Thursday, October 14, 2010


Hôtel Royal, Evian, France. Select has taken the waters...

Evian is one of the most celebrated spa resorts in the world, known for its mineral rich waters and divine setting. We arrived in hot October sunshine, the old romantic way – by train and steamboat over Lake Geneva. The mood by the water was lazy Mediterranean, though surrounding alpine peaks were dusted in snow.

Hôtel Royal stands on the mountainside in a sweeping green park, looking down over the lake, with Lausanne and Switzerland on the opposite bank. The views mesmerize, whether sitting at breakfast, gazing over the infinity pool, standing on your balcony…or lying in bed.

Mesmerizing view from a Lakeview room.

All rooms have balconies. We recommend a Lakeview room for light and water magic: standard Lakeview room (33 sqm) or Residence Lakeview room (47 sqm). There are also a few special suites - 8 Presidential suites, a Royal suite, Edward VII suite and Rotunde suite (110 sqm).

In the lounges and restaurants, past glamour lingers under cupolas and frescoes. This grandiose old hotel is not for a minimalist. An aura of nostalgia and lust for pleasure invites you to sit in deep chairs, watch people go by, enjoy the terraces. Or forget all at the spa…

La Suite restaurant – past grandeur and comfort.

Spa is still the soul of Evian, even though its Evian Masters Golf Course and academy are world renowned. Spa Evian Source at Hotel Royal is huge with 30 treatment rooms, hair salon, Jacuzzis, steam room, sauna, gym and fitness and three pools. Its main indoor pool looks out through picture windows into the woods, and warm water bubbles into an outdoor pool surrounded by greenery.

These waters are not from the mineral springs that fill bottles exported worldwide, but we did get a chance to “take the waters…” A choice of mineral waters is proffered at Spa Evian Source, laced with herbs offering health properties. After that we tried a truly bewitching reflexology massage. You can plunge into Evian mineral water at Thermes spa down by the harbour – but it is not the same class as the hotel spa.

Verdant views from pool at exclusive Spa Evian Source
Hôtel Royal is part of Evian Royal Resort which offers 10 restaurants, a family hotel, excellent kid’s club up to 16 years - and a casino.

The shortest way to arrive is by helicopter or car straight from Geneva airport . We continued by boat, tram and train up into the alps (more on that to come)…

Alps and lake from boat Evian-Lausanne

Evian harbour – art nouveau waterfront

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