The highly anticipated Bürgenstock Resort has reopened after nine years of renovation, bringing with it a fascinating history of glamorous guests. Only reached by boat, a Burgenstock visit begins with a journey across the ripples of Lake Lucerne.
In 1954, most famously, actress and Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn married Mel Ferrer in the small on site chapel. Sophie Loren was another regular guest along with her partner Sean Connery, so the hotel needed no introduction in hospitality or celebrity circles. The new revamp cost 550 million Swiss francs and the result is breathtaking.
The resort mixes old and new effortlessly; antiques, copper pots and vintage posters from the glory years line the halls, even the original lift plays a part in the decor. Every inch of the hotel’s interior has been carefully chosen; dark American walnut and brass touches exude elegance. Designed by local architects, the materials were sourced as close to home as possible, such as shell limestone found in the neighbouring Alps. In-keeping with the traditional Swiss theme, detailed wood-carved walls can be spotted around the hotel; a traditional marquetry technique.
Located 2,800 feet above the lake, the sky-skimming resort has the most incredible views highlighted by giant windows in each bedroom. All of Bürgenstock Hotel’s 102 rooms feature fireplaces, huge marble baths, walk-in rain showers with views reaching beyond to the snowcapped Alps. There are few reasons to leave Bürgenstock after checking in; management have thought of everything, such as golf courses, luxury shops, tennis courts, a gallery and even an ice-rink.
Boasting 12 bars and restaurants, at Bürgenstock you can travel the world by plate. The Lakeview Bar & Lounge boasts a 66-seat private cinema, three wine cellars, an old fashioned cigar lounge and grand private dining room. In Spices Kitchen & Terrace, the open-view kitchen provides a huge variety of Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Thai. Ritzcoffier offers classic French cuisine in the setting of a 19th century kitchen with the original 1873 fireplace set pride of place. Signature dishes include dim-sum to tabbouleh, rösti to sushi, cordon bleu to kebab and, of course, piles of creamy Swiss chocolate. Huge effort has been made by the culinary team to offer variety and quality; where possible, produce is sourced locally to minimise transportation emissions.
The Bürgenstock Alpine Spa is the perfect place to relax with the soothing views of Lake Lucerne encircling each of the 15 treatment rooms. Guests can pick from three private spa suites, a fitness area, yoga studio, hammam, sauna, whirlpools and hydrotherapy. The real ‘piece de resistance’ is the 1,383-foot heated infinity pool, which curves around the spa presenting guests with mountain views as they soak in the sizzling water.
Beyond Bürgenstock Hotel, there are a number of other hotels to choose from in the resort: the five-star Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence, the four-star Superior Palace Hotel and the three-star Taverne 1879 (a modest 12-room inn). The Palace Hotel has been referred to as a ‘Belle Époque jewel’ for the interiors; it’s wonderfully warm and inviting with thick oak adorning the ceilings.
During the 50s, a stay at The Bürgenstock Resort was traditionally only possible for the uber rich and famous, but management of this new era urge that everyone is welcome. Guests from every walk of life will always leave Bürgenstock in soaring high spirits.