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Vevey: Hotel Les Trois Couronnes

www.hoteltroiscouronnes.ch

Reviewed by: Wendy Ash from UK, review #1958

When: July 2007

Style, class, history and comfort with spellbinding views.

Upon arrival on a very wet Sunday afternoon we were greeted warmly with a glass of champagne whilst we checked in and our luggage was taken care of.

We were then shown up to our room on the second floor which was lovely, but before we could take it all in we were presented with a tray of canapés and a bottle of wine to be opened when we wanted it to be.

The canapés were most welcome after our long drive from Ascona and were delicious, a very good advert for the restaurant.

Our room was very attractive and spacious with a sitting area, a fireplace, one or two antique pieces of furniture and 2 floor length windows with wonderful views, even in the rain, across Lake Leman, (Geneva) and the mountains.

On a more practical note our room offered ample storage, good lighting, a large, very comfortable bed from which we had those mesmerising views and an excellent bathroom with additional cloak room off the hall.

The bathroom was also large and nicely thought out with an abundance of hot water, soft fluffy towels, excellent toiletries and good lighting with an over bath shower. Our room and bathroom were serviced twice to a high standard each day.

The public rooms are elegant with delightful floral arrangements and once again comfortable but the icing on the cake for me was the beautiful indoor pool heated to around 27%C and blissfully quiet and relaxing. The spa is a new feature of the hotel and has a complete range of treatments on offer alongside a “relaxing room” where you can lie and enjoy complete calm whilst looking out onto the lake as well as an outside terrace equipped with sun loungers.

Breakfast was taken in the restaurant or outside on the terrace if the weather permitted. There was nice buffet which included fresh fruit, yoghurts, cold meat, cheeses, smoked salmon, pastries and croissants which were of the finest quality I have ever tried, or you could order a cooked breakfast prepared individually so it was guaranteed to be hot and fresh.

Fruit juices and champagne were available to drink alongside a varied selection of teas or coffee. Staff were patient enough to make cappuccinos to our taste: strong.

We dined in the restaurant on two evenings and the experience was delightful throughout. We had guests on the first evening who are vegetarian. I need a restricted diet, because of poor health, but Chef went out of his way to present an excellent selection of vegetarian courses on an individual menu for our guests and catered for me extremely well.

This was very nice as it makes for a relaxing experience and we all thoroughly enjoyed our meals, with excellent, professional, but not obtrusive service.

The abiding theme of Les Trois Couronnes is personalised attention and staff are happy to respond to any reasonable request you may have.

The hotel has a long tradition of hospitality and is a national monument so any changes management might want to make have to be sanctioned by the state. At the same time management is keen to offer every modern day comfort whilst keeping the character of “Belle Epoque” intact.

To this end air conditioning is being installed and the vast majority of rooms have recently been refurbished and fitted out with top of the range beds and soft furnishings.

To be honest, although the temperature reached the low 30’s on some of the days we were there we didn’t feel the need for air con but our room was lake side so had its own lake breezes with the windows open.

The hotel is not the usual ritzy, glitzy kind of establishment you would expect from one of it’s calibre as it has to work within strict building guidelines but it is utterly charming, and its lake side position can’t be bettered.

It was originally built on the shore of Lake Leman as a “Grand” hotel in 1864 but the town of Vevey has since pushed it back slightly to make way for a quay. It is still quietly situated with just the very attractive promenade and a small service road between the lake view rooms and the lake on the edge of the old town of Vevey.

Les Trois Coronnes as its name suggests has welcomed crowned heads of State, The Shah of Persia and Tsars of Russia as well as authors like Byron and Henry James. James wrote and set “Daisy Miller” here, a story about a headstrong young woman who meets her comeuppance in Rome after daring to visit the nearby “Chateau du Chillon” unescorted with a young male! The atmosphere in the novel has been preserved and was recognised in 2003 when it was voted “Swiss Historic Hotel of the Year” after a refurbishment. You can find a tiny piece of history in one the lifts which is only big enough for 4 people but it is outfitted in red plush with a seat and a mirror.

The open atrium has been restored to its original 1864 glory and is one of the highlights of the building along with the huge and ornate ballroom.

Vevey is not a beautiful town but the old town and lakeside promenades are delightful with easy access to Lausanne, Montreux and many famous train rides in the mountains. It is also very close to The Lavaux Wine region which is currently waiting to hear if it has been successful in its bid to achieve World Heritage Status.

Within a few minutes drive you are in the picturesque village of St Saphorin for example home to an excellent restaurant, Auberge de L’Onde as well as its famous wines.

We had a very happy day cruising the lakeside towns and villages on one of the hundred year old steamers.

There are many bars and restaurants near to the hotel as well as some good and interesting shops but there are many good restaurants close by in Montreux as well as the wine villages too.

My favourite activity, though, was watching the lake and the ever changing light over the “Dent du Midi” mountains from our balcony. Dawn and sunset were quite simply spellbinding.

Our room was 550CHF a night, including breakfast. Worth it just for the view! Packages are available out of the Summer Jazz season and there are 2 non-smoking floors available.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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