Every once in a while you come upon a hotel so unique, you have to come back again and again in hopes its magic rubs off on you a little bit. Hotel Helvetie in Montreux, Switzerland is part-hotel, part-art gallery and part-music studio. Not just any music studio, but a state-of-the-art facility where major artists record – this is especially popular during Montreux’s annual jazz music festival every July. In so many ways, this boutique hotel has captured Montreux’s soul and is an inspiring place for artists to come create. That’s what I told myself while I sat for hours in corners reading and playing the piano (badly!).
No, this isn’t the red carpet staircase that leads to the Cannes film festival, but you will feel every inch the star as you take this stairway to heaven – i.e., the lobby. Don’t worry, there’s an elevator on the side for your luggage that you can accompany if you’re lazy.
The lobby has striking wooden decor and wide windows that make the best use of natural light. By evening, this is a wonderful place to sit with a cup of hot cocoa and read if its raining outside.
The rooms are large by European standards, and if you’re lucky you’ll get a view of the lake, snow-topped mountains, and the village across the lake. You’ll feel like you’re staying in the guest room of a wealthy Swiss family thanks to the period-feel of the place. I wanted to put on a gown, feather in my hair, and bring a fan to dinner.
Each room has a slightly different look and feel – this one had a tribute to the jazz festival.
There’s a casino across the street that serves interesting food… like zebra steak… but if you’re looking for a great meal and ambience, La Brasserie in the hotel serves delicious fare with a casual, fun vibe. It’s a great spot for lunch during the day or a drink at night.
Let’s Make Music
Sure, a karaoke room may be the only place I’ll sing in public just to be silly, but there’s something about this masterful recording studio that made me appreciate the hard work that goes into creating beautiful music. Maybe part of the reason I keep visiting this hotel is a chance to run into a celebrity recording something live (Hey, Christina Aguilera check this out! :D)
Montreux is all about elegant, understated charm. Walk the streets in this gorgeous outfit and pose prettily next to swans in the lake for a photo made for Instagram heaven.
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