Luxury Bürgenstock resort to boost GCC visitors to Switzerland

Lake Lucerne resort to pique interest of high-end health, leisure and culture visitors from Gulf region after a nine-year, US$569 million restoration and remodeling project.

One of Switzerland’s most famous hotels, Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, is to re-open its doors on 28 August 2017, following a nine-year, US$ 569 million construction project that has seen the historic hideaway restored as an exclusive destination for health, leisure and culture tourists from the GCC countries as well as MICE and business travelers.

Switzerland has enjoyed increasing popularity with Middle East  visitors for many years, due to its reputation for luxury hospitality, crystal blue lakes, alpine forests and snow-capped mountains. According to figures from Switzerland Tourism, between January and November 2016, 327,551 GCC visitors generated 920,398 room nights in Switzerland with an average spend of US$430 per day. Visitors from Saudi Arabia accounted for more than 50% of GCC overnight stays, followed by the United Arab Emirates. GCC visitors spend more per day in Switzerland than in any other region in the world.

“The Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne is tailor-made for GCC travellers, with luxury at the forefront of everything we offer. Reservation enquiries regarding Residence Suites have also been very buoyant. Hotel apartments that offer a more private environmentare well-liked by Arab travellers,” said Robert P. Herr, General Manager, Bürgenstock Resort.

Perched 500 meters above Lake Lucerne, the kilometre-long, car-free resortis accessible by private boat from Lucerneand will comprise four hotels: the five-star superior Bürgenstock Hotel, the five-star Waldhotel Healthy Living, the four-star Palace Hotel and the three-star Pension Taverne 1879.

With a total of 383 rooms and suites, the complex will featurea Healthy Living centre, 12 bars and restaurants, 67 residence suites, a cinema and a 10,000 sqm Alpine Spa. Well positioned for luxury MICE travellers, the resort has a conference centrewith a total of 31 rooms, which can accommodate up to 800 guestsin addition to a wide range of leisure activitiesincluding golf, mountain biking, ice skating and tennis.

The reopening of Bürgenstock is also good news for the local economy.Two hundred members of staff have already been hired with a further two hundred required by August. When the resort is running at full capacity in 2020, it will employ around 600 staff. “A study by BAK Basel Economics has indicated that the resort has immense value-creating potential. Once operating at full capacity, it could be contributing as much as US$145 million gross value to the Central Swiss economy, creating 1,100 new direct and indirect jobs, making it the second-largest employer in the Swiss region of Canton Nidwalden,” Herr commented.

Preserving the historic charm that made the Bürgenstock famous, restoration work has focused on the original attractions created by Bucher and Durrer such as the Cliff Path and the Hammetschw and Lift, which first opened in 1905, the Bürgenstock Funicular Railway, opened in 1888, and the resort’s heritage-protected buildings. First imagined by Franz Josef Bucher and Josef Durrer in 1871, the resort rose to fame in the 1950s and 60s, when the biggest names in politics and entertainment would descend on the lake-side paradise, including Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, US president Jimmy Carter, film stars Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn, who married Mel Ferrer in the resort’s chapel in 1954.

Many GCC visitors travel to Switzerland for both medical and well being reasons and the Bürgenstock resort is perfectly placed to accommodate them. The Waldhotel Healthy Living is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, scientists and therapists, devoted to catering to the healthcare needs of guests and patients. It features a treatment portfolio that is focused on the promotion of health through convalescence, medical check-ups, beauty, lifestyle and healthy ageing.

The Bürgenstock Alpine Spa features three pools – one indoor, a large outdoor heated infinity pool, as well as a historic outdoor pool in the private garden – saunas and a Hammam steam room, whirlpool baths,15 treatment rooms and three private spas.The Waldhotel and the Alpine Spa both open in autumn 2017. The resort also captures its energy from the lake. 80% of its thermal and 100% of its cooling requirements are circulated via a network of insulated pipes emanating from an energy distribution centre – a process that is almost carbon neutral.

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