On a cold, drizzly autumn day, is there anything better than retreating into a warm, cozy cocoon? This is exactly the autumn delight that the Seerose Resort & Spa on Hallwilersee (Lake Hallwil) celebrates in multiple ways…
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Lake Hallwil with its lakeside resort is, of course, reputed for its charms even when the sun is shining (the 500 parking spaces are far from enough then). Summer is when Seerose Resort & Spa guests can hang out and relax to their hearts’ delight in its terraces and gardens, balconies and wooden bath tubs, restaurants and bars. But even during grey fall weather, the Seerose never disappoints its guests.
Thai Spa with colorful cocoons
The atmospheric, two story Cocon Thai Spa with view of the fog-draped meadows bordering Lake Hallwil practically melts your seasonal blues and everyday cares away.
A cold, grey drizzle outside makes it even more of a treat to escape into a series of hot-colored cocoons inside: from the gold-and-white salt air cocoon, spa aficionados can wander over to the (blue-green) steam bath cocoon or the (violet) sauna cocoon. These units, white on the outside and positioned around the spa, in fact resemble big cocoons. And on the upper floor, guests can enjoy treatments in rooms also laid out honeycomb-fashion that are named after Thai cities or islands. The selection of treatments and massages on offer here is gigantic!
The Cocoon and Junior Suites
In the Cocoon Suite, the interior concept is “the exotic in the familiar”. It riffs on the boat houses that are a common sight around Lake Hallwil. But here they used dark-stained applewood from this region instead of weatherproof oak. The contrasting colorful curtains and fabrics are inspired by Thailand’s vibrant water markets. We confess we might not have made the connections had it not been for a few murmured helpful hints.
The Junior Suite is also very generously sized, as is the bathroom with the cool rain forest shower that changes colors while you are showering. “How original”, thought Walter (I could hardly get him out of the shower!) But, for me, the faucets in the form of brass tubes suspended from the ceiling were not just attractive and original: you can actually get your hands under the water jet! Not always possible in designer hotels…
One amenity that we did not try (partly for lack of time but also because of the weather) was the bathtub on the balcony: the tub fills with warm water at the push of a button, offering an al fresco bath experience while enjoying the view of Lake Hallwil!
Note that in the adjoining “Classic” hotel wing you can overnight in Natural Chic style or else in the “Elements” wing, where the room decor plays off the four elements earth, water, fire and air.
The man behind the cocoons
The “cocoon concept” is the brainchild of go-getting hotel owner Felix Suhner. He developed his love of things Thai when he helped another class act hotelier, Urs Karli, roll out THE Thai Restaurant in Lucerne some years ago. Ever since, the philosophy of the “land of smiles” has had him in its grip, as evidenced by how it pervades the Seerose Resort & Spa.
A bit of history: in 1994, Felix Suhner took over the hotel from his father who had opened it as Hotel Seerose Classic in 1977. Some ten years after taking charge, in 2003, Felix expanded the hotel with the Seerose Elements addition and a Thai restaurant. A decade later, came the Cocoon wing expansion, when the Hotel Seerose became the Seerose Resort & Spa with its on-site Thai spa.
The personable hotelier and entrepreneur who, by now, heads up a small hotel empire – the Balance Hotel Group – does not like routine. He thrives on change and his many-faceted responsibilities. He also keeps up with the times; hence, the three differing design worlds in a single resort. The three hotel wings, incidentally, each had a different interior designer, our visibly pleased hotelier host informs us.
Like his mentor Urs Karli, Suhner wants to set his hotels apart from the competition. With the Seerose Resort & Spa, he certainly met with success. Kudos!
The Samui Thai Restaurant
Thanks to a menu with several courses, we could let our taste buds tour the culinary arts of the Samui Thai Restaurant‘s chefs, who all come from Thailand, as do the the female Thai servers clad in traditional garb who looked after us. Authenticity to the utmost matters to Felix Suhner, and so he was personally involved in sourcing the decorative elements and tableware directly from Thailand. The only person in the restaurant without a Thai accent is the restaurant manager. He makes up for it with an Austrian one ;-)
The dishes are not especially hot spice wise. We actually would have liked a dash more authenticity here. Those who like their fare without exotic spice can opt for the Cocon Restaurant, where, besides breakfast, they serve Swiss dishes in Thai-style culinary variety.
Or, you can go for traditional cuisine and have French-accented classic Swiss dishes in the Seerose Restaurant. And every one of them comes with lake frontage! Mental note duly made of that for the next hot summer ;-)
Our thanks go to…
… Felix Suhner, owner of the Balance Hotels, for the generous invitation and interesting conversation. Warm thanks also to Karin Zubler for the informative tour of the premises. And, finally: many thanks to Julia Faulhaber, principal in Faulhaber Marketing Services for brokering our stay.
We really enjoyed “cocooning” on a November weekend.
Other evocative pictures are in our Flickr gallery:
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Address and list of Balance Hotels
Seerose Resort & Spa
The Balance Hotels include:
- Hotel Sonne
- Bad Bubendorf
- Bad Ramsach Quellhotel
- Mürset Restaurants