The Swiss are renowned for impeccable, personalized service and the Beau-Rivage Palace on the Swiss Riviera is the gold standard. Located in a prime spot in Lausanne just steps from Lake Geneva on immaculately maintained grounds, this five-star hotel has stunning views across Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) to Evian in France. Despite its legendary luxury status, the Beau-Rivage Palace warmly welcomes families and offers outrageous amenities and special activities for them throughout the year.
There are several room options for families, from standard connecting rooms to opulent suites. We stayed in the Duplex Suite in the newly-renovated north wing. With its two floors and two bedrooms, the Duplex suite is the perfect apartment for a family holiday.
The sublime suite is designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon. Located on the fifth floor, the suite offers stunning views of the lake. A third room can be connected to the suite for larger families.
Regardless of the room category, families should request a room with a balcony. We loved sipping a glass of Swiss wine on the balcony and taking in the spectacular scenery after our kids went to bed.
Concierge & Kids’ Activities: The Beau-Rivage Palace is so beautiful that guests will find it hard to leave. The wonderful concierge team led by Sylvie is very helpful at making suggestions for activities and restaurant recommendations. Families receive a booklet at check-in with a host of activities that can be arranged through the Concierge. The offerings range from a one-hour cooking or pastry class, a flower arrangement lesson, a tennis lesson to the unique “be our concierge” option where the kids get a chance to accommodate guest requests and distribute rooms keys for thirty minutes.
Swimming Pool: Guests can spend the day lounging by the large outdoor pool and enjoy lunch at the O’Terrasse cafe. The pool’s setting, surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and overlooking the lake, is a serene oasis.
Families with young children might prefer “relaxing” in the shady area adjacent to the pool, where the kids can run around in the grass.
Spa: Cinq Mondes Spa is one of the top spas in the world and surprisingly, kid-friendly! Guests walk through the Spa lobby to access the outdoor pool. Kids are welcome to stop for a glass of lemon water or some dried fruit.
In the winter or on rainy days, there is a pool at the spa which is partially indoors and outdoors. It is open 6:30am to 9pm daily and children even get their own spa locker.
Kids’ Room: There is a kids’ room which is open during holidays and peak season. It is not a “kids club” as there is no supervision but it is a nice place for parents to take young children to visit the hamsters, Biscuit and Chocolate, play games, and have complementary snacks.
There is a playground, croquet and a life size chess game on the grounds for outdoor family fun. My family was even entertained by the electric 24/7 lawn mower that worked on its own i.e. without a human (my husband was very jealous).
There are several excellent restaurant options at the Beau-Rivage Palace. The newly-added breakfast area with modern, floor to ceiling windows within the traditional Parisian style hotel reminded us of the Pyramid at the Louvre. Eliza, our 10-year-old daughter, is a connoisseur of hotel breakfast buffets and she gave the BRP breakfast buffet a “10” without hesitation.
Families who prefer to be amongst the bustle of Lausanne can dine at the Beau-Rivage Palace’s sister property, The Angleterre & Residence next door. The outdoor seating at their italian restaurant, L’Accademia, is reminiscent of being at a cafe in Paris and great for people watching with views of the lake.
For a truly unique and memorable dining experience, families can cruise on the Montreux, an old school steamer ship with food prepared by the chefs at Beau-Rivage Palace. If you ask a crew member, children can go up to the top deck and meet the Captain while he is piloting the ship and have a tour of the engine room where you can see how the massive pistons work.
Beau-Rivage Palace is also home of Anne-Sophie Pic, a Michelin 2-Star restaurant. The Concierge will arrange babysitting while parents enjoy an unbelievable dining experience. Reservations must be made at least three weeks in advance.
Families can take advantage of the lake activities such as paddle boating or arrange through the concierge for a picnic to take on an electric boat ride. The Beau-Rivage Palace provides complementary Metro passes for guests who want to go shopping in the nearby city center. There is also a market in the city center on Saturday mornings.
A great rainy day activity or for a break from the sun is the new, interactive Olympic Museum . It is extremely kid friendly and only a short walk through the gardens at the Beau-Rivage Palace. The museum has a great cafe with a wonderful lake view, nice kids’ menu and ice cream.
Families can easily spend a few days exploring small towns along the lake and dining at charming family-owned restaurants.
Families can drive along the scenic lakeside route through Montreaux to visit Chateau de Chillon, the ancient castle, with it’s fabulous location right on the lake complete with moat.
For parents who enjoy wine, the terraced vineyards rising at a high pitch from the lake provide stunning scenery and produce delicious Swiss wine. Be sure to pick up a bottle of Chesalas, a light, crisp white wine perfect for a picnic. Fit families with older children can enjoy bicycling through the hilly vineyards.
While the name is shared by other resorts around the world, just as the Beau-Rivage Palace sets the standard for 5 star service, guests will see that the Beau-Rivage Palace also sets the standard for European luxury on the water.
Ciao Bambino’s Family Vacation Consultants can help with everything from booking accommodations to helping you craft a full itinerary including guides and activities. Request assistance on our Connect with a Travel Advisor page.
Editor’s Note: Sandy was hosted by Beau-Rivage Palace to review the property for Ciao Bambino. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Sandy Pappas, except where noted.
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