Dolder Grand, Switzerland
The Dolder Grand is a five-star luxury hotel located on Adlisberg hill in Zurich, Switzerland. The hotel is part of the Dolder Resort and is owned by Urs Schwarzenbach, a Swiss financier based in the UK. The hotel is spread over an area of 43,056m² and features 173 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a bar, 13 conference rooms and a 4,000m² spa.
The hotel is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest indoor swimming pool. The hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and Swiss Deluxe Hotels.
The main architect for the hotel was Lord Norman Foster of Foster + Partners and the interior design was by United Designers. The hotel spa was designed by Sylvia Sepielli, the internationally recognised owner of Sylvia Planning And design (SPAd). KLAFS, Europe's sauna market leader, was selected to outfit the spa.
The Dolder Grand was originally designed by architect Jacques Gros in 1899 as a "curhaus" or health spa. In 2004, the hotel was closed for renovation to eliminate additions and restyling done in the 1920s and 1960s. An investment of $440m was incurred to renovate the hotel, which took four years to complete. The refurbished hotel opened in April 2008.
The renovated hotel boasts a fusion of contemporary features and historic details. Its original appearance was retained and several buildings that had been added in the 1920s were removed. Historic monuments such as the Stone Hall situated in the main building and six of the bedrooms were carefully restored to retain their original grandeur.
Two new curved wings, the Spa wing and the Golf wing, were added to the hotel and feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The wings house the spa, a new dance hall and a few rooms and suites. Two extra floors were also added under the old foundations. The surroundings of the hotel were enhanced with sunshade landscapes manufactured by Glatz, a sunshade developer and manufacturer based in Frauenfeld, Switzerland.
The primary building and two new wings of the Dolder Grand comprise 173 rooms, including seven suites and four top suites. Other rooms include 15 single rooms, 99 double rooms and 48 junior suites. All the rooms have balconies and the bathrooms are fitted with whirlpool tubs, steam showers and saunas.
The junior suites, suites and grand suites offer views of Zurich own, its lake and the Alps. The stairs of the grand suites lead to a small tower with a lounge and roof terrace. The design of the top suites is inspired by a guest who stayed at the Dolder Grand.
The Maestro Suite is inspired by conductor Herbert von Karajan. The suite is two-tiered, with two bedrooms and a living space of 400m2. The dining room is located in the circular tower room and can be used as a place to relax. Other amenities of the suite include sofas and chaises longues, a bar, a fireplace, a library and a kitchen.
Alberto Giacometti, the Swiss artist and sculptor, was the inspiration behind the Carezza Suite. The suite covers an area of 230m2 and features two bedrooms, ceiling-to-floor windows, a fireplace, a TV room, dining area and kitchen. A terrace surrounds the entire suite, providing a panaromic view of Zurich and the Alps.
Giulietta Masina, actress and wife of Federico Fellini, was taken as the inspiration for the Masina Suite. The suite covers an area of 170m2 with two bedrooms featuring unique Italian interiors. It features ceiling-to-floor windows, a flat-screen TV and a billiard table.
Suite 100 of the hotel is a personification of rock'n'roll, inspired by the Rolling Stones. The 170m2 suite features a bedroom, retro-style furniture and a meeting room with the capacity to seat ten people.
The spa at Dolder Grand offers treatments from Europe and Switzerland with Japanese influences. It is connected to the main building by two glass walkways featuring forest motifs. The spa has a pool and separate spas for men and women. It also comprises workout, movement and mind-body studios, 19 treatment rooms and two spa suites.
The pool in the spa has a large window offering panoramic views of the surrounding nature. The spas are 100m2 each and offer sauna, steam bath, kotatsu footbath, aroma pool, steampots, cold water basin and solarium treatments. All treatments use spa products from leading manufacturers including La Prairie, Kerstin Florian and Kenzoki.
The workout studio provides a fitness routine with cardio equipment and has a team of personal trainers to design workout programmes. The movement studio offers guests a range of daily classes, such as Pilates. The mind-body studio offers Yoga courses.
The 19 treatment rooms in the spa include ten massage rooms, a hydro massage room with steam shower, a hydrotherapy room with steam shower and fireplace, a room with Sanotherm and steam shower, and six rooms for facials.
