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Old 25.05.2008, 20:42
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Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

We finally made it up to the Dolder last night to have a snoop around and drink a cocktail at the bar. I thought I might share some thoughts with EF in case anyone has a special event to celebrate or (exceedingly wealthy) guests in town.

From what I can gather, you can get there by car, taxi, train and a cool little shuttle that runs up from downtown. It's a bit of a hike, so if you are planning on drinking, take a cab.

The hotel itself is not to everyone's taste. My better half said it looks like Disneyland, and I can see how it comes across as a bit over the top. The decor is really not to my taste, a bit much (as only the Swiss can do it). That said, the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship is astounding. The doors (for example) between the tastefully appointed lobby "bar" and the library/meeting rooms must have been 20 cm thick - I have never seen anything like it.

If you do drive up, assuming it isn't too busy, let them park your car. The walk from the car park to the hotel itself is a bit of an adventure. Once you get into the hotel, the bar is downstairs, past the main lobby. The restaurant has managed a couple of good reviews thus far but there was an event there last night so we did not get a look. The lobby, as mentioned, is a nice place to relax, perhaps smoke a cigar if the fireplace is on, or sneak out to the terrace with a stunning view over Zurich.

The bar is easily one of the nicest in the city and compares to the Widder, Onyx or, perhaps, Rive Gauche in terms of what it is trying to achieve - (minus the "Ladies" and orange Italian sports cars). The decor is (IMO) stunning, it's intimate, cool, and tasteful (again, IMO). It reminds me a bit of the new Schumann's in Munich, although I do not like the new Schumann's so go figure. It is new enough and far away enough that it will never be the scene that some of the other bars are, all the better.

The prices, well, are high. Take, for example, a glass of champagne. Veuve Cl at CHF20 and Dom at a jaw-dropping CHF52. Yes, folks, U$55, GBP25, C$50 for a glass of fizzy wine but hey, the hotel has been described, in its previous incarnation, as "the finest in Europe". They have a DJ on the weekends, who starts his set around 23h and goes until 2 or 3. It will absolutely be a scene during the EM...

The staff is very professional/friendly, which came as a bit of a surprise. They have clearly been trained by North Americans.

All in I have to say that I was impressed with the whole package, and if I was in need of a 5* bed in Zurich, and didn't need to be at the office at the crack of dawn, this would be my first choice.
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Old 25.05.2008, 21:05
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Very nice report for those like me who didn't make it up to the famous Dolder yet. I thought about having a look when they had the "open house" right before the grand opening but was shocked when I heard about the crowds.

Sounds like I have to climb up there to see the bar ...

Cheers Gina
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Old 25.05.2008, 21:10
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Thanks for the review! I DID brave the crowds on the open day and loved the "candles hanging from the ceiling" idea in the bar. Some areas of the hotel are a bit claustrophobic and dark but then I'm not an architecture connoisseur.

I took a few pictures on the open day so if you fancy having a look here they are.
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Old 25.05.2008, 21:14
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Kittster's pic below gives you an idea of the bar. The lighting in the pic is turned up, so imagine the bar at night, with most of the lighting coming from the "candles" and reflected from the gold chains - very James Bond (Sean Connery 60's style). I should also mention that they have jazz nights once in a while and the "canned" music they were playing prior to the DJ was very cool - someone did their homework here.
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Old 25.05.2008, 22:26
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Thanks for the tip. I'm considering taking in some Jazz on some Tuesday evening to entertain a friend after work.

Although I've never encountered any dress codes here in Switzerland, could you please comment on the dress code. Business suit attire (yawn) probably passes, right? How about power casual or hip?
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Old 25.05.2008, 22:32
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Phos-san, I am the last one to comment on style of dress. Given what I have seen passing for style here in Zureich I think they are more interested in the color of your AmEx than your suit; black works well on both counts.
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Old 25.05.2008, 23:03
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Thanks for the review. Can't wait to check it out.

fduvall
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Old 26.05.2008, 19:18
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

One of my friends went to the Dolder restaurant for dinner a couple of years ago. The meal was good, but try as he may, he could not get the waiter to fill up his (beer) glass more than one inch deep. There were also no bottles on their table, and the waiter kept putting the 3/4 full stubby on a service table on the far side of the room...

Things may have changed since then.
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Old 26.05.2008, 21:27
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Apparently it's quite good for brunch on Sundays. My "current" went for coffee on a Sunday and stayed for brunch for the view from the terrace. She highly recommended it. Hope to accompany her next time even if it means attending an Opera matinée beforehand .
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Old 27.05.2008, 09:55
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Thanks for the review. Staying there in August for a night so will post my findings here too.
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Old 27.05.2008, 15:32
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

"The staff is very professional/friendly, which came as a bit of a surprise. They have clearly been trained by North Americans." Does that mean they harrass you if you don't leave a tip?
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Old 28.05.2008, 13:54
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

@heebeegeebee: have no worry lad, your Scottish purse will be safe as you flee the premises...
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Old 28.05.2008, 14:51
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Re: Dolder Grand Hotel and Bar

Ha ha... just you keep your hands off my sporran, aye laddie or I'll hit you with my fried mars bar och aye the nooo hoots mon. Any more easy stereotypes?
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