There are many photogenic, fairytale towns in Switzerland but Lausanne is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. In early July, a small group of us flew over from London to Geneva with Swiss Air, a very quick and efficient flight. From Geneva we took a short train ride to Lausanne where we checked in to the grand Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa.
We arrived weary from travelling and an early wake-up, so were relieved when the Royal Savoy staff welcomed us with genuine warmth, and ensured that we felt instantly relaxed. In 2015 the hotel reopened after a $100 million makeover, and the city’s grand dame hotel has never looked better. The hotel is positioned on the edge of the scenic Lake Geneva just a short, if steep, walk into the centre of the old town. This art nouveau palace has hosted many notable celebrities and royals over the years, but it’s new renovation aims to appeal to a younger crowd too with a hip rooftop restaurant and a welcoming lack of dress code.
My Deluxe Terrace bedroom was room 314 on the third floor, a luxurious but business-like room decorated in hues of grey and cream. The room had a spacious feel, and I loved the small balcony overlooking the garden down below. The huge king-sized bed was a highlight, with a super soft duvet and wonderfully plump pillows. I found that I didn’t use the desk area much but was appreciative of the tea and coffee making facilities, and the room service staff were more than happy to deliver hot milk for my homemade cappuccino as and when required.
The suites at The Royal Savoy are decorated in a similar colour scheme. There is also the Royal Savoy Suite which uses many of the buildings original features to emulate a more historic and regal style. This refined suite includes a dining room for up to 10 people, and beautiful artwork everywhere you look.
The eateries on offer at the Royal Savoy aim to cater to all tastes and occasions. The Lounge bar serves creative and exotic cocktails and a casual all-day menu. On the roof, the SkyLounge is a favourite for Lausanne locals and guests of the hotel. The stunning glass eatery offers panoramic views of the city and serves a range of sharing dishes which are influenced by the culinary traditions from the 5 continents. I found ‘The Inspired Iberico’ particularly memorable – a fine piece of pork cooked with grilled aubergine, Chinese cabbage and parmesan.
Downstairs, the main Brasserie du Royal eatery is sophisticated and refined, with a beautiful menu of signature dishes created by renowned Michelin-starred chef Marc Haeberlin. Don’t miss the ‘The Perfect Egg’ which changes flavour with the seasons, I adored the subtle hint of liquorice and tomato paired with the rich oozing egg. The Aged meat from the Vitrine is also unmissable, carefully selected for quality and consequently full of flavour.
It is unusual to find a city hotel which has a decent spa, but The Royal Savoy prides itself on its new, exceptional spa that has an indoor & outdoor pool, numerous treatment rooms and sauna & steam room facilities. At every opportunity I popped down to this calm sanctuary to have a leisurely swim or to unwind in the sauna. One afternoon we were all treated to tailored massages, I fell asleep after 10 minutes in utter bliss as the experienced therapist used essential oils to relieve the tension in my upper back and shoulders using the lovely Aromatherapy Associates products.
It felt very indulgent enjoying the Royal Savoy breakfast in my bedroom. The room had plenty of light streaming in through the windows which meant I could have a quiet few moments to myself whilst waking up with a strong morning coffee and a big breakfast of fruit salad, scrambled eggs, cereal and juice.
Despite its relatively small size there is a huge amount to do and see in and around Lausanne. Highlights for me included wandering around the charming (and photogenic) old town and visiting Domaine de Daley vineyards on the Unesco World Heritage site just 10 minutes drive from the hotel. Cully is also a pretty little villa to explore… I loved discovering the little boutiques here selling all kinds of artisan products.
As a travel blogger one of the most frequent questions I get asked is: ‘Where should I go for a unique weekend break?’ I honestly can’t think of a better destination than Lausanne… quick and easy to reach, beautiful and charming in character and with so many interesting things to do and see… not to mention the chocolate! If you do visit be sure to check in to the Royal Savoy Hotel & Spa, a luxurious city sanctuary that truly looks after its guests.
More information and book a stay at Hôtel Royal Savoy Lausanne here.
The Royal Savoy Lausanne is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with Preferred Hotels and Swiss Air.