In late-2017, one of Switzerland’s most historic hotels was re-born. Following nine years of work, and nearly USD $500 million in investments, the Bürgenstock Resort—first opened in 1873, and set on 148 forested acres on a ridge above Lake Lucerne—unveiled a brand-new look, with all of its twelve landmarked historic spaces refreshed and multiple new hotels, spas, residences, and restaurants added, making it now one of Europe’s largest resorts. Among the additions is the sleek, five-star Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa, a new member of The Leading Hotels of the World.
The experience begins on the shores of Lake Lucerne, with the resort’s new high-speed catamaran picking guests up from the heart of the city and ferrying them to the other side of the lake, where the Bürgenstock’s vintage funicular, restored to its former 1888 glory, whisks them up the final 1,600 feet to the resort. In addition to the funicular, other existing sites have been painstakingly revived including the 1954-built, kidney-shaped Hollywood Pool, around which generations of jetsetters liked to lounge; and the gourmet, copper pot-lined RitzCoffier restaurant, where the fine French fare pays homage to legendary chefs Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier, who cooked together in Lucerne in the late-1800’s. At the heart of the resort—near the church where Audrey Hepburn got married in the 1950’s, and the site of a villa where Sophia Loren lived for 13 years—sits Tavern 1879, a Swiss Alpine-style inn with a traditional restaurant on the ground floor, and a few cozy rooms above. Walk a bit further down the resort’s main path, taking in sweeping views of a lush valley and the Alpine peaks, to reach the Spycher Club—an 18th-century, wood-paneled granary that once functioned as a nightclub in the resort’s heyday (it’s now a private event space)—or hike along a forest path to take a ride on the restored 113 year-old, glass-enclosed Bürgenstock Hammetschwand, the highest outdoor elevator in Europe.
Bürgenstock has been an innovator in the world of hospitality for centuries. With this extensive overhaul, it’s now setting trends all over again.
For decades, unique sites like the Hammetschwand elevator helped draw both day tourists and guests to the property, and distinguished the Bürgenstock as an innovator in the world of hospitality. With this extensive overhaul, it’s now setting trends all over again—most notably at the Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa. Past a dramatic lobby with double-height windows framing lake views, the new hotel houses 82 contemporary guest rooms and 20 suites, all with lake views, and crafted by London-based, MKV Designs, using local mountain stone, American walnut flooring, Italian marble, and oak cabinetry. Furniture by Italian and Swiss designers, dual-sided brass fireplaces, and cushy bay window seats with views of the lake and snow-topped Alps further add to the no-expense-spared vibe. Two top floor suites can be combined to create the full-floor Royal Suite, with six bedrooms, indoor and outdoor living spaces, including private dining rooms with kitchens, panoramic terraces, and a private spa with jacuzzi, sauna, steam shower, and treatment room.. On the culinary front, guests can indulge in light bites and decadent afternoon tea in the lobby lounge, schedule wine tastings in one of the three glass-walled wine cellars (one dedicated exclusively to bubbly), and savor authentic Asian fare in Spices Kitchen & Terrace, where chefs specializing in Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Thai cuisine work in open kitchens, while guests sit in a glass-walled dining room that cantilevers off the side of the building.
With its re-launch, the Bürgenstock is now also one of Europe’s largest wellness destinations. Connected to the Bürgenstock Hotel by a glass walkway, the three-level, 107,000 square-foot Alpine Spa is a breathtaking hub for relaxation, with views of the lake and mountains surrounding the 12 treatment rooms and three private spa suites, waterbed-equipped relaxation lounges, hydrotherapy areas, and the 69-foot indoor pool. Most dramatic of all is the 1,383-foot-long outdoor infinity pool, which wraps around the corner of the building, and gives soakers the feeling that they’re floating above the lake itself. The Alpine Spa also features an outdoor historic Freeform Pool, vast sundeck and patio, as well as a private Spa Garden.
With a focus on nature-based treatments to nourish the skin and balance the body, state-of-the-art equipment and high touch service help make this one of Switzerland’s most intriguing wellness facilities—and help the Bürgenstock raise the bar on hospitality once again.