Bürgenstock Resort is the largest integrated hotel resort in Switzerland situated above Lake Lucerne in Canton Nidwalden. The resort is located on the Bürgenberg and comprises a total of 30 buildings, including four hotels and a number of sports facilities. The complex is built above ridge offering breathtaking views of the lake 450 metres below. From the Lucerne railway station there are regular scheduled boats and linking the resort and lake is the Bürgenstock Railway (Bahn), an electric funicular train.
The iconic mountain resort complex reopened in 2017 after three extensive renovation and re-construction works, carefully and sensibly planned by sole owner and operator, Qatar’s Katara Hospitality, a leading international investment and management company specialised in luxury hotels. For its Swiss properties, Katara created the Bürgenstock Selection which, nowadays, is Switzerland’s largest deluxe hotel group, owning and operating hotels and residences with a combined total of 678 rooms and 67 residence suites.
Besides the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, the company also owns Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & Spa, and the Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa Lausanne which also underwent extensive renovations before reopening. Overall, one billion Swiss francs have been invested in renovating these landmark properties and elevating them to an unparalleled standard of modernity and luxury.
Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne has always been a magnet for celebrities including Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer who got married in the chapel on the Bürgenstock in 1954 (the chapel has also been carefully restored and renovated). Sophia Loren and her husband Carlo Ponti resided for seven years in one of the chalets. Queen Ingrid of Denmark was a regular guest at Bürgenstock in the late 1940s while German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer spent the summer months of July and August 1950 in the resort and conducted affairs of state there.
Jawaharlal Nehru stayed at the resort in 1951, accompanied for the first time by his daughter Indira Gandhi. Two years later he met Austria’s foreign minister there, Karl Gruber. The film crew shooting the James Bond film Goldfinger spent a month at the Palace Hotel in 1964 alongside James Bond actor at the time, Sean Connery.
Waldhotel is positioned as a luxury hotel mainly focused on medical recovery and wellness. The ‘Healthy by Nature’ concept equally attracts guests seeking the ultimate relaxation and recovery wellness facilities, including skincare treatments but also those seeking medical rehabilitation, with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment as well as specialised medical personnel. Psychosomatic therapy, which focuses on restoring mental health and controlling stress and anxiety triggers, is among the most popular choices by the guests at Waldhotel.
The epitome of luxury, the Bürgenstock Hotel, boasts 102 rooms and suites, all of which have spectacular views of Lake Lucerne. The accommodations which feature floor-to-ceiling windows boast the highest standard of contemporary style luxury furnishings and facilities, thus ensuring the ultimate comfort. You will be impressed by the Spa-sanctuary-like bathrooms abundant in natural stones and marble, the incredibly comfortable oversized king beds, but also the working fireplaces available mostly in suites.
The resort provides an extensive range of activities all around the year: in winter, there are ice-skating rinks and tennis courts, while skying is possible in nearby Engelberg, less than half an hour from the resort. The extensive bike paths and hiking trails are popular during the warmer months. In summer, the world famous Hammetschwand Lift is in operation for those who fully want to take in the blissful surroundings. Originally built in 1905, it is the highest outdoor elevator in Europe and was featured in the 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger.
Besides the sheer size of the project and the sizeable invest, it is the long term vision of the Qatari investors which is most impressive. The entire complex has been built and is being operated in keeping with a very coherent strategic approach to sustainability and ecology, giving back to the local community, not only in financial terms but also creating jobs and investing continuously in nurturing talent.
The year-round operation of the resort has also translated into ensuring employment continuity but also attracting very specialised human resources such as those from the medical field. By achieving and maintaining a high standard of customer service is also driven by a highly professional team across all departments.
For instance, the complex includes no less than nine Food & Beverage outlets with a very complex operation, from a Michelin starred elegant classic restaurant (RitzCoffier under the helm of celebrity Chef Marc Haeberlin) to an Arabic themed restaurant. There is also a sophisticated Asian restaurant which blends Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisines in a stunning setting with panoramic views and an entertaining open show kitchen.
My personal favourite venue is the Lake View Bar, a majestic high ceiling lounge, a centre-piece destination which is equally frequented by resort guests but also visitors, mostly local patrons, which is yet another major achievement of the developers and investors. During my stay, the majority of the dining guests at Spices (Asian restaurant) and Sharq (Arabic restaurant) were local guests.
Oliver Petcu at Bürgenstock Resort
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