It is five o’clock in the morning. My biological clock awakens me – it’s school run time at home, back in the real world. I’d yearn to sleep more, but, as I shift in my bed, I catch a glimpse of a shimmering light. And, all of a sudden, I’m wide awake: “Oh! This beauty! I cannot miss a single thing!”
We had arrived at the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne the evening before – the last stop of this superb Swiss trip, after visiting Schweizerhof Bern and Royal Savoy Lausanne. Although I was familiar with the setting, nothing had prepared me for the magnificence of this hotel! “I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and see this beauty in daylight!” was a recurring thought throughout the evening.
The “wow” had started the moment we departed from Lucerne. What an arrival experience! At the hotel’s recommendation, we took the Bürgenstock Express – the boat that connects the resort with the city, crossing the entire Lake Lucerne – and then up the Bürgenberg mountain with the hotel’s own funicular. The boat trip availed breathtaking views of the city of Lucerne: century old buildings looking fairytale pretty in the autumn dusk. The red of the Swiss flag seemed the only spot of color that brought the city out of a surreal monochromatic palette.
Busy admiring the city we left behind, I only looked up as we were nearing the shore. And then I saw it! This shining gem towering above the lake from the mountain top, looking so festive and shimmering in the early evening light. “What is this?”, I asked in awe. “It’s the hotel you’re going to”, the answer came and I felt my heart skip a bit.
The Bürgenstock funicular is a technological wonder that has been a means of transportation up the Bürgenberg since the end of the 19th century. Now perfectly restored, the red wagon’s shape clearly indicates that the way up is a on a very steep slope. And as the lake and the city sank underneath in the funicular ride, I could only think how lucky I was to be there.
As we entered the lobby, the warm wood fire was glowing in the stylish fireplace at the very heart of the Bürgenstock Hotel lobby. Elegant yet understated flower arrangements dressed the lobby in autumn colors, while the ceiling lights shimmered discreetly through edelweiss shaped patterns. “I wonder what Christmas looks like here”, I thought mesmerized.
A quick check-in and then the door to my room is opened! “Wow! Oh! Wow!” This “wow” stayed with me throughout my visit, making me feel guilty that, as a person of words, I was somehow unable to find more eloquent ways of expression. From the room setting, the window bed and the view I could only anticipate at night, to the interior design touches, the extra-wide bathtub and the generous welcome tray – it was all “wow”! Never did I yearn to spend so much time in a hotel room. Like a kid in Wonderland, I took so many pictures, just thinking: “I just can’t wait to wake up tomorrow!”
The fabulous fondue dinner at Spycher Club – a fully restored farm house from the 18th century – has only made my wait lighter.
And here I am, at five o’clock in the morning, full of anticipation for the day ahead. I filled my bathtub, dropped in the Bulgari green tea sachet for extra fragrance – the bathroom amenities are divine! – and quietly enjoyed the spectacle of the world awakening at my feet.
Bürgenstock Resort is a destination by itself. Exploring this fantastic mountain resort felt like a visit to a magic land where you can’t wait to see what’s coming up next. A large tourist complex spread over 140 acres, the resort encompasses four hotels, a spectacular alpine spa – the afternoon at the spa was another memorable experience –, twelve restaurants – every single meal we had was a feast! – and numerous other facilities to keep anyone entertained for days! No wonder Sophia Lauren, Audrey Hepburn and many others just as famous called this place home at some point in their lives. You could actually expect to hear the famous introduction line “Bond. James Bond.” with every new person you meet.
With a history dating back to 1873, the hospitality heritage of this mountain resort oozes from every corner – and they certainly know how to showcase it. From the cinema theatre set up as a tribute to Audrey, to the long connecting corridors that display samples of pieces that belong to other eras. Heritage buildings and newly built hotels are in perfect harmony with the Swiss architecture and heritage preservation laws, while the interior design is an astonishing interpretation of luxury suitable for the 21st century.
Every corner surprises with striking details that softly then blend into the bigger picture. The stone cladded walls in my room looked solid yet warm, perfectly complemented by the dark walnut parquet to create a luxurious mountain den in harmony with the surrounding nature. The window bed felt like a nest in the sky from where I could admire spectacular views of the lake and the city of Lucerne unfolding under my eyes. I found the traditional Swiss cow bells reinvented into understated chandeliers in my room, or, in their original shape, decorating the walls of a restored farmhouse; the edelweiss motif brightens the lobby ceiling and corridor carpets, while fire places in different shapes and places kept reminding me I was in a Swiss mountain resort, on the brink of the winter season.
I cannot complement this beautiful resort enough and I made a promise to myself that one day – sooner rather than later – I will come back with my family for a little dreamy vacation!