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“A gem...with some unpolished facets” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Seehotel Hermitage Luzern

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Seehotel Hermitage Luzern
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Seeburgstrasse 72, Lucerne 6006, Switzerland   |  
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Ranked #6 of 63 hotels in Lucerne
Zoutleeuw
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“A gem...with some unpolished facets”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

I spent 10 nights here in July on a mix of business and leisure. The hotel is a gem among the top properties in Lucerne, does a lot of things well on the accommodation, service and culinary sides and deserves its generally positive guest reviews. In terms of positioning, the Hermitage offers a much more intimate and quietly refined setting at the waterfront and on the edge of town than its down-town competitors at the bustling lake-side boulevard.

But, the hotel competition in Lucerne is stiff, and the Hermitage also revealed a number of unpolished sides ranging from the blatant and seriously annoying to the more banal. This review here then is not so much to sing the praises of this overall well-run property, but to offer improvement suggestions for the hotel to take into consideration and the benefit of future customers.

Room 321 was my home away from home for the entire duration, and this is located in the hotel’s new wing. Upon check-in, I lugged all my things to the room, across the lobby, down the stairs and some bit on only to arrive at the door and have my key card not work. At this point, I am silently screaming inside. So much for 1st impressions, and back to the reception we go for round 2. Key cards occasionally not working is annoying enough in itself. What was royally annoying though about the Hermitage is that the key cards they use are not inserted in the door, but waved in front of the lock. This is a very fiddly system, and it always took numerous swipes and trying different angles and ways of holding the key card until it finally unlocked. The key card and lock technology used just seems really unrefined and clumsy.

Upon entering the room for the 1st time and each day thereafter when returning to the hotel in the evening from work or having been about the town, I was greeted by a wall of heat, literally. It was the middle of summer after all and many days were around the 30 degree C mark. How could this happen? The room, while spacious, modern and clean, offered neither air-conditioning - nor heating for that matter - despite being located to the South-East side, with a stunning view of lake and mountain range, but also with the sun burning down on the large window surface area much of the day. It often felt like an oven in there, and it boggles my mind how a modern-day hotel fails to install a proper airco system.

Evidently, I immediately opened the windows to get some fresh air circulating, lowered the blinds to keep the sun from beating down into the room and called reception. Their solution? A little, cheap, plastic fan in the room’s closet, which then ran every day all day from day 1 of my stay. How pathetic! This is not at all in line with the otherwise upper-class positioning of this hotel, and I can’t help but wonder which ‘brain’ is responsible for this gaping shortcoming. Also, regarding the electric blinders, these repeatedly raised or lowered without my consent as though someone else, or some electronic automated controller, was controlling these. I did not appreciate that at all. If I want them down, up or something else, then that is exactly how I want them…stop interfering!

On the culinary side, I really enjoyed a lot of my meals at the restaurant, both breakfast and dinner. Ingredient quality is top as are many of the dishes. After 10 days, I ate just about everything on their menu and was rarely disappointed. What became apparent though is that they seem to have an issue with keeping foods that require cooling sufficiently cool. Each morning at breakfast they served a freshly made fruit puree ‘welcome drink’. A nice and tasty touch. Each evening meal would be accompanied by different types of fresh bread sticks with different cream cheeses, butter and an olive tapenade. In both cases, the temperatures of welcome drinks and evening accoutrements ranged from slightly frozen to clearly warm. Understandably and especially in warm summer temperatures, I strongly prefer properly chilled foods and particularly ones of a quickly perishing nature. Why this wide range of temperatures of these dishes? This should not happen in a professional kitchen. A minor niggle here is that while taste experiences remained consistently good, the aesthetic presentation of identical dishes varied substantially across the days. Clearly, there is a variation of capability and quality here in kitchen staff.

Whether on weekdays or weekends, I usually had my breakfast as soon as they officially opened the doors to the breakfast area. On 5 days, so 50% of the time, the scrambled eggs were not yet ready, not even 15 minutes after I arrived. If you are going to charge ca. 20€ (26 USD) for breakfast, then you should damn well also do your job right and provide the full service from minute 1. In each case I asked for scrambled eggs and got these especially made, and better tasting than the mass produced egg mass they otherwise serve. Nonetheless, this is an inefficient way of working and a mild inconvenience for a guest. Another minor niggle is also that they would do well to clean their chairs in the entire dining area. I sat at places across the entire outside patio area and in most cases got to clean off the crumbs and debris left by those before me as a parting gift. No Thank You! Another issue I noted is that speed of service varied tremendously from very fast, including delivery of foods, to me being seated and then waiting there for up to 5 minutes before someone would ‘make contact’…and this was in the early evening hours, when the place was not even at 30% capacity.

The fitness section in the hotel’s wellness area is a joke, and a really bad one at that. The equipment is 2nd rate, home-trainer quality cardio material, packed together in a tiny space and with no weight equipment worthy of any note. Whoever put this space together either had a very limited budget and / or a very limited understanding – I am actually leaning more in the direction of gross incompetence on this count - of what a modern-day fitness area of good hotels looks like. If you are a fitness buff then don’t even bother going to that part of the hotel, you’ll sink into instant depression. I instead used a professional fitness club about a 10 minute drive from the hotel. This could also be an alternative for the hotel to offer. As they clearly lack capability here, why not do what other hotels do and make an arrangement with a local service provider specialized in that area.

Final niggles. They have beautiful, shape-cut trees along the entire water-front…which were in desperate need of a good trimming. Most other parts of the hotel and grounds are well maintained and clean, so to paraphrase a saying they are ‘missing the trees for the forest’. A recurring theme was also one of noise pollution. Sound carries a far distance over the lake and also across the hotel grounds depending on wind direction in particular. A lot of times, I would hear the boom, boom, boom of music coming from several of the lake-side events taking place even miles down the road. This is not something the hotel can really influence, and one does have the choice of closing the windows and then slowly cooking from the heat, which eventually would then also end the noise issue.

Room Tip: If you prefer an intimate and romantic location to the hustle bustle of down-town then this is the s...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anja P, Front Office Manager at Seehotel Hermitage Luzern, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
Dear guest

Thank you very much for your detailed feedback and the good rating.

We have noticed your inputs and will discuss them within our team.

Kind regards

Your Hermitage team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights. The rooms in the old section are spectacular with a balcony and right on the lake with a view of the Alps. Try the 4 Course wine-tasting dinner, which was free with a 2 night stay. The location is great, since it is about 15 minutes outside of the city and makes you feel that you are in a remote location on the lake. Price was reasonable by Swiss standards and the staff and facilities made this one of the best hotels we stayed at during our two week stay in Switzerland. The spa facilities and gym were elegant, but sparse. Lido had lawn chairs, but not the best for swimming-one ladder leading to the Lake and that was it.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anja P, Front Office Manager at Seehotel Hermitage Luzern, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Dear guest

Thank you very much for your feedback and the good rating!

We are pleased to hear that you had a great time staying with us and have forwarded your inputs to the responsible people.

Looking forward to welcoming you again hopefully soon we send you sunny greeting from the lakeside.

Your Hermitage team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I had a great time during our 8-day stay at Hotel Hermitage. For me, it was an opportunity to return to where my military family and I had spent a single night nearly 50 years ago while on vacation. It was interesting to see the many changes that have occurred since my last visit in June 1966, including all-new facilities and buildings. But one thing has not changed: Swiss hospitality, friendliness and service, something which the Hotel excelled at and we experienced during our memorable and enjoyable stay earlier this month. Everyone there, from reception, to the restaurant staff, to housekeeping, porters and yard maintenance men (and yard mowing robot, whom we nicknamed “Rover”) were so patient and kind toward us, and we appreciate all the special attention that we received, from the early check-in we were granted and the bottle of champagne that was delivered to our room after check-in, to the fresh fruit provided daily and many interactions with knowledgeable and friendly front desk personel. We especially enjoyed the broad lake and mountain vistas from our private balcony, the sunsets and quarter moons over Luzern, being able to bike anywhere and at any time, the 3 different saunas, and the cool though relaxing late afternoon swims. It was nice not being in the city and close enough to everything, including Meggenhorn Castle, only a short walk from the hotel. The Hermitage was a beautiful setting to reflect back on life that has passed and to make new memories. We hope one day to revisit and that it won’t be another 50 years before we are able to do so. I have recommended this hotel to all of my family and friends, and I encourage you to experience it yourself - a place on the lake and something more!

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anja P, Front Office Manager at Seehotel Hermitage Luzern, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Dear guest

We thank you so much for this great feedback and the fantastic rating!

It was a big pleasure for us to welcome you again after such a long time and we hope to have you among our guests soon again!

Best regards from Lucerne

Your Hermitage team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

This hotel enjoys a lovely position on the lake. Meals on the terrace watching the sunset are peaceful and memorable. People are friendly but the service is so slow. Took so long just to get someone's attention to order a drink! The rooms are clean and comfortable but the low beds and sharp corners in the room let it down. In summer the rooms get very hot with no aircon. Would definitely recommend the hotel but suggest they work on their efficiency of service.

