BEAU RIVAGE PALACE, LAUSANNE
What’s so great about this pool?
Guests to this historic hotel have included Coco Chanel, Noel Coward and Somerset Maughan – and although they may not have swum in the magnificent pool, you can. By the shores of Lake Geneva, set against the picture-postcard backdrop of the French Alps, swimming at the Beau Rivage Palace is something that we at poolholiday.com would heartily recommend. The air here is clear and glorious, and you will feel no great pressure to rush out and explore – the whole point of being by the Alps is simply to take in the view, breath, and in this case, swim.
What’s the hotel like?
As its name suggests, the hotel is palatial. It opened in 1861 and was where the famous Treaty of Lausanne was signed, officially ending the conflicts of World War One. We’re talking grand! The building is set in a 10-acre park that is beautifully landscaped and a dream to wander in. The Beau-Rivage Cinq Monde spa is fabulous. It boasts a fitness suit with a view of the lake, a sauna, a tropical rain experience (fun!) and a hairdresser. The hotel has two outdoor tennis courts. The food here is exquisite, with one restaurant headed up by Anne-Sophie Pic – the only French female chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. As one might expect in the Alps, the cheese selection is incredible (and impressively large). Breakfast is served on the terrace overlooking the lake, with that view which you will definitely miss when you leave. Sob.
- There are two pools here – one is the larger outdoor pool (20m) and the other is an indoor/outdoor pool (18m) that leads directly into the spa area. Both are gloriously warm, but the outdoor one is marginally warmer than the other.
- The loungers at the outdoor pool are among the best we’ve come across – they are like mini beds.
- There is a beautifully hot bubbly Jacuzzi next to the indoor/outdoor pool.
- From May to September you can eat at the spa’s Terrasse restaurant, which serves exquisite fresh food, so you can spend the entire day by that glorious pool.
What else is there to do?
Beau-Rivage is situated just outside Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva. You can walk beside the lake and just enjoy the lovely view and the wonderful air. The harbour is lively and boasts lots of good restaurants or you can nip into town – a couple of stops on the metro. Lausanne itself is a small and very pretty city – with some incredible museums and art galleries. You can take a ferry going to France (half an hour journey) and pop over to Evian for a couple of hours – no passport needed. The art museum in Evian is particularly worth a visit.