The Palace Luzern in Lucerne, Switzerland celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, but this grande dame hotel defies her age and continues to shine.
For the past 100 years, the Palace Luzern located in Lucerne, Switzerland has graciously extended its hospitality to luxurious clientele looking for an elegant hotel with impeccable service. Situated on picturesque Lake Lucerne with breathtaking views of the Alps, the 136-room and suite hotel was renovated in 2005, and continues to attract celebrities and heads of state. Always seeking new ways to improve service to the hotel's guests, the Palace Luzern added the Palace Spa in 2005, which features ESPA Body and Facial treatments.
Edward F. Nesta and I stayed at the Palace Luzern in October 2006 and were impressed with the hotel's elegance, style, service, and idyllic setting. Walking up the marble steps of the Palace Luzern and down the red carpet to the reception area, we already felt like VIPs as we registered at the hotel.
The hotel knows how to pamper guests with personalized attention from their "Leisure Designer" Mr. Werner Winkler, who assisted us in planning our time in Lucerne. The Palace Luzern is perfectly situated, and is only a short stroll from the Old Town with inviting shops, churches, museums, guild restaurants, galleries, boat cruises, and the Dying Lion of Lucerne monument, which is the symbol of Lucerne. With the guidance of Mr. Winkler, and Patrick Goerke, the Concierge, they made sure that we saw everything "on our list" and more.
One of the best "leisure activities" without leaving the Palace Luzern is having ESPA spa treatments at the Palace Spa, where Edward and I indulged ourselves with 2-hour Time Treatments. Read about the Palace Spa in the Spas section.
For guests looking to explore the Swiss countryside, the hotel has a unique Porsche program, where guests have the opportunity to drive a Porsche Cayenne for a day, depending on availability. During the month of October 2006, in addition to the Porsche Cayenne, the hotel also had a 2006 red Porsche 911 Carrera S with grey interior leather available. Edward is an ex-race car driver and he could not resist driving, and sometimes racing, I must add, the Porsche 911 Carrera S along the highways. We had a fabulous day seeing the countryside and visiting the small villages, that is, once I could get Edward to stop for a few moments. Read about Edwards' exciting Porsche driving experience in the Porsche 911 Carrera S Driving Experience article in the Adventures section.
Edward F. Nesta and 'his' Porsche 911 Carrera S
The hotel has two restaurants, Jasper and Les Artistes. Jasper is their gourmet restaurant with 16 points GaultMillau featuring contemporary yet luxurious décor. During our stay at the hotel we enjoyed two wonderful dinners at Jasper, where German chef Ulf Braunert created culinary magic in the kitchen. Guests wishing to learn a few of Chef Ulf's secrets can enroll in his cooking classes. Read about Jasper in the Restaurants and Chefs' Recipes sections.
Les Artistes is an attractive restaurant featuring Belle Époque décor reflecting the age of the hotel. The room is opulent with an ornate stucco ceiling, four marble columns add stateliness, a crystal chandelier sparkles, there is a black, white and yellow marble diamond pattern floor, contemporary paintings adorn the peachy yellow walls, and green, blue, and gold striped French fabric grace the floor to ceiling windows that offer guests inviting views of Lake Lucerne. Tables are dressed with crisp white linens and Bauscher china from Germany. During our stay at the hotel, Les Artistes was open for breakfast, and we began our days with sumptuous breakfast buffets. Les Artistes makes children feel very much at home at the restaurant, where they have their own children's buffet table.
Every Sunday the hotel features High Tea with piano music, there is Jazz on Friday nights, and there is piano music in the Palace Bar each evening. In the autumn and winter when weather permits, guests can sit on benches in the Le Maritime garden, snuggled in blankets and sip hot punch or hot chocolate.
We stayed in an enormous Junior Suite decorated with a silver mirror and a painting and an abundance of ample closets that held lush robes, slippers, umbrellas, and a safe large enough to accommodate our laptop, Swiss watch purchases, and Edward's major Swiss chocolate purchases. The spacious bedroom had two French doors dressed with taupe sheers and adorned with luxurious striped fabric leading out to a large terrace.
View from the Terrace
We enjoyed sitting on the large private terrace, under the watchful eyes of "the ladies of the lake" as I called the four female stone heads over our doorways, with a bottle of Perrier-Laurent Brut champagne and delectable canapés, while admiring the spectacular views of Mount Pilatus, Titlus, the city, and watching the sailboats and the passenger ferries on Lake Luzerne. In the early morning, as well as late in the evening, it was the perfect place to relax and watch the changing scenery.
The bedroom décor featured a comfortable sitting area with an aubergine crushed velvet sofa with aubergine leather trim, and two tan crushed velvet chairs with aubergine trim decorated with amethyst and gold design pillows flanked a wood coffee table. The king bed featured a wood and aubergine faux suede headboard, and was sumptuously dressed with taupe silk fabric with stripes that picked up all of the colors in the room. There was a wood bench with aubergine faux suede placed at the end of the bed, and two aubergine faux suede ottomans located on either side of the bedside tables. Celadon walls were adorned with contemporary paintings, and there was beige and taupe diamond pattern carpeting throughout the suite. Guests can keep up-to-the-minute with email and business in the hotel's Business Center, or use the Internet using the Philips flat screen television, or using WIFI or cable access located on the desk in the guestroom. The very large bathroom featured a deep soaking tub, a walk-in shower with rain showerhead, double pedestal sinks, a hairdryer, a scale, an enviable selection of Clarins amenities, and warm towels waited on a heated towel rack.
While we were at the hotel, there was a spectacular, large-than-life "chocolate cake" celebrating the 100th anniversary of the hotel. Alas, it was just a replica of the actual cake, or it would have been savored in a minute, because who can resist Swiss chocolate?
Read other articles on the Palace Luzern in the Destinations, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, and Adventures sections. The Palace Luzern is part of the Victoria-Jungfrau Collection, www.Victoria-Jungfrau-Collection.ch.
Telephone: +41 (0) 41 416 16 16
Fax: +41 (0) 41 416 10 00
Read other articles on Switzerland in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Liquor Cabinet, Wine Cellar, and Adventures sections.
For information on Switzerland, please visit: www.MySwitzerland.com. For information on Lucerne: www.Luzern.org. For information on Interlaken: www.InterlakenTourism.ch. For information on Bern: www.BernInfo.com. For information on Zurich: www.Zuerich.com. For information on Swiss International Air Lines: www.swiss.com. For information on Swiss Pass: www.SwissTravelSystem.ch.
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