From Buenos Aires to Zurich, this month’s hottest hotels
THE DOLDER GRAND
DESIGN NOTES: The hotel appears on the uphill approach like a fairy-tale castle. Dating back to 1899, it has been built and rebuilt, furbished and refurbished; its current incarnation maintains the original facade and fuses traditional Swiss design with chic modern additions.
CLAIM TO FAME: The Dolder has been a fame magnet since day one. Nelson Mandela is listed in the guestbook, along with Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Luciano Pavarotti and Mikhail Gorbachev. During World War II, Europeans flocked here for respite, Winston Churchill among them.
LOBBY RESEMBLES: The entrance to a stately home whose occupants have status anxiety. Marble pillars crowd around a large chandelier; staircases sweep up past classical landscapes. There’s also a lounge and library offering sublime views of the Alps.
WHAT’S NEW: Guests keen to explore the hotel’s 100-plus pieces of art now have an iPad app to show them around. Here, your digital guide will tell you, is Andy Warhol’s “Big Retrospective Painting,” and over there you’ll find a Damien Hirst, a Takashi Murakami, a Salvador Dalí, a Keith Haring, a Joan Miró…
AMAZING AMENITIES: The 43,000-square-foot spa is extraordinary. As well as a meditation cupola comprising 9,500 mirror mosaic pieces, a one-of-a-kind cooling Snow Paradise room and private spa suites, it also offers guests the chance to be massaged to the tune of their own violinist or indulge in a caviar body treatment.
OTESAGA RESORT HOTEL
BACKSTORY: The Otesaga Resort Hotel opened in 1909, and pulling up to the front, you’ll certainly feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, as the grand Federalist brick facade and towering, 30-foot white columns recall antebellum plantations and the estates of robber barons. The Clark family, which commissioned and still owns the hotel, also built Manhattan’s notorious Dakota.
BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: Step out onto the hotel’s back lawn, grab a cocktail at the Fire Bar and watch the sun set over Otsego Lake. The nine-mile-long glacial body of water is so lovely it has been immortalized in literature: James Fenimore Cooper called the lake “Glimmerglass” in his Leatherstocking Tales.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: Cooperstown is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and a short walk down Main Street, past baseball memorabilia shops, will bring you to the national pastime’s most sacred place. The hotel offers several baseball-themed packages, as well as major league perks for conferences, such as a chance to eat dinner in the Hall of Fame.
IDEAL GUEST: The Otesaga caters to enthusiasts of several sports. If you happen to prefer swinging at something a bit smaller (and more stationary) than a hardball, the resort is home to the Leather-stocking Golf Course, which was designed by famed golf course architect Devereux Emmet. The Leatherstocking has stood the test of time—it’s Zagat’s second-highest-rated course in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.