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Stay here: Hotel Villa Honegg

Five-star service, amenities and dining is what we expect; what we seek is that something extra that goes beyond the merely exceptional. At Hotel Villa Honegg that something extra is an extraordinary, unforgettable – almost unfindable – location.

Villa Honegg is one of those hotels that challenges your SatNav, but once you arrive, you really arrive. Perched on the Bürgenstock 914 metres above sea level in the hills above Lake Lucerne, this boutique hotel offers breathtaking views down to the lake, framed above by an amphitheatre of mountain peaks. It pushes right up to a national park where one can experience incredible walks and bike rides through dense forest, across glorious Alpine meadows or to the famous Cliff Path and Hammetschwand Lift.

Built in the Art Nouveau-style in 1905 and reopened after a complete refurbishment in 2011, Villa Honegg recalls a bygone era of “slow” travel and the Grand Tour. With vistas everywhere, it’s quiet and calm, light and peaceful. The holder of 14 Gault-Millau points, Villa Honegg’s menus make the most of ingredients that are either grown on the premises or sourced locally. Cheeses, meats and other produce, if it doesn’t come from the hotel farm then it’s sourced from local suppliers. Seasonal, fresh, delicious.

All meals are served in the dining room but when the weather permits you can dine out on the terrace and know the meaning of divine. Breakfast is à la carte and inclusive in the room rate. Service is attentive and quick to respond to whatever the heart desires, and any heart that makes the journey must not leave without savouring the honey that’s made on the premises. Rooms at Villa Honegg embrace you in a cocoon of luxury. The attention to detail is manifest: natural materials and superb finishings are the hallmark of the decor, which combine to foster a sense of well-being. Rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and Nespresso machines. Suites add living areas and designer toiletries.

The spa is a major drawcard with its heated outdoor stainless steel pool that, surprise, affords more amazing views of the lake and mountains. After a good soaking, lounge chairs on the grass are provided with fur-lined blankets to wrap you up. It’s an amazing experience to sit and just relax with those views. There are also treatment rooms for massages, facials and anything else you desire. If you need to work off some indulgence, a fully equipped gym is available, with a steam room, sauna and a small cold plunge. Facilities are fastidiously clean, with fresh towels and staff always at hand.

Take a hike in the foothills behind the hotel, explore the manicured gardens and the organic farm, drink in the fresh mountain air while lounging on fur blankets after a swim in the heated pool, end the day over a long magnificent meal. While elegance is the watchword at Villa Honegg, there is also wow factor which mere words fail to capture.

The downside? The secret is out and on weekends when day-trippers are welcome things can get quite crowded. Best to plan day trips to surrounding areas on weekends and save your return for the late afternoon when the hotel is returned to the guests again.

Pool-with-a-view at Hotel Villa Honegg

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