We’re all used to the amalgamation of boldly-named hotel groups (hello Mr and Mrs Starwood-Marriott), but it’s relatively rare to find a union like the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, in which four properties have been joined to form a singular super-property of 383 rooms (not counting a brand new complex of private residences), all serviced by a swanky spa, and seven restaurants and bars.
The centrepiece of the ambitious project is the original Bürgenstock. Built in 1873, over time it became a favourite retreat for the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin and the Carlo Pontis. The hotel sits in isolated splendour in the midst of 140 acres of alpine glory and views of Lake Lucerne, its perch on Mount Bürgenstock accessed by a spruced up electric railway.
MKV Design has enhanced the views with 6m-high glazed walls and modernised the original baroque silhouette with curvilinear lines, glass, mountain stone, copper and bronze-panelled walls. The bedrooms are equally soigné, MKV unfurling warm swathes of dark walnut parquet, oak cabinets, marble walls and glass doors of bronze mesh – a mood-board that blends seamlessly with the mountain views beyond the windows.
A corridor, meanwhile, links the Bürgenstock with the Palace Hotel. Here, MKV has layered the original 1904 façade and its pink, green and gold interiors with modern touches, by way of hand-blown chandeliers, low-slung furniture, distressed leather armchairs, felt cushions and oak.
And just to prove that one can never have enough of a good thing, a turn in the path leads to three other additions to Bürgenstock’s grounds. One is the 12-room Pension Taverne 1879, whose untouched rusticity is quietly offset by the Waldhotel. The latter is a head-turning green terraced block designed by Matteo Thun as a 160-room medical retreat, blending spa treatments with facilities for patients with post-operative, weight and burn-out issues. The third is the Residence Suites, a 16,000 sq m complex of 29 sumptuous private villas on the site of the former Grand Hotel, whose interiors of silk, smoked oak floors and marble are, again, the work of MKV.
The resort’s piéce-de-resistance, though, is the 10,000 sq m Bürgenstock Alpine Spa, a cantilevered glass cocoon that has been styled by MKV with glass walls, white marble and local stone. All the better to let floods of light and mountain views into the suite of treatment zones, including 18 rooms, three outdoor pools and, just in case there's a residual hankering for another novelty, a private garden with a labyrinth.
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Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.
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