I found the Alps to be a wonderful balm on a press trip to Switzerland shortly after September 11. The comfortable embrace of our host hotels, the 168-room Palace Luzern and the 212-room Victoria-Jungfrau, provide a sweet haven for international travelers. Both properties are well-known high-end incentive resorts, and now they are in the market for meetings as well. The Palace is a short boat ride across placid Lake Lucerne to the three-year-old KKL conference center. KKL offers its famous 1,800-seat concert hall as well as several multipurpose halls and smaller conference rooms, making it an attractive venue for meetings of up to several thousand people.
The lakeside Palace Luzern, built 95 years ago and beautifully restored over the last few years, offers 13 meeting rooms. From the hotel, an hour's drive from Zurich airport, groups can explore myriad central Swiss attractions. We took a cogwheel train ride to the top of 6,000-foot Mount Rigi, and we toured the Swiss Museum of Transport, great for hosting special events.
After a two-hour train ride through the Alps, we arrived at the town of Interlaken, where the Victoria-Jungfrau Hotel has reigned since 1835. The hotel's mix of old-world ballroom space and its purpose-built conference center will knock a planner's socks off. It has a total of 22 function rooms. That doesn't include the wine cellar, where our group had a candlelight tasting, surrounded by 3,000 bottles from around the world.