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Dining and staying in the atmospheric Grand Hotel du Lac in Vevey

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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.

Flower decoration at the lobby of Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey

Brigt lobby area with flowers

Oriental salon Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey

Oriental salon

Bar at Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey

Prize-winning hotel 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.

Room in the Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey

Guest room

The rooms entice with their stylish, soothing interiors. These rooms are normal size, but you feel surrounded by caring comfort. Interesting design touches abound.

Bathroom at the Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey

Bathroom fixtures

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…

Suite in the Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey

King-size bed in the hotel suite

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.

ales and Marketing Manager John Orlandi with Sommelier Clément

ales and Marketing Manager John Orlandi with Sommelier Clément

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.

Table setting in the Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey

Restaurant table setting

Dish after dish is prepared to the highest standards here, both visually and gastronomically.

Duo filet of whitefish and filet of rabbit, Taggiasca olives, asparagus

Duo filet of whitefish and filet of rabbit, Taggiasca olives, asparagus

Rack of lamb crusted lemon salt, eggplant caviar

Rack of lamb crusted lemon salt, eggplant caviar

The rack of lamb was unquestionably the best I have ever had a chance to taste. It was truly out of this world!

Pinot Blanc Domaine de la Treille

Pinot Blanc Domaine de la Treille

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…

Marinated rhubard delicacy with strawberry syrup, cookie

Marinated rhubard delicacy with strawberry syrup, cookie

And, so, the next morning, we took off on the eagerly-anticipated “Route du Bonheur” by Relais & Châteaux to Le Vieux Manoir in Murten.

Heading out from the Grand Hotel du Lac

Heading out from the Grand Hotel du Lac

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!

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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 travelmemo.com. In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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