Vevey, Switzerland. Where is it, and what do they do there? Vevey is a sweet, very interesting part of Switzerland right on Lake Geneva across from Evian and the Swiss Alps. It was the home of Charlie Chaplin and his family for 27 years, it is the crossroads of Europe, and it’s where the Romans passed over the Alps and continued to conquer the continent. Vevey is also home to approximately 200 artisan wine makers and a UNESCO World Heritage site called Lavaux. Lavaux produces some of Switzerland’s wine, which was introduced to the region by French monks who came, built out the land, and worked with the local people to teach them the art of winemaking during the times of the Roman Empire.
Vevey is also the home of the Grand Hotel du Lac. This 145-year-old hotel has survived two world wars and the Great Depression and is still operated as a hotel. What makes this hotel so unique? There are many things, but mostly the intimacy and exclusive sensation each guest feels when staying there.
Grand Hotel du Lac is comprised of small intimate spaces that allow guests to sit and converse, read, or relax. There is the Oriental Lounge, which has an Arabian Nights theme and is exquisitely decorated with midnight blue velvet walls and ornate decorations. It’s quite dreamy, and frankly I could have spent an entire afternoon reading a book on the settee with a lovely cup of mint tea. There is also the Bar Salon, where they serve afternoon tea and evening cocktails. Really the idea is for people to feel as if they’ve stepped away from their lives and entered into a place of rediscovery and human connection. Mr. Christopher Rudolph is the maître de maison and is available to tell you a story about the area, give a brief history of the region and hotel, or perhaps enjoy a cup of tea in the Oriental Lounge; his passion for the hotel and the region shines through.
Every aspect of the hotel encompasses the spirit of Vevey, from the blues and grays in the furnishings to reflect the colors of the lake outside to the use of local produce, meat, and fish in the cuisine prepared by Michelin-rated chef Thomas Neeser. You really won’t “feel” Vevey unless you stay at Grand Hotel du Lac. I hope you get a chance to visit.