Luxurious Swiss Weekend in Gstaad & Montreux
Montreux, nestled between the mountains and the shore of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman in French) is known for its scenic vistas, Belle Epoque architecture, Château de Chillon, and Montreux Jazz Festival.
It has always been a popular spot for artsy celebrities since Lord Byron and its famous residents include Charlie Chaplin, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, and Freddie Mercury. Queen recorded albums here and Montreux was the subject of the 1995 Queen single A Winter's Tale, one of Freddie's last songs before his death. There is a 6-foot-high statue of him in the town’s main square. Montreux is also where Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water was written and recorded.
Château de Chillon
For nearly four centuries Chillon was the residence and profitable toll station of the Counts of Savoy. From here, Savoy could control trade and traffic in the Lake Geneva region, as well as very important trade routes to Italy. This romantic castle offers wonderful views over Lake Geneva, Montreux, and the Alps. Lord Byron was inspired to write The Prisoner of Chillon in 1816 after visiting Château de Chillon.
A short panoramic train ride away, is the upscale ski resort Gstaad, a small village that boasts a high-end and sophisticated aura with top hotels, gourmet restaurants and designer boutiques, and attracts celebrities and travelers from all over the world. Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter Sellers and Roger Moore were some of the glitzy Gstaad residents.
But it’s the Palace hotel that’s the centerpiece of the village. It sits on a hill above Gstaad and is one of the most famous resort hotels in Switzerland. It served as the backdrop for The Return of the Pink Panther back in 1975. Remember the famous scene when Peter Sellers got stuck in the revolving door?
WHERE TO STAY
Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, a jewel of Belle Epoque architecture, offers a traditional and elegant atmosphere, and a personalized and attentive service in true Swiss style.
The views over Lake Geneva and the Alps are breathtaking.
Check out our blog post Ten Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Switzerland for ideas of other places to visit in Switzerland.