When you take a boat ride on Lake Lucerne, you cannot help but notice the legendary Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort sitting majestically high up on a mountain ridge. A hotel estate dating back to 1871 (Switzerland’s largest resort), today’s Bürgenstock offers private Residence Suites and four luxury hotels - Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa, the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence and the Palace Hotel.
The newly built Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa offers 102 rooms and suites, all designed to take in those sweeping lake and mountain views. The Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence building is another architectural masterpiece, designed by Matteo Thun. With cutting-edge medical facilities, there are 137 rooms and suites designed for medical check-ups, post operative convalescence and medical treatments to rejuvenate jaded patients in 23 rehabilitation rooms. The Palace Hotel retains its traditional edifice. Originally built in 1903 and fully renovated, the property offers 109 rooms and suites designed in a classically contemporary manner.
The resort also features seven restaurants and three lounges and bars spread across the hotels, a shopping arcade and two spa areas – one located at Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa and the other at The Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence. Activities are many and varied and range from alpine golf to tennis, ice skating to guided tours, biking to hiking, plus much more. For the latest blockbusters, there is the Bürgenstock Cinema and a range of boutiques offering anything from luxury wristwatches to souvenirs. The resort is a short hike from the highest outdoor elevator in Europe – the Hammetschwand Lift – at 1,132 metres. Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort boasts its own picturesque 9-hole Alpine Golf course - just a 15 minute saunter from the main hotel.
Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort is set 500 metres above Lake Lucerne - boasting outstanding panoramic views over the lake and the surrounding Alps. It measures one kilometre across and expands across 60 hectares.
There are a number of ways to arrive at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort. Take a cruise across Lake Lucerne with the Bürgenstock shuttle from Lucerne (around 17 kilometres away) and arrive at the resort courtesy of the resort’s funicular railway (around 45 minutes), travel by train and bus or book a private limousine transfer. Helicopter transfers are also popular and if using a private jet, Buochs Airport is just a 15-minute drive away. Zürich is around 68 kilometres distance, a transfer of just over an hour, Basel around 116 kilometres, with a drive time of around one and a half hours and Bern around 126 kilometres, a transfer taking around an hour and 35 minutes.
The resort has plentiful underground parking with various e-car charging stations if required.
If you arrive by road in a Ferrari, your car will join the stable of Bürgenstock’s own black or red “cavallino rampante” that guard the hotel entrance.
Guests are spoilt for choice at Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort as there are four very different hotel options available, designed to suit every taste and all overlooking the mountains and the lake, 500 metres above Lake Lucerne. Even better, dogs are welcomed warmly here too and catered for with pet room set ups available.
The Bürgenstock Hotel has been rebuilt with innovative architecture and 102 elegant contemporary guest rooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows looking out over Lake Lucerne. Guest benefits include daily buffet breakfast; use of both the lake shuttle and the funicular railway; a free round of Alpine Golf; an underground parking space; an hour’s free tennis court and entrance to the cinema.
The Lake and Mountain View Deluxe Rooms (42 square metres) each enjoy a luxurious clean lined, contemporary interior with large panoramic windows that both fill the room with daylight and allows guests to enjoy those fabulous lake and mountain vistas.
Luxury materials abound and include marble in the bathrooms and walnut wood in the guest rooms.
There is also a walk-in wardrobe, a bathroom featuring a double bathtub to take in those Alpine views and a double-sided fireplace and desk. In the main guest room, there is a window seat to either curl up with a book or just gaze at the outstanding views. Amenities include flatscreen LED TVs with Bluetooth and Apple TV; Bluetooth alarm clock; ironing board and iron and luxury Bulgari toiletries. The Lakeview Superior Rooms are similarly sized and enjoy outstanding postcard-perfect views out over Lake Lucerne.
Moving on up to the Lake View One Bedroom Suites, it is all about the space – 73 square metres – and the separate living room with corner seating and a dining table. The Lake View Spa Suite (89 square metres) meanwhile comes complete with a private sauna and an exclusive massage room with a massage couch for in-suite treatments. It also has a private loggia with views of the Alps. For families, there is also a Lake & Mountain View Family Suite of a similar size with two bedrooms and a large living area to cope with a family entourage.
