Overlooking postcard-perfect Lake Lucerne, you’ll find Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa.
The magic of Bürgenstock Resort truly begins even before you get the first glimpse of the hotel. It starts to build on the charming catamaran that ferries hotel guests and day visitors from Lucerne, as they take in views of the surrounding Alps. The anticipation then mounts as you transfer onto the vintage red funicular, climbing up high past the fir treetops, setting the tone for a spectacular stay to come.
THE PACKING EDIT
A grand dame of the luxury-hotel world, Bürgenstock Resort was first opened in 1873 and was famously frequented by the glamorous and the great in the fifties and sixties: indeed Sophia Loren was a regular, and Audrey Hepburn even got married at the on-site chapel. The hotel and spa, recently having undergone a revamp, occupies a picturesque spot 500m above the placid blues of Lake Lucerne. It is an architectural delight of stone and glass, which will beguile design enthusiasts as well as serious spa-goers.
Seemingly suspended between water and the sky, this monastic 10,000m2 spa is all about panoramic views – whether it be the lake or Alpine landmarks. The design is very James Bond – think lots lots of wood, slate, and floor-to-ceiling glass.
You could well need a map to cover all ground; the spa itself unfolds across three floors. I found myself easily whiling away a whole day sampling the many amenities. Included are all the facilities you’ve come to expect from a luxury spa. From soothing infrared saunas and a giant, wooden panoramic sauna, to bracing plunging pools and jacuzzi jets to mollify sore limbs, as well as hot and cold kneipp baths to boost circulation. Then there are the extras which really set Bürgenstock Resort apart. The nap shells are seemingly futuristic recliners which vibrate gently as soothing music and kaleidoscopic colours cocoon you – entrancing. A stint in the floating pool, which mimics the buoyancy of the Red Sea, proved particularly blissful too.
There are various spots to recline between treatments, such as the cosy spa lounge, plump with leather sofas, fur cushions, and a log fire – a set up I can imagine would be idyllic in winter (can you tell I’m plotting my return?).
The jewel in the crown is the indoor pool, which transcends into a romantic infinity pool heated to 30 degrees. It’s near impossible to remove yourself from, and even harder to avoid Instagramming – though no phones allowed in the pool, of course.
Fans of 111SKIN’s iconic sheet masks will be thrilled to learn that Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa has partnered with the much-lauded British-skincare brand to deliver their unparalleled glow directly from their Harley Street clinic to the Alps. The spa menu boasts six treatments, which imbue skin with both instant and long-term results. I opted for the Signature Harley Street Facial.
Perfect for soothing inflamed or sensitive skin, this facial begins with a double cleanse before delving into a deep-tissue facial massage to work away at areas of tension around the eyes, jawline, neck, and shoulders, whilst also softening wrinkles. Of course, it includes the famous 111SKIN sheet mask; for me, the Y Theorem Bio Cellulose Facial Mask, laden with 111SKIN’s signature NAC Y2 complex, to strengthen the epidermal barrier and further calm skin. 60 minutes of pure skincare bliss later, my skin was positive gleaming, resulting in a momentary laps of landscape photos as I opted for selfies instead to eternalise the results.
Be sure to swing by the spa shop as you float out post-treatment in your fluffy robe to stock up on your favourite 111SKIN products to continue the glow.
All 102 of the rooms boast lake views. The signature slate employed in the spa is a style note carried through to the room décor, accented with brushed metal and leather, and softened by plush textures. There are definite design nods to the locale: cowhide rugs and cowbells suspended above the desks echo the tinkling soundtrack you hear all around from the cow-filled meadows. Opt for a Lakeview Superior Room: the spacious sunken bath is a decadent touch, and a prime spot to soak in yet more dazzling views.
A culinary extravaganza, there are 10 restaurants and bars to sate your appetite after a day of spa-ing. Spice is the hotel’s most popular restaurant, jutting dramatically off of the main building – it’s a prime location to watch the sunset. Here, Asian-inspired dishes are cooked with flair in the open kitchen adding a theatrical element to dining. Equally delivering on the lake views, Sharq Oriental Veranda serves up a Middle Eastern feast. If you are looking for healthier fare, Verbena Restaurant & Bar specialises in locally sourced ingredients and lighter dishes without compromising on flavour.
If you want to leave like the most coiffed version of yourself, check into the on-site salon, Backstage Hair Spa, for a colour refresh or simply a swishy blow-dry. There is also the option of brows and lash tinting, and professional make-up sessions.