The Dolder Grand
Kurhausstrasse 65, Zurich
You’ll never forget your first peek of the majestic Dolder Grand. The hotel sits high above the city, surrounded by thick forest and stately homes, and has an undeniable Disney castle quality. Inside, the design has an artsy irrationality to it, and the vibe changes drastically depending on whether you’re eating at futuristic Saltz, checking in at the front desk in the Belle Epoque lobby, or walking through the glass-walled Norman Foster–designed wing. The Dolder is renowned for its art collection, which is on display everywhere—through the hallways and around the grounds. And quite an impressive collection it is. There are works by Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Salvador Dalí. But honestly, we came for the tricked-out spa. A perfect morning might look like this: a few rounds of sauna, steam, and chill in the “snow room” (a chamber filled with actual snow, since you’re in the Alps after all), followed by a snooze on a warmed bed of black pebbles. The Dolder’s chief appeal is that the whole fairy-tale property is constructed to amplify a Narnia-like landscape. It’s romance at its most extreme. For the full effect, book…
Rennweg 7, Zurich
The Widder Hotel in Zurich’s Old Town is easily the most thoughtfully quirky-cool townhouse-style hotel we’ve stayed in all year. Eames chairs, Le Corbusier sofas, Baroque frescoes, Bang & Olufsen mod cons, and abundant mahogany are present throughout the Widder. And naturally, no two rooms are the same. When it comes to the communal areas, we fell in love with the flagstone-floored library (perfect for work or reading or just being in a library). Staying at the Widder puts you in the heart of Zurich’s (admittedly restrained) action, but its pervasive warmth makes you want to trade going out for settling in. The labyrinthine old-meets-new space creates homey private nooks, and the bar—with its bloodred banquettes, jazz music, and impressive whiskey selection—and restaurant buzz with a mostly local clientele seven nights a week.
Gotthardstrasse 4, Andermatt
At barely a year old, this five-star Swiss chalet has already gained a pretty impressive reputation as one of the best new hotels in Europe. It takes no more than two hours to get here from Zurich or Milan, but the picturesque ski-town locale is just remote enough to feel worlds away. The “Asian-Alpine” vibe (wood-paneled walls, dim lighting, soaring ceilings) is the doing of architect Jean-Michel Gathy and feels refreshingly cool rather than overdone. Each of the 105 iPad-controlled rooms has its very own fireplace, cashmere throws, and a sprawling bath stocked with Aqua di Parma products. While it's obviously the ideal spot for skiing (and après-ski), snow-boarding, and other snow-centric activities, summertime in Andermatt has its own charms (hiking, golfing, fishing, cycling…) The spa—it’s more of a separate wellness compound, really—is home to Finnish saunas, a gorgeous swimming pool, steam baths, and a lengthy treatment menu. Stop by the massive humidor cheese room or wander the spectacular wine library before hitting up the larger of the two on-site eateries for a stellar assortment of traditional Asian, European, and Swiss fare (we hear the daily breakfast spread is…
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
CH-7310, Bad Ragaz
From the outside, this massive Swiss chateau looks pretty storybook, but inside, there's serious healing going on. The in-house doctors and therapists customize every wellness program—points of focus include everything from basic stress relief to careful post-op care—to revolve around taking in its prized, anti-inflammatory thermal spring waters—by way of pools, steam rooms, and saunas. They're pumped in from an ancient gorge and are said to ease everything from arthritis pain to eczema.