For a “push the boat out” moment, head directly to the one-bedroom Penthouse Suite to enjoy a mountain panorama on a private 75 square metre covered roof terrace. This 169 square metre Penthouse is more like a designer apartment with indoor and outdoor dining spaces, sun loungers on the terrace, a large seating area and desk, a guest powder room plus kitchenette and a spacious master bedroom suite.
The ultimate suite however is the two-bedroom Royal Suite at a breathtaking 308 square metres of living space and a 166 square metre panorama terrace. Fourteen people can stay for dinner inside or out, there are quartzite walls and walnut flooring, a circular wooden bath and even a grand piano – all brightly lit by the floor to ceiling encircling picture windows showcasing that unbeatable alpine panorama.
For traditionalists, the Palace Hotel may be more alluring with the history outlined over a Museum Gallery. The 109 rooms and suites however are as stylishly contemporary as the Bürgenstock with a neutral colour palette, luxury materials, oak parquet flooring and wooden accents.
The complimentary additions and in-room amenities are the same as for the Bürgenstock Hotel with the Lakeview and Suite guests enjoying complimentary access to the Alpine Spa too. There are five different types of guest room ranging from the 33 square metre Alpine View Deluxe Room overlooking the Bürgenberg and the Alpine foothills and the similarly sized Alpine View Deluxe Room with Balcony. The Lake View Deluxe Room with Spa Access is the next category up. Of a similar size, this room type can be upgraded to the Lake View Deluxe Room with Balcony and Spa Access. Light and airy, with balcony access to enjoy the views, the final room category is the 38 square metre Lake View Deluxe Room with Terrace and Spa Access looking out over Lake Lucerne and Mount Rigi.
There are two types of one bedroom suite – the 56 square metre Lake View Superior Suite with Spa Access and the top floor Lake View Prestige Suite with Spa Access at 80 square metres. The former enjoys a spacious balcony with stunning views, designer furnishings and a separate bedroom and living room whilst the latter enjoys the luxury of space with stunning fabrics, hand-picked antiques, and elegant lighting.
The most unique accommodation at the Palace Hotel however is the two-bedroom, double story Lake View Cottage – a standalone building featuring a glass balcony with panoramic Alpine views. Offering 110 square metres of space, the bathroom features a bathtub with a view for two, a large modern kitchen with an antique dining table, a state-of-the-art entertainment system and a cosy living room. There is also a private inner courtyard with sun loungers.
The Waldhotel built by acclaimed architect Matteo Thun, is the largest Gabion building in the world and features 137 rooms and private terraces. Complimentary inclusions are similar to those for the Bürgenstock with guests able to partake of breakfast at their base hotel. The other difference is that whereas the other guests have access to the Alpine Spa, Waldhotel guests have access to the hotel’s own spa plus there is a billiard room and a hotel library for relaxation too. Views from The Walhotel are of the intense green forest with meadows and mountains in the background.
There are two types of contemporary styled, neutrally designed guest room – the Alpine Deluxe Room with Balcony and the Alpine Deluxe Room with Terrace, both featuring 40 square metres of living space and seven square metre balconies and terraces. There are also two types of suite available – the 80 square metre Alpine Suite and the 145 square metre Serenity Suite. The latter is ideal for families as it can be connected to another suite of a similar size whereas the Serenity Suite is more like a spacious private apartment with walk in wardrobes, libraries, floor to ceiling windows; a fully equipped kitchenette and dining room for up to eight people – either inside or out – plus a large and comfortable sitting room.
The ultimate suite however is the two-bedroom Vitality Suite offering 151 square metres of inside and outside living space. With balconies from each bedroom and the spacious living/dining space, the beautifully designed interiors offer everything you could wish for in an alpine retreat, including a roaring fireplace.
When it comes to wellness, Bürgenstock has it covered at the Alpine Spa with 10,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor facilities split up over three floors and all surrounded with a Swiss mountain panorama and styled in a simple and calming contemporary classic manner.
The Spa’s high-end products used include those from Germany’s Dr Barbara Sturm for signature facials, Biologique Recherche for facials and hair treatments and Vinoble Cosmetics for facials and body treatments. Facilities include 13 tranquil, beautifully appointed treatment rooms designed for relaxation; a Serenity Room with a fireplace, waterbeds, day beds and lounge seating; a Spa Garden overlooking Lake Pilatus and the Alps (also featuring the Bull’s Eye Pool Bar, the Panorama Garden, and a Roman pavilion) and wet areas including a Spa Lounge; an Alpine Rasul steam bath; a Saline floating bath; Kneipp baths and infrared cabin and relax loungers. Female guests will enjoy the Nude/Naked Spa for Ladies whilst there is also a Nude/Naked Mixed Spa too with cold and hot plunge baths, rain showers, a panorama sauna, a herbal steam bath and a relaxation area. The Swiss just love going naked! Fitness wise, the fitness area covering 200 square metres of space with a range of equipment, open 24/7. The gym also offers group and individual classes and personal training sessions on request.
Push the boat out and go for one of the three private spa suites – the Sophia (Loren), the Shirley (Bassey), or the Audrey (Hepburn) - named for three of Bürgenstock’s most famous visitors - for the ultimate in luxury pampering with a private sauna; a steam room; jacuzzi, double showers; a couple’s treatment room; a tea bar and a relaxation room complete with a television and a fireplace. One of the spa’s highlights is the 35-degree centigrade infinity-edge swimming pool looking out over the gardens and mountains beyond although there are three other pools too including an indoor one, the Alpine Eco Pool, the Hollywood Garden Pool and various plunge pools set at varying temperatures. There is also Backstage Hair Spa with Riccardo Castelletti and team for looking your best with mani-pedi facilities. Even better, the Kids Club Mutzliburg will keep the little ones aged from three to twelve amused whilst you relax and enjoy the spa.
At the Waldhotel Spa, there are beautifully stylish wellness rooms complementing the Alpine views at every turn. Even better, the spa has been made with local wood and tiles made from Alpine stone so it is sustainable too. This spa also boasts indoor and outdoor swimming pools and warm and cold Kneipp pools. The treatment rooms are cool, calm and collected with both skincare and beauty options. The mixed spa has a Finnish sauna; an Aroma Sauna; a Hammam; an Ice Room; a Salt Grotto and an indoor and outdoor relaxation area with water beds. The Ladies Spa meanwhile features a Bio Sauna, a Hammam, and an indoor and outdoor relaxation area with water beds. There is also a Waldtique Shop for purchasing exclusive cosmetic product lines.
Here, wellbeing is inspired by nature and they follow a “Healthy by Nature” concept with products and treatments by Susanne Kaufmann, Swiss Line by Dermalab and SkinCeuticals. The spa features a diverse range of therapies including medicinal massages; physical therapies; electrotherapy; shock wave therapy; classical water therapy; physiotherapy and personal training sessions. Other options include group courses; outdoor training; functional movement screen; Sensopro training; relaxation techniques; yoga and progressive muscle relaxation from Jacobsen. In addition, there is NADA Protocol (ear acupuncture); Movement and Dance Therapy; Cryotherapy in the “icelab”; Shiatsu; whole and partial body massage; foot zone reflex massage; connective tissue massage; lymph drainage and Fango application.
The Waldhotel Spa also offers a range of health and medical programmes lasting from between three to fourteen nights including diagnostics and advance check-ups; mobility and activity; weight management and metabolism; body and mind balance; beauty and healthy aging and healthy by nature packages. In addition, the nutritionists will devise an individually tailored diet for each patient with a programme called Waldhotel Colour Cuisine designed by Chef Martin Stein with nutritional profiles determined and derived from a personal nutritional recommendation. Foods are divided according to colour with most containing similar active substances.
Activities are plentiful here at this expansive resort and include tennis in the Diamond Domes, personal training both in and outdoors in the mountains and Alpine Golf. In addition, there are guided tours by foot and by bike, nights at the Bürgenstock Cinema and a shopping arcade for those wanting to splash the cash. The world is your oyster as far as outdoor sports are concerned with archery; rock climbing; paragliding; lake fishing; sightseeing by air; you name it. During the summer months, try canoeing; cycling; mountain biking; moonlit hikes; quadbike tours; cave tours; learn about beekeeping or visit a winery. During winter, try snowshoeing; heliskiing; ice skating; curling; fat bike tours; snowmobiling; ice fishing; tobogganing and more.
Indoors too, the choices are vast and range from mixology to chocolate and cooking classes, beer brewing, herbarium classes, wine tasting, and more. Nearby too, there are opportunities to explore Lucerne; go up Mounts Rigi and Pilatus; take a boat ride on the lake; learn about cheesemaking and more. A lesson about caseiculture or cheese making is a must and the local artisan – Christian from Jumi – is on hand to educate!
Just 15 minutes’ walk from the resort is Bürgenstock Alpine Golf. Built in 1928, it’s a superb Par-66, 1989 metre (from back tees), course some 1500 feet above Lake Lucerne. It is very much a walking course – it’s tricky – with undulating fairways and tight greens but is great fun! The amazing views are a great excuse for a poor round! Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn loved this course! There is a restaurant – Osteria Alpina – for pre or post round meals.
For kiddies, there are Fun Yoga Classes; tennis lessons; spa treatments; film matinees (with popcorn on the house); children’s mocktail making; farm visits and cookie making classes. Children are warmly welcomed at Bürgenstock with baby care products and welcome gifts, connecting rooms and children’s menus.
It is thanks to Franz Joseph Bucher and Josef Durrer that the dream that is Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort came to fruition when in the second half of the 19th century, mountaineer and spa tourism in Switzerland became popular. The two built the Bürgenstock Hotel opening it in 1873 whilst Friedrich Frey-Fürst took it over in the 1920s. This is where Audrey Hepburn married Mel Ferrer - in the resort’s chapel which was built in 1897 - and swam in the Hollywood Pool, “007” Sean Connery also swam in the pool and played golf, President Jimmy Carter came to stay, Sophia Loren added glamour and Indira Gandhi visited with her father Nehru in 1953. It's here that they met with Charlie Chaplin.
Today’s Bürgenstock undertook an extensive nine-year renovation, opening in its present state in 2017. The largest resort in Switzerland if not one of the largest anywhere, this amazing complex of hotels and facilities is simply unbeatable in its breadth and scale. There are hotel rooms verging from the contemporary to the cosy, a plethora of activities both indoor and outdoor to keep you entertained, and when the need arises, there is both a medical and a relaxation spa to soothe away the cares of the day. Whatever you want to do, see, or experience in the clean and invigorating Swiss mountain air, this magical resort’s 800 strong staff will make it happen, with everything running as smoothly as a Swiss timepiece.
Like its sister property - the delightful Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa, located in the centre of the Swiss capital - the Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort has a link to James Bond. 007 - Sean Connery and film crew resided in Bürgenstock's Palace Hotel for a month while shooting Goldfinger in 1964.
The difficulty with seven restaurants and three lounges and bars is really what choice to make as there is everything from classic haute cuisine to Asian favourites and Swiss Alpine choices, spread out across the four hotels comprising the resort and counting 57 Gault Millau points between them.
Spices Kitchen and Terrace is located within the Bürgenstock Hotel building on an incredible overhanging platform where the lake views are king. Serving a selection of Far Eastern favourites from curries to sushi, dim sum to chicken satay either to share or to keep all to yourself, the restaurant features a show kitchen with dishes from Japan, China, India, and Thailand – earning them 16 Gault Millau points in the bargain. The signature dish unveiled this year is the “Spices Signature Peking Duck” prepared in the traditional and authentic manner.
The Oak Grill & Pool Patio is located at the Alpine Spa with a generous terrace showcasing the Hollywood Pool and the mountains and counts 14 Gault Millau points to its name. Serving international favourites such as Aberdeen Angus Beef, Loch Fyne oysters, lobster and Swiss gourmet cuisine, the ambiance is more casual with wood, stone and open fires lending a relaxed vibe.
The Sharq Oriental Veranda and Shisha Lounge resides in its own self-contained building (the former Villa Daniel where Sophia Loren once stayed) across from the Taverne and between the Bürgenstock and Palace Hotels. This restaurant, with 13 Gault Millau points to its name, offers the very best of Middle Eastern cuisine from mezze to mixed platters and more. Set in very modern architecture with stunning views, décor is typically laid back with an Eastern style with luscious fabrics and intense colours. The shisha menu offers more than ten different flavours to be enjoyed in the Arabic lounge setting.
For a taste of Italy, head to Osteria Alpina – Terrazza, located in an alpine setting surround by fir trees directly on the golf course. This is a casual restaurant, open in good weather, with home style dishes of sharing snacks, salumi and antipasti, salads, pastas, and flat breads in a homely, rustic ambiance inspired by two former celebrity guests – Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren.
For healthy and light cuisine, there is Verbena Restaurant & Bar located at the Waldhotel and offering sweeping unobstructed views over the alpine panorama with a spacious south facing sun terrace for sunny days. Awarded 14 Gault Millau points, herbs are an all-important ingredient in Chef Martin Stein’s healthy, colour cuisine which offers light dishes of fish, meat and vegetables with the motto, “Eat well to live well” with an innovative and refreshing drinks menu to run alongside. The Verbena Bar is the first non-alcoholic hotel bar in Switzerland serving a range of alternative beverages including slightly effervescent tea, kombucha and pungent herbs.
The Brasserie Ritzcoffier is located in the Palace Hotel and celebrates French classics in the grand brasserie style. The setting of course could not be better with views from encircling windows overlooking Lake Lucerne. Food wise, enjoy authentic French cuisine created with joie de vivre and including oysters, entrecôte, Bouillabaisse, French Onion Soup and Crêpes Suzette with Sunday Brunch a particular favourite accompanied by live music.
Adjoining the Brasserie, Salon 1903 retains an authentically glamorous atmosphere with its rows of marble columns and enormous chandeliers, enjoying Teatime Classical Concerts. Culinary Director Mike Wehrle presides over a Swiss gourmet menu with ingredients from Switzerland and surrounding nations in a traditional atmosphere with floor to ceiling windows showcasing the lake and mountain views. On pleasant evenings, caviar and Champagne is served on the terrace.
The Lakeview Bar & Cigar Lounge enjoys comfortable seating with floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the alpine panorama. This beautifully styled contemporary space serves both international tasty bites, afternoon tea and innovative cocktails, some of which were inspired by Bürgenstock’s illustrious clientele. The menu features anything from white asparagus soup to classic Caesar Salads, club sandwiches, foie gras and Wagyu beef burgers. The Cigar Lounge meanwhile offers cigars from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Switzerland to enjoy within a luxurious smoking room.
Bürgenstock features over 850 labels on their wine list with many coming from the old world but a significant portion dedicated to young and coming producers from across the globe.
Like the other hotels in the collection – The Royal Savoy Lausanne and Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa, the Bürgenstock Resort has undergone a huge renovation and to that end ensured that sustainability was at its core. In 1888 the two local partners behind the resort - Franz Josef Bucher and Josef Durrer - opened the first electric cable car in Switzerland and built a water pipe to transport water from Lake Lucerne to the resort for drinking needs.
The resort has a unique energy system in which all heating and cooling needs are supplied by lake water. The water is pumped 500 metres up to the resort, utilised and released back down. While travelling downhill, the water passes through a turbine, in turn producing electricity. Lake water is also used for the swimming pools, irrigation of the golf course and plant watering throughout the entire resort. This system covers 100% of the cooling and 80% of the heating needs. The resort is almost CO2 neutral. The electricity at the Bürgenstock Resort is 100% CO2-neutral certified and is distributed from a regional station in the Canton of Nidwald.
The Bürgenstock Resort offers unique access by shuttle boat and the spectacular funicular – adhering to the Swiss way of thinking that public transport has to be efficient and user-friendly.
Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort