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Since 1873 | 6354 Vitznau (LU)

Hotel Terrasse am See

The lake hotel with steam trains and steamers right at its front door.
The Hotel Terrasse am See is situated next door to the steamer pier and the funiculars up Mt. Rigi. It was first built in 1873 by the Vitznau-Rigibahn, Europe's first mountain railway (1871), as part of the station complex.
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The Hotel Terrasse am See is situated next door to the steamer pier and the funiculars up Mt. Rigi. It was first built in 1873 by the Vitznau-Rigibahn, Europe's first mountain railway (1871), as part of the station complex.

Modifications in 1899 and extensions by an architect called Berger in 1929 later transformed the hotel in terms of both size and appearance. In addition to a holiday atmosphere and good food, the Hobby Hotel offers guests creative courses in arts and crafts as well as exhibition space for their works. The Restaurant Rondel built over the lake promises guests the awe-inspiring first-hand experience - weather permitting - of nature in all its manifold glory, including some beautiful sunsets.


In the country, By the water

Hotel classification

3 Stars

Opening Hours

all year


Banquets/Weddings, Seminar/business, Active/sport,
1 | 5


In 1873, two years after the train line opened, the Rigi Railway Company built the Hotel Rigi-Bahn at the valley station in Vitznau. It was meant to offer the many visitors to the famous lookout mountain an ideally situated place to eat and spend the night. The building, with walls made of exposed brick and decorated with various pilaster strips and moldings, had a main floor, one floor above that and an attic with more guest rooms.
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A semi-open garden area and a terrace with chestnut trees directly on the lakeshore provided a quiet place to wait for the train or boat. In 1901, another floor was added to the building and the façades were altered with new balconies while the window frames were simplified. The canted southwest corner was graced with a small turret with a pointed spire. In 1931, the side of the hotel facing the lake was completely transformed. The terrace and the lounge were torn down and replaced by an extension designed by Lucerne architect Arnold Berger. The skeletal, semi-circular rotunda in reinforced concrete, standing on supports and jutting out into the lake, is one of the finest examples of 'Neues Bauen' in central Switzerland. Simultaneously, the main building was 'purified' to fit the spirit of the times. The corner turret was removed, a hipped roof with skylights was added, the façades lost all decorative forms and were painted a light green. Since 1983, a public footpath placed in front of the semi-circular building has spoiled the elegant appearance of the overall complex. Following the renovation of the façades in 2001 by the previous owners, today's proprietors extensively renovated the interior of the hotel in 2011/12. Many rooms now feature restored parquet floors, historic furniture and wallpaper and colors in line with the past. The restored entrance hall with its historic terrazzo floor deserves particular mention. The Terrasse am See has been a member of Swiss Historic Hotels since 2008.

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