The Dolder Grand stands as an iconic landmark atop a hill overlooking Lake Zurich in Switzerland, perched on the edge of the dazzling Adlisberg Forest with stunning views of Lake Zurich, the city’s vibrant heart, and the Alps mountains. Built-in the 19th century in Swiss style, Dolder Grand was designed to be a place for relaxation and escape, and its guest book is littered with historical figures, who have sought out this haven of calm, including Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, the Shah of Iran as well as luminaries and celebrities of modern times such as Prince William and Leonardo DiCaprio and the legendary director David Fincher.
In 2008 two gleaming steel and glass wings were built as an addition to either side of the main building. The extension included constructing new facilities such as the 43,000 sq ft Spa and doubling the number of accommodations while connecting the new rooms to the surrounding forest. The hotel’s interior was renovated in a way that preserves the original architectural heritage while incorporating the modern amenities expected of a luxury hotel.
Some of the hotel’s walls embrace a birch pattern that allows the sun’s rays in, creating a dynamic blend of light and shade. The wall shapes contrast strikingly with other design elements, such as glazing found throughout the resort and the polished Beige limestone covering the spa lobby. In addition to its aesthetic qualities, the Dolder Grand was also built to emphasize being environmentally friendly. Although the resort provides double the floor space after the revamp, the new building consumes half the energy of the old facility.
After the renovation, the hotel was decorated with more than 120 pieces of artwork. The most striking of which is the piece by Salvador Dali, «Femmes metamorphosées – Les sept arts», from 1957. Some guests may be stunned at the Canvas Bar by a lumpy, sunburned man sleeping on his bags in the corner. However, fans of Duane Hanson will instantly recognize this traveller as a lifelike human sculpture.
The Dolder Grand’s grounds are studded with sculptures from a three-piece reclining figure of Henry Moore outside one of the new wings, or Takashi Murakami’s whimsical Trolls Umbrella, to the colourful Zafting Nana statue by the stunning French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle was built in collaboration with Jean Tinguely by Le Monde.
The premium suites extend over hundreds of square metres; some are two-story and feature steam showers, whirlpools, and spacious terraces with sweeping views. Each suite has been inspired by a specific “patron”, such as the Maestro Suite, named after conductor Herbert von Karajan and abounding in musical cues, including a grand piano and lyre as decoration. The rocking Suite 100, inspired by the Rolling Stones and the infamous 100 Club in London, is dominated by dark colours such as black and deep purple. At the same time, the Masina Suite, named after the Italian actress
Giulietta Masina, celebrates the glamour of fifties designs. At the same time, the Terrazza and Carezza Suites are designed with specific patterns and colours, predominantly gold, stone and wood, to suit the tastes and preferences of Arab guests.
Saltz restaurant is another work of art. Artist Rolf Sachs designed the dining space to reflect the Swissness; the soft, bristly white neon light running along a red wall was made to evoke the Alps’ silhouette, bringing a comfortable atmosphere for guests to relax and unwind while enjoying authentic dishes.
The extravagant hotel received the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star award in April 2022 in recognition of its outstanding guest experience. The Forbes Travel Guide began in 1958 and is now considered one of the essential rating platforms for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas.