Establishment neighborhood
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…
Widder Hotel
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.