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Hotel des Balances

Hotel des Balances

Nestled among a quaint row of 12th-century buildings in the old town of Lucerne, Hotel des Balances is set apart by its intricately painted frescoes on the frontispiece. Located on the same street as the area’s most popular restaurants, yet quiet enough to be a peaceful refuge, this riverfront hotel combines deep history with modern comforts. Behind the hotel, the wooden Kapellbrücke, or Chapel Bridge, spans the Reuss River.

The hotel’s 56 rooms and suites have been renovated in a warm, modern style, with golden parquet floors, ivory bed linens and gold and marble accents. Private balconies give you a view of either the old town or the twin onion domes of the Jesuit church across the river.

The Restaurant Balances serves a seasonal menu focusing on local delicacies, an understated dining room with sleek yet inviting decor, and a shaded terrace that allows for al fresco dining on the river.

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

The modest Queenroom Old Town is the most basic of the rooms, while the Superior Double room offers more space. The Junior Suites are still more expansive and have small balconies over the river. Suites give you separate living and sleeping space, whirlpool tubs, balconies and, in some, steam showers or infrared saunas. Finally, the single Romantic Suite is outfitted with a freestanding bathtub, gilded mirrors and candelabras.

Despite the building’s age, all rooms feature air conditioning, Wi-Fi and world adaptors. The hotel also offers some thoughtful touches like L’Occitane beauty products and chocolates upon arrival.

Location

Tucked away in the old town quarter, the hotel also sits directly on the Reuss River, across from an array of stately white-walled buildings and in view of the Chapel Bridge. The Jesuit church, across the river, is a highlight of the view.

The narrow cobblestone street is quiet, yet also houses the town’s most desirable restaurants. Lucerne’s pleasures are all in easy reach from this central location.

Food and drink

  • Restaurant Balances offers elegant fine dining that’s popular with the locals for its excellent quality.
  • The sunny riverfront terrace is open to hotel guests and non-residents alike and is popular for an evening drink.
  • The Bar & Lounge is more informal, offering a bar menu, beer, wine, cocktails, and extensive lists of both whiskey and teas. A piano player entertains in the evenings.
  • Breakfast is a continental buffet with à la carte options, including sparkling wine and local produce.

Families

  • Extra beds and cribs are available on request.

Our opinion

We love the Hotel des Balances’ central location, which puts us in the heart of Lucerne while remaining a quiet destination. The riverside terrace is also a great place to enjoy a leisurely meal or drink.

Lucerne tour ideas

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Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    • Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa, Lucerne

      Burgenstock Hotel and Alpine Spa

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      The Bürgenstock Hotel, part of the Bürgenstock Resort, is a luxe hotel steeped in urban sophistication, set inside an enormous spa resort atop a mountain above Lake Lucerne. Enjoy rooms with fireplaces, double tubs and panoramic windows, plus eight fine dining options.

    • Grand Hotel National, Lucerne

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      The Grand Hotel National holds court along the glittering banks of Lake Lucerne, the gateway to the Swiss Alps. The hotel offers the height of luxury with its Empire-style rooms and suites, gourmet restaurants, lakefront terraces and exceptional service.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Mt Pilatus excursion , Lucerne

      Day trip to Pilatus Kulm

      Lucerne

      Take a boat ride, a steep tramway, a mountaintop walk and a gondola in this day-long trip to Mount Pilatus, which soars to several peaks above Lake Lucerne. You can revel in 360-degree views from the top of the tallest peak, Tomlishorn.

    • Chocolate tasting in Lucerne

      Private chocolate tasting at a boutique chocolatier

      Lucerne

      Get a glimpse into the workings of a boutique chocolatier, taste unusual single-origin chocolates and have a chance to make your own in this small-group visit to Max Chocolatier, one of the few small-batch chocolate makers in Switzerland.