Mary Gostelow rises up to the iconic Dolder Grand Resort

Girlahead visits the Leading Hotel of the World high above Zurich

Even arriving at the sumptuous Dolder Grand makes you feel better: the Mercedes S-Class, lined in soft champagne leather, purrs up, 15 minutes from Zurich’s airport. The hilltop 1899-vintage fairytale turreted castle, pride of the lush four-hectare estate, is flanked by Norman Foster’s four-storey moustache-like wings. Inside are 173 bedrooms, over 130 superb modern art pieces and one amazing indoor-outdoor wellness complex. I start by walking along an inner glass-walled corridor to see the spa: on the way, I look out at a typical Niki de Saint-Phalle statue, a hint of Jeff Koons, always in her bulbous ladies – push a red button to make this one twirl.

I am staying up on the fourth floor of the Spa Wing, in the 170-square-metre Masina Suite, named for Fellini’s wife Giulietta Masina. I look through a big-aperture, white-lacquer fretwork screen at a bespoke snooker table and a rectangular dining table with six charcoal armless chairs by Fendi.

Beyond, through an all-glass wall, is a terrace (lots of seating) and I can see down the wooded hills to the lake. I have a fully-equipped Bosch induction kitchen. The mostly-malachite bathroom has an off-white central egg-shaped tub with a wood bath butler tray. One of my library books is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, partly shot in this suite. A lacquer box holds personalised stationery.

Back to wellness. There is tennis and golf, plus full ‘medical’ wellness. The gym has the latest Citterio-designed Technogym. La Prairie offers superb facials. I swim in a pool that starts inside, extends out to the so-healthy Swiss mountain air.

And food? Heiko Nieder, who has a brand name renowned throughout Switzerland, holds two Michelin stars for The Restaurant. An alternative, Saltz, was designed by Rolf Sachs, with lifesize Arcimboldo heads, a red neon outline of Swiss mountains and a ton-heavy rock hanging from the ceiling by scarlet climbing ropes and crampons. After lots of tapas, I went on to burrata with beef tomato, basil and olive oil, and sliced veal Zurichoise with rösti. As expected, the breads were sensational, as they were at breakfast, when I was really tempted by Markus Kunz’ homemade chocolate hazelnut cream preserves. As I drank yet another cup of absolutely outstanding Dinkel coffee I noticed, besides copies of today’s New York Times, 12 wall clocks, marked for different cities but in fact all intentionally showing the same time.

I had scheduled time for one of the many-a-day complimentary fitness classes, namely Pilates. Four of us endured those Pilates ‘torture’ machines, with extra hand-weights, for self-control and better physical awareness. After feeling simultaneously drained and invigorated I changed into travel clothes, emptied the safe, and head down to the lobby, where the car awaited.

Mary Gostelow’s travelogue is

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