There is an effortless efficiency about Switzerland. From the moment you step off the plane in Zürich, you are witness to a culture that thrives on quiet and calm — exactly what you’ll be looking for in your first post-wedding days. Here, soothing voices and melodic chimes replace the bells and whistles and constant noise of wedding-planning stress.
As you arrive at the Dolder Grand Resort after a short car ride up and out of the city’s center, you can’t help but be taken by how, well, grand it really is. The impressive mix of history (the resort was built in 1899) and modern style (a major renovation in 2008 made the whole operation more environmentally friendly) will leave even the most seasoned traveler oohing and aahing over every little detail.
BY DAY: You will definitely want to take advantage of the luxurious, 43,000-plus-square-foot spa at the Dolder — complete with lap pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, a “snowparadise” (essentially, the opposite of a sauna, with ice and snow to cool you down), and his-and-her locker rooms replete with saunas, kotatsu footbaths, steam baths, and cold-water basin plunge-pools. The resort also offers fitness classes, a full-service gym, and mountain bikes for exploring the nearby trails.
After you have relaxed and revived, it’s just a quick tram ride (the Dolderbahn Bergstation originates at the resort) down to town. Once there, take in the city sights on a romantic boat trip with the Zürichsee Schifffahrtgesellschaft — the Lake Zürich Navigation Company — which runs tours anywhere from one and a half hours to seven-hour day trips around Lake Zürich. Then it’s off to Confiserie Sprüngli, a delicious patisserie specializing in Zürich’s signature cookie, the Luxemburgerli. There are many imitations of this bite-sized macaroon-style cookie, but Sprüngli’s are the real deal. (And just one box won’t do the trick — be sure to get an extra for the road.) Then stroll along the Bahnhofstrasse, Zürich’s main shopping avenue, where you’ll find everything from major retail outposts and Swiss department stores to über-high-end boutiques.
BY NIGHT: If you want to put those first-dance lessons to good use, Zürich has its fair share of nightclubs. Check out the Saint Germain Club, a DJ-centric dance spot in the heart of the city with an amazing rooftop terrace. But, if you don’t want to travel far from “home,” the Dolder Grand Bar, with its sleek design and hanging Swarovksi crystal candles, turns out great drinks. Or, order a bottle of wine to your room and sit outside on your private porch, watching the twinkling lights of the city below.
WHAT TO EAT: As you venture around the city, if you start craving more than the (spectacular) street-vendor bratwurst or handmade pretzels, stop by Terrasse for an upscale snack or drink at the bar. In addition to a vast wine list, the restaurant — housed in a gorgeous, historical building — offers delicious house-made pastas. If you’re looking for more traditional Swiss fare, check out the kitchsy-but-fun Zeughauskeller in the heart of Zürich. Back at the Dolder, all the offerings are worth the trip, from the more light and casual Garden Restaurant to the Michelin-starred fine-dining establishment, the Restaurant. But under no circumstances should you miss the Sunday brunch. The opulent meal, served buffet-style, lets you sample elegant Swiss fare — both traditional dishes and modern interpretations — in an impressive and abundant display.