Some buildings are so strategically unique they should never be changed. THE DOLDER GRAND RESORT, high above Zurich, was built in 1899 by Heinrich Hürlimann and there it stood until early this century. In 2002 the Schweizer-Wehrli famiy sold their treasure to forex tycoon Urs Schwarzenbach. He closed it completely to years later and it re-opened in 2008 with two additional modern curlique wings designed by Norman Foster.
Just as at CAPELLA SINGAPORE, Foster added metal and curves but without spoiling any of the views and features of the original. It’s brilliant. This time Girlahead was in 1308, a large tear-shaped room in one of the new additions, the Spa Wing. Look out through all-wall windows, into treetops, fresh at springtime. A great bath-tub, heated bathroom floor and a bed that makes reading superfluous. It makes one happier just to be here.
And that’s without going down, in one of the Spa Wing’s three adjacent glass-walled elevators, directly to the splendid wellness (superb Technogymn bits and Power Plate). There’s a tear-shaped indoor pool that stretches outside, and a café open from 11 a.m. The spa has La Prairie and Margy’s from Monte-Carlo.
Swiss discerners have discovered The Dolder a-plenty. It makes everyone feel young at heart. Its legs, says onsite boss, Markus Granelli – who loves working weekends, such fun! – its legs are wellness, food and art. There are over 130 priceless pieces displayed and new in the last few years are crazy stained glass panels by a Finn, Jani Leinonen – they were previously displayed in Stalla Madulain, a 500-year-old barn in Graubünden. Girlahead remains, however, a serious, if laughing, fan of the bulbous statues of Niki de Saint Phalle.