Since first opening in 1873, the Bürgenstock Resort in Switzerland has been famous for its incredible location and world-class facilities. Many stars of the silver screen have stayed here.
Now the legend has been reborn after extensive remodelling and it’s even more impressive. With panoramic views over Lake Lucerne, a 10,000 square metre spa and stunning infinity pool, the Bürgenstock Resort and Alpine Spa is one of the best luxury hotels in Switzerland.
History of the Bürgenstock Resort
Franz Josef Bucher and Josef Durrer were two pioneering Swiss construction firm owners. In 1871, they bought a meadow named the Trittalp in the Nidwalden region of Switzerland on the Bürgenberg mountain ridge.
The Grand Hotel Bürgenstock opened in 1873 and was an instant hit. Guests flocked to the hotel and it became popular with luminaries such as Henry Kissinger and Jimmy Carter.
Audrey Hepburn married her first husband, Mel Ferrer, in Bürgenstock Chapel here in 1954. Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti lived at a chalet in the Bürgenstock Resort for seven years.
There’s a nice feature at the hotel – a history wall detailing key dates and displaying items from the hotel’s collection. One of the swimming pools is known as the Hollywood Pool due to the number of Hollywood stars who swam here. The original changing rooms next to this historic pool have also been conserved.
At one point there was a bar named Bull’s Eye underneath the pool where you could see people swimming.
The iconic Bürgenstock funicular was built in 1888 to transport visitors up to the resort. It was the first electric railway in Switzerland and The Park Hotel opened in the same year.
These days, the funicular has been replaced with a two track train in the style of the old train. The resort’s chapel was built in 1897 and the iconic Hammetschwand Lift opened in 1905.
Nowadays, the Bürgenstock Resort features 4 hotels within the extensive grounds. The Bürgenstock Hotel itself is a 5 star superior property, while the Waldhotel is 5 star and the historic Palace Hotel is a 4 star superior. The film crew shooting the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger stayed at the Palace for a month when they were filming the nearby Hammetschwand Lift.
Taverne 1879 is a rustic but charming place to stay, and those interested in a long term stay will find the luxurious Bürgenstock Residences very convenient.
First Impressions of the Bürgenstock Resort
Whether you arrive by the lake and funicular or by car, you can’t help but gasp at the incredible views. The Bürgenstock Resort is perched 874 feet above sea level, overlooking Lake Lucerne. It encompasses 8 restaurants and bars and 4 hotels.
Accommodation at The Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa
The Buürgenstock Hotel is newly built and a design triumph. Arriving in the lobby, you’ll be impressed by the floor to ceiling windows, cosy seating areas and a nice buzz. After a friendly and efficient check in, you’ll be escorted to your room.
There are 102 rooms and suites, decorated in a cosy yet stylish manner, with clever use of texture and natural materials. Wooden floors, stone walls and wool fabrics combine to great effect.
Again, there are spectacular floor to ceiling windows, giving you fantastic views over the lake. Our Deluxe Lake View Room was a sizeable 425 square metres.
It had two comfy seating benches next to the window which were great for reading. There’s a clever ventilation system in the windows so that you can let in fresh air. Balconies or fully opening windows wouldn’t be feasible as it can get windy.
The king size bed is supremely comfortable and there’s a pillow menu. The bathroom also has a floor to ceiling window with the same panoramic views as the bedroom. The walls are decorated with a beautiful natural quartzite, and there are 2 vanity basins and some lovely Bulgari toiletries.
The most luxurious accommodation at The Bürgenstock Hotel is The Royal Suite. Occupying the entire top floor of the hotel, this suite measures 678 square meters and has 6 bedrooms.
The royal suite.the complete top floor of the – 678 square meters, for you and you alone.
The Burgenstock Amenities
You’ll find all the amenities that you’d expect in a five star hotel such as a safe, mini bar and flat screen TV. There are also some other nice touches including a Nespresso coffee machine, soft drinks and beers from the minibar and turn down service with chocolates.
Facilities at The Burgenstock
Speaking of chocolate, there’s a great chocolate shop in the resort. In fact, there’s a whole Shopping Arcade spread over 1,100 square metres – undoubtedly one of the finest shopping mall views in the world.
- Articolo – great fashion store
- Swiss Chocolate Chalet – for delicious truffles and chocolate bars
- Swatch Pavillon – funky Swiss watches
- Longines Boutique – luxury Swiss watches
- Omega Boutique – high end Swiss watches
- Golf & Tennis Pro Shops – stocking all the equipment you need
- SkyBoutique – for stylish presents made in Switzerland. Don’t miss the Sky Terrace, accessible from the SkyBoutique, a small platform made entirely from glass with great views of the valley.
