The unashamed luxury of the Beau-Rivage Palace continues to the 168 rooms – 34 which are suites.
Well you would expect them to be when you have guests like Coco Chanel, Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Nelson Mandela, the president of Argentina and Lord Curzon, all stay there. Many of the rooms overlook the incomparable Lake Geneva and the hotel’s picturesque park of ten acres. My suite was one of them. With not one balcony but two, I was able to admire Lake Geneva and the mountains from different angles. With a king size bed, large sofa and table facing a mounted flat screen on the wall, and a bureau it was bigger than the entire ground floor of a typical UK terraced house. The bathroom had a separate shower and boast complimentary toiletries from designer Bvlgari. And as I indulged in a good bath surrounded by luxury in the hotel room, so I was too with nature’s luxury that is the alps from the bathroom window.
Things to do in Lausanne……
If you’re staying in Lausanne and can manage to pull yourself away from the lovely Beau-Rivage Palace, then it would make sense to enjoy the city’s unlimited public transport system (bus, train, metro). And if like walking then there’s plenty to see on foot once in the city centre. With a 13th century cathedral, the biggest in Switzerland, museums, and an elaborate town hall there is certainly plenty to see.
The centre becomes totally alive on market days which are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Completely pedestrianised with the same stone uised for building, it’s great pondering around the stalls looking at the various foods on other bargains on offer. The local speciality is the saucisse aux choux, which is a sausage made with cabbage and eaten with potatoes.
As Lausanne is situated close to the France border, it’s no surprise then that the city too enjoys bread and cheese. With 450 cheese varieties and 350 different types of bread, it would take a long time to sample them in one year. Food in café’s and restaurants as a result of the markets is always fresh and seasonal. The Café Grancy is a great example of this. Situated close to both the Metro and train station, it offers a wide range of dishes from fish, to duck, to beef, which you can linger over in the afternoon or the evening with a glass of vino or two.
Talking of vino, you can get real close to the terraced vineyards in Cully via a ride on the Lavaux Express. This tourist train on wheels winds its way up to the top to give you a good view of the vineyards. You can even see the grape pickers at work. The locals say that the grapes have had three suns to ripen and increase its sweetness: the one shining in the sky, the one reflected in the lake like a mirror and during the evening the one coming from the heat stored in the stone walls during the day.
For night life Flon is the place to flock to. Large warehouses have made way for the trendy bars and restaurants in recent years. The carriage track still crosses many sections of this quarter a reminder of the era when goods were transported on it to be stored in the huge buildings. But a quick glance up and the brightly lit bars now tell a totally different story.
And with Lake Geneva, it would be a waste not to take a cruise. The most spectacular boat cruises on Lake Geneva are from Lausanne or Vevey with the Lavaux vineyards and Alps as background. To make it an extra special occasion you can dine for a three course meal in the first class restaurant. But if you just want a light bite then you may want to try a bit of cake with a good cup of tea.
We stayed at the Beau-Rivage Palace where superior rooms start at £320 per night. For more information contact www.brp.ch/
By Sabi Phagura