|The Ambience: The vast 4,000 metre spa has an organic feel with long curved stone walls and charcoal black floors. The architecture is by Norman Foster the spa concept by the queen of luxury spa design' Sylvia Sepielli , who created the concept for YTL Spa Village Pangkor Laut, Malaysia and the spa at Halekulani Hawaii to name but two of her many successes. So you know this is going to be good.
The Luxury Travel Bible loves the black-tiled pool with wide windows overlooking the valley below. And the meditation room with its mirrored cupola. Outside the whirlpool has views of the forest on the edge of Zurich. Inside there are Japanese touches in the Sunabaro spa area with saunas steambaths and kotatsu footbaths and European touches in the form of a snow room and aroma pools. As well as 19 treatment rooms there are relaxation lounges, a café and a library so you could easily stay all day - many do, padding around happily in their slippers and generous pearl-grey robes.
Interestingly the hotel has a long spa tradition, it originally opened in 1899 as a hotel and 'curhouse' (a traditional European health spa) .
On the menu: Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Facial by La Prairie
The Treatment: This is a new treatment for Dolder Grand Spa (and for La Prairie) and I can't think of a better fit for one of Switzerland's most iconic hotels. The story goes that La Prairie discovered a trio of delicate-looking plants that nevertheless survive only in the icy cold environment high up in the Swiss Alps. La Prairie researchers found a way to extract the protective DNA of these plants to create the revolutionary Swiss Ice Crystal formula, which helps the skin to protect itself against the visible signs of premature aging especially environmental stress and UV. The theory being I suppose that if those fragile-seeming plants can take on blizzard or big freeze and survive then our skins too will be protected.
Christina my therapist introduces me to La Prairie’s new line of products ,which includes the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Cream, Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil and Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Complex. The Dolder Grand's 90 minute treatment is so much more than a mere facial (but then the Dolder Grand is so much more than a mere hotel…).
Before they even touch my face Christina's magic fingers work on my back and shoulders smoothing away care. The facial creams feel lush and rich with fragrance as delicate as mountain flowers. The treatment also uses crystals and quartz. Warmed pink quartz crystals are used on my face, neck and décolleté they are relaxing and calming but also promote lymphatic drainage. For an eye massage Christina uses cold clear quartz crystals as icy as Alpine snow which refresh and decongest.
The Result: My face looks bright and fresh as if I've just been for a walk in the alpine air, my skin feels smooth and dewy. I feel so relaxed in the core of my being that its like a horizontal meditation.
Hilary Doling, 10/12/14