Chateau Gutsch is a famous Swiss landmark property, an impressive hotel built on the site of an 18th century manor house and hunting lodge in 1884. The style was inspired by King Ludwig II’s Bavarian fantasy castles, The 50,000 sq ft castle-like structure boasts breathtaking views over lake Lucerne. Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design took on the task of delivering a world-class, boutique, grand hotel for the client, Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev.
The clients, media and business moguls Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny Lebedev, wanted to restore the chateau to its former glory, whilst being respectful to the Swiss history and imposing architecture. The design brief was to create a world class boutique hotel environment with modern day luxury and old world charm.
Martyn designed the hotel with a Gustavian-style palette that was popular in Switzerland in the late 19th century. For the Ritterstahl, the 19th century panelling was stripped of years of paint and given a distressed, waxed and painted finish that looks original. He added a Swiss style fireplace as the original had been long replaced with a radiator and embraced original Swiss art depicting bucolic scenes to retain the innate historic values of this room.
The grand entrance is covered in paper-backed fabrics added to the original panelling in an 18th century Swiss document fabric that was reproduced in a local 100-year-old Swiss fabric mill.
The ancestor bar, so named because of the numerous oil paintings of Swiss nobility on show, has breathtaking panoramic views over the city and lake. The impressive gold leaf ceiling creates a glamorous atmosphere at night and a beautiful reflection during the day. The light is enhanced by the use of mirrors behind the bar which was moved to the back of the room. The Adras Ikat wallpaper, custom-designed by Martyn, adds an exotic flavor, whilst still in traditional colours with a strong pattern, giving an unexpected accent to the room.
The 27 guestrooms and suites have been decorated in fresh blues, duck egg greens, soft lilacs and sunshine yellows to keep the palette fresh and timeless. Many fabrics and wallcoverings come from Martyn’s own collections and were customised for the spaces.
French painted Louis IV furniture, mixed with Gustavian and Swiss antiques, combined with the wall art depicts historic views and scenes from the Gutsch’s archives.
Specialty suites like the Queen Victoria suite have been decorated in a grand, yet inviting style, with many unexpected twists such as a romantic claw-footed bath ‘floating’ in the centre of the room, surrounded by metres of fabrics. Antique oil paintings, a gilded four-poster bed and soft upholstery complete the look.
In the Majorelle suite a Moroccan fantasy prevails complete with a tented ceiling for the bedroom and ottoman style banquette seating in the sitting room. All rooms have been equipped with top quality mattresses and fine, high thread-count sheeting.
Not is this an significantly important hotel and wonderful place to be a guest, the public spaces have clearly been created to be enjoyed by the locals, the Swiss visitors and tourists alike, whilst honouring the past and the important role the Gutsch has played in Lucerne’s history.
The city’s first grand hotel is once again the most important and imposing hotel in Lucerne and taking its rightful place at the pinnacle of Siwss style and service.