Bürgenstock Alpine Spa
One of the highlights of the Bürgenstock Resort is the Alpine Spa, spread over 10,000 metres. The infinity pool stays warm throughout the year, being heated to 35 degrees.
Luxuriate next to the massage jets while admiring the extraordinary views of Mount Rigi, Mount Pilatus and Lake Lucerne. Inside there’s a large swimming pool, several relaxation areas, steam rooms and saunas.
A surprise for some visitors is that parts of the spa are textile free, although you can take a small towel into the sauna and steam room. There’s also a ladies only section with a sauna and steam room.
To improve circulation, try the Kneipp bath along pebbles in icy water. The ingenious infrared back massager is also a must-try. Help yourself to fruit, flavoured water and tea at the snacking stations.
Finally, there are napping shells that will soothe you with light and sound changing sequences. Alternatively you could opt for a massage with one of the spa’s expert practitioners in a treatment room or private spa suite.
Relax in the spa garden or a bite to eat in the farm to table grill. An added bonus is that Burgenstock Alpine Spa is open 365 days a year.
Children are welcome to use the wet zones if they’re accompanied by their parents. The treatments and the nude area are accessible to those aged over 16. Here’s a breakdown of the Alpine Spa facilities:
- Serenity Room – fireplace, waterbeds and day beds
- Wet Areas – infinity edge pool (35° C) , indoor pool (30° C) , spa lounge, mixed spa, Alpine Rasul steam bath, saline floating bath, infrared cabin, nap shells, Kneipp baths
- Ladies – herbal steam room, aroma sauna and panorama sauna, cold water pool (18° C), Jacuzzi (36° C), relaxation areas
- Unisex – rain shower, ice room, cold (18° C) and warm water pools (38° C), Jacuzzi (36° C), aroma sauna, herbal steam, Alpine eco pool, panoramic sauna, relaxation area
- Treatment Rooms – Private Spa Suites, treatment rooms, hair and nail. spray tanning
- Oak Grill & Pool Patio with Chef’s Table and solid oak beams
- Hollywood Garden Pool – heated to (20-24° C), with Roman style pavilion and spa garden with the former changing rooms
- Kid’s Club Mutzliburg – for children from 3 to 12 years old
- Fitness & Gym – an airy 200 m2 space with great views of the valley, open 24/7. Personal trainers are on hand if you wish to book a training session.
- Program of Activities – aqua fitness, core, dance mix, dancing for kids, healthy back, jogging, piloxing (pilates, boxing and dance), stretching…
Over at Waldhotel, guests can enjoy a different but equally relaxing spa experience. The Waldhotel Health and Medical Excellence Spa is specialized in convalescence and medical check-ups, together with psychosomatic therapy for better mental health.
There’s a separate pool for rehabilitation, and an indoor pool open to all Waldhotel guests in which you can turn on a switch to swim against the current. It’s really great exercise.
From here you can swim to an outdoor pool and relaxation deck overlooking the valley. Returning inside, there are comfy day beds with curtains and flavoured waters and teas.
This spa also has a no clothing section where the saunas and steam rooms are situated. There’s an extensive spa treatment menu and also the large Waldtique Shop with some great skincare brands.
With 8 restaurants, bars and lounges, you’ll be spoilt for dining options. Here are a few of our favourites:
Lakeview Bar & Lounge – with a casual ambiance, it does a delicious wagyu burger. The views of Lake Lucerne are lovely. As it’s popular with non residents there’s a section reserved for hotel guests so that they always have a table.
Taverne 1879 – the perfect place to enjoy traditional Swiss cuisine and views of the valley. It actually opened in 1879 and has been wowing diners ever since with raclette, tartiflette and other tasty Swiss specialties. Renovated in 2011, it also has a cosy indoor restaurant for cooler days.
Spices Kitchen & Terrace – a stylish restaurant with fantastic views of Lake Lucerne and a focus on Asian dishes. You can enjoy Chinese dim sum, Japanese sushi, Thai green curry, Indian naan bread and many other delights.
We recommend the sharing menu with its mix of different Asian flavours – there’s a spectacular Thai creme brulee for dessert. Although the food is refined, the atmosphere is pleasantly unstuffy. It’s fun to watch the chefs at their cooking stations in the open plan show kitchen with its dim sum steamers, duck oven, tandoors and woks.
Guests of the Bürgenstock hotel also take breakfast in Spices Kitchen & Terrace. There’s a huge buffet selection and you can also choose from the hot dishes menu. The chefs rustle up great omelettes, eggs benedict and other treats.
