I was reminded what it's like to be a career girl this week when I had to travel to Lucerne on a 2 day work trip. Not bad for a change, good to get out and play at the business game. Whilst business was good and very interesting indeed, I think the best bit for me was the impromptu off duty evening I was able to spend with my husband who also just happened to be in the area. He knows I'm a bit high maintenance when it comes to hotels - I can't be bothered with average, it really has to be something thrilling. So while my client had booked me into a very grand but bland hotel, I was whisked off by my husband to an altogether different setting. Walking into the Astoria in Lucerne I felt all excited and tingly, THIS was more like it! A cool, smooth affair, whiter than white with a divine reception desk all covered in minute, sparkly mosaic tiles begging to be touched and behind it a suave but friendly male receptionist eager to please. Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron (Tate Modern London, Allianz Arena Munich, Birds Nest Stadium Peking and Prada Tokyo to name but a few) extended this hotel in 2005 and created something very special indeed. If ever you have the opportunity to stop over in Lucerne, try this, I reckon you might be impressed. You don't even have to walk anywhere at all to get to the coolest bars, lounges and restaurants, as they're all in the hotel itself. Incredibly convenient. We tried the Penthouse bar for aperitivi and then headed for the excellent Asian bistro Mekong located on the ground floor. Unfortunately I cannot report on the rooms - from the website though it would appear that Superior and Deluxe are the way to go. Steer clear of Standard - that's the rule.