From its prominent site on the shore of Lake Geneva in Vevey, the Relais & Chateau Grand Hotel du Lac looks out upon a magnificent panorama of lake and Alps.
At the invitation of Richard Guyon of Relais & Châteaux, we sojourned by Lake Geneva, in order to experience for the first time the concept of the “Route du Bonheur” by Relais & Châteaux: We would ride from one Relais & Châteaux hotel to another on a Harley, at each stop sampling from the legendary culinary skills of their resident chefs.
We met at the Grand Hotel du Lac in Vevey.
Grand Hotel du Lac in Vevey
The Grand Hotel rises majestically on the shore of Lake Geneva, an easy walk from the train station along the lakeside promenade.
The ground floor spaces are a striking study in contrasts: Bright, open concourses giving on contrasting, relatively subdued enclaves like The Oriental Lounge or The Bar.
Hotel rooms in the Grand Hotel du Lac
Of the 50 elegantly furnished guest rooms, those facing the lake are appointed in pastel blue-grays and the city-facing rooms in pastel yellows.
The rooms entice with their stylish, soothing interiors. These rooms are normal size, but you feel surrounded by caring comfort. Interesting design touches abound.
I was especially taken by the “Pillow Menu“: Feel free to select the pillow for the night that’s just right for you ;-)
The cushions already figure in one of the many little stories that float around in the hotel: Maître de Maison Christopher Rudolph likes to recount the difficulties he had ordering especially large pillows until the suppliers started offering ones that were as wide as the bed. Well, they are definitely adequate now for watching TV comfortably from your bed or working on the laptop.
Quite right, until this, I always had to arrange at least two pillows for myself…
Add to this that thesubterranean river coursing past the hotel helps you to a heavenly good night’s sleep. I can heartily confirm it!
The suite naturally is not only larger but also comes decorated in a more provocative red and black color scheme. No way will anyone ever describe this as a “plain vanilla” bed…
Gastronomic highlight of the Grand Hotel du Lac
Sales and Marketing Manager John Orlandi led the way to the wine cellar, where Sommelier Clément was waiting for us with appetizers and a small wine tasting.
After this foretaste, back up we went to Restaurant Les Saisons where they serve dishes prepared with the best regional ingredients by Chef Thomas Neeser. It was no fluke that Chef Thomas Neeser with 16 Gault Millau points was named a Rising Star of western Switzerland in 2013.
Dish after dish is prepared to the highest standards here, both visually and gastronomically.
The rack of lamb was unquestionably the best I have ever had a chance to taste. It was truly out of this world!
Looking back, I’m not sure any more if the Pinot Blanc was served with the sea bass or what; regardless, it was outstanding!
And, in the person of Cyril Sauvan there is also a pastry chef in the house who clearly is of the same caliber as the chef, I swear to it…
And, so, the next morning, we took off on the eagerly-anticipated “Route du Bonheur” by Relais & Châteaux to Le Vieux Manoir in Murten.
Check rates and availability here.
More images from this unforgettable sojourn:
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A hearty thank you!
Our very warm thanks to “Maître de Maison” Christopher Rudolph and Marketing and Sales Manager John Orlandi for the fantastic dinner and hospitality!
Sabine Biedermann of Primus Communications is also due an equally big thank you for organizing and coodinating the tour!
And last but not least I must thank Richard Guyon, Relais & Châteaux Director for Switzerland and Liechtenstein, for the gracious invitation! We enjoyed the spectacular Harley Davidson tour through these noble hotels to the fullest!