Verbena Bar & Restaurant – a healthy restaurant in Waldhotel specializing in low-sodium Mediterranean cuisine. Most of the dishes incorporate some of the 30 herbs grown in the Waldhotel’s herb garden and there’s a great wine list.
The decor is light and airy, having been designed by Matteo Thun, the award-winning architect. The restaurant and large terrace have comfy seating.
Tucked away to the side is their charming private dining room which seats up to 8, in the Bürgenstock’s original Simmentalerstube chalet restaurant that has been rebuilt here.
Other Dining Options – we didn’t try all the other restaurants but have heard great things about Ritzcoffier at the Palace Hotel and the Middle Eastern inspired Sharq Oriental. There’s also the chic Oak Grill near the spa and the Pool Patio next to the Hollywood Pool, Alpine Golf Restaurant, a cigar lounge and several more bars and restaurants.
The Bürgenstock Hotel has a state of the art cinema that shows films to guests of the hotel on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Entrance for guests of the Bürgenstock Hotel is included in the room rate.
Curling & Ice Skating Rink
Open in Wintertime, the curling and ice skating rink has a great view of the mountains.
For the warmer months, The Bürgenstock Resort has a 9 hole golf course and a driving range, with a Golf Academy and an Alpine Golf restaurant.
There are 2 indoor and 1 outdoor tennis courts, all of Davis Cup standard. The Tennis Academy offers help and advice and if you forget your tennis shoes or racket, they can be hired on site.
The Bürgenstock Residence Suites
For those who would like to own a slice of Alpine paradise, there are several luxurious residence suites, villas and offices available:
- Panorama Residence Suites
- Grand Residence Suites
- Lakeview Residence Villas
- Blockhaus Residence
- Grand Offices
Rates at the Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa
Rates at the 5* superior Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa start at 650 Swiss francs per room per night and include access to the Alpine Spa. Book here or compare prices.
Getting to Bürgenstock Resort
- The closest airport to Bürgenstock Resort is Zurich, 1 hour away.
- There’s a helipad in the resort and also a private airfield at Buochs, 15 minutes away.
- From Switzerland, take the A2 motorway, then Stansstad or Stans-Sud exit, and follow the signs to Bürgenstock.
- From Italy, take motorway exit Stans-Sud, drive towards Stansstad and follow the signs to Bürgenstock.
- Parking is available at the Bürgenstock Resort.
The nearest railway station is Stansstad. From here it’s a 27 minute taxi drive to Bürgenstock Resort.
By Shuttle Boat and Funicular
- Take the MS Bürgenstock boat from Lucerne to Kehrsiten
- Change to the Bürgenstock Railway which takes you directly to the resort
- The shuttle service departs every 1.5 hours and operates from 6 am to midnight
Things to do near Bürgenstock Resort
The hiking around Bürgenberg mountain is second to none, with over 70 hiking trails. There are also extensive bike paths. The B-Outdoors Tours & Activities Centre is located on the mezzanine level of the Bürgenstock Hotel and can help you to plan and arrange guided hikes, bike rides, canoeing or paragliding. You can also reserve e-bikes here.
If you’re feeling energetic, take a day trip to nearby Engelberg where you can enjoy six via ferrata routes.
Pick up the Bürgenberg Experience map from the concierge at the Bürgenstock Resort or from B-Outdoors. It shows many hikes and excursions in the area.
One of our favourite Swiss hikes starts at the Bürgenstock and takes you along the scenic Felsenweg Cliff Walk to Europe’s highest outdoor elevator. Opened in 1905, The Hammetschwand Lift takes you 152 metres high in less than 1 minute.
After enjoying a drink at the self service Bergrestaurant, you can hike down the Bürgenberg mountain past the Alpine cows with their bells jingling in the breeze. Allow several hours for the whole hike or take the lift back if pressed for time.
In the Bürgenstock Resort itself, you’ll find the Suspension stairs, a 30 metre suspended wooden stairway with great views.
Another fun excursion is to head down via the Bürgenstock Funicular. At the bottom of the hill, at Kehrsiten there’s the Bürgenstock’s private lake lido. From Kehrsiten, you can take the Burgenstock’s brand new catamaran to Lucerne.
There are many great things to do in Lucerne so allow at least half a day here. The Bürgenstock Resort has two other Swiss sister properties, the Schweizerhof Hotel & Spa Bern and the Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa Lausanne which are equally luxurious.
However, if you decide simply to stay within the resort then we certainly wouldn’t blame you!
Read about other great places to visit in Switzerland here
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