The Showstopper: Park Hotel Vitznau

In a world where so many hotels are unique and memorable, the Park Hotel Vitznau took my definition of luxury to an entirely new level.  It left me nearly speechless.  This chateau on the shores of Lake Lucerne will deceive you as you pull in for your stay.  The outside showcases a proper palace present for over 100 years.  As you walk inside, a modern luxury takes over.  From the elevator bank to the quirky rooms, I honestly have never seen anything quite as grand.  

I booked my stay through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts.  In fact, I actually used points to pay for a portion of the room.  I was particularly grateful for some of the fine hotels & resorts perks for this particular stay.  First, we were given a room upgrade upon check in.  We arrived at the time of check in, but we were able to utilize the guaranteed 4pm check out the following day.  Breakfast was included with our booking along with a $100 property credit that we used for our dinner.  

Upon arrival, the level of service that the Park Hotel Vitznau provided was immediately evident.  With the risk of sounding cliche, I walked in to a view that dreams are made of.  This was why I chose the property and, so far, it was exceeding expectations.  I immediately walked outside to take in the views of Lake Lucerne.  We were asked to take a seat in the lobby while they took care of the check in process.  The staff outlined for us all of the fine hotels & resorts amenities, and we were escorted to the room.  The elevators are clear with a magical paintings created by Berlin artists Helge Heberle and Hans-Dieter Wohlmann along each of the elevator banks.  The bank closest to reception has the theme “rain of money”.  Once you arrive at your floor, the entry to many of the suites was guarded by sliding double glass doors announcing the name of your suite (mine being the Behavioral Suite) with a short description.  Never have I ever seen anything quite like this.  

The inside of the Behavioral Suite was every bit as one of a kind and intriguing as it’s namesake.  One thing that you will not find here is cookie cutter hotel rooms.  They are all distinctive in their own right.  Your hotel key/key fob literally opens the door as you are in close proximity to it.  While this may seem like a novelty, there were more to come.  Inside the room, I was greeted with a very modern living area with petite balcony and gorgeous spread of fruits and a small cake.  Not too long after settling into the room, a complimentary welcome bottle of champagne was delivered.  This is not to mention their mini bar, which was included with the price of the room.  The room was stocked with everything you could hope and imagine like another half bottle of Champagne, another half bottle of white from Switzerland, and a Pinot Noir.  There was beer, waters, coke zero, juices, teas, and the list goes on.  

To continue with more features, the bed is equipped with a remote control for each side allowing you to mobilize the mattress to your level of comfort.  The bathroom included even more modern luxuries.  There were buttons to control the music and lighting with a single touch.  The shower was spacious, included a large rain shower head, and you could adjust the colored lighting and music inside.  The bath products provided were amazing and large enough to last for days.  Hotel staff did not hesitate to leave you extra products.

As if the hotel wasn’t already adequate, I have yet to talk about their spa.  Wow.  This spa is exceptional.  The pool looks out upon the lake with windows in the underwater portion that can be visualized on the lower level of the spa.  Just one place to take in a spectacular view is sitting in the indoor whirlpool that looks out over the pool and lake.  Just behind this whirlpool is a curved staircase leading you to more of the spa amenities.  The first thing you will see is the aquarium.  I have never seen an aquarium inside a spa before.  There are large chaise lounge chairs facing the aquarium as one of the many seating areas.  In front of the staircase is a refreshment station with all kinds of fun drinks.  I tried a rhubarb carbonated beverage and later another blueberry one.  

There is a relaxation room that looks otherworldly.  It is a glass box with lighting that changes color on the outside.  The chairs are slightly heated for your comfort.  Outside the relaxation room, you will find the steam room and solarium.  They also have two different temperature saunas just adjacent to a polar plunge.  In addition to the polar plunge is a “cold room,” which was refreshing after sitting in the sauna.  You will find many additional seating areas with varying views both upstairs and downstairs.  Some of the loungers have cozy blankets to relax with.  Outside you will find another whirlpool/hot tub.  It includes a built in lounge chair for you to relax in along with many different water features.  

You do not need to leave the property for food.  As you can imagine, the hotel is well equipped with a number of restaurants.  Restaurant PRISMA peaked my interest; however, they were not open on Wednesday, which was the evening of our stay.  They offer casual fine dining with an asian flair.  Another more pretentious option is the 2 Michelin star Restaurant focus ATELIER.  This is the glass box you will see to the right when you walk outside from the main lobby.  As I was going to be trying a tasting menu at upcoming hotels, I opted against this and decided in favor of the Grill Restaurant Lake Terrace.  I emailed the hotel in advance to secure a reservation for the restaurant.  This particular evening they were having dinner outside due to the beautiful weather.  Don’t worry about being cold, the hotel staff will bring you a cozy oversized blanket to keep you warm.  We arrived around 8pm, and I loved watching the sunset as we enjoyed dinner.  One unique dish I tried for an appetizer was the pinsa with local sausage and black truffle.  It was somewhat reminiscent of a pizza but without the sauce.  So tasty!

Our breakfast was in the same location the following morning due to the beautiful weather. Their tea products are from a Swiss company and very high quality. I have looked into ordering more of this tea since leaving Switzerland. There is a buffet with pastries and fruits along with a menu provided for further selections. This menu showcases some pretty unbelievable options divided into classics, healthy & vital, sweet, and exclusives. I tried the Croque Monsieur with truffle butter, Lucerne ham, and cheese. It was small, yet such an amazing dish. I followed this with the gratinated berries with Tahiti vanilla and mascarpone foam. This sweet dish was super unique and the perfect way to finish breakfast. We also split a smoked salmon that was really fantastic, and I typically don’t love salmon.

If you are interested in wine, the collection at Park Hotel Vitznau is truly astounding.  Containing approximately 35,000 bottles, this is one of the largest wine cellars in Switzerland. I did not know about the sheer size of their collection prior to my visit. There are a total of six different cellars. They are divided based upon region. If you are interested, you can arrange for a cellar tour and tasting in advance. We asked upon arrival and there was not availability during our stay.

A stay at the Park Hotel Vitznau is pure luxury. I can think of few hotels that compare. It does come with a price, but in this case, I felt that the price tag was most definitely worth admission. Booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts allows you to take advantage of even a one night stay with the guaranteed 4pm check out. You will not regret staying here on your next trip to Switzerland!

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