A look inside Mandarin Oriental’s transformed Swiss palace

Mandarin Oriental Palace Luzern
Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern

Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern has opened in Switzerland following a meticulous renovation project to transform a Belle Époque landmark.

The luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental has opened a new property within a restored palace on the shores of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.

Built in 1906 by the Swiss entrepreneur Franz Josef Bucher, the original building—a magnificent example of Belle Époque architecture and design—has been updated by local architects Iwan Bühler Architekten and London-based interior designers Jestico + Whiles.

The hotel has 136 guestrooms and suites, including two rooftop terrace suites with panoramic views of the lake and mountains, and a 133 sqm presidential suite with a distinctive, oval-shaped salon.

Four restaurants and bars are helmed by executive chef Gilad Peled, whose experience includes working at Gordon Ramsay’s Le Pressoir d’Argent in Bordeaux. Opening in early 2023, the lakeside Colonnade will serve French haute cuisine with striking views, while a Japanese omakase-style restaurant will seat just six people for an intimate, refined dining experience.

Spa Bellefontaine is the spot for guests to indulge in a range of face and body treatments, with rejuvenating amenities such as a sauna, steam bath, and relaxation room.

Design notes

The contemporary design of the guestrooms fuses the surrounding beauty of the Swiss landscape with the colour palette of the Mediterranean, which was said to be the inspiration behind the original construction of the property. Subtle Asian influences that embellish the hotel are a nod to the Mandarin Oriental’s origins.

Original features retained in the renovation include the chequered white Carrara and Nero Marquina marble flooring on the ground level; traditional detailed ceiling mouldings and wall panelling in the guestrooms; and burnt umber scagliola columns, which now frame a reeded bronze circular bar in MOzern Bar & Brasserie.

Arches and round, organic shapes are characteristic of the new design, conceptualised to contrast with the hard edges of the Belle Époque era. Guestrooms feature tones of muted pistachio, natural oak, and dusky coral with designer furnishings by the Italian brand, Molteni, and textured wool rugs handwoven in Switzerland.

Artworks throughout the hotel were curated by VISTO art specialists to magnify the building’s heritage and natural environment. Romantic 19th-century paintings of mountain ranges are contrasted with large-scale glass paintings and abstract nature photographs.

Room rates start at CHF700 (about AUD$1,107) per night.

Share this article