Mary Gostelow is top of the world in Switzerland

Girlahead ascends to Bürgenstock Hotel and Alpine Spa

Want to feel you’ve climbed every mountain, at least metaphorically, at least in Europe? Bürgenstock, 500 metres above Lake Lucerne, is the answer. In addition, GM Christian Sack tempts you with his confident determination that this could well be the world’s top luxury resort within five years. Well, surely no other paradise has a hundred-plus experiences ranging from Picassos, real, through to making your own cheese, really?

The 60-hectare resort, atop peaks and surrounded by serious mountains, includes several hotels. Crème of the Swiss cream is the nine-floor Bürgenstock Hotel and Alpine Spa, 2017-vintage monumental. Of its 102 rooms, #706, the Penthouse Suite, is sensational. It takes up most of the top floor, with a squash court-sized terrace (open roof, three open sides and a cantilevered feel). Inside, a working log-look fire looks into your double soaking tub which in turn overlooks pastures below.

Spices Kitchen Terrace

Why not ‘double-book’? Spend hours in a private suite in the Alpine Spa, on the hotel’s fourth floor. Once again you have a double tub, but here there’s also a 100% humidity steam shower and sauna-with-view, both perfumed to your fragrance choice. There are beds, at least for treatments.

Throughout a Bürgenstock stay, combine glorious fresh air with exercise. It’s an hour’s return climb up to the top of Europe’s tallest outdoor lift. Less strenuous is to take the pulley funicular, 1888 but just upgraded, from within the hotel, four minutes down to the lake. Perfectly timed, Swiss-efficient, the cross-lake double-deck shuttle boat pulls up.

Burgenstock shuttle boat

A 15-minute cruise to Lucerne is followed by a seven-minute walk, through Lucerne’s iconic Covered Bridge, to a curated introduction to a couple of dozen Picassos. This includes five Picasso-disjointed portraits of Angela Rosengart, 90, who owns this and all the Klees, Légers and Mirós around (she herself, still working as ever, might just be there, too).

In between meals – Japanese, Persian or Vitality this time? – try cheese-making. One of the resorts’ 50-plus local suppliers has 16 litres of fresh cow’s milk already whatever-ing in a copper caldron with rennet etc. Break the curds repeatedly as the temperature rises to 48°. Turn it into a cheesecloth and then a mould, to mature, with daily turning, for six months. This is all unmissably educational and a selfie cert.

Any day, a pre-breakfast hike, listening to birdsong, past cows, cowbells, and all, sharpens the appetite. At breakfast, out on a terrace, a buffet is brought to you, tea-type stands with spelt and other max-health breads – and do not forgo the variety of yoghurts. And cheese. As your car is brought to the hotel’s main door, leave this paradise past a guard of honour of pristine Ferraris and Lamborghinis. This is Bürgenstock, says Christian Sack with pride.

Mary Gostelow publishes the daily and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.

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