How’s this for a visitor list: Charlie Chaplin, Sophia Lauren, Audrey Hepburn, Henry Kissinger and Sean Connery? Once, the Swiss mountain resort of Bürgenstock, overlooking Lake Lucerne, was the go-to escape for the world’s A-list, who were smitten by the chocolate-box town, gorgeous mountainscapes, highbrow culture and rather lovely waters, all within a chauffeur-driven ride of Zurich. But that was in the 1950s. More recent times have been slightly leaner on the celeb count, despite the odd cameo from a British prime minister.
The situation is about to change, however. Or so the resort hopes. This summer, Bürgenstock has been given a refit that it’s hoped will restore this faded Alpine Shangri-La to its former glory. Some $500m has been spent on building or buffing up four five-star hotels, a cliff-top spa, a nine-hole golf course, a bunch of restaurants, and the famous Hammetschwand, Europe’s highest outdoor lift. As of this summer, Bürgenstock is the largest luxury retreat in Europe, claims general manager Richard Herr. For all the improvements, its biggest draw is the one thing that hasn’t changed. “The beauty of the resort is that the landscapes are framed in so many ways – there is always another breathtaking view around each corner.” Mr Clooney, your funicular awaits.