Some of the most stunning hotels

Some hotels are much more than just a place to rest your head – they are catwalks for the wealthy, the glamorous and the successful; places where the international jet set take a break, where high-powered business deals are struck and also sources of inspiration for writers such as Thomas Mann and Marcel Proust.

The Dolder Grand, Zurich


After four years of renovation the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich celebrated its re-opening in April 2008. The luxury hotel offers 173 exquisite rooms and suites, two restaurants, banquet and seminar rooms as well as a 4000 square metres huge spa in the city’s best area.

The Dolder Grand’s guests are offered a shuttle service or an exclusive limousine service to the city centre and the legendary Bahnhofstrasse..

A very special highlight is the two-storied, luxurious Maestro Suite in the tower of the historic main building. However, the other parts of the Dolder Grand are an architectural masterpiece by the London based star architects Foster and Partners Ltd too. The historic main building was conjoined with modern architecture and expanded by two new spa and golf wings.

The restaurants offer Fine Dining as well as urban culinary. From the terraces you have a unique view over the city of Zurich, the Lake Zurich and the Alps. Don’t miss out on the 9-hole golf course, the 5 tennis courts and the spa with 19 treatment rooms as well as two suites for exclusive, private relaxation either.

The Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich truly is eligible for membership of “The Leading Hotels of the World” and “Swiss Deluxe Hotels” and provides every luxury you expect from a luxury hotel.

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Armani hotel, Dubai


The Armani Hotel Dubai, is the first hotel under the collaboration between Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and Emaar Properties PJSC. The cooperation was established in 2005 under an agreement between Giorgio Armani S.p.A. & Emaar Properties, with the objective to develop, own and operate an exclusive collection of hotels, resorts and residences in the world’s most important cities and holiday destinations. The first of a series of Armani Hotels is placed in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai Tower. Defined by its unique location, highest standards of aesthetics and service excellence, the Armani Hotel Dubai is the most exclusive place in the city.

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Baur au Lac, Zurich


Richard Wagner, King Ludiwg II, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Daniel Craig…the list of high profile Baur fans is almost never-ending, a testament to the hotel’s appeal among the rich and famous. Set in private parkland on Lake Zurich and only a stone’s throw from the city’s main business district, Baur au Lac has been regarded as one of Zurich’s premier addresses for a good number of years. There are four different room types at the Baur but perhaps a real must when booking here is the new River Suite; co-designed by star architect Pierre-Yves Rochon this spacious 100m2 suite offers a large living room area, sumptuous bedroom and modern bathroom. There’s even a small kitchenette on offer. The River Suite is perfect for conducting small business meetings or simply for indulging in that extra bit of luxury on your vacation. Book a table at the light and airy Restaurant La Pavillon which serves a selection of fine French cuisine and which opens out onto the hotel’s private park. After dinner why not stop by the Diagonal Club? This is the meeting place of Zurich’s high society and regularly plays host to top national and international DJs. If you prefer your activities to be more health-oriented then you couldn’t wish for more here; the rooftop gym is incredibly well equipped and you can enjoy stunning views of Lake Zurich as you work out.

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Hotel Hassler, Rome


The Hassler in Rome stands, quite literally, above everything else. Situated at the head of the Spanish Steps it’s a perfect vantage point for enjoying panoramic views across the Eternal City. Here you can drink in almost all of Rome’s most famous landmarks; the Coliseum, the Villa Borghese, the Piazza Trinità die Monti and many of the city’s obelisks. Swiss hotelier Anton Hassler, after whom this establishment takes its name, had a dream to create the perfect luxury hotel in the heart of the buzzing capital of Italy and to that end acquired a fantasy 16th Century ‘palazzo’. Classical Italian is the theme of the hotel to this day and it’s a charming style achieved through a combination of fresh Mediterranean colours mixed with selected antiques, Venetian-style mirrors and opulent crystal chandeliers. The hotel is so highly regarded that it recently landed at number 21 in Travel+Leisure’s Top 100 World’s Best Awards 2008 making it Europe’s best city hotel, Italy’s best hotel overall and the only hotel honoured in Rome! A particular stand out here is the newly renovated rooftop restaurant, Imago; with its lush marble flooring, relaxing music and the flicker of candlelight reflected in the glass table tops, it’s a suitably romantic spot for that intimate dinner set against the backdrop of the city at night.

