The 1913 art nouveau hotel Bellevue Palace in Bern, Switzerland features charming elegance and excellent service.
Edward F. Nesta and I have been to Bern on many occasions, and always enjoy staying at the Bellevue Palace. During a visit to Switzerland in October 2006, we returned to stay at the 130-room and suite hotel that was completely renovated in 2002. The Bellevue Palace is the only five-star hotel in Bern, and with its premier location next to the Swiss Houses of Parliament, it is the frequent host of high-profile guests including European and Japanese royalty, heads of state, sports stars and entertainment celebrities whose many guests have included Alanis Morissette, Patricia Kaas, and Johnny Cash.
The hotel features a gracious style with a magnificent stained glass ceiling, crystal chandeliers, marble floors, Oriental carpets, lavish fabrics, and elegant furnishings, where piano music gently wafts through the lobby, and excellent service begins at the reception and concierge desks.
Conveniently located near the Aldstadt (Old Town), Bellevue Palace guests have the historic city of Bern at their feet with over 28 easily accessible museums to visit, 6 km (4 miles) of covered arcade shopping, concerts, theatre, and the famous Bern bears.
The Bellevue Palace has a stunning gastronomic 16 points GaultMillau restaurant, La Terrasse, where Executive Chef Heinrich Lauber and his team create tempting dégustation dinners. While we were at the hotel, we had a sumptuous dinner at La Terrasse. Listening to live piano music, we dined on Grilled Turbot, Sautéed Norwegian Rock Lobster Tails with Fennel Cream, Scallops in Puff Pastry with Spinach and Garlic, Chicken with Grilled Polenta with Parmesan Cheese and Mushrooms, Venison with a Pool of Blueberry Sauce, Saffron Noodles topped with Brussels Sprouts with Sliced Mushrooms, followed by a Cheese Course, and Crêpes Suzettes prepared tableside.
Breakfasts at the Bellevue Palace were a gourmet affair from the lavish buffet to the a la carte menu. We enjoyed beginning our day in the sunny restaurant with gleaming wood paneled walls, domed ceiling, and views of the Bern Alps.
Our guestroom had yellow walls and dark blue carpeting in the entry foyer and the bedroom. The king bed featured a blue moiré and wood headboard and matching blue moiré bedspread, and was flanked by two bedside tables. A safe and a mini-bar were conveniently accessible behind the ample mirrored closet doors that also held robes and slippers.
Although the wide white crown moldings, gold-frame mirrors, paintings, and furnishings are in keeping with the style of the hotel, the hotel has an appreciation for modern technology. Our room had a Philips plasma television on the wall, three telephones, and a desk with hi-speed Internet access, which is a definite must for this traveler. Gracious hospitality included a pretty, mixed floral arrangement of yellow lilies, red and pink Gerber daisies, and Hypericum, along with a plate of fresh fruit and chocolates on the rectangular table flanked by two chairs. Taking advantage of its prime location, the French doors elegantly dressed in yellow fabric opened onto a small terrace, where we enjoyed sitting and looking at the inspiring views of the Bern Alps, the Aare River, and the city of Bern.
The guestroom featured a powder room and a separate peach flecked marble bathroom with heated floors, double sinks, vanity mirror, scale, hairdryer, stool, and a combination tub and shower. Thoughtful attention to detail included a selection of Moulton-Brown amenities and a beautiful peach rose on the bathroom shelf.
The Bellevue Palace in Bern is centrally located and is easily accessible by train or plane from Interlaken (50-minutes by train), Basel and Zurich (1-hour by train), Lausanne (1.25 hours by train), and Frankfurt and Milan (4-hours by train).
Read other articles on the Bellevue Palace in Restaurants and Chefs' Recipes for an interview with Chef Heinrich Lauber who shares his recipes for a delicious three-course dinner.
CH 3001 Bern
Telephone: +41 31 320 4545
Fax: +41 31 311 4743
The Bellevue Palace is part of the Victoria-Jungfrau Collection, www.Victoria-Jungfrau-Collection.ch.
Read other articles on Switzerland in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Liquor Cabinet, Wine Cellar, Gastronomy, Luxury Products, and Adventures sections.
For information on Switzerland, please visit: www.MySwitzerland.com. For information on Lucerne: www.Luzern.org. For information on Interlaken: www.InterlakenTourism.ch.
For information on Bern: www.BernInfo.com. For information on Zurich: www.Zuerich.com. For information on Swiss International Air Lines: www.swiss.com. For information on the Swiss Pass: www.SwissTravelSystem.com.
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