Located in Lucerne's Old Town, the 56-room Hotel des Balances has contemporary interiors and all the amenities you'd expect of a four-star hotel and the charm of a historic property. It originally opened in 1808 and then underwent a substantial renovation 20 years later (don't worry, there's also been a more recent renovation, in 2008). The hotel is located right on the Reuss River with views of Mt. Pilatus and the Jesuit church from many rooms. The bar scene is surprisingly lively for a hotel that's been around for more than two centuries.