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Engelberg has had a new hotel attraction this summer. After 5 years of construction, the hotel Kempinski Palace Engelberg – Swiss Alps opened its doors as the first 5-star hotel in the largest winter sports destination in central Switzerland. For this purpose, the historical structures of the former Grand Hotel Winterhaus – a jewel from the time of the Belle Époque – were brought into shape and at the same time supplemented with a new hotel wing. The result: a stylish basis for a break in the mountains.
Checked into Engelberg’s newest 5-star hotel
Punctually with the first wonderfully fluffy white snowflakes of the season, we made our way to Engelberg with the aim of exploring the Kempinski Palace. The noble 5-star hotel corresponds exactly to our «loot scheme». And when it comes to timing, we did everything right. Because the combination of a freshly snow-covered holiday resort and a lovingly decorated hotel lobby creates a festive mood even with Christmas grouches like me.
The Kempinski Palace is centrally located in the center of Engelberg. It is just a two-minute walk from the train station to the lobby. Quasi a “hop, skip and jump” for everyone who, like us, takes the train to Engelberg. Of course, the hotel also offers an adequate transfer service or luggage transport for this short distance.
We check in at the reception in the listed building and then take a close look at our room. This is located in the new hotel wing, which is seamlessly “interwoven” with the historical building structure, including the Kursaal, which was built in 1902. An architecturally coherent result (and technically a small masterpiece). The arc between tradition and modernity has also been successful. A warm color palette, high-quality materials, discreetly placed design classics and rediscovered illustrations from the first half of the 20th century. Yes, the first impression is promising!
An enjoyable weekend at the Kempinski Palace Engelberg
In the next 48 hours we can extensively put our first impression to the test. For example at breakfast, which is served in the Restaurant Cattani is served. In addition to a generous buffet, which includes many products from regional producers as well as homemade baked goods and spreads, the price also includes an à la carte menu. Fancy blueberry pancakes, fruity waffles or a healthy Palace Bowl with chia pudding – here you go!
Off to the snow
A delightful start to the weekend is guaranteed with the Palace breakfast. Afterwards, the Engelberg mountains rejoices right in front of the hotel door. We already spent a couple of wonderful, snowy days in Engelberg last winter. Regardless of whether you like to hike, trudge through pristine powder snow in snowshoes, glide through nature on narrow slats or enjoy the view over the peaks of central Switzerland – Engelberg scores with its diverse range of outdoor activities. This weekend we use the unexpected sun window for a short detour to the 3,020 meter high Titlis. The view from up here is also awesome for repeat offenders like us!
Relax with a view
The detour from Engelberg to the Titlis and back, including a visit to the cliff walk and the ice grotto, takes around two hours. In the meantime the sky has closed again. Now nothing prevents us from spending a few relaxing hours in the wellness area. The spa area is located on the top floor of the new building. Large windows provide plenty of light and at the same time offer an incomparable panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. The main attraction is the 15-meter long Infinity Pool with integrated whirlpool. And everyone who is looking for a child-friendly hotel will particularly enjoy the additional 36 degrees warm children’s pool.
Peace and relaxation guarantee the Sauna area with steam bath, Vitarium and Finnish sauna as well as the separate, atmospheric relaxation room. And everyone who wants to pay a little more attention to their body will find the Spa menu a diverse range of treatments. My tip: the 25-minute Bespoke Massage, where a specific focus area is “worked on”.
Belle Époque Flair beim Weekend Lunch
Now, of course, you could easily spend the whole afternoon on a spa lounger, or you could try the culinary offerings at Kempinski. This is explicitly aimed not only at hotel guests, but also at Engelbergers or day-trippers who want to combine their trip to Engelberg with a culinary stopover.
How about an excellent four-course Weekend-Lunch in the restaurant Cattani? As in the old days, the main course is served from the silver food trolley. There is also a choice of seasonal, vegetarian dishes – while my friend tried the lamb, I enjoyed an excellently prepared parsley root for the main course.
The weekend lunch is rounded off with a deliciously assorted cheese and dessert buffet. We have both thumbs up for this culinary experience.
Tea Time Nostalgie
As an alternative to the weekend lunch, here is the classic one Afternoon Tea recommended. This is served daily between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in the light-flooded winter garden. While the weekend lunch costs CHF 95, the afternoon tea costs CHF 64. For this price you can get high-quality tea blends from the Ronnefeldt tea house at your discretion. A selection of sandwiches, classic scones and seasonal sweet snacks are also served.
A detour behind the monastery walls
It’s not that easy to get up from the cozy sofas in the winter garden and go outside again in the cold. But with the beautiful, large snowflakes – real picture-perfect winter weather – we let ourselves be tempted to take a walk through the center of Engelberg. Our goal: the mighty walls of the Engelberg Monastery, which has played a key role in shaping the development of the town since the Benedictine abbey was founded in 1120. One-hour sessions take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 4:00 p.m. public tours of the monastery instead of. The tickets for this can easily be obtained online via ticketino can be ordered and cost 12 CHF for adults. A worthwhile detour for anyone who wants to learn more about the 900-year history of the monastery.
Toast & enjoy – Palace Bar and Restaurant Cattani
In the meantime it has darkened and the illuminated facade of the Kempinski Palace comes into its own. Now it is time for a detour to the Palace Bar. This is also located behind the almost floor-to-ceiling windows of the listed building. The bar is spacious in terms of its floor space and impresses with its cozy seating areas. Either by the window with a view of the snowstorm or directly in front of the blazing fireplace. As in the winter garden and in the Cattani restaurant, external guests are also welcome here in the bar – also with their ski boots on for après-ski! Even «slippers» are available for this.
The Kempinski Palace sees itself as a sparring partner for the Engelberg holiday destination and wants to move forward together. Be it the establishment of new traditions such as the Christmas Tree Lighting for the 1st Advent or the noticeable regional reference that runs like a red thread through the hotel. Executive Chef Michéle Müller went on a search for the best regional products and created a menu for the Cattani restaurant, where numerous products from local producers are used. And anyway: the light, fresh Palace cuisine tastes great. To get started, GaultMillau awards 14 points – deserved, I think.
Practical tips for your break at the Kempinski Palace Engelberg
- The Kempinski Palace Engelberg is open all year round and is therefore also ideal for a short break in the off-season.
- The room prices start at 395 CHF per night / room, depending on the season, category and package. Those who book early on the website benefit from early bird discounts.
- The Kempinski Palace Engelberg is a child-friendly hotel. in the Kids Club A children’s program including supervision is offered for children from three years of age.
- The Rooftop Spa is also accessible to external guests. The Day spa offer can be booked for a full day (100 CHF) or half a day (70 CHF).
- This winter, as a supplement to the Cattani restaurant in the park in front of the hotel, there will be a culinary addition in the form of a chalet (spoiler: you can’t go completely without fondue and raclette in a classic Swiss holiday destination).
- If the weather is bad, Engelberg is also a good place to go on a trip to Lucerne.
Gift idea for Christmas
On the website of the Kempinski Palace Engelberg you can both Vouchers as well as package vouchers to buy. How about surprising your loved ones at Christmas with a voucher for a day spa, an afternoon tea or maybe even a mini break in the beautifully snow-covered Engelberg?
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Kempinski Palace Engelberg – new top hotel in Central Switzerland