Going back to the Belle Epoque splendour of the Beau Rivage Palace is like having a re-union with a very good old friend of the old school. The time you have been away is unimportant, as you know that the values, the traditions and all the things you like, are going to be exactly the same as they were last time, when they were absolutely to your liking. So it was for the long weekend we have just experienced and our views that this must be one of the best hotels in the whole of Europe remaim unchanged.
It was the weekend of the Lausanne Horse Show and the hotel was totally full but thankfully we were able to secure a lake view room (a real must if you stay here), which though not as grand as the suite we had last time, was perfectly adequate and wonderfully comfortable. The bathroom with its bath and seperate walk in shower was superb and the balcony overlooking the lake an area of tranquility and a magic place to drink our complimentry flute of champagne. The welcome by Damien Fruhauf and his reception team was brilliantly friendly and professional and this seems to set the tone for the whole of the unique ambience, which is the Beau Rivage Palace.
All the people that work there, appear to have one aim in common and that is to make your stay as happy as possible and they are all brilliantly professional at making this a reality. This is achieved, not by servility but by having the time to talk with you, to recommend visits or particular Swiss wines or simply to pass the time of day. Many were there from our previous visit and it was like meeting old friends.
We had two meals in the Cafe Beau Rivage, which is not a cafe in the traditional sense but a high end brasserie serving wonderfully flavoursome food. On one occasion we ate of the carte and on the other had the menu of the day. This was avacado cold soup with crab and mango; followed by the pollan fish (caught in the lake) and then the most superb Aveyron lamb tagine plus a lemon and wine peach melba for dessert. Washed down with a recommended bottle of superb Swiss wine (I understand why the Swiss keep these to themselves) it was an exquisite meal, as was the one we chose from the menu. The service from Charles, Richard and Pierre was friendly, professional and in a word, outstanding. So it was from Lim, who looked after us in the Miyako restaurant, where we had to be taught some of the finer points of Japanese cuisine but we could not have been in better hands and had a really enjoyable first experience of this cuisine and particularly liked the sushi, sashimi, miso soup and the green tea flavoured with cherry blossom but were less keen on the pickled seaweed!.
The same attention and quality is equally evident in the wonderful buffet breakfast and it totally beggers believe when one reads one comment saying it was very average, as it is hard to imagine anything could exceed the choice and level of food on offer. Emilien and his staff equally ensure you have a wonderful start to the day with their care, professionlism and friendly approach. OK it is not cheap but if you stay here do not be tempted to do without the exquisite breakfast experience.
Other high points were Le Bar, with a superb array of drinks on offer and expertise to match plus the lovely covered terrace for just relaxing in an afternoon, whatever the weather. We did not venture into the Spa or the outside pool and terraes, as those things were not really of interest to us but they all looked excellent facilities. We did walk around the grounds and along the shores of Lake Geneva and were as usual enthralled by the views and the ever changing kaleidoscope of colour on the water and the snow topped mountains that surround the area. We both find it to be one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited for calm, peace, tranquility and a wonderful feeling of wellness.
Whilst we were there we hardly ventured forth from the hotel and the lakeside, as we were totally content and time there became precious. However if we had wanted we could have had complimentary tickets to the Horse Show or had a meal on the lake aboard one of the restored paddle steamers going to Chateau Chillon or taken the ferry across to Evian or taken the free funicular into Lausanne and from there visited Montreux or got the wonderful train to the magical Rochers de Naye (highly recommended) or even got the Golden Pass train for a day trip to Gstaad. Unfortunately the next door Olympics Museum is still being refurbished but that is a pleasure for our next visit, as for sure we will be visitng our old friend again in the Spring. Until then we will have fond memories of it and the people who make it so special.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in 10 acres of private gardens on the banks of Lake Geneva, only 40 minutes from Geneva Airport, the elegant Belle Epoque buildings of the Beau-Rivage Palace, a Leading Hotel of The World, command breathtaking views across the lake and Alps. The 168 guest rooms and suites are richly appointed and offer the utmost in elegance and comfort. Luxury 8 Executive suites were created to be different and unique in style. The restaurants provide guests ample cuisine from which to choose. From the 2 Michelin star restaurant “Anne-Sophie Pic au Beau-Rivage Palace” to the “Cafe Beau-Rivage”, the Italian restaurant “L’Accademia” and the refined sushi restaurant “Miyako Lausanne”. The Cinq Mondes Spa offers pure relaxation on over 1,500 square meters; discover the beauty rituals from the world over. The Beau-Rivage Palace provides impeccable service including also a special kids program to make your stay truly unforgettable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Beau Rivage Palace Lausanne