Described as the Heart of the Country, Lucern is a Swiss city of two parts. These are connected by a long – and picture-perfect – wooden bridge dating back to the 14th century and decorated with pictures representing Lucerne’s past. And there are many other photo opportunities to be taken here; the aquamarine lake, a glacier garden, the pedestrianised Old Town with its painted murals, pretty squares, churches and the Lion Monument statue carved out of natural rock. A boat trip is a must, as you gain a closer look at the alpine peaks rising from the city’s perimeter.
Mandarin Oriental Palace
Perched on the shores of Lake Lucerne, this Belle Époque property has been a landmark on the city’s horizon since 1904. Completely refurbished and reopened at the end of September 2022, it now offers 136 bedrooms and suites with Diptyque bath products, Dyson hairdryers and Bose sound systems, two panoramic rooftop terraces looking across to the Alps and the Spa Bellefontaine. The Mandarin Oriental has four restaurants; the French-style Colonnade, the buzzing MOzern Bar & Brasserie, the sophisticated six-seat Japanese Mizūmi, and the alfresco Quai 10, led by award-winning executive chef Gilad Peled, whose career has included Michelin-starred restaurants.
Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern
A 101-bedroom lakeside property, Hotel Schweizerhof was built in 1845 and for 150 years has been managed by the same family, the Hausers. During that time it has welcomed luminaries including Mark Twain, Leo Tolstoy, Roger Moore, Richard Wagner and Anastacia. Its events are widely renowned as it plays host to a series of beautiful concerts and festivals, there’s a sleek spa and a fitness centre. The hotel is home to one of the city’s finest restaurants, VILLA Schweizerhof, whose haute cuisine has earned the venue 13 Gault-Millau points; as well as two other eateries, Galerie and Pavillon.
Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort Lake Lucerne
Make like Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren and stay at this property; looming 500 metres above the lake, guests can arrive by boat then funicular. Built in 1873, it experienced a heyday during the middle of the last century, before undergoing a multi-million refurbishment in this century, making it a fully accessible hotel of four parts. Facilities include the Alpine Spa with an indoor pool, a kidney-shaped outdoor infinity pool, three Davis Cup-standard tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, a private lakeside lido, 12 eateries and shopping boutiques. The hotel provides free mountain bike hire, a kids’ club and a playground onsite.
Grand Hotel National Luzern
Another lakeside option, this castle-like hotel fully lives up to its ‘grand’ title. 41 regency-style bedrooms have 19th-century chandeliers, lashings of gilt, coffered ceilings, panelled walls, four-poster beds, modern art and antique Empire furniture. But they also have plenty of mod cons, such as Nespresso coffee machines, SuitePad digital guest folders, state-of-the-art entertainment systems and Molton Brown toiletries. Experience an old-world atmosphere at the National Bar, or dine at one of the hotel’s five other restaurants, serving Mediterranean, Chinese, French, Swiss and Viennese specialities. Visit the pool floor to swim, sauna, book massages, and to sun yourself on the terrace.
The Hotel Lucerne, Autograph Collection
Designed by the esteemed Parisian architect Jean Nouvel, this parkside hotel is within a short walk of the city’s old town attractions and the railway station. The interiors are dramatic and ground-breaking; all of the building’s vertical panels are made from wood and all of the horizontal panels are made from stainless steel. Every one of the 30 studios and suites is unique and features remarkable ceiling or wall film projections depicting the architect’s own background. They’re also equipped with Nespresso machines and l’Occitane toiletries. Guests can dine onsite at the HATO restaurant and drink at the HATO bar.