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Cultural heritage and modernity on the banks of Lake Geneva

Since 1861, Beau-Rivage Palace has been proving that tradition and innovation – just like cultural heritage and modernity – complement each other very well. This ambassador of the highest Swiss hotel tradition is a great example of the country’s typically excellent hospitality.

The walls of this majestic building could tell 1001 stories ... about defining moments in history – such as the signing of pioneering treaties – about artists seeking inspiration, about royal families and famous celebrity guests. The legendary Beau-Rivage Palace guards many secrets.

Classed as one of the best hotels in Europe, it is made up of two buildings connected via the so-called La Rotonde, built in 1908. Ideally located on the shores of Lake Geneva, the Beau-Rivage Palace is nestled in a natural setting, a stone's throw from the centre of Lausanne. Like the International Olympic Committee, the palace is an institution in the Ouchy district.

Only 10 minutes from the vibrant city centre, the 5-star hotel benefits from the Mediterranean atmosphere of this port area. The hotel's four-hectare garden and splendid terrace are like a rejuvenating bubble. The view of the nearby Lake Geneva and the mountains of the Alps brings a unique serenity, as if out of time.

Over 160 years of history...


The creation of Beau-Rivage

Two years after the foundation stone was laid, the "Beau-Rivage" hotel in Ouchy was inaugurated on 25 March 1861. It could accommodate 150 people and cost 1,400,000 francs (approximately 702 million Swiss francs in 2005). The water supply was made possible by a twenty-two metre deep well, but to reduce consumption, the first director had the only bathroom on each floor removed from the plans. While candlelight and paraffin lamps were the general practice, gas lighting was installed, which was luxurious at the time. It was the first Swiss hotel to offer suites lit in this way. As a precaution, given the novelty of such a system, phosphoric matches were banned.


The cottage

The success of the Beau-Rivage Hotel led to the construction of an annex in the grounds, designed by the same architects and in the form of a masonry cottage with brickwork and turned gables, capable of accommodating a further 45 guests.


An amazing character

Jacques Tschumi was appointed director of the Beau-Rivage and set up the first hotel school, now known as the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, in what is now the Angleterre et Résidence hotel in 1893.


Light up !

Commissioning of the power station at the Beau-Rivage Hotel, six years before the creation of Lausanne's municipal electricity network.


Music maestro

From its very beginnings, the Beau-Rivage Hotel has sponsored and hosted a renowned orchestra, which was the city's first. What was then the "Société de l'Orchestre de Lausanne et de Beau-Rivage" has now become the "Orchestre symphonique de la ville de Lausanne".


Allo ?

The first telephone line was installed at Beau-Rivage: for external communications in 1906 and internal communications in 1907. In 1909, each floor was equipped with a telephone link connected to the network.


Under pressure from demand and competition, emergency work was carried out to renovate the sanitary facilities, sacrificing many rooms to install WCs and bathrooms.


The Palace wing

On 19 June, the neo-baroque Palace wing, designed by architect Eugène Jost, opens. Beau-Rivage becomes Beau-Rivage Palace.


A place of diplomacy

The Beau-Rivage Palace hotel hosted a diplomatic meeting between Italy and the Ottoman Empire. Their meeting ended with the signing of a treaty in which Italy undertook to recall its troops occupying the islands of the Aegean Sea in exchange for the withdrawal of those of the Ottoman Empire present in Tripolitania (present-day Libya).


Live from the Beau-Rivage Palace

Switzerland's first radio transmission to mark the inauguration of the Lausanne radio station (the third largest in the world after the Eiffel Tower and London). A concert given at the Champ-de-l'air was retransmitted and broadcast over a loudspeaker in the hotel for the benefit of the guests who had gathered there. From then on, the hotel hosted the International Broadcasting Union every year, even during the Second World War.


The Reparations Conference

Opening session of the Reparations Conference. This consisted of the international renegotiation of the debts and claims imposed on Germany after its defeat in 1918. The hotel welcomes the English, Romanian and Belgian delegations.


The Second World War period

The war caused problems for the hotel: the Palace wing was closed because it consumed a lot of fuel; staff management was complicated by the replacement of people who had been mobilised; and supplies were difficult to obtain.


On 19 May 1945, the French Committee for National Liberation commemorated the end of the war in the hotel's salons.


A peaceful haven

Charlie Chaplin and his wife Oona move to Switzerland and stay at the Beau-Rivage Palace.


Crowned heads

Visit from King Hussein of Jordan, who will celebrate his 18th birthday on 14 November.


To celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of England, a solemn ball led by the Orchestra of the Royal Marines was held in the salons in the presence of the Chaplin couple.


Christmas tree

Two giant Christmas trees have been erected in the grounds of the Beau-Rivage Palace hotel. Six hundred bulbs were used. On a clear day, the trees could be seen from Evian.


In 1978, the outdoor swimming pool was built.


A Historic Hotel

The Hôtel Beau-Rivage Palace was voted "Historic Hotel of the Year 1999" by the Swiss national section of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICO-MOS), in recognition of the efforts made over the decades to conserve and safeguard an unparalleled heritage built up since 1861.



Opening of the hotel's first spa, which will later become Cinq Mondes. It will be renovated in 2020.


Gastronomy at its best

Opening of the Anne-Sophie Pic restaurant with the world's most starred chef. In October, the Michelin guide will award her 2 stars.


A top-level meeting

The Beau-Rivage Palace receives an urgent call from Washington: on the other end of the line is an official from Barack Obama's administration. He wanted the hotel to host an emergency summit on Syria in the next 48 hours. The heads of diplomacy from Russia (Sergei Lavrov) and the United States (John Kerry) are expected to attend, along with representatives from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, as well as the UN envoy (Staffan de Mistura). The idea of meeting at the Beau-Rivage Palace came from John Kerry, who had loved the hotel where he had taken part in the Iran nuclear negotiations a year earlier.


The renovations

The two wings of the hotel were renovated under the direction of Parisian architect Pierre-Yves Rochon in 2014 for the Palace wing and in 2020 for the Beau-Rivage wing.


The consecration

The hotel is named Best Hotel of the Year 2023 by Gault & Millau.

1st February 2024

The alliance of two great Houses

The Beau-Rivage Palace unveils its new exclusive Spa Guerlain.