By Ken Scrudato
DOLDER GRAND, ZURICH doldergrand.ch
A rendering of Switzerland’s regal Dolder Grand, above.
Myriad new boutique hotels, and none can hope to touch the mythic glamour of the illustrious Dolder Grand. Perched majestically above the glorious city of Zurich (which, mind, The Mercer Index just announced as the city having the highest quality of living in the world), this quasi-castle (that’s “schloss” in German) has played host to everyone from Nelson Mandela to U2. Now it’s being dazzled up for a Spring 2008 re-opening, with two new wings by star architect Norman Foster. Everything will be sleek, but notably, the Dolder will now house suites dedicated to the likes of Giacometti and the Rolling Stones-so you might not want to snort anything from the minibar.
MISSONI HOTEL, KUWAIT CITY rezidor.com
With Ferragamo having launched their hotel group in Florence and Bulgari in Milan, one has to appreciate the cheeky audacity of Missoni in choosing a Kuwait City debut. Partnering up with Belgian hotel giant RezidorSAS, the first Missoni Hotel will be the aesthetic progeny of that wondrously outlandish Italian design god Matteo Thun, who has fast become a darling of the hotel interiors trade. Expect a scene-y Missoni Cucina restaurant, luxurious Missoni spa, and stylish rooms with (hopefully) bloodless Persian Gulf views. Additional Missoni hotels will quickly follow in Dubai and, oddly, Edinburgh.
citizenM HOTELS, AMSTERDAM citizenm.com
A rendering of Amsterdam’s citizenM, above.
Though the name, citizenM, sounds more like a lost German Expressionist film, this new Dutch hotel group is simply dedicated to making travel seem fun and fabulous for those not on bloated fashionista expense accounts. This year will see the first pair open, one at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (our favorite hub), and another in the city center. Vitra furnishings, a hip bar, rooms with ambient lighting, and high-tech everything-and all starting at an astonishing ?69 a night. Expect citizenM hotels to follow in London, Barcelona, Milan, and a plethora of other stops on the grand tour.
GREENHOUSE 26, NEW YORK 132 West 26th Street
Awash in art-market profligacy, Chelsea does seem an odd locale for the city’s first “eco” hotel. And this writer roils with suspicion about the “green” movement (if humanity can’t stop slaughtering one another, perhaps we deserve extinction?). But the concept sounds a noble one, using a geothermal energy system to reduce waste by about 40 percent, as well as utilizing locally-sourced, non-toxic building materials. The hotel, opening sometime this coming year, will also use only organic products and offer exclusively organic munchies. Best of all, there are “occupancy sensors,” which will hopefully be used to detect non-green intruders and summarily dispose of them.