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Switzerland: Lake Geneva Region’s New Hotels & Winter News

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Switzerland: Lake Geneva Region’s New Hotels & Winter New

New Hotels, Ski Deals and Hot Air Balloons

Winter 2013 in the Lake Geneva Region


December 18, 2012 Lausanne, Switzerland — New and refurbished hotels, three Gault & Millau dining awards and the 35th annual hot air balloon festival in Château-d’Oex are among the highlights of 2013 in the Lake Geneva Region.

Spotlight on Hotel News

The Hotel Lavaux is a mid-century modern gem designed in 1964 by the renowned architect Alberto Sartoris. Set in the lakeside wine village of Cully, in the heart of the Lavaux UNESCO vineyards, the Hotel Lavaux has been completely refurbished. The four-star property has 58 rooms and six furnished apartments, all done in a minimalist style, many with extraordinary views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. The hotel also has a restaurant with a panoramic terrace and a wine tavern, and two conference rooms.

La Maison d’Igor is a new boutique hotel, located in the house where composer Igor Stravinsky lived in the lakeside town of Morges. The property is surrounded by lush gardens and offers an acclaimed restaurant as well as eight rooms, which have retained their period charm and have been decorated with a mix of contemporary and classic furnishings.

The Agora Swiss Night, a new four-star design hotel from Fassbind Hotels, is located just 300 meters from the Lausanne train station. The hotel, which has 82 rooms, free Wifi and large LCD TV screens, features a breakfast room on the top floor with panoramic view of the Alps, Lake Geneva and the Jura Mountains.


Le Baron Tavernier, located in the heart of the Lavaux vineyards in Chexbres, has one of the region’s most intoxicating views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. In early 2013, they will unveil their spa Valmont, located in a new building that will also include eight new luxury rooms and one suite.


Hôtel des Inventions is a new hotel in the building that was formerly the Park Hotel in Ecublens. Set to open in early 2013, each of its 46 rooms and four suites will highlight a different Swiss invention, from bircher müesli and Ricola toffees to the bathyscaphe of Auguste Piccard. This three-star property is a member of the Hôtels et Patrimoine group.


Lake Geneva Region, the Swiss Capital of Gastronomy


The Lake Geneva Region recently won three awards from the prestigious Gault Millau guide, further enhancing its reputation as the Swiss Capital of Gastronomy. Benoît Violier’ of Hotel de Ville in Crissier was named “Chef of the Year” just six months after becoming the new Chef Patron of the restaurant, taking over from the legendary Philippe Rochat. Chef David Tarnowski of Le Montagne in Chardonne won Gault Millau’s “Award for Rising Chef in French Part of Switzerland” while Georges Lelièvre of Auberge de l’Union in Arzier was given the “Discovery Award in French Part of Switzerland.”

Château-d’Oex: The International Hot-Air Balloon Festival

The skies above the village of Château-d’Oex will be filled with brilliantly colored hot air balloons in January when the 35th annual Festival de Ballons is held. Château-d’Oex has long been the world capital of ballooning. It was from here that Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones took off in their balloon, the Breitling Orbiter, in 1999 and became the first men to pilot a balloon around the world. This year’s festival, from January 26 to February 3, 2013, will have more than 100 balloons and aerostiers from more than 20 countries. Passenger trips, the sound and light show called Night Glow on Friday evening, and a special children’s day are highlights of the event this year.

Ski News

The Lake Geneva Region is now part of the fifth largest ski area in all of Europe, thanks to the Super Pass Gstaad Alpes Vaudoises. The pass provides access to 420 kilometers of slopes served by 116 lifts, covering three different regions in both French and German-speaking Switzerland. From Gstaad, skiers can explore the Berner Oberland, to Saanenmöser and Zweisimmen. In the Lake Geneva Region, they can access Rougemont and Leysin, as well as Glacier 3000, Villars and Les Diablerets. The Super Pass is good through May 5, 2013.

Families will get a break this winter, as the major Lake Geneva Region ski resorts let children ages nine and under ski and stay for free this winter. Château-d’Oex, Rougemont, Leysin-Les Mosses, Les Diablerets-Glacier 3000 and Villars-Gryon have extended the offer for free accommodation in the parents’ room and a daily lift pass, good for kids up to nine years old.

The ski resort of Villars will offer six performances this winter of the “Legends of Music” at the early evening Villars Night Show, featuring sound, light, pyrotechnics and 200 actors on the snow. There will be performances on February 9, 13, 20 and 27 as well as March 2 and 6, 2013.

Culture and Festivals

The Lausanne Opera will reopen this winter after a complete refurbishment, with an expanded stage to accommodate the sets for of major European opera productions. The winter season the reopening season presents a rich and varied schedule that includes productions of Viva La Mama, Tosca and L ‘Aiglon.


The Festival Lausanne Lumieres is an urban light and art show at different locations in the heart of the city of Lausanne this winter. Running through January 2, 2013, the festival utilizes innovate illumination and artistic designs that can be seen day or night.


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