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“Fantastic old world hospitality!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Masson

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Hotel Masson
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Rue Bonivard 5, Montreux 1820, Switzerland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 16 Montreux B&B and Inns
Truro, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
“Fantastic old world hospitality!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

The Hotel Masson is an absolute gem - it takes you back to a different era away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Location - about 40 mins walk from Montreux centre, but 5 mins walk down a steep hill brings you to the nearest trolley bus stop (Bonivard). Buses run every 10 mins, and take about 10 mins to Montreux station/centre. We rode it all the way to Villeneuve (about 10 mins the other way), and right to the end of the route at Vevey (about 40 mins long the lake side). And the cost? NOTHING!! Any hotel guest gets given a Montreux Riviera card giving them free transport in the region - not just on the buses, but on the trains, including funicular and mountain railways as well. And the region it covers is quite extensive! For instance, to go from the hotel to Montreux station, then on the mountain railway up to Rochers de Naye (about an hour from Montreux) cost just 25CHF using the Riviera card. Without it, using the half fare Swiss card we had supplied by Inghams, it would have been 33CHF per person (Inghams - please take note of this.....our rep didn't know this until we told him, and he'd worked there for 2 years!!). And with no card at all it would have been 66CHF. Some days we spent no money on transport at all.
Chateau de Chillon (a must see) is 10 mins walk from the hotel - once you are down the hill, the whole way from Vevey to Villeneuve is flat and (almost always - short section in Vevey excepted) along the beautiful lakeside. Boats and some trains stop at Chillon and Territet - both 10mins or so from the hotel.
We booked 2 rooms - one double and one single - half board package for 7 nights through tour operator Inghams (a word on them - transfers from Geneva Airport by direct train, met at Montreux station by the rep, and put in pre booked taxi to the hotel worked very smoothly indeed. Taxi arranged back to the station at the end as well.). Our 2 rooms (14 and 16) were on the 2nd floor (reception,dining room, lounge, terrace are all on the first floor) and overlooked the entrance to the hotel, which is on the side of the building. Some lake glimpses, particularly from the single room (16) which had its own balcony. Near the motorway, which is raised along the hillside, but the noise was not off putting at all.
Rooms - very old fashioned decor, which may not appeal to some, but I thought really added to the charm of the hotel. The double room was a decent size, 2 twin beds right next to each other, with a bathroom with bath tub and shower over. Minibar, safe (bizarrely inside the minibar!), small old style wall mounted TV and old style radio. Single room had a decent sized single bed, large wardrobe, desk, chest, chair, armchair....almost too much furniture for a smallish room. Again a small TV mounted high (if you are tall, it may not have been high enough!!). Rather compact shower/wet room - I reckon you could shower, use the basin and toilet all at once if you wished!! One thing it lacked was a hook on the back of the door to hang clothes, otherwise it was more than adequate. Soap and liquid shower gel supplied. TV had usual European channels and BBC World News/CNN news etc. Managed to follow the Olympics on French/German Eurosport! No air-con or fan - and it was pretty hot when we were there - but I've yet to stay in a hotel in the Alps of Switz/Austria etc that has had air-con. As previously mentioned, the (free) Wifi was a bit patchy - but only on one day did I really struggle to connect. Some areas of hotel had better connectivity than others - router is on first floor outside office. But hey - this hotel clearly does not seek the business end of the market, and if you'd rather be on your iPad playing Angry Birds all day, stay at home!
Lounge - felt like being in an Agatha Christie novel sitting here! Nice terrace overlooking the garden - smoking allowed on terrace, balconies and in the garden. The garden was a decent size with plenty of loungers/chairs.
Dining room/meals - breakfast was a very good array of home cooked breads (delicious rolls!), about 6 types of home made jams (apple, quince....), cereal, yoghurt, fruit salad, cold meats, eggs, cheeses, juice. Decent standard coffee and tea.
Dinner (for our half board option) was a 4 course set menu - the menu was usually displayed (in French) at breakfast time, so I am sure you could mention if there was something you really didn't fancy, or if you needed a veggy option. Starters included salmon (cooked and smoked), melon, and Gruyeres cheese flan. Soup was a huge bowlful (with extras if desired!!) and was usually a creamed veg soup of some sort. Now for the main courses....these were served to you from the dishes at your table, again with extras if desired (but don't ever try and serve yourself - I reckon the waitress could've given Usain Bolt a run for his money the way she dashed over one night when we went to help ourselves!!) Quality was superb - chicken (twice), beef, veal, sole, lamb and duck were served during our week, with a different style of potato/pasta/veg to accompany each night. Desserts were a work of art, and included apricot tart, pear, chocolate mille feuille, sorbet....... You certainly will not go hungry at the Masson!
Staff - the owner and senior staff (think they were also family members) all spoke great English - one night I heard the owner introduce the dinner menu to various diners in French, English, German and Italian! Yes, the waitresses did not speak English (as mentioned in a previous review), but if there was every any uncertainty they immediately said "un moment, s'il vous plait" and rushed to fetch Madame to help. And they really had a good sense of humour which came over even if you weren't speaking the same language. During the time we were there they were dealing with people from Asia, Spain, England, Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany with no trouble whatsoever. Wine was fairly expensive (about 40CHF plus a bottle), but there was free tap water supplied automatically each night. And you could save part of a bottle over more than one night if you wished. The hotel does not have a separate bar area.
On our last day, when we had checked out and were waiting outside for our taxi, Madame rushed out to say goodbye in person, worried that she had missed us - to me, that says it all about the level of personal service you get at the Masson.
I would certainly recommend it to those who like old fashioned hospitality, great food, and being attended to in a way that you rarely encounter today.

Room Tip: A few rooms have full lake view and balcony, but at a supplement. Ground floor rooms may feel a litt...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    41
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Basel, Switzerland
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

For me, this is a gem! An old house from the 19th century where in some corners, time stood still. The beautiful original radiators, the ancient food elevator frm/to the kitchen, the wooden floor... and the wonderful location near Chateau de Chillon. Yes, Switzerland is not cheap and room rates of around 240 CHF are pretty normal but I find it's worth the money. OK, the rooms are not 'up to intl. standard' but do we always need gadets and this and that? I hope the owners will NOT change a thing in this small and neat hotel.
The dinner which was served was marvellous. Home-made cooking! A good appetizer, followed by a large soup with Zurich Geschnetzeltes and a lovely dessert for 47CHF. I don't complain when I get this served in a tastefully appointed dining room by a friendly waiter.
Worth mentioning is the natural friendliness of all staff - owner included.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan, Italy
Top Contributor
599 reviews 599 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 145 cities Reviews in 145 cities
228 helpful votes 228 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

room just ok ,bed not the most confortable . staff attitude excellent , not cheap but during the jazz festival

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed one night at the hotel in order to go to the Jazz Festival. It was kind of a last minute thing to find a hotel and we left it way too late and were lucky to get a space here due to a cancellation. But it 270 CHF per night, I think it was overpriced for what we got.

The hotel was built between 1829 and 1832 and was designed as a coach house, I suspect that was the last time it as decorated. Actually, it's very clean and today and twee and lots of period styling and ornate decorations which are a nice touch. We stayed on the lower floor, and it was unfortunately next to the car park so anyone coming and going could be clearly heard, we also didn't want to leave the windows open in spite of it being really hot. I was woken at 5am by someone walking around upstairs and the beds were very soft and my overall impression was that I was staying at my grandmothers house. The wallpaper was pretty old - not tatty - but the room had a kind of incongruent feel, as if someone had started to decorate it but stopped halfway through. The TV remote didn't work ( I just wanted to turn up the volume ! ) and there was a kind of alarm clock from around 1985 ( set to the wrong time ) in our room. There is WIFI but no one ever told us the password.

The private garden is lovely but unfortunately we only saw about 20 minutes of it before a group of tourists on an upper floor balcony decided to eat brunch and make a lot of noise so we left with our tranquility still lacking.

Breakfast was continental style - jam, meats, breads, croissants and boiled eggs, fruit salad and decent coffee - but no fruit to take away if you were going hiking or something.

It's about 45 mins good walk to the festival area, if that's what you are doing, and the walk is nice and quiet along the lake. To get to the hotel on foot, though, be warned there's quite a steep hill and in hot weather we arrived panting like dogs with rucksacks.

Staff were friendly and accommodating, the lady of the house has fluffy dogs that she takes to shows and was interested in telling us about them. There's also a sauna downstairs ( although they seemed to be using it to store luggage when we went )

Room Tip: Would suggest upstairs and with a balcony, overlooking the lake and the castle.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
164 helpful votes 164 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

Spent two nights at the hotel due to visiting the Montreux Jazz Festival. Although the building is not spectacular from the outside, the interior appears to be genuine 19th century style, with lots of antique furniture. The location is quiet and relaxing. The room was well equipped for a three star hotel, had a side view of the lake of Geneva including the top of Chillon castle and also of the motorway viaduct (there is only faint emission that does not disturb). The television screen is a bit small. No elevator, so if you have difficulties to climb stairways a ground floor room is recommended. A nice garden with deckchairs. Lovely lounge and terrace. Breakfast buffet good quality. Very friendly, helpful staff and management (owners). There is a private parking lot with limited space, and if the hotel is full, a parking place has to be found in the vicinity (there are a few but not many). The bus stop is a two minute walk downwards (upwards4 minutes, as quite steep). The bus takes about 5 minutes to the centre of Montreux and runs frequently.

Room Tip: no elevator, ask for lower floors if you have difficulties to climb stairways.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

We spent 4 nights in the hotel. The beds, linens and pillows were extremely uncomfortable, even for European 3 star standards. Breakfast was adequate. If you have difficulties walking up hill be aware that there is a fairly steep climb from the bus stop on the main road up to the hotel, and there are plenty of stairs in the hotel with no elevator. The office is up a flight of stairs as well. The garden is comfortable with lounge chairs and the location is just a short bus ride from the city center. The hotel provides a pass so you can ride the frequent and efficient bus system free.
Beware: prices for everything not included in your room rate are outrageous, even compared to typical high prices we experienced at the other Switzerland hotels in which we stayed. Nearly 200 Swiss Francs for a few non alcoholic drinks from the mini bar and one dinner for 2 people.

Room Tip: I was in Room 20 and a family member was in room 15. Room 20 has a nice balcony but the bathroom wi...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2012

Everything was just right: the food, the staff, the interior. No luxury but nice. Relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I would love to visit Hotel Masson again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Masson

Address: Rue Bonivard 5, Montreux 1820, Switzerland
Location: Switzerland > Canton of Vaud > Montreux
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Montreux
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Masson 3*
Number of rooms: 33
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