Charming, elegant, sophisticated, romantic... Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois is an almost fairytale hotel that exceeds all expectations. This is not your average hotel. Les Trois Rois is an experience unto itself, a chance to be treated like royalty and step back in time to an age where impeccable service was the norm and attention to detail involved a magnifying glass and tweezers. This is a hotel with a long and noble past. Previous guests in its 300+ year history have included Mendelssohn, Liszt, Wagner, Mahler, Voltaire, Goethe, Dickens, Sartre, Picasso, Chagall, and Napoleon.
The staff is unfailingly polite, yet friendly. The rooms are beautiful, charming, luxuriously comfortable, and well equipped (although the flat-screen TV and Bang & Olufsen sound system seemed like anachronisms). The hotel itself is perfectly situated in the heart of old Basel, and in fact contributes in no small way to the area's charm.
Unless you are exceedingly wealthy (and we did see various Bentleys and Ferraris pull up to the front), I'd recommend saving this hotel for a special occasion, such as an anniversary. (If you're wealthy enough to stay at Les Trois Rois on a casual basis, you probably don't read Trip Advisor -- you get someone in your entourage to do it for you). We opted for a room on the river side of the hotel, which costs a little more, but the view is marvellous and the room was entirely quiet.
My only complaint is a quibble, and relates to the hotel's attempt to maintain the impression of a bygone era. The door to the room does not lock automatically, and instead must be locked manually using the charming but absurdly large key (which is normally surrendered to the concierge when one ventures out from the hotel). It's easy, for someone used to modern hotels with self-locking doors, to forget to lock, and personally, I think security should trump charm.
A stay at Les Trois Rois includes a wonderful breakfast buffet, served in a room overlooking the Rhine.
When we checked in, the impeccably polite and warmly personable clerk gave us a map of the city and suggested some areas of old Basel we could visit. He also gave us a ticket for free tram rides during our stay. Check-in time is normally 3:00 PM, but recognizing we were tired from our overnight flight, the clerk promised our room would be ready by 1:00 PM (which, of course, it was). When our room was ready, the concierge escorted us to it and explained the room's many amenities and features. While this was happening, the doorman delivered our luggage, then left so quickly I had no chance to offer him a tip. (I did manage to chase him down later, but it wasn't easy -- the exemplary service is not offered with the expectation that it will be rewarded with a gratuity.) The staff made every possible effort to ensure we were comfortable.
Les Trois Rois is a very special hotel, far more than just a place to spend the night. It is simply unforgettable.
Rooms on the river side have a marvellous view
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.