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Beau-Rivage Palace: Timeless Elegance on the Banks of Lake Geneva

At the Beau-Rivage Palace it’s easy to feel blissfully lost in time. All that separates the real world from one of grand arcade-like halls, regal chandeliers and sweeping staircases wide enough to accommodate 19th century ball gowns is a revolving door and a few red-carpeted steps.

Just minutes from Lausanne’s city centre, prepare to be transported to a realm of legendary old school luxury – one with glorious views across the sparkling Lac Léman to the snow-capped Alps beyond.

The Beau-Rivage Palace has seen a lot.  Wander through the hotel’s “hall of fame” and you’ll see just how colourful and star-studded its 160 years of operations have been.  Coco Chanel checked in after her divorce.  High-profile politicians have hashed out nuclear deals and signed international treaties.  Nelson Mandela too amongst plenty of writers, rock stars, heads of state and royals has signed the hotel’s impressive guest book… you can only imagine the number of secrets this Palace guards.  Despite its important place in history though, the Beau-Rivage Palace is wonderfully down-to-earth and welcoming.  With warm service and beautiful suites, you’ll feel right at home.

Sleep

Rooms and suites are split across two areas of the hotel: the original “Beau-Rivage” building and the newer “Palace” wing.  If like us you can’t resist a Dior-esque pastel palette of duck-egg blues and dusty pinks, we recommend staying in the latter.  Bouncy carpets, soft colours, creams and florals; myriad mirrors, marble bathrooms and Bulgari toiletries… it’s as if the Beau-Rivage Palace had glamourous Citizen Femme’s in mind all along.

If you’re in any doubt about what to pack, you’ll want to prance around these plush rooms in neutral cashmeres, silk scarves and pearls.  There’s such an immaculate elegance to them that one can’t help but feel chicer than chic.  You won’t have to worry about the hair situation either.  Salon quality hairdryers will keep you blowdried and beautiful – after all, a palace is certainly no place for plastic frizz-machine hairdryers drilled to the bathroom walls.

Make sure to reserve a room or suite with lake views – in the winter you’ll wake up feeling so fabulously Swiss with the snowy Alps in the distance, while come summertime, we can only daydream about lazy mornings out on the little stone balconies soaking up the almost-Mediterranean vibes.  For the perfect wellness weekend away, consider booking the Spa Suite.  With an immense, pure marble bathroom featuring two massage tables, a hot tub and hammam(!), the Spa Suite is as good as it sounds – private luxurious indulgence in an uber-elegant Swiss palace.  Yes please.

Spa

If you don’t book the Spa Suite, pampering is still a possibility at the hotel’s Cinq Mondes Spa.  And we mean pampering almost any way you like.  The spa’s founder spent over 10 years travelling the globe in search of the best treatments and massages so expect a vast brochure of international indulgence.  Think Japanese bath ceremonies, aromatic scrubs with precious and rare Chinese spices, Brazilian smoothing and toning treatments… you’ll find your bliss, trust us.

Guests can otherwise enjoy both indoor and outdoor pools, a jacuzzi, the hammams, the suanas and more.  And you’ll be able to steam yourself or swim to your heart’s content thanks to Giovanni Marotta, the hotel’s in-house hairstylist.  Nominated Swiss Champion of the Chignon, he’s on hand to fix all frizz.

The spa also features a decked out gym if you want to get a sweat on, with personal training available and even coaching on general well-being and diet from the hotel’s in-house nutritionist.

Wine & Dine

Before you see any nutritionists though, you should enjoy a taste of Beau-Rivage fine dining – the hotel’s restaurants are undeniably the best in Lausanne.  For a highly memorable dinner, don’t miss the hotel’s flagship 2 Michelin star restaurant, Anne-Sophie Pic.  The fourth female chef to ever win three Michelin stars, Chef Pic’s six-course Emotion tasting menu features exquisite local and seasonal ingredients, with every bite brimming with perfectly-balanced flavours and a passion for gastronomy that runs in the family.  We loved the Michelin spin on cheese fondue, especially delicious with a glass of wine from the 75,000 bottles available in the Beau-Rivage cellar – one of the largest wine collections in Europe.  Alternatively, allow the sommelier to expertly pair your courses with some divine Swiss wines.

Other restaurants include the high-end Parisian-style brasserie Café Beau-Rivage (read: steak tartare and plenty of fish dishes), and the Japanese Mikayo Lausanne, featuring a teppanyaki table.

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