Granted the full moon was a bonus, but it was difficult to imagine a more picturesque scenario as I sat on my private balcony sipping a glass of champagne as I surveyed the vast expanse of Lake Geneva with the Alps in the background.
I couldn't help but feel like the glamorous Coco Chanel. While it was well known that she lived in The Ritz in Paris, she also loved Lausanne and during her time in Lausanne she enjoyed staying at the Lausanne Palace & Spa - in fact, she has a suite at the hotel named after her. Opened in 1915, the Palace Hotel is the epitome of Belle Époque chic and it constantly strives to create a luxurious ‘home away from home’ for its guests - even the four-legged variety.
The hotel is located on a hill on the Rue de Gran Chene, which ensures spectacular views from every room. Its central location is within walking distance to the thriving district of Flon and Lausanne’s old town, Rue du Borg (the top shopping street), Montbenon Esplanade and the METRO transport system, which can transport you to Ouchy, a port and popular lakeside resort located south of the city of Lausanne at the edge of Lake Geneva, which serves as the departure point for lake cruises and boat trips.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable with a built-in work desk, free WiFi, TV and a Nespresso machine as well as complementary drinks from the minibar.
For me, the most important room any any hotel is the bathroom. I need my creature comforts and the marble bathrooms, which were supplied with ample beauty products and plenty of fluffy towels hanging from heated towel rails, help guests feel more comfortable during their stay.
Three on-site restaurants and two bars ensure that guests' culinary and cocktail desires are catered for.
My favorite restaurant was the Brasserie with its views of Le Flon and the Church of St. Francois. In warmer weather, guests have the option of dining on the terrace. Here I enjoyed the Emince de veau, a Swiss speciality that consists of finely cut veal cooked in a cream and brandy sauce with onions and mushrooms, accompanied by Roesti, a crispy potato cake.
Other dining options include La Table d’Edgar for a more formal affair or Palace Sushi Zen for delicious sushi. For drinks or snacks there is the Lobby Bar, the Habana Bar for late night cocktails or the Cote Jardin with its lush green setting, making it the perfect place to enjoy a glass of champagne or a cocktail.
The Spa and pool facilities
I like to start my day with a swim and the pool and spa center on Level A of the hotel is perfect. At the spa guests can use the Jacuzzi, Sauna and Turkish Bath, or they can enjoy the spa treatments, which I found exceptionally revitalising after a long day of exploring Lausanne by foot.
The CBE spa concept uses AVEDA, Phyto5, Forlle’d and marocMaroc products to pamper your body or your hair - Coco would have loved it. The spa also has a small boutique selling swim and leisure wear for guests who may have forgotten their essentials. There is also an organic snack bar serving freshly squeezed juices and smoothies, making it a great place for those who wish to linger in the spa for as long as possible.
Service with a smile
The friendly hotel staff go out of their way to make guests feel at home and are happy to arrange just about anything for you, from taxis to guides to tickets for boat trips. As I had to get up at 3am to catch my return flight, I was very pleased that my wake up call was right on schedule, and they also offered to give me another call 30 minutes later in case I fell asleep again!
Things to see and do in Lausanne
There are many sights to see in Lausanne including the Olympic Museum in Ouchy and the Cathedral of Lausanne. I also highly recommend a sunset dinner cruise of Lake Geneva via a refurbished paddle steamer.
There is only one word to describe the Lausanne Palace & Spa Hotel - fabulous. I was so well looked after during my stay that they definitely achieved their aim of creating a luxurious home away from home.
Prices vary according to season and room category, starting at around €350. That includes breakfast, taxes and a free transport card that allows you the use of any bus and the METRO.
A direct train from Geneva airport takes you to Lausanne in about 40 minutes, depending on stops along the way. Alight, take METRO2 in the direction of Croissant, get off at the next stop, Flon, and take the elevator to the 5th level. You come out right across the entrance to the hotel.
Lausanne Palace Hotel & Spa
Rue du Grand Chene 7
For information on cruises and ferries, visit: http://www.cgn.ch/en-gb/
For information about Lausanne, visit: http://www.lausanne-tourisme.ch
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