A wonderful family weekend
The first time I walked through the majestic doors of Fairmont Le Montreux Palace was in May 2012. My father had offered my husband and me a night here as a wedding gift. Lyna was 6 months old at the time and I was a young mum who was still alert to the slightest gurgle that would escape from my daughter’s mouth. Fast-forward about five years and here we are, back on the Swiss Riviera, unchanged other than being a little more mature. I can tell you, being a parent is enough to turn your hair grey…
At the beginning of the afternoon, we went to meet Lucie who told us the day’s programme before taking us on a visit of this magnificent hotel. “It’s the most beautiful hotel in the world,” she confided to me, with as much objectivity as I have when I’m talking about my daughter. Although it has to be said that Lucie is not entirely wrong… I stayed here recently, during the Montreux Jazz Festival because it is situated just opposite. With its sweeping views over Lake Geneva, its authentic and luxury architecture and its warm and welcoming staff, you quickly feel at home. As we were shown to our room, we were guided through the main ballroom where a photo shoot was being held for the benefit of the Indian clientele, which is fonder than ever of this historic luxury hotel built in 1906.
And then we arrived: room 115. Lyna was the first inside. The room was spacious, light and airy. White and beige tones predominated and there was an impressively high bed: I loved it all! In fact, I stole a few décor ideas for our future apartment, like the little sill behind the sinks in the bathroom. My daughter preferred (by far!) the bidet, which she thought was a really practical sink because it was just the right height for her. You live and learn. I should point out that, even though I love her very much, Lyna didn’t brush her teeth in it despite numerous attempts to get her own way. What touched me most were all the little attentions intended for Lyna. A box of traditional wooden toys and a bath robe in her size were waiting for her on the dressing table. How adorable! We didn’t have much time to sit there admiring everything as we were going to a chocolate workshop at 2 p.m. at the Läderach chocolate factory in Vevey. I don’t know about you, but the smell of chocolate simply drives me crazy! Having tried to eliminate it from my life, or more precisely from my buttocks, all of my senses go into overdrive when I get too close to it for comfort. As we entered the chocolate factory, I was intoxicated by the smells of cocoa, caramel, vanilla and other aromas, each more enticing than the last. If you have never been in one of their boutiques, run away now while you still have the chance! Once inside, there’s no going back. It’s simply impossible to resist the temptation – there is so much choice! So, attired in chef’s hat and apron, it was time to start “work”! We spent the first quarter of an hour listening to Aurélie telling us about the history of the company and of chocolate. Then we tasted different kinds of little chocolate chips before setting about creating our own bar of chocolate. Caramel and almonds for my husband, hazelnuts and pistachios for me… and 1 kg of Smarties and 100 g of chocolate for Lyna. At the end of the workshop, we were even given our very own diploma and were allowed to keep our uniform so that we could still look like true chocolate makers. No need to book, but it is nevertheless worthwhile calling them in the morning to find out the time and details of the workshop. With family or friends, or even for a bachelorette party – this workshop lends itself perfectly to every occasion.
Back at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, we rounded off the afternoon with a dip in the pool. There is an indoor pool and an outdoor pool with a large, private garden scattered with loungers and white parasols. There are also two relaxation areas – one for men and another for women – comprising two Jacuzzis, a Turkish bath, a sauna and two baths. The water in the pools was not quite warm enough for someone who feels the cold the way I do, but the temperature in the Jacuzzi was perfect! In the evening, we had reserved a table at La Terrasse, one of the hotel’s three restaurants located on the other side of the road. As we watched the sun set from the lake shore, Lyna, my little mermaid, was served fillet of perch and chips in record time. Once again, the staff were as attentive as ever. The service was quick, despite a wedding reception being held inside, and the food was delicious. We did without dessert; it would have been very greedy of us after the delicious chocolate workshop. After a light breakfast the following morning, we headed back to the hotel’s spa for a little dip in the pool before a midday brunch which, we had been told, was definitely worth sampling. It is the most varied brunch in the entire region! From midday to 3 p.m., a team of chefs is stationed around this magnificent room set up especially for Sunday brunch. Families can take advantage of the available nursery for the little ones once they’ve finished eating. It should be noted that brunch at Fairmont Le Montreux Palace is open to anyone at a price of 89 Swiss francs per person, and is free of charge for children under 6. Of course, the attractive price and the varied fare on offer make it a very popular happening. Don’t forget to book! Lots of love,