A Castle or a Boutique Hotel?
Switzerland has more than 7’000 lakes – it’s hard to decide which one looks best. However, my favourite, Lake Lucerne, also boasts the most jaw-dropping location to enjoy its views – Park Hotel Vitznau. From outside, it looks like a castle. Inside, its luxury and intimacy make you realise it’s modern boutique style. This could be possibly the most perfect hotel in Switzerland.
A 250 Million CHF Renovation
Park Hotel Vitznau has been extensively renovated and opened up again in 2013 with half of the rooms it originally had, all turned into suites, each one with a different theme. I stayed in the chess themed one, with a splendid 180 degree view on lake Lucerne. Below my balcony, the iconic infinity pool I was so keen on photographing, that I woke up at 5 am just to get there before everybody else! Interior was immaculate, storage very generous, bathroom and shower five stars plus. As I said, I started my visit by checking the spa.
Get Ready for the Spa
Even though you might have high expectations because you’ve seen the pool everywhere on Instagram, you’ll probably think “wow” when entering the spa: this is next level. A huge aquarium covers a whole wall with bright coloured tropical fish and blue waters, and relaxation beds with super soft blankets are placed in front of this mesmerising spot. I always wondered, when visiting city aquariums, why nobody uses the calming power of swimming fish also for relaxation; and finally I found such a place.
The rest of the spa looks like it’s out of a magazine cover. Its sleek design, carefully placed lights and stunning views on lake Lucerne are eye candy, and the different wellness areas offer different and fun activities – the ice grotto at minus 10, the tepidarium with its constantly changing LED lights, the two saunas, steam room, Kneipp foot-baths, indoor and outdoor whirlpools to complete the offer.
Record-Breaking Wine Cellar
The six wine cellars with 30’000 bottles of an approximate value of CHF 25 million CHF are a work of modern art even someone like me (a teetotal) comes to appreciate. The big tree sculpture with fruits made of cutlery and the beautiful skewed shelves and wooden blocks filled with magnum and collection bottles surprise the guest who goes for dinner in one of the two Michelin-starred restaurants. I tried the Prisma restaurant and chose the surprise menu. Having refused to eat oysters all my life thinking I didn’t like them, I had to change opinion here. Sea bream and dessert were absolutely outstanding, service attentive and friendly. One thing I noticed was the many women wearing high heels – something quite rare in Switzerland, and especially somewhere far from a city. Park Hotel Vitznau is made for bathrobes and slippers, and stilettos alike.
Health and Wealth
Glamour at Park Hotel Vitznau is in every detail – the chic people, the manicured gardens, the attention to detail, the mahogany speedboats during the warm months to arrive by lake are only some examples. What is a bit more hidden is the Cereneo Centre for Neurology and Rehabilitation, a clinic for personalised care and treatment using state-of-the-art movement analysis, robotic system, and of course top doctors, scientists and therapists. Impressive, and almost invisible to other guests.
There was just one thing that wasn’t perfect about my stay: the water temperature… I had planned a wild swim in the lake to impress my neighbors, but instead I screamed out loud and hid under my blanket very quickly. The after-effect was magic: I felt like I was boosting with energy for the next three days. One night at Park Hotel Vitznau does feel like a whole holiday – a treat for once in a lifetime or, if you do like the many returning guests, to go back again and again.