Honegg 6373 Ennetbuergen (Lucerne - 18 km) − Switzerland
The Hotel Villa Honegg is an exceptional 5-star Superior establishment set in the heart of Switzerland. Perched high above Lake Lucerne and offering exclusive amenities, the Villa Honegg presents a unique proposition. The Art Nouveau-style villa on the Bürgenstock was built in 1905 and reopened in 2011 following a complete refurbishment that succeeded in preserving its historical charm.
The 23 rooms and suites offer plenty of privacy, tranquillity and comfort in a phenomenal mountain setting. Boasting breathtaking panoramic views and a popular excursion destination, the Bürgenstock is on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by Lake Lucerne.
Footpaths and MTB trails lead through dense forest and across glorious flowering meadows or to the famous Cliff Path and Hammetschwand Lift.
The mountains and Lake Lucerne can also be reached from the hotel without great effort. With its luxurious rooms, heated outdoor pool and panoramic terrace, the Villa Honegg offers guests a wealth of opportunity for unwinding and taking things easy.
The Hotel Villa Honegg has already received awards and labels, and is designated a HIDEAWAY HOTEL by the renowned travel magazine for its sense of devotion and heartfelt hospitality.
Emil Durrer was born in Kerns in Mühlematt on 24 January 1873. His godfather and uncle was the legendary hotel entrepreneur and railway builder Franz Josef Bucher-Durrer, from whom Emil inherited his great passion for the hotel trade.
Emil trained as a carpenter and worked for his godfather in the hotel trade on the Bürgenstock. Later on he worked for the company Bucher-Durrer abroad - for example in Genoa. During the periods spent abroad he gained vital experience in the construction, maintenance and operation of hotels.
When Emil Durrer returned to his birthplace Kerns, he married his fiancée Louise Traxler of the Breiten estate in Kerns in the year 1901. The family lived with their six children Anna, Emil, Maria, Karl, Elisabeth and Theres on the mother’s home estate of Breiten in Flüelistrasse, Kerns. Inspired by his impressions of big foreign hotels, Emil’s mind was made up: he was determined to build his own hotel.
In 1905 Emil Durrer-Traxler purchased 30,000 square metres of land from the Mathis family in Unterhonnegg, Ennetbürgen. Even back then, this piece of land was regarded as the most beautiful spot far and wide with its excellent location at 914 metres above sea level.
Based on his extensive experience, he planned and built Hotel Honegg all by himself - without an architect. His godfather Franz Josef Bucher-Durrer was by no means pleased at the prospect of this bold undertaking.
Everything turned out well, however, and Hotel Honegg opened in 1906 with 72 beds. The guests were collected at the mountain-top station of the Bürgenstock cable car by horse and carriage, later in the hotel limousine. Guests travelling by car from Ennetbürgen took the narrow road up to Honegg. Hotel guests came from all over the world and stayed for three to four weeks, in some cases the whole summer. They were looked after by between 15 and 18 hotel staff.
Emil also built the connecting route from Hotel Honegg to the new trail, the Felsenweg. To the great pleasure of the guests, the popular summer hotel had its own tennis course as well as range of other game facilities. At that time, boules, croquet and billiards were an integral part of a perfect vacation. The hotel was supplied with agricultural products such as milk and cheese by the surrounding farms of Honegg.
The hotel saw good times up until 1914, when the First World War broke out. Emil cultivated excellent relationships with the former Kerns doctor Dr. Gallus von Deschwanden who was a senior physician at Lucerne Cantonal Hospital. Thanks to the latter’s mediation, injured German internees were accommodated at Hotel Honegg during the war years (1914-1918).
The hotel was operated as a summer business, opening from May to September. During the winter months Emil worked for the Benedictine monastery in Engelberg. Here he was involved with expanding the monastery building, and he was in contact with his former school colleague Father Ignaz Hess of Kerns (the archive keeper at Engelberg monastery). During the war, Father Ignaz had acted as a supervisor at the internee camp in Zell, where peat was cut, dried and used as a substitute for coal. In those days, one thing led to another.
Operations had not been entirely discontinued at Hotel Honegg, however. On cold days, ice was prepared for cooling purposes. Ice production was carried out on the hotel forecourt. For this purpose, tree trunks were laid out on the ground in a parallel formation, approximately 20 cm apart. At low temperatures, water was sprayed between the trunks which then froze. The ice blocks that formed were stored in the cellar, and the ice could be used throughout the entire summer season.
In 1923, Emil Durrer-Traxler had an accident while renovating the facade of Hotel Honegg. He fell while standing on the scaffolding to do painting work and on 3 October 1923 he died as a result of injuries sustained. His wife Louise Durrer-Traxler continued to run the hotel after his death. She had completed professional training and was an experienced hôtelière.
Later, Louise handed over management of the hotel to her son Karl Durrer-Züger. Hotel Honegg was a typical family business and most of the siblings were involved in working there: Anna and Karl in the office, Maria, Elisabeth and Theres in service. Karl took care of hotel maintenance, too. He was also in charge of the old-age pension and disability insurance department in Kerns. The hotel staff were from the surrounding area, mainly from the owner family’s local community of Kerns. Later on the grandchildren helped during the holidays, too.
In 1977 the family business of Hotel Honegg was sold to Frey AG Mattgrat. However, plans to build a health centre failed due to a lack of funding. Later the hotel was used as film set.
Since 2007 the hotel has been in private ownership and was re-opened in May 2011 after renovation work lasting several years.
+41 (0)41 618 32 00 Fax: +41 (0)41 618 32 01 email@example.com
Official website: http://villa-honegg.ch/en/
Average driving times:
Helicopters have permission to land on a meadow 150 metres from the Hotel Villa Honegg.
Our shuttle service will bring hotel guests from and to Ennetbürgen Post bus stop at arrival and departure.
We offer our guests 23 open-air bays and 14 covered bays – all at no extra charge.