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Summer in Switzerland with The Dolder Grand


Hand-crafted, luxury experiences curated by our team—speak to our concierge to learn more

By John Cofie on 28th June 2023

Summer in Switzerland is a joy, especially when the Dolder Grand is your spectacular Zurich base.

In summer, beach escapes are tempting, but paradise takes a myriad of forms. Lakes and rivers offer cool, clear water, especially in Switzerland – and the summertime charms of Lake Zurich and the Limmat River are undeniable. If you are a guest of Zurich’s Dolder Grand, Amar Harfy, one of the concierges, may advise you to try the city’s lake and river baths for a refreshingly authentic Zurich experience. After all, this is a city where commuters can be seen swimming to work in the warmer months. But, if you don’t fancy venturing too far from the Dolder Grand – which is entirely understandable – Amar may direct you to Dolder Bad, a pristine pool a short stroll away, or the hotel’s own spa. It boasts a large swimming pool, a Japanese-style Sunaburo and a philosophy that’s all about achieving life balance. A Dolder Grand summer experience is not just about finding beach alternatives, however. Art and culinary delights are plentiful. In 2008, the hotel opened two new wings designed by Foster + Partners, which created a tradition-meets-modernity feel.

The Artistic Experience

The architecture represents an elegant blend of eras, and is the perfect backdrop for the Dolder Grand’s extensive art collection. More than 100 works from 90 artists, whose creations traverse different periods, can be seen here. Fernando Botero’s voluptuously glorious sculpture Woman with Fruit can be experienced along with the machine-based pieces of Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle’s brilliantly coloured work and more. 

Guests can borrow art iPads from reception to take self-guided tours of the hotel’s collection and learn more about the works and the people who brought them to life.

Saltz Style

Dinner at The Saltz restaurant should be a priority. Designed by artist Rolf Sachs, whose work cannot be pigeonholed into a single style, the impact of the decor is as stunning as the food. Sachs’ art travels from the surreal to the sculptural and plenty more besides, and this is evident in the bold colours, brash shapes and theatrical materials. Here, you will dine among neon lights, salt, rock and felt.

This visually arresting setting is the perfect foil for Chef à la carte Julian Mai’s menu. A big believer in using locally sourced ingredients, Mai’s menu adds imagination to classics, such as sea trout roe in the Vichysoisse starter, black cod served with aubergine, bak choi and miso, and baked cauliflower with capers and finger limes.

It is worth making room for dessert, with an ice cream menu that includes spaghetti ice, milk and Oreo and lemon sorbet with a choice of vodka or Champagne. Or you can try another twist on a classic, such as bilberry compote with coconut ice cream and almond, or the Swiss cheese variation with fig mustard, pear bread and nuts. It is easy to see why The Saltz has an impressive 14 GaultMillau points.

Tantalising Tipples

Kunsthaus is the Dolder Grand’s lively bar and lounge, again with more original artworks to enjoy. As the DJ plays by night, the bartenders will mix all the classic cocktails, with the signature Dolder Negroni and Grand Espresso Martini luring guests for late sessions.

This hotel’s terrace bar provides spectacular views over Zurich and, until the end of September, Maison Krug will be at the Dolder Grand for the third time. A menu created by Oriental Chef Firas El-Borjii includes warm and cold mezzo, signature kebabs and shish taouk, accompanied by Krug Champagne. The Champagne bell can be rung to ensure seamless service.

With art, a relaxing spa, amazing food, creative cocktails and bubbles at the ring of bell on offer, it will be hard to leave the Dolder Grand. But if you are feeling energetic, Jan-Luca Funck, another concierge, can set you up with an e-bike for an epic bike ride that takes in two lakes, charming pubs and a medieval castle. And at the end, the luxuries of the Dolder Grand await, ready to welcome you back with open arms.

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