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Hotel Ritz, Paris

The mere mention of the name Ritz is synonymous with opulent luxury combined with excellent service and the Paris establishment of this legendary hotel is no exception. César Ritz founded his luxury hotel in 1898 and it quickly established a reputation that remains to this day; Proust was inspired by it, Coco Chanel lived here and in the century since it’s been operating it’s attracted celebrities, politicians, business magnates and royalty from all corners of the globe. All the luxurious rooms and suites here are individually furnished and combine the modern conveniences you’d expect of a 21st Century hotel with a splash of thoroughly French style. For those wishing to indulge in that little bit of extra luxury should book into one of the hotel’s Prestige Suites; the suites available embody the timeless chic of the Ritz (18th Century wood panelling, priceless antiques, period furniture) but also feature elements reminiscent of one of the eleven famous persons after which these rooms are inspired by, whether it be Ernest Hemingway, Elton John, Chopin or the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The elegant L’Espadon restaurant is Michelin starred and is a splendid location to enjoy a tasty breakfast, a business lunch or a romantic dinner. In addition to the varying delights on the menu you can choose from over 1000 different wines from the Ritz’s cellar. If it’s authentic French joie de vivre you’re after on your vacation then the Ritz is nearly impossible to surpass.

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Grand Hotel, Stockholm

Sweden may often be overlooked when discussing the world’s most opulent hotels but this is a little unjust as the capital city of Stockholm boasts an establishment luxurious enough to compete with any of the glamorous hotels that St. Moritz, New York or Tokyo have to offer. The hotel first opened in 1874 and currently ranks as Scandinavia’s premier luxury meeting place. It’s situated opposite the Royal Palace and, thanks to a recent extension, now has 368 rooms of which 37 are luxury executive suites. Executive Suites are spacious and well-appointed; furnished in high-quality materials and with luxurious furniture they also afford spectacular views over Stockholm’s water front and Royal Palace. These suites also provide ample space to hold private business meetings. The hotel’s health club is not to be missed. Run by Sturebadet, which for over 100 years has been one of Stockholm’s most highly-regarded gymnasia, it’s the perfect location to unwind after a hard day (massage, beauty treatments) or to prepare for one (swimming pool, exercise equipment). Needless to say, dining here is also an experience not to be missed; sip a cocktail in the Cadier Bar before taking dinner in either the luxurious Veranda Restaurant or the a la carte Mathias Dahlgren concept restaurant. If ever proof were needed that Stockholm has been keeping a sumptuous secret then this is it!

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Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg


Moscow may hold the honour of being the world’s most expensive city yet St. Petersburg also has a very pricey jewel in its crown, namely the stunning Grand Hotel Europe. The hotel opened its doors 130 years ago and has seen a number of significant figures stay here; Tchaikovsky chose it as his honeymoon destination while George Bernard Shaw dined together with Maxim Gorky. Today the hotel represents a splendid combination of traditional Russian hospitality, modern conveniences and discreet service. The hotel is situated on Nevsky Prospekt, rightly regarded and St. Petersburg’s most attractive avenue, and is near to some of the city’s most culturally significant buildings such as the Russian Museum and the Mussorgsky Theatre. There are 301 different rooms and suites available here all furnished in a way that is both low-key yet sumptuous. A particular stand out here is one of the Executive Suites which boasts a baby grand piano – perfect for the musically inclined visitor! There are five tempting restaurants in the hotel which serve a mixture of traditional Russian cuisine as well as delicacies from around the world. In addition there are two relaxed café areas and a bar with an impressive wine and cocktail list. Those wishing to relax within the hotel can make good use of the facilities here and the excellent personal service. However, those with an itch to explore will find plenty to amuse themselves in one of the world’s most beautiful cities: St. Petersburg.

