Mark Twain sought solace and inspiration in the hills of Weggis, Switzerland. And it’s not hard to see why—blame it on the seemingly endless serene waters of Lake Lucerne; the surrounding Swiss Alps with unfathomable peaks and forested crevices; or the few crowds and deliciously fresh air. Whatever the reason, add this quaint, under-the-radar lakeside town to your bucket list for an idyllic escape in nature’s best playground.
The PLAN: From Zurich, take a one hour train jaunt to Lucerne, a bustling lakefront metropolis that mixes cutting-edge concert halls with ancient bridges, castles, and a cobbled Old Town. Stroll the tree-lined waterfront promenade with a stop at Palace Luzern’s terraced restaurant Marlin for local vino and people watching. Better yet, check-in for the night and your suite will boast stellar lake, mountain, and cityscapes. The next morning, fuel up with a traditional Bretzel sandwich (think: meats and cheeses layered between a thinly sliced pretzel) and hop a 40-minute ferry to Weggis.
STAY: Set on the shores of Lake Lucerne, Park Weggis sets the standard for Zen luxury in this town, from the raked-stone Japanese bonsai garden to the Orient -inspired spa. Linked by a winding boardwalk fringed with Buddhist sculptures, the complex marries a circa-1875 towered castle with mod glass-and-steel structures.
Rooms are decked in luxury: for the ultimate, book the Mark Twain suite with modern minimalist décor from Philippe Starck-designed standalone tubs complete with Bvlgari bath amenities to low-slung sectionals, and balconies with primo nature vistas.
PLAY: You can lounge lakefront on the resort’s private grassy beach; kayak and paddle board at your whim; take a dip in the covered infinity-edge outdoor pool; bliss-out with a Himalayan massage; or snag a spa cottage for cold water therapy, whirlpool and sauna all your own. Or venture beyond with boat rides around the shore; a gondola up to Mt. Rigi’s peaks for bird’s eye hiking; a stroll around Weggis’s charming town and waterfront path; or “borrow” the hotel’s Porsche 911 for gasp-worthy Alpine cruising.
EAT: Al fresco lunch at Sparks’ terrace overlooking the resort’s fountain-decked grounds is a must for traditional Swiss fare and choice vino from the 2,500-bottle wine cellar. For dinner, Park Grill serves up lakefront sunsets, fresh-baked bread, and seasonal Lobster Bisque that rivals the New England coast.
By Stephanie Orma Courtesy Forbes