Sitting at the foot of the Alps, on the shores of the stunning Lake Lucerne, Central Switzerland’s most populated town, Lucerne, enjoys an idyllic setting. It’s not just the beautiful setting that makes Lucerne a popular destination, but also its history. Many visitors to the country make a beeline for this gorgeous medieval town that also has a big music scene. Not surprisingly, there is no dearth of hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland. From luxurious properties to cozy homestays, there is a wide range of accommodations to choose from.
Apart from its breathtaking scenery Lucerne has plenty to offer visitors. Whether you’re here for its stunning outdoor locales or the history of the Old Town, you’ll find many interesting things to do in Lucerne. Lucerne is also a short drive from Zurich, Zug, and some of the best small towns in Switzerland worth visiting. So when you’re done exploring this little gem you may want to move on to explore the best things to do in Zurich or the attractions of Zug.
Where To Stay in Lucerne
Lucerne has plenty of hotels scattered throughout the town. Some of the best hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland are by the lake. The lakeside promenade offers some spectacular views of the mountains and the lake. There are also plenty of good accommodations spread on both sides of the Reuss River.
Another popular base is the Alstadt, the Old Town. The cobblestoned, pedestrian-only, Alstadt is one of the best places to stay with a large number of excellent hotels in the area. Many of these hotels have been standing at the same spot for almost two centuries!
If you prefer the mountains, the more adventurous can choose to stay near Mount Pilatus or Mount Rigi. Popular hotels, Bürgenstock Resort and Château Gütsch both enjoy elevated positions. So for those who love the mountains, you could consider staying here. One thing you probably know already is that Lucerne is expensive so you won’t get any great bargains here. That being said, you’ll still find accommodations to suit all kinds of budgets.
Grand Hotel National
Hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland by the lake don’t come grander than the Grand Hotel National with its charming history. Occupying a prime spot on the shores of the lake for over 150 years, the hotel exudes grandeur and undisputed elegance. Hardly surprising, since one of its early founders was the great César Ritz, pioneer of the Ritz hotel in Paris. Another master, Chef Auguste Escoffier added much to the hotel’s repertoire in its early years.
Though the hotel has moved on with the times, its elegance and luxury have remained intact. This 5-star hotel has 41 rooms and suites plus 22 residences, modern offices, and several other amenities that include two ballrooms. Spacious guest rooms feel like a step into a royal space with beautiful furnishings and top-class amenities. If you can splurge, opt for the Ritz Suite with lake view for the ultimate in luxury.
As expected, this grand space offers a wide range of dining experiences with four quality restaurants, a bar, and a coffee shop to choose from. While the Restaurant National and Klinger’s Ristorante are both stylish, Lake Terrace is a feast for the eyes right beside the promenade. For those looking to unwind, the swimming pool, sauna, and treatment area are great spots.
Ameron Luzern Hotel Flora
For those wanting to be close to all the action, the Ameron Luzern Hotel Flora is one of the best hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland to experience this. Sitting bang in the center of the city between the lake and the Alps, this hotel puts you in proximity to everything. It’s just a stone’s throw from the main train station and Chapel bridge so exploring the area is easy. You’ll find many of the city’s attractions within walking distance from here.
The recently renovated 4-star hotel fuses Swiss originality with an urban flair. You can choose from a variety of room categories, some which offer excellent views of the mountains. All rooms come well equipped with a host of modern comforts.
Although there aren’t many in house amenities other than business and event spaces, guests can use the fitness center in the building. Tickets at a special price can be purchased at the reception for the gym as well as the saunas and steam baths of the Fitness Park National. You’ll find a Mediterranean Brasserie Flora onsite where you can relish a tasty meal. The hotel’s Italian restaurant, BACIO DELLA MAMMA, is also slated to open later in the year.
Hotel des Balances
Many of the best hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland come with rich histories that go way back in time. The Hotel des Balances is one of those hotels that has been around since the early times. Originally opened as an inn in the 12th century, the property underwent many transformations until the Hotel des Balances was established in 1836.
This beautiful property occupies a prime spot along the beautiful River Reuss in the heart of the Old Town. You have the river on one side and a charming cobblestone street on the other side. Many of the attractions are a short walk from here.
Although the hotel has been standing tall for almost two centuries, it’s interiors are fresh and modern. The gorgeous murals on its exterior are among the most photographed in Lucerne. Guest rooms exude chic elegance and comfort and are well equipped with modern amenities. You can look forward to beautiful bathrooms too, albeit a little small. Many of the suites have balconies with stunning river views. However, given its history, only rooms on the fifth floor have air-conditioning.
Guests can begin the day with a breakfast buffet at the hotel. The onsite restaurant is popular with locals and guests as is the bar and lounge. Seasonally, you can enjoy alfresco dining on the riverside terrace. Other than dining options, there are no other extra amenities such as a spa, gym, or pool. There is a 24-hour business center though and parking for an extra fee.
If you’re looking for hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland with a vantage point, Château Gütsch is your best option. This refurbished fairy tale castle from the 19th century offers guests breathtaking views of the lake and mountains. Sitting atop Gütsch hill, the hotel is clearly visible from the iconic Chapel Bridge. Although the hotel seems to be cut off from everything, it’s a short drive from the town. Also, Château Gütsch has its own historic funicular railway, the Gütsch Bahn that takes you to the city in under two minutes.
Château Gütsch has a history that goes back to its humble beginnings as an inn in 1860. It underwent a big transformation when the towers and oriels were added to the expanded hotel in 1901. Another big facelift that began in 2010, transformed the beautiful property to its present state. Over the 130 years in its existence, the hotel has been home to kings, queens, diplomats, and other famous personalities. Not surprising given its stunning location and gorgeous features.
The hotel reopened in 2014 after a massive renovation that stuck to the original designs. This is evident in the 31 unique rooms and suites that exude historical charm. Romantic bay windows, Victorian stucco, cozy wood beams, and golden canopy beds or pretty sleigh beds are reminiscent of a bygone era. However, you’ll find a wide range of modern comforts and amenities of a 4-star city hotel.
The onsite Restaurant Château Gütsch offers indoor and outdoor dining with scenic views of Lucerne. The seasonal menu draws from Mediterranean and regional cuisine. The Gütsch Bar prides itself on being Lucerne’s most stylish bar with its unique ambiance. Art aficionados will also enjoy the Art Panorama INFERNO a world-renowned sculpture exhibition.
Hotel Wilden Mann
Another hotel steeped in history is the Hotel Wilden Mann in the heart of the city. It’s just five minutes’ walk from the station which means you’re close to all the attractions. Like many other historic hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland, this one too has been standing since the 19th century. But unlike the other historic hotels, this hotel had a slightly dubious beginning as a bar without a tavern license. As the hotel gradually grew, it spread over seven interconnected buildings, each with a charm of its own.
Through its years, many personalities have graced the hallways of this iconic hotel, one of the most famous being Sophia Loren. The 48 guest rooms are unique with their own distinctive touches and old fashioned chic. You’ll find antique furniture, printed wallpaper, and romantic accents plus modern amenities to enhance your stay. One of the Junior Suites on the fourth floor comes with a private terrace. Most en-suite bathrooms come with bathtubs. The hotel also has special arrangements to make your stay extra special.
Again like most hotels in Lucerne, the Wilden Mann also has a seasonal terrace restaurant that looks down onto the famous Musegg Wall. It’s the perfect place for a summer evening. Since it’s covered there’s no fear of getting wet in a summer downpour. The other restaurants Sauvage and Burgerstube are destinations in themselves. While you won’t find a fitness center or spa on-site, the hotel has a special event space.
Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern
Just a stone’s throw from the city center and on the shores of Lake Lucerne is another of Lucerne’s iconic hotels, Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern. This 5-star hotel has been in the same family for over 150 years and has played host to the likes of B.B. King, Mark Twain, Neil Armstrong, and Ludwig II of Bavaria.
Elegance reigns supreme at this hotel that has maintained many of its original features. Molded plaster ceilings, marble columns, and antiques give the hotel a unique character. The 101 rooms and suites received a facelift which was completed in 2014. Despite the renovations, every room has an identity of its own, themed to reference the many distinguished guests that stayed here. Some rooms have balconies while others have floor to ceiling windows with spectacular views of the lake and mountains. All rooms come with a wide range of modern amenities.
You can look forward to three specialty restaurants, Galerie, Pavillon, and Villa Scheizerhof. There’s also the Schweizerhof bar that attracts a trendy crowd. A wellness area where you enjoy a range of beauty and wellness treatments is popular with locals too. The hotel also hosts many first-class events and music concerts.
Radisson Blu Hotel
Surround yourself with magnificent views of the mountains and the lake at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Sitting on the shores of Lake Lucerne, close to the marina, the views from this hotel are quite stunning. You’ll find many tourist attractions within easy walking distance of the hotel. Restaurants, bars, shops, and cafes are all nearby.
The Radisson Blu Hotel stands out from the other hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland by the lake, with its glass-fronted, modern facade. A vast, colorful lobby with an airport check-in style greets guests. As expected, the guest rooms are sleek and modern with large floor to ceiling windows that let in plenty of natural light. Spacious guest rooms offer views of the lake and mountains. All rooms are well stocked with a large range of amenities.
Guests staying in the suites can enjoy a breakfast buffet or opt for the early morning ‘grab and go’ breakfast. LUCE, the award-winning restaurant serves a variety of Mediterranean and Swiss dishes. It has an open show kitchen where customers can watch the chefs create their magic. The restaurant also has a bar and wine lounge. Other on-site services include a fitness center, a sauna, and a steam bath as well as innovative event facilities.
CASCADA Boutique Hotel
CASCADA Boutique Hotel is a charming hotel located in a trendy area of Lucerne, within walking distance of the train station, Old Town and Lake Lucerne. The hotel dates back to 1910 when it opened as the hospice Johanniterhof. It only became a hotel in 1994 and was christened CASCADA in 2001, with a waterfall theme.
A renovation in 2016 maintained the Swiss waterfall theme which permeates all rooms. You can look forward to a stylish, comfortable room complemented by air conditioning and other amenities. The minibar is topped up with beverages every day at no extra charge. The highlight of your stay here is the top-rated breakfast buffet that is included in the price.
One of the reasons why the CASCADA is highly rated among the boutique hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland is the onsite features. Bolera Restaurante is renowned for its Spanish offerings which include hot tapas, pinchos buffet, and other culinary delights. Hotel guests receive a discount voucher for the restaurant. The Wine Lounge and Bar is also a popular spot to hang out. Though the hotel does not have an in house fitness center guests can use the fitness center with sauna opposite the hotel.
Though there are many hotels in Lucerne, Switzerland by the lake, the Seehotel Hermitage is the only hotel where every room and the public area comes with a stunning view. Its secluded location makes it a perfect place for a romantic getaway. If you’re interested in exploring the city center it’s a 10-minute drive from here. Don’t despair if you don’t have a vehicle because the city’s number 24 bus, stops just outside the hotel. Mt. Pilatus is a long drive from here so if you have your own vehicle it will be an added advantage.
However, if you would rather stay in and enjoy the hotel, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. From well-manicured lawns for sunbathing, a playground for children, a small beach for swimming, and a dock that extends into the lake, there is a gamut of activities to choose from. You’ll also find tennis courts, rental bikes, and an ice skating rink in the winter. The Restaurant Hermitage with its charming terrace is popular with guests and locals.
Spacious guest rooms feature a minimalist design with wooden floors and whites. They feature floor to ceiling windows and are equipped with a wide range of amenities including L’OCCITANE beauty products. While all rooms face the lake, the rooms in the main building have balconies. The Lake & Mountain Suite at the top of the new building is especially spacious with stunning views.
Art Deco Hotel Montana
From its elevated position on a hill, the Art Deco Hotel Montana offers breathtaking views of the lake and Mount Pilatus. It’s another of Lucerne’s hotels that has been standing tall for decades. It’s a 15-minute walk to the Old Town and slightly shorter to the Lion Monument. However, if you’re not in a mood to walk, the hotel has a dedicated funicular that picks guests up from the bottom of the hill. Guests can then take the bus to the train station and other sights.
The old character of the hotel is dominant in the spiral staircase, high ceilings, parquet floors, and mosaic tiling. Art deco designs filter into the guest rooms that come with bespoke wooden furniture and patterned upholstered chairs. Entry-level rooms are more simplistic in decor but the Penthouse Spa Suites are truly luxurious. They feature a private rooftop terrace with heated whirlpool plus a whirlpool bathtub in the room. Other perks of the suite include a Nespresso coffee machine, free e-bike rental, preferred seating in the Scala Restaurant, and free access to the Fitnesspark National. Not all rooms come with views of the lake although all have balconies.
You’ll find a wide range of amenities that are geared towards leisure travelers. Guests can either rent a fifth-floor spa suite or arrange for treatments. There are multiple dining options to choose from at the hotel. The glass-fronted Scala Restaurant with indoor and outdoor terrace views ticks all the right boxes when it comes to spectacular fine dining. The intimate Louis Bar is a good spot for drinks with live music from Tuesday to Saturday Night. There’s also the Rum Lounge, Beach Club, and Kitchen Club to dine at.
To truly get away from it all and experience nature in style, head to the Bürgenstock Resort that sits majestically, 500 meters above Lake Lucerne on Burgenburg mountain. The views of the Alps and Lake from this vantage point are unparalleled. The best way to reach the resort is by the funicular railway that starts from the lake and takes you straight to the lobby of the Bürgenstock Hotel. There’s road access too for those who prefer to drive.
The resort has four hotels that fall into different categories to suit various budgets. The Bürgenstock Hotel, Palace Hotel, Waldhotel, and the Taverne 1879 are all spread out on a mountain ridge, each with its own distinct style. This architectural collage fuses 19th-century grandeur with modernity. The 4-star Belle Epoque Palace Hotel stands in stark contrast to the 10-story cube-shaped 5-star Bürgenstock Hotel. On the other hand, the exterior of the larch-lattice clad health retreat, Waldhotel, and the chalet-style Taverne 1879 is more subdued.
Not surprisingly, the services at this resort are mind-boggling. It boasts one of Switzerland’s most renowned spas, the 10,000 square meter Alpine Spa that is spread across three floors. With five pools, 13 treatment rooms, a Spa Garden, and an ultra-modern fitness area, it’s the ultimate wellness hub. 10 restaurants and bars are spread over the four hotels, offering everything from ‘haute cuisine’ in a starred restaurant to delicacies from the Orient and Swiss Alpine cuisine.
Those who like to stay on top of their fitness will find a 9-hole course while tennis enthusiasts can refresh their skills at The Diamond Domes. If you prefer something less rigorous you can enjoy yoga sessions or go for a walk to explore the verdant surroundings. Families with kids can be assured that there’s plenty for them too at the Kids Club. From Choco Class conducted by a pastry chef to Kids Mocktail hour, Farm Time, and unforgettable spa playtime, the kids will have a blast.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Lucerne:
- Gourmet Lunch Cruise on Lake Lucerne – Enjoy a freshly prepared 3-course meal as you cruise along Lake Lucerne to Vitznau and back. You won’t just enjoy an excellent meal but will also relish the beautiful surroundings.
- Wirtshaus Galliker – This century-old tavern is extremely popular for its amazing food. Run by the same family for over four generations, this restaurant attracts a lively bunch of people.
Recommended Activities In Lucerne:
- Walking Tour to Chapel Bridge and Old Town – Discover Lucerne’s history as you take in some of the famous sights on this two-hour tour. From the Chapel Bridge with its water tower and the Old Town, the ‘City of Lights’ has interesting landmarks worth discovering.
- Sammlung Rosengart Museum – Art enthusiasts will love this museum that features works by the great masters, Renoir, Monet, Picasso, and others. Many of the works on display are the personal collection of founder Angela Resengart who knew many of the artists personally.