Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern

The Palace – which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006 – is one of Switzerland's legendary luxury hotels. It belonged to the legendary hotelier Franz Josef Bucher-Durrer. It is located on the scenic shores of Lake Lucerne in the very heart of the country, surrounded by idyllic Alpine landscape. Yet it is only a leisurely stroll from an enchanting city centre steeped in centuries of history.

The late 19th century was the golden age of tourism in Switzerland. Foreign travellers were beginning to discover the delights of its many scenic splendours and cities. And Lucerne, with world famous hotels such as the Schweizerhof and the Grand Hotel National, was one of the destinations enjoying particular popularity.

The founder of the Palace hotel was Franz Josef Bucher-Durrer (1834-1906), who was born into a farming family and described by his own mother as "too lazy to work". He went on to amass a fortune of 14 million Swiss francs and created an empire which at one time included 10 luxury hotels and six mountain railways. His hotels included not only the "Palace" in Lugano and the "Bürgenstock", but also prestigious properties outside Switzerland – the "Quirinale" in Rome, the "Palace" in Milan and the "Semiramis" in Cairo.

In 1903 Bucher-Durrer purchased a plot of land at the end of the National Quay in Lucerne for nearly 900,000 Swiss francs – a phenomenal figure at that time. The actual construction of the PALACE LUZERN cost a further 4 million Swiss francs and the hotel opened for business on 7 May 1906.

The property offered a level of luxury and extravagance unrivalled at that time. For example, all rooms and apartments overlooking the lake and facing east had their own bathrooms.

The First World War (1914-1918) forced the closure of the PALACE LUZERN for several years, and during the Second World War (1939-1945) the hotel was used as a military hospital and also as a storage centre for essential provisions.

It reopened in 1946 after complete renovation, and hardly a year has passed since without millions being invested in modernization projects. In 1997 the property was taken over by the VICTORIAJUNGFRAU Grand Hotel & Spa in Interlaken, the acquisition following years of close cooperation between the two luxury hotels. Attractions at the PALACE LUZERN include its distinctive design, décor and architecture; fine facilities for banquets, meetings and seminars; and two outstanding restaurants – "Les Artistes" and the "Jasper".

The spectacular PALACE SPA was inaugurated in 2005. The same year saw the number of rooms and suites reduced from 168 to 136 as part of a concept to create more spacious accommodation. Over one hundred years after opening its distinguished doors, the PALACE LUZERN continues to radiate an irresistible charm. And to offer the ultimate in lifestyle luxury for rest and relaxation. The hotel has always been mindful of tradition – while moving with the times.

Hans E. Koch
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Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern
Country: Switzerland
City: Lucerne
Opening date: 1906, 7 May

Note from the Host

General Manager


Haldenstrasse 10
6002 Switzerland, Lucerne

Tel: +41 41 416 16 16
Fax: +41 41 416 00 00

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