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Hotel de Paris, Monaco


Prince Charles III of Monaco had a plan: to turn his city into a meeting place for blue-blooded and world famous hedonists and since gambling was illegal in France at that time Monte Carlo quickly established a reputation for itself at the end of the 19th Century as THE place to be to go wild and enjoy life to the fullest. The Hôtel de Paris was opened in 1863 and attracted the international elite; from Russian Tsars to the Duke of Windsor to Winston Churchill, many a world-famous name stayed here to enjoy the splendour of the hotel itself and the stunning views of the azure blue sea. The hotel has since enjoyed several renovations yet retains the charm and sophistication of the times from which it first became famous. From the moment you step into the lobby it’s like taking a trip back in time. Further points of interest are the jazz bar, the delicious restaurants and the well-appointed spa complex. An absolute must for dinner reservations is the Louis XV dining room where French star cook Alain Ducasse prepares a dizzying number of mouth-watering dishes.

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Grand Hotel Kronenhof, St. Moritz


No list of the world’s great hotels would be complete without a nod to St. Moritz – for years the favourite playground of the international jet set. The Grand Hotel Kronenhof certainly more than lives up the reputation St. Moritz has for opulence and luxury. Built between 1848 and 1900 both the interior and exterior of the hotel are protected by a preservation order making it one of the most culturally significant hotels in the Alps. Grand Hotel Kronenhof is located in the heart of Pontresina in private parkland and is a great base from which to enjoy skiing and winter walks. St. Moritz itself is only 6km from the hotel. From the guest rooms and suites you can enjoy a view across a truly magical winter wonderland; the Engadine Valley with acres of pine forests and the Bernina glacier in the distance. The hotel boasts 111 rooms all ordered into different categories; what they all have in common is a stylish attention to detail in terms of their cosy décor, warm lighting and luxury furnishings. Dinner in the Grand Restaurant is a truly unforgettable experience with it’s faulted stucco ceiling and resplendent chandeliers you can choose any number of delicacies from the carving trolley, farm buffet, fish buffet or Italian buffet among others. There’s a wealth of luxury wellness treatments on offer in the hotels spas to really unwind and forget about the stresses of the modern day. In fact, if you really want to experience the luxury and serenity of the previous century then the Grand Hotel Kronenhof is the perfect destination.

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Hotel Schloss Fuschl, Salzburg


Schloss Fuschl is an enchanting castle hotel set in its own parkland a stone’s throw from the magical city of Salzburg. Staying here is a truly wonderous experience; the hotel combines the classic splendour of an 18th Century manor house with all the modern conveniences necessary for the 21st Century traveller. The hotel boasts 65 rooms, 39 suites and six lakeside cottages all decorated in either Renaissance, Empire, Baroque or Biedermeier style, transporting guests to another place and another time with their mixture of classic artwork, opulent furniture and selected antiques. Chill out in the spa complex overlooking the lake with a wide selection of massage and beauty treatments or perhaps a dip in the indoor pool or Jacuzzi. Head Chef Thomas M. Walkensteiner serves a selection of Euro-Asian cuisine intermingled with traditional Austrian specialities. An especial highlight here is the fresh fish caught from the hotel’s private fishery. After dinner, enjoy a snifter in the bar or a relaxing smoke in the cigar lounge. Schloss Fuschl is a perfect country hideaway for those wishing to escape to the hustle of contemporary living; it’s so highly regarded in fact that Condé Nast Traveller recently voted it one of Europe’s top 25 resorts.

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Hotel Atlantic Kempinski, Hamburg


Hamburg is a popular tourist city with many attractions for the casual visitor and the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski should surely rank up there with the best the city has to offer. The hotel first opened its doors in 1909 and since then has established a reputation for excellent service and luxurious comfort which is second to none. The hotel is situated in the hear of the city on Lake Alster and the views from the guest suites are stunning. All rooms feature a mini bar, cable TV, wireless internet access and a safe. Other amenities available include baby-sitting on request, limousine transfer, local and international newspapers and garage parking. The stylish Atlantic Restaurant on the banks of Lake Alster provides a suitably romantic environment for an intimate dinner while genuine Chinese cuisine is on offer in the Tsao Yang restaurant. Drop into the Atlantic Bar for pre-dinner cocktails or a short before bed. The spacious Alstersalon serves a sumptuous breakfast buffet each morning before your day exploring Hamburg begins. The Energy Clinic provides the spa and wellness facilities at the hotel and combines modern technology with ancient Chinese healing remedies. Whether you choose to enjoy the pool, the sauna, a massage or a traditional treatment you are sure to leave here feeling refreshed and completely rejuvenated.

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