Lausanne took my breath away. With the shadowy Alps before my eyes and the expansive pool of Lake Geneva in view, it really wasn’t long before I was in love with the place. I’d never been to Switzerland before and for my first visit I’d be doing it in style and staying at Hotel Royal Savoy Lausanne, a proper princess palace.
From the outside the hotel is every bit the Swiss Chateau and with its gorgeous Neo-Baroque crowned turrets, the building looks like something out of a fairytale. The five-star hotel has indeed housed royalty on several occasions. Completed in 1909, the beauty and elegance of the building made it the choice for the home of the Spanish royal family while in exile, and the King of Thailand also resided there for a while.
Inside, the hotel has recently been fully refurbished and restored whilst retaining many of the original elements of the historical building. Such as this stair case and the beautiful geometric stained glass windows that allow light to filter through to the big open space.
The three architects who created the original hotel in 1906 already knew that it would be something special. An icon in the city, that would soon attract the aristocracy and later legendary sportsmen Carl Lewis and Pelé.
The eight metre high ceiling entry way opens out on to an equally dramatic Lobby Lounge with a gorgeous colour changing chandelier and an eclectic mix of artwork.
With luxuriously plush furnishings and the highest quality materials, it’s easy to see the 100 million CHF investment that has gone into restoring the Grande Dame to its former glory. The beautiful modern fireplace, mosaic tiling and ornamental rugs are the additions of designer Maria Vafiadis, founder of MKV design, a leader in the interior design industry.
I also loved the gorgeous art deco touches and the beautiful fresh flowers that were changed frequently, giving the Lobby Lounge a new look each time.
Before doing any more exploring, I headed up to my room to check it out!
All 101 rooms in the historic building of the hotel have been totally refurbished in keeping with the hotel’s heritage, plus an additional 95 rooms have been created in the hotel’s new garden wing. My Deluxe Terrace room was super chic with sumptuous furnishings, shimmering silver accents and chic grey fittings.
The bathroom is smallish but beautifully designed in marble with a rain shower and a Japanese bath.
And beautifully smelling luxurious products from Hermés.
The best bit about the room was my little terrace from which I had a view of the expansive Lake Geneva and the looming Alps beyond.
I do warn you that if you opt for a terrace room with a view of the lake, it is obstructed by the buildings in front, but that makes it no less spectacular.
Excited to explore some more of this beautiful city, I headed out for a walk… as Lausanne is home to the International Olympic Committee Headquarters, the corridors of the hotel are lined with great sporting moments and Olympic heroes which I admired as I headed back down to the lobby.
It’s only around a ten minute walk to the harbour from the hotel and the beautiful expanse of lake. The perfect place for a spot relaxation and an ice cream or some churros from one of the nearby stands or food trucks.
I took a seat at the Château d’Ouchy for a refreshing glass of Moët Ice before it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the night ahead.
The next day, I headed down for breakfast at La Brasserie du Royal which is accessed via the ‘corridor of the senses’…beautiful mosaic tiling leads the way to the restaurant through a corridor of cheese and wine. The floor mosaic also reflects the city’s pride in its local wines and the winemaking tradition in Canton de Vaud which produces 8 Protected Designation of Origin wines.
Breakfast was an elegant buffet and a mixture of hot and cold fresh produce, I alway prefer smaller buffets with fine ingredients, rather than an overwhelming amount of choice which may not be as high quality.
After my day exploring Lausanne, I was excited to kick back and check out Le Spa Du Royal before dinner.
The spa really is a jewel in the hotel’s crown offering everything you could possibly need to relax, recharge and rejuvenate. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool, sauna, steam room, gym and a hair dressing salon. The hotel also has an exclusive partnership with Clinic Lémanic, a clinic dedicated to skin health with specialists in anti-aging and aesthetic dermatology. Various luxurious brands are used at the spa including La Vallée, a Swiss brand that encompasses some of the best natural ingredients such as lavender, budleja davidi and thyme, Swiss glacier and Henniez spring waters.
I enjoyed a relaxing massage in the zen environment of one of the private treatments rooms. As with the rest of the hotel, neutral greys provide a chic and stylish backdrop and I lay back to enjoy the gentle strokes of the beauty therapist, savouring a few moments of calm.
After the massage there was just time to get ready as I would be sampling the delicious French cuisine at the restaurant, starting the night with a glass of local wine on the hotel’s gorgeous terrace which leads into a secret garden. It’s not quite finished yet but soon The Sky Lounge will open on the seventh floor, the first terrace in Lausanne to offer 360 degree views of the city.
At La Brasserie du Royal, you can choose a seat inside the stylish dining room or on the terrace.
We had such gorgeous weather, my dining companion and I chose the al fresco option and we enjoyed the warm evening lit only by a few lamps scattered across the tables. Glittering light and gentle chatter filled the air and I loved the ambiance of this gorgeous restaurant.
Marc Haeberlin is the Signature Chef at the restaurant and is the fourth generation chef in his family, following the foot steps of his father, Paul. At his other restaurant, the three-Michelin star restaurant Auberge de L’ill in Alsace, Marc continues the tradition of serving local Alsatian cuisine that his great Grandmother started 150 years ago. Here at the La Brasserie du Royal, Marc is assisted by Julien Krauss, a former apprentice at Auberge de L’ill, and their team of thirty-six chefs.
My starter was billed as ‘the perfect egg,’ I’ve had similar dishes before but basically the egg is poached slowly at around 63 degrees so that the white is the exact same consistency as the yolk. The result is utterly delicious and here it’s served with light creamy sauce, green asparagus and tasty earthy morels.
My companion’s plate was an gorgeous dish of white asparagus, citrus fruits and Hollandaise sauce. It actually looked like the sun on a plate!
For my main course, I was keen to try something local and my Fera fish came directly from the lake with a crust made from cuchaule, a Swiss bread. Accompanying the fish were grenaille potatoes, rhubarb and a tasty wild garlic emulsion.
My companion’s beef tartar was so perfectly seasoned, and her skin-on french fries had the ideal crunch! We also enjoyed the local red wine that we chose to accompany our main courses.
I chose one of Marc Haeberlin’s signature dishes for dessert, a candied peach with Champagne zabaione and pistachio ice cream. A delicious piece of Swiss chocolate was the final touch.
While my companion enjoyed a delicious selection of various treats.
I very much enjoyed my stay at Royal Savoy and I can certainly see why it’s the choice of royalty. With the excellent food, fantastic service and world-class spa, I certainly felt like a pampered princess in a palace!
PIN FOR LATER:
Hotel Royal Savoy Lausanne
Avenue d’Ouchy 40
+41 21 614 88 88
I was a guest of Lausanne Tourisme on this trip and my stay, spa treatment and dinner at Royal Savoy Lausanne was complimentary.