The buildings are enormous, with grandiose public spaces, but the friendliness of the staff prevents them from being intimidating. The flower arrangements are stunning. We arrived early and were offered complimentary drinks while our room was being made ready. The very comfortable seating areas in the gardens are particularly spacious. The lakeside location is fabulous.
Our superior room, with a beautiful view across the lake to the Alps, was quiet, comfortable and very well equipped, with electrically operated blind and awning. The rather small bathroom, though also well fitted out was a little tired. However, a comprehensive programme of renovation is in progress. The first 30 rooms have been completed and a further 67 will be available by May 2014. We did not see any of the refurbished rooms, but photographs suggest they are stunning. Shower hats were not provided, but appeared swiftly on request.
The breakfast buffet is spectacular (as is the glass walled breakfast room). We ate inside as the small birds (?sparrows) on the terrace were nibbling at the rolls whenever they could!
We did not eat in the 2 Michelin star Ann-Sophie Pic restaurant, but the food in the much cheaper Café Beau-Rivage (the name is a misnomer, this is not a café but a first class restaurant) was excellent.
The hotel has extensive grounds with lavish pool and spa facilities. Entrance to the gardens/pool area is via the spa, where there is plenty of space to come in from the sun and relax. Chilled tea and water are freely available in the spa. Occasional treats, liked perfumed chilled towels and hand cream, are brought to you in the garden.
Staff are unfailingly pleasant, friendly and helpful and standards of service and housekeeping impeccable. All the services are well up to 5*+ level. Constant cleaning and polishing ensured that, unlike many 19th century grand hotels, this one is kept in top notch condition.
We stayed for a week and were fortunate to enjoy very good weather. Lausanne is a beautiful city, on a very steep hill, but easily reached by a Metro, 5 minutes walk from the hotel (local travel is free when staying in the town - we did have to ask at reception for our pass).
Cost? This is one of the great hotels of the world and quality at this level cannot be cheap but value is given. Unlike many luxury hotels the guests were not all old crumblies like ourselves, but included many young people and families, which, unlike in some 5* hotels, created a relaxed atmosphere. Dress was relatively informal everywhere.
We will return as soon as possible!
Invest in a lake and mountain view....the extra is worth it.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.