ABOVE: The Beau-Rivage Palace has two wings that face Lac Léman. INSET BELOW: Graça, a hotel florist, updates a flower arrangement, and a young guest helps to prepare a pudding.
The Beau-Rivage Palace has dominated the shoreline of Ouchy, the port of Lausanne, for nearly 150 years. The hotel's two wings--Beau Rivage (1861) and Palace (1908)--have served as a luxury hotel, a World War I haven for aristocratic refugees, and the site of several international peace conferences.
In the 1990s, the hotel was renovated in collaboration with the Swiss Service of Historical Monuments, and its owners--primarily the Sandoz Family Foundation--invested more than 100 million Swiss francs in the project. Today's Beau-Rivage Palace is a handsomely preserved, 21st Century version of the classic Swiss resort hotel that once attracted guests such as Mary Pickford, Coco Chanel, Noel Coward, Somerset Maugham, Emperor Hirohito, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
The hotel has 169 rooms (including 33 suites) that range from attractive "comfort rooms" with views of the extensive gardens to the Napoleon Suite, which has a private rooftop terrace overlooking the lake. All rooms offer Wi-Fi Internet access, and most have Jacuzzis.
The Beau-Rivage makes a special effort to serve families. Guests with children can expect cribs, chests of toys, activities such as pastry classes and treasure hunts, special menus, and other services for offspring of any age.
Bars and restaurants include La Rotonde (a Michelin-starred restaurant with only 60 seats), the Café Beau-Rivage (a brasserie-style restaurant with terrace), the BaR (with terrace and evening piano music), and the English Bar (where British guests or Anglophiles can enjoy whiskies and cigars).
In fall, 2005, the Cinq Mōndes Spa opened at the Beau-Rivage Palace. The 1,500 m² facility was built at a cost of 12 million Swiss francs, or about 8 million euros. It has indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a gym with lake views, steamrooms and "tropical rain promenades" for both sexes, a children's playground, six one- or two-person treatment rooms, two suites with Japanese baths, and a 60 m² "Suite de Félicité à Deux" with a Japanese bath, private hammam (steamroom), and garden. The Cinq Mondes Spa offers an extensive menu of treatments that range from a "Taoist facial massage" to Ayuvedic and Balinese massages and a purée of payaya body scrub.
Location: The Beau-Rivage Palace is on the lakefront in Ouchy, close to the Olympic Museum and a few minutes from the Lausanne railroad station by taxi or bus. Train service to Geneva Airport takes 40 minutes, or you can ask the hotel to arrange transportation by limousine.
Hotel Web site: www.brp.ch
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Photos copyright © Beau-Rivage Palace.
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