Beyond Luxury: Du Parc Kempinski
Let the celebs take the lead, young and old starlets who rent out the Chauteau Marmont nightly, who'd rather pay for hotel service than sign a lease. For the busiest of the busiest, there's a certain satisfaction in knowing that anything you could ever need is just a bells call away. So what if you're looking for the five-star experience, but your tastes are more refined than the typical celebutante?
Say you want Swiss chocolate delivered on a silver platter at 2 AM? Or the latest in Davidoff cigars, custom-designed for you and your closest mates? Or a Givenchy oil massage in your own living room? A programmable bathtub filled with hot water waiting for you when you come home from the slopes? In-house private trainer? Curated wine collection, from surrounding vineyards and beyond? The list goes on. What if I told you, there's not one, but three concierge services at your beck and call? And this isn't a hotel, but a private residence, located at one of the most gorgeous sites on the planet? The trend has picked up on luxury private residences from New York to Dubai, and now the five-star home is coming to the heart of Europe.
Meet the Du Parc Kempinski, a new private residence building encompassing 21 apartments and three penthouses at the top of Mont-Pèlerin, Chardonne, that aims to meet luxury expectations above and beyond the call of duty. It's a new renovation of a 1906 Belle Epoque hotel that has welcomed guests like Victor Hugo or Pierre Cardin over the century. I was part of a recent tour of international journalists, all brought to the Lake Geneva region to experience the amazing location. While the famed hotel was in its initial stages of regutting, with planned balcony expansion and an axing of the annex ballroom, there was a faux model apartment set up for prospective buyers to peruse, showcasing state-of-the-art technology and a lush purple color scheme. Our group was brought to the high mountaintops of Vaud to see this amazing spot on planet Earth, overlooking the largest lake in Europe, majestic snowy mountain tops, and UNESCO-recognized vineyards. It's a place completely secluded yet quickly and easily accessible to Geneva. At the Du Parc Kempinski, we witnessed a way of life apart from any other.
Gallery: Du Parc Kempinski
Clearly the crown jewel of Du Parc will be the three penthouses to be built in a brand-new roof on the building, measuring over 600 sq meters, with some to reach 14 meters tall. Mariani, which specializes in bespoke furnishings, is available to deck these amazing residences in gold and crystal designs. Swiss Development Group CEO Nicolas Garnier says, "By partnering with Mariani, we feel that the superior and luxurious nature of the Du Parc penthouses will be all the more enhanced." Mariani is famous for decorating the palaces of H.R., the King of Saudi Araba in Riyadh and Casablanca, as well as esteemed homes in St. Tropez and Moscow.
While Switzerland runs to the tee on impeccable clockwork, it's a country known for its easy lifestyle and impeccable quality of life. Indeed in the 2009 Mercer Quality of Living Index, Zurich and Geneva ranked number two and three respectively for highest quality of living worldwide. The Swiss Development Group is creating a brand new style of living, redefining the luxury lifestyle to expect five-star living 365 days a year. The residences will open officially in 2011. A two-bedroom apartment is expected to cost approximately 4.7 million Swiss francs, while the penthouses range from 19 to 23 million Swiss francs. The Du Parc Kempinski has established the new standard in luxury living, as the slogan of the Swiss Development Group goes: "Who lives well, lives twice."
My visit to Vaud was sponsored by the Swiss Development Group, but the opinions expressed in the article are 100% my own.