The spa suites are 70m2 and 85m2 and feature mother-of-pearl walls, massage tables, mudbaths, whirlpools, loungers, fireplaces and TVs. The terrace of the spa has sun-beds and two large Jacuzzis.
The Aqua Zone of the spa has a 25m-long, 1.35m-deep indoor whirlpool. The outdoor whirlpool contains warm and cold water pools and mineral water couches. The Aqua Zone also features sanarium, steambath and snowparadise at -15oC for cooling off. A sunaburo sand bath in the Aqua Zone contains heated pebbles for Japanese-style relaxation.
The spa also has a medical wellness centre, where Swiss experts from Klinik Tiefenbrunnen and Aesthetic Link provide anti-ageing treatments, aesthetic dermatology and plastic surgery.
Hairstyling services are offered by En Vogue in collaboration with Kérastase Institute. The services include professional analysis of the hair and scalp, and four distinct treatments.
Dining options at the Dolder Grand include two restaurants, a bar and the lobby, all of which are open to hotel guests and the general public.
The main restaurant features gourmet dishes prepared by fine dining chef Heiko Nieder. The restaurant was awarded 17 Gault Millau points and one Michelin Star. The garden restaurant is an all-day restaurant offering a range of European dishes. During summer the terrace and lounge offer open-air dining.
The bar of the hotel features a unique light scheme providing a stylish ambience and has live piano and guest DJs. The lobby has a fully restored historic ceiling and antique fireplace where drinks, snacks, fresh cakes and gateaux are served. Other dining options include the spa cafe.
The Dolder Grand offers many facilities to suit occasions such as seminars, meetings, conferences, banquets and parties. Most of the facilities are equipped with an LCD projector and microphone options including hand-held radio, head-set, table and lectern microphones.
The oval-shaped ballroom of the hotel is spread over an area of 400m². It features elegant furnishings and fittings, and a cupola ceiling that can be illuminated in various colours. The walls are covered with Alcantara, providing striking acoustics. The parquet floor forms a good surface for glamorous events and the foyer of the ballroom provides space for a formal reception.
The 715m² oval-shaped gallery of the hotel features a wide glazed façade and is suitable for exhibitions and large-scale events.
The hotel's main building contains three adjacent garden salons that can be combined according to requirements. Garden salon 1 is 159m², garden salon 2 126m² and garden salon 3 120m². The floor-to-ceiling windows in the salons provide ample lighting.
There are two libraries near the lobby with a seating capacity of 14. Library 1 is 33m² and is ideal for cocktail receptions. Library 2 is 55m² and can be used for small meetings and banquets. Another library in the spa houses about 600 books on health and wellbeing.
The hotel also incorporates five breakout rooms in various areas of the building. Each room covers an area of 46m² and is available for small conferences and meetings.
A Grieder Shop sells women's clothing and accessories, and a spa shop offers a wide range of wellness, beauty and fashion accessories.
Sports and leisure
The Dolder Grand offers guests a range of outdoor sports and leisure options. The facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, mini-golf in summer, an ice rink, a golf course and tennis courts.
The 50 x 17.5m outdoor swimming pool with diving board also includes a 10,000m2 games meadow, sunbathing area, four table-tennis tables and a grass volleyball pitch. It also has a children's play area with two paddling pools and a sand pit.
The Dolder golf course is a nine-hole course located opposite the hotel and requires handicap. It also features a clubhouse and a restaurant.
The Dolder ice rink, which is open in winter, covers an area of 6,000m2. Built in 1930, the ice rink is one of its kind in Europe and features a restaurant and a kiosk.
The sports facilities at Dolder Grand also include five clay tennis courts, which have their own clubhouse and restaurant.
The Dolder Grand was named 45th top new hotel of the year 2009 in Travel+Leisure's It List, was included in Condé Nast Traveler, UK's Hot List 2009 and Hot List Spas 2009, and was judged the Best New/Renovated Hotel of 2009 at the Wallpaper Design Awards. In 2008 the hotel won the Best Architecture award at the European Hotel Design Awards. IN the same year ForbesTraveler.com listed Dolder Grand in the world's 50 best new hotels.