When mountains and forest-covered lakeshores aren’t of enough interest to the Alpine traveller, there’s the historic city of Lucerne (aka Luzern or Luzerne) to add its quirky buildings and laid-back waterfront dining to the mix. Draining the lake is Reuss River, crossed in style by the covered wooden walkway, Chapel Bridge, which spans the water in a characterful diagonal riot of wood and flowers. The Old Town’s half-timbered buildings, watch towers and centuries-old churches provide plenty for a packed weekend break, although many people stay in Lucerne for even longer, using the city as a base from which to explore further afield.
Lucerne’s hotels range from notable high-end chains to historic boutiques, each one providing comfort and quality by the boat-load. And while Switzerland isn’t exactly known as a budget traveller’s destination, there are plenty of hotels offering excellent value for money in Lucerne. Here are five of the best hotels in Lucerne across a range of price points, taking into account factors like the amenities, room comfort, breakfast provision and location.
From €351/ night
This fine emblem of a building is especially impressive at night, with its well-lit, 175-year-old facade reflecting off the water of Lake Lucerne in the heart of the city. Many of the rooms are individually modelled to commemorate the slew of important individuals who have stayed here, including B.B. King, Leo Tolstoy and, more recently, Lewis Hamilton. Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern is five stars of class from the modern furnishings to the hotel spa and wellness facilities, access to most of which are included in the price. Room service is available 24 hours a day.
From €209/ night
Another waterfront hotel is Hotel des Balances, which switches the lake for Reuss River, with fantastic views over the historic Chapel Bridge available from many of the rooms. Some also have small balconies big enough to seat two people for a peaceful view of the city before heading out on your explorations. Rooms are furnished in light, warm tones, with the general boutique hotel vibe also present in the spacious common areas too. Staff are very helpful in assisting with queries about anything from hotel facilities to excursions, and the hotel’s location is right in the Old Town, making a trip to any of the main sights a breeze.
From €181/ night
Unmissable Hotel Rebstock is the most charming hotel on this list, with its pretty half-timbered facade, and leafy al fresco dining space out front providing an inviting introduction to this 14th-century building. Hotel Rebstock’s history can also be felt in some of the rooms too, with wooden ceilings still a feature. Aside from that however, the interior of each room enjoys a unique design with linen and art ranging from the modern abstract to earthy farmhouse chic. The hotel has its own restaurant and a popular breakfast is included in the price, offering more value for money. Bathrobes, slippers, a minibar and a sitting area are among the facilities in the hotel’s well-equipped rooms.
From €114/ night
For another slice of historic hospitality in Luzerne, check out the Hotel Schlüssel seit 1545, with its founding year displayed right there in the name. This classy boutique hotel also has two fine dining restaurants where you can sample exquisite versions of local dishes, as well as cured meats and cheeses. The ensuite rooms combine touches of class and comfort, displaying none of their age thanks to a comprehensive renovation. They include a small desk, chair and flatscreen television.
From €119/ night
Located on the south side of the River Reuss is the Stern Luzern, a modern hotel that’s located less than 10 minutes’ walk from Lucerne train station and has a pretty exterior with green shutters. The hotel’s restaurant downstairs serves fresh fish caught from Lake Lucerne. Rooms are spacious and furnished with bright pops of colour, with cable TV and, in some rooms, a sofa included. For those arriving by car, there’s a decent car park close by. Adding extra value for money, breakfast is included in the price here.