August 13: a health and wealth centre

The Park Hotel in Vitznau on the Vierwaldstaettesee (Lake Luzern in English) must be one of the swankiest of swanky hotels in Switzerland. Three years ago we went in there and asked if we could play the Boesendorfer grand piano. The staff were very welcoming and let us play the instrument for a couple of hours (when I say us, I don’t mean me, you understand).Through the open doors of the hall we were in we could look out onto the drinks reception on the esplanade on the lake. This was during the Luzern Festival and many of the residents of the hotel were attending the concerts a few stops along the lake. Last month we were in Vitznau again and thought we might pop into the Park Hotel again to maybe renew that agreable experience. On the door was a Scandinavian hotel manager right out of a Stanley Kubrik film. He intercepted us and explained how the hotel had changed since the Covid years. It had become (I quote from the card we were given) a Health and Wealth Centre, no longer a hotel, no longer open to spontaneous visitors like ourselves. Customers had explained they were no longer comfortable with the ebb and flow of the life of a grand hotel; they preferred to hire suites within the hotel complex and have entrance to the place restricted to the hoipolloi. The place was now policed and controlled. It had become a kind of gated community, a bleak index to the post-covid world of the very wealthy. They are shut away from all public intercourse in a sterilised glass unit. Health and Wealth Centre tells it all. Where was the piano? I asked. It too had been put into isolation.

http://www.peoplearerubbish.com

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