestricted view, not only from the balcony but from the gloriously luxurious whirlpool bathtubs. My view was partially over the city of Zurich and the neighbouring golf course (hence, being in the Golf Wing). Being from a country that doesn’t express seasons in the same way as in Europe, I felt a sense of awe looking at the gold and red leaves falling from the trees.
There are four Top Suites guests can choose from, each featuring their own inspiration and design.
Suite 100 is the suite of rock ‘n’ roll. Inspired by the Rolling Stones, the retro rock furnishing pay homage to the glory days of rock in the sixties.
The Masina Suite is all about living the “dolce vita”. Elegant in design the suite features warm dark green hues, a Fendi sofa and a billiard table. Think: old world glamour of the film industry and that is the Masina Suite.
The Carezza Suite was inspired by the artistic works of Alberto Giacometti. The petrified wooden flooring, ascending ceilings and earth-toned de Sede sofas are complimented by the panoramic views of Lake Zurich and the Swiss Alps. Blissfully artistic.
During my stay, I was lucky enough to view the fourth and final suite myself. The Maestro Suite. It is the highest point in the Dolder Grand being located in the grand tower of the Main Building. As can be discerned by the name, this suites inspiration comes from classical music. Welcoming guests to the room is a Steinway grand piano – the second of only three ever made jubilee replicas based on the first Steinway B211 grand built in 1836.
The suite extends over two floors; two floors of sumptuous luxury. The top attic floor was my favourite space. The original dark red wooden beams have been restored and the space decorated with rich toned furnishings.
The Spa at the Dolder Grand is 4,000 square meters making it one of the biggest in Zurich. This exclusive spa offers 20 different rooms, with a vast selection of treatments including facials, manicures, massages and body rituals. With a motto of “Classic traditions with a techno beat”, the Spa menu is both fun and luxurious. Amongst the treatments is the Haute Couture concept from Dr Burgener, which uses innovative technology to personalise beauty experience. Products by La Prairie, Amala (100% natural ingredients) and Kerstin Florian are on hand to enhance your ultimate spa experience.
The Aqua Zone features a large swimming, out-door whirlpools, a sanarium, steam bath and for those brave enough to cool off at minus 15 degrees, there is a snow paradise. Relaxation is paramount in the spa area with the chance to relax with Japanese-style heated pebbles in the sunaburo, enjoy a sauna, steam bath or a soak in the aroma pools. There is even a mediation arena which is adorned with a mosaic mirror cupola.
To enrich your stay and give in to mindful relaxation, the Spa at the Dolder Grand is an oasis in which you must indulge.
The Restaurant, The Saltz and The Bar
At the Dolder Grand there are two restaurants to choose from, The Restaurant and The Saltz. At The Restaurant, Chef Heiko Nieder aims to create innovative flavours for the palette designed to challenge expectations of taste. The Restaurant has been awarded 18 GaultMillau points and 2 Michelin stars, making it a must for lovers of exceptional food.
The Saltz Restaurant, which holds 14 GaultMillau points, was designed by artist Rolf Sachs aimed to inspired guests to question and see things from another perspective. And I must take my hat off to Rolf Sachs because that is exactly what I did. Without realising it I questioned, observed and thought on the design and the story it was telling during my meal. The Chef à la carte, Patrick Hetz focused on simple refinement in his cooking style, incorporating locally sourced ingredients.
Tucked away, the Bar is a hidden gem, and in my opinion, a highlight at the Dolder Grand. With Swarovski floating candles suspended above, it emits a sense of magic and quiet intrigue. While sipping cocktails guests can relax and listen to the piano music fill the room. I even heard that at the Bar someone once asked if he could sing a song, who, unbeknownst to the pianist and the crowd, the person singing the Ed Sheeran song was in fact Ed Sheeran. Whether you witness a spontaneous celebrity performance or simply enjoy the cocktails, the Bar is the place to be.
Superior CHF 500-800
Superior CHF 700 – 1000
Deluxe CHF 800 – 1100
Deluxe CHF 1000 – 1300
Grand CHF 1400 – 1700
Superior CHF 2500 – 3500
Deluxe CHF 3100 – 4100
Grand CHF 3200 – 4200
Top Suites/Suite Residence:
Available on request
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