By John O’Ceallaigh
Switzerland is always a spectacular place to visit, and from September there’ll be another incentive to explore one of the most beautiful parts of the country when the completely renovated Hotel Palace Luzern opens as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern.
With the original building dating from 1906 and occupying a commanding position right on the shores of Lake Lucerne, just a few minutes from the old town, the property is already known throughout the region. Mandarin Oriental announced plans to take over the property prior to the pandemic and have used the recent fallow period productively by enlisting local architects Buhler Architekten and London-based interior designers Jestico + Whiles to revitalise the building.
The remodelled hotel will open with 136 bedrooms, including 48 of Lucerne’s largest suites. Arguably the 135sq metre Presidential Suite, with its oval sitting room and prime position beneath the hotel’s copper tower, is the most prestigious, but the two Panoramic Rooftop Terrace Suites trump it I think: both have 360-degree views of the lake and surrounding mountains. More generally, most bedrooms will have private balconies and terraces, and all will feature Diptyque amenities, Dyson hair products and Bose sound systems.
Dining options sound impressive too. Four restaurants and bars will be overseen by the well-regarded locally based chef Gilad Peled: all-day MOzern Bar & Brasserie will serve Asian cuisine, international classics, afternoon tea and cocktails; facing the lake, Mediterranean Quai 10 will offer outdoor dining with stellar views; Colonnade will specialise in French fine dining; Mizumi will serve refined Japanese dishes to seatings of just six people.
(I wonder if it’s the case that Mandarin Oriental is aiming to increasingly provide ultra-exclusive dining experiences: when I stayed at Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid recently its golden Champagne Bar served light tasting menus to only eight guests at a time. That said, the most sophisticated dining experience in that hotel is definitely the incredibly creative, beautifully presented menu served at its fine-dining restaurant Deessa.)
Back to Switzerland, Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern will also feature SPA Bellefontaine, a wellness facility with all the expected amenities, except, it seems, a pool. That’s a shame but hardy guests, will, at least, find there are plenty of spots at the lake that accommodate swimmers. Active types will also have ample hiking options in summer and will be near various ski routes in winter.
The hotel is Mandarin Oriental’s second Swiss property – Mandarin Oriental, Geneva has been operational for years – and it will be followed in 2024 by the opening of a property in Zurich. That latter hotel will occupy what is now the Savoy Baur en Ville hotel, which opened in 1838 and is a landmark property on Paradeplatz, the city’s main square. Mandarin Oriental will also open a new hotel in Mayfair, London, in early 2023, and a resort in Costa Navarino, Greece, in spring 2023.
Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern is also just a short distance from the immense Burgenstock Resort, which occupies a clifftop setting overlooking Lake Lucerne. That sprawling property reopened in 2018 following its own extensive renovation by Qatar-based hotels group Katara Hospitality.
Special opening rates at Mandarin Oriental Palace Luzern will start from CHF700 (£600) per night, including breakfast. The hotel is scheduled to open on 24 September, 2022.
If you’d like to know more about the hotel, including details on how to access extensive additional privileges and benefits with your best-available-rate booking, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LUTE is a luxury-travel consultant and content agency that works with hotel groups, tour operators, tourist boards, airlines and more. You can learn more about LUTE here. For frequent luxury-travel updates, follow LUTE and LUTE founder John O’Ceallaigh on Instagram.