Exploring Switzerland Part 2: Lake Lucerne

After an incredible two days in Bad Ragaz, Ant and I hopped into our rental car and drove to Lake Lucerne; which is renowned for being one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.

The Hotel

I organised our hotel in Bad Ragaz and left Lake Lucerne up to Ant – and boy did he make a good choice! From the moment we entered the reception we both knew our stay was going to be incredible. We were greeted by one of the most stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains, along with champagne and biscuits (they know the way to my heart!). We were then taken on a tour of the facilities, which were simply out of this world. I’m talking a crisp white spa, multiple saunas, two infinity pools overlooking the lake, an aquarium, michelin star restaurants.. oh and an ice grotto (yep, seriously!).

Our suite was on a whole other level, I have never stayed in such a beautiful place in my life. The bed itself could fit a family of four, while the room had stunning high ceilings, keyless entry through double doors, a huge bathtub and a walk-in wardrobe to name a few features. We never really felt like we were in a hotel, as the resort is small and boutique with only 40 rooms. It doesn’t even call itself a hotel, instead its title is a “health and wealth residence”. However, despite my ramblings about how beautiful the resort itself was, what really stood out was the attention to detail and the hospitality of the staff. Everything was thought of and nothing was ever a hassle.

The hotel is set in a small town on the very edge of Lake Lucerne. The lake itself is the definition of picturesque, yet no picture can truly capture its beauty. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains straight out of a postcard and the water is crystal clear, smooth and serene. The surrounding houses feature traditional swiss architecture and the local people are more than happy to have a friendly chat. I could have easily spent a whole week exploring the area!

The Food

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the ridiculously amazing breakfast available at the resort. There is a small buffet with a selection of fruit, breads, pastries and yoghurts – which is expected in any hotel. However, what really sets this place apart is their menu. They have everything from green smoothies and avocado on toast through to caramelised banana pancakes and nutella stuffed steamed buns. Plus, theres mini pain au chocolat, it doesn’t get much better than that,.

We also ate at the hotels Michelin star restaurant, where we were served up some of the most elaborate and exquisite food I have ever tasted. Everything from the presentation to the flavour combinations was perfect. Oh and the service was impeccable, as you would expect.

Outside of the hotel, a food highlight for us was lunch at Zunfthausrestaurant Pfistern in Lucerne. I mean, they have a “bread station” where you slice your own loaves. The dream!!! We enjoyed delicious veal with mushrooms and Swiss rosti while sat in warm, comfortable surroundings. For dinner, I recommend Mill’Feuille which is a slightly more edgy restaurant and bar serving up a mixture of traditional swiss dishes with other european cuisines. I particularly loved the ice cream with “cake crumbles”. Yes, I am a health and fitness blogger...

Things To Do

Explore the town of Lucerne. It is full of stunning buildings sporting turrets, towers and a whole host of other traditional architectural features. There are a series of different foot bridges to cross the river which flows through the centre of the town, each of which is beautiful in its own right. As well as amazing views and stunning buildings, the town is full of small streets that are crying out to be explored. They are crammed full of unique shops as well as cafes and restaurants emitting the most delicious scents. Be prepared to spend a fortune on more swiss chocolate then you ever imagined.

Climb a mountain. In the town of Vitznau you can hop on a tram up to the top of Mount Rigi where there is a ski resort and a serious amount of snow. You can hike from here down to Rigi Kaltbad (about an hours walk) where there is a cable car to the town of Weggis. The views you get from the cable car are absolutely insane. Quite literally the most beautiful breathtaking views I have ever experienced in my whole life. Ever. Ever ever. From Weggis you can catch a boat ride back to Vitznau which gives you an awesome view of the resort from the lake. By the time you return to the hotel you’ve managed to use three forms of transport, experience a range of gorgeous views and tick off a whole host of awesome towns and villages. A successful day out in my opinion!

Summary

Lake Lucerne is the perfect location for a romantic getaway. The surroundings are beautiful, the people are friendly and there’s a never ending supply of things to see and do. I highly recommend staying in the Hotel Park Vitznau if you are looking to experience the height of luxury (and have some cash to splash!). I promise you it’ll be one of the most incredible resorts you have ever stayed in in your life!

This concludes my series of posts about my long weekend in Switzerland. The country itself has left a lasting positive impression on me. The landscapes are breathtaking, the people are friendly and the shops are full of chocolate… what’s not to love?!

Links

Find out more about Park Hotel Vitznau.
Explore travel opportunities at Lake Lucerne.
My jacket is Roxy, sunglasses are Quay and boots are Cat.

This blog post isn’t sponsored.

February 23, 2016

Posted In: Travel

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Exploring Switzerland Part 1: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz

One of my new years resolutions in 2016 was to explore more of Europe. Living in London means that I am stones throw from Heathrow, a gateway to access a multitude of beautiful countries within a matter of hours – something which I want to take advantage of. So, after a jam-packed and slightly stressful month of January, I hopped on a 90 minute flight to Zurich, Switzerland for a long Valentines weekend with my other half. We spent our first two days in a satisfied food coma at the luxurious Grand Resort Bad Ragaz.

The Hotel & Surroundings

Bad Ragaz is a peaceful town in a small valley surrounded by picturesque snow-capped mountains. The towns central hub is the large and luxurious Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. As someone whose idea of travelling includes backpacks and hostels, this 5 star resort was like nowhere I have ever stayed before. You know you’re at a posh hotel when they pick you up from the train station in a white Porsche and you’re welcomed by a butler in top and tails!

We stayed in the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites which were on a whole new level of luxury. I mean we could even change the firmness of our bed! The bathroom alone featured its very own jacuzzi bath, sauna and steam room as well as two sinks and a shower. Not to mention the beautiful mountain view which we enjoyed from our super king size bed. But let’s be real here… the highlight for me was the free snacks you could get in the hotel lobby, chocolate covered biscuits anyone?!

There is more than meets the eye with the resort – beyond the plush pillows and jacuzzi baths it has its own outpatient clinic where over 50 doctors and experts take residence. There are also six restaurants – many of which have michelin star chefs, an extensive spa facility, indoor and outdoor pools, a casino and a golf course! The hotel is known for its use of the local thermal water which is sourced from a nearby mountain gorge and is anecdotally said to have health benefits. If you want to get active, the hotel has its very own gym and regular classes from boxercise to pilates as well as active excursions such as Nordic walking. Plus, the hotel is surrounded by beautiful parks, forests and mountains which are just asked to be explored on foot.

The Food

Let’s talk about the best bit… the food! As the resort is marketed as a “health destination”, they have a deep underlying passion for healthy food. I was lucky enough to meet with the head chef, see behind the scenes in the kitchen and discuss the menu available. The team endeavour to use local and organic produce, from the vegetables right through to the wine; and their dietary knowledge is extensive due to an in-house nutritionist. The hotel even has a special “Cuisine Equilibree” menu where all three courses total to under 600 calories – and let me assure you, flavour isn’t compromised. The meals are delicious, balanced and nutrient dense.

Healthy food aside, the hotel also has all the indulgences which you want on a weekend away. The breakfast buffet was to die for, it was bursting with treats like waffles and pancakes as well as more nutritious natural yoghurt with a whole host of colourful toppings from goji berries to flaxseed. Besides breakfast, my food highlight was the lobster stuffed with mango and avocado from the Bel Air restaurant. Serious food porn. Oh and not to forget the chocolate – our room was constantly restocked with a fresh supply to nibble on. Plus we popped to the local supermarket and picked up some more… when in Switzerland right?!

3 Things You Need To Do

  1. Get outside. Bad Ragaz is a beautiful area, it would be a shame not to explore it by foot! Get on your walking boots and venture down to the nearby river and forests. Have a walk around the town and even head into the local supermarket – I can’t be the only one who loves looking at the weird food they eat in other countries?!
  2. Explore every aspect of the hotel, from the spa and indoor waterfall, to the gardens and multitude of bars, restaurants and lounges. Pop on your robe and head down to the thermal pools or get on your trainers and head to the gym. There’s so much room for activities!!
  3. If you go in the summer time, you can head up to the gorge where the thermal water source is located. There are also nearby historic attractions including a beautiful ruins and statues which you can hike up to!

Summary

We had an incredible time in Bad Ragaz. It is the perfect location for a long weekend if you’re looking to escape the hectic city life and kick back, relax and be taken care of. If you’re seeking adventure then this isn’t the place for you. However, if you want a few days of pure luxury then the staff at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz will send you off feeling refreshed, relaxed and pampered.

For more information about the resort click here.

This post is not sponsored. Look out for Exploring Switzerland Part Two: Lake Lucerne, coming soon!

February 16, 2016

Posted In: Travel

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