Last week, Mr Man and I went to Switzerland to review a hotel in Lausanne, a town situated on Lake Geneva and that is just a 40 minute train journey from Geneva airport. We flew EasyJet, which really waseasy – we were able to check-in and print our boarding passes days before our departure, saving us the queues at the check-in desk. On the day of travel we simply – and quite literally – dropped our bags off before going through security and straight to the café for a tres European breakfast of a frothy latte and flaky croissant. The journey went smoohtly with no delays, and on arrival we stored the case in a locker at the train station so we could explore Geneva. (More on that next week on my Huffington Post blog). Late afternoon saw us take the train cross-country to Lausanne (again, more on that next week over at Huff Post) where we hailed a taxi to take us to the Beau Rivage Palace, located right on the shores of Lake Geneva. I honestly can’t tell you how romantic and beautiful the place is – it’s beyond capturing in a photograph – but I will try next week. For now, I’m going to tell you all about the very special hotel.
Upon arrival, the front door of Beau Rivage looked like something out of an New York movie with its green paintwork and revolving door, the concierge being the cherry on what appeared to be an already rather impressive cake. Our taxi drew up outside and the concierge immediately opened my door: I felt like Carrie Bradshaw when she arrives in Paris! My fancy new Samsonite case (thank goodness for that!) was whisked off to our room, allowing us to check-in baggage free.
We were given a Junior Suite, one of the recently refurbished rooms at Beau Rivage; the hotel has been undergoing major changes to its Palace Wing, a section of the hotel that now resembles the elegance and chic homeliness of a very refined, very expensive New York apartment. (On the Upper East Side, obvs). As we were shown to our room by a Dior-spectacled receptionist, Mr Man commented on the bouncy carpet. Yes, bouncy – the carpet was so new that there was actually a bounce Mr Man’s step! As we walked, I admired the lavender and white striped wallpaper and two different sets of fresh white flowers. (Don’t you think fresh flowers make all the difference when it comes to interiors?). It felt like there were orchids everywhere in the hotel.
Miss Dior opened our room (the key was on a heavy, solid keyring which would later weigh down my Lulu Guinness bag) as she explained it was her favourite suite in the hotel. We immediately saw why.
If I lived alone and had complete control over decor I would choose the interiors of our suite. The carpet was a plush cream, the bed was fit for a king (or Park Avenue Princess) and the light fitting was enormous. Everything was neutral; think chic shades of biscuit, champagne, cream and oatmeal complemented by putty hues and golden details. There were mirrors everywhere, reflecting the perfect palette and light that flooded in from the double set of French doors that led out to our balcony, with its incredible view of the lake and the Alps.
The bedside cabinets, writing desk, small dining table and low coffee table gleamed with a glossy finish, while the sofa and armchairs beckoned our tired feet. Miss Dior didn’t want us to sit though. Instead, she opened a walk in wardrobe before showing us to the 360 degree mirrored closet (with self-lit cupboards and contained luxurious items such as shoe bags and brushes and in-house laundry information) that led to a large bathroom (another Carrie Bradshaw moment) with free standing bath, overhead shower and double sinks. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Every tiny detail was taken care of – even to the point of welcoming us back to our room with champagne, strawberries and cream on our second day!
The rest of the hotel was just as gorgeous. The second level of Beau Rivage was closed for further refurbishments (not that you could tell – there was no sign of construction inside the hotel (not a sound, not a high vis vest or hard hat to be seen) and the foyer, hallways, bar and restaurants retained the charming character of our suite, but with slightly darker fittings. One thing that struck me was the seemingly endless line of chandeliers in the main hallway; they were massive and sparkly and hung from stained glass windows above.
Everything oozed elegance and sophistication. The hotel was clearly an expensive, luxurious, five-star hotel, but at no time did the it feel intimidating, nor did we feel out of place. The Beau Rivage Palace is super posh but not stuffy; it just felt really, really comfortable – and yet it is the most beautiful hotel I have ever laid eyes on.
Photography by my wonderfully talented husband, Kris Miller. Thanks husby!