THE RICH & THE FAMOUS ANNVERSARY Issue 201314 JPG EditHeide Van Doren Betz

 

The Dolder Grand Hotel and Resort, Zürich

The Power Of The Visual In Re-Creating A World-Class Hotel

 

 

There is ample reason why The Dolder Grand has been a city resort of discretion and elegance since 1899.  The property sits on a hill above Zürich, in a green zone park, overlooking the city and the lake.  Royalty, heads of state, dignitaries and such celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill, Prince Philip and Mikhail Gorbachev have been guests at the castle in the past 100 years.

 

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The hotel closed for a major $450M renovation during mid-2000 and reopened in 2008.  Sir Norman Foster, of Foster and Partners, designed architectural updates to the main building and combined the spired Swiss castle, rich with history and painted ceilings, with two stunning semi-circular, sleek buildings – the Spa and Golf wings.

 

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Upon it’s reopening four years ago, accolades from the international press named The Dolder Grand one of the best hotels in the world.  The Emir of Qatar, President Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton, and Leonardo DiCaprio have since been guests.  The 4,500 sq. ft. Maestro Herbert von Karajan suite ($16,000 a night) in the tower of the castle is often occupied for months at a time.

 

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Stunning contemporary art installations are part of the private collection of the hotel’s principal owner, Swiss financier, Urs E. Schwarzenbach.  Double grand staircases, a Swarovski chandelier, and an Albert Carrier-Belleuse’s 19th century bronze figure, dominate the elegant hotel entrance space.  Around the corner, a huge Andy Warhol  “Big Retrospective Painting” hangs above the modern reception desk.  Directly opposite, in the Lobby Bar, Robert Motherwell’s colorful “Arabesque” and Robert Indiana’s “New Glory Banner” flag paintings are on display.

 

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The installations of these internationally renowned works of art are coordinated with their surroundings to provide never-ending visual pleasure and mental challenge.  An awesome, monumental but whimsical reclining Fernando Botero nude, “Woman with Fruit” (my favorite), lies seductively on the Spa Terrace.  Nikki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely’s “Le Monde” and Allen Jones’ “Juno” hold court in the Ballroom Terrace, while Jean Dubuffet’s equally monumental “Tour aux Figures” is nestled in an inner courtyard.  The impressive Henry Moore “Reclining Figure” echoes the curvature of the modern building additions.  Descending the Grand Staircase to the Garden Restaurant, a three-piece Juan Munoz “Conversation Piece” and a Sylvester Stallone (yes, that one) “Best of Life” painting greet you in the lower marbled lobby.   Philip Haas’ “Seasons” (after Archimboldo) – heads created out of painted polyester resin images of fruit and vegetables – lead the way to Swiss gastronomic treats at the Garden Restaurant.

 

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On so many levels, this is a powerful experience not to be missed while in Zürich.

 





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