Fairmont Le Montreux Palace
ABOVE: A vintage steamer cruises past Le Montreux Palace. INSET BELOW: An indoor-outdoor view of Lac Léman and the Alps.
Montreux, made famous by Rousseau's Le nouvelle Heloise and Lord Byron's The Prisoner of Chillon, drew a wealthy crowd to the sunny shores of Lac Léman in the years between 1850 and World War I. To meet the demand for a luxury resort hotel, a pair of Swiss hoteliers built Le Montreux Palace in 1906. The hotel attracted guests from all over the world with state-of-the-art features such as running water, electricity, central heating, and--by 1911--a skating rink and shooting range.
During World War I, the hotel served as a hospital for wounded Allied soldiers; it later attracted such illustrious guests as composer Richard Strauss and novelist Vladimir Nabokov (who lived in the hotel from 1961 until his death in 1977).
Today, Le Montreux Palace is a five-star luxury hotel with air conditioning, Wi-Fi Internet access, and other modern amenities. The hotel, which belongs to the Fairmont group, has 235 rooms and suites, making it the largest of the three hotels profiled in this article. It's also the only hotel of the three where guests can reach the lakefront promenade without crossing a road.
Dining rooms and bars at Le Montreux Palace include Jaan (a French restaurant with Asian accents that earned a Michelin star in 2003), La Brasserie du Palace (brasserie and menu service from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.), Ta Terrasse du Petit Palais (light Asian cuisine), La Palmeraie (breakfast buffet), Harry's New York Bar (with live music and late-night meals), the Piano Bar Rose d'Or, and the CopyCat Nightclub, which opens at 11 p.m. for the insomniac set.
The hotel's spa is billed as "oasis of water, wood, and stone." The 2000 m² spa has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, steam zones, bubble loungers, a fitness rooms, and 10 treatment rooms (including a two-bed "VIP Room" with its own salon, bubble bath, steambath, shower, and terrace). There's also a juice bar with terrace and a lawn with views of the lake. (See photos on next page.)
Location: Le Montreux Palace faces the lakeside promenade in Montreux, a resort city of 23,000 between Lausanne and Vevey. The city is famous for the Castle of Chillon and the annual Montreux Jazz Festival. It's easy to reach by train from Geneva Airport and is a short train ride from Canton Vaud's capital city of Lausanne.
Hotel Web site: www.fairmont.com/montreux/
Next page: Fairmont Le Montreux Palace photos
Photos copyright © Le Montreux Palace.
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