The Dolder Resort: Country Life On The City’s Doorstep

Enjoy the view of Zurich and beyond from The Dolder Grand's lofty setting

Zurich's Sumptuous Dolder Grand Takes Casual Luxury To New Heights

It's always a delicate balancing act for grand hotels of the past to bring their properties into the twenty-first century in meeting and exceeding the needs of their guests.  Given the intense competition within the hospitality industry, smart hotels ensure the results are superb.  In the case of The Dolder Grand, the results are nothing short of spectacular. 

The Dolder has always been a grand property since its doors opened in 1899, but time had not been kind and the hotel fell into disrepair.  Guardian angel Swiss financier Urs Schwarzenbach decided to put a whole lot of money into the place and restore the grandeur of years past while adding the necessities of a modern hotel.  One of the richest men in the world and fiercely protective of his privacy, Schwarzenbach and his Australian wife, Francesca, are well known for massive real estate transactions; The Dolder is but one of their many imposing holdings around the world.

Classic European style meets modern convenience in a beautiful location

Renovation work started from the bottom, literally.  Earth around the base of the existing building was removed, leaving the hotel resembling an island floating on a sea of air.  A billion dollars later, the landscapes curve gracefully around the restored main building and the new Spa and Garden Wings, designed by no less than Sir Norman Foster and partners.  The result is surprising; with the grandeur is omnipresent, it is certainly not intimidating.  The Dolder offers a type of casual luxury popular with young Europeans cashed up from their business ventures.  Suits, ties, and gowns are far outnumbered by polo shirts in a range of pastels.  In staid Zurich, this comes as something of a surprise, but the many terraces and their expansive views encourage a relaxed pace and deep breaths replacing the ones taken away by the setting.

Two assets untouched by the renovation are the view and the location, both exceptional.  Located in parkland above Zurich, the entire hotel is very quiet, especially at night when it is possible to slide the huge glass doors wide open and sleep with a breeze but none of the noises that are supposedly an inseparable part of urban living.  Despite its pastoral setting, the hotel is only a few minutes from the centre of Zurich via the Dolderbahn funicular rail that is part of the Zurich public transport network or The Dolder's private shuttles.

The Dolder Grand's Managing Director Thomas Schmid

In a place where design is revered, accommodations are both unique and impressive.  Spa Wing rooms ending in 05, 06, 07, 08 are junior suites with outstanding architectural design and a long list of special features, many of them controlled by Bang & Olufsen smart room technology that lets all electricals be managed from one remote control, as well as nice touches like a heated shelf above the bath for towels, balconies running the entire length of the floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and that most useful technological gizmo of all, complimentary internet.  Larger suites such as the Carezza Suite are astonishing in their spaciousness, comfort, and originality.  

Smart style, in fact, is found everywhere, in every detail.  The spa is a world unto itself; it has its own café, exercise rooms, treatment rooms, and a very special meditation room found in the centre of a spiral walkway, whose intention it is to make it seem far removed from the outside world.  With thousands of small mirror tiles reminiscent of reception rooms in many a maharajah's palace, the meditation room is the ultimate escape for contemplation.  The same can be said about the entire property.

Room 3308 at The Dolder Grand
The Dolder Grand is part of The Dolder Resort, which also includes the Dolder Waldhaus and Dolder Sports.

 

Source = Mr. eTraveller

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