BUERGENSTOCK RESORT, SWITZERLAND

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Balanced like an eagle‚Äôs nest atop a forested¬†reserve,¬†500 metres¬†above¬†¬†Lake Lucerne, the 60-hectare B√ľrgenstock Resort presides over glass-like vistas, cow-filled meadows and serrated Alpine horizons. There‚Äôs road access and a car park, but the best way to arrive is by¬†high-speed catamaran¬†¬†from Lucerne,¬†then funicular¬†train up to the resort.¬†The¬†high-speed catamaran¬†cuts the journey time from Lucerne¬†to¬†only¬†30 minutes.


From its origins in 1873 to the Fifties and Sixties, when Hollywood stars¬†such as¬†Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn lived here, the B√ľrgenstock Resort has¬†quite a long and deep¬†heritage. Its image following a nine-year, 500 million Swiss Francs renovation is fittingly spectacular. An architectural collage of four hotels melds 19th-century grandeur with ultra-modern design.

The 10-storey cube-shaped B√ľrgenstock Hotel cuts a striking contrast beside the Belle √Čpoque Palace Hotel ‚Äď although the two share a polished lobby with colossal windows. More discreet properties are the larch lattice-clad Waldhotel and chalet-style Taverne 1879. A network of broad panoramic terraces gives the impression the resort is suspended in mid-air.

The resort‚Äôs 8 restaurants, lounges and bars, open year-round, encompass Asian specialities, hearty Swiss¬†offerings¬†and ‚Äėclean‚Äô menus free from animal fats and salt. Enjoy French fine dining at RitzCoffier, which has Renaissance-style marbleised pillars and features 3 Michelin Stars. Also worth a taste is Oriental restaurant Sharq, located in a cube clinging to the mountainside. Not to forget the beautiful “Lakeview Lounge” overlooking the stunning alpine view, the lake and the city of Lucerne.¬†Finally, there‚Äôs Spices restaurant, a Pan-Asian venue with grand-views and the Oak Grill which has¬†a classy steakhouse atmosphere.¬†All meals¬†during my stay were delicious;¬†and¬†were¬†cooked with¬†the freshest ingredients.


I stayed at the Palace Hotel and my room was spacious, offering the newest state-of-the-art fittings in a contemporary design. There was a Nespresso coffeemaker, a kettle, free soft drinks and beer in the minibar and many other amenities. The bathroom offered a spacious shower, a separate toilet with closomat, Bulgari amenities and a towel heater. 

The hotel also features the 15,000 sq.m. Alpine Spa which is a an attraction in its own right. A large variety of treatment programs are available and both the indoor and outdoor pools offer above-the-clouds views. The Alpine Spa is simply beautiful and complementary access is included in most room rates. (Attention: not all room rates include complementary access to the Spa, check the website carefully not to get any bad surprises. The Spa alone charges about 90 CHF for day-use access.)

The B√ľrgenstock Resort was voted as Switzerland‚Äôs Number 1¬†hotel in 2018 and I truly enjoyed my stay. I was there during¬†December and there was so much to see and to do.¬†Be¬†sure to¬†allow¬†enough time for a visit. All the hotel staff¬†I¬†met were super¬†courteous¬†and helpful. Everyone was professional,¬†friendly and always open for a chat.¬†

https://www.buergenstock.ch/en

ASPIRE LOUNGE, ZURICH AIRPORT, SWITZERLAND

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The Aspire Lounge Zurich Airport Terminal E is operated by Swissport and has a fresh and bright ambiance. The lounge offers various seating options including high bar tables, leather chairs, a dining area and a panoramic terrace with outdoor seating.

The lounge offers a good variety of drinks but the food selection is rather limited, comprising a soup, a salad bar, hot dog style sausages with mustard and a choice of 2 warm items. Small packed cheeses and cookies are also available. 

Newspapers are on display for lounge use and free wifi is provided for 2 hours. 

The lounge can get very busy at certain times of the day, depending on flight departures and airlines which use this lounge. I saw many dirty tables which had not been  cleaned for a long time and that made the place look a little sub-standard compared to other lounges available at Zurich Airport in Terminal E.

The lounge is open for public use for a fee of 35 Swiss Francs. (I would recommend to check the occupancy of the lounge before paying the entrance fee)

https://aspirelounge.ch/en/