Luxury Hotels

BURGENSTOCK – 2

Aim sky-high should be the rallying call of the entire luxury hotel world and certainly BURGENSTOCK, high above Lucerne, is making the right kind of noise. The resort’s boss, Christian Sack is determined to see it recognised as one of the five top resorts globally within five years. As part of that goal, he has a line up of more than 100 guest experiences (see more cheese-making, above).

The resort’s already had top tickertape Times Square shout-out in the USA and a Channel-4 documentary in the UK. It looks as last Summer’s come-as-you-are Garden Party (600 at Sfr600) will do even better at the follow-up, 20th August 2022.

The 102-room BURGENSTOCK HOTEL AND ALPINE SPA is one of three main hotels at the resort and any day now all the trio will be part of Leading. Two of the hotels are darker-coloured, post Qatar’s 2015 purchase of the entire resort: the 1903-vintage Burgenstock Palace Hotel and Conferences, and other older heritage buildings on the 60-hectare estate, are highly protected, perhaps still pale cream.

On arrival at Bürgenstock Hotel, opened 2017, the guard of honour included just-polished and parked Ferraris and Lamborghinis flanking supremo Sack and his deputies. A monumental concrete overhang led to an equally serious-tone lobby (thank goodness for a flower garden of purple orchids). Frankly whoever chose designer Maria Vafiadi/MKV must have known that this woman does not seem to have light and bright in her vocabulary.

But here in the mountains the nine-floor Bürgenstock Hotel’s architecture, by local firm Rossli, and MKV interiors do mirror the exterior. Most of the top floor is taken up by 706, the Penthouse Suite, which despite its 225sq m overall indoor size only has one bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms and dining for eight. Bathroom walls are entirely dark green and blood-coloured Greek quartz, and floors throughout are mid-stain American oak.

The open-sided, open-topped terrace offers a light and bright panorama of cookoo-clock farmhouses, Swiss pastures (clanging cowbells waft up) all wrapped around in mountains. Back inside, there’s a Miele kitchen, lots of Bang & Olufsen electronics, blue-packaged Acqua di Parma toiletries. China everywhere is Bernardaud, stemware Riedel – house-pour Champagne is Moët. #706 came with William Tell story-telling. Dried apple chips vied for table space with apple juice, a bowl of polished Galas and apple-shaped macarons and marshmallows. The room had full do-it-yourself keep fit stuff that negated the need to head back to the fourth floor Matrix gym.

Every corridor – dark brown carpeting – somehow leads, perhaps via a short elevator, to the divinely uplifting Alpine Spa. Take a Spa Suite there and apart from lack of a bed you imagine being in yet another heavenly Pres, with a sauna and 100% humidity steam shower, scented both, and a square tub and a square jacuzzi, double size and scenic over-lake views, both.  Recently-arrived Spa Director Maggie Derblay, ex-One&Only Le St-Geran, shows the importance of attracting ‘the best’ to be ‘the best’.

Girlahead’s long-time pal Mike Wehrle, Culinary Director since before the resort’s 2017 re-opening, was a Peninsula legend. Any food is possible here at Bürgenstock – he did not even turn his nose up at a lunch request for green salad with avocado, olive oil on the side, and a big plate of his thrice-cooked (in duck fat) Agria fries. Along the way there was a superb veal chop on the bone, a Thai yellow curry and a Vitality meal that introduced a new, Wehle-way, of fit eating. More to come.

Now see a video of room #706.