A legendary resort in Switzerland is born – The Bürgenstock Hotel opens its doors
Lucerne, Switzerland – 14 September 2017 –
As of 28 August 2017, the new Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne welcomes its guests after a long period of renovation. The landmark-protected Palace Hotel & Conferences (4* Superior), with its RitzCoffier Restaurant and the numerous conference rooms, the Sharq Oriental Restaurant, as well as the new sea and rail connection have since begun operations. Bruno H. Schöpfer, Managing Director of Bürgenstock Selection, is delighted that it has been possible to complete this renovation stage. “I would like to thank my team, the project managers and all the planners, companies and suppliers involved for their commitment and excellent collaboration.” “Initial feedback from our guests has been very positive.” Robert Herr, General Manager of the Bürgenstock Resort, expressed his satisfaction: “On several days the restaurants were already fully booked.”
The nine-hole golf course, the Blockhouse, the Hotel and Restaurant Taverne 1879 (3*), the Spycher, the Trogen country-style restaurant, the staff buildings, the Felsenweg path with the Hammetschwand Lift as well as the Hammetschwand mountain restaurant, have been open for a long time. Furthermore, the new shopping arcade in front of the Bürgenstock Hotel has been inviting guests to shop since September. “Overall, planning and construction have taken nine years. For this, 147 building permits were required. Not to mention the landmark and environmental protection guidelines. Nevertheless, the effort was worth it. The result is a “hotel-village” with an extraordinary mix of historic and modern buildings,” explains Bruno H. Schöpfer. To which Robert Herr adds: “Its size, diverse offer, and breathtaking location high above Lake Lucerne, make the Bürgenstock Resort truly unique.”
A large part of the landmark-protected as well as the newly built hotel and leisure facilities is now in operation. The same applies for ten of the resort’s 12 restaurants and bars. A great deal of emphasis is placed on culinary diversity: From Swiss cuisine, to a show grill, all the way to Asian, Oriental and Mediterranean dining. And even a French gourmet restaurant: The RitzCoffier at the Palace Hotel. A major coup for the Bürgenstock Resort was the successful hiring of the acclaimed three-star chef Marc Haeberlin as its Signature Chef for this cuisine. The restaurants set great store on authentic international recipes and also on numerous regional products. This means that the Bürgenstock Resort not only sources many food products from local suppliers, but also produces its own, such as wine from the Bürgenberg, honey, cheese and chocolate. An in-house herb garden is also part of the product range.
The spa, the Bürgenstock Hotel’s upper floors, and the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence will be inaugurated in the late autumn. The grand opening of the entire Bürgenstock Resort will take place in the spring of 2018. As part of this, there will also be an official ceremony.
Train, boat, postbus, car
The public transport links have been operating since 28 August 2017. Access by boat and train is ensured by the shuttle boat from Lucerne to Kehrsiten-Bürgenstock and the new Bürgenstock Funicular, entirely rebuilt to match the historic original, from Kehrsiten-Bürgenstock directly to the heart of the resort. They start operations in the early morning and run until midnight, at 1.5 hour intervals. The transport services will be extended through the addition of a new shuttle boat, just in time for the grand opening in spring 2018, providing transportation between the resort and the city of Lucerne at hourly intervals. From this point onwards, travelling time from the Lucerne train station to the Bürgenstock Resort will be reduced to around 30 minutes. The exact times and prices can be found on the SGV’s website (www.lakelucerne.ch) and the Bürgenstock Resort’s website (www.buergenstock.ch).
Guests who prefer to drive to the new Bürgenstock Resort can easily take the postbus from the Stansstad train station. The bus stops at various bus stops in the resort. The cantonal road from Stansstad to the Bürgenstock Resort was improved and widened over the past months specifically for this reason. For motorists, parking is limited. The complex has a total of 700 indoor and outdoor parking spaces.
The Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne offers numerous facilities of various sizes for congresses, forums, meetings and events. The conference rooms have a total area of 2,200 m2 and are able to accommodate up to 900 visitors. This also includes 31 meeting rooms and a large ballroom for 500 guests. In addition, both Diamond Domes (Event & Tennis) can accommodate 500 guests each. All conference rooms are equipped with the latest technical equipment.
Sustainability and value creation
The resort’s sustainability concept is exemplary. It includes energy generation, building design and logistics. The project owners were guided by the resort’s pioneers, Franz Josef Bucher and Josef Durrer in this: The forward-thinking founders acquired a concession for the extraction of drinking water from the lake as early as 1888. The same concept is being used today to generate electricity from the waters of the lake. 80 percent of the new resort’s heating needs and 100 percent of its cooling needs are distributed from a power distribution centre via pipelines. This power distribution centre ensures that the supply of energy is almost CO2 neutral.
Also, rocks from the Bürgenberg were used for the construction as well as to produce concrete. Stone baskets (gabions) were used to replace concrete walls. Gabions create valuable habitats for fauna and flora. In addition, and in line with the forest management concept, the entire area was afforested with mixed forest. In terms of logistics, lorry journeys were reduced by using the excavation material generated: a total of 18,400 lorry journeys into the valley were saved through the use of 165,000 cubic metres of excavated material. This represents nine lorry journeys around the world.
The Bürgenstock Resort’s value creating potential is large, as evidenced by a study conducted by BAK Economics: At the latest by 2020, when it will be operating at full capacity, the resort will generate some 140 million francs of gross value added for Central Switzerland on an annual basis (100 m by the resort, 40 m by suppliers). It will create jobs for a total of 1,100 persons (employees and suppliers), and in doing so, it will become the second largest employer of the Canton of Nidwalden.
The brave pioneers of the Bürgenstock Resort, Franz Josef Bucher and Josef Durrer, made history in terms of tourism: In 1871, they bought the “Alp Tritt” on the ridge of the Bürgenberg, situated 500 metres above Lake Lucerne. They gave the hotel village the memorable name of “Bürgenstock” and laid the foundation for a world-renowned gem – the Bürgenstock Resort. Their building projects include the “Grand Hotel” (1873), the “Palace Hotel” (1904), the Bürgenstock Funicular (1888), the Felsenweg (1905) and the Hammetschwand Lift (1905). They created a paradise that attracted the world’s elite, based on the thoughtful yet forward-looking style of Fritz Fey, which was initiated during the 50s and 60s of the past century. Illustrious guests from business, politics, high-society and show business felt at home at the Bürgenberg: The first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, US President Jimmy Carter, and “James Bond” alias Sean Connery, to name but a few celebrities, came here to relax. The film stars Sophia Loren and her husband Carlo Ponti lived at the resort from time to time. In 1954, Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer got married in this picturesque location. Since 2008, the Bürgenstock Resort has been owned by investors from Qatar.