10 May 2015
A lakeside castle
It has been on my 'must visit' list for quite some time now. Since attending Parkhotel Vitznau's Kitchen Party last September - I was just waiting for the chance to go back to get a closer look.
Its gentle mix of classically white and modern glassy elements and its lavish garden and spa area facing the lake make it one of the most stunning fairytale locations I have seen in Switzerland. Definitively one for any most glamorous reception or summer gatsby parties.
I especially liked the way glass elements where incorporated in its classical build - the rooms have preleading glass sliding doors, the mainlobby is closed front and back by completely glass doors so that the white lobby is completely flooded by the sunlight any time of day. The elevators are glassy aswell - creating a calming feeling of space and openness.
The 47 Suites are each uniquely designed is different moods & materials, so there are no 2 rooms looking alike. Each visit is a surprise. I stayed in the FOCUS Suite - which is HUGE, modern, held in creamy beige & warm colours - with a bathtub the size of a Whirlpool & a View. The Terrasse was directly accessible from each of its lakefacing rooms. There was more closet & storage space than I probably have at home! With a separate toilet and even a small kitchen - all facilities have been thought of.
Fancy dinner at the Chef's table inside the kitchen of a 2 Michelin Star restaurant? YES!
Expectations where high - and they where met. Nenad Mlinarevic's kitchen is exquisitely light, with focus on vegetables and flavour combinations, waiting time in between courses are kept short, the variation of his creations is superb. Most of all I was impressed with his personality - super friendly, and down to earth he even invited me into the kitchen for a speed cooking lesson on how to grill crunchy green asparagus. I couldn't wait to try it at home. So simple, so easy, using only a minimum of oil & accentuated with just the right details of herbal dressing. It was definately the highlight of my dinner.
I was especially happy to hear that at FOCUS highest standards are being applied not only to the standard of preparation: all the Food served is 100% swiss - no imported products. An ethical attitude which I highly value.
A health retreat wouldn't be complete without a spa. Parkhotel Vitznau has a great, spacious one with outdoor & indoor whirlpools, a choice of Sauna & Steambaths as well as a gym and an amazing infinity pool opening itself up into the Lake of Lucerne. As if one view is not enough, the back wall of the swimming pool is a huge ceiling high aquarium with a multitude of tropical fishes. But guests can not only go fish watching at the Spa of Vitznau - the Infinity pool has 'windows' all around the bottom side of it - so one can also go there to watch fellow spa guests as they 'do as the fishes do' so to speak.
For those who wish to indulge in some extra pampering the SPA offers a full treatment package with facials and massages by La Prairie - I was lucky enough to be spoiled with the Swiss Ice Crystal Facial - which is called a facial, but its actually a treatment for your whole body. Incorporating a back massage, hand and foot massage as well as of course an extensive facial with the best face massage I ever experienced using the Crystals. I feel that facial massages often get neglegted in beauty treatments. But whereas due to me practicing regular yoga and stretching my body is quite relaxed - I sometimes feel tensions in my face which are hard to subside. I try massaging myself or doing facial 'gymnastics' (cringe!) but its never the same effect as a good face massage. The tensions in the face usually builds up over months, and a single well performed face massage can completely relieve them in one session. So if you ever experienced the same problem I suggest you go look for a facial that includes a massage, like the one offered at Parkhotel Vitznau.
a perfect balance between the elements of health and luxury. I would not recomment the resort if you are looking for the 'detox' experience. I recommend Parkhotel Vitznau to those who are looking to be fully pampered minus the guilt factor. Its definitely a 'Soul' place to relax and recharge. I also think its an amazing location for events like weddings or summer parties. If you come to the FOCUS Restaurant, I recommend to book early for a chance to dine at the Chef's table.
Photo production by David Biedert http://www.davidbiedert.com
Fashion by Gassmann Zurich http://www.gassmannzuerich.chwww.parkhotel-vitznau.ch/en