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Dramatic scenery, the fresh Alpine air and a focus on wellness makes Bürgenstock a compelling proposition for a growing number of GCC visitors seeking health and vitality
They say good health is priceless. And history is replete with stories of men and women of power who rule over vast empires, own wealth that cannot be counted and yet seek the most coveted of all possessions: good health.
About 250,000 medical tourists from GCC countries visit Switzerland per year for medical treatments and health ailments. It is with that insight that we look towards a new property that has opened its doors in the Bürgenstock complex overlooking Lake Lucerne. It is a hidden gem in the mountains of Switzerland which people in the know make a trusted retreat to get back health and vitality.
The Waldhotel Health and Medical Excellence is a new 160-room, five-star luxury property aims to provide visitors looking for non-invasive medical treatments, recuperation, rest and relaxation an exclusive wellness retreat.
Combining the healing tranquillity of Lake Lucerne with Switzerland’s outstanding reputation for wellness, Waldhotel Health and Medical Excellence is housed within the historic Bürgenstock Resort complex. It is a delight for medical tourists, wellbeing enthusiasts and athletes, providing diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation programmes, in addition to preventative and cosmetic treatments.
The Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne is part of the Bürgenstock Selection headquartered in Zug, Switzerland. The resort comprises a total inventory of 383 rooms spread across four hotels: the Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa (5-star superior); the Palace Hotel & Conferences (4-star superior); the Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence (a 5-star medical hotel); and the Taverne 1879 (3-star Swiss inn). In addition, the resort boasts 67 residence suites, 12 restaurants and bars, a 10,000 sq m Alpine spa and a wide range of leisure activities.
Set in the luxury of the five-star Waldhotel, the holistic approach to health encompasses nutrition, exercise and rest, balanced with the healing qualities of Lake Lucerne, to create a bespoke wellness experience for each guest.
With Alpine air, dramatic scenery and a focus on health and nature, as well as exclusive shopping districts, it makes for a compelling proposition for a growing number of visitors from the GCC region. With UAE passport holders no longer required to obtain short-stay visas, the number of wellness seekers to this legendary resort is expected to rise this year and going forward.
Keen to create a better understanding of how Waldhotel stands apart in the Alpine complex, Robert Herr, general manager of the Bürgenstock Hotel, reveals: “The Waldhotel is a medical competency centre of the highest order, focused on health, beauty and wellness, all integrated with exclusive, five-star hotel and spa offers. Guests receive an assessment of their health status at the beginning of their stay and this information is used to create a unique programme, with medical and wellness treatments supported by the health benefits of fresh Alpine air and specialist gourmet cuisine.”
Guests are cared for by a dedicated multidisciplinary team of in-house doctors, therapists and nursing specialists, in collaboration with the Nidwalden Cantonal Hospital and Lucerne/Nidwalden Regional Health Authority. Treatments cover mobility and activity, weight management and metabolism, body and mind balance, beauty and healthy ageing. Further medical services are provided by experts in the fields of dermatology and venereology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, cardiology, orthopaedics, psychosomatic medicine and dentistry.
Adopting the principles of “Bürgenstock Colour Cuisine”, all menus at the Waldhotel are developed by doctors and nutritionists and designed according a herb-based Mediterranean gourmet diet, with 25 herbs grown within the resort’s grounds.
The brilliance of bürgenstock
There has been a continuous regeneration taking place within the resort complex of Bürgenstock – the Alpine retreat is not among those to settle on past glory. In fact, the newer upgraded facilities are in tune with what GCC travellers want, when it comes to dietary preferences, going out activities and leisure choices: all this coming to fruition with the Katara Hospitality in charge.
With luxurious, well-located and recently renovated hotels, Bürgenstock Resort is hoping to attract a sizeable chunk of tourists from the Middle East with their famed Swiss hospitality.
All the hotels have a long history of indulging royalties and celebrities, and all three have been tastefully refurbished recently. The properties are now owned by the Katara Hospitality, which has poured in nearly one billion Swiss francs ($1.08 billion) into the project. More than half that amount has gone into Bürgenstock Resort.
Apart from the hotels, the resort has 68 residence suites and 10 villas – all available only on long-term rentals – 12 restaurants, a 66-seater cinema theatre, a nine-hole golf course, an indoor tennis court and two outdoor courts, a skating rink and over 43 miles of hiking trails.
And then there is the 10,000-sq-m Alpine spa, among one of the biggest in Europe. It 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. A note of caution though – most spa facilities are mixed-use, so if you seek privacy, you have got to ask for it.
The portfolio also includes Hotel Schweizerhof, which is less than a minute’s walk from Bern railway station; Hotel Royal Savoy on the banks of Lake Geneva in Lausanne and the flagship, Bürgenstock Resort. Situated on top of Bürgenstock Mountain about half an hour’s boat ride from Lucerne, the resort overlooks the city and its mighty lake.
Unlike a chain hotel, all three properties are very distinct, but there is a common theme that binds them. They have retained various elements from the past – Royal Savoy even delaying its opening by several months in order to restore the murals on the building façade – and yet, the interiors are very modern and efficient.
Schweizerhof dates back to 1859, then named Hotel Fetzer, and established even before the railway station was built. Schweizerhof, in its modern
avatar, is an institution in the Swiss capital. With 99 very well-appointed rooms, it is one of only two five-star superior hotels in Bern.
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