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One of Switzerland's iconic family-run hotels, the neo-Renaissance style Schweizerhof stands sentinel over Lucerne's eponymously-named Schweizerhofquai, secure in the knowledge that it remains one of the city's best-loved landmarks. Run by the same family for five generations, there's a homespun charm to the service here, despite all the luxury trappings such as the beautifully preserved marble-columned lobby and a chic and snazzy bar. During the Lucerne Festival the hotel acts as a social hub of sorts, but what we love about this place is that rooms such as the Superior Doubles and Junior Suites have been updated with wit and panache in 2013 (another 49 rooms will be updated in 2014), but nothing has been face-lifted to bland perfection; character and a sense of continuity count for much. Opera buffs take note that Richard Wagner wrote "Tristan and Isolde" here in 1859.