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The Bellevue Palace, Bern, Switzerland

The Bellevue Palace

Bern, Switzerland

Belle view indeed!! This is one hotel that truly lives up to its name. The views are extraordinary!! Not surprising given the hotel’s prime location right next to the Federal Palace, Switzerland’s Parliament building. In 1848 Bern was chosen as the capital of the Swiss Federation. Freidrich Oswald was the manager of the top hotel of the day. He realized the city was going to need a lot more rooms to house the influx of official guests, diplomats and VIP’s.  He and his wife acquired the property right next to the emerging government buildings and built his own hotel. All these buildings share the magnificent views from the top of the hill down over the river to the alps. When his sons took over the hotel they decided it needed more than modernization. They ripped down the old building and completely rebuilt. The exterior may look neoclassical but behind the sandstone the construction was state of the art using then revolutionary reinforced concrete. Meanwhile the interiors drew gasps at the fabulous Art Nouveau interiors, bathrooms in every room and lights which turned on automatically when wardrobe doors were opened. The Bellevue was THE place to stay. And stay people did. Guests have included heads of states (Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela) and celebrities (Prince, Cristiano Ronaldo). John Le Carre set much of Smiley’s People in the hotel. During WWII it was the spy hangout for both sides. Alan Dulles spent a good part of the War at the bar. The Post war years saw the hotel’s fortunes decline. In 1976 it was acquired by the Swiss National Bank who tried to run it but soon realized it was not their forte. They gifted it to the State in 1994. By 2002 a major overhaul was desperately required. The hotel closed for a year, the number of rooms was almost halved and modern necessities like air conditioning were installed. The Swiss Confederation retained ownership of their “Guest House” but hired the Michel Reybier Hospitality Group to manage it. What a smart decision. With perfect service, large rooms, marble bathrooms and fantastic restaurants the Bellevue is once again the Grand Dame of Bern and the place to stay. Paying up for a River View room is a must, each of these rooms has a pair of binoculars to help you get the most of your vista! And don’t forget to sample one of the 99 gins available under the huge stained glass ceiling in the lobby atrium.

Number of Rooms: 126


Sweet Suite: I loved The Presidential Suite, not because it comes with bullet proof glass, Juliette balconies and spectacular views but because of all the incredible heads of states who have stayed here. History at its best!

Favorite Thing: The Terrace of the Vue Restaurant. Grand and elegant. What a location! The food is creative and tasty. The cocktails are fantastic. Even the nonalcoholic ones. My pink flamingo was divine. But it is the mesmerizing views that truly WOW!

Near By: The Bundeshaus (Federal Palace) is right next door. The Old Town is steps away. Walks along the river. Train station. Shopping. The Bears Of Bern are 10 minutes on foot.

Amenities: Gym, Sauna, Vue Restaurant, Le Lobby Restaurant, Bellevue Bar, Le Fumoir Cigar Bar, Avant Club, Noumi Restaurant, pet friendly, valet parking, business centre.

Price: $$$$

This is a Virtuoso Property. Book with me for VIP status and special amenities.

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