The Burgenstock Selection consists currently of six hotels in three locations: The Royal Hotel, Lausanne; The Bern Schweizerhof Hotel; and four hotels in the Burgenstock Resort, which is on the mountain from which the Selection takes its name.
These final four overlooking Lake Lucerne are the five-star superior Burgenstock Hotel and Alpine Spa, the four-star deluxe Palace Hotel and Conferences (not to be confused with the five-star Palace Luzern on Lake Lucerne below (which is closed for renovation until 2019, and is part of the Victoria-JungfraiuCollection), the Waldhotel Health and Medical Experience and the Taverna (which has 12 rooms).
All of the hotels are owned by the Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund, and are managed and run by Burgenstock, which has spent more than one billion Swiss Francs renovating and reopening the properties over the last ten years.
The 1903 original Belle Epoque Palace Hotel saw its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s. It reopened in August 2017.
Where it is?
On the Burgenstock Mountain. You can reach it by car, or by train from Lucerne (60 minutes from Zurich) and then a new high-speed Catamaran which goes from the pier by the train station and takes 30 minutes along the Lake. From there your ticket takes up you in the funicular to the resort.
What’s it like?
The views are stunning as you arrive in the resort, and you walk straight into a reception, which is shared between both the newly built five-star Burgenstock hotel, and the completely renovated four-star deluxe Palace Hotel. It evokes scenes from Bond films with its fabulous views and dramatic appearance. The bar is a great place to relax in the afternoon as the light fades, through to the evening when the lake goes dark and the surrounding hills twinkle with lights from villages down by the waterside.
From the main lobby the rooms of the Palace Hotel are accessed via a “museum corridor”, which as well as serving the practical purpose of providing a link between the two hotels also has lots of fascinating history, souvenirs and pictures of the celebrities who used to holiday in the resort.
The 108 rooms and suites have either mountain or lake views (both impressive, though the lake view is better). Although the exterior of the hotel has been retained, all the rooms are completely new, with modern bathrooms, bedding and plenty of power including UK, EU and US power sockets as well as free wifi. The colour scheme in the rooms is ivory and beige with oak detailing on the walls and the wooden floors. Bathrooms have rain showers and there’s a minibar with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water, tea and Nespresso coffee.
The breakdown of rooms is: 17 Superior Alpine View Rooms (32 sqm, floor 1–5); 24 Superior Lake View Rooms (32 sqm, floor 1–5); 26 Deluxe Alpine View Rooms with Balcony (32 sqm, floor 1–5); 29 Deluxe Lake View Rooms with Balcony (32 sqm, floor 1–5); and 6 Executive Lake View Rooms with Terrace (32 sqm, floor 1). There are also several suites.
Food and drink
Guests can dine in the restaurants throughout the resort, so there are ten options in total. In the Palace hotel the standout option is the French fine-dining RitzCoffier restaurant, which is ideal for special occasions. It is French high-dining in a room grand enough to support the superbly delicate cuisine (and prices to match). Designer MKV London has created an interior reminiscent of a 19th-century kitchen, with more than 100 copper pots similar to those used by Escoffier on the white walls along with blue-and-white tiled walls and oak parquet floors. The food is excellent, and the view from the terrace unrivalled for a nightcap. Other restaurants along the corridor towards the Burgenstock Hotel include the pan-Asian Spices Kitchen and Oak Grill overlooking what’s now known as the Hollywood Pool, which dates from the 1950s and, yes, had Hollywood stars as visitors during those early years.
The hotel has been renovated to attract conferences and meetings, and has positioned itself differently from the Burgenstock Hotel to ensure that there’s no problem with any “five-star ban”. However, guests can enjoy a similarly impressive experience with regard to the views and all the restaurants and facilities in the rest of the resort and hotels (apart from the Alpine Spa, which is available for a surcharge).
The hotel’s conference and banqueting areas are the largest in Central Switzerland, with ten break-out rooms, three pre-function and three function rooms ranging from 100 to 500 sqm. As with the restaurants, the hotel’s dedicated facilities are augmented by those of the resort as a whole, where there is a total of 2,200 sqm of indoor meeting space in 31 rooms accommodating 800 people. The Piazza and the Diamond Domes can provide an additional 1,800 sqm of meetings and events space.
There is a huge amount to do, including infinite walks – one of which can take you to the famous Hammetschwand Lift – or golf on the Burgenstock Alpine course – which is a lovely nine-hole and has a rustic restaurant in the club house. Top of the bill is the outstanding Alpine Spa with infinity pool. The photos below show this.
There can’t be many hotels with views rivalling this one, and the advantage of staying at the Palace Hotel is you have the use of (nearly) all the facilities of the five-star Bugenstock resort while staying in a four-star deluxe property (and even The Alpine Spa is available for a surcharge – well worth paying if you have half a day free).