The Dolder Grand, Zürich, Switzerland

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The Dolder Grand, Zurich, Switzerland.

A prestigious five-star heritage hotel set on a hill above the city, home to one of the world’s largest art collections.

The art collection at the Dolder Grand consists of more than 100 works (most of which are part of the private collection of the hotel´s owner, UK-based Swiss financier Urs Schwarzenbach).

This is no ordinary hotel: you can find a Botero sculpture, “Woman with fruit”, next to the outdoor jacuzzi; a huge Joan Miró statue, “Grand personnage: projet pour un monument” just outside the bar; an enormous work by Andy Warhol, “Big Retrospective Painting”, just above the reception; Barry Flanagan’s bronze sculpture, “Leaping Hare on Curly Bell”, stands in front of the main entrance. Looking right over to the Alps you can find Salvador Dalí’s, “Femmes métamorphosées – Les sept arts”, and Man Ray’s short film, “Emak Bakia” (“Leave Me Alone” in Basque), in the restaurant. I haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg – this is an art haven indeed.

This is one of the world´s historic hotels – a member of The Most Famous Hotels in The World®, its fairytale turrets and spires, and stunning location overlooking the city of Zurich with its lake, mark it out as a true landmark. The original structure dates back to 1899. In 2004 massive renovations commenced and the property reopened in 2008 to combine and unite the old and new. The work was carried out to perfection, as is expected when award-winning British architect Sir Norman Foster, Foster + Partners, is involved.

This hotel is the epitome of cool: the combination of enormous rooms with panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and the nearby lake; minimalist design; and fine art made it a photographer’s dream.

Not to mention the 4000m2 award-winning spa with its Japanese and European influences. The Aqua Zone houses a large swimming pool with whirlpools, steam baths, saunas and a snow room for cooling off. Experience the deep, relaxing warmth of dark heated pebbles in your own Japanese sunaburo. There is an outdoor Jacuzzi – remember this is Switzerland, so the outside temperature tends towards the invigorating – but well worth it, with views to nature all around. The spa menu has everything from caviar facials to copious options for holistic massage, and the “meditation walk” is well worth a visit for the architecture alone.

On the food side you can indulge in fine dining, afternoon tea, spa cuisine, room service, indoors or outside on the terrace-with-a-view – they seem to have catered for everyone.

Take time to discover your hotel room at different times of the day – the architect has designed the spaces with careful consideration for the light: follow it, explore it; your room has been conceived with natural light in mind. Take time to watch the sunrise and sunset – you won’t be disappointed.

Here you can live the life as a hotel guest in an elevated, almost dream-like world of iconic art and design, a world where you will be very reluctant to check out.