Ennetbürgen, Switzerland

Photo: Hotel Villa Honegg

You found your spot. It sits atop the Bürgenstock, a mountain in the Uri Alps. It overlooks Lake Lucerne, the fourth-largest lake in Switzerland. It’s at Hotel Villa Honegg, an Art Nouveau villa that was turned into a boutique hotel. It’s also in their outdoor pool.

This pool is truly amazing. You didn’t see it as you approached the hotel. After climbing the winding mountain road, you could only see the stately white building with more mountains in the background. You couldn’t see it from the lobby either. That’s where you got a glimpse of the cozy terrace in front of the sparkling lake. You weren’t able to catch a glimpse of it until you peered over the railing of the terrace.

The pool is part of the spa. The inviting space has floor-to-ceiling windows, an indoor pool with a counter-current swimming system, and wide loungers. It has a Finnish sauna and a steam bath, too. But most people go to the spa for the outdoor pool. It has an infinity edge, so it looks like you could tumble down the mountain and into the lake. It’s heated to 93 degrees, so you can enjoy it all year, even if it’s snowing. Plus it features one of the best views in Switzerland. Why would you want to move?

Photo: Hotel Villa Honegg

Hotel Villa Honegg is in Central Switzerland. It’s easily accessible from both Zürich and Milan. It’s in Ennetbürgen, a picturesque farming village where you can still hear cowbells in the distance. The villa was constructed in 1905. It was quickly turned into a hotel and then used to house injured German prisoners during World War I. But it was a 2011 renovation that turned into the nest-like retreat that is today. People now plan entire trips around this hotel thanks to its stunning location and jaw-dropping pool.

Though everything else doesn’t really matter, the rest of the hotel is just as luxurious. A sculpture garden is full of bronze and steel pieces by Swiss artist Uwe Karlsen. There’s an herb garden with its own bees, as well. The restaurant uses the garden’s herbs when it puts a Swiss spin on popular dishes (you’ll understand when you order the Caesar salad). Twenty-three rooms—the hotel never feels crowded—have balconies, complimentary minibars, and Hermès products. There’s also a lounge with a huge fireplace, a movie theater with 20 seats, and loaner bikes to explore surrounding trails. Now you just have to tear yourself away from the pool for a little while to check them all out.


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