Burgenstock Resort: Oasis of well-being between water and sky

It doesn't get much more Swiss than Lake Lucerne. It is a postcard landscape that captivates everyone. The lake with its steamships, the mountains Pilatus, Rigi and Titlis. The city of Lucerne with its style of luxury and nostalgia, sung about by Alexandre Dumas as a "pearl in the most beautiful oyster in the world. And the magnificent hotels, above all the Burgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne.

Burgenstock Resort: An extraordinary journey

Even the journey to the resort is a testimony to its exceptionality. The excitement increases with every meter from the landing stage at the Lucerne Culture and Convention Center. After 30 minutes on Lake Lucerne, the fiery red Burgenstock Railway, newly built according to historical models, takes guests to the resort at an altitude of 1100 meters in just a few minutes. Timelessly beautiful is the panorama that welcomes the visitor up here. The view sweeps into the depths, over the almost vertically sloping flank of the Burgenberg mountain. And ends at the lake, which five hundred meters below connects five Swiss cantons.

Rooms with a view

As early as the 1950s and 60s, the international jet set and political celebrities stayed on the Burgenstock. Konrad Adenauer, Theodor Heuss or the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi spent their vacations here. Stars such as Sophia Loren or Audrey Hepburn, who celebrated her first of three weddings there, also regularly descended there. As well as the entire "Goldfinger" crew around James Bond-Mime Sean Connery and his adversary Gert Frobe.

The Hotel Village Burgenstock

In the fall of 2017, the hotel village of the same name opened with its unique mix of historic and modern buildings. It was dusted off, cleared out, torn down – it was rebuilt for the path to modernity. 30 buildings now comprise it, including four hotels with 383 rooms and 67 residence suites, a medical center and eight restaurants and bars. In addition, there is a 9-hole golf course, three tennis courts, an artificial ice rink – and the highest outdoor lift in Europe. 700 employees take care of the guests. Many monument and landscape protection requirements had to be met. 147 building permits were necessary. Construction took over nine years. The operating company Burgenstock Selection, which is owned by the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, has invested around half a billion euros in the renovation of the complex.

Burgenstock Resort: The interior

The mundane combines with the down-to-earth, sustainable materials characterize the ambience: Natural stone, wood, gneiss and limestone from the Alps, larch from the Burgenberg forest. European oak, American walnut, granite floors in the bathrooms, carpets made of New Zealand wool – and, last but not least: water from Lake Lucerne.

The flagship of the hotel collection is the "Burgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa."The impressive L-shaped building consists of two wings with a striking terrace in the middle. The buildings are set directly on the edge of the slope and shifted against each other. The luxurious 5-star superior hotel with its 102 rooms and suites is able to inspire in more ways than one. Floor-to-ceiling windows, for example – and below you only the abyss and the expanse of the lake. Or the shower and double bathtub with a view of Lake Lucerne. On cold days, a wood fire behind glass warms you – and makes bathing a romantic experience.

Spa on 10.000 square meters

The spa, which is spread over 10 floors, is also unparalleled.000 square meters over three floors and is one of the largest wellness temples in Europe. The eye-catcher here is the outdoor infinity pool, which towers over the rocky flank of the mountain and merges practically seamlessly into the panorama. Almost 500 meters above Lake Lucerne, it feels as if you are swimming freely into the alpine world. "An encounter between water and sky," promises the hotel website, not without exaggeration.

The Frequent Traveller: Burgenstock in Switzerland

The gigantic spa features additional pools and an extensive sauna landscape, as well as brine and Kneipp baths, u.a. a floating pool with 40 percent salt content. A lot of stone, wood, fireplaces and subdued light characterize the ambience. Resting on waterbeds or in infrared-heated resting shells known as "napshells.

Pergolas made of larch wood

Another highlight of the resort is the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence. Gabions, metal stone baskets filled with limestone and gneiss from the excavations on the mountain, and pergolas made of larch wood frame the building designed by Matteo Thun. It is the world's largest building system with stone baskets. "Wood forms a patina and becomes more beautiful over the decades and centuries," is the Italian star architect's credo. With its naturally greened flat roofs, the building blends perfectly into the landscape.

The Frequent Traveller: Waldhotel on the Burgenstock

All 160 rooms and suites face south and have a sun terrace. The five-star hotel focuses on medical and health-promoting services, integrated into exclusive hotel and spa offerings. A multidisciplinary team of doctors, therapists and nursing staff looks after the health and well-being of guests. In addition to convalescence, there is a department for burnout patients, medical check-ups, nutrition, sports medicine, dentistry and dermatology. The whole-body cold therapy in the cold chamber, also called cryotherapy, awakens the spirit and tired limbs at minus 110 degrees. It helps rheumatism and pain patients as well as athletes and burn-out patients

Culinary delights at the Burgenstock Resort

In terms of culinary delights, the mountain ridge above Lake Lucerne leaves nothing to be desired. In its latest edition, GaultMillau named the Burgenstock Resort the 2019 Hotel of the Year in Switzerland with a total of 58 points. 95 chefs are at the stove and four restaurants make it into the restaurant guide at the first attempt. Spectacular is the "Spices Kitchen & Terrace", which rises as a cube with glass front from the facade and floats 500 meters above the abyss, dream view over the lake included.

Surf & Turf at the Oak Grill

In an open kitchen, four kitchen teams prepare dishes from Japan, India, China and Thailand under the direction of Thai Chatsorn Pratoomma. The chefs were flown in from China, Thailand, India and Japan – with the clear mission of cooking like they do at home, i.e. as authentically as possible.

The Frequent Traveller: Spices Restaurant

At the Oak Grill & Patio, chef Andreas Haseloh's motto is "Surf and Turf". Original preserved oak beams characterize the ambience, the heart is the imposing grill. Haseloh gets the meat in the immediate vicinity: "Holzen" has become synonymous with top quality in recent years; the Holzen animals graze on the Burgenberg. A highlight is the duo of Holzen-Angus cattle. The second cut cooks sous-vide for 36 hours and then lies on the limited Green Egg kamado for a full night of smoking. Not from the region, but an extraordinary temptation is the short rib of Canadian bison.

The Frequent Traveller: Short Rib from Bison

Anyone who has gorged on dishes like these, taken a dip in the infinity pool, and showered overlooking Lake Lucerne is likely to conclude without question: The hotel village's path to modernity has been a success. The former legend on the Burgenberg is back.