Room Tip: Lake view with balcony
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anja P, Front Office Manager at Seehotel Hermitage Luzern, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Dear guest

Thank you very much for your feedback which is very important for us.

We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and have forwarded your input to the responsible person which will discuss this within the team.

Looking forward to welcoming you back in the future we send you our best regards from Lucerne!

Your Hermitage team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Torquay, Australia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights at the end of a month long holiday and the hotel was above expectations with a spacious modern room (looked to be newly renovated), great views, large balcony, and a spacious bathroom with a bath with a view. We had a Premium room in the original part of the hotel which was well worth the small additional amount. The balconies are private from the next room and have plenty of space with a table and chairs. Sitting on the balcony and watching the sun set over Lucern was awesome. A great end to our holiday.

The breakfast was very good but with minimal hot food, although that seemed to be normal in switzerland. We had the 4 course dinner on the first night and it was very good. Excellent value for money and the service was good. However on the second night we had a totally different experience. The waitress clearly had no idea of English but pretended she did, which caused the wrong dishes to be delivered.

The location was excellent for us being a short bus or boat (stopped outside) trip to the centre of town. Being right on the lakefront with uninterrupted views was great. And not being in the centre of town meant it was quiet.

Overall, it was an excellent hotel with spacious modern rooms and good hotel service.

Room Tip: Rooms in the old part of the hotel have a full size balcony, whereas the new part only have juliet b...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anja P, Front Office Manager at Seehotel Hermitage Luzern, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Dear guest

Thank you very much for your very positive feedback and the great rating!

We are really happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us a lot and would be very pleased to welcome you again soon!

Best regards from Lucerne

Your Hermitage team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

We stayed at the Hermitage only one night, but we wished they were more: everything was perfect!
We were lucky enough (and the staff was kind to) to get a free upgrade, so we got a bigger room with lake view (breathtaking!). The room was modernly furbished and very well kept; the beds were comfortable and in general there's a lot of attention to the tranquillity of the room - once the windows are shut, there's no noise coming from the restaurants below (we were there in full summer), nor from the corridor.
Another thing we loved is that the bus stop is right in front of the hotel entrance, so very convenient when you are back from shopping and/or dining in Lucern (and, as in all major Swiss cities, when you stay at a hotel you get a free transportation pass).

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anja P, Front Office Manager at Seehotel Hermitage Luzern, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Dear guest

Wow, thank you very much for this great feedback and the fantastic rating!

We are very pleased to hear that you could enjoy your stay with us that much and are already looking forward to welcoming you again hopefully soon!

In the meantime we send you our best regards from the lakeside.

Your Hermitage team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

I stopped to the Hermitage for a night on a trip back to Italy with my family during summertime. The hotel it's in a very beautiful location on the shore of the lake. The room was very beautiful and clean. So far so good, now comes the knotty points: the service during the dinner and breakfast. When we entered the restaurant we were welcome by a waitress that could barely understand/speak english. Since we were dining on the outside terrace (with a splendid view) during sunset the waiter came lighting the candles (the only source of light) in all the tables except ours. We had to ask for a baby seat for our youngest child (who is 14 months old) when in most restaurants is the most obvious question that waiters ask (Do you want a baby seat?). In the morning we had to ask for a baby seat again and we were even ignored by the waitress until, after wating more than 5 minutes, I had to go myself picking up one. The wine for the dinner arrived only after the dishes and because I reminded to the waiter. These and other details gave us the impression that we were treated a bit like second-class customers with respect to the (mostly German speaking) habitués.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anja P, Front Office Manager at Seehotel Hermitage Luzern, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Dear guest

Thank you for your feedback which is very important for us, because just our guests can show us the right way to improve our services.

We regret what happend when you visited our restaurant and like to excuse for the inconvenience because this is for sure not our standard. We will speak with the responsible people and draw the consequences.

Nevertheless we hope that you also enjoyed your stay with us and we would be very happy if you would give us a second chance to assure you that we can provide our service to your fullest convenience!

In the meantime we send you our best regards from Lucerne!

Your Hermitage team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Seehotel Hermitage Luzern

Address: Seeburgstrasse 72, Lucerne 6006, Switzerland
Phone Number:
Location: Switzerland > Lucerne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Lucerne
#6 Luxury Hotel in Lucerne
#6 Romantic Hotel in Lucerne
#7 Family Hotel in Lucerne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Seehotel Hermitage Luzern 4.5*
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Also Known As:
Seehotel Hermitage Luzern Lucerne

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