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A palace reborn: The Mandarin Oriental Luzern dazzles with a new design and modern luxuries

Among the most eagerly awaited openings of 2022, Mandarin Oriental Luzern has quickly carved out a starring role in Switzerland’s hotel scene — not just for its prime position, overlooking the glittering shores of Lake Luzern, but for its extraordinary new style and facilities, that make it a haven for discerning design travellers. Compromising of 136 stylish rooms and suites, a contemporary spa with a sauna and steam room, and four high-end restaurants with outstanding cuisine, you’ll find it hard to leave this desirable address.

What’s the story?

First opened in 1906, the stately building is one of Luzern’s grandest Belle Epoque landmarks, perched along the banks of the lake and only a stone’s throw from the charming town centre. The hotel emerged out of Switzerland’s golden age of tourism; a vibrant period that attracted millions of visitors to the country, with everyone from famed poets, to statesmen and even queens luxuriating its pristine landscapes. For almost 100 years, the palace was family run by Swiss entrepreneur, Franz Josef Bucher— who realised his dream of building a Mediterranean retreat in the heart of Switzerland— and eventually sold and placed into the expert hands of the Mandarin Oriental group — who spared no expense in restoring all its former glory, while inserting heaps of modernity and contemporary design.

What’s it like inside?

Renovating a nationally important building comes with certain responsibility — and London-based designers Jestico + Whiles (who worked on the Kempinski Palace Engelberg), were certainly up to the task. The result is captivating. After an extensive three-year makeover, the hotel reveals an astonishing new identity that honours its old-world charm, while showcasing a modern and bold, art-deco design. Beyond its stately façade, guests enter through an impressive vaulted corridor with chequerboard marble flooring and cagliola columns, juxtaposed with contemporary curved sofas and minimalist light fixtures, that together create an elegant yet avant-garde feel. The individually designed rooms blend the old with new, featuring contemporary leather furniture alongside original oak parquet flooring and mixed marble bathrooms  with a range of luxurious amenities. But the hotel’s true crown jewel is the MOzern brasserie, an all-day-dining venue featuring an eclectic mix of velvet and brass furniture, faithfully restored stucco ceilings and expansive arched windows that give way to endless lake views— no matter the hour, this place is a masterpiece.


MO Bar (1), Lobby (2), Junior suite (3) © Jestico+Whiles / James McDonald

What’s on the menu?

At MO Luzern guests embark on a gastronomic journey with flavours for just about every taste. The hotel’s four ground-floor restaurants include the art-deco MOzern Bar & Brasserie, a gorgeous, all-day-dining restaurant offering Asian fusion cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients, the Quai 10, a riviera-inspired, al fresco terrace offering refined Mediterranean classics, the soon to open Colonnade, serving contemporary French haute cuisine in an opulent setting— and last but not least, Minamo, a 6-seat Japanese Omakase bar, where guests can enjoy live cooking and inventive asian cuisine. 

How about the spa?

After a day out exploring the town, the hotel’s perfectly designed SPA Bellefontaine is the ultimate place to de-stress and recharge in a serene setting. Once you’ve been pampered at La Suite Beauté; which offers a range of world-class treatments by renowned skincare experts, the boutique size wellness room— entirely carved out of show-stopping Tuscan marble— features a steam room, a sauna, experience showers and an intimate relaxation area with heated loungers that you’ll way to spend the day in. There’s no swimming pool on site, but during the summer months, a visit to the 19th-century Seebad Luzern (which floats above the lake) is a fun alternative.


Colonnade restaurant © Mandarin Oriental Luzern

Spa © Jestico+Whiles / James McDonald

Anything else?

The iconic city of Luzern is a historic destination that boasts an endless catalogue of local sights and attractions surrounded by glittering lake shores. The hotel invites guests to discover the beauty of the area, using one of their complimentary (and retro) e-bikes, which provide a more sustainable and thrilling means to go off-the-beaten track, sightsee and soak in the beauty of Luzern’s enchanting medieval architecture and must-see landmarks.

Afternoon tea lounge © Jestico+Whiles / James McDonald

Rooftop suite © Mandarin Oriental Luzern

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