FRESH FACE

Once a favourite re­treat for the likes of Au­drey Hep­burn and Sophia Loren, Switzer­land’s moun­tain-top Bür­gen­stock Re­sort has been re­stored and ex­panded for a new gen­er­a­tion of lux­ury trav­ellers. tama lung joins the grand-open­ing fes­tiv­i­ties

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Martell’s new brand am­bas­sador Jean-Bap

tiste Gourvil shares his vi­sion for the cognac

house

A thou­sand guests have made their way to Lucerne to cel­e­brate the grand open­ing with the Qatari ho­tel owner and de­vel­oper, our group fly­ing into Zurich and then catch­ing a train to Lucerne, a ferry to the base of the Bür­gen­stock moun­tain and the charm­ing fire-en­gine red fu­nic­u­lar to the peak and lobby of the Bür­gen­stock Ho­tel.

Walk­ing past the ubiq­ui­tous watch dis­plays – this is Switzer­land, after all – we find our­selves in an invit­ing re­cep­tion area com­plete with roar­ing fire­place and gleam­ing lime­stone floors. But the real draw, from here and al­most ev­ery cor­ner of the re­sort, is the view over Lake Lucerne, which ex­tends in four direc­tions like sin­u­ous fin­gers. At dusk the sky over the dis­tant shore bursts into a rain­bow of blues, pinks and pur­ples, hav­ing shed the layer of clouds that ac­cu­mu­late most morn­ings.

One of the best van­tage points to be had is in the gue­strooms of the Bür­gen­stock Ho­tel, while soak­ing in the over­size tub next to a glass-en­closed fire. But prob­a­bly the big­gest draw, and cer­tainly the most pop­u­lar among so­cial-me­dia fol­low­ers, is the ad­ja­cent 10,000-square-me­tre Alpine Spa.

The three-storey spa has ev­ery­thing I’ve ever wanted in a well­ness re­treat: the usual saunas and steam baths, but also an in­frared sauna, ice room, saline float­ing bath, nap shells and wa­terbeds for loung­ing.

Not to be missed is the out­door in­fin­ity pool that ex­tends from the in­door lap pool and ap­pears to float above the lake. It’s easy to spend hours ex­plor­ing the wet and dry ar­eas be­fore curl­ing up near the fire­place to en­joy the view from the floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows of the Seren­ity Room.

But we’re here to cel­e­brate and the Bür­gen­stock does not dis­ap­point. After a rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony at­tended by Qatari dig­ni­taries and Katara man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Bruno Schöpfer, the doors of the Bür­gen­stock and Palace ho­tels are thrown open to re­veal lav­ish food sta­tions serv­ing up moun­tains of Kaviari caviar, raclette cheese from the cows graz­ing in the pas­tures be­hind the ho­tel, Thai sal­ads from the Asian-themed Spices Kitchen & Ter­race, and spit-roasted lamb from the Sharq Le­banese and Qatari eatery that oc­cu­pies Loren and Ponti’s for­mer villa.

The evening is capped off with a stun­ning fire­works dis­play light­ing up the en­tire Bür­gen­berg ridge, and danc­ing that con­tin­ues past mid­night in the ball­room. The next morn­ing, we awake to find the ho­tel nes­tled in the clouds as if it too is not yet ready to get out of bed and back to work.

But there is plenty more to take in at Bür­gen­stock, in­clud­ing a visit to the Wald­ho­tel to learn about its in­no­va­tive med­i­cal and ther­a­peu­tic ser­vices. The hi-tech ho­tel/hos­pi­tal pro­vides tai­lored pro­grammes cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from mo­bil­ity and weight man­age­ment to cryother­apy and anti-age­ing. Guests can re­lax and re­cu­per­ate in spe­cially de­signed south-fac­ing rooms with pri­vate ter­races, and a ded­i­cated spa with var­i­ous pools, saunas and steam rooms.

The walk back to the main ho­tel passes the Gothic chapel built in 1887 and made fa­mous by Hep­burn and Ferrer’s wed­ding – their son Sean, who was born in Lucerne, at­tended the ho­tel’s

THE BÜR­GEN­STOCKMOUN­TAIN’S HAM­METSCHWAND LIFT STILL DRAWS TOURISTS MORE THAN A CEN­TURY AFTER IT WAS BUILT

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.