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Grand Style Luxury on Lake Geneva Riviera

Montreux Palace bb King SculptureMontreux was a quiet collection of small farm and vineyard villages clustered on the shore of eastern Lake Geneva until the romantic age of literature when the nearby castle of Chillon inspired the writings of Rousseau and Byron in 1816, launching a trek of international tourists who discovered the remarkable micro-climate and beauty of the lake pressed against the mountain slopes. In 1881, a pair of Montreux entrepreneurs acquired an earlier hotel the La Cynge to build a grand palace hotel to accommodate the high society coming to Montreux. The Le Montreux Palace Hotel opened in March of 1906 to world acclaim, not only for its rich La Belle Epoch design and luxurious comfort, but as one of the  most modern of its time.

Today, the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace Hotel is still one of the most recognized jewels of the Lake Geneva shoreline at Montreux, sometimes called the "Pearl of the Swiss Riviera", with its bright yellow awnings and neo-baroque façade. This unique 5-star luxury grand hotel on Lake Geneva where European aristocrats, Russian Princes and American Industrialists once mingled in the grand ballroom and bars, still attracts the contemporary equivalent of discerning first class power traveler for its stunning views of the lake, sumptuous traditional and elegant atmosphere and impeccable service.

The Le Montreux Palace is a charter member of both the Leading Hotels of the World and Suisse Deluxe Hotels, offering 236 luxuriously furnished rooms and suites designed with five star standards and amenities, all equipped with up-to-date technology. The hotel was completely refurbished in 2008 with the guest rooms and suites restored with classic architectural details in a color palate of pale taupe, with pear and lime accents, and an emphasis on the views of Lake Geneva.The Pavilion, built across the street in 1911 as a sports hall, today houses the Terrasse du Petit Palais Restaurant with lakeside terrace dining and stunning views. The Montreux edition of Harry's New York Bar (one of the few remaining, famed for the Bad Hemingway contest at now closed LA, and the Hemingway favorite haunt in Venice also gone), offers delicious food with an a  la carte menu, with a wide array of cocktails and live music every day except Sundays.

The Bar Rose D'or offers a great atmosphere for a casual drink. The former Brasserie Restaurant will soon reopen as the Jazz Bar to compliment the annual Montreux Jazz Festival held in the Music Convention Miles Davis Hall auditorium across the avenue every July. The sumptuous breakfast buffet is served in the atrium, with morning views of the lake and mountains beyond. The Willow Stream Spa offers fitness and health facilities of over 20,000 square feet, with access included to the indoor swimming pool, sauna and hammam. A range of massage, facial and body treatments are on offer for pampering. In summer weather the outdoor pool offers relaxing in the lakeside atmosphere.

The Fairmont Montreux Palace is just a short walk from the train station, making for a convenient location for taking the famous Chocolate Train, exploring the vineyards of the Lavaux, nearby Vevey or the romantic castle of Chillon. The magnificent façade of the Montreux Palace has remained unobstructed from the lake by a green park where sculptures honor the celebrated jazz greats who have come to the Montreux Jazz Festival. Take a stroll and snap a photo with BB KIng,, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, or the most recent addition, Carlos Santana.

For visiting Switzerland castles see Favorite Castles of Switzerland.

The First World War dealt a blow to tourism and the hotel served as a hospital during WWI. In the roaring 1920's the hotel returned to its former status and joined in the foundation of the Leading Hotels of the World association. In 1936, as another war loomed, the Dardanelles Treaty peace agreement between Turkey, Greece, England, France and Russia known as the Montreux Convention was signed in the Salle des Fetes salon at the Montreux Palace. The rooms of the hotel served again as a hospital during WWII. In 2007, the Montreux Palace joined the Fairmont Group of hotels and underwent an extensive renovation in 2008. © Bargain Luxury Travel

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