The Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel marks its 160th anniversary with a gender revolution.
When Lausanne’s iconic Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel opened its doors on the shores of Lake Geneva in 1861, it was financed by men, managed by men, promoted by men, and staffed almost entirely by men. Women were engaged to make beds and wash dishes.
What a difference 160 years make. In 2021, the Beau-Rivage Palace’s general manager, its resident celebrity chef, and its chief concierge are all women. And today, it is largely men who clean the hotel’s guest rooms, schlepp the luggage and park the cars.
The site of many milestone moments in history, it was the Beau-Rivage Palace’s Jacques Tschumi who, in 1893, opened the Lausanne Hotel School in order to train his hotel staff. Now, 128 years later, the École Hôtelière de Lausanne continues to be regarded as the best hospitality school in the world, and many of its students still undergo on-the-job training at the Beau-Rivage Palace. The hotel’s Cinq Mondes spa was totally refurbished in 2020, ready to underscore the hotel’s growing devotion to wellness.
Host to celebrities from Charlie Chaplin and Coco Chanel to Matt Dillon and Christopher Walken, not to mention Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and U.S. presidents, the hotel was and is host to world-changing events as well. Highlights of its history include:
- 1912 – Signing of the First Treaty of Lausanne (or Treaty of Ouchy) at the Beau-Rivage Palace, ending the Italian-Turkish War
- 1923 – Hosting of the conference of the Treaty of Lausanne that draws the borders of present-day Turkey
- 1945 – Coco Chanel lived at the Beau-Rivage Palace from 1945 to 1954 and is buried in Lausanne
- 1968 – Albert Cohen publishes his novel Belle du Seigneur, inspired by the romantic atmosphere of the Beau-Rivage Palace
- 2009 – Anne-Sophie Pic, the world’s most celebrated female chef, opens her eponymous restaurant at the Beau-Rivage Palace. In October, Michelin awards the restaurant two coveted stars
- 2015 – Nathalie Seiler-Hayez appointed general manager of the Beau-Rivage Palace
- 2015 – The months’-long negotiations at the Beau-Rivage Palace conclude with the Iran Nuclear Treaty.
IT’S ALL ABOUT 2021
The celebratory year will feature an array of special events and offerings focusing on wellness and healthy living, including:
On August 27, the now traditional Anne-Sophie Pic Market will offer the opportunity to discover local delights produced by the chef’s partners. A special highlight will be the signing of Michael Berthoud’s book on wild harvesting – Anne-Sophie Pic wrote the preface in homage to their friendship. An “eat and be fit” section will also be presented in collaboration with Jérémy Peltier to respond to the growing demand for health preservation through food, a subject dear to Anne-Sophie Pic’s heart.
From September 1, the Absolute Infusion Menu will be featured at the Beau-Rivage Palace’s Anne-Sophie Pic restaurant. An exclusive alcohol-free food and drink pairing offers an unprecedented new culinary experience.
Finally, on November 24th, Anne-Sophie Pic and team will present “1861,” an extraordinary three-course gala menu reinterpreting the dishes served at the Beau-Rivage Palace’s very first dinner, 160 years ago.
ABOUT THE BEAU-RIVAGE PALACE
The Beau-Rivage Palace is situated on ten acres of private gardens, adjacent to Lake Geneva with spectacular views of the Swiss Alps. The property’s two Michelin starred restaurant, Anne-Sophie Pic at the Beau-Rivage Palace, features France’s only female chef with three Michelin stars. Other amenities include two bars and terraces, two tennis courts and a special program for children.