Old buildings tell stories. The history of a place is writ large on hallowed walls, etched into the rich patina of copper roofs, and worn into banisters smooth from years of use. These bygone stories are important, but so are the tales of the here and now. Past and future meet in the middle, each
bringing their own unique voice to the narrative. From a repurposed girls' school to an updated medieval guesthouse, join Design Hotels™ tour of four properties with modern spirits supported by old walls.
The Dolder Grand, Zurich, Switzerland
Opened in 1899, The Dolder Grand has been a place of rejuvenation in Zurich for more than a century. Closed in 2004 for an extensive renovation project by Norman Foster, it was reopened in 2008 to widespread acclaim. Featuring 176 rooms and suites, a 4,000 sqm state-of-the-art spa facility, a world-class art collection, and an innovative geothermal energy storage system, this Swiss resort promises to fulfill every guest's restorative requirements. www.designhotels.com/hotels/switzerland/zurich/the-dolder-grand
Miss Clara, Stockholm, Sweden
Erected in 1910, the Ateneum girls' school – located on Sveavägen boulevard in downtown Stockholm – was the crowning achievement of the legendary Swedish architecture firm Hagström & Ekman. The Nobis Group has overseen the renovations of the masterful Art Nouveau building into Miss Clara. The 92-room hotel's high ceilings and expansive windows highlight the rich history of its pedigree, while the vibrant restaurant and cutting-edge bar make this a hotspot for both guests and locals alike.
DOWNTOWN Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
A 17-room hotel nestled squarely in the middle of the Centro Histórico borough in Mexico City, DOWNTOWN Mexico fuses 300 year-old colonial grandeur with modern industrial edge. One of the last remaining examples of 17th century Mexican viceregal style, this former palace has retained its royal elegance in the form of modern accoutrements by Cherem Serrano Arquitectos, and the expansive roof terrace with views of the surrounding buildings allows guests to travel back in time to a more kingly era.
Hotel Greif, Bolzano, Italy
Built in the 16th century, Hotel Greif has long been a place for travelers to rest their weary heads. Looking out onto the ancient town of Bolzano, this 33-room boutique hotel has been elegantly redesigned by famed Viennese architect Boris Podrecca. While the interiors are bathed in contemporary artistry, the original walls have been preserved and celebrated while still blending harmoniously with the hotel's modern concept of a guesthouse. www.designhotels.com/hotels/italy/south-tyrol/bolzano/hotel-greif