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Boutique Hotel Palafitte – Living on Stilts on Lake Neuchâtel


Sitting above the water by the shore of Lake Neuchâtel is a lake-dwelling settlement for our times: Hotel Palafitte here celebrates exclusive Riviera excellence of the highest level. Be prepared for something like this:

Situated at slight remove from the outskirts of Neuchâtel is the five star boutique Hotel Palafitte. Half of its room-pavilions stand on stilts in the lake, the other half on the shore raised slightly above and behind them. Overlooking it all is the reception and the light-filled restaurant with sun deck.

A promising start, I’d say…

Boutique Hotel Palafitte – Living on Stilts on Lake Neuchâtel 1 | travel memo

Even more so, since the restaurant has come up a notch both in service and in the kitchen since our last visit, and now its «La Table de Palafitte» restaurant has hit full stride, living up to its 13 Gault Millau points . Bon appétit!

The Palafitte hotel restaurant seen from outside

Terrace and evening lighting of the hotel restaurant

Sea bass on freshly pressed potato stock

Sea bass on freshly pressed potato stock

Benches and tables nestle between the pavilions overlooking the lake and the spindly green rods planted in it that remind of waving reeds. If they seem familiar, it is because you have seen them either in Wangen on the Aare River or possibly when they were deployed at Expo.02 .

Green plastic rods from Expo.02 at Palafi

Green plastic rods from Expo.02

Seen from outside, the cubical pavilions look relatively small. Inside, however, the hotel rooms are revealed as miracles of space planning, with refined interior perspectives and vistas of the outside : The bathroom is separated from the rest of the room by rotatable vertical panels that help create a pervasive feeling of roominess when in the open position. The pavilions in the front row practically bring the lake inside, for they have transparent balconies with individual stairs leading down to the cool wet.

Pavilion deck with direct access to the water

Pavilion deck with direct access to the water

Various large and small windows not only flood the rooms with light but also open up views under the pavilions on stilts (“palafittes”) and onto the lake. Even from the bathroom!

Spacious bathroom with Jacuzzi bathtub

“Bathroom with a view”

A classic #musthave!

The fragrant soaps and shower gels are by Bulgari ; appropriately enough, seeing that the brand has a store only a stone’s throw from the hotel up the road in Neuchâtel. It happens to deal in watches and jewelry, but for the guest not in the local know the shoe will fit anyway ;-)

And that the shower heads are also equipped with with red and blue color LEDs to get one going in the morning just adds that much more to the spectacular accommodations. That is, unless you already went for a quick dip in the lake before breakfast. Wow, I don’t think I have ever been that wide awake!

Rowing boat on Lake Neuchatel

Early morning idyll

Be that as it may, whether by way of the lake or a shower, sooner or later you will make your way past the sumptuous breakfast buffet on the expansive breakfast terrace .

Breakfasting to a splendid view

Breakfasting to a splendid view

Anyone who has to have the #must have, will inquire into room availability here.

A round of golf at the Neuchâtel Golf & Country Club

When you’ve had enough of paradise, you simply take off for the nearby Neuchâtel golf course. It will quickly enough help you snap out of your paradisical reveries. Sure, the course lies in a picturesque setting among the Jura hills and, when freshly mowed, the grass is more pristine than an English soccer pitch – but that does not guarantee that the balls will also sail like a dream over the terrain…

Beautifully laid out, view of the Lake Neuchâtel included!

Beautifully laid out, view of the Lake Neuchâtel included!

Anyway, it’s worth a try…for the place is nothing less than idyllic:

Our thanks go to…

We warmly thank Yves Chavaillaz, manager of the Hotel Palafittes for the generous invitation and Manuela Weber of CinnamonCircle for arranging this stay! A “Merci beaucoup” also to François Dussart , managing director of the Beau Rivage Palace Lausanne, and to Alessandra Hemmeler his head of PR. We could enjoy this wonderful sojourn thanks to their efforts.


Hotel Palafitte, Route des Gouttes-d’Or 2, 2008 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Phone: +41 (0)32 723 02 02


About Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create the